Parnassus (magazine)

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Parnassus: Poetry in Review
Parnassus30 cover.jpg
The cover to Parnassus vol. 30, issues 1&2, published in 2008
Editor and Publisher Herbert Leibowitz
Categories Poetry, Fiction, Essays, Art, Reviews
Frequency Annually (print)
Publisher Poetry in Review Foundation
Year founded 1973
Country United States
Based in New York City
Language English
ISSN 0048-3028

Parnassus: Poetry in Review is an American literary magazine founded in 1973.

The magazine states on its website that its aim has been "to provide a forum where poets, novelists, and critics of all persuasions could gather to review new books of poetry, including translations ... with an amplitude and reflectiveness that Sunday book supplements and even the literary quarterlies could not afford. Reviews and essays, to be effective, would have to shun academic thinking and prose, and above all, embrace the diverse voices of democratic pluralism. Our literary profile has been defined by a passion for disinterested, wide-ranging, incisive commentary—and lilting prose; a poet's reputation has never guaranteed a favorable or negative review. We never impose a point of view on any of our writers."[1]

Parnassus was founded by Herbert Leibowitz as editor and Stanley Lewis, the original publisher, in New York City. In 1976, Leibowitz set up the nonprofit Poetry in Review Foundation to sustain publication of the magazine, and he became publisher as well as editor.[1]

Contributors of essays to the magazine include David Barber, Sven Birkerts, Hayden Carruth, Guy Davenport, Mary Karr, Wayne Koestenbaum, Seamus Heaney, Adrienne Rich, Helen Vendler, Eric Ormsby, and Marjorie Perloff.[1]

The magazine has published special theme issues on subjects including women and poetry, the long poem, words and music, autobiography, multiculturalism, and poetry and movies. In 2001 the journal's 624-page 25th anniversary issue contained a survey of international poetries.[1]

Parnassus prints original art in every issue and has commissioned portraits of poets from well-known artists such as Philip Pearlstein, Alice Neel, Red Grooms, Romare Bearden, as well as from young artists.[1]

In 2007 the journal announced that it had lost its private funding, and that Volume 30 would be its last.[citation needed] In a piece in the Wall Street Journal (July 2007), Willard Spiegelman compared the fates of Parnassus and Poetry magazine, which had been heavily endowed by a bequest from Ruth Lilly. Because of this essay, another donor came to the rescue, anonymously, and gave Leibowitz enough money to keep the journal afloat for two more big issues, through Volume 32 (2010).[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b c d e [1] Web page titled "About Parnassus" at the Parnassus website, accessed February 1, 2007

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