Salmagundi (magazine)

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Spring/Summer 2006 cover
DisciplineLiterary journal
Publication details
Standard abbreviations
ISO 4Salmagundi

Salmagundi is a quarterly periodical, featuring cultural criticism, fiction, and poetry, along with transcripts of symposia and interviews with prominent writers and intellectuals. Susan Sontag, a longtime friend of the publication, referred to it as "simply my favorite little magazine." In The Book Wars, James Atlas writes that Salmagundi is "perhaps the country's leading journal of intellectual opinion."[1]

History and Profile[edit]

Salmagundi was founded by Robert Boyers in the fall of 1965, using money he earned as a youth, singing at his neighborhood Jewish temple, and at weddings and Bar Mitzvahs.[2][3] Boyers drew inspiration for his quarterly from other "little magazines" of the era, such as Partisan Review, F.R. Leavis's Scrutiny, and T.S. Eliot's Criterion, among others.[3] The title of the magazine was chosen as a reference to the 19th-century periodical of the same name, published by Washington Irving.

In 1969, the magazine moved its headquarters to Skidmore College, in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.[2][4][5] Boyers and his wife, Margarita "Peg" Boyers are both professors in Skidmore's English Department. The magazine celebrated its Fiftieth Anniversary in 2015 by publishing three large volumes, featuring "Best Of" selections from Salmagundi's first five decades.[3]

While the magazine has no explicit mission statement, Boyers has often invoked Lionel Trilling's description of the role served by little magazines in preventing the culture from "being cautious and settled, or merely sociological, or merely pious" and "to make the official representatives of literature a little uneasy."[3]

Salmagundi's editors take pride in continually finding "ways to say NO and THINK AGAIN to the largely settled views of our own enlightened readership."[3] Christopher Lasch, a frequent contributor to the Salmagundi until his death in 1994, observed, in 1975, that the magazine "often criticized leftist clichés from a point of view sympathetic to the underlying objectives of the left." Lasch further noted that Salmagundi reliably opposed "fake radicalism," "genteel academicism" and "estheticism," even as it recognized "the precarious position of intellectual culture in the modern world."[3]

One of the things that sets Salmagundi apart from other literary magazines is its commitment to hosting (and transcribing, for publication) ambitious symposia, featuring lively debate among prominent scholars and writers. Past symposia have included figures such as, Lionel Trilling, Richard Rorty, Martha Nussbaum, Slavoj Zizek, Anthony Appiah, Orlando Patterson, Susan Sontag, and many others.

Notable Columnists and Contributors[edit]

Critics and Scholars

Steve Fraser Daniel Swift


Binnie Kirschenbaum Jim Shepard Howard Norman


Notable Essays, Poetry, and Fiction[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "A Brief Preface: Salmagundi at Fifty". Salmagundi. 185 - 186: 7–8. Winter–Spring 2015.
  2. ^ a b Richard Horgan (29 September 2015). "Skidmore College's Salmagundi Magazine Celebrates 50 Years". Adweek. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Boyers, Robert (Winter–Spring 2015). "Fifty Years of Salmagundi: A Short History of a Strange Obsession". Salmagundi. 185 - 186: 158–174.
  4. ^ "The History of Salmagundi". Skidmore College. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
  5. ^ "Literary magazines. Salmagundi". Poets and Writers. Retrieved 1 January 2017.

External links[edit]