The Sewanee Review

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The Sewanee Review  
Sewanee review.gif
Edited byAdam Ross
Publication details
Publication history
Circulation as of September 1, 2017: 1,500+ subscribers, consisting of 1,250 individuals and 300+ institutions, including schools and libraries in 17 countries Online audience as of September 1, 2017: 3,000+ monthly website visitors; 15,000+ monthly page views; 4,000 followers on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram[1]
Standard abbreviations
Sewanee Rev.
ISSN0037-3052 (print)
1934-421X (web)
OCLC no.1936968

The Sewanee Review is an American literary journal established in 1892. It is the oldest continuously published quarterly in the United States.[2] It publishes original fiction and poetry, essays, reviews, and literary criticism.


The Sewanee Review was established in 1892 by William Peterfield Trent as a magazine "devoted to reviews of leading books and to papers on such topics of general Theology, Philosophy, History, Political Science, and Literature as require further treatment than they receive in specialist publications."[3] Telfair Hodgson took on the financial risks for the venture; as its managing editor he handled advertising and accounting, freeing Trent to concentrate on the journal's literary content.[4] Trent remained editor-in-chief of the review until 1900.

After a number of short-term editors George Herbert Clarke took over in 1920. Clarke was the first editor of the journal to publish poetry, and he published verse by Donald Davidson, William Alexander Percy, John Crowe Ransom, Mark Van Doren, and Margaret L. Woods, and a 20-year-old Robert Penn Warren. Clarke remained editor until 1926 and was succeeded by William S. Knickerbocker, who published the first piece of fiction in the Review.

In 1942, Tudor Seymour Long became editor, with Andrew Lytle serving as managing editor and Allen Tate as an advisory editor and de facto editor until 1944. In 1944, when Tate took over as editor, he and Lytle revolutionized the magazine's place in American letters. It focused on New Criticism, alongside Cleanth Brooks's Southern Review and John Crowe Ransom's Kenyon Review. Tate also had the review redesigned by P. J. Conkwright, who crafted the distinctive blue cover and design.[5] During his tenure, Tate published T. S. Eliot, Robert Penn Warren, Peter Taylor, Jean Stafford, Caroline Gordon, Theodore Roethke, William Meredith, Wallace Stevens, Reed Whittemore, Karl Shapiro, John Berryman, Robert Lowell, Jacques Maritain, Joseph Frank, and Marshall McLuhan. In 1952, Eliot commented that the Sewanee Review had "reached the status of an institution — by which I mean that if it came to an end, its loss would be something more than merely the loss of one good periodical; it would be a symptom of an alarming decline in the periodical world at its highest level."[citation needed]

When Tate's editorship ended in 1946, John E. Palmer became editor. He was followed by Monroe K. Spears in 1952 and then Andrew Lytle again in 1965. George Core succeeded Lytle in 1973.[3] After 43 years as editor, Core retired in 2016, and the novelist Adam Ross was appointed to succeed him.[6] Early in Ross's tenure, the cover was redesigned by graphic artists Oliver Munday and Peter Mendelsund, the associate art director at Alfred A. Knopf. This marks the magazine's first new cover in over 70 years.[7]


The Sewanee Review has published stories by Flannery O'Connor, the dramatic version of Robert Penn Warren's All the King's Men, and Cormac McCarthy's first published work — a selection from his first novel, The Orchard Keeper. Other noted contributors include Hannah Arendt, W. H. Auden, Ann Beattie, Saul Bellow, John Berryman, Wendell Berry, Bertolt Brecht, Albert Camus, Billy Collins, James Dickey, Andre Dubus, T. S. Eliot, B. H. Fairchild, William Faulkner, Shelby Foote, Robert Graves, Donald Hall, Seamus Heaney, Anthony Hecht, X. J. Kennedy, Maxine Kumin, Catherine Lacey, C. S. Lewis, Robert Lowell, Glyn Maxwell, Alice McDermott, Heather McHugh, Thomas Merton, Marianne Moore, Howard Nemerov, Joyce Carol Oates, Sharon Olds, Walker Percy, Saint-John Perse, Sylvia Plath, Katherine Anne Porter, Ezra Pound, Mary Ruefle, Richard Russo, Mary Jo Salter, Grace Schulman, A.E. Stallings, Wallace Stevens, Peter Taylor, Dylan Thomas, Eudora Welty, Richard Wilbur, Christian Wiman, Rebecca Wolff, James Wright, and others.

The journal is published quarterly in January, April, July, and October. Prior to its transfer to electronic processing at the Johns Hopkins University Press,[when?] it was one of only two academic journals in the United States still printed by letterpress.[citation needed]

Aiken Taylor Award for Modern American Poetry[edit]

The review gives the annual Aiken Taylor Award, a prize of $10,000, begun in 1985 by the physician and poet K. P. A. Taylor in honor of his brother Conrad Aiken. Winners of the award, which has often been given to poets otherwise unaffiliated with the review, have included Howard Nemerov, Richard Wilbur, Anthony Hecht, W. S. Merwin, Gwendolyn Brooks, Wendell Berry, Maxine Kumin, Carolyn Kizer, X. J. Kennedy, Eleanor Ross Taylor, Grace Schulman, Henry S. Taylor, B. H. Fairchild, Anne Stevenson, Donald Hall, Louise Glück, Billy Collins, Christian Wiman, Mary Ruefle, and Heather McHugh.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Sewanee Review Media Kit" (PDF). The Sewanee Review. September 2017. Retrieved 19 August 2018.
  2. ^ "Sewanee Review", Johns Hopkins University Press, retrieved 31 January 2009
  3. ^ a b Jon Meecham. "Above the moment: The Review at Sewanee still bright at age 100". The Chattanooga Times, October 29, 1992.
  4. ^ Henneman, John Bell (October 1902), "Ten Years of the Sewanee Review: A Retrospect", The Sewanee Review, 10 (4): 477–492, JSTOR 27530519
  5. ^ "Behind the Scenes: Redesigning the Cover of the Sewanee Review". The Sewanee Review. February 27, 2015. Archived from the original on October 12, 2016. Retrieved September 8, 2016.
  6. ^ "Ross Named Editor of Sewanee Review" Archived 2016-09-19 at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ "About – The Sewanee Review". Retrieved 2017-12-12.
  8. ^ "Aiken Taylor Award for Modern American Poetry"

External links[edit]