From Our Desk

Editor's Note

America’s oldest little magazine launches online

Meghan O’Rourke
Courtesy Pentagram

Dear Readers: I am delighted to announce the relaunch of “America’s oldest little magazine” (as The Yale Review has long called itself) as an entirely new site: TYR. We’ve had a website up as a placeholder, but we have spent the past two years—ever since I became editor in July 2019—thinking about the digital experience we want readers to have, and about how the web relates to our goals as a “little magazine.” Today we are excited to bring you the fully imagined online version of TYR, one that includes pieces from our print issues, as well as audio, video, and web-exclusive content.

We wanted a site where you could feel that a treasure of great writing was just an easy click away, a place free from pop-ups, information overload, and sensationalism. “Little magazines” have historically been sites for passionate engagement with literature, criticism, and politics, and that’s what we hope TYR will be. Devoted though I am to reading in print, I love reading (and listening and viewing!) on our new site, and I hope you do too.

The Yale Review has a rich, storied, and very long history—200 years (depending on how you count)—of publishing some of the greatest literary minds in the world, among them Virginia Woolf, Thomas Mann, Rita Dove, and more. Yet many of my students, friends, and colleagues had never cracked its pages: literary culture had moved online, and the journal hadn’t. When I took over as editor at The Yale Review, part of what drew me in was the challenge of ushering TYR into the 21st century, so that it might become a more integral part of the intellectual conversation, and be discovered by a new generation of readers and writers.

Here, we will run web-exclusive essays and poems and bring you work from our rich archive. We launch with pieces from our Spring 2021 issue, including poems from many of America’s most remarkable poets: Terrance Hayes, Solmaz Sharif, Ocean Vuong, Elisa Gonzalez, and many more. You will also find the thought-provoking prose that characterizes TYR, including an essay by Becca Rothfeld about online stalking, an essay by Jean Garnett on sisterhood and envy, and a collaboration from Leanne Shapton and Sheila Heti on the inner lives of comets. We’re also launching our new “Poem of the Week” series, which debuts with a poem by Kaveh Akbar. And more is on the horizon: in the fall, we plan to launch new columns on the art of writing, the work of criticism, and crucial issues of the moment.

Finally, we have made our print issues fully accessible online, in the hopes of creating a truly inclusive home for literature. Over the next year, we hope to engage more with you, our reading community, by offering seminars, events, and a new membership program designed to give you easy access to all we do. The work of little magazines is painstakingly slow because it’s driven by commitment to principles like fully vetted ideas, accuracy, and innovation, rather than by the whims and trends of a market; it’s part of what makes little magazines “little” but lasting.

If you like what you find in our pages, and if you value the work we do—our commitment to careful curation, to thoughtful editing, to nurturing literary talent and being a home for long-form criticism in an age of fast “takes”—we hope you’ll join our community by becoming a member or subscriber, in order to help us sustain our commitment to print, and accessibility. As we work to bring diverse minds together across disciplines, backgrounds, and generations, we rely on the support of readers like you.

Have a look around, and let us know what you think.

With best wishes,

Meghan O’Rourke
The Yale Review

Meghan O’Rourke is the author of the New York Times bestseller The Invisible Kingdom: Reimagining Chronic Illness and The Long Goodbye, as well as three collections of poetry. The recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Radcliffe Fellowship, and a Whiting Nonfiction Award, she resides in New Haven, where she teaches at Yale University and is the editor of The Yale Review.
Originally published:
May 19, 2021


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