Meghan O’Rourke Named Editor of the The Yale Review

The Yale Review Appoints Meghan O’Rourke Its Next Editor

O’Rourke takes over from Acting Editor Harold Augenbraum in 2019

Interview with Poets & Writers, May/June 2019

An portrait of author Meghan O'Rourke
© Sarah Shatz

After a year-long, national search, Peter Salovey, President of Yale University, has announced the appointment of Meghan O’Rourke, a highly regarded poet, memoirist, and editor, as the next editor of The Yale Review. O’Rourke will take over on July 1, 2019, the two-hundredth anniversary of the Review’s founding.

“We consider ourselves fortunate to have one of the country’s most accomplished literary minds to lead The Yale Review into its third century and remake it as a journal of the digital era, building on a great tradition of such editors as Wilbur Cross, John Palmer, and J. D. McClatchy,” said President Salovey.

A graduate of Yale University, O’Rourke began her professional career as an editor at The New Yorker. Since then, she has served as culture editor and literary critic for Slate as well as poetry editor for The Paris Review.

O’Rourke is a prominent author as well as editor; in an award citation the Whiting Foundation praised her “far-reaching and ambitious” work, and noted that her “voice stands out for its power and originality.” She is the author of the memoir The Long Goodbye (2011) and the poetry collections Once (2011), Halflife (2007), and Sun In Days (2017), which The New York Times named one of the 10 Best Poetry Books of the year. Her essays and poems have appeared in magazines such as The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times Book Review, Poetry, and Best American Poetry. She has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Radcliffe Fellowship, a Whiting Award, a Lannan fellowship, two Pushcart Prizes, the May Sarton Poetry Prize, the Union League Prize from the Poetry Foundation, and a Front Page Award for her cultural criticism. She has taught at New York University, Princeton, and The New School, and is currently completing a book about chronic illness.

“We’re living in a truly exciting moment in American literary culture, and the opportunities for The Yale Review as it moves into the digital age are enormous. I look forward to making the journal an even more vibrant and engaged part of today’s public discourse,” said O’Rourke. “I hope to continue publishing some of the best writing and thinking of our time, with a focus on exploring pressing literary and cultural issues, from the predicament of the undocumented to how the arts are responding to the opioid epidemic.” O’Rourke will also be teaching a new course on the art of editing at Yale.

The Yale Review traces its history to 1819, when a group of Yale faculty members started a quarterly journal first known as The Christian Spectator and later renamed The New Englander. In 1892, the new editor—Henry Walcott Farnam, professor of economics at Yale—changed focus, renaming the quarterly The Yale Review, and devoting its pages to the discussion of national and international politics, economics, and history. The modern history of the journal began in 1911 under the editorship of Wilbur Cross, a member of the Yale English Department. Since then the Review has published the work of Thomas Mann, Virginia Woolf, Eugene O’Neill, John Hersey, Elizabeth Hardwick, James Merrill, and Adrienne Rich, among others.

An interview with Meghan O’Rourke appears on LitHub.