Dormant for more than five decades, The Hopkins
Review makes a triumphant return to the
literary landscape this fall.
The original Hopkins Review was launched in
1947 by the
Writing Seminars, then called the
Department of Writing, Speech and Drama. The literary
magazine back then was a thin paperback
volume that sold for 25 cents a copy. Acclaimed novelist
and short-story writer John Barth, a Writing
Seminars alumnus and later a JHU faculty member, published
his first story in its pages, which also
included the works of such celebrated poets as Richard
Wilbur and E.E. Cummings.
The magazine eventually languished due to a lack of
funds and a dwindling number of full-time
faculty in the department. It folded in 1953.
The resurrected journal, subtitled "New Series," will
be a joint venture of the Writing
Seminars and the Johns Hopkins University Press. Its
inaugural issue, to be released this month, also
marks the 60th anniversary of the Writing Seminars, one of
the most prestigious creative writing
programs in the country.
To celebrate the anniversary and relaunch, an
invitation-only ceremony, featuring remarks and
readings by magazine contributors and Writing Seminars
faculty, will be held on Oct. 2 in Homewood's
Hodson Hall. The event is co-sponsored by the Sheridan
Libraries, the Johns Hopkins University Press
and the Writing Seminars.
The 190-page quarterly literary magazine will publish
fiction; poetry; memoirs; essays on
literature, drama, film, the visual arts, music and dance;
and reviews of books in all these areas, as well
as reviews of performances and exhibits.
The magazine's editorial board will be senior faculty
of the Writing Seminars. Its distinguished
list of contributing editors includes Nobel Prize-winner
J.M Coetzee, novelist James Salter, poet John
Hollander and critic Harold Bloom.
John T. Irwin, editor of the magazine and Decker
Professor in the Humanities, said he wants
The Hopkins Review to joins the ranks of other
noted literary journals, such as The Yale Review, The
Virginia Quarterly Review, The Georgia Review and
The Southern Review.
"It's going to have the very best writers in it,"
Irwin said. "We want it to be an expression of
Hopkins' commitment to the humanities and to the highest
standards of writing."
Irwin, who edited The Georgia Review for
three years in the 1970s, said that when he returned
to Johns Hopkins in 1977 to chair the Writing Seminars, he
realized that something was missing.
"At that time, I thought that there were two things a
top-ranked writing program needed: a
book publishing series and a literary quarterly," he said.
"We established the book publishing series in
1979, but the literary quarterly was put on hold for a
number of reasons. Now, it's finally here, and
what better way to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the
Writing Seminars then to bring back
Irwin said that many people contributed to getting the
magazine off the ground, including
Writing Seminars faculty, those at the Johns Hopkins
University Press and a small group of dedicated
alumni who provided financial support.
The first issue, Winter 2008, contains fiction by Max
Apple, Donald Barthelme, Stephen Dixon
and Erin McGraw; poems by Edward Hirsch, John Hollander,
Charles Martin, Mary Jo Salter and
Richard Wilbur; and essays by John Barth, Karol Berger,
Millard Kaufman and Frank Kermode.
The Spring 2008 issue will include work by Barth,
Michael Blumenthal, Claudia Emerson, Richard
Howard, Andrew Hudgins, John Dixon Hunt, Brad Leithauser,
Padgett Powell, Wyatt Prunty, David
Slavitt, David Wyatt and others.
Irwin said that he and the rest of the magazine's
editorial staff expect the publication,
because of its top-notch writing, to appeal to readers
nationwide and to establish its reputation as one
of the top literary and arts magazines in the country.
The journal will be available by subscription for $25
annually or $8 an issue through the Johns
Hopkins University Press. To order, go to
www.press.jhu.edu/journals or call 800-548-1784.