Mississippi Review celebrates 50 years of literary excellence


Acclaimed writer Raymond Carver once hailed the University of Southern Mississippi’s Mississippi Review (MR) as “one of the most remarkable and indispensable literary journals of our time.”

Carver was an early contributor to the journal, which has maintained its esteem by publishing a range of writers over the past five decades.

Founded in 1972 by Gordon Weaver, the Mississippi Review celebrates its 50th anniversary with a special edition. For this special issue, submissions were open to all known and established writers, including Pulitzer Prize and Nobel Prize winners, who had previously published work in the journal.

This anniversary issue features poems, essays and stories by notable writers including Mary Jo Bang, Rae Armantrout, Kwame Dawes, Rick Moody, Mary Miller, Kazim Ali, Mary Miller and many more.

Adam Clay, editor and director of the Center for Writers, applauded this milestone and reflected on the past while looking to the future as he continues to build on a literary tradition for this rising generation.

“Fifty years is a long time, but it’s particularly impressive for a literary journal to publish steadily for so many years,” Clay said. “We’ve been able to publish early picks of awesome writers who have done great things, and we’ve long been a place for established writers to publish their work. We also presented traditional works and wildly experimental pieces.

After Gordon Weaver’s tenure, Frederick Barthelme took over the editorial reins in 1977 and, with editor Rie Fortenberry, quickly transformed MR into a nationally recognized literary journal. The duo led MR for over 30 years, consistently releasing issues that combined high-level craftsmanship with an innovative and eclectic design aesthetic.

“One of my favorite issues of Mississippi Review was edited by Julia Mae Johnson in 2012, an anthology that celebrated thirty years of editing the journal by Frederick Barthelme,” Clay said. “It is truly a treasure trove of so many amazing essays, stories and poems – and a testament to the incredible work Rick has done here for the magazine and for the Center for Writers.”

Clay praised all the faculty and graduate students who have contributed to the magazine’s success over the years, as he said, “Editing a newspaper really takes a village, and I really couldn’t be happier to celebrate this impressive milestone as we look forward to the next fifty years.

Visit the USM Center for Writers at www.usm.edu/writers/index.php to learn more.


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