HR 52 Editorial

by Christina Thompson

With this issue we farewell our fiction editor, Suzanne Berne, with eternal thanks for helping us discover so many fine authors over the years. I once heard Suzanne say, when asked what she was looking for in a piece of fiction, that she wanted to feel a little bit worried by the end of the first page—a clever way of reminding writers that a story needs a degree of tension and that it’s better if it doesn’t take too long to manifest. Suzanne’s own writing is taut and suggestive in precisely this way; she once described one of her own books as a “comedy of menace.” She has been a great pleasure to work with and an asset to the journal, and we will miss collaborating with her.

We have had a busy year already with the publication of the Renga for Obama, an occasional poem featuring the work of 268 American poets, edited by our poetry editor, Major Jackson. We celebrated the launch of this, the first volume in our new chapbook series, with a Harvard Review Salon Series event in March headlined by Paul Muldoon.

Issue 52, which features a fine poem by Muldoon, also includes the work of several longtime Harvard Review contributors: Lloyd Schwartz, Kevin McGrath, David Rompf, and Robert Anthony Siegel. I am happy that we have been able to maintain so many of these long relationships, some of which go back to Stratis Haviaras’s day. On the flip side, we are also showcasing an unusually large number of talented emerging writers, including Erica X Eisen, Virginia Marshall, and M. Rachel Thomas, as well as important writers like Arthur Sze and Carmen Giménez Smith, who are appearing in Harvard Review for the first time. Finally, we would like to call attention to the striking visual poetry of Francis Sánchez, a Cuban dissident writer who came to us through a conference hosted by Harvard Scholars at Risk, an organization whose mission we enthusiastically support.

Published on July 1, 2018

First published in Harvard Review 52