In the spring of 1966, students in UNCG’s MFA in creative writing program gathered together to collate and staple by hand the very first issues of The Greensboro Review, the program’s fledgling literary magazine.
Now half a century later, the magazine has published its 100th issue – one that, from the outside, looks very much like the first. It’s a no-frills publication, yet one that has earned a national and international reputation of publishing poetry and fiction works of the highest quality.
“People tend to appreciate the simple approach,” said Jim Clark, director of the creative writing program and longtime editor of The Greensboro Review. “It puts the priority on the work.”
Originally, the magazine was designed as a publication for MFA students to share their work. Now, it’s a widely recognized literary magazine that often publishes the first works of new, up-and-coming writers.
The magazine is edited by Clark, Terry Kennedy, who serves as associate director of the program, five graduate students and undergraduate interns.
Clark explains that the magazine serves as an “editing laboratory,” a place where students learn the finer points of copyediting, proofreading, style and usage.
This “laboratory” has helped develop some of the nation’s top writers. Former poetry editor Claudia Emerson ’91 won the 2006 Pulitzer Prize in poetry for her poetry collection “Late Wife.” Just this past spring, Kelly Link ’95 was named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in fiction.
For current managing editor and second-year MFA student Michelle Rosquillo ’11 BA, it’s been “thrilling” to follow in the footsteps of writers such as Emerson and Link.
“These women and many other writers and editors associated with The Greensboro Review have set the bar high,” Rosquillo said. “I look forward to continuing their tradition and joining their ranks.”
The 100th issue includes poetry and fiction that explore a variety of themes, from death and grief to immigration and small-town Texas.
Rosquillo calls the newest publication “phenomenal.”
“We’re celebrating 50 years of excellence – writing that provokes thought, writers who push boundaries, and editors who go above and beyond to polish every facet of the work we publish,” she said. “From the first page of this issue to the last, readers will be treated to the best of the best.”
Story by Alyssa Bedrosian, University Communications
Photography by Martin W. Kane, University Communications