The spring edition of the Seneca Review, Hobart and William Smith Colleges’ internationally distributed literary magazine, has more on-campus collaborations than ever before, with three HWS professors and several students helping to select pieces from more than 500 submitted works. The final selection features 14 contributors.
“This edition has some terrific work in it,” notes Weiss, the editor of the publication. “As usual, the Seneca Review explores the fascinating borderline between poetry and the essay, often called The Lyric Essay.”
In addition to featuring works by Associate Professor of English Melanie Conroy-Goldman and Hobart alum and former professor Stephen Kuusisto ’78, the Seneca Review adds two new staff members, Poetry Editor Kathyrn Cowles and Assistant Poetry Editor Caroline Manring, who are both poets and serve as assistant professors of English at the Colleges.
HWS student poets Cory Andrews ’12, Khalym Burke-Thomas ’13, Tim Carter ’12, and Bevin O’Connor ’12 also helped weigh in on submissions.
“While it hasn’t been traditional to include students in the selection process, we are trying to unify creative writing endeavors as a result of the Trias Residency and give student writers a feel for the editorial process,” explains Weiss. “For poets, it gives them an experience that they might not otherwise have until pursuing their MFA in poetry. It helps students to hear professors who are writers talk about poetry in a way different from the classroom.”
The journal’s contributors are wide ranging in their resumes from individuals whose work has only been published in a few journals to established authors working on their second or third book. The writers are from cities across the United States and vary in profession from professors and authors to the director of the first certified organic rooftop farm in the United States.
Featuring the art of Allie Kushnir, an independent artist and graduate of the University of Iowa, the cover was designed by Joshua Unikel ’07. “Often, our covers have aimed to be like some great Dixieland jazz tune,” explains Weiss. “This piece was suggested by assistant editor and designer, Joshua Unikel, who is a recent grad of the Colleges and is now finishing up his MFA in creative non-fiction at the University of Iowa.”
The Seneca Review, was founded in 1970 by James Crenner and Ira Sadoff, and is published twice a year, in the spring and fall, by Hobart and William Smith Colleges Press.
It is distributed internationally and places emphasis on poetry. Quite often it will include translation of contemporary poetry from around the world. Numerous laureates and award-winning poets have been published included including Seamus Heaney, Rita Dove, Jorie Graham, Yusef Komunyakaa, Lisel Mueller, Wislawa Szymborska, Charles Simic, W.S. Merwin, and Eavan Boland. In 1997, the Seneca Review, under the editorship of Deborah Tall began publishing the lyric essay – a name she created with her student John D’Agata ’95, who is currently the lyric essay editor of the Seneca Review. Under this style the publication has featured work by Anne Carson, Bernard Cooper, Fanny Howe, Wayne Koestenbaum, Honor Moore, Mary Oliver, David Shields, Joe Wenderoth, Terry Tempest Williams, and many others.