New England Review gives readers a vital snapshot of the literary moment, four times a year, in its richness, complexity, and diversity. We publish poetry and fiction in a variety of forms and styles—from the formally adventurous to the startlingly traditional—alongside a range of nonfiction, including personal essays, cultural revaluations, travelogues, and more. Translations are also a regular part of our mix, and once a year we highlight writing from another part of the world in a portfolio of international writing. While each piece in the magazine can be read and appreciated on its own, the issue as a whole is assembled with an eye to flow and thematic coherence or dissonance, creating a sum greater than its parts.
NER is on the lookout at all times for writing that rewards the reader for spending time with it. Our editors are impressed by work that’s attentive to craft without drawing attention to it, that takes risks whether noisy or quiet, and that’s serious in its purpose even when its leading edge is humor. We believe that writing is an art form that is under constant revision, renovation, and innovation. As editors we challenge ourselves to read beyond our own taste and experience—beyond what we like and know—and in turn offer that same opportunity to our readers.
In addition to the journal, which is available in print and ebook, we maintain an active presence online. Our website features news and notes, interviews, audio, and NER Digital, original writing for the web, including the Confluences series, which features brief responses by writers to other art forms; the Writer’s Notebook series, in which writers tell the story behind the story (or poem); and occasional dispatches from our editors.
To publish emerging writers alongside those who are well-known is the mantra of literary magazines everywhere, but New England Review is truly dedicated to discovering significant new voices—and to giving them a place in the broader literary discussion that happens all around us and in every issue of our journal. We dedicate a substantial portion of our time and effort to reading and evaluating unsolicited submissions in search of that next debut writer; at the same time our editors continue to engage with writers who are looking for a way to connect with readers as they further develop their life’s work.
Of course, the best way to get to know NER is to subscribe! NER is published by Middlebury College, and as a nonprofit organization we rely on subscriptions and charitable donations to support our mission.
NER was founded by poets Sydney Lea and Jay Parini in New Hampshire in 1978. In the fall of 1982 the magazine established an affiliation with the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and adopted the name NER/BLQ (New England Review/Bread Loaf Quarterly). In 1987, the magazine came under full sponsorship of Middlebury College, and in 1990 returned to its original name, New England Review.
The list of writers whose work has been published in NER is long and distinguished. In recent years, NER has published writers who’ve quickly gone on to receive wider recognition, including Ocean Vuong, Alison C. Rollins, Lisa Taddeo, Thi Bui, and Ethan Chatagnier. Other highly regarded authors—among them Natasha Trethewey, Kathryn Davis, Mark Doty, Louise Erdrich, and Jorie Graham—were published in NER before they achieved international recognition. Works published in the magazine are chosen every year for prestigious awards, including the Pushcart Prize, O. Henry Prize, and inclusion in the Best American anthologies.
In addition to founding editors Jay Parini and Sydney Lea and current editor-at-large Stephen Donadio (editor 1995 through 2013), former editors and editorial staff include David Bain, Jessica Dineen, Maura High, David Huddle, T. R. Hummer, Devon Jersild, William Lychack, Jim Schley, Jodee Stanley, and C. Dale Young. Toni Best served as office manager for twenty-three years; Lexa de Courval was office manager for seven years. For current staff, see the masthead.
Middlebury College sits on land which has served as a site of meeting and exchange among indigenous peoples since time immemorial. The Western Abenaki are the traditional caretakers of these Vermont lands and waters, which they call Ndakinna, or “homeland.” We remember their connection to this region and the hardships they continue to endure. We give thanks for the opportunity to share in the bounty of this place and to protect it.