Founded in 1959 by a group of professors from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst College, Mount Holyoke, and Smith, The Massachusetts Review is one of the nation’s leading literary magazines, distinctive in joining the highest level of artistic concern with pressing public issues. As The New York Times observed, “It is amazing that so much significant writing on race and culture appears in one magazine.” MR was named one of the top ten literary journals in 2008 by the Boston Globe.
A 200-page quarterly of fiction, poetry, essays, and the visual arts by both emerging talents and established authors, including Pulitzer and Nobel prizewinners, special issues have covered women’s rights, civil rights, and Caribbean, Canadian, and Latin American literatures.
MR's history of significant criticism includes major work on W.E.B. Du Bois, James Baldwin, Henry David Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Grace Paley. An Egypt issue, published just after 9/11, focused on the social, national, religious, and ethnic concerns of that nation, and encouraged readers to look beyond stereotypes of terrorism and racism. As part of the run-up to its Fiftieth birthday, MR published a landmark issue on queer studies at the beginning of 2008 (Volume 49 Issue 1&2). Our special double issue for Fall/Winter 2011 was entitled "Casualty" and documented -- in art, prose and poetry -- the enduring cost of war.