Skip to main content


Recent Issue

Photograph by Bear Guerra

Starting Over

From a block away in Los Angeles’s Chinatown, we can just barely make out a sound unlike any we’ve ever heard, as if from underwater—melancholy, dissonant, otherworldly music. It pulls us toward the corner of Broadway and Alpine, where an older man sits upon a stool. He wears a Panama hat and silk jacket. A bow slides back and forth across his erhu, a two-stringed lute-like instrument he’s plugged into a tiny, battery-powered amp. Next to him, on the sidewalk, the erhu’s case sits open with a few dollar bills and coins inside. His name is Yingchang Song. Our interpreter, a Ph.D. student at USC, introduces us. Soon enough, she and Song realize they’re from the same city in northeastern China—Qingdao. They hit it off immediately: Not only do they both speak Mandarin in what they see as Cantonese-dominant Chinatown, but they know the words to many of the same folk songs. A generation apart, here they are on a corner in Los Angeles—and Song is visibly thrilled, but needs to get back to playing.


Variations on a theme—from the subarctic up to the heavens, across borders and off the grid. We begin in the north we expect and drift confidently elsewhere, exploring not just the idea of knowing where you are, or where you aren’t, but who else notices.

VQR Online

VQR Thanks Outgoing Publisher Jon Parrish Peede

September 28, 2016

Virginia Quarterly Review Publisher Jon Parrish Peede, who has led the publication for the past five years, has resigned effective September 30 to return to his writing career, nonprofit consulting, and arts advocacy. 

This year, Peede oversaw the operational transition of VQR from the office of the Vice President for Research to the newly established Center for Media and Citizenship at the University of Virginia. Media Studies Professor Siva Vaidhyanathan, the founding director of the center, thanked Peede for his service to the publication.

“Jon Peede has served VQR with creativity and commitment through much transition,” Vaidhyanathan said. “He served during a time of great financial pressure on magazines. Throughout his time with VQR, the magazine published some of the finest prose, fiction, poetry, and photography in the world.”

The Death of Pablo Neruda

May 5, 2015

“Looking back now, I could have so easily walked to that cemetery and joined the men and women chanting next to his coffin,” Ariel Dorfman confesses. In addition to the documentary, "The Death of Pablo Neruda," this multimedia work includes an essay, “From Beyond the Grave,” by Dorfman, poetry by Martín Espada and Idra Novey, and a translation of Neruda’s poem “XII from The Heights of Macchu Picchu” by Mark Eisner.

VQR Nominated for Four National Magazine Awards

January 15, 2015

The American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME) today recognized the Virginia Quarterly Review with four nominations for its prestigious National Magazine Awards—the magazine world’s equivalent of the Pulitzer Prizes. VQR was named as a finalist [...]