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Recent Issue

Cover illustration by Matt Dorfman


For all the intentionality behind each issue of VQR, there are plenty of accidents and unexpected outcomes that happen along the way. Half of them are lucky; the rest we wrestle with until they fit the larger puzzle. Every magazine improvises while editors learn to embrace unpredictability.

Illustration by Rachel Levit-Ruiz

Translators and Alchemists

As a bookish child in the Pennsylvania suburbs, I won the school spelling bee without quite meaning to, startled and delighted to hear an adult with a microphone intoning aloud words I’d only read in books—it’s mis-led, not mizzled?—as though seeing in color for the first time. For my pains I was given a copy of Paideia, the workbook that formerly accompanied the Scripps National Spelling Bee, and told to start studying for regionals. (For the record, I never made it further than the state bee.) 

VQR Online

Invisible Extinction

December 3, 2020

This past summer, “murder hornets” became high-profile pests, joining the ranks of monarch butterflies and bumblebees as insects that capture our attention.

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 [...]