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Kevin Morrissey

Kevin Morrissey was the managing editor of the Virginia Quarterly Review from 2004 to 2010. He worked previously as the marketing and sales manager for the Minnesota Historical Society Press.


News About Recent Contributors

April 16, 2009 | Editor's Desk

Our contributors have good news from Guggenheim and Carnegie, plus new books from Charles Wright, Rita Dove, Laleh Khadivi, Charles Simic, and others.

Three National Magazine Award Nominations

March 19, 2008 | Editor's Desk

VQR once again scored big as the finalists for the National Magazine Awards were announced today in New York City. The awards, the Pulitzers of the magazine world, are sponsored by the American Society of Magazine Editors in association with the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

VQR picked up three nominations:

Literary magazines did very well this year, with Georgia Review, Paris Review, McSweeney's, and New Letters all receiving nominations.

Highlights for us include a fourth consecutive nomination in the General Excellence category and nominations in two categories new to us: Single-Topic Issue and Photojournalism (this makes six different categories in which we've received nominations). And this adds up to thirteen nominations we've collected in the past four years, more than many larger and well-known publications including Time, Newsweek, The New Republic, Harper's, Foreign Policy, Fortune, Mother Jones, The Nation, and Wired.

Ted Genoways, who took over as editor of VQR five years ago, adds that, "It's remarkable what we've been able to accomplish given our modest size and financial resources. We have an annual budget that's smaller than what Vanity Fair spends on their Oscar party and a staff of only five people, but we've been able to put out a magazine that is consistently among the best in the country."

The Business of the Book: An LWC}NYC Panel

September 13, 2007 | Multimedia

The Council of Literary Magazines and Presses (CLMP), in conjunction with the Writing Program at the New School, is sponsoring in November the second annual LWC}NYC, a three-day conference for fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction writers featurin [...]

Folio Magazine Award Finalists Named

September 7, 2007 | Editor's Desk

For the third year in a row, VQR has been named a finalist for a Folio Magazine Eddie Award, honoring editorial excellence. VQR's Winter 2007 issue was picked as one of the best issues of the year in the Association/Non-Profit category, along with Na [...]

Rona Jaffe Writers Awards to Ekiss and Grotz

September 5, 2007 | Editor's Desk

Congrats go to VQR contributors Robin Ekiss and Jennifer Grotz, who have just been named as winners of the 2007 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Awards, given annually to six women writers who "demonstrate excellence and promise in the early stages o [...]

Charles Wright Wins 2007 Griffin Poetry Prize

June 7, 2007 | Poetry

Charles Wright, the Souder Family Professor of English at the University of Virginia and a frequent contributor to VQR, has been awarded the 2007 International Griffin Poetry Prize for his book Scar Tissue (FSG, 2006). The Griffin Poetry Prize is the [...]

Georgia Review Profiled

June 6, 2007 | Articles

We're a week late noticing, but the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has a nice article on the Georgia Review on their 60th anniversary and their recent awards, including a National Magazine Award (for essay) and a Governor's Award in the Humanities from [...]

Photographer Ashley Gilbertson in Charlottesville

May 25, 2007 | Photography

Ashley Gilbertson (left), photo by Dexter Filkens. The work of Ashley Gilbertson, an award-winning photojournalist, will be featured in the Summer issue of VQR (due July 1), in a portfolio titled "Framing the War: Photographs from Iraq." Along with [...]

David J. Morris on the Surge in Iraq

April 16, 2007 | Interviews

David J. Morris, author of "The Big Suck: Notes from the Jarhead Underground" (in our Winter 2007 issue), was interviewed by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation for a story on the new US strategy in Iraq (he's at the 10 minute mark). Morris also [...]

Pauline Chen reads at the VA Festival of the Book

March 23, 2007 | Editor's Desk

We were pleased to host Pauline Chen, one of our favorite VQR contributors, yesterday for her reading as part of the Virginia Festival of the Book. Pauline read to a packed audience at the UVA Bookstore and we hope to have a podcast of her reading up [...]

VQR Nominated for Two National Magazine Awards

March 14, 2007 | Editor's Desk

We just heard that we've been named a finalist for two National Magazine Awards: for General Excellence (for circulation less than 100,000) and for Fiction. We were one of 27 magazines that received multiple nominations and we were nominated in the t [...]

Lawrence Weschler Wins NBCC Award

March 9, 2007 | Editor's Desk

The National Book Critics Circle announced their 2006 awards last night in NYC. Among the winners was VQR contributor and art consultant (he prefers "art wrangler") Lawrence Weschler for his book Everything That Rises: A Book of Convergences (McSween [...]

Podcast of David Morris Interview

February 12, 2007 | Interviews

David Morris, author of "The Big Suck: Notes from the Jarhead Underground" in the Winter issue of VQR, is interviewed at Charlottesville's WINA Radio. Interview is available as streaming media or a downloadable podcast. [...]

Wolcott Smacks Down Adam Gopnik

February 8, 2007 | Criticism

With due respect to Heidi Julavits and The Believer's credo of no snarkiness, one can still profess enjoyment for the act when done well; i.e., James Wolcott's thoroughly entertaining evisceration of Adam Gopnik's new book Through the Children's Gate [...]

John Ghazvinian Interviewed

January 12, 2007 | Interviews

John Ghazvinian, author of "The Curse of Oil" in the new issue of VQR, will be interviewed today at 5:00 p.m. by Coy Barefoot on Charlottesville radio station WINA. A podcast of the interview should be available early next week and we'll supply a lin [...]

Oil in Africa / VQR’s Winter issue

December 26, 2006 | Editor's Desk

CNN reports that over 200 people were killed on Monday outside Lagos, Nigeria from a massive explosion and fire resulting from a tapped oil pipeline. Despite Nigeria's oil riches, much of the population suffers from fuel shortages and illegal tapping [...]

Brock Clarke Podcast Interview

August 27, 2006 | Interviews

Kevin Holtsberry, author of the Collected Miscellany blog, has a podcast interview with Brock Clarke, largely centered on Clarke's essay "The Novel is Dead, Long Live the Novel," from the Summer issue of VQR. [...]

James Ellroy on the film version of The Black Dahlia

August 27, 2006 | Criticism

In anticipation of Brian De Palma's film version of The Black Dahlia opening on September 15, we're pleased to make available an essay by Ellroy originally published in our Summer issue (and now published as the afterword to the movie tie-in edition [...]

Divided Mind

August 9, 2006 | Criticism

At Inside Higher Ed, Scott McLemee offers praise for Divided Mind, a new collection of work by the essayist and critic George Scialabba: [I]t is about time someone brought out a collection of Scialabba’s work. That it’s only happening now (15 [...]

James Othmer Interviewed

June 21, 2006 | Interviews

Ernie Schenck interviews James Othmer about his new novel The Futurist and his time in the advertising industry, at Schenck's blog "Ernie Schenck Calls This Advertising?". Q: I’m Malcolm Gladwell. I’ve just read The Futurist. Should I be offen [...]

The Coming Revolution in Book Publishing?

May 25, 2006 | Essays

Today, BoingBoing has a post on how the lifespan of bestsellers is shrinking. According to a study conducted by, a print-on-demand publisher, the life-expectancy of a bestselling novel has fallen to barely a seventh of its level 40 years ago [...]

Steve Almond Quits Boston College Over Condi Invite

May 15, 2006 | Essays

In an op-ed in Friday's Boston Globe, Steve Almond resigns his post as an adjunct professor of English at Boston College in reaction to the College's invitation to Condoleezza Rice to be the commencement speaker at this year's graduation. [...]

Alice Munro Honored

April 28, 2006 | Editor's Desk

Wednesday's NY Times reports that Alice Munro will receive the MacDowell Medal in a ceremony on Aug. 13 at the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, N.H. The medal is awarded annually to a person who has made an outstanding contribution to the arts. The [...]

Jane Jacobs dies at 89

April 26, 2006 | Profiles

Jane Jacobs, one of the great intellectuals, activists, and urban theorists of the twentieth century, died yesterday in Toronto. Obituaries and commentary are at the New York Daily News, Toronto Globe & Mail, and Seattle Times. Jacobs contributed [...]

Interview with Kenyon Review Editor

April 13, 2006 | Interviews

I found it a over month late, but here's a nice interview with David Lynn, editor of the Kenyon Review, by John Sledge, the Books columnist of the Mobile (AL) Register. (Brief registration may be required.) Sledge offers that he plans to interview Br [...]

Copper Canyon Press profiled

March 31, 2006 | Poetry

One of the best poetry presses around, Copper Canyon Press has been a roll of late with literary prizes: Ted Kooser's Delights and Shadows winning the Pulitzer and W.S. Merwin's Migration: New and Selected Poems nabbing the National Book Award. John [...]

NY Press on the Most Loathsome New Yorkers

March 30, 2006 | Criticism

The New York Press has released their annual "50 Most Loathsome New Yorkers" and two writers made the list: James Frey (no surprise) comes in at #6 and Jonathan Safran Foer at #28: This very paper dubbed him [Safran Foer] not just a bad author, bu [...]

Geoffrey Chaucer hath a blog

March 21, 2006 | Articles

Via BoingBoing, humorous blog maintained by Chaucer, who answers readers' questions. My dog is a retriever, but he won't chase a ball. Every time I throw a toy across the room, he climbs in my lap and licks my face. I know he needs exercise—what [...]

Interview with Bret Lott, editor of the Southern Review

March 20, 2006 | Interviews

Via Bookslut, the Mobile Register interviews Bret Lott, editor of the Southern Review. Q: Who are some of the contemporary Southern writers that you are excited about? A: There's a young poet named Beth Bachmann who teaches up at Vanderbilt ab [...]

National Magazine Awards Finalists Announced

March 15, 2006 | Editor's Desk

Wow! Everyone in our office has been trying not to hyperventilate. The finalists for the 2006 National Magazine Awards (the magazine world's equivalent to the Pulitzers or the National Book Awards) were announced today and VQR garnered six nomination [...]

Other Bloggers on AWP

March 10, 2006 | Editor's Desk

Other perspectives on the AWP Conference in Austin: - Sycamore Review. - C. Dale Young (a contributing editor to VQR). - Iambic Cafe. - Notes from Evil Bender. - The Virtual World. - fade theory. [...]

Greg Orr on the Making of Poems

February 20, 2006 | Poetry

Greg Orr, professor of Creative Writing at UVa, read on orginal essay, "On the Making of Poems" this afternoon on "This I Believe," a regular segment on NPR's "All Things Considered." The "This I Believe" project invites Americans from all walks of l [...]

Tom Bissell on Truth in Travel Literature

February 16, 2006 | Essays

Tom Bissell, a contributing editor to VQR, weighs in on the "truth & nonfiction" debate in a great essay looking at truth in travel literature posted at World Hum. The great nonfiction writer Lawrence Weschler once said to me that there are tw [...]

Rethinking the Gun Control Debate

February 14, 2006 | Essays

John Casteen IV, a contributor to VQR ("Ditching the Rubric on Gun Control"), has another essay on the subject at "The Accidental Shootist" steers a middle ground between both sides of the debate and is worth reading. [O]ur national dis [...]

Alan Heathcock’s story “Peacekeeper” honored

February 14, 2006 | Editor's Desk

Congratulations go out to VQR contributor Alan Heathcock—his story “Peacekeeper,” which VQR published in our Fall 2005 issue, has been chosen for inclusion in the 2006 edition of The Best American Mystery Stories by series editor Otto Penzler a [...]

“Confessions of a Darwinist”

February 12, 2006 | Essays

In celebration of today being Darwin Day, we’re offering a sneak peek of an essay by Niles Eldredge (“Confessions of a Darwinist”) from our forthcoming Spring issue which features a portfolio of essays on Darwin, evolution, and intelligent desi [...]

Thailand upset over Yale UP Book

February 3, 2006 | Reporting

Inside Higher Ed reports that Thailand, upset over a forthcoming critical biography of President Bhumibol Adulyadej, has blocked access in the country to Yale University Press’s website: In Thailand, the assistant minister of information and com [...]

Spiegelman on KCRW’s Bookworm

February 2, 2006 | Interviews

From Shelf Awareness, VQR contributor Art Spiegelman will be the guest today on KCRW’s Bookworm, along with John Carlin, curator of the “Masters of American Comics” exhibit currently running at the Museum of Contemporary Art in LA. Spiegelman i [...]

Rediscovering Neglected Books

February 2, 2006 | Editor's Desk

From Publishing Insider, Carl Lennertz’s blog, a note about Neglected Books, an interesting site listing: “thousands of books that have been neglected, overlooked, forgotten, or stranded by changing tides in critical or popular taste.” [...]

Congressional Staffers hacking Wikipedia

January 31, 2006 | Reporting

Apparently, a few Congressional staffers are rewriting or deleting portions of the Wikipedia entries of their bosses (via Slashdot). The adminstrators at Wikipedia have temporarily resorted to banning them: “the IP ranges of US Congress have been c [...]

Falling out of print is a book’s natural fate

January 28, 2006 | Essays

Teresa Nielsen Hayden, a science fiction editor at Tor Books, offers an interesting take on the ephemerality of literature and current copyright law, based on a close look at past bestseller lists: The literature taught in schools is that which ha [...]

Navahoax continued

January 28, 2006 | Reporting

“I tell the story of ‘the scandal of Nasdijj’ and who Nasdijj really is — AND — WHAT IT HAS BEEN LIKE TO BE NASDIJJ. This is my story. No one else has the truth. No one can tell this story like I can. . . . If such a book might interest you, please contact me and I can put you in touch with my agent.”

Lawrence Weschler joins Chicago Humanities Festival

January 28, 2006 | Editor's Desk

Lawrence Weschler, contributing editor to VQR, has been named the Artistic Director for the Chicago Humanities Festival. The Festival runs annually in November and its theme for 2006 will be “Peace and War: Facing Human Conflict.” Weschler, a for [...]