The Sewanee Review, founded by William Peterfield Trent in 1892 at the University of the South in Sewanee, is the nation’s oldest continuously published quarterly. It changed from a general journal devoted to the humanities to a literary and critical quarterly during the editorships of Andrew Lytle (1942-44) and Allen Tate (1944-46). Poetry began to be published in the 1920s; fiction in 1943; reminiscences and other familiar essays in 1987. Literary criticism has been the magazine’s staple since the mid-1940s. SR editors have included W. S. Knickerbocker (1926-42), John E. Palmer (1946-52), Monroe K. Spears (1952-61), Andrew Lytle (1961-73), and George Core (since 1973).
The critical program chiefly entails English literature since 1500 in addition to various classical writers. Although critical emphasis is given principally to the literature of the twentieth century, such subjects as the English Renaissance (especially Shakespeare) receive regular attention. Over the recent past there have been special issues on many subjects and modes, including Irish letters, commonwealth (or postcolonial) literature, and biography and autobiography.
The Sewanee Review’s regular contributors include writers from Great Britain, Canada, and India in addition to the United States. Representative writers of the last half-century are Flannery O’Connor, Robert Penn Warren, Wallace Fowlie, L. C. Knights, Robert B. Heilman, B. L. Reid, Elizabeth Spencer, Samuel Hynes, Walker Percy, James M. Cox, George Woodcock, Jayanta Mahapatra, Helen Norris, Malcolm Cowley, George Garrett, Neal Bowers, F. D. Reeve, William Hoffman, Merrill Joan Gerber, Neal Bowers, Walter Sullivan, and Catharine Savage Brosman. Many of these authors have written in more than one mode for SR–Warren and Garrett in nearly every genre.