May 4-10, 2001
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Meridian Library becomes co-publisher of Meridian

By Melissa Norris

The University Library is now co-publisher of Meridian, the nationally recognized literary magazine from the English department’s Creative Writing Program. The department will maintain editorial responsibilities for the journal, while the library will provide partial funding, production assistance to the print and online versions and office space in the soon-to-be-constructed Mary and David Harrison Institute and Albert H. Small Special Collections Library.

“We see this as part of an increasingly fertile collaboration among the English department, faculty in literature and foreign languages, and the library in promoting poetry and other literary endeavors,” said University Librarian Karin Wittenborg. “The library has been a supporter of Meridian and a contributor to its ‘Lost Classics’ series and I look forward to expanding this relationship.”

Meridian, a semiannual journal first published in 1998, is edited by graduate students in the writing program. English department faculty serve as contributing editors. The magazine includes a vibrant mix of poetry, short stories, essays and reviews, as well as artwork and interviews with prominent writers.

While the work of established writers is always a feature of Meridian, the editorial staff is also committed to showcasing gifted, emerging writers, says the magazine’s faculty adviser, Jeb Livingood. Acclaimed writers featured in Meridian have included poets Gregory Orr, Rita Dove and Alberto Ríos, and fiction writers Russell Banks and Ann Beattie, among others.

Meridian’s “Lost Classics” section contains previously unpublished work by renowned authors. Items from the Library’s Special Collections Department featured in “Lost Classics” have included poems by Robert Frost and Jorge Luis Borges and, most recently, in the Spring 2001 issue, a manuscript by Washington Irving.

Despite its brief publishing history, three poems first featured in Meridian were recently selected for inclusion in the annual Best American Poetry series, and another was included in the Pushcart Prize XXV. Three stories from Meridian — tying a record number for a single magazine — recently were selected for this year’s annual New Stories from the South collection.

“We are eager to work with the library on Meridian, especially considering the rich literary holdings in Special Collections and the many other resources there,” Livingood said.


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