Meridian is a semiannual literary magazine produced at the University of Virginia and edited by students in the school’s graduate creative writing program. The journal typically runs 176 pages; contains poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, book reviews, and author interviews; and often features a “Lost Classic,” an unpublished work by a famous writer of the past. Meridian Lost Classics often come from the University of Virginia’s Special Collections Library holdings and have included poem fragments by Robert Frost, correspondence between William Faulkner and Marianne Moore, and essays by Mark Twain and Ezra Pound. The magazine has published the contemporary creative work of numerous Pulitzer Prize– and National Book Award–winners including Charles Wright, John Casey, Rita Dove, and Seamus Heaney, as well as writers Heather McHugh and Stephen Dixon. As a student-edited publication, however, the magazine puts a special emphasis on new voices, hosting annual “Editors’ Prize” competitions in both fiction and poetry. In cooperation with Samovar Press, Meridian helps produce the Best New Poets series, an annual anthology of fifty poems by emerging writers.

The magazine started in 1998 when University of Virginia graduate student Ted Genoways approached then editor of the Virginia Quarterly Review, Staige Blackford looking for an editorial internship. Since VQR at the time had a strict policy of not hiring students from the creative writing department, Genoways was turned away. So he contacted Lisa Russ Spaar, a poet who was then director of the university’s creative writing program, and she helped Genoways create and fund Meridian. Ironically, several years after graduating from the university’s program, Genoways returned to become editor of VQR in 2003.

Meanwhile, Meridian continued to grow, moving from seventy paid subscriptions in its early days to a current print run of 1,200 issues. The magazine has a national distribution, and its works have been reproduced in Best American Short Stories, Best American Poetry, Best American Essays, the Pushcart Prize anthology, and New Stories from the South. Since 1998 the magazine’s editors have included Genoways, Elizabeth Styron, Ravi Howard, Nathan Roberts, Jett McAlister, Stephen Boykewich, coeditors Ryan Fox and Anna Shearer, and Matthew Supko.

Meridian, a magazine dedicated mainly to publishing new and upcoming writers, is begun by a graduate student in the University of Virginia's graduate creative writing program.
  • Meridian: The Semi-Annual from the University of Virginia

New Literary History Studies in Bibliography

APA Citation:
Livingood, Jeb. Meridian. (2020, December 07). In Encyclopedia Virginia. https://encyclopediavirginia.org/entries/meridian.
MLA Citation:
Livingood, Jeb. "Meridian" Encyclopedia Virginia. Virginia Humanities, (07 Dec. 2020). Web. 18 May. 2024
Last updated: 2020, December 07
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.