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Michigan Quarterly Review

 

Michigan Quarterly Review (MQR) is a journal of arts and culture seeking to combine the best of poetry, short fiction, and creative nonfiction as well as critical essays related to literature, culture, and current events. Established in 1962, MQR is the flagship literary journal of the University of Michigan and draws work from lively minds in the Michigan community and elsewhere. The journal seeks to present accessible work of all varieties for sophisticated readers.

Recent issues of MQR have provided coverage of the Flint water crisis and paid tribute to the work of Charles Baxter; past themes have been devoted to the subject of literary translation, the Great Lakes, and Growing Up Motown. MQR publishes the annual Hopwood lecture delivered in conjunction with the Hopwood Program, creating a space for distinguished voices such as Eavan Boland, Gary Snyder, Francine Prose, and Elizabeth Alexander, to name a few.

The journal has a rich history of publishing the work of established authors alongside the work of emerging writers. Past bylines have included Margaret Atwood, Joyce Carol Oates, Philip Levine, Maxine Hong Kingston, Barry Lopez, Juan Cole, Robert Pinsky, Phillip Lopate, Elizabeth McCracken, Danez Smith, Charles Simic, Diane Seuss, Tarfia Faizullah, and many, many more.In addition to the prose and poetry available in the print journal, the MQR Blog offers original essays on art and culture as well as author interviews, book reviews, and posts dedicated to the craft of writing.

Interning with MQR

Each year, incoming HZWP students are given the opportunity to apply for a paid internship at MQR (a commitment of 10 hours per week), where they work directly with the Managing Editor on a number of projects, including: proofing copy; reading submissions of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction; and corresponding with authors on contracts. Interns also have the opportunity to contribute content to the MQR Blog, which publishes author interviews, book reviews, craft essays, and more. Indeed, many of the writers who continue to contribute to the site today have some connection to the Helen Zell Writers' Program.

 

When you’re submitting to literary journals, it can feel like you’re sending your work into the void, or worse, like you’re sending your work to a jury of incredibly judgmental editors who are gathering during their lunch breaks to laugh at that one sex scene you weren’t sure about. Interning at Michigan Quarterly Review cleared up a lot of that mystery and anxiety. You learn how to write a submission letter, how long the editorial process takes, how “not about you" a rejection is. You also, of course, get the gratification of discovering a new writer who really gets your heart racing, or writing a small note of encouragement to the ones who almost do. I still write for the MQR Blog now, which I joined right after my internship ended, and its been the first public stage for my nonfiction writing. Weirdly enough, one of my MQR blog posts is going to be published in a Pearson educational primer. So you never know what unexpected opportunities are going to land at your feet. 

— Lilliain Li MFA '15

 

MQR reads submissions year round for the print journal. If you have a pitch or author interview for the MQR Blog, please contact Rachel Farrell (MFA '13) at rachfarr@umich.edu.