2017 State of the Roanoke Review

As issue No. 42 – our 50th anniversary issue – comes to a close, the staff of the Roanoke Review has had the opportunity to reflect on the growth of the magazine not only this year, but over the last fifty years.  

What remains paramount to the Roanoke Review is the connection with our writers. Last February, at the AWP Conference in Washington, D.C., we had the privilege of meeting so many of our contributors, some whose work we had recently selected, others who we had published years ago.  

Looking at the writers we have published over the past year, this pattern continues. We see names that are familiar to the Roanoke Review: E. Kristen Anderson, Linda Parsons, and Henry Taylor – our co-founder. We also see an emergence of young writers like Jessica Abughattas, Travis Byram, Edward Hemstreet, and K.S. Keeney. At the Roanoke Review, we recognize that writers are looking for a place to share their voice, and we aspire to be a place where writers of all ages and backgrounds can come together through the power of language.

We started off our year with the theme of a “Fresh Start” with poems by Henry Taylor, Yun Wei, and an interview with Ernest Williamson. The year is closing with the theme of “Lasting Impressions”, featuring poetry by Becca Lamarre, Christopher Munde, and Ken Holland; nonfiction by Eugene Stelzig; and an interview with Yun Wei.  We wanted to come full circle, to finish what we started. Our goal as a magazine is to create something out of nothing, to promote work that inspires us to be more than the sum of our parts. In a world as turbulent as ours, literature allows us to come together and find unity, serenity, and hope.   

On behalf of the Roanoke Review, I invite you to take solace with us and find a refuge in reading. Thank you all, for allowing the Roanoke Review to grow over the last fifty years. Thank you for sharing your voices, and thank you, most importantly, for listening.  


Erin Keating

Managing Editor ‘17