Nov/Dec 2016 • Vol. XXXVIII No. 6 Editor's Notes |

Editor’s Notes: Not Opening the Gates—Tearing Them Down

Over the last couple of years one of the most popular features in the Kenyon Review electronic newsletter has been the column "Why We Chose It." Focusing on some specific aspect of a piece we've recently published, individual editors explain what about a story captivated and surprised them, what strategy or linguistic felicity of a poem made it impossible to say no. The column attempts to peel back the curtain from the mysterious—and arduous—process of editorial selection. In recent months, however, I've heard a different metaphor frequently invoked: that the role of editors is too often to act as gatekeepers. On its face the metaphor serves simply as shorthand for that same process of selection. Some authors, after all, are invited into our publications and others, necessarily, are rejected. In this limited sense the metaphor works, sort of. But the use of "gatekeeper" also carries a political valance. Readers are concerned, rightly I think, that even today in examining

Already have an account? Login

Join KR for even more to read.

Register for a free account to read five free pieces a month from our current issue and digital archive.
Register for Free and Read This Piece



Or become a subscriber today and get complete, immediate access to our digital archives at every subscription level.
Photo of David Lynn
David H. Lynn is the editor emeritus of The Kenyon Review, a professor of English, and special assistant to the president of the college. He was the editor of the Review from 1994 to 2020. As an author, he received a 2016 O. Henry Award for "Divergence." His latest collection, Children of God: New & Selected Stories, was published in 2019 by Braddock Avenue Books.

Read More

Editor’s Notes

By David H. Lynn

Over the last couple of years one of the most popular features in the Kenyon Review electronic newsletter has been the column "Why We Chose It." Focusing on some specific […]

Editor’s Notes

By David H. Lynn

Over the last couple of years one of the most popular features in the Kenyon Review electronic newsletter has been the column "Why We Chose It." Focusing on some specific […]

Subscribe

Your free registration with Kenyon review incudes access to exclusive content, early access to program registration, and more.

Donate

With your support, we’ll continue 
to cultivate talent and publish extraordinary literature from diverse voices around the world.