Welcome to the 2016 volume year of the Kenyon Review. How swiftly has flown the past year! We’d anticipated it with such hopes, and not a little consternation, featuring the introduction of our bold new design and a bimonthly publishing schedule as well. Both, I’m glad to say, have been greeted with wide enthusiasm.
This particular issue, Jan/Feb 2016, represents a significant transition as well, though not in the look or feel of the journal itself. Rather, we are now embarking on a new digital path of the journey. We will at last be able to offer a faithful electronic replica of the print edition for download or immediate reading through our website at kenyonreview.org. More important, perhaps, we will be more creative in the interplay between our digital offerings on KROnline and what, until now, has been sealed hermetically within the print journal.
Feel free to click on the current issue link on our homepage. You’ll be taken to a page to register and download our new custom app. If you’re a subscriber already, you’ll get free access — a pretty great deal. And if you’d like to subscribe, either for print and digital versions together or for digital only, that’s now possible too.
As you may know, for four years we have been contractually obligated with Amazon to offer an exclusive version of this magazine via their Kindle. Readers have thus had a choice of how to peruse our pages: either printed on good, old-fashioned paper or in a perfectly acceptable facsimile on any mobile device with a Kindle app.
No question, the Kindle version has been attractive, faithful to our original. But it has also become increasingly clear to me that the restrictions of “exclusivity” has limited different kinds of creative opportunities. For example, as you surely know, we also offer a second, entirely distinct literary journal, KROnline, at kenyonreview.org, along with some of the exciting new electronic forms that are available only on the Internet, such as podcasts, blogs, videos, and so on. The Amazon contract, unfortunately, made integrating our print edition with these electronic forms impossible.
Four years is a long time in the world of evolving media. We’ve learned a lot during that time, our readership has grown both online and in print, and the electronic opportunities have continued to develop. The journey forward is exciting, and we’re eager for the creative challenges.
On the Cover
Portrait of E. L. Doctorow by Joe Ciardiello. For the past forty years, Ciardiello has been creating illustrations for most major magazines, newspapers, and book publishers. Clients have included the New York Times Book Review, the New Yorker, and Rolling Stone, as well as many university publications. Among his awards are five medals from the Society of Illustrators.
“On the cover of this issue we honor E. L. Doctorow, who honored us with the beauty and power of his fiction and with his fond attachment to the Kenyon Review. In 2002, we presented Edgar with the first KR Award for Literary Achievement for such monumental works as The March and The Book of Daniel. We will miss his imagination, his moral mind, and the smile in his eyes.”