For nearly a quarter century, the Bryant Literary Review (BLR) has sought to make its readers think, broaden their horizons, and help them connect with a larger world. An international journal of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, it has published original creative work from an array of established authors and emerging voices since its founding in 2000.
“The review publishes work with sharp edges. Work that is tactile,” says BLR Poetry Editor and Lecturer of English and Cultural Studies Eric Paul. “The world is constantly growing more complex, more puzzling, more hostile, and yet, at the same time more beautiful. The stories and poems we publish encapsulate an authentic response.”
Founded by Rhode Island Poet Laureate emeritus and Professor Emeritus of English Tom Chandler, the BLR seeks to cultivate a connection between the Bryant University community and the larger literary culture. Each year, its editors field 500 poetry and short story submissions from writers around the world.
Over the course of its 24 editions, the BLR has published pieces from teachers, dancers, pediatricians, psychologists, major fellowship and award winners, renowned poets such as Marge Piercy and Michael Harper, who was honored as Rhode Island’s first Poet Laureate, and Bryant’s own students.
“We look for stories and poems that speak to the moment and we respond especially to voices and viewpoints that have been historically marginalized,” says BLR Editor, Professor of English and Cultural Studies, and Coordinator of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Tom Roach, who also serves as the publication’s fiction editor. “We seek to strike a balance between accomplished, seasoned veterans and emergent, more experimental poets and storytellers.”
Student editors work closely with faculty on its production, reading submissions and advocating for their inclusion. “The stories featured in this year’s BLR provide windows into the experiences of people, both fictional and real, navigating unique challenges and finding ways to survive. Engaging with these stories is a form of connecting with people and understanding different perspectives,” write Student Fiction Editors Grace O’Donnell ’23 and Megan Polun ’23 in the 24th editions’ editor’s note. “The world has been changing dramatically over the past few years and we have shared collective struggles. While many prominent voices seek to divide us, we believe it is most important, especially now, to empathize with others.”
Though the review went to an online only publication model in 2019, the editors express hope that it will soon return to print. You can find this year’s edition of the Bryant Literary Review, as well as the publication’s archive, at https://digitalcommons.bryant.edu/blr/.