We asked Richard Williams, THE SUN’s poetry editor, to assess the literary magazines published in and near Chapel Hill.


THE CAROLINA QUARTERLY: A magazine originating at UNC, THE CAROLINA QUARTERLY has published nationally known authors whose métier is rather fiction than poetry. Both genres tend to be represented by the academically oriented, and while stylish, contents tend to be tepid and of a technically proficient rather than an artistically inspired source.

THE CELLAR DOOR: An up-and-coming UNC undergraduate literary magazine. Edited by students, THE CELLAR DOOR, unlike THE CQ, publishes work by students only. While providing a valuable outlet for young writers, the magazine offers an alternative to the more professional QUARTERLY on the UNC campus.

HYPERION: Edited by Judy Hogan of Carrboro and Paul Foreman of San Francisco, HYPERION is unique in the area, as its contents vary from the polished to the amateurish. Though the latter sometimes predominates, it is lively and accessible.

THE NEW CAROLINIAN: “A magazine of the arts” rather than a literary magazine, though it is known for its encouragement of writers, and as such is included here. It is a chic and up-to-date commentary on the state of the arts both locally and nationally. Published independently by students, it is well worth following.

SPEAK 2: An enterprising poetry broadsheet originating from Greensboro and Chapel Hill. Edited by David Childers, MFA candidate at UNC-G, and Jim Lark, UNC major in English, SPEAK 2 is entirely supported by its editors and is offered free to the public. For rigor and energy, it is a truly valuable addition to the local scene.

TRUCK: Edited by David Wilk of Durham, TRUCK is the area’s most articulate and professional literary magazine. National in scope, it features known poets and writers on an eclectic basis. A recent issue, for instance, was dedicated to the obscure but excellent poet, Lorine Niedecker.