We asked fans of our journal (on Facebook and Twitter) who they thought would make great guest editors of the future. Among the many great answers, we stumbled across a few names who have already made great contributions to Ploughshares. This got us thinking about the many names you’ll recognize who have gotten us where we are today.
Our time traveling begins with guest editors from the eighties.
1. SEAMUS HEANEY
Spring 1980 (Vol 6, No 1), Transatlantic poetry and prose.
Spring 1984 (Vol 10, No 1), poetry.
Back then: Head of English at Carysfort College in Dublin; moved to Harvard in 1981. Had published six volumes of poetry and one of prose, most recently Selected Poems: 1965-1975.
Since Ploughshares: Won Nobel Prize for Literature in 1995. Latest volume of poetry, District & Circle, published in 2006; also highly regarded in the field of translations.
From his Introduction (Spring 1984):
The last time I edited Ploughshares I knew all the contributors personally and solicited work from them. This time, the opposite is almost literally true: I deliberately set myself the task of confronting what came unsolicited to the magazine and was more on the lookout for work that promised than for names that clicked.
2. RAYMOND CARVER
Winter 1983 (Vol 9, No 4), fiction.
Back then: Leading American writer of minimalist short fiction. Taught at Syracuse University alongside future wife Tess Gallagher (also a Ploughshares guest editor).
Since Ploughshares: Inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters just after his death in 1988. Some unedited versions of his stories were published in the UK in 2009 as Beginners.
For more: Read Stephen King’s 2009 review of his biography and Collected Stories.
More flashbacks after the jump!