Nicole Terez Dutton named editor of the Kenyon Review

By Mary Keister
Date

The Kenyon Review opens a new chapter in its storied history with the announcement of its 14th editor, acclaimed poet Nicole Terez Dutton. 

Dutton, selected through a national search that began last fall, will succeed David Lynn, a 1976 Kenyon graduate whose 26-year tenure as editor is the longest in the Review’s history. Under Lynn’s leadership, the Review transformed from a print magazine to a thriving literary arts organization, with a robust online presence and popular programs including writing workshops, a reading series and a major annual literary festival. 

Dutton currently serves as poetry editor of the Baffler and as managing editor of the Du Bois Review and Transition Magazine, both affiliated with the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University. She also teaches in the Solstice Low-Residency MFA Program of Pine Manor College and in the writing program at Emerson College. She joins the Review on July 1, 2020.

“The Kenyon Review trustees and the search committee knew the gravity of carrying forward the legacy of the Review that was so ably led under David Lynn’s stewardship. We couldn’t be more thrilled that the thoughtful and diligent search led us to Nicole Terez Dutton,” said Grace Keefe Huebscher, a 1982 Kenyon graduate who co-led the search committee with fellow Kenyon Review trustee John Adams. “Besides her literary accomplishments, Nicole is a revered teacher, a leader with many diverse and creative ideas who will only build and expand the Review’s reach.”

“The position of editor of the Review is significant and challenging, especially in view of the accomplishments of David Lynn over the past some 20 years. But there is no person more capable of stepping into the role than Nicole. The Review is fortunate, indeed, to engage such a talented person,” Adams said.

Dutton’s work has been featured in 32 Poems, Callaloo, Indiana Review, Ploughshares and Salt Hill Journal, and her poetry collection “If One Of Us Should Fall” won the 2011 Cave Canem Poetry Prize. 

She has received fellowships from the Frost Place, the Fine Arts Work Center, Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Dutton earned a master of fine arts degree from Brown University. In 2015, Somerville, Massachusetts, named her the city’s inaugural poet laureate. 

As Review editor, Dutton will continue to grow beloved Review programs that help shape some of the nation’s finest young writing talent. These include the Kenyon Review Associates Program, which annually engages nearly 80 Kenyon students in the process of reviewing submissions for publication and organizing literary events, as well as the competitive Young Writers workshops, which have expanded to enroll 200 high school students each summer.

Other major Review initiatives that Dutton will guide include the Kenyon Review reading series, which regularly draws award-winning writers to Kenyon’s campus; the KR Fellows program, which engages rising young writers in their own creative projects while they teach at Kenyon and work with the Review; the Kenyon Review Literary Festival, held each fall in Gambier; and the annual Kenyon Review Award for Literary Achievement, presented each fall at a fundraising gala in New York City. Past winners include T.C. Boyle, Rita Dove, Colm Tóibín and 1952 Kenyon graduate E.L. Doctorow. 

“Nicole is a tremendously skilled writer and editor. She also is a devoted teacher, with an enthusiasm for nurturing emerging talent that will serve her well at Kenyon,” President Sean Decatur said. “David leaves a remarkable legacy, and there is no doubt in my mind that Nicole will continue the Review's upward trajectory, launching it toward new and exciting opportunities. I look forward to welcoming her to Gambier.”

The Review is well-positioned to enjoy continued growth, thanks to generous support from readers, friends and its board of trustees, as well as funding from Kenyon College, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Ohio Arts Council. 

“Nicole Terez Dutton will be a brilliant editor to carry the Kenyon Review into a new era. I’m confident that she has the experience, the imagination and the vision to lead KR forward in a time of great opportunities as well as significant creative challenges,” said Lynn, who will continue his faculty appointment at Kenyon.

For more information on the Kenyon Review, visit kenyonreview.org.

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