New TSR Editor-in-Chief Named

Emily Smith Gilbert has been named the new editor-in-chief of The Southampton Review. Independent/Courtesy TSR
Emily Smith Gilbert has been named the new editor-in-chief of The Southampton Review. Independent/Courtesy TSR

Stony Brook Southampton has marked two milestones this week for the Winter/Spring 2019 edition of TSR: The Southampton Review. The first is the publication of Vol. XIII, No. 1 of the literary and art journal. The second is the formal announcement of Emily Smith Gilbert as the new editor-in-chief.

“Emily is wonderful, thoughtful, and an absolute delight to work with,” TSR founding Editor-in-Chief Lou Ann Walker said in a recent interview. “She is passionate about literature and the arts and making statements about what is important in the world.”

Gilbert, who earned her MFA at Stony Brook Southampton in December 2015, worked on TSR as an editorial assistant while getting her degree, then as a contributing editor, and then managing editor last year.

At Walker’s behest, in 2017 Gilbert wrote a grant to fund the redesign of TSR’s website. The grant from the Community of Literary Magazines and Presses enabled her to create TSR Online, which had long been a goal of the journal’s editors and publishers.

“Moving forward with TSR, I plan to continue its mission to publish emerging authors alongside established names, as well as seeking out writing that engages with the political and cultural moment,” Gilbert told The Independent.

The updated website, at, showcases exclusive works that are generally shorter than those in the print journal, along with reprints of pieces from the print edition. The online journal also features original poetry and photography. Submissions are open essentially all year at, although editors have requested that people only submit once every six months so they can manage the flow.

For the new print issue, Gilbert worked closely with Walker — now the Director of the MFA in Creative Writing and Literature program — as the two have done for every edition over the past three years. The new editor-in-chief said that she is very grateful to have Walker as someone she can “always turn to and have that resource for a second opinion.”

Going forward, Gilbert will be working with a team that includes Fiction Editor Amy Hempel, Poetry Editor Cornelius Eady, Associate Editor Vanessa Cuti, and Editorial Assistants Paige Chadwick and Jesi Halprin, who are both MFA students.

In fiction, Gilbert singled out as one of the high points a short story, “For the Roses” by Cally Fiedorek, about a group of friends celebrating a 60th birthday at the Kentucky Derby. “This story has everything I look for in a short story,” Gilbert said. “World building, the creation of authentic characters, and taking you somewhere you have never been.”

Other notable fiction pieces in this edition include Jake Lancaster’s first published story, “Holograms,” and “Shovelbums” by Amber Caron, which Gilbert called “a story for our times.”

Memoir highlights in the new edition include “Hesitation,” a first memoir piece by Doug Neagoy, and “There Is Still Something To Be Done” by Esther Entin.

“Hesitation” explores the experience of saving the life of a surfer, the hesitations that punctuate the process, and the internal conflicts that underlie those hesitations. “There Is Still Something To Be Done” deals with the author’s work as a resident in a pediatric ICU at a time when she was the only female resident on the unit. Despite her utter exhaustion while living almost completely encased in the medical world, there is always more to be done when working with children suffering from horrific health problems.

Poetry selections in the new edition include “Lake” by Cornelia Channing, which came to TSR through the efforts of Poetry Editor Cornelius Eady. The issue has three poems by Billy Collins, and poems by Major Jackson and Michelle Whittaker, among others.

The new edition of TSR features the winners of this year’s Short Short Fiction Prize; Tara Isabel Zambrano won first place for her story, “New Old.”

Cartoons in the new issue include “Friendship” by Andrew Dicus, and works from previous contributors Matt Collins and Grant Snider.

In addition to the front cover art, “Blue Cat,” and other works by Endre Penovác, other art in this issue was created by Pamela Singh, Star Black, Ilir Pojani, and Jamea Richmond-Edwards.

Gilbert announced this week that the price of TSR has been reduced to $15 for an individual copy; $28 for a one-year subscription (two issues). The new issue of TSR will be available for reading at local libraries. Some pieces in the new issue will be posted on TSR Online. Copies may be purchased on the TSR website, with Gilbert noting that TSR “makes a great Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, birthday, or host or hostess gift.”

Submissions for the Summer/Fall 2019 TSR print edition will be accepted from February 1 to April 1, 2019. Submissions for the Frank McCourt memoir prize, with the winner to be published in the Summer/Fall edition, will be accepted February 15 to March 15, 2019.

For more information, visit the TSR website,

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