Today’s digest is devoted to the memory of Kevin Morrissey, the 52-year-old managing editor of Virginia Quarterly Review who took his own life this past Friday. I never met Morrissey, only exchanged a few emails with him and learned from his always generous and informative emails to various publishing listervs. He will no doubt be missed by family, friends, and the literary community in general.
Arriving at VQR in 2003, it was no doubt much thanks to Morrissey’s work that many have since considered the magazine “the best fucking magazine on the planet.” In a Los Angeles Times post about Morrissey’s death, Carolyn Kellogg describes the magazine as “one of the nation’s leading literary journals…at the forefront of discussions about how such journals can stay both relevant and fiscally secure in difficult times.” And in one of my early writings for Luna Park, I wrote that VQR “sets a high bar for literary magazines—and for magazines in general.”
Waldo Jaquith—web editor of VQR—wrote a brief tribute to his friend and boss:
A lifetime of grappling with depression combined with recent stresses proved too much for him. He was the managing editor of the Virginia Quarterly Review at the University of Virginia since 2003. Kevin was dogged at his work, meticulous in his detail, and one of the finest human beings I’ve had the privilege to know.
The comments to Jaquith’s tribute are moving and informative about just how many people were touched by Morrissey’s work and friendship. I wish I had met him.
Every Tuesday, Travis Kurowski presents Luna Digest, a selection of news from the world of literary magazines. Travis is the editor of Luna Park, a magazine founded on the idea that journals are as deserving of critical attention as other artistic works.