Founded in 1980 by New York-based poet Philip Fried, The Manhattan Review has won praise for its balance of American and international poetry, its distinguished interview series, and its many firsts. The Library Journal placed MR in its "highly recommended" category, and the New Magazine Review saluted MR for combining "strong translations with poetry written by those whose roots lie buried in American soil."
MR staked out a position early on as a venue for new voices. Called "adventurous and quick to get to the new" by the editor of Agni, MR was the first American journal to publish an interview with Polish poet and dissident Stanislaw Baranczak (1981). It was one of the first journals to devote a whole issue to renowned Polish poet Zbigniew Herbert (Winter 1984-5). MR began to publish the work of Chinese dissident poet Bei Dao as early as 1990. And in 1994, MR launched an unprecedented nationwide campaign that increased the number of poetry reviews in The New York Times.
For many years now, and especially in the last decade, MR has endeavored to publish the best contemporary British poetry alongside the work of excellent American poets. By doing so in a routine manner, as well as in a special feature format, MR has tried to bridge the gap between poetries divided by an ocean and a common language.
With Volume 10, no. 2 (Winter 2003), MR initiated a new section entitled Prose on Poetry. This section offers a variety of essays on poetry, including opinion pieces, reminiscences, and critical studies, as well as reviews of poetry books, CDs, and Web sites.
Philip Fried, the founding editor of The Manhattan Review, has published six books of poetry: Mutual Trespasses (Ion, 1988), Quantum Genesis (Zohar, 1997), Big Men Speaking to Little Men(Salmon, 2006), Cohort (Salmon, 2009), Early/Late: New and Selected Poems (Salmon, 2011), and Interrogating Water (Salmon, 2014). In the fall of 2016, Salmon will bring out Squaring the Circle. Fried has also collaborated with his wife, the photographer Lynn Saville, on a book of poetry and photographs entitled Acquainted with the Night (Rizzoli, 1997). His poems, reviews, and essays have appeared in such magazines as Partisan Review, Paris Review, Tin House, Poetry Northwest, Barrow Street, New Orleans Review, and Chelsea. And his poems have appeared in a number of anthologies, including Poetry After 9/11: An Anthology of New York Poets, And What Rough Beast: Poems at the End of the Century, and 200l: A Science Fiction Poetry Anthology, and Four American Poets, edited by Anthony Costello (The High Window Press, UK, 2016).
Lynn Saville, the cover editor, is a night landscape photographer whose work has been internationally exhibited and collected. She is represented by the Yancey Richardson Gallery in New York City, where her photograph String of Lights was exhibited in a summer, 2016, group show titled Lux, the Radiant Sea , alongside work by Lee Friedlander, Mitch Epstein, and James Welling, among others. Her monographs include Acquainted with the Night (Rizzoli, 1997);Night/Shift (Monacelli/Random House, 2009), with an introduction by Arthur C. Danto; and Dark City: Urban America at Night (Damiani, 2015). In the fall of 2016, Saville's work was exhibited in a solo show at baudoin lebon in Paris. For more information about her photography, go to lynnsaville.com.