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Carleton Faculty & Staff Involvement with the Miscellany

Over its twenty year publication run, the Carleton Miscellany included approximately 1944 works by 824 contributors. The contributions included poetry, short stories, book reviews, columns, essays, and commentary, often accompanied by charming and inventive illustrations.

While the Miscellany was not an official publication of Carleton College, there was a very close connection between the editors and other Carleton faculty. As many as forty Carleton faculty and staff contributed work to the Miscellany.

According to Carolyn Soule, Administrative Assistant in English and Managing Editor of the Miscellany from Fall 1963-1980:

"The relationship between the Miscellany editors and the faculty writers was something of a two-way street.  The editors might suggest that a particular faculty member take on a certain book or topic, and the faculty would suggest articles or books to review that they thought the Miscellany readers might like. There was a circle of faculty that enjoyed writing for the magazine and whose work appeared fairly frequently; among them were Donald Schier, David Porter, Harriet Sheridan, Gary Iseminger, George Soule, and others. The editors (who themselves, of course, were Carleton faculty members) contributed as well; among them were Reed Whittemore, Wayne Carver, Erling Larsen and Keith Harrison. Wayne Booth, who was on the faculty of the University of Chicago, contributed a column on a regular basis called 'The Department of American.'"

Two Carleton students who would go on to be novelists – Jane Hamilton and Brian Kitely – also worked on the Miscellany as Editorial Assistants during Keith Harrison's tenure as editor.

This co-mingling of works by established authors and Carleton faculty, as well as a wide variety of genres, was unusual in the world of literary magazines at the time, reflecting editor Reed Whittemore’s desire to cast a wide net in terms of contributors. Carolyn Soule observed:

"The Miscellany might well have had more academic contributors than most ‘little magazines’ and that might have given a it a special tone which was characterized by lively prose, intelligence, and, in particular, wit. I can only speculate on what might have made the magazine special but it was truly miscellaneous in that it published work in many genres, with a particularly wide variety of styles and tones, including poems, short stories, articles – scholarly and otherwise – book reviews, and satirical pieces. The magazine was openly at war with pretentiousness, pomposity, and cant, and that might have been special as well."

Carleton Miscellany Pages