descant

Fifty Years

978-0-87565-348-8 Hardcover (Printed Case)
6 x 9. 256 pp. 5 b&w photos.
Pub Date: 07/23/2008
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Robert Penn Warren, Karl Shapiro, Joyce Carol Oates, Charles Bukowski, and Denise Levertov are but a few of the outstanding authors whose works grace this celebration of fifty years of descant, the literary journal of Texas Christian University. This retrospective traces the journal’s history from its beginnings as the product of a literary discussion group modeled after the Vanderbilt Fugitives to its recent years as a critically acclaimed small magazine that receives thousands of submissions and offers annual awards for fiction and poetry.

The anthology begins with a memoir by Betsy Colquitt, who served as the journal’s editor for nearly forty years and who, along with Louise Cowan and the TCU “Fugitives,” founded descant in 1956. The early years of descant had a distinctly local flavor and featured such young talents as Bill Camfield, who would later become a pioneer writer and performer in children’s television, and William Barney, who would become Poet Laureate of Texas.

But Colquitt had an uncanny ability for recognizing and publishing promising writers from across the nation, and soon descant was an established literary voice. Since Colquitt’s retirement in the mid-1990s, the editors of descant have continued the tradition of publishing both emerging authors and established writers such as William Harrison, Clyde Edgerton, and Andrew Hudgins.

Published by Texas Christian University Press