Our Wider Literary Community: A Brief History of Nimrod International Journal

At Little Patuxent Review, we seek to foster dialogue and community in the literary world. This guest post by Diane Burton, the associate editor of Nimrod International Journal, introduces readers to the great writing being fostered in Tulsa, Oklahoma. As Burton writes, the “core” of Nimrod’s mission remains the same today as when the journal began in 1956— “to discover and promote great new writers.”

Publishing information about this journal is available at the bottom of this post.

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Nimrod was founded in 1956 at The University of Tulsa and is one of the longest-running continuously published little magazines in the United States. While it was begun by students at the university, its first editor-in-chief, James Land Jones, made clear that the journal’s reach would extend beyond that of a student literary magazine. From the start, the editors solicited and received work from poets and fiction writers, well known or new to publication, from all over the country.

Nimrod began as a very little magazine, just 48 pages stapled together, printed in black and white; over the years it has grown to its present perfect-bound format, averaging 224 pages per issue, with a four-color cover featuring original art. Originally published three times a year, it has appeared twice a year, spring and fall, since 1970. Each year the spring issue is devoted to a theme, while the fall issue features the winners of the Nimrod Literary Awards.

The title Nimrod comes from the name of the Biblical hunter Nimrod, great grandson of Noah in the book of Genesis. Jim Land Jones came upon a use of the name in Alexander Pope’s “Windsor Forest” and was struck by it. The mission of the journal at its outset was announced as “hunting for good writing”—wherever it was to be found.

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