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January / February 2011 Issue
|Editors||Deborah Chasman and Joshua Cohen|
|Categories||Politics, literature, culture|
|Publisher||Boston Critic, Inc., MIT Press|
|Based in||Cambridge, Massachusetts|
Boston Review is an American quarterly political and literary magazine. It publishes political, social, and historical analysis, literary and cultural criticism, book reviews, fiction, and poetry, both online and in print. Its signature form is a "forum," featuring a lead essay and several responses. Boston Review also publishes an imprint of books with MIT Press.
The magazine is published by Boston Critic, Inc., a nonprofit organization. It has received praise from notable intellectuals and writers including John Kenneth Galbraith, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., John Rawls, Naomi Klein, Robin Kelley, Martha Nussbaum, and Jorie Graham.
Boston Review was founded as New Boston Review in 1975. A quarterly devoted to literature and the arts, the magazine was started by a group that included Juan Alonso, Richard Burgin, and Anita Silvey. In 1976, after the departure of some of the founding editors, the publication was co-edited by Juan Alonso and Gail Pool, and then by Gail Pool and Lorna Condon. In the late seventies, it switched from quarterly to bimonthly publication. In 1980, Arthur Rosenthal became publisher of the magazine, which was renamed Boston Review and edited by Nick Bromell. Succeeding editors were Mark Silk and then Margaret Ann Roth, who remained until 1991. During the eighties, the focus of the magazine broadened and during the nineties became more politically oriented, while maintaining a strong profile in both fiction and poetry.
Joshua Cohen replaced Roth in 1991, and has been editor since then. The full text of Boston Review has been available online since 1995. Since 1996, thirty books  have been published based on articles and forums that originally appeared in the Boston Review. Since 2006, MIT Press has been publishing a "Boston Review Books" series.
Deborah Chasman joined the magazine as co-editor in 2001. Pulitzer-prize winner Junot Díaz is the current fiction editor; Timothy Donnelly, B.K. Fischer, and Stefania Heim are the poetry editors.
In 2010, Boston Review switched from black and white tabloid to an glossy, all-color format. The same year, it was the recipient of Utne Reader magazine's Utne Independent Press Award for Best Writing.
The magazine switched print formats again in 2017, merging its bimonthly general interest magazine and book publications into quarterly, themed bookazines.
The New Democracy Forum is a special feature of the Boston Review. It offers an arena for fostering and exploring issues regarding politics and policy. A typical forum includes a lead article by an expert and contributions from other respondents. Past forums have covered topics such as making foreign aid work, a strategy to disengage from Iraq, and new economic stress in the middle class.
The New Fiction Forum was created as "a space for wide-ranging dialogue about contemporary fiction, a dialogue founded on a simple premise: that despite the intense commercialism of current publishing, there are original, vital novels published every season and readers to whom such narratives are of the profoundest importance". Past forums include fiction and reviews by Jhumpa Lahiri and Emily Barton.
The annual "Discovery"/Boston Review prize is given for a group of poems by a poet who has not yet published a book. Typically, the prize is awarded to four winners and four runners-up; winners read from their work at the 92nd Street Y's Unterberg Poetry Center. Begun in the 1960s as The Nation/"Discovery" prize, the Boston Review took over administration of the prize in 2007 when The Nation ended its partnership. Previous winners of the "Discovery" prize include John Ashbery, Alice James Books, Emily Hiestand, John Poch, and Martin Walls.