NEW HAVEN, CONN. -- Yale President Benno C. Schmidt Jr. has reversed his decision to halt publication of the Yale Review after a campaign by more than 50 writers to save the 79-year-old literary quarterly.
Schmidt announced his change of heart in a letter to some of the journal's supporters, including Chester Kerr, former director of the Yale University Press, which publishes the quarterly.
"I have reconsidered my conclusion about the Yale Review and intend to try to give it a bright future," Schmidt said in the letter dated Oct. 30.
Schmidt said he would outline his plans for the Review later this month. He was out of town and could not be reached for comment.
In June, Schmidt announced the Review would be shelved, citing deficits that the university could no longer absorb and limited readership. He noted the Review doesn't have any direct ties to Yale academic programs.
More than 50 novelists, poets, professors and critics, including Iris Murdoch, Joyce Carol Oates, Adrienne Rich, George Plimpton, Richard Wilbur and Susan Sontag, signed an appeal asking Schmidt to reconsider his decision.
The Review began in 1819 as the Christian Spectator and became the Yale Review in 1911. Considered the grandfather of other literary journals like the Kenyon, Georgia and Southern reviews, the magazine has featured works by Robert Frost, Edith Wharton, Virginia Woolf, Wallace Stevens and Leon Trotsky.
The final issue of the Review was to be published in February. A Review employee said it would probably take at least three months to resume publication after that because editors stopped reading manuscripts four months ago.
Schmidt has said the university would need to raise $1 million to endow the journal's costs. The magazine has a paid circulation of 4,200, but has been receiving an annual operating subsidy of about $50,000.