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VQR editor Ralph Eubanks out by summer

Editor’s Note: This post has been updated to clarify events surrounding the departure of Ted Genoways from the Virginia Quarterly Review.

More turmoil at the Virginia Quarterly Review. New editor W. Ralph Eubanks will be gone by summer.

Just a year and half ago, the University of Virginia announced that Eubanks was taking over as editor of the literary journal. The staff had been badly shaken in 2010 by the suicide of managing editor Kevin Morrissey. Some of Morrissey’s family members blamed editor-in-chief Ted Genoways for harassing him. Amid national coverage of Morrissey’s suicide, the university launched an investigation and placed Genoways on administrative leave. He was subsequently cleared of wrongdoing and left the journal in 2012 after receiving a settlement from the university.

With Morrissey dead and Genoways out, the 90-year-old VQR was rebuilding itself under Eubanks’s direction.

But Monday, news broke that his contract will not be renewed when it expires on June 3.

Eubanks’s friend Greg Britton, editorial director of the Johns Hopkins University Press, tweeted:

In response to questions from The Washington Post, VQR publisher Jon Parrish Peede confirmed that Eubanks’s two-year appointment as editor will end in June.

“Our print magazine could not have been led by a finer person than Ralph,” Peede wrote. “He is an engaged editor and a dedicated colleague. He conceived of— and is editing — our spring issue on food. Going forward, VQR will continue our themed magazine issues, will add section editors for categories such as poetry and science, and will focus additional editorial effort on online long-form journalism, multimedia and e-books to serve and expand our audience. We will reallocate our operational budget to achieve these and related goals. For our summer issue on California and the imagination, VQR will have a four-person staff including Jon Parrish Peede, publisher; Paul Reyes, deputy editor; Allison Wright, managing editor; and Amanda Korman, senior editorial assistant.”

Peede also noted that since 2011, VQR has doubled its total readership, “increasing it by more than 289,000 online readers to 564,946 annual online readers. In the same time period, paying electronic-access magazine readers increased by 16,500 to 26,572 total.”

Reached by e-mail, Eubanks wrote, “I’m very proud of what I have accomplished as editor of VQR and for the brief part I have played in the long history of this magazine.”

Before joining VQR, Eubanks was director of publishing at the Library of Congress. A former Guggenheim fellow, Eubanks is also the author of two memoirs, “Ever Is a Long Time” (2003) and “The House at the End of the Road” (2009).

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