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More Deserved Recognition for an Amazing Assist

by Margaret Bauer, Editor

One of NCLR’s still fairly recent initiatives is to release a new book review a week—our way of trying to keep up with the amount of talent in the Writingest State. But that does mean 52 reviews to be assigned (we are hoping to increase the staff with a book review editor at some point), formatted (thank you, ECU, for the fantastic undergraduate interns and graduate student editorial assistants), and designed (thank you to my ECU colleague Desiree Dighton, whose editing class is going to do at least 25 of these layouts this fall). And within those steps–sometimes earlier, sometimes later–they need to be edited. Senior Associate Editor Christy Hallberg and I can handle the fiction and nonfiction, but for quite a few years now, we have been fortunate to have longtime editorial board member, now Assistant Editor, Anne Mallory reading the poetry reviews, providing those reviewers with her expertise both in poetry and in writing.  

I cannot tell you how grateful I am for Anne’s service in this capacity. During this past summer, for example, she close-edited about ten reviews, and even after she resumes teaching in the fall, she’ll have more coming in for her keen editorial eye. We’ve got about a half dozen reviews assigned but not yet in, and another dozen or so collections on the list, waiting for reviewers. And yet, editing poetry reviews is not all that Anne does in her voluntary service to NCLR. She is also among the screeners for the James Applewhite Poetry Prize, which has been receiving about 400 poems a year since the pandemic. With our poetry editor in Colorado, not to mention going above and beyond with his practice of commenting on every poem that reaches him (over 80 this year), Anne is my go-to for quick turnaround poetry questions and tasks: recommendations for award nominations, editorial input for interviews with and essays on poets. 

ECU Chair of the Faculty Anne Ticknor presenting NCLR Assistant Editor Anne Mallory one of the 2023 UNC Board of Governors Distinguished Professor for Teaching Awards at the ECU Teaching Awards ceremony

So who is Assistant Editor Anne Mallory? With a B.A. from Williams College, master’s degrees from Cambridge and Cornell, and a PhD from Cornell University, she joined the ECU English department faculty in 2007. And her students love her. Last spring, she won a Board of Governors Distinguished Professor for Teaching Award. She is also a recipient of the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences Fixed-Term Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award. Her other honors include the William Riley Parker Prize, awarded to the outstanding article published in PMLA each year. 

NCLR has always relied upon volunteers like Anne Mallory, and I want them all to know how grateful I am for their invaluable service, how grateful our readers and writers are, even if they don’t know where to direct their appreciation. Anne’s service to NCLR, to the state’s writers, is exemplary of the supportive writing community here in North Carolina, which includes many unsung heroes like Anne. 

As I said, we have several poetry collections still to be assigned to reviewers (and we hear about another one just about every week it seems), so now that you know what good hands your review will be in, I hope you will volunteer to review. Reviewers receive a complimentary subscription, which allows you to submit to the James Applewhite Poetry Prize contest, by the way. You can be a hero too—by helping us to make sure another poet’s book is reviewed (or, if poetry is not your genre, we have plenty of fiction and nonfiction to review, too).