Blue Mesa Review: 30 Years and Counting

rudolfo anaya

Rudolfo Anaya

Blue Mesa Review was founded by Rudolfo Anaya in 1989. Anaya, a Creative Writing instructor at the time, wanted a space for New Mexican and Southwestern writers to publish their work while helping creative writing students gain experience in the publishing industry. With this goal in mind, Anaya approached the Dean, and said out of the clear blue sky, “Can you give me $5,000 and we’ll do a literary magazine everyone will be proud of? It’s a logical outgrowth of our Creative Writing program.” This magazine would be a way to develop not only writers in the program, but also writers in the reading and writing communities that surrounded the university.

The Dean said yes, and we’ve been going ever since.

These 30 years have been ones of learning. Reading submissions, copy editing, contacting authors—all of these duties and more are handled by the Blue Mesa staff, which includes graduate editors, a faculty advisor, and our team of graduate and undergraduate readers. But they have also been years of storytelling and connecting, both through the development of our own work and craft, and the work we as editors select for the magazine. The tradition of sharing and exchanging through voice, tradition, and craft is what has made Blue Mesa Review the literary platform it is today.

Blue Mesa Review Issue 5

Blue Mesa Review Issue 5

From faculty editors, including David Johnson, Marisa P. Clark, and Julie Shigekuni, to student editors, like Steve Howe and Hayley Peterson (our last two EICs), Blue Mesa Review’s baton has been passed down through UNM’s Creative Writing ranks for 30 years. And in our 30 years and soon-to-be 40 issues, our contributors have included Jimmy Santiago Baca, Sandra Cisneros, Joy Harjo, Sherwin Bitsui, and other top-notch writers. Blue Mesa Review’s history of publication has boasted strong and diverse line-ups, and those voices have brought their identities, cultures, and creativity to an international arena through BMR. Whatever role we have played in Blue Mesa Review—editor, author, reader—each of us has contributed to a tradition of storytelling, cultural identity, and craft.

As a landscape of intersectionality and diversity, the Southwest is the perfect place for beautiful intersectional art to grow, and we are here to help tend those roots in our community and beyond, into the global cultural and literary community. At Blue Mesa Review, we will continue to support and publish voices of the Southwest and the world at large, and foster connections between our academic circle and the rich literary traditions of Albuquerque and New Mexico. Here’s to another 30 years.


Blue Mesa Review Staff

Would you like to be featured in the 30th Anniversary Issue (Issue 40) of Blue Mesa Review? There’s still time to submit to the 2019 Summer Contest! For full information, please check out our Submittable:

Tori Cárdenas