Kalpana Kalpana (Editor)

The New Criterion

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Editor and publisher  Roger Kimball
Frequency  Monthly
First issue  1982
Categories  Literary journal
Circulation  6500
Publisher  The Foundation for Cultural Review

The New Criterion is a New York-based monthly literary magazine and journal of artistic and cultural criticism, edited by Roger Kimball (editor and publisher) and James Panero (executive editor). It has sections for criticism of poetry, theater, art, music, the media, and books. It was founded in 1982 by Hilton Kramer, former art critic for The New York Times, and Samuel Lipman, a pianist and music critic. The name is a reference to The Criterion, a British literary magazine edited by T. S. Eliot from 1922 to 1939.


The magazine is described as influential, and describes itself as a "monthly review of the arts and intellectual life [...] in the forefront both of championing what is best and most humanely vital in our cultural inheritance and in exposing what is mendacious, corrosive, and spurious." It evinces an artistic classicism and political conservatism that are rare among other publications of its type.

It regularly publishes "special pamphlets," or compilations of published material organized into themes. Some past examples have been Corrupt Humanitarianism; Religion, Manners, and Morals in the U.S. and Great Britain; and Reflections on Anti-Americanism.

The New Criterion has been running The New Criterion Poetry Prize, a poetry contest with a cash prize, since 1999. In 2004, The New Criterion contributors began publishing a blog, known as Dispatch (previously known as ArmaVirumque).


The New Criterion was founded in 1982 by The New York Times art critic Hilton Kramer. He cited his reasons for leaving the paper to start The New Criterion as "the disgusting and deleterious doctrines with which the most popular of our Reviews disgraces its pages," as well as "the dishonesties and hypocrisies and disfiguring ideologies that nowadays afflict the criticism of the arts, [which] are deeply rooted in both our commercial and our academic culture [...]"

"It is therefore all the more urgent," he went on to say, "that a dissenting critical voice be heard, and it is for the purpose of providing such a voice that The New Criterion has been created."

Kramer's decision to leave The New York Times, where he had been the newspaper's chief art critic, and to start a magazine devoted to ideas and the arts "surprised a lot of people and was a statement in itself," according to Erich Eichmann.

Noted contributors to the journal include Mark Steyn, as well as articles by Roger Scruton, David Pryce-Jones, Theodore Dalrymple, Jay Nordlinger, and others.

In its first issue, dated September 1982, the magazine set out "to speak plainly and vigorously about the problems that beset the life of the artists and the life of the mind in our society" while resisting "a more general cultural drift" that had in many cases, "condemned true seriousness to a fugitive existence."


The New Criterion has been reported as highly influential in the way that conservatives think about culture.

Writer Jeet Heer has argued that the journal is mistaken in attempting to draw such a strong distinction between high culture and popular culture, and, that the unreasonable nature of this proposition is partly demonstrated by the fact that a number of New Criterion contributors write enthusiastically about aspects of popular culture in other publications.

According to the conservative publication The New York Sun, for a quarter of a century The New Criterion "has helped its readers distinguish achievement from failure in painting, music, dance, literature, theater, and other arts. The magazine, whose circulation is 6,500, has taken a leading role in the culture wars, publishing articles whose titles are an intellectual call to arms."

Former associate editor of The New Criterion Christopher Carduff said to The New York Sun: "I think that what initially made it a sensation — and, in certain quarters, a scandal, was its courage to make judgments about contemporary art, to separate the sheep from the goats. Or, more to the point, to separate the sheep from the pigs in sheep's clothing."

Contributions and awards

Hilton Kramer Fellowship

Since its inauguration in 2013, The New Criterion’s reader-funded Hilton Kramer Fellowship has been awarded to promising writers with an interest in developing careers as critics.

Edmund Burke Annual Gala

First awarded in 2012, The New Criterion’s Edmund Burke Award for Service to Culture and Society is given annually to individuals “who have made conspicuous contributions to the defense of civilization.”

The publication also hosts an annual gala honoring recipients of the award. Now in its fifth iteration, Edmund Burke Award recipients include statesman Henry Kissinger, author and activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and former museum director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York Philippe de Montebello.

New Criterion anthologies

  • Counterpoints: 25 Years of The New Criterion on Culture and the Arts, edited by Roger Kimball and Hilton Kramer; Ivan R. Dee, 512 pages, (2007). ISBN 1-56663-706-6 ISBN 978-1566637060
  • Against the Grain: The New Criterion on Art and Intellect at the End of the 20th Century, edited by Hilton Kramer and Roger Kimball; Ivan R. Dee, 477 pages (1995). ISBN 1-56663-069-X ISBN 978-1566630696
  • The New Criterion Reader: The First Five Years, edited by Hilton Kramer; Free Press, 429 pages (1988). ISBN 0-02-917641-7 ISBN 978-0029176412
  • New Criterion books

  • Lengthened Shadows: America and Its Institutions in the Twenty-First Century, edited by Roger Kimball and Hilton Kramer; Encounter Books, 266 pages (2004). ISBN 1-59403-054-5 ISBN 978-1594030543
  • The Survival of Culture: Permanent Values in a Virtual Age, edited by Hilton Kramer and Roger Kimball; Ivan R. Dee, 256 pages (2002). ISBN 1-56663-466-0, ISBN 978-1-56663-466-3
  • The Betrayal of Liberalism: How the Disciples of Freedom and Equality Helped Foster the Illiberal Politics of Coercion and Control edited by Hilton Kramer and Roger Kimball; Ivan R. Dee, 256 pages (1999). ISBN 1-56663-257-9, ISBN 978-1-56663-257-7
  • The Future of the European Past edited by Hilton Kramer and Roger Kimball; Ivan R. Dee, 251 pages (1997). ISBN 1-56663-178-5, ISBN 978-1-56663-178-5
  • The New Criterion Poetry Prize

    Since 2000 the magazine has been awarding its poetry prize to a poet for "a book-length manuscript of poems that pay close attention to form."

    The following poets have won the prize and all have been published by Ivan R. Dee of Chicago:

  • 2016: John Foy for Night Vision; Judges: Adam Kirsch, Roger Kimball & David Yezzi
  • 2015: Michael Spence for Umbilical
  • 2014: John Poch for Fix Quiet
  • 2013: Dick Allen for This Shadowy Place; Judges: Debora Greger, The New Criterion Editor and Publisher, Roger Kimball, and The New Criterion Executive Editor and Poet David Yezzi
  • 2012: George Green for Lord Byron's Foot
  • 2011: D. H. Tracy for Janet's Cottage
  • 2010: Ashley Anna McHugh, Into These Knots (ISBN 156663878X)
  • 2009: William Virgil Davis, Landscape and Journey (ISBN 1566638399)
  • 2008: Daniel Brown, Taking the Occasion (ISBN 1566638011)
  • 2007: J. Allyn Rosser, Foiled Again (ISBN 1566638089); Judges: David Barber, Roger Kimball, Hilton Kramer, Rachel Hadas, and David Yezzi
  • 2006: Bill Coyle, The God of this World to His Prophet (ISBN 1566637104)
  • 2005: Geoffrey Brock, Weighing Light (ISBN 1566636671); Judges: W. S. Di Piero, Roger Kimball, Hilton Kramer, Rachel Wetzsteon, and David Yezzi
  • 2003: Deborah Warren, Zero Meridian (ISBN 1566635969)
  • 2002: Charles Tomlinson, Skywriting and other poems (ISBN 1566635411)
  • 2001: Adam Kirsch, The Thousand Wells (ISBN 1566634512)
  • 2000: Donald Petersen, Early and Late: Selected poems (ISBN 1566633974)
  • References

    The New Criterion Wikipedia