Jeanne Leiby, editor of The Southern Review, died in a car accident yesterday.
I never met Jeanne Leiby irl, nor have I had the privilege to call her a friend or even an acquaintance. But I know she was big-hearted and compassionate from the ways she crossed my life path.
She was known for treating writers well. She sent me handwritten rejection notes that might have been short, but that were kind and meaningful in a manner that I tried to emulate while I was Fiction Editor of Kartika Review.
And Leiby once commented on this blog, on a post about VIDA and gender representation in litmags. She didn’t have to leave a comment–she could have just glanced at what I had to say and moved on. But she didn’t–she put her two cents in (again, kind words), choosing participation over disregard.
That she could so briefly appear in my world and leave it a little more charmed, speaks to the kind of person she must be. I am sad she is no longer with us, and sad for the things still left uncharmed. RIP, Jeanne Leiby.
2 responses to “RIP Jeanne Leiby”
I received my MFA from LSU and had the honor of doing a summer internship at “The Southern Review”. Working with Jeanne was incredibly inspiring–she worked tirelessly on all fronts, whether it be re-branding the journal or fighting against the budget cuts that are threatening the arts at LSU. At the same time, she never lost sight of the individual writers that make TSR what it is; I remember stuffing hundreds of envelopes with Jeanne’s hand-written notes and critiques.
One side note–Jeanne told me that shortly becoming the editor at TSR, some stodgy, old male writer at AWP asked her, “Aren’t you intimidated to be the first female editor at ‘The Southern Review’?” Jeanne replied–“No. Does it intimidate you?”
@Jordan: First off, I love that anecdote about Jeanne! What a lady. And second, I give you a virtual hug for your loss. For our loss. What a lady.