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The Reaper was a United States literary periodical which played an important role in establishing the poetry movements of New Narrative and New Formalism. It was founded in 1980[1][2] and ran until 1989;[3] a double issue of numbers 19 and 20 was the last. The Reaper was founded and edited by Robert McDowell and Mark Jarman.[2] It was started at Indiana State University.[4] For the earlier issues the art director was Michael K. Aakhus; for later issues Thomas Wilhelmus served as fiction editor.

Donald Hall contributed a review of the first ten issues in Issue 10. The piece was entitled 'Reaping the Reaper'. His first paragraph runs: "Most poems in the first ten issues of The Reaper are bad. Many are bad in familiar ways."[5] But he went on to say the magazine "is an encouraging phenomenon because it howls with dissatisfaction."[6]


  1. ^ "Robert McDowell". Poetry Net. Retrieved 23 April 2016.
  2. ^ a b Chris Baldick (2008). The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms. Oxford University Press. p. 226. ISBN 978-0-19-920827-2. Retrieved 23 April 2016.
  3. ^ Edward Hirsch (8 April 2014). A Poet's Glossary. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. p. 398. ISBN 978-0-547-73746-1. Retrieved 23 April 2016.
  4. ^ Jonathan Holden (1 July 2008). The Fate of American Poetry. University of Georgia Press. p. 35. ISBN 978-0-8203-3311-3.
  5. ^ The Reaper, Issue 10, 1984. page 3
  6. ^ The Reaper, Issue 10, 1984. page 8


  • Jarman, Mark, and McDowell, Robert: The Reaper Essays, Story Line Press, 1996, ISBN 1-885266-21-9.