Since 2008, Prism Review has been almost exclusively under the editorial direction of Sean Bernard, with the keen help of University of La Verne undergraduates. But the journal has a much longer history. In 1977, Dr. Esther Davis suggested “PRISMS” as the concept for a school literary magazine, and advisor Kathleen Irace heralded the first journal into production. Since then many La Verne faculty have advised and edited the student editorial board, including Cathy Irwin, Kirsten Ogden, Catherine Henley-Erickson, Ken Scambray, Ann Fisher, Carol Fetty, and Janice Johnson.
In May of 2004, the magazine became Prism Review, and the lead faculty member at the time, Kirsten Ogden, reevaluated the mission and goals and took steps to make the journal more community- and nationally-oriented. The production shifted from hand-typed and photocopied chapbook-sized stapled issues to a square-binding which showcased photography and a wider array of writing genres. This was Prism‘s first move toward an expansion that would eventually welcome works of all writers in the country and the world.
In fall 2023, Prism Review is happy to welcome Sara Ellen Fowler as assistant editor. She will contribute to our ongoing goal of annually publishing contemporary poetry, non-fiction, and fiction from both national and international authors, choosing the best 20 or so pieces from the thousand-plus submissions we read each year. We sponsor annual prizes in fiction and poetry judged by highly respected contemporary writers including Douglas Manuel, Victoria Chang, and Felicia Zamorra. Unlike many journals, our staff (save for the faculty advisors/editors) is entirely made up of undergraduate (mostly creative writing) students here at the University of La Verne — please be impressed by both their hard work and excellent taste in literature. Alongside literary works, Prism Review also publishes interviews and reviews with emerging contemporary authors. We’ve been lucky to do interviews with notable poets and fiction writers, including Lynne Thompson, Carribean Fragoza, Craig Santos Perez, and Lucy Corin.