The language that we use, whether as journalists, academics, writers or artists — or as a society as a whole — is constantly evolving. San Antonio Review is clarifying its current position with regard to the language used on its electronic platform and in its print editions.
First and foremost, we will always consider authorial intent. This is particularly relevant to our handling of creative works (fiction, poetry, art, personal essay/creative nonfiction). We will make a clear distinction between perceived authorial voice and character voice, as well as how potentially offensive images and vocabulary are being deployed.
With regards to historical works and reviews, our preference is to restrict any non-current usages to quotations where possible. While, as above, we will consider the contributor intent, we will weigh the usage and effect against our house style. We admire the current AP guidelines for writing about race.1
One of SAR’s aims is to give a voice to communities that have been, and may still be, marginalized. When Poetry Magazine was forced to rethink its editorship and skip an issue this September, this was not the case of one journal’s oversights, but rather a symptom of the gatekeeping that has become standard at many publications, in many disciplines, worldwide. We will always strive to acknowledge and represent the varied identities of our contributors (and readers) to the best of our abilities. In response to this, we are keeping a fluid and dynamic approach to how we handle race, religion, culture and gender.
San Antonio Review is dedicated to keeping our policies transparent and to maintaining an open dialogue. If you have comments, concerns, questions or suggestions regarding our editorial policies, we would love to hear from you — and enthusiastically encourage you to join in the debate by annotating and commenting on this note to help to shape our future.
— San Antonio Review Editorial Collective