Pick Pleasure over Ambition: Wendy Lesser (The Threepenny Review)

Wendy Lesser

The guest for this episode of Lit Mag Love is Wendy Lesser, an American critic, writer, and editor based in Berkeley, California. She is the founding editor of the arts journal The Threepenny Review, and the author of a novel and several works of nonfiction.

In this episode, we break outside the Lit Mag Love bubble we’ve been in—both in terms of region, The Threepenny Review is an established American lit mag, but also in terms of the approach to writers—a well-lauded, establishment figure in US literary scene, she says she can always tell when a writer has her or his own voice and that’s the thing they need to bring when they submit to the review. Also in the approach to being a gatekeeper, while she has published work that came from “under the slush pile” as she put it, and is aware that perhaps she has certain tastes when it comes to the writing, TPR is not a journal with a deliberate practice of finding voices from the margins of writing.


The Threepenny Review is an American literary magazine founded in 1980, and published quarterly (March, June, September, December). They publish fiction, memoir, poetry, essays, and criticism.


Host: Rachel Thompson
Sound Editor: Mica Lemiski
Presented by Room magazine and We Write, We Light (Rachel Thompson)