To Be Missed: Jeanne Leiby



It was good to open, a couple weeks ago, the spring 2011 issue of The Southern Review and see a poem — "Newburyport Marsh near Evening, 1861" — by John Bensko, who teaches in the MFA program at the University of Memphis.

But it was sad to hear, this past week, that The Southern Review's editor, Jeanne M. Leiby, died in an automobile accident near Baton Rouge. Leiby had been editor of the review, which is based out of Louisiana State University, since 2008.

In a statement on April 20th, the day after Leiby's death, Michael Martin, LSU chancellor, had this to say: "This is a great loss to the LSU community, both personally and professionally. The students, faculty, and staff with whom she worked will miss her greatly."

And so will Bensko and his wife. In an e-mail, Cary Holladay — author and creative-writing teacher at the U of M — had this to say: "Jeanne was a wonderful fiction writer, a brilliant editor, and a friend and supporter of so many writers whom she encouraged and published, including John and me."

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