BLR in the News

Dr. Martin Blaser, publisher of the <i>BLR</i>, and Dr. Danielle Ofri, Editor-in-Chief. Photo courtesy of: John Abbott

Since its debut in the literary world in 2001, the Bellevue Literary Review has received the praise of various eminent news, culture, and art publications, both in print and on the internet. Check out just a few organizations that have featured BLR, below.





"There’s an elite literary magazine for broken-hearted doctors," by Katherine Ellen Foley, for Quartz

"Surrounded by pain, doctors turn to poetry, writing to cope with loss," by Ike Swetlitz, for STAT


Reviews of the"Embattled: The Ramifications of War" Theme Issue

The Review Review, reviewed by Melissa Oliviera
“It’s rare that I will devour a lit mag greedily in one sitting, yet I couldn’t quite help myself with the latest issue of the Bellevue Literary Review…the result is a haunting and thought-provoking issue…a very high quality and a strong expression of the issue’s theme. Frankly, the selections were so strong that it was difficult to choose favorites; each one was like a little electric shock.”

Read Full Review, reviewed by Shelby Heinrich
“Each piece, regardless of genre, employs a unique concept and perspective… [and] offers a first-person account of a life only imagined and recorded in textbooks, personified by concrete details that can only be captured by personal experience, all with powerful endings…”   

Read Full Review


BLR, and its founding publisher Dr. Martin Blaser, were featured in "Speak, Bellevue," by Lila Byock, an article that appeared in the Talk of the Town section of the December 7, 2009 New Yorker.



The Review Review has posted a number of reviews of BLR over the past years, beginning in 2008, with an article on the Spring 2008 (Vol. 8, No. 1) issue, titled, "Humanity and Human Experience;" in it, J.B. Lacombe reflects on BLR's mission as "a journal of humanity and human experience" and concludes that "BLR could not be described more appropriately."

Most recently, in "Illness, Health, and Healing: A Literary Magazine for the Body and Mind," Sarah Crow wrote:
"While the Spring 2011 issue (Vol. 11, No. 1) has its share of grief and loss, it also features humor, some quirky characters, and a little magic...Not every story or poem will fit here, but when I think about this issue and the magazine's seems to me that BLR turns a surprisingly wide and compelling lens on human experience." Read more. says:
"No human thing is more universal than illness, in all its permutations, and no literary publication holds more credibility on the subject than the Bellevue Literary Review."

The online literary magazine directory has featured BLR a number of times, publishing flattering reviews of such issues as Fall 2009 (Vol. 9, No. 2); Spring 2007 (Vol. 7, No. 1); Spring 2006 (Vol. 6, No. 1); Spring 2005 (Vol. 5, No. 1); and Spring 2004 (Vol. 4, No. 1), as well as a review of The Best of the BLR.

Most recently, NewPages featured a review of the BLR's 10th Anniversary issue (V11N2), stating, "Illness and its management are among the most common, and most human, of our experiences. To write them well is to give profoundly-needed expression to an essential aspect of being human... Such expression is the purpose, mission, and beautifully-executed work of Bellevue Literary Review."

A review of the BLR by Susan Arjmand, MD, was published in October 2011 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

It opens:
"The Bellevue Literary Review published by the Department of Medicine at New York University Langone Medical Center, was the first literary journal of its kind and holds a respected place among medical humanities scholars and those who write of medicine and illness, healing, and the human body. Bellevue, the oldest public hospital in the United States, may represent a natural starting point for reflection on these issues, and over the years (the review was founded in 2000) the editors have produced a journal of uncommon literary quality." Read More (PDF)


From "Words for a Sunday Afternoon," which appeared in the September/October 2009 News & Views, an NYU Langone Medical Center publication:

"The BLR, as it’s known, has entered its eighth year of publishing short stories, poems, and essays about life at its most vulnerable—and inspirational. 'It’s about life expressed through the prism of the medical experience,' said the journal’s co-founder and publisher, Martin Blaser, MD, the Frederick H. King Professor of Internal Medicine, chairman of the Department of Medicine, and professor of microbiology.
Since its birth in 2000, The BLR has established itself as a unique journal of the medical humanities, the only literary publication that originates from a department of medicine, with three physicians on its editorial staff."

The article also focuses on BLR contributor Amanda McCormick and her experience at a BLR Poetry and Prose reading, held semi-annually at Bellevue Hospital itself, in the heart of New York City:

'Are you excited?' Denise Burell-Stinson asked her friend. 'Are you totally psyched?'
'Yes!' said Amanda McCormick, an aspiring fiction writer, her ponytail flapping. 'Yes!'

McCormick was at Bellevue Hospital Center on a recent rainy Sunday to read from her short story, “White Space,” about a young New Yorker numbed in the months after 9/11. More than 100 visitors had gathered in the rotunda for, of all things, a literary reading..." Read more.

Poetry Foundation published "Poetry Ward" July 2006, an essay by BLR Editor-in-Chief and Bellevue Hospital practitioner and instructor Dr. Danielle Ofri.
It opens:
"Toxic sock syndrome. That’s the first thing we noticed when we entered the hospital room. For those gentle readers who are not familiar with such sensory assault, toxic sock syndrome is the clinical term for the rank odor that accompanies damp, fetid feet that have seen more street time than shower time..." Read more

Christine Haughney, Staff Writer for The Washington Post, wrote of BLR in "Creative Writing: Old Balm in a New Forum," on Sunday, August 3, 2003:
"Bedlam is breaking out once again at Bellevue Hospital's afternoon clinic, as the late-shows, the unscheduled and the emergency room's overflows come in search of cures. Crisp-coated interns and residents try to jump-start the examining room computers as patients begin to recite their ailments…" Read more.

"A Literary Review at Bellevue? Believe It," by Dinitia Smith, which appeared in The New York Times on October 2, 2002, follows BLR Editor-in-Chief and Bellevue practitioner and instructor Danielle Ofri through the world of narrative medicine:
"Just tell me a story," Dr. Danielle Ofri admonishes her medical students and interns at morning rounds. To Dr. Ofri, an attending physician at Bellevue Hospital Center, a part-time writer and the editor in chief of the Bellevue Literary Review, every patient's history is a mystery story, a narrative that unfolds full of surprises…" Read more.


Poets & Writers has routinely published news, excerpts, and features from BLR since it's birth in 2001, an event P&W eloquently covered:
"In September, New York University will debut a new literary journalbut it won't be from the folks in the literature department. The Bellevue Literary Review will be published by New York University's Department of Medicine and the physicians who staff Manhattan's Bellevue Hospital Center, the oldest public hospital in the country. And this is just the latest incarnation of what seems to be a trend: the marriage of medicine and literary arts."

In 2004, they wrote:
"Literary journal editors, those underpaid, overworked masters of small-circulation poetry and fiction magazines, are often the first to publish a writer who goes on to become the Next Big Thing in contemporary American literature. In this survey, 14 editors [including the Bellevue Literary Review] tell their stories from the front lines and offer advice on how to stand out amid the flux of their overflowing in-boxes." writes in April 2006:
"The newest literary publication in the newsstand is a little bit different. It's the Bellevue Literary Review, from New York's famous Bellevue Hospital, and its stories, essays and poetry usually deal in some fashion with mental or physical trauma or disease..." Read more.

"A Literary Evening in New York," by Ray Bingham, RNC, BSN, which appeared on May 17, 2004 in Nursing Spectrum bears witness to a special BLR reading-discussion event, "Humanities, Arts, and Healing."


For more news and events about BLR, visit us at