Illuminations Literary Magazine

Illuminations made its first appearance in Columbia, South Carolina in 1982 under the editorship of Peter MacMillan. The issue featured poems by Seamus Heaney, Stephen Spender, and newcomer Sam Boone. Subsequently edited from England, Japan, and Tanzania, the magazine returned to South Carolina in 1996 where it was edited by Simon Lewis at The College of Charleston until 2011. Over these many years Illuminations has remained consistently true to its mission statement to publish new writers alongside some of the world’s finest, including Nadine Gordimer, James Merrill, Carol Ann Duffy, Dennis Brutus, Allen Tate, interviews with Tim O’Brien, and letters from Flannery O’Connor and Ezra Pound. A number of new poets whose early work appeared in Illuminations have gone on to win prizes and accolades, and we at Illuminations sincerely value the chance to promote the work of emerging writers. 

After a year's hiatus in 2013-14, Illuminations resumed publication in summer 2015 with issue number 30. The current issue (2023) is number 38. For further information, please contact the editor Simon Lewis at


Current Issue

Issue 38 includes Illuminations' usual wide range of poems from the United States and around the world, including translations from Dutch and classical Japanese. Visually, the magazine is graced by artwork by La Vaughn Belle, a multi-medium artist from the US Virgin Islands.
$15 covers two issues (including postage and packaging). Please make checks payable to Illuminations, and send to Simon Lewis, c/o Department of English, College of Charleston, 66 George Street, Charleston, SC 29424-0001, USA. New patrons, subscribers, and contributors are warmly invited to assist the continued success of Illuminations.



Contact Us

Simon Lewis, Editor, Illuminations, Department of English

College of Charleston, 66 George Street, Charleston, SC 29424-0001