In 1979, the eminent sociologist Kai Erikson took over as editor of The Yale Review and broadened the range of the magazine's interests. He brought to its pages Bayard Rustin, Gregory Bateson, Noel Annan, Julian Barnes, Hortense Calisher, Seamus Heaney, Edmund S. Morgan, Stanley Cavell, R.W.B. Lewis, Joyce Carol Oates, Edward Gorey, Helen Vendler, Stephen Jay Gould, Robert Fitzgerald, John Hollander, Amy Clampitt, James Merrill, John Ashbery, and Adrienne Rich, among others.
Erikson was succeeded as editor by Penelope Laurans in 1989, and after the publication of the journal was briefly suspended the poet and critic J.D. McClatchy was named editor in 1991, a position which he continues to hold.
Like Yale's schools of music, drama, and architecture, like its libraries and art galleries, The Yale Review has helped give Yale its leading place in American education. In a land of quick fixes and short view and in a time of increasingly commercial publishing, the journal has an authority that derives from its commitment to bold established writers and promising newcomers, to both challenging literary work and a range of essays and reviews that can explore the connections between academic disciplines and the broader movements in American society, thought, and culture. With independence and boldness, with a concern for issues and ideas, with a respect for the mind's capacity to be surprised by speculation and delighted by elegance, The Yale Review proudly continues into its third century.