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About the Brooklyn Rail

Founded in October 2000 and currently published 10 times annually, the Brooklyn Rail provides an independent forum for arts, culture, and politics throughout New York City and far beyond.

Our journal, in addition to featuring local reporting; criticism of music, dance, film, and theater; and original fiction and poetry, covers contemporary visual art in particular depth. In order to democratize our art coverage, our Critics Page functions with a rotating editorship, which such luminaries as Robert Storr, Elizabeth Baker, Barbara Rose, Irving Sandler, and Dore Ashton have helmed.


“The Rail is the best publication of its kind in New York—and it keeps getting better.” – Paul Auster

The Rail further fulfills its mission by curating art exhibitions, panel discussions, reading series and film screenings that reflect the complexity and inventiveness of the city’s artistic and cultural landscape. In 2013, Rail publisher Phong Bui curated Come Together: Surviving Sandy, Year 1, an exhibition that collected over 300 contemporary artists to commemorate the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy. Come Together was named the #1 exhibition in New York City by Jerry Saltz in New York Magazine, and in the NY Times, Roberta Smith wrote, “This egalitarian show makes palpable the greatness of New York’s real art world.”

Lucy Lippard reading the Brooklyn Rail John Berger reading the Brooklyn Rail. Photo by David Levi Strauss.

Other Rail initiatives include our small press, Rail Editions, and our recently launched curatorial endeavor, Rail Curatorial Projects. Rail Editions publishes books of poetry, experimental fiction, prose meditation, artists’ writings, and interviews with artists in addition to art and literary criticism. Rail Curatorial Projects seeks to establish dialogues between artists, curators, dealers, critics, collectors, and art historians via rigorously conceived and researched exhibitions and events.

The Brooklyn Rail, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, distributes its journal free of charge around New York City, and ships to a growing list of national and international subscribers.

“The Rail is an eminently readable, informative, and intellectually wide-ranging publication, alert to current trends, controversies, and ideas, and filled with necessary information. It is great to have one's brain shaken up by such a lively venue! What would we do without it?”  -Nancy Spero

“So far as the art scene is concerned, it is the murmur of the city in print.”  - Robert Storr

The Brooklyn Rail has the young energy that goes with the young people who come to New York to grow in the arts. It would be a bad city without it. If it wasn't for the Brooklyn Rail, the city would be a desert.” – Alex Katz

“At once politically, socially, and artistically engaged, the Brooklyn Rail forges communities across cultural disciplines, boroughs, and ideologies. A brilliantly conceived and beautifully executed newspaper, the Rail is making an absolutely crucial contribution to the intellectual life of the city and even the nation.”  - Richard Serra

"How wonderful to have a new newspaper that cares about literature and the arts and isn't afraid to say so. The Brooklyn Rail is a welcome addition to the New York scene." – John Ashbery


The Brooklyn Rail

SEPT 2023

All Issues