Since its inception in 1959, BYU Studies has played a pivotal role in supporting and promoting Mormon literature and Mormon literary studies. In BYU Studies numerous Mormon historical writings of literary interest have first been edited for publication, including letters, journals, sermons, biographies, and other texts that document the long tradition of Mormon literary writing.
Contemporary Mormon writers have also found a welcome place in the pages of BYU Studies, publishing widely and continuously in a variety of genres. Authors very familiar to Mormon literary history have appeared there, including fiction writers Eileen Gibbons Kump, Donald Marshall, and Douglas Thayer; poets Clinton Larson, Marden Clark, Laura Hamblin, John Harris, and Susan Howe. Noted personal essayists such as Tessa Meyer Santiago have also appeared in the journal, which continues to encourage the development of Mormon writing through its annual personal essay and poetry contests.
Importantly, BYU Studies has promoted the necessary winnowing procedure that is literary criticism, featuring numerous book reviews by people such as Elouise Bell and Gladys Farmer, as well as in-depth literary analyses by such critics as Gloria Cronin, Ed Hart, Richard Cracroft, Eugene England, Edward Geary, Maureen Ursenbach Beecher, and John Bennion.
Moreover, the academic study of Mormon literature would not be possible without the subject bibliographies published in BYU Studies by Chad Flake, Scott Duvall, and others, which now form the basis of the Mormon Literature Database.
BYU Studies has also been a place where Mormon literary critics have been able to discuss authors and works outside of Mormonism, from Tolstoy to Twain, from the Brontë sisters to Borges, from George Eliot to T. S. Eliot, from Dostoevsky to Arthur Conan Doyle.
The authors and editors that have contributed to BYU Studies have made a lasting impact upon LDS literary studies. The Association for Mormon Letters wishes to recognize BYU Studies and its host institution for this ongoing contribution to Mormon literary writing.