"[P]oetry makes nothing happen: it survives, / [...] a way of happening, a mouth." -W. H. Auden

Friday, November 26, 2010

Keep New England Review Alive

Recent years have been even harder than usual on print-based literary magazines. Some have gone out of print, while others are currently putting up a fight to stay alive. New England Review is one of the latter, and it's hard to think of a more quintessential literary magazine than NER. As a young college student growing more serious by the day about literature and writing, I spent a lot of time in the university library reading a certain few literary magazines, the ones that seemed to me to be publishing the most consistently engaging work. NER was at the top of that short list. To this day, it has never flagged in its excellence.

NER recently published a translation of mine--a great honor for the boy who used to spend so many hours in the library with NER in hand!--and the degree of engagement from both Stephen Donadio and Carolyn Kuebler in meticulously reading the piece and working with me to improve it has only increased my respect for this publication and my sense that they are doing the kind of devoted editorial work that sadly seems rare these days.

NER is now faced with the loss of its funding from Middlebury College at the end of 2011, and we are in danger of losing one of the country's finest publications. A recent update and request for support mailed out by NER highlights both some good news (subscriptions up 25% from last year; 120 new donors) and the amount of funding still needed ("less than halfway toward making NER pay its own way"). Their goal is to increase their existing endowment to such an extent as would secure the financial viability of the magazine not only for next year, but for the foreseeable future. Unfortunately, they must make their appeal for help to a historically un-wealthy demographic: poets, writers of literary fiction, and scholars. I myself am among the most un-wealthy of the un-wealthy in this demographic! But I know that there are some of you out there who can afford to help sustain one of our country's finest literary institutions. I urge you to consider helping NER continue publication.

Mail support to:
New England Review
Middlebury College
5 Court Street
Middlebury, VT 05753-6014

**UPDATE (11/29/10)**
Just announced on NER's Facebook page: "just received notice that the magazine will receive its first grant from the National Endowment for the Arts -- $10,000 toward publishing and promoting great new writing through 2011."
Great news! They still need our support. Please consider helping.

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