March 26th, 2009

For the love of little magazines

I tend to stay away from anything remotely political in public forums, not because I am not opinionated but because I am so pathetically ill-informed that I can almost always be counted on to have it all wrong. Already today I’ve been baffled and upset about Gaza and the seal hunt, and it’s not even tea-time yet.

But just in case anyone misinterpreted my blog-silence on the manner of the proposed funding cuts to small-circulation periodicals in Canada–including the lovely “little” mags that constitute so much of my reading–I am opposed. I’m pretty sure I couldn’t possibly have that much wrong.

For further wisdom, read John Barton’s piece on the Globe’s website. Mr. Barton, editor of the Malahat Review has been working amazingly hard to protest these cuts, and he expresses better than I ever could exactly what would be lost if our little mags disappeared:

“These magazines provide an essential service to the nation as incubators of creative innovation….

“To quote Phyllis Webb from her aptly titled poem Pain, little magazines “throw a bridge of value to belief.” Who can say which unsung contributor will some day be the toast of the world? An editor’s job is to support writers by giving them a chance.”

We can only laugh at these regrets

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So Much Love by Rebecca Rosenblum

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