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Interesting Times

PUBLISHED: June 17, 2007

These are interesting times for literary magazines. Don Lee, longtime editor of Ploughshares, recently announced that he is stepping down in order to take a teaching job at Macalester College. Lee’s departure leaves the top spots vacant (to my knowledge) at Ploughshares, Georgia Review, Southern Review, and Granta. [UPDATE: Granta has hired Jason Cowley as its new editor; see comments below.] Georgia Review is in the capable hands of acting editor Stephen Corey, but Southern Review, at last word, was not only seeking a replacement for Bret Lott but also a new business manager. And, as of last week, Matt Weiland has also left Granta as deputy editor there to become deputy editor at Paris Review. (This is a great pick up for Paris Review, by the way.)

Were all this not enough, McSweeney’s has announced a loss of $130,000 due to their distributor going bankrupt. They are holding an online auction to cover the debt—and they look well on their way—but they’re not out of the woods yet, so bid early and often, people. Don’t forget: the McSweeney’s family of magazines—the flagship, The Believer, and Wholphin—operate independent of university funding.

Not that a university necessarily equals stability these days. Antioch College announced last week that it will be “suspending operations” for five years—and the future of Antioch Review remains an open question. [UPDATE: According to an article posted yesterday on the website for The Chronicle of Higher Education, “One hallmark of the college, The Antioch Review, will continue its current publishing arrangement under the larger university’s ownership. ‘As far as we know, we’re not going to be affected by this,’ said Muriel Keyes, an assistant editor with the publication.” That certainly comes as good news.]

On the plus side, the long-awaited Lapham’s Quarterly, the pet project of former Harper’s editor Lewis Lapham, is set to be released this fall. So it’s not entirely news of doom and gloom.

If anyone knows of other doings—or has an update on any of these magazines—please let me know, and I’ll pass it along to our faithful readers.


Ted Genoways's picture
Thanks, Jasper! I don’t know how I missed the news, but I’m glad to be informed: Jason Cowley, who was the literary editor of the New Statesman for five years, will assume the post as editor of Granta in September.

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