Thursday, March 26, 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


writer_guy said...

I am extremely concerned about this issue. The government has absolutely no idea the damage they're doing to culture in Canada. Do they not understand the vital role these magazines play in developing emerging talent? Do they even give a rat's ass about writers and artists? Its attitude seems to be that arts and cultural should be primarily self funded. Harper's comments about elites sipping wine at book award dinners basically sums up this government's attitude toward the arts. Unfortunately, because the economy is in the toilet, there isn't going to be much interest from the general populace to rise up on this issue. *Sigh*.

PS Used your name yesterday in some workshops I was giving last night (which concluded with me saying, "You should check out her book". Maybe it'll translate into a sale or two - unless they thought "check out" meant they should borrow it from the TPL...

Rebecca Rosenblum said...


If I'm really reaching on the bright side--and I always am--I could say that it's nice that this new attack (well, it feels like an attack) has drawn so much of the community together in solidarity. It's really nice to see, and feel.

Thank you for the marketing efforts--that's lovely of you!