Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Descant magazine is to be discontinued after 44 years

The penultimate
Descant, no. 166
Karen Mulhallen, the longtime editor-in-chief of the respected literary magazine Descant has announced on its website that the next issue of the quarterly -- number 167 -- will be its last. Part of the reason is financial and part of it is about an unsuccessful attempt to find a successor for Mulhallen.
"This has been a very hard decision to make. For the last three years Descant has been in a deficit position, and as head of the Descant foundation and Editor in Chief of the magazine, I carry all the debts. 
"Our vigorous fund-raising campaign this fall was very successful and I want to thank all of you who donated to the magazine. Unfortunately, we did not raise enough money to offset the shortfall. Grants have been in decline for more than five years,
Karen Mulhallen
although other revenues such as sales and subscriptions have held steady or increased. We have cut costs everywhere we could, but many expenses over which we have no control have continued to spiral up. 
"I have personally searched for a solution, but have been unable to find either a patronage base or an editor (or editorial collective) to replace myself and take over the magazine, and be responsible for its publication and its foundation."
Descant started in 1970 mimeographed and is now in its fifth decade as a very handsome bound journal, with an international following for its mix of emerging and established writers. Mulhallen has been with Descant almost from the beginning and has been its editor since 1973. 

Through its Descant Arts & Letters Foundation, an incorporated non-profit charity since 1988, it has been running literary workshops, reading series and publication projects for youth since 2005. Among other things, Descant has offered the Winston Collins/Descant prize for best Canadian Poem, won in  2014 by Andy Verboom. 

Descant had total 2013 revenues of $113,276 and total expenses of $153,928, for a deficit of more than $40,000, according to Descant's latest filing (2013) with the Canada Revenue Agency.  About 73% of its revenues were government support (principally Canada Council and Ontario Arts Council), but this is declined more than 58% since 2011.



Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home