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TriQuarterly to be Shut Down after 45 Years

Some sad news: recently, we heard that venerable literary journal
TriQuarterly was transitioning to an online-only format. It’s sad enough to think that one of the oldest and most respected literary mags would no longer be in print, but there’s more to the story, as shown in this email from Ian Morris, TriQuarterly‘s associate editor:

I just wanted you all know that as of spring 2010 after forty-five years TriQuarterly magazine will cease to exist. Susan Hahn and myself were notified of this fact yesterday just hours before the press release announcing the decision was sent out.

After terminating TriQuarterly’s print operation and our editorial positions next April, Northwestern University will be giving the name TriQuarterly to an online “open source” student-run journal in the university’s department of continuing studies. While this decision was made without our prior knowledge and without our input, we had been approached at one point about turning the journal into an online entity, and we suggested at the time that we did not believe that TriQuarterly as we have known it would survive, much less thrive, in that format.

TriQuarterly is one of the most acclaimed literary journals out there–it printed early work by many now-famous writers, including Amy Hempel’s first published short story, the masterpiece “In the Cemetery Where Al Jolson Is Buried”–so this is heartbreaking. And on a personal note, TriQuarterly was the first journal to accept a story of mine–I still remember the disbelief and delight I felt when its editor, Susan Hahn called me to deliver the news. So I’m shocked that it’s ending, and that it’s ending this way. I understand that times are tough, and that universities everywhere are cutting back. And I’m all for student-run publications, but to change the format and content so drastically and still give the journal the name “TriQuarterly” seems downright disingenuous. It sounds like this decision wasn’t handled gracefully or considerately, and it’s a shame that Associate Editor Ian Morris, Editor Susan Hahn, and such an excellent journal were treated in this way.

Via The Practicing Writer. Thanks, Erika, for letting us know about this.

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