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Tuesday, November 19, 2002

Not All the News Is Horrible

This must be one of most amazing bequests in the history of philanthropy. Ruth Lilly, 87-year old heiress to the Eli Lilly fortune, has set up a $100 million endowment fund for the venerable Poetry Magazine. No, that’s not a typo—that’s ONE HUNDRED million smackers!

Poetry Magazine has been a hanging-on-by-the-skin-of-its-ass operation for generations. They have a staff of four operating out of cramped quarters in Chicago. Through thick and thin—mostly thin—they’ve managed to keep putting out an intelligently edited and influential publication.

Can you imagine how those staffers must feel? The magazine’s contributors will now be able to receive a nice increase over the customary rate of two dollars per line. Poetry Magazine will now be able to live as long as the Earth itself.

If there’s a heaven, Ruth Lilly has surely bought herself an express ticket.

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