Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Uncertain Future of Isotope, and Ways to Help Out

As many of you know, we at are trying to help preserve Utah State University's important literary journal Isotope: A Journal of Literary Nature and Science Writing, which faces elimination by the university.

With his permission, I'm posting editor Christopher Cokinos's recent letter to Isotope contributors and subscribers:

Letter From the Editor:

Dear Isotope Reader,

We try to spare you from the day-to-day operations at Isotope and just have the magazine show up in your mailbox full of the unique writing and artwork that you love. But we've stayed quiet as long as we can. The state of the economy has caught up with Isotope, and the magazine's future is uncertain--frankly, in peril.

Isotope receives funding from a variety of sources--subscriptions, donations, state and federal grants, Utah State University (USU)--but the bulk comes from the university. Deep budget cuts at USU have resulted in the loss of salary funds for our managing editor as well as the loss of some operating expenses, about an issue's worth. These are critical funds for Isotope's continued publication.

Please know that we are exploring every idea (cockamamie or otherwise) we can think of to keep Isotope alive, but we need your help. Our readers--You--are the reason Isotope exists and has been so successful. With every new or renewed subscription, with every letter or email or submission of your writing or artwork, you tell us that you like what we are doing and you want us to continue. We are deeply grateful for your interest and your support. Now we hope you are willing to do even more.

Here are some ways you can help:

Donations. Any amount helps. Cash donations will contribute to the publication of the next issue and will buy us time to put in place longer-term solutions. They also show the university the extent of reader support. Mail to Isotope, Dept of English, 3200 Old Main Hill, Logan, UT 84322-3200.

Words. University administration knows and values Isotope's achievements--but it would be good for USU's decision-makers to hear from our loyal and smart readers. From you. And right away! Please consider dropping a polite note of support to USU Provost Ray Coward and USU President Stan Albrecht, Old Main, USU, Logan, Utah 84322.

Thank you for considering taking some action on behalf of Isotope. Whatever you do, whatever you decide, we hope you will stay engaged in the decisions made in your communities--local to state to national to global--for we're living in a time when citizen engagement can make an even bigger difference than in the recent past. We'll keep you informed about Isotope's future.


Christopher Cokinos, Editor
Isotope: A Journal of Literary Nature and Science Writing


Susan Hanson said...

Thanks for posting this. I hope it helps.

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