By Erich Kaletka
Despite having published renowned authors including Robert Lowell, Flannery O’Connor and Robert Penn Warren, The Kenyon Review’s (KR) history has not been free of monetary woes. In fact, the literary magazine disbanded from 1969 to 1979 due to financial duress. Since then, according to the KR’s website, the magazine’s finances have “stabilized and improved dramatically.” Currently, the magazine receives funding from many sources, including sales, personal donations and grants. Recently, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) awarded Kenyon a $10,000 grant. This amount is earmarked for the 2015 calendar year and will help the Review in many ways, according to Managing Editor Abigail Serfass.
This most recent grant comes from an application that was sent out this past March; Serfass says the grant will serve two purposes for the KR The funds will be distributed and used to help market the publication, as well as purchase consulting to further advance and secure the future of the literary magazine. The KR is planning to change its publication dates next year, moving from being a quarterly publication to a bi-monthly publication for the first time since its inception, according to Serfass.
“We’ll actually be continuing to publish just about the same amount of material, but it will be in smaller, more portable issues,” Serfass said. Applying for grants is a task that is almost wholly confined to the upper level of the KR. Receiving grant awards, however, are nothing new for the magazine. “Every year in recent memory we have received a grant from the NEA,” Serfass said.