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Ruth Lilly, who gave all that money to Poetry Magazine…

… has died, age 94. She came from the immensely wealthy Eli Lilly family.

… [In 2002] she pledged a gift, largely in stock, to Poetry, a monthly magazine with a staff of four, a circulation of 12,000 or so and an annual budget of less than $700,000. The gift was estimated, at the time, at $100 million. (Its current value may be twice that.)

… “The gift is the essence of bad philanthropy — an overblown act of generosity that undermines its own possible efficacy,” the editor and poet Meghan O’Rourke wrote in the online magazine Slate…

Margaret Soltan, December 31, 2009 10:22PM
Posted in: poem

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