Packing for a Move: David Schimke Says Farewell

Utne Reader editor in chief David Schimke gives special thanks as he prepares to consider new vistas.

| March/April 2012

  • David Schimke

  • David Schimke

Moving is never easy, especially when the place you’re leaving feels like home.

I still remember when my family sold the rambler where I spent my preteen years and relocated to a higher tax bracket. The split-level was just across town, but it might as well have been a hundred miles away. Not only was I leaving behind my best friends and only memories, I knew I’d have to prove myself all over again in the classroom and on the playground. Even at the age of 12, that sort of social commotion is daunting.

Living in a bigger house had its perks, though. For me, it meant a remodeled bedroom in the basement, complete with faux brick paneling and red shag carpeting. Because I already had subscriptions to Sports Illustrated and Genii: The Conjurer’s Magazine, my dad’s final touch was to build a special, standalone bookshelf to display my favorite periodicals. By the time I graduated high school, it was stacked with issues of Newsweek, Spy, Sport, Village Voice, and The New Republic. I didn’t know it at the time, but in retrospect my journey as a journalist was predestined.

For the past seven years I’ve spent my working life surrounded by magazine shelves. Dozens of them, populated by more than a thousand titles, jam-packed with audacious reporting, dazzling prose, big ideas, and beautiful dreams. I’ve gotten to collaborate with a multitude of gifted editors and incomparable writers from around the globe, singularly driven by their passion for stories truthfully, cleverly told. To curate this bounty has been a privilege; to do it as the editor in chief of Utne Reader, an honor.

And now, once again, I find myself packing for a move.

The decision to leave this extraordinary place didn’t come easily. But when Ogden Publications decided to transfer Utne’s offices from Minneapolis to its nerve center in Topeka, Kansas, it felt like the right time to push back the desk chair and consider new vistas—to repurpose and reimagine what I’ve learned about the environment, social justice, community, and the world’s political, economic, and artistic potential.

Heidi Hunt
3/16/2012 1:16:23 PM

Hey Dave - I sure will miss you all. I know I never made it to your offices. My loss. I know your future will continue to offer you opportunities and challenges - be well, my friend and good luck

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