Frostburg State University’s Department of English and its new Center for Creative Writing announce the return of Nightsun, FSU’s national literary journal, which suspended publication after 20 years in the fall of 2002. The new Nightsun will have an enlarged format, a rotating guest editorship and an associated Web site that will include tools for use of the journal in the classroom.
Started some 20 years ago by Jorn Bramann in the FSU Philosophy Department, primarily as a forum for philosophical discussions/writings, Nightsun was handed over to the English Department in the late '80s. English professors Doug DeMars and Barbara Hurd edited it together for several years. When DeMars died, Hurd, along with English Department Chair Keith Schlegel, local poet Karen Zealand and, later, acclaimed fiction writer and FSU Professor Brad Barkley stepped in and kept it afloat until about two years ago.
Hurd, an award-winning poet and non-fiction writer, says about the importance of publishing a literary journal: “In a time so saturated with sloppy writing (and therefore sloppy thinking) and with imprecise and garbled language, it's a pleasure to read and a priority to support any medium – such as Nightsun– that offers an alternative. Its resurrection here at FSU also suggests a rising interest in the literary arts here both on campus and in the community.”
Schlegel adds, “By resuming publication of Nightsun and by establishing the FSU Center for Creative Writing, Frostburg State University sets alongside its enduring commitment to the liberal arts an analogous affirmation of creative literature and its power to transform.”
This first issue, guest-edited by Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Stephen Dunn, will be a portfolio-sized, 100-page celebration of American poetry, featuring work by many notable American poets.
"The work in Nightsun was solicited by me from a number of the country's outstanding poets, such as C.K. Williams, Billy Collins, Jane Hirshfield, Stephen Dobyns, Gerald Stern, Dave Smith, Tony Hoagland, Elinor Wilner and Lawrence Raab, to name just a few," Dunn says. "But the issue will also feature the work of the excellent, but lesser known Barbara Hamby, and will include a poem by LaVale's Karen Zealand, and photos of the metal work of local artist Kenny Braitman."
The issue will be released in December and will be available through FSU's English Department. A Web site will feature excerpts from the issue as well as submission guidelines for future issues and lesson plans that will allow high school teachers to use the journal to help teach poetry and creative writing. Visit it at www.frostburg.edu/dept/engl/nightsun/ .
For more information about the new Nightsun, contact Gerry LaFemina at the FSU Department of English, Department of English, Frostburg State University, Frostburg, MD 21532, or e-mail him at email@example.com.