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FSU’s Kestrel to Host Upcoming Community Event

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The two-day-event will bring writers from different regions of the nation to Fairmont. Many of the featured contributors are internationally recognized for their works. 

Kestrel: A journal of Literature and Art will be celebrating the 50th issue that was published earlier this year.

The celebration is scheduled to kick-off Friday, March 22, 2024, at the Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center, located on Fairmont State’s campus, where reception will begin at 5:30and readings will take place from 6:00-8:00 in the evening. Many contributors will be in attendance including Sarah Carey, Lisa Lanser Rose, and Justin Wymer, who will read from their original works. Refreshments will be served to guests in attendance. 

The celebration will continue Saturday, March 23, 2024, with reception and readings at the 2/2/8 Art Studio, which is located at 228 Adam’s Street in historic Downtown Fairmont. The studio will host the event from 2-4 in the afternoon. Featured contributors, such as Rick Campbell, Sarah Elkins, and Michael Simms, will be in attendance to read their original works. 

Both events will be free and open to the public. 

In an email exchange, Professor of English and Kestrel Poetry Editor Dr. Elizabeth Savage stated she is excited for the event.

I happily anticipate hosting contributors I havent met before and watching them meet and become friends with each other,She said. I always look forward to seeing veteran Kestrelians, too, and this celebration features a balance of first-time celebrants and repeat offenders.

According to Kestrel’s website, their mission is to, “Explore the human condition and to share a vision of the human experience with readers in West Virginia, Appalachia, the United States, and abroad, and to bring together contributors and audiences for Kestrel Celebrations that foster appreciation for and inquiry into the humanities.

Dr. Savage stated an important aspect of the event is showcasing everything the Mountain State has to offer.

One of the great joys of these Celebrations is seeing people unfamiliar with real West Virginians respond to students,She said. As you know, Zachary, Fairmont State students, especially English majors and minors, are exceptionally bright and charismatic. But far too often, as you also know, the messages they receive from the outside world (including their political representatives) tell them they are ineducable and/or suited for service and corporate industries only. Celebrations are our chance to show off our students, and our students are West Virginia.

The journal, led by Professor of English Dr. Donna Long since 2008, accepts submissions for poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, translation, reviews, and visual art. Kestrel receives approximately 2,000 submissions annually. The Kestrel crew then selects the pieces that will be published in each issue. Issue 50 contains work from 43 contributors. It is also celebrating its 31st anniversary.

The journal also prides itself on providing emerging writers with a platform to publish their work, often for the first time.

Kestrel shows emerging writers how they should be treatedwith respect and careful attention to their work. If more writers expected to be treated like their work is important, the field of literary publishing could change dramatically,Dr. Savage said.

Kestrel typically plans celebrations to correspond with each issue, which are published on a biannual basis. Their events strive to incorporate Fairmont State students and the community-at-large.

Kestrel remains the only print journal in the state to be supported by a college or university.

To learn more about Kestrel or to submit your work visit their website: https://www.fairmontstate.edu/kestrel/default.aspx

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About the Contributor
Zachary Summers
Zachary Summers, Assistant Editor
Zachary Summers is a lifelong resident of Fairmont, WV. He graduated from Pierpont Community and Technical College with an Associate's degree in Business Management. He is a transfer student at Fairmont State majoring in English: Writing for the Workplace. His primary interests are government and politics, but he also enjoys writing about a variety of current events happening in the community. During his free time, he likes to read about history and philosophy, visit local restaurants, and walk the rail trails in the area.  
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