Kestrel, Fairmont State University's professional literary and art journal, has received a grant from the West Virginia Humanities Council, according to Dr. Donna J. Long, the journal's editor.
The grant, written by Dr. Elizabeth Savage, will help to fund a symposium in fall 2019, featuring writers' and artists' responses to a special issue of Kestrel themed "Loved Labors Lost." This issue concerns forms of work conducted in or beneficial to Appalachia now lost, disappearing, or transforming.
According to Savage, “The readings, workshops, and presentations conducted during the fall Symposium will directly foster the collective purpose of the humanities, which is to cultivate constructive debate and conversation that ennoble and enlighten people.”
Long added, "Kestrel's record of publishing the work of West Virginian and Appalachian writers and artists to national and international audiences is unparalleled in the State. This grant will allow us to continue Kestrel's mission."
In addition to their editorships, Drs. Long and Savage are themselves productive writers. Savage’s most recent work, Woman Looking at a Vase of Flowers, was published by Furniture Press in late 2017. Long will give a poetry reading at her alma mater, The University of Tampa, and meet with English and Writing majors to discuss her post-UT experience as a writer, editor, and professor of English.
In Fairmont, the editors are working to build the local literary community. Last month, Kestrel partnered with WVU Press to host a reading featuring writers whose work appears in Eyes Glowing at the Edge of the Woods: Fiction and Poetry from West Virginia, an anthology published last year to much critical acclaim. The reading, held at Joe N Throw in downtown Fairmont, was a great success, SRO and with an atmosphere of good will and delight in West Virginia’s creativity. Kestrel plans to continue hosting literary events regularly and in cooperation with writers throughout the tri-city area and across West Virginia.
Kestrel is sponsored by the Department of Language and Literature in the College of Liberal Arts. The journal began as part of Fairmont State's celebration of its quasquicentennial in 1993. Dr. Angela Schwer, chair of Language and Literature, said, "The Humanities Council's grant will help us to continue Kestrel's twenty-five year tradition of publishing and supporting writers and artists both established and new. We are tremendously grateful for the Council's support."
Dr. Deanna Shields, the Dean of Liberal Arts, added, "Dr. Savage and the other editors work hard to produce Kestrel twice a year. They are to be commended for their efforts to find additional funding the support this cultural treasure of Fairmont State.”