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Zone 3 magazine celebrates 25 years with special reading, exhibit

In 1985, Austin Peay State University English professors David Till and Malcolm Glass shared an ambitious dream. They wanted to create one of the souths pre-eminent poetry journals, publishing only works of high artistic merit.
In 1985, Austin Peay State University English professors David Till and Malcolm Glass shared an ambitious dream. They wanted to create one of the south's pre-eminent poetry journals, publishing only works of high artistic merit.

They settled on the name “Zone 3” for their new magazine, in reference to the temperate zone that encompasses Clarksville, and the APSU Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts agreed to publish a few issues. It was a risky venture. Thousands of literary journals are founded each year, only to fold because of small readerships and financial constraints.

Twenty-five years later, both Till and Glass have retired from APSU, but the poetry journal they helped found has grown into a leading voice in the nation's network of literary magazines. Zone 3 expanded into publishing short stories in the 1990s, and it recently added interviews with some of America's finest prose writers, such as Michael Martone, Brenda Miller and Ander Monson.

On April 28, former editors and contributors will join the current editorial staff of Zone 3 at the Clarksville-Montgomery County Public Library for “Terra Firma,” a reading and broadside exhibition commemorating the journal's 25th anniversary.

The event, sponsored by the Tennessee Arts Commission, the CMC Library and the Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts, begins with a reception at 5:30 p.m. At 6 p.m., Till and Glass will read from their work, as will current Zone 3 editors Blas Falconer, associate professor of English at APSU, Barry Kitterman, professor of English at APSU, and Amy Wright, assistant professor of English at APSU. Past magazine contributors Phyllis Gobbell and Jeff Hardin will also read during the event.

Gobbell is the recipient of several writing awards, including the Leslie Garrett Fiction Prize, Knoxville Writer's Guild First Place Award in Creative Nonfiction and Tennessee's Individual Artist Literary Award in 2006. Her story “Primates,” written originally as part of her graduate thesis at APSU, received the Special Mention for Fiction honor in the 2005 Pushcart Prize XXIX Best of the Small Presses anthology. She is an associate professor of English at Nashville State Community College, where she serves as editor of the campus literary journal.

Hardin has published poems in recent and forthcoming issues of The Gettysburg Review, The Southern Review, The Hudson Review, Ploughshares, Nimrod, Passages Meridian and Measure. He is the author of two chapbooks, “Deep in the Shallows” and “The Slow Hill Out.” His first collection, “Fall Sanctuary,” received the 2004 Nicholas Roerich Prize from Story Line Press. Hardin teaches at Columbia State Community College in Columbia.

A book signing will follow at 7 p.m.

In addition to the readings, the event will feature broadsides of Zone 3 poems, created by APSU art students using the University's Goldsmith Press and Rare Type Collection. These broadsides will be on display during the event.

For more information about the 25th anniversary celebration, contact Susan Wallace with the Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts at 221-7031 or wallacess@apsu.edu. -- Charles Booth