Zone 3 Celebration


I will be reading in Clarksville on April 28, along with others who are past contributors or editors of Zone 3.  Here is a press release about the literary journal and the event:

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – 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 preeminent 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 provocative flash 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, 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 931-221-7031 or


My day job is teaching English. Since 2002 I have served on the English faculty at Nashville State Community College, where I have taught courses in composition, literature, and creative writing. I am editor of the literary magazine, Tetrahedra. I earned my B.S. in Education at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and received my M.A. in English from Austin Peay State University, Clarksville, Tennessee, where the graduate program offered both creative thesis and scholarly thesis options. I submitted a creative thesis, a 90-page collection of stories entitled Listen to Me. Most of the stories have been published in literary journals and/or have received awards. My writing career spans three decades. My history of publication includes both fiction and nonfiction. I have published two novels and more than thirty stories and articles in literary journals, anthologies, and magazines. It was an honor for me when one of my stories appeared in HomeWorks in 1996. The anthology was a collection of works by Tennessee writers living at that time, including Alex Haley, Robert Penn Warren, and Peter Taylor. The highlight of my writing career occurred when I received the Tennessee Arts Commission’s Individual Artist Award in Fiction for 2006. Other writing achievements include the Leslie Garrett Fiction Prize awarded by the Knoxville Writers Guild, Tennessee Writers Alliance Short Story First Place Award, and the North Carolina Writers’ Workshop First Place Award in Creative Nonfiction. In 2005, I received a Pushcart nomination for my story, “Primates,” which was published in Bellevue Literary Review. My most recent award came from the Knoxville Writers’ Guild, the 2008 Creative Nonfiction First Place Award for my essay, “In the Car with Mother on Christmas Eve.” I am a founding member of the Tennessee Writers Alliance and served on its Board of Directors for ten years, including two terms as president and one as chair of the Board.

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