News | The Sun Magazine #4

News & Notes



What We Can Do

Chera Hammons on Writing about the Natural World

Chera Hammons’s hometown of Amarillo, Texas, is part of the region once known as the Great American Desert. . . . The landscape and wildlife around Chera’s home informs much of her writing, including her poem “Curve-Billed Thrasher” in our June 2023 issue. “It’s a strange place to live,” she told me. “I feel like it gets in your blood.”. . . We discussed donkey breeds, the challenges of gardening, and writing as a practice of forgiveness.

By Nancy Holochwost, Associate Editor • June 8, 2023

A Curious Observer

Synne Borgen on Patience and Perspective

Synne Borgen is the author of “Observations on Ice,” an essay featured in our June 2023 issue. . . . Synne bowled me over with her descriptions of the Arctic’s alien (and alienating) landscape — I think the piece works as both exciting travelogue and introspective memoir. We spoke recently about her essay and the Arctic Circle expeditionary residency program she recounts.

By Hank Stephenson, Manuscript Reader • June 7, 2023

June: This Month in Sun History

A Look Back for Our 50th Year of Publication

By 1990 Sun founder and editor Sy Safransky was pleased with how the magazine had grown — more than ten thousand readers now subscribed — but a decision he’d made at its inception in 1974 nagged at him: to carry advertisements in The Sun. After several meetings with the magazine’s business manager, and then several more, Sy finally decided to stop selling ads. June 1990 was the first ad-free issue.

June 1, 2023

An Inner State

Kate Vieira on Audience and Belonging 

When I first read the essay Kate Vieira sent us, “All-American” [May 2023], I fell in love with how she invites readers into a subculture that I previously knew nothing about. I’ve never been someone who cares for cheerleading, but the universality of this coming-of-age piece struck a chord with me. . . . During our interview, we bonded over the messiness of memoir and motherhood.

By Anna Gazmarian, Outreach Coordinator • May 22, 2023

May: This Month in Sun History

A Look Back for Our 50th Year of Publication

Asking for help is often difficult, and can be doubly so when the person you’re asking is an idol of yours — someone you’d claim “has done for religion what the Beatles did for music.”. . . At the tail end of the 1970s the number of Sun subscribers hovered somewhere south of a thousand, and the magazine was in dire financial straits. . . . The ultimate result, on a warm night in May 1980, was a benefit lecture that Ram Dass gave in a large hall with no air-conditioning on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

May 1, 2023

Camille Guthrie on Writing Fiction

Camille Guthrie sent her short story “Dating Profile” to The Sun in response to a submission call for humorous writing. “Make us laugh,” we said, and she certainly did. I spoke with Camille about books, TV shows, and the challenges of writing humor, and she even offered a small preview of what’s next for the narrator of “Dating Profile.”

By Staci Kleinmaier, Assistant Editor • April 18, 2023
New Releases

Introduction to The Language of Trees

A Rewilding of Literature and Landscape

In this new collection from Tin House, Irish artist and editor Katie Holten gathers writing in celebration of the natural world from more than fifty contributors including Ursula K. Le Guin, Ada Limón, Robert Macfarlane, Zadie Smith, Radiohead, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, James Gleick, Elizabeth Kolbert, Plato, and Robin Wall Kimmerer. Holten includes an illustrated version of each selection based on her tree alphabet. We are pleased to share Ross Gay’s introduction to the book as an exclusive online excerpt. The Language of Trees is out today, April 4, 2023.

By Ross Gay • April 4, 2023

April: This Month in Sun History

A Look Back for Our 50th Year of Publication

By the time The Sun’s number of subscribers had grown to ten thousand, its number of employees had grown, too — enough that the magazine’s charming but shabby office in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, “still fits us, but just barely, like a rumpled sweater with too many holes,” as founder and editor Sy Safransky put it. So in April 1989 The Sun bought a new property, right around the corner at 107 North Roberson Street.

April 1, 2023

March Recommended Reading

Take a trip through our archive and read about The Sun’s psychedelic origin story, our readers’ drug experiences from 1979, and Poe Ballantine’s metaphorical meadow that is guarded by an evil troll.

March 21, 2023
Five Questions for Five Decades

Five Questions for Five Decades

March Writer Spotlight: Heather Sellers

In this new feature, we’ve asked Sun subscribers and contributors about their experience with the magazine and their thoughts about the future. For March we are featuring contributor Heather Sellers, who published the first of many pieces in The Sun in April 1996.

March 21, 2023
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