Literary journal celebrates 50 years

SF State's tradition of launching the careers of literary legends can be traced through the last 50 years of Transfer, one of the longest standing student-managed literary journals in the U.S. A commemorative 100th edition features work by students and celebrated alumni.

Published twice a year, Transfer features fiction, poetry and essays by new writers as well as their established award-winning colleagues, many of whom began their writing careers at SF State. Transfer 100, a commemorative issue published in December, includes the work of 16 alums, two faculty and 11 current students.

Award-winning novelists Anne Rice ("Interview with the Vampire") and Ernest Gaines ("The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman") are just two of the celebrated authors published in the journal, many while students or faculty. Other contributors include Kim Addonizio, the author of five volumes of poetry including one that was nominated for the National Book Award; Frances Mayes ("Under the Tuscan Sun"); Mollie Giles (Flannery O'Conner Award for Fiction) aCover of nd the 2008 and 2010 winners of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, Philip Schultz and Rae Armantrout respectively.

The first issue of Transferrolled off the presses in 1956, the same year the Beat poets coalesced in North Beach and the Poetry Center was established at SF State. Since then, more than a thousand pieces of prose and poetry have graced its pages.

Each semester, about five editors and 30 creative writing students take on the responsibilities of soliciting and selecting material, and publishing the journal. Transfer Faculty Advisor and Associate Professor of Creative Writing Nona Caspers says the process always involves passionate and intelligent discussions about literature. 

"The students develop critical as well as managerial skills and they learn what editors consider when deciding what to publish," Caspers said. "It's satisfying to watch students grow and succeed at managing a major publishing project."

Transfer 100 contains more than 200 pages of fiction, poetry, essays, art and creative non-fiction. For more information visit the website.


-- Denize Springer