August 18, 2016 8:00AM
Two PSU alumni and a member of the faculty were honored for their writing in the Astra Arts Festival this summer in Independence, Kan.
Graduates Cody Shrum and Melissa Fite Johnson placed in the 2016 Astra Arts Festival Creative Writing contest. Shrum took first place in fiction and Fite placed second in poetry. Both have master’s degrees in English from PSU.
Professor Jamie McDaniel, meanwhile, took second in the creative nonfiction category.
Held every two years, the Astra Arts Festival embraces music, literature, theater, and visual arts. Astra features professional artists, but also offers outlets for grassroots talent.
PSU faculty and former students played a variety of roles in this year’s festival. Those included McDaniel and Instructor Lynn Caldwell, who talked about the art of horror in literature and film in their very popular presentation, “It’s Alive.” Bartholomew Klick (B.A. English) cohosted a presentation about graphic arts and the struggles of creating and publishing his co-created “Ramen Empire,” while Shrum and Fite Johnson read from their works during the literature crawl. Rachel White (M.A., English) co-conducted a memoir writing workshop and Professor Lori Baker Martin conducted a fiction-writing workshop and helped organize more than 20 literary events for the festival.