Save New Rivers Press

Save New Rivers Press

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Rachael Wing started this petition to President Anne Blackhurst Minnesota State University Moorhead

Last week, we were informed that New Rivers Press will not be included in Minnesota State University Moorhead’s proposed operating budget for Fiscal Year 2022. As you can guess, we’re all crushed by this news. We have no further information about what that means for students or our staff slated any further out than this coming fall. We’re hard at work trying to reach a plan.

New Rivers Press is one of the longest-running small literary presses in the country. We’re not the largest press around, but at 52 years old, we’re spry and spunky and ready to continue bringing the best literature from new and emerging writers that we can. Since 2000, we have been operating from MSUM, training new generations of writers, editors, designers, and publishers to move into the world and continue supporting the voices of writers and artists. Our student-designed and edited books regularly win awards and accolades when compared against the work of non-student professionals. Please know that the decision to close a 52-year old press would mark the death of an institution in the indie publishing world.

Alongside the loss of the press and its Managing Editor, MSUM is cutting four faculty from English (including the director of the Writing Center), the Teaching English as a Second Language program, the entire theater department, and severely handicapping the art, philosophy, and history departments. In total, eleven programs are being directly removed, and the ramifications of lost faculty will ripple out and devastate many other departments and programs as well. These effects will be felt for years to come.

We want to reach out and encourage those who have a vested interest in the continuation of the press, literature, and the arts to reach out to our administration—with civility—to let them know of the value the press brings to the world, to the literary community, to MSUM, and to the Moorhead-Fargo area.

Here are some additional prompts to get the ball rolling; use them if you like:

1. If you are/were a student with the press, tell the administration how studying and working with NRP has improved your life. How are you applying the skills gained with us to your current career? This applies whether or not you’re directly working in publishing.

2. If you are an author, how has working and publishing with NRP impacted your life and career? How has the unique experience of working with a teaching press benefitted you as a professional author and artist?

3. How do you see the arts (and especially literature and publishing) as being integral to a university’s mission, particularly a liberal arts university? What do we lose when we remove arts, literature, writing, and publishing from our curriculum?

4. How are the arts integral to life outside of academia—out in the “real world”? What do we (continue to) lose with the further aggressive devaluing of the arts and humanities? Please address any correspondence to:

• President Anne Blackhurst (

• Vice President of Academic Affairs Arrick Jackson ( • Interim Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs Ellen Fagerstrom (

• Dean of Humanities & Social Sciences Annette Morrow (

• Dean of Arts Media & Communications Earnest Lamb (

We are also interested in letters to the editor sent to The Fargo Forum ( and/or the High Plains Reader, especially if you have ties to the area.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 1,500!
At 1,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!