Zaum, currently in its 20th year of publication, is entirely student produced and edited. Any student, at either SSU or any other university, may contribute their work to ZAUM. Each issue publishes the work (poetry, fiction, nonfiction, or visual art) of approximately 20 to 30 students. The magazine is distributed throughout the Bay Area, and also receives some national and international distribution, as many contributors are students in other states and countries. ZAUM has received several national student awards from the Associated Writing Programs: for editorial vision (1996), and for graphic design (1998). Student work from issue # 6 and # 7 were nominated for the prestigious Pushcart Prize, a national prize open to any writer in the country.
This program has existed at Sonoma State University for over 35 years: first as the Mandala, and since 1996, as ZAUM. The program directly serves about 100 students a year who receive instruction, publication, or both. The program serves the entire student body by providing an opportunity for leadership of a magazine containing the work of their peers as well as a national magazine which routinely and regularly publishes some of the best-known writers in the country. Both magazines provide students with professional experience in layout, design, and marketing. ZAUM provides an opportunity for students to publish their own work.
“Zaum” is a Russian Futurist term that describes a thing as being transrational, existing beyond what can be perceived with the senses or understood by rational analysis. This definition is indicative of the aim of ZAUM as a literary journal, which is to push boundaries and challenge conventional forms of writing.
ZAUM is produced by the Small Press Editing Staff of Sonoma State University and is comprised entirely of student works.