Celebrating Five Years of Ruminate

by Brianna Van Dyke December 12, 2011

Dear friends,
Hello and Merry Christmas! As 2011 draws to a close, Ruminate is reflecting on five years of constant support and encouragement from our readers, contributors, and all the writers and artists who submit their work to Ruminate: thank you. The generosity of this community has carried us from an editor’s dream to the reality of a publication that reaches thousands across the globe. We have spent this past year strengthening our commitment to engaging faith through art and literature, using your gifts to add a book review department to the magazine, host a writing workshop with Tony Woodlief, sponsor our first annual Visual Art Prize and Nonfiction Prize, and, for the first time ever, pay our contributors! With your help, Ruminate will enter confidently into its next five years as “one of the finest publications covering the intersection of art and faith” (Banner Magazine). As you think about your year-end giving, we hope you will prayerfully consider Ruminate’s needs for the coming year and make a tax-deductible donation—help us continue chewing on life, faith, and art.
Celebrating Five Years
Created by a dedicated group of writers, artists, and believers, Ruminate’s first issues were produced in between prayers of doubt and hope, the birth of children, going back to school, and, of course, our day jobs. Careful stewardship of resources has enabled our team of now fifteen volunteers, four staff members, and 350 contributors to create 21 exceptional issues of Ruminate. And five years from those tenuous first days, we are able to look back and delight in the rich feast that has been prepared and enjoyed. We have had the honor of publishing writers, poets, and artists as accomplished as Luci Shaw and David James Duncan and as unknown as we were. Our contests have afforded finalists the opportunity to have their pieces read by Naomi Shihab Nye, Bret Lott, and Leif Enger, to name a few. We have received a notable mention award from the Best American Short Stories 2010 and Best American Essays 2011, and just this week found that we received two more from the Best of the West 2011 anthology. Most importantly, we have become a part of the vibrant community of writers, artists, and poets that engage faith with their art, giving them a forum for their work, support and encouragement on their journey, and sharing their gifts with our readers. Art and faith enrich each other with a grace that is invaluable, because art is a source of discovery, inspiration, understanding, and even healing. Ruminate pursues this extraordinary ability to move and grow hearts with joy—publishing works that start discussions about life, faith, and art. Every year we receive over 5,000 submissions from writers and artists who are thrilled to find a publication like Ruminate—one that allows them to grapple with and explore their faith. And every year our readership multiplies, expanding the conversation, as they tell us, with each dog-eared copy that is lent to a friend, each poem that is read aloud over a meal, and every page of art that is framed and hanging in a home.
Community Through Art
Ruminate fosters support and community nationally through the magazine, of course, but also through our online presence and blog, where we often hear comments from those who are grateful to have found a community of artists and believers. Poet and Ruminate contributor Sally Rosen Kindred recently wrote us, saying: “I wanted to thank you for the encouragement and inspiration your magazine has given me, as a reader, and a contributor (and a giver of well-appreciated gift subscriptions!). I also wanted to tell you that my first full-length book, No Eden, has been published. Five poems in the book first appeared in Ruminate—so Ruminate definitely has helped send this book on its way! Through your pages I have become acquainted with so many fine poets’ work—including that of Julie Moore, whom I’ve gotten to correspond with, as well. What a gift this community is!” As Ms. Kindred shares, the need is there—and the community we want to serve and encourage is growing. In our hometown, we bring people together at art lectures, poetry readings, and writer’s workshops. We’ve helped create an art gallery at a local church, providing a place for artists to exhibit and sell their work. And we’ve hosted free youth poetry workshops, giving at-risk youth the opportunity to write their own poems, hear and learn from local poets, tour art galleries, and read their work at a youth poetry reading. Ruminate is proud to stand at the crossroads of art and faith, and we are looking forward to many more years of lighting the way.
Creating 2012 and Beyond: How You Can Help
Ruminate is like no other literary magazine--we're independent, sometimes quirky, always accessible and inviting, full of hand-designed graphics and beautiful art reproductions, and with art and writing that grapples with the complexities of life and faith and invites our readers to do the same. Help us continue building this community: donate to keep the presses running and the postage paid, pray for creativity and honest discussion, get involved online and as a subscriber. Our five-year anniversary is the result of a committed community—your continued support is the key to five more years of art and literature that explores Christianity and doesn’t check the complexities of life at the door. Please prayerfully consider making a donation to launch Ruminate into its next five years. If just 150 people signed up to give $15 a month or gave a one-time donation of $180 we would be able to cover all publishing expenses for 2012! If you are already a monthly donor--thank you--and please consider renewing your commitment or adding even just $10 to your monthly commitment for the coming year. Again, we greatly appreciate your support and every donation at every amount. We look forward to sharing the next five years with you. With much gratitude,
Brianna Van Dyke and The RUMINATE Staff
Donate Today! P.S. A gift-subscription to Ruminate makes a great Christmas gift and you get 20% off on all gift suscriptions placed before Christmas. Plus, we’ll send a handwritten postcard with a gift message! A few other Christmas gift ideas for the writers and readers on your list: a writer's workshop session with the Ruminate Staff or the beautiful limited edition signed letterpress poetry broadside from Adrianne Smith.

Brianna Van Dyke
Brianna Van Dyke


Brianna Van Dyke is the founder and editor-in-chief of Ruminate. She lives in Fort Collins, Colorado, with her husband and their two children on a working CSA farm. In addition to tending to Ruminate, she also enjoys leading retreats in the Ruminate Barn and taking retreats, too.

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