About The Sun

The Sun, with its superb photographs, is the only magazine that I sit down and read as soon as it arrives. It’s full of people like a Globe Theatre; it’s nourishing like a field of pumpkins; it’s like a grandfather who talks to total strangers.”

Robert Bly, poet

The Sun is an independent, ad-free monthly magazine that for forty years has used words and photographs to evoke the splendor and heartache of being human. The Sun celebrates life, but not in a way that ignores its complexity. The personal essays, short stories, interviews, poetry, and photographs that appear in its pages explore the challenges we face and the moments when we rise to meet those challenges.

The Sun publishes the work of emerging and established artists who are striving to be thoughtful and authentic. Writing from The Sun has won the Pushcart Prize, been published in Best American Short Stories and Best American Essays, and been broadcast on National Public Radio.

The Sun invites readers to consider an array of political, social, and philosophical ideas and then to join the conversation. Each issue includes a section devoted entirely to writing by readers, who address topics as varied as Telling the Truth, Neighbors, Hiding Places, Second Chances, and Gambling.

From its idealistic, unlikely inception in 1974 to its current incarnation as a nonprofit magazine with more than 70,000 subscribers, The Sun has attempted to marry the personal and political; to honor the genuine and the spiritual; to see what kind of roommates beauty and truth can be; and to show that powerful teaching can be found in the lives of ordinary people.

The Sun Publishing Company, Inc. is a tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and is supported primarily by subscriptions and reader contributions. Donations to The Sun are tax-deductible.


The Sun is to publishing what A Prairie Home Companion is to radio: quietly revolutionary, selectively anachronistic, unfashionably idealistic.”

Pat Mullaney, a Sun reader

The Sun is the most real of magazines, a monthly reminder that everyone has a story to tell and a voice to tell it in. Readers Write is one of the greatest features of American journalism, as iconic in its way as the New Yorker’s Talk of the Town. Few things in our world are reliably moving, but it is, month after month.”

Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature


“In this time of massive corporations and media mergers, I thank God for small independent journals like The Sun, and the loyal subscribers that support them. Nowhere is the adage ‘small is beautiful’ more appropriate than here.”

Huston Smith, author of The World's Religions

“Even people who don’t read much will pick up The Sun and read it, talk to me about what they like, and often go off with it. An Irish sheepherder friend loved the letters and began reading them aloud to me. For myself, I like its spiritual compass, which is attentive to both relationship and the environment. The beautiful pages it gives to poetry should make every poet in America covet a place there! And since I love a good photograph, I am often showing the magazine off to my photography-loving friends.”

Tess Gallagher, poet


“Whether it’s a lusty paean to a writer’s fat lover or reflections on twenty-first-century feminism, there’s always something delightful to read in The Sun. With its wide array of literary voices — both personal and political — The Sun inspires, informs, and amuses.”

Utne Reader on presenting The Sun its 1998 Alternative Press Award for Writing Excellence

“Last year I gave a bunch of Sun subscriptions to friends for Christmas. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been thanked. Just today I was talking to a friend who told me again how much she liked it. ‘It’s because it’s real,’ she said, ‘because all the stories are about real people doing real things. I’ve laughed out loud reading that magazine.’ She paused for a minute. ‘I’ve felt so many things. It’s not like a magazine. It’s more like a person, a friend.’”

Ashley Walker, author


“Your magazine has shown me that I am not alone. You show the beauty, the wonder, and the dirty truth of the human spirit.”

Bridget Willey, Sun reader