“Studentsstudy literature and create literature. It’s important for them to have anavenue where they can share their own writings with the larger community,” saysEnglish professor Edward Rielly.
Dr. Riellyis referring to e.g., the campus literary magazine that has beenpublished since at least 1962. (Unfortunately, its inaugural issue date isunknown.) Managed through the English Department, the publication containspoetry and prose written primarily by students. Rielly has been the magazine’sfaculty advisor since 1980. His predecessors were Robert McKibben, PeterSheldon, and Sister Mary Flavia, RSM.
Studentsmanage the entire publication. One or two juniors or seniors either volunteeror are chosen as editors, and they make all the editorial decisions. Otherstudents are happy to help out, according to Rielly. Juniors Megan Watson andJustine Doucette are the current editors.
Ann OsgoodMackovjak ’70, who teaches English and languagearts at a small school inAlaska, edited the magazine in her senior year and also contributed some poems.She continues to write poetry and journals with her students.
“I learnedhow to do layouts, critique submissions, and meet deadlines, and I enjoyedseeing what other students were writing,” recalls Mackovjak. “I don’t rememberbeing inundated with material, though. Getting submissions was the hardestpart, because everyone was so busy.”
The numberof submissions varies. “The magazine falls within the time frame of theAdvanced Creative Writing Course that I teach every other year. Off years, weusually do more soliciting and recruiting on campus,” says Rielly. “If ourmaterial is still a bit thin, we may include a poetry retrospective. Our goalis always to publish good quality material by as many students as possible. Wehave a lot of students who really like to write and are good at it. Seeingtheir works in print gives them a sense of accomplishment.” Rielly donates asmall monetary sum each year to fund two “Best of Issue” prizes.
ChristianLeblanc ’04, who teaches English to 8th grade students in Massachusetts, alsoedited the magazine in his senior year. “My goal was to get more submissions,so we held a poetry contest and printed the winning entries in the magazine,”he says. Leblanc specializes in horror and dark fantasy short stories.Approximately 11 have been published thus far. In February, his short story“The Rule Breaker” was included in the anthology Rock and Roll Is Dead (BloodBound Books, 2011). He is also writing a novel.
Each year,students share their magazine submissions at evening readings co-sponsored bythe English Department and e.g. Rielly explains, “We hope to have two readingsthis year, and they aren’t limited to student contributors. Alumni or poetsfrom the area or faculty members may also be guest readers.”
Like a perennial bloom, e.g. appearseach spring a week before final exams on tables and desks across campus – asure sign of the season’s renewed expression.