The Michigan Daily I michigandaily.com Thursday, March 10, 2011
The University's five literary magazines compare their inner workings in
a roundtable discussion.
By Andrew Lapin // Daily Arts Writer
eall get the
urge, at least
the desire to
write or draw
unusual, out of the ordinary. To create
a work of something that, if you were
to show it to a group of your peers, at
least one person would be kind enough
to dub "art." And when we get the urge,
there is a means through which we can
share that work with the world - several
means, in fact, in the form of the many
literary magazines on campus today.
Six student editors gathered in the
newsroom of The Michigan Daily in
the middle of a Tuesday to talk about
their magazines and the role they play
in fostering creative expression, even in
a world where anyone can use blogs or
WordPress to self-publish their writing.
Fortnight co-editors and LSA seniors
David Kinzer and Sarah Doukakos, sat
on one side of the table, along with two
representatives from Xylem Literary
Magazine: the copy chair, Dena Cohen,
an LSA senior, and assistant submis-
sions manager Cecilia Jaquith, an LSA
sophomore. Opposite them were LSA
senior Jackie Cohen, editor in chief of
the RC Review, and LSA and Engineer-
ing senior Powell Perng, editor in chief
of the upstart publication Blueprint.
With the exception of Xylem and
Fortnight, which are run by the same
organization, most of these editors were
discovering each other's publications for
the first time.
If you wanted to share your story,
poem or artwork with your peers in
the University this year, your piece - a
piece that you had to work up the nerve
to pluck from the cozy insularity of your
own mind to subjectto the critical eyes of
strangers - probably had to go through
someone sitting around this table.
"I think it's a pretty incredible feat to
have students putting together a maga-
zine," Jaquith said.
"It's a great feeling to pick up a book
and see your name in there," Dena
And somewhere in that mysterious
gap between your submission e-mail
and the day the publications go to print,
whether or not you will experience that
When gathered into the same room,
each of the editors was surprised at just
how many other literary magazines
were functioning on campus.
Even the University's world-
renowned medical school is home to its
own printed creativity outlet - a publi-
cation named The Hippo, which accepts
submissions both medically and non-
medically themed from its campus com-
Second-year Medical School students
Priya Rajdev and Owen Albin, co-editors
in chief of The Hippo, who were unable
to participate in the roundtable conver-
sation but said in an interview that they
see value in providing such an outlet to some of the hard-
est-working students on campus.
"We think The Hippo brings a therapeutic outlet to
people who want to exercise their artistic impulses,"
Rajdev and Albin wrote in an e-mail. "If anything, The
Hippo brings a small amount of intellectual balance to
the medical school. For some people, it allows an oppor-
tunity to explore their interest in medicine in a very dif-
ferent way, and for others, it allows the opportunity to
spend time doing something completely different (from
Those ideas of therapy and balance were equally ver-
balized by the editors around the table, who see their pub-
lications as gateways for students to immerse themselves
in the world of literary creativity.
"I think that our literary magazine is really just pro-
moting people to get involved in literary arts," Dena
This involvement comes through events like readings,
workshops and, in the case of the RC Review, a rummage
sale that made $500 for the magazine its first year.
Most of the workshops are intended to help interested
Mar. 10 to 13
Michigan's winter land-
scape serves as back-
drop for the Ann Arbor
concert this Saturday.
Maestro Arie Lipsky
will lead three pillars
of the Russian reper-
toire: the overture to
Glinka's fairytale opera
"Ruslan and Ludmilla,"
tuous Piano Concerto
No. 3, and Prokofiev's
No. 5. Tickets from $10.
Life moving a little
too slow post-spring
break? Luckily, the
chance to speed it up
is rolling into town
rollicking blues group
Rev. Peyton's Big Damn
Band is bringing their
rootsy blues to the
Blind Pig. The Indiana
three-piece band cre-
ates its unique sound
with only a guitar, a
washboard and drums.
Doors open at nine,
and tickets start at $8.
students prep pieces for possible publication in a maga-
zine, though things don't always pan out this way, much
to the chagrin of the editors.
"The last workshop we had, there was one person who
was working on a really fantastic poem," Kinzer recalled.
"And we told her to submit it, and she never did, and my
,---It's a great feeling
to pick up a book
and see your
name in there.
heart is still a little bit broken."
With the abundance of campus magazines, there's cer-
tainly no shortage of outlets for student creativity. And
more seem to be cropping up all the time.
For instance, this is the inaugural year for Blueprint,
which is set to publish its first issue at the end of the
month. As an Engineering student, Perng took notice of
the many creative writing contests that were offered to
engineers and wanted to establish ar annual outlet for
such works. It was also, he said, partially to buck the com-
mon misconception of the engineering community as a
"I don't think that many people think that engineers
are actually interested in literary arts," he said. "It'd be
useful for the rest of the community to see the kind of cre-
ativity, when it comes to literary arts, that Engineering
When Perng saw how other established programs like
ArtsEngine and the IDEA Institute were already bring-
ing together different North Campus denizens through
a focus on the creative arts, he decided to expand Blue-
print's scope to include the other three colleges on North
Campus: Architecture, Art & Design and Music, Theatre
Jackie Cohen, too, has been able to defy stereotypes
while overseeing the RC Review.
See LIT MAGS, Page 4B
The Coen Brothers'
film have earned them
four Oscars each, and
even more nominations
for recent movies like
last year's "True Grit."
But to many, their sem-
inal achievement is still
"The Big Lebowski," the
1998 cult classic about
futility, mistaken iden-
tity and nihilism. It's
screening at the State
Theater at midnight on
Friday and Saturday.
Tickets $6. White
Russians are extra.
AT THE MIC
If you're sick of trudg-
ing into the Ugli and
bumping into a poorly
constructed wall every
time you sit down to
study, tonight you
won't dine in Hell.
That's because Cafe
Shapiro, a night filled
with poetry and short
story readings, is
coming to the lobby
tonight at 7 p.m. Cof-
fee, tea and other
treats will be served
alongside your evening
of literary magic.
PHOTOS BY SALAM RIDA
DESIGN BY HELEN LIEBLICH & SALAM RIDA