September 27, 2006

Publications Display C.U. Student Talent

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In a previous article, The Sun featured StudPubs, the umbrella organization for student publications at Cornell, and surveyed political and subject-specific publications, from science to law, on campus.
Voices provides a smooth transition into the literary and artistic Cornell student publications. This political-literary magazine brings together articles submitted by students and faculty representing various political, religious and ethnic perspectives. The articles regard a single topic and attempt to contribute to the dissolution of these divisions in the campus community.
“Voices, itself, has no opinion but simply aims to provide an environment for all opinions to be represented,” co-Editor-in-Chief/President Josh Grundleger said.
“Ethos” means “voice of the people”. Appropriately named, Ethos Yearbook is the only publication of its kind at Cornell. According to its website, the purpose of the publication is to chart the actions and accomplishments in the minority community at Cornell. Further, through text and photography, “it captures the essence of multiculturalism and diversity.”
Paralax, as stated by Editor-in-Chief Claire Chung, started in 1991 as a literary magazine and outlet for a reserved culture. Since then, it has expanded to cover a wide-range of topics. The mission of the publication is to raise awareness to diverse groups of readers. “‘Parallax’ is a voice that speaks above the prevalent stereotypes of Asian-American identity: Asian-Americans write for America to hear,” Chung said.
The literary and artistic publications of Cornell truly reflect the diverse creative talents of the students. Some are devoted specifically to a genre of writing or art but many blend both together.
[Plug] Poetry Magazine is the only all-poetry magazine on campus. It aims to not only publish a quality magazine each semester but also to share and promote a passion for poetry amongst Cornell students. Anyone can contribute poems, with a limit of 10, by the deadline of Oct. 31. At the end of the year, the magazine hosts a reading, where all of the accepted poets share their contributions.
Forward, Cornell Women’s Resource magazine, also holds a show in the spring — an art show. The magazine features both literary and artistic works created for or about women. It includes everything from essays and short stories to poetry, artwork and photographs. Editor-in-Chief Laura Galos said that they are always looking for new literary and art editors, and, though the magazine features works by or about women, “all genders and sexualities are more than welcome to help!”
Ink Magazine is another literary magazine combining various creative works — poetry, short fiction, artwork and photography. Issues of the magazine are released on campus at the end of each semester.
Exhibitions, true to its name, exhibits profiles on people, places, trends and events that shape the character of the Cornell community using staged and freelance photography.
Similarly, The Quad, with its poetry, prose, photography and art, is published biannually, and has been since its founding in 1995.
One of Cornell’s oldest student publications is a literary one — Rainy Day. In fact, according to David Levine ’07, editor-in-chief, Rainy Day might possibly be the nation’s longest continuously-running student literary publication. Previous issues of the magazine have even accepted submissions from locations as far as Mexico and Pakistan. Rainy Day publishes a volume of fiction and poetry each semester.
Editor-in-Chief Corey Earle ’07 of The Muse writes, “As its subtitle of ‘Reflections, Memoirs, & Vignettes From Cornell University’ suggests, it’s simply a compilation of brief writings about the Cornell experience by graduating seniors.” In order to best reflect the diversity of the Cornell community, The Muse aims to publish all submissions.
Public Journal is another more specific type of literary publication. Jonah Green ’06, co-founder of the publication, said in an interview last year, “The Public Journal functions as a purely expressive outlet for students who … want a direct form of expression” (the publication is handed down this year to President Erin Geld ’07).
This idea of anonymous, honest confessions, autobiographies and personal essays has truly caught on. There are installations of the Public Journal at Tufts, Baylor and plans for a New York City Public Journal. The official website asks, “ Do you keep a journal?” and answers, “Well baby, this is a journal that belongs to the Public. It is a blank page for your expression. It is an open book for everyone.”
Like the founders of Public Journal, the founders of Kitsch Magazine, Samantha Henig ’06 and Katie Jentleson ’06, also saw a void in Cornell’s journalism scene. D. Evan Mulvihill ’09, current editor, describes the gap, “On the one hand, you had The Daily Sun printing everyday articles, and on the other you had literary mags like Plug printing esoteric material. Kitsch was born out of the desire to fill that void with thoughtful writing on a variety of interesting topics.”
Awkward Magazine is not easily defined. The student activities office describes it as “an artistic student lifestyle publication” that comes out once or twice a year. It goes on to say, “Each issue is to uniquely and thematically address matters that fictionally or non-fictionally relate to Cornell undergraduate campus life through various sensual means — including but not limited to physical, visual and literary expressions.” Why awkward? “Through its inclusion of various and distinctive aspects, styles and viewpoints, the publication is awkward, diverse.”
The Cornell Lunatic, a humor magazine, defies categorization. A representative on their SAO website asserts, “I’m no big-city historian, but I can tell you that since 1978 the Cornell Lunatic has been the sole bastion of written humor in a school that often takes itself way too seriously.” The Lunatic puts out one full-length issue a semester, and occasionally smaller issues throughout. “Writers, artists, pranksters, layout masters, web monkeys,” the site adds, “we long for your gentle touch.”