English Department Creates New Literary Journal

(Photo Courtesy of the English Student Advisory Committee)
(Photo Courtesy of the English Student Advisory Committee)

Finding a name for the English department’s new undergraduate literary journal was difficult, but eventually The Canticle came to life.

An alternate name for the chorus between the love letters in “Songs for Solomon,” the word ‘canticle’ makes reference to “pleasant fruits, new and old.” Jai Hamid Bashir, a senior in English, environmental studies and gender studies, said the word is a good representation of what they want to include in the journal.

Ian Anderson, a senior in English, said the English Student Advisory Committee oversaw the creation of The Canticle and had a broad vision difficult to summarize in a name.

“[ESAC wanted] to create a more broad, encompassing, undergraduate literary community,” Anderson said. “There’s a thriving literary community among graduate students that we all really love.”

Although still in the planning stages, The Canticle accepts fiction, non-fiction, poetry and visual art. Submissions are curated by an editorial board willing to workshop pieces with potential submitters. Although there is funding available, there are currently no set plans for a logo or a means for physical print.

Although the English department also sponsors Enormous Rooms — another undergraduate journal — ESAC felt The Canticle was necessary to create a space for English majors to display their voice.

“In the past, [English undergrads] haven’t been as involved as [students in the] honors community or ASUU,” Bashir said. “We want to create a community of that caliber. Especially since there’s so many stereotypes, almost pejoritizations of what an English major is.”

For Bashir, the people involved in the editorial committee are enough to make their publication unique.

“We have a deep dedication to finding works that are unusual, that are unique, that say something meaningful, that do something meaningful,” Bashir said. “We’re not trying to recalibrate the academic canon, but at the same time … we’re trying to push the boundaries.”

For information on how to submit, and upcoming versions of the Canticle, visit their Facebook page or ESAC’s website.

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@SeymourSkimmer