Undergrad literary magazine to reappear this semester

by Emma Carew

After more than 35 years on hiatus, the Ivory Tower will reappear this spring.

The Ivory Tower was the campus literary magazine during the 1950s and ’60s, said co-Editor in Chief Jake Ricker.

Its former contributors include University alumni Garrison Keillor and Patricia Hampl, he said.

The 14-person staff has called Lind Hall home since fall semester. Staff members are enrolled in the classes Editing for Publication and Literary Magazine Production and History through the English department.

Literary magazines under the name the Wayfarer have been published since the demise of the Ivory Tower, which was a part of the Daily, faculty adviser and course instructor Marge Barrett said.

The Wayfarer wasn’t published last year, but an online version came out in 2003, she said.

One of the staff’s main goals is to reinvent the Ivory Tower, said co-Editor in Chief Beth Cunningham, and bring a high-quality literary magazine back to the University.

“We were unsatisfied with the product that the Wayfarer had been putting out,” Ricker said. “The Ivory Tower was a great product, especially in the ’60s when it became a literary magazine, and we wanted to go back to that tradition and see if we could build it again.”

Cunningham said she joined the staff partly out of interest from taking a previous course of Barrett’s and partially because she is interested in publishing.

In fall semester, the staff focused on receiving submissions, she said.

“We approached a lot of different departments,” Cunningham said. “We tried to get submissions from all different colleges, trying to get the entire University involved.”

Ricker said the submissions trickled in throughout the fall, but it was gratifying when the majority of the submissions came in toward the deadline.

Of the 256 submissions, the staff chose 25 for publication, Cunningham said.

In addition to the publication of the literary magazine, the staff is holding a contest in each of its four genres: poetry, fiction, nonfiction and art, Barrett said.

The staff is writing to former Ivory Tower contributors, asking them to judge the competition, she said.

Ricker said the staff also is trying to interview former Ivory Tower editors and contributors and include the text in the inaugural issue.

Marissa Anderson, one of the public relations and marketing directors, said that in addition to bringing back the magazine’s name, the students are also trying to “make it cool, and make it seem like it’s not so heavy.”

The Ivory Tower is “pure undergraduate work,” Ricker said. “It’s a bunch of your friends. You never know who you’re going to know in the Ivory Tower.”

An online version of the magazine will be available after publication.

About 1,500 copies of the magazine will be published and available at the Ivory Tower’s launch party April 13.