Annual literary journal expands, guides similar U publications

by Dawn Throener

After numerous undergraduate literary journals struggled, came and went over the years, a group of English majors came together four years ago and created the Wayfarer, an annual publishing of undergraduate works.
Now that the Wayfarer has found its way to stabilization, it is lending a helping hand to other burgeoning campus literary groups.
“For those of us who enjoy reading and hearing literature, it’s important that the voice is expressed, and for the young writers to have a place to speak their voice makes them more visible,” said Beverly Atkinson, associate to the director of undergraduate studies in the English Department.
Every year, the Wayfarer prints and distributes a journal of literature from University undergraduates.
Jessica Brent, a senior majoring in English and philosophy, has been with the group since its beginning four years ago.
She said that last year they printed 500 journals and, within a month, they were gone.
“I hear stories about people from the staff who go to their friend’s friend’s house and see copies of it in the bathroom,” Brent said.
This year, looking to expand the magazine, the group decided to include sketches, photographs and drawings to give readers another reason to pick up the magazine.
Although primarily a print-focused journal, Brent said the previous issue is on the Web. The latest edition will be added sometime this summer.
“Hopefully, we’ll just keep going long enough to create a legacy so that 10 years from now, it’ll still be around,” Brent said.
With four years’ experience under its belt, the Wayfarer is a guide for other students wanting to create similar groups.
Black Arts Collective and Women’s Ink are relying on the experience of the Wayfarer to get their groups off the ground and get exposure. The three groups will culminate their efforts today with a celebration of the written word.
The Wayfarer, the Black Arts Collective and Women’s Ink will be hosting poetry and other readings today from 8 to 10 p.m. at the European Grind.
Looking for a way to create an African-American artistic base on campus, Abdel Shakur, a senior English major, along with College of Liberal Arts student Melissa Washington, are working on the Black Arts Collective.
Started this semester, the fledgling group consists of its two founding members. Looking to the Wayfarer for guidance, they plan on publishing an anthology focusing on African-American works next year.
Elvira Carrizal, a senior majoring in journalism and Chicano Studies, created Women’s Ink as a project while working at the Minnesota Women’s Center.
Women’s Ink, a small group of women coming together to write, met twice a week during the semester.
“Writing is a good way to talk about personal issues and work through emotions especially if you’ve been raped or have experienced sexual assault in any way,” she said.