Some of the student work in this year’s volume puts an artistic focus on the pandemic.
Colonnades Literary and Art Journal will release its 72nd edition at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 6, outside the Center for the Arts. Everyone is invited to pick up a free copy and celebrate with the editors, readers and writers who helped shaped this year’s journal. Some authors will also offer readings of their work.
And if you can’t make it to the release party, then head to the Oak House between noon – 3 p.m. Sunday, May 9 to get your copy and a voucher for a free drink. Editions of Colonnades will also be available at several locations across campus.
“I’m really pleased with it,” said Abby Fuller ’21, Colonnades’ editor-in-chief. “I’m really excited about how it visually all comes together. It looks really seamless to me, and I’m pleased with the quality of work and submissions we had.”
It’s best not to call the journal’s focus this a year a theme, but rather a through line. Fuller said reflections on COVID-19 are evident within the pages, particularly in the art.
“I would say that not every story or art piece is about COVID, but they were all written and edited under that context, so the cover of the journal is COVID-specific,” Fuller said. “There’s a lot more visual art about it. Those artists can try more things and process it more quickly than writers. I’m willing to bet writers in future issues will still be thinking about it and dealing with it.”
Colonnades editors and readers had to grapple this year with how to work during a pandemic. Putting together a yearlong compendium of fiction, nonfiction, photography, art and poetry was made more challenging because members of the organization initially weren’t meeting in person.
Some of that wasn’t necessarily new for Colonnades – must of the design for previous year’s journals has been done remotely. But Fuller said the strain of communicating over email became too much. The top editors simply needed the space to meet in person and make decisions.
“There was a learning curve about how to collaborate with someone else because we were going back and forth about the cover and other things on email,” Fuller said. “There was a disconnect because it didn’t seem like we were creating something together.”
So quickly, Fuller changed course, and she, her managing editor, art director and design editor began gathering in classrooms to hash out design choices and organize the final product that would become this year’s edition.
“It was better when we figured out how to safely work together and get that face-to-face interaction,” Fuller said. “And now, the quality of work we have in the journal is very strong.”