Michael Bellmore, Staff Writer:
Students filled the seats of the fireplace lounge in the Student Center. They sat quietly sharing sofas, they perched themselves on the ledges beside the windows, they balanced on the arms of chairs. They were there to listen to live readings of poetry and fiction, and to check out the artwork posted on the walls.
This is the scene at any of Folio’s readings, which are hosted by the campus literary magazine on the first Friday of every month. Lisa Litrenta, the editor of Folio, said another of these readings will be held May 6, this time in celebration of the printing
of the 2011 issue.
“I think everything we’re publishing represents the community really well,” Litrenta said, “and is very well written.”
Amie Dighello, senior English major and Folio’s poetry editor, said she was excited for the magazine’s impending release.
“I’m proud of the work that’s in Folio,” Dighello said, “and I think the things that we chose provide a very broad spectrum of the types of work that students are doing.”
Dighello said that this year’s selection of works will represent a smattering of different genres and styles. Long, short and prose poetry, as well as short stories and flash fiction will appear in the journal.
Any kind of submission is encouraged, Dighello said, and don’t be shy about it either.
“What good is writing if nobody else is going to read it or hear it or be exposed to it,” Dighello said. “It’s like talking to yourself. If a tree falls in the woods–that’s kind of the same thing. If you write and nobody knows you write, are you just keeping a diary?”
Alex Malanych, a senior English major, said this is the first year he has submitted to the journal. And, once the 2011 issue of Folio is printed, it will be the first year his work will be published.
“I sent maybe five poems, and not all of them got published, so I think I’ve kind of seen what other people connected with,” Malanych said.
Folio offers a chance to get your work out to a receptive audience, he said. Reading poetry in front of a crowd allows for instantaneous
feedback and, he said, submitting to the journal has given him a chance to take his first steps into the larger, literary world.
“My poetry class was with an adjunct, and he could not stop talking about–because he was a Southern alum–he could not stop talking about how Folio was the meat of the creative writing community at Southern,” Malanych said, “and how important it was to really get stuff out there and use that as a way to have a discussion with other artists.”
Laura Coffill, Folio’s art editor and a senior majoring in studio art and media studies, said Folio helps bring together artists
and art forms that might not have had the chance to interact otherwise. She said she felt that the students who spend most of their time in the art department at Earl don’t often mix with those studying elsewhere, and that non-art students generally don’t spend much time in Earl.
“Most people don’t really know what kind of art comes out of the Southern campus,”
Folio helps put some of that artwork into the hands of the average student, said Coffill. Along with the assembled poetry and fiction of SCSU’s student body, the 2011 Folio will feature 16 pieces of visual art created on campus.
“There’s some really interesting art this year,” Coffill said. “There are some more traditional ones, and there are also some that–not necessarily push boundaries–but that make you think a little bit, which is definitely important in art.”