In my first semester, Literary Magazine Editing was one of the most enjoyable and challenging courses at Columbia, as it meant reading and discussing poems submitted and solicited for Columbia Poetry Review vol 29, but that was just the first half of things. During the spring semester, we got together periodically to scrutinize each page of the magazine and double- and triple-check with our published poets that their work appeared exactly as intended. Having the box of books arrive and seeing the ghostly cover image staring back at us was as exciting as the image was unnerving and beautiful (thanks to Louie Otesanek for his striking cover art).
One of the most important things I’ve learned by studying at an art school is just how difficult the act of creating an art object can be and how we should take every effort to celebrate when something comes together. With the end of the semester nearing and many of our editors and editorial board members dealing with the death throes of the semester from the perspective of both student and teacher, we carved out a chunk of time to forget those stresses and read from the magazine.
On May 5, editors, editorial board members, the faculty advisor (Tony Trigilio), and the managing editor (Cora Jacobs) got together in the library reading room to read some of our favorite poems from the magazine. All of the poems were fair game save for those from Ryan Snyder Ananat, Anthony Madrid, and Richard Meier, who we were fortunate enough to have in attendance at the reading. I read works from Christopher Citro, CAConrad, and Fred Moten, three poets I was beyond excited for us to publish.
After eight months of hard work, it was nice to be able to see and hear the poetry together, to look at the stunning cover and artwork included in the volume. Next year will mark 30 volumes of Columbia Poetry Review, and I can’t wait to serve the magazine for such a momentous occasion. (If you want to check out the latest copy of Columbia Poetry Review, you can find it here.)