Eighteen USF students will become published writers on Saturday, May 2 when the editorial staff releases the 2008-2009 issue of the Ignatian, USF’s literary magazine. The Ignatian is published annually and features a few genres of student art, including prose, poetry and photography. Anna Shajirat, a senior English major and editor of the Ignatian, said “It got fairly heated in the debates (surrounding the selection process), because we had a lot more submissions than last year.” Shajirat said that she received approximately 100 submissions for this year’s issue. The editing process differed from the editing process in previous years. In the past, the editorial staff read and voted on submissions electronically, but this year the editorial staff held a series of meetings in which they read over the submissions, discussed the merit of each submission and then held a vote. Shajirat said that as editor she had to make the final decision and break the ties in a few cases.
The newly published authors wrote about various subjects and had different beginnings, but their writing processes were quite similar. Lauren Go, a senior psychology major, wrote a poem entitled “People Always Want to Know Who You’re Writing About,” which illustrates the strain of a crush. Go began writing when she was in first grade. She said at that time, “My topic range included unicorns and doughnuts, so I guess you could say my writing has grown.” Of her writing habits, she said, “I don’t have any structured approach to how I write. I have numerous Moleskin journals that never get filled up. I will just throw out a bunch of words and phrases on paper.”
Sarah Roberts, another newly published writer and senior English major, has slightly different writing habits. She prefers to write late at night and also enjoys listening to music while writing. She said, “Right now I like a lot of acoustic things, like Bob Dylan and Simon and Garfunkel.” Putting the songs on repeat allows her to tune them out, but still enjoy the music.
Roberts recalled the first time she started writing. She said, “I remember starting to write, I was in a guitar shop back home, where my Dad took lessons. I had to write a poem about something and the music helped me write.” She wrote a poem about riding a horse, which coincidentally she has never done.
Her writing topics have expanded over time and her story printed in the Ignatian, “To Virginia,” is about a girl, Danielle, who struggles to move past her traumatic rape and connect with her boyfriend, Matt. When asked about her influences, Go said, “I’ve always been really inspired by different poets, especially e.e. cummings. He was my first favorite poet. I feel like he approaches romantic topics while completely avoiding sounding cheesy.” Roberts’ favorite novel is “As I Lay Dying” by William Faulkner.
The new Ignatian will be available Saturday May 2 at the Ignatian Launch party, which will be held from 7 p.m. – 9 in McLaren 252. The party will feature standup comedy by Go, an open mic portion, a performance by Women of the Tenderloin and free food.
The new Ignatian can be picked up at: University Center 100, the English department in Kalmanovitz Hall 487, the dean’s office in Harney 240, the residence halls and at One Stop. In addition, the Foghorn will release a podcast on our web site of the full interviews with four finalists and editor Anna Shajirat.