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The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

Fall 2023 Literary Publishing class releases their second anthology

Cover design by Miriam Ruiz ’24 and Lily Turner ’24. 

For many of us students, fall final projects and papers are a thing of the past. Last semester’s Literary Publishing class, however, is coming into the new semester with much to look forward to. Though the creation of “Sketches of a Body: Faulty Projections” may have been demanding, their efforts have paid off, with the launch of the second literary publishing anthology fast approaching this Wednesday, Jan. 31, during the English Department’s Coffee House at 4:30 p.m. 

“MoonSprout: A Literary Garden,” the first installment of this series published in the fall of 2022, was very well received on campus, giving this year’s class big footsteps to follow. However, after reading this work, I have no doubt that Steve Woodward’s most recent class  succeeded. The nearly 90-page piece features poignant student writing and emphasizes the DIY mentality that they imbued this project with. Students contributed towards the work by writing  both poetry and prose, as well as editing and compiling the 11 pieces. The anthology opens with an introduction from Woodward that gives a look into the process of creating “Sketches of a Body,” and remarks on the changing world of publishing in the face of artificial intelligence. He ends with a strong vote of confidence for his students, encouraging us to: “Look out for this crew, readers. Macalester’s latest cohort of writers, editors and publishers is going to remake the world.”

The first of the student works are two poems written by Lily Turner ’24 and four by Miriam Ruiz ’24. These moving personal reflections feature an abundance of strong imagery, painting pictures of living in Minnesota and Japan throughout the seasons,buildings overcome with mold and life by the ocean. The poems are rife with particular diction and metaphor that one will want to read again and again, gaining a new understanding of the pieces each time. 

The five prose pieces, written by Sofia Kainz ’27, Liam Lynch ’25, Violet McCann ’26, Henna Schecter ’26 and Jizelle Villegas ’26*, each feature unique stories from all different genres. 

With “Bleeding Finger,” Kainz delivers us the beginnings of an intriguing mystery centering around a prophetic book seemingly interested in our narrator. Though not a mystery in the same sense, Lynch, in “Precipice,” gives readers insight into a narrator on the edge of something we are only given clues to and leaves the audience wondering what will happen next.    

McCann’s “He Flew into the Windmill” thrusts us into an unnerving yet fantastical universe where a small town characterized by distrust, lack of resources and bizarre deaths begins to destroy itself. Full of poetic language, bleak imagery and taxidermied birds, McCann shows us a peek into a world that readers can’t help but want more of. Schecter tells us a story in second person, immersing us in a bleak science fiction story which raises questions about Earth’s legacy as we delve deeper into space and what it means to be human. “Time Elapsing” skillfully makes us reframe space travel, and wonder if humans are really meant to leave our solar system. 

Finally, Villegas wraps up this anthology with a moving story focused on one girl’s tumultuous relationship with her father throughout her childhood and into her college years, “The Who, What, When, Where, and Whys of Dahlia.”

The editors of “Sketches of a Body” deserve equal praise; Justin Chalichemala ’25, Theo Crosby ’25, Grace Killackey ’24, Amanye Reynolds ’24, Willow Swain ’25 and Romaan Zuberi ’27. All students took careful consideration in deciding their title and subtitle, layout, typeface and much more. 

Be sure to stop by the English Department’s Coffee House this Wednesday, Jan. 31 at 4:30 pm for the launch of “Sketches of a Body: Faulty Projections” and pick up your very own copy! 

*Jizelle Villegas ‘26 is the Associates Art Editor for the Mac  Weekly.

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About the Contributor
Abby Bulger, Arts Editor
Abby Bulger ’24 (she/they) is the arts editor from Lambertville, N.J. She is a media and cultural studies major with minors in French and studio arts. She spends her free time consuming all kinds of media and painting.

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