Release party debuts fall edition of Polis

Lizzy Heurich

The student-run Polis Literary Magazine released its fall semester issue Friday. The theme, “secrets,” ran through all the nonfiction and fiction essays, poems, photography and reviews.

The magazine, which comes out twice a school year, held a release party in Falvey Memorial Library’s study lounge on Dec. 4. While attendees snacked on Campus Corner pizza, some of the issue’s published authors read their pieces or excerpts from their writings.

First to read was freshman Sarah McNally, who read her poem entitled, “Cocaine-chic.” Next was Food and Dining Editor Cayce Lista’s “Confessions of a Cupcake Addict,” which was a review of the local Cupcakes Gourmet located in Malvern. Christine Simmons read her poem “California.” The readings ended with two excerpts from “Silent Night: A Gift Guardian’s Secrets” by senior Erica Wenger and “Crossroads” written by freshman Fiona Grugan.

Another published piece that would be of interest to Villanova students is “Secrets in Public Sphere of Anonymity: A Casual Analysis of Desk Graffiti under Conditions of Academic Stress,” by Brendan Gilroy and Kent Grosh.

The two authors read through the graffiti found on the study desks in the Falvey Memorial Library to compile their submission.

The graffiti they featured in their essay included religious messages, a riddle and even the humorous statement, “You’re a liberal arts student who eats granola and wears Birkenstocks…I know because I am too. We win in the end.”

This issue of Polis, which is published in association with Villanova’s Honors Program, drew inspiration from the New Yorker in terms of magazine layout.

The magazine printed its first issue in spring 2003. Since then, it has been a medium for all Villanova students to contribute their own personal stories, thoughts and ideas. The title of the magazine, “polis,” refers to ancient Greece and the open forum offered to citizens.

Since its conception, the Polis Literary Magazine has covered several themes, including traditions, influences, perspectives and favorite things. Although the theme may change, the constants found in every issue are the sections, which are Life and Leisure, Critics’ Corner and Food and Dining. On Polis’ Web site, published materials from past issues can be found, along with unpublished material.

The whole process of putting together one issue of Polis takes about three months.

Back in September, the magazine put a call out for submissions; editors helped with this aspect of the process by recruiting authors, including their friends and classmates.

After the submission deadline, editors sat down together, read through the submissions and chose which pieces fit the best together and followed the theme the closest.

Later on, the pages were laid out, and the editorial board had weekly meetings where ideas and thoughts were shared among the nine editors, including Co-Editors in Chief seniors Lilly Campbell and Tara Powers.

The final mock-up was sent out before Thanksgiving break, and the process was complete with the release party.

Campbell began her career at Polis when she submitted a piece her freshman year. Since then, she has continued writing for Polis, worked in the writing center and interning at the magazine Craft Stylish.

“I’ve been interested in publishing for a while,” Campbell said. “As a writer, other people’s writing has helped me reflect on my own writing.”

The process for next semester’s issue will begin shortly after winter break.

“Respond to the theme,” Campbell suggested when giving advice to potential authors. “We look for creative writing.”