literaryissues

I Have Serious Literary Issues

By Simon Isham–

It is with great pleasure that I write that the edition of the paper you are holding in your hands right now is the culmination of months of thought and effort: our first ever Literary Issue.

In October of last year, the Cardinal’s Editor-in-Chief, Rae Hodge, told me that she wanted to do something different.

“All of the editors do a special issue,” she said. “We have a Halloween issue, a Holiday issue, Valentine’s Day issue, basketball and football previews, a housing issue, the orientation issue …”

She trailed off, but I noticed her finger was pointing down at a date on our advertising rate card. That date was Feb. 26. While many of the other dates on the slip of paper had the name of the special issue to which they corresponded printed above them, this date did not.

“What goes there?” I asked her.

“I had this idea for a literary issue.”

I immediately snapped it up. That was the one I wanted. It was my secret project — one I stewed over for months before mentioning to anyone. Many of the editorial board members learned of the project when they saw the ad calling for submissions that I ran in an issue in early January.

I would be remiss if I did not thank the brave students who offered up their work for scrutiny—not only by me, but also, in the case of any who were published, by the general public.

Indeed, we received many more submissions than I anticipated. Often, it was difficult to choose the strongest piece from among the mix, especially because nearly all entrants submitted more than one. Reading all of the submitted works — even those that did not end up published — was a pleasure, a privilege, and an honor.

Having the opportunity to illustrate this work was itself a special distinction that both enabled and forced me to plunge headfirst into all entries. It was also rather fun to pull out my Sharpies and watercolor paper again and to play around with lines and shapes until something coherent happened to form on the page in front of me.

The planning and execution of this issue has been a wild ride, and I feel like I have shared it equally with all who have made this issue possible. For many guest contributors, it will be the first of, I’m sure, many times that you will see your name in print. Savor that feeling, and it will drive you to experience it over and over again.

I must reiterate — thank you, thank you, thank you for helping me make this issue a success. Here’s hoping it will be but the first in a long line of literary issues to follow.

Sincerely,

Simon Isham, News Editor

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