Literary magazine YAWP! to return spring semester
As the fall term draws to a close, students will very soon begin to turn their attention to their spring studies. A subject that will likely be re-introduced in January is “Literary Magazine Practicum.”
This subject is taught by Associate Professor of English, Siobhán Scarry, who is returning from a sabbatical next term, and is comparable in many ways to the “Journalism Production” class that works alongside the Collegian. This class supports the college literary magazine “YAWP!”, which is typically run under the auspices of the English department since 2015.
Many underclassmen could be unaware of the magazine’s existence, since it did not publish in the 2021 spring term. Scarry said that the magazine “had to cease production for a year due to the administration's decisions regarding faculty teaching loads,” in which the English department had to make significant adjustments to its curriculum and staff.
The magazine’s somewhat unique name is taken from a nineteenth century poem (though the word itself can be traced back to around the fifteenth century) by the celebrated American writer Walt Whitman who, in his “Leaves of Grass,” declared that "I too am not a bit tamed, I too am untranslatable, / I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world."
Scarry described “yawp” as a “kind of authentic human sound, something that can't be translated or pinned down. Good writing and art is like that -- authentic, raw and open to interpretation -- so it seems a fitting name for a literary magazine.”
The magazine is led by students, and relies on student involvement. Bethany Powls, senior from Garnett, has been named as the Editor-in-Chief for the coming semester, with Allison Weaver, junior from Hesston, acting as the Assistant Editor.
The publication seeks to accommodate any works of art that students, staff or alumni submit, including “poetry, short stories, creative nonfiction, photography, painting,” Scarry said.
However, it invests the most importance in celebrating and publishing the work completed by current students at the college, and helping those students discover and develop their artistic talents.
The magazine has also hosted events throughout the spring term in the past.
Scarry described how YAWP! has previously hosted “a night of surrealist parlor games... and drive-thru poetry booths at Mojo's where students could order up poems to be written on the spot.”
There is also always a release party on the night that the magazine is published. The course, Scarry noted, “makes a lot of room for student-led initiatives” in an effort to boost student involvement and interest in contributing to and upholding the literary traditions of the college.
Students will be able to sign up for this class before the start of the semester. The course offers students the opportunity to write for the magazine, to engage in the editorial processes and to gain experience of working for a popular and complex publication.
Scarry extends an invitation to all kinds of students to join in with YAWP!’s work, saying that “students on this campus are so interesting and talented. We want to see what you're making and creating!”