Works of poetry, prose and nonfiction span the 128 glossy pages of Ivory Tower, a University of Minnesota student literary magazine.
About 20 students produce the annual publication during a two-semester University course. Wednesday will punctuate their year of work with a launch party at the Weisman Art Museum.
Compiling the works for print is no small feat. This year, students across campus submitted more than 600 original contributions. Poetry pieces made up about half of the submissions, while the rest covered a variety of literary genres.
Ivory Tower staff members spent hours paging through each submission, making initial assessments on which selections they would publish. After deliberating and voting, the group made its final decisions.
“It’s amazing to see submissions from people all over campus; it ranges from engineers to Carlson [School of Management] students. The undergrads come from such diverse backgrounds, personally and scholastically,” said English senior Sarah Carlson, who is serving as the magazine’s editor-in-chief alongside Claire
Bramel for the 2014-2015 school year.
After working through the logistics of editing and page layouts, the staff sent the issue to get printed. Versa Press in Illinois turned out 1,000 copies of this year’s edition.
And readers can get a copy at no cost.
“No one pays to get the magazine, but that is totally the point. We want to make it accessible to everyone,” Carlson said.
Each year, the class designates a theme to drive the content and creation of the publication. This year’s theme is “making room.” The students sought new voices to bring diversity and ingenuity to the magazine’s pages.
Throughout its history, the Ivory Tower has undergone several incarnations. Founded in 1952, it originated as a monthly publication in part with the Minnesota Daily.
After going defunct, the publication re-emerged as an annual literary magazine.
The launch party will include readings, mingling and music. Local band Treading North is set to play. There will also be a raffle stocked with posters and books from the Weisman gift shop. Select authors from Ivory Tower will read their published works.
“We are eager to put a face to the tones and voices we have been reading over the past month,” Carlson said.
Art from the magazine will also be on display.
And beyond that, the four winners of the ArtWords competition will receive awards for their success with writing a literary piece inspired by a piece of art from the Weisman’s permanent collection.
Throughout the summer, the Weisman is displaying the winning compositions next to their respective art pieces for viewers to read.