Monday, September 21, 2009

BU English Majors Launch Literary Journal

This past summer, BU English major Logan Franks, along with Will Hoekenga and the recently graduated Jason Hardy, launched an online literary journal called Trapeze. We asked Logan to fill us in on the details.

So tell us how and when the idea for Trapeze originated.

At the end of a semester, mixed-feelings develop. There’s the sense of moving forward in life, but we also have the feeling of leaving behind a comfortable atmosphere. In writing classes, we can share our writings with a small group of people and become comfortable in the skin of a writer. The semester ends and we’re left with that feeling of, “What now? What do I do with my work? Do I keep writing?”

At the end of this past spring semester, we felt like there needed to be a place for people to continue to share their writing. The want to form a community-like atmosphere that extends beyond the classroom is what shaped the idea for Trapeze. We thought having a place to submit pieces and then also be able to read local writers’ works would encompass that feeling of community. We don’t want people to have to wonder, “What now?” We wanted to create a place that supports that feeling of living comfortably in the skin of a writer. Trapeze is a place that won’t disappear with the change of seasons, a place in which writers can feel comfortable and be among other writers.

Why an online journal, and what were your inspirations?

Trapeze is online simply because it’s easier to access and can encompass a wider audience. Online journals are also easier to manage than printed material because honestly, we’re college students and don’t have the funds or means to launch a printed journal.

We were somewhat inspired by the idea that we had never seen a student-run journal in this format before. We also were inspired by the idea that, in Nashville, songwriters have an endless amount of opportunities and places where they can join together. We wanted to create a similar support system for prose and poetry writers. We want Trapeze to be that support system, that community to give a reason to keep writing. Knowing other writers helps writers continue to write.

What, ideally, will result from publishing this journal?

Well, the website is set up to give writers in and around Nashville a means of sharing their work with each other and any other interested party that happens to be roaming around in cyberspace. It is also intended to help foster community among writers in the area. In the future, once the online community has been formed, we plan to organize and facilitate events among writers in Nashville (readings, discussions, etc.).

Why "Trapeze"?

The name Trapeze came from Lawrence Ferlinghetti's "A Coney Island of the Mind No. 15", which shows the poet as an acrobat who is "constantly risking absurdity and death," as well as Bob Dylan's claim in the '60s that he was not a poet, but a trapeze artist. Basically, we see this website as a place where writers can take risks and put their work out for all to see. We like to think the name encompasses both the danger and the beauty of doing so.

What kind(s) of submissions are you looking for, and how should people submit their work?

The types of works we are looking for are Poetry, Fiction and Nonfiction, and Essays/Criticisms. We didn’t want to only accept “creative” pieces like poetry and stories so we wanted to add in the latter category. We want people to see their work published and we didn’t want to narrow their options if they feel more comfortable with academic writing. To submit pieces, we have a link on our website, to the Submissions page with the email address to use.