Writers, artists, editors, board members and supportive friends and classmates came together Monday night to celebrate the release of the Fall 2015 issue of Stylus, Boston College’s undergraduate arts and literary magazine. The release party took place in Gasson 100, a room full of ornate stained glass windows, beautiful lighting fixtures, rows upon rows of chairs and, on this night, complimentary pizza.
The Stylus magazine features student art and writing including poetry, prose, creative nonfiction, photography, paintings and sculptures. The oldest club at BC, Stylus was founded in 1882 and is also one of the longest-established literary magazines in the country.
Editor-in-Chief Emily Murphy, MCAS '17, began the night with a brief introduction about the latest issue, then proceeded to introduce student speakers. Several talented students whose work is featured in the magazine came to the front of the room and read aloud their poetry and prose. These readings encompassed a variety of themes and styles, such as a pleasant poem about the joys of coffee, a darker poems addressing the concept of death and even a short story about traveling to the country of Chad with an imaginary friend. While they read, an ongoing slideshow behind the speakers showcased images of the visual art found in the magazine.
Murphy provided an illuminating inside scoop about what goes into the making of Stylus: The club seeks out student submissions starting in August and lasting until November. Anyone can submit; you don’t have to be an E-board member or regular attendee to send in your work. During these months, Stylus meets once a week for two hours to go over incoming submissions, which remain anonymous during review sessions. Anyone is welcome to come to the meetings, though in order to vote on submissions one must have attended at least three meetings.
On one of the final Sundays before the magazine’s release, the group gathers for its “Marathon Meeting,” in which they spend about 11 hours going over the remaining submissions from the semester—and eating good food, of course. The week after that, the group gets together to lay out the magazine and format all of the pages before it is sent off to the publisher.
Murphy emphasized how open the club is and how easy it is to get involved, whether by submitting work or simply coming to a meeting whenever it fits into your schedule. “It’s cool to be part of a group that is so serious about art and literature,” said said—an interest often overlooked during daily life on campus despite the fact that BC is chock full of talented literary and visual artists. Murphy attests that Stylus “hasn’t had this much art in an issue in a long time.”
E-board member Kelsey Connors, MCAS '18, said that her favorite part of the new issue is the addition of three full-page spreads featuring art pieces that reviewers especially liked. She explained how Stylus uniquely fits into the competitive student publication scene at BC. While the majority of student publications here seem to be newspapers focused on current events, Stylus “keeps art alive,” and “embodies classical literature."
Clearfoster Sheppard, MCAS '18, another member of the E-board, said that the best parts about the club as a whole are “the food, the people and seeing the talent of the student body.” Like Murphy, he pointed out the club’s openness: “You can just show up whenever you have the time ... and you don’t have to apply.”
Copies of the Fall 2015 Stylus magazine are currently available at locations all around campus. Be sure to pick one one up before heading home for the holidays!