This past Thursday, April 27, Philips Autograph Library provided a stage for the 45th annual reading of West Chester University’s literary magazine, Daedalus. Each year, students, faculty and alumni from all across the university and beyond come together to read, listen and celebrate the pieces of writing and art that were skilled enough to make it into the newest edition of the literary magazine.
The event commenced at 7:30 p.m. featuring food, cupcakes from Dia Dolce and free copies of Daedalus. This would be the last reading for the president of the magazine, Rebekah Mills, who opened the night with some words about her fellow students’ submissions: “I was in awe of the talent that the students on our campus were capable of. This is an amazement I still feel when I look at the magazine.”
Following Mills went Kristine Ervin, Daedalus’ faculty advisor; she “want[s] to congratulate everyone who had their pieces published.” Both she and Mills thanked the executive board and other members of the literary magazine.
Thus, the readings commenced. First up was writer Caroline Fritz who did a reading of her piece “No Refunds.” This particular piece was a great work of dark satire—it was about a service termed “discreet assisted termination.” In other words, it described a service provided to people wishing for an “out” in this world while still “protecting the people around you.” “If you feel like your life is worthless, you have the chance to make your death worth something!”
Next up came Elyse McDevitt. She performed a wonderful piece entitled “Red” which sent a shiver down my spine. A child’s tale turned all too real, McDevitt wrote, “Little Red can’t find the answers to why something happened she never asked for. No one mentions the wolf, except to say that wolves will be wolves,” parodying the whole “boys will be boys” calamity.
Following McDevitt came Rachel Cavotta who had a couple pieces of artwork published. Regarding the pieces, she stated, “I focused a lot on composition and color” and that she completed the pieces “when I started to understand who I was as an artist.”
Evan Cowgill went next with his short story “Pennies.” He wrote of his Pop-Pop, settling on the dusty subtleties of depression in a person’s languid life. “I wish this wasn’t one of the movie scenes I have running in my head,” he says to himself in answer to remembering one of those uncomfortably sad memories.
Arden Colleluori followed with the piece “The Gay Agenda.” It started out humorous, including, “I drink [straight girls’] blood in lieu of creamer in my morning coffee as I scowl over my Gay Agenda Planner at Fox News.” It got a bit darker, however, as it went on, ending with, “F*ggots forged from fire but, like a phoenix, we too will be reborn.” What started off with a laugh ended with a meaningful bang.
Next up was Deni Tobin with their piece “They: A different kind of double bind.” What struck me most were three particular lines: “Do you want to confuse people? Isn’t this a hard life? Why are you choosing a hard life?”
Maria DiPaolo was next with her poem “and i wonder” which used the title as a beautiful refrain throughout. Right after came Siobhan Gleason and her haunting piece “Conspiracies.”
Samantha Mineroff, our retiring and beloved Editor-in-Chief, came next with four of her poems. They were all from the perspective of different alcohols with corresponding titles including “Guinness,” “Pinot Noir,” “Fireball” and “Scotch on the Rocks.” The pieces were both beautiful and provoking. My favorite line came from “Pinot Noir”: “And she wonders if the people around her—Glowing, warm, laughing—Know what it’s like to blush as if to bleed from the inside.”
Following was Bryce Detweiler and two of his pieces, “Danger” and “Some- thing Interesting.” Detweiler brought some animation to his pieces, telling the audience “tonight’s about the voice,” not the written words. “Danger” ended with words of advice: “Run a hundred miles and catch a billion breaths of fresh air because nothing will compare to the life you’ll lead when you learn to leave yourself near danger.”
Abbey Bigler took her turn with her poem “Sunday Night Anxiety” followed by A.J. Compli and his prose “Negocios.” Compli started off with a humorous disclaimer, stating that he had a lot of footnotes that were “more than likely overcompensation for a devastating self consciousness.” The piece was a genius one centered on a “fun character” meant to represent the Id.
Last up was Kyle Goss and his piece “Untitled,” though the other poem he chose to read, “On Time,” was quite humorous. It read, “They say that Time waits for no man. Which is fine. I’d just like to know where the hell Time is going.”
The last order of business for the evening was declaring the winners. There was one for each category—prose, poetry and artwork: three in total. The first category was poetry, won by Samantha Mineroff and her pieces from the perspectives of alcohols. The best artwork was awarded to Caitlyn Handlin for her piece “Flowers,” and the best prose went to AJ Compli for his writing “Negocios.”
The evening was certainly a success with friends, families and faculty coming together to celebrate the great literature and art the students of West Chester University are capable of. Everyone who was brave enough to share a piece of themselves did a beautiful job, so make sure to check out the latest copy of Daedalus.
If you’re looking to get more involved with the publishing of Daedalus, the organization can be contacted at WCUDaedalus@gmail. com. They encourage writers from all departments and backgrounds to submit their work! The publication is released yearly, so be sure to submit your work for a chance to get into next year’s issue.
Lauren Detweiler is a third-year english writing major with minors in communication and web technology and applications. She can be reached at LD838069@wcupa.edu.