On Tuesday, April 26, in an intimate and cozy sector of the Phillips Building at West Chester University, the annually printed Daedalus Literary Magazine Launch Event occured, highlighting the creativity and courage of the many art forms submitted to the 2022 publication. Housing a whopping nearly 100 attendees, the event proved to be a supportive and emotional kickoff to the 2022 Daedalus Literary Magazine.
The event opened with words by Vice President Echo Rogers, expressing immense gratitude towards the submitters and community as a whole. Without them, there would be no magazine at all. With submissions totalling roughly 80 poems, 70 short stories and 80 pieces of photography and artwork, the staff was beyond pleased to have such a large pool of artwork to choose from for the magazine.
After the introduction, Faculty Advisor Kristine Ervin came to the podium where she commended the students, even those not accepted into this year’s magazine, for their courage in sharing their art — and therefore their emotions and experiences — with the community in such a profound way. “As writers, artists, photographers and poets it’s sometimes scary to put our work out there,” said Ervin.
Before moving onto the main focus of the night, President Elayne Meggarrey took a moment to highlight the extensive amount of work contributed by the Daedalus’ officers. Rogers, Secretary Kristine Kearns, Treasurer Joseph Schiffer, PR Chair Avery Lynn and Design Manager Allison Weissman were acknowledged for the countless hours they volunteered to the club. Entrusted with many jobs that took up the officers’ time outside of club hours, the team had to deal with tasks of printing, designing the magazine’s style and layout, sending out emails to accepted students, final checks and edits of the publication and even the catering of the launch event.
However, with that hard work comes much joy in being a part of the publication. “I love being a part of Daedalus because we get to celebrate creative writing and art by showcasing it. Having that community is so needed at WCU because writers and artists need a place to be themselves, be lifted up and lift up each others’ work as well,” said Kearns.
From there, the event moved onto students’ presentations of their work. Including a variety of poetry, prose, and paintings and drawings, each individual enthralled the audience with their evocative anecdotes for the following hour.
Each presenter brought something different to the table, some with provoking, emotional deliveries, such as Paige Reali’s poem, “Spoil Me Pretty,” others with a more quiet and serene tone, like Brigit Kelly’s poems “A Contrast in Chairs” and “The Hardest Thing to Love is the Thing you Know Best,” who encouraged the audience to read-a-long with her. While some spoke of heartwrenching depictions of trauma and pain, like Georgina Harvey’s artwork titled, “In my Time of Dying,” others delivered humorously entertaining pieces, such as Megan Streich’s prose, “Goodbye Letter From Camp.”
As a conclusion to the event, awards were given to the top winners of the contest. In the Poetry section, poets Paige Reali, Noor Bukhari and Schyler Richards won; for the Prose section John Abernethy, Lydia Paulukonis and Megan Streich won; for the Artwork section Anna Augustyniak, Sarah Llenadom and Luxia Steinberg won; and lastly, for the Photography section, Emily Snyder, Lindsay Obosnenko, and Emma Craven won, all awarded first, second and third places respectively.
As attendees left the Autograph Library, cupcakes from local bakery Dia Doce among other food was offered to the public, as a means of giving one last hurrah to the inspiring work of the artists.
“We write and we create art as a way to push back against the hurt of the world, as a way to resist that which is difficult or traumatic as a way to offer beauty where we need it,” said Ervin on a concluding note.
Olivia Schlinkman is a first-year Psychology major. OS969352@wcupa.edu