University of Iowa Literary Community Maintains Famous Legacy

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The University of Iowa literary scene is ever-changing, with old and new magazines preserving the infamous legacy through various opportunities and communities built

Raquele Decker

Undergraduate literature magazines are seen at the MAGID Center located in Phillips Hall on November 4, 2021.


Iowa City is well known as a community of writers, and undergraduates at the University of Iowa are building their own literary scene through a wide array of literary magazines.

Several students find themselves active in academic publications, including Mikey Waller in third year. Waller has been a member of several magazines during his years, including Ink Lit Mag, Zenith, and earth words.

“I’ve made some of my best friends in the literary community, not necessarily because we have to, but it’s because they give me so much support and kindness and I feel like I can really grow with them and among them, ”Waller said. .

Students have a wide range of options regarding the aspects of production they choose to work with. Workshop, marketing, editing, and design are just a few of the many tasks that create a fully functional team.

“The enlightened mag community reflects a lot of the publishing world where you step into where you can and then work and jump and bounce on what works for you,” Carmela Furio, current designer for earth words, noted.

Several students have created their own projects to help the development of the Iowa literary community. Furio is also one of the creators behind Wilder Things, an on-campus speculative literature magazine aimed at combating literary elitism and academic canon.

“We created it specifically for this intention because everyone in our staff loves this work and it is work like this that inspired us to write and publish,” Furio said.

Teamwork and community are essential factors in the magazine scene. During the summer, completely independent of any outside help, several senior executives from different magazines collaborated and published Page turners.

Page turners is an attempt to show all of Iowa’s different literary options. It was originally created to create a more inclusive community for freshmen and transfer students, making information more accessible.

“We want the literary community to be big,” Waller said. “We don’t want people to feel like they’re not part of the group of people who know about these opportunities. We want everyone to feel like they have a chance. “

There are various magazines with upcoming deadlines. Horizon closes its submission portal on November 29, and the Translate Iowa project ends on December 17. A digital copy of Page turners can be found here with information regarding specific magazines.

The Iowa writing community is about more than just students. The Iowa Exam is a literary journal that accepts submissions from across the country and abroad. Students are discouraged from submitting work to ensure the professionalism of undergraduate and graduate staff.

“People who come here to write and study writing here and then leave are always very nostalgic for the writing community here,” Lynne Nugent, editor-in-chief of The Iowa Exam, noted. “They go to other places where people don’t care as much about creative writing, and so they really appreciate how in Iowa City just about everyone you meet knows about the writing community. and is interested. “


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