Seattle University’s campus community can be rather complex and difficult to capture. Our backgrounds are diverse but connected by our university’s environment and the mission that drives it. The annual “Fragments Literary Magazine” hopes to capture the essence of that community through the writing and visual art of Seattle U students, faculty and alumni.
The 58th magazine was released last week with the theme “transgress.” This particular theme was chosen with the idea that the pieces would be unique, but would all orbit the same idea of
“What has always interested me about the idea of transgress is that it’s sort of insisting on working outside of an assumed norm and this idea of intentionally trying to work in a borderland,” said Scott Broker, co-editor of this year’s magazine and a creative writing and philosophy major.
Broker also said that he and his co-editor, Chloe Traynor, like how this theme has so many different ways to subvert norms—whether it be societal norms or writing norms—and allows writers and artists to be creative in their expression of the theme.
This is not the only thing different about this year’s publication. Joe Grable and Mariela Diaz, the magazine’s designers, worked to make the magazine more visual than previous years. Along with more visual pieces, writing and visual art pieces are paired to create a more aesthetically pleasing layout. In recent years the “Fragments” team has also worked to create an online format for the magazine that would include video and music clips as well as visual art and writing.
Several crucial goals helped mold both the behind the scenes collaboration, as well as the finished product of “Fragments.”
“There’s a couple of key goals: of course one of the goals is to get a good representation across campus and to produce a magazine that honors the work and the community and the institution, the other portion of things is to allow participants to have a professionally oriented experience,” said English professor Susan Meyers, the faculty adviser for the magazine.
Reaching outside the English department and across the campus for both contributors and readers is something that the “Fragments” student run staff has been working on doing in order to create a diverse and successful final product.
Traynor, a creative writing and English literature major, said that it is crucial to have a lot of eyes on the submissions because of the unique reactions and feedback people with different specializations add to the conversation. The staff heavily influences the final product, so it is important that the Seattle U community is represented.
The submissions are completely anonymous and after the first round the readers take time to discuss each piece of work. Both editors have two pieces in this year’s magazine, but even their submissions were picked blindly by the readers.
Meyers is thoroughly impressed with the submissions and the readings that were performed at Wednesday’s release event.
“I was just really deeply impressed with the real development of these students. It’s impressive how fully fledged they are by the time they leave this institution in terms of their artistic vision and their ability to contribute their voices to the world in ways that matter,” Meyers said.
The people involved with the magazine are faced with a professional experience that can give them a taste of what to expect when submitting work in the future.
“I think just seeing the whole process of publishing itself in a concentrated format is really helpful as a writer,” Broker said. He hopes to teach creative writing and be involved with publishing after his time at Seattle U.
A position on the “Fragments” staff brings more than just work experience; it is also a chance to look into the soul of the Seattle U community and combine it into a single glossy book.
“What I always tend to really value is the opportunity to hear so many voices and feel the heartbeat of what’s going on in the community,” Traynor said.
Tess may be reached at [email protected]