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UIndy literary magazine turns 25

Posted on 04.10.2013

“Etchings,” the University of Indianapolis literary magazine, will hold a reading party to celebrate the release of its 25th edition from 3 p.m.-5 p.m. on April 24 in the Trustee’s Dining Room.

Assistant English Professor and Advisor to “Etchings” Kevin McKelvey said that having so much artwork and creative writing in this year’s magazine is exciting.

“We worked really hard to include a lot of undergraduate work, in terms of writing, but also a lot of artwork from art majors and artists around campus,” McKelvey said.

One of the special components of this year’s magazine is that it is dedicated to former English Professor Udo Nattermann, who passed away last summer.

“I think that it’s nice to use this creative work to celebrate his [Nattermann’s] life and his contributions to the university,” McKelvey said.

“Etchings” Editor-in-chief Claire Johnson said that some of the staff, who had Nattermann as a professor, summarized Nattermann’s life and his effect on campus in a dedication at the front of this magazine.

Johnson, a senior English major, also said that English graduate student Gregory Lyons contributed a second dedication with a more personal perspective on why Nattermann was a great professor.

“We reached out to Greg Lyons because he and Nattermann were really close,” Johnson said. “He gave a eulogy at his [Nattermann’s] funeral, so we thought it was important.”

During the reading party, the “Etchings” staff will have the broadsides for the authors to sign, which later will be displayed in the English department. They also will hold an open mic, so that authors published in the 25th edition can read their work, and will recognize the Dorlis G. Armentrout Award winner and honorable mentions.

“The award is given to the best undergraduate submission, and then there are two honorable mentions,” Johnson said. “Those have already been announced, but we also recognize them there [at the reading party].”

Beginning next academic year, McKelvey and the English department is changing and expanding “Etchings” so that it will publish each semester.

“Our goal over the next few years is to continue to build on the past and to include alumni, faculty and staff and graduate students, but to really keep that focus on undergraduate work, as a way for all of our creative students to showcase their work,” McKelvey said.

In expanding “Etchings,” the English department also is adding two new applied courses, WriteHounds and Etchings Press.

“With the success of ‘Etchings’ and our growing tracks, we are going to add an applied course for the professional writing majors called WriteHounds,” McKelvey said. “What we are also going to do is take ‘Etchings’ and expand it into a teaching press. We’re going to call that teaching press Etchings Press.”

WriteHounds will be an applied course in English, mainly for professional writing majors. As a part of WriteHounds, students will do Web and copy writing, as well as grant writing, for local nonprofits or arts groups.

Etchings Press will have two main focuses—the first one will be in the fall when students will organize a post-publication prize. Published authors will send in their books, and students taking the course will read the books and then choose a winner.

“Hopefully, we will be able to bring that author [the winner] to campus or at least have a craft talk with that author,” McKelvey said.

Etchings Press also will publish a chapbook—a small paperback book of poems or prose—every year. Students will decide what they want to publish in the chapbook.

“It could be poetry, an essay or short story, or any kind of thing that they will want to read,” McKelvey said.

After choosing the type of writing, students will then send a callout to writers across the United States and beyond to submit their work. Etchings Press students will read the work and choose the winner whose work will be published in the chapbook.

“We really wanted to do something that’s going to expose our students to national, emerging and established authors and writers,” McKelvey said. “So I think that was the goal behind it—to get that national exposure both for the university and for the students.”


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