By Paul Rocca
The Humber Literary Review will be celebrating the release of its first-ever print issue this May.
The magazine, produced by Humber College’s Department of English, is a biannual collection of artistic and literary works from Canadian writers, academics, critics, visual artists and linguists.
“We have submissions from all across the country,” said Wendy Phillips, editor-in-chief and professor of English at Humber’s north campus. “We welcome submissions from anyone, whether they’re students or not – but we’re hoping that the next issue we will get students interested in submitting or even helping to create it.”
The Humber Literary Review is the brainchild of Vera Beletzan, associate dean of the Department of English at Humber and publisher for the magazine. According to Phillips, Beletzan had intended to broaden the department’s presence through a widely-distributed platform.
“[She] wanted something that the English department could do to show itself and present itself,” said Phillips. “It was really her initiative, and it was something that the department took on: this idea to create a literary magazine that was created by us.”
“The choice was whether to focus on Humber and local works, or to go big and produce it nationally,” said Meaghan Strimas, managing editor of the magazine and professor of English at Humber’s north campus. “And we chose to go national. We really wanted to take that on.”
The Humber Literary Review team hopes its magazine will help provide support and bring awareness to the country’s artists, who Strimas says can find it difficult to break through into the public’s eye.
“I’m a poet myself, and it can be hard to get your work out there,” she said. “That’s why the magazine exists – to help promote these artists.”
“We’re looking for exciting creations,” said Phillips. “We don’t have a mandate in terms of style, but we’re looking for something that shows commitment to the craft, and not necessarily something that only shows commitment to fashion in terms of writing.”
The online edition of the magazine is already available to the public, and the team will be celebrating the magazine’s launch in print on May 14th with a launch party at the Gladstone Hotel in Toronto.
“There are going to be live jazz bands, some readings – it’s going to be a really great atmosphere,” said Strimas.
The Humber Literary Review is a production of the Humber Department of English in partnership with Humber Press. There will be a celebration of its launch at the Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen St W., Toronto at 7PM. Admission is free and all are welcome to attend.