Department of world languages provides 'variety of options' to multilingual students
Published: Thursday, October 17, 2013
Updated: Thursday, October 17, 2013 16:10
At some point, several students have felt ostracized, judged, or shamed from their place in society. Whether the pain a person has dealt with was because of race, sexuality, or otherwise, it has become a part of them and helped them grow. Often times such experiences are the muse for art. Three A-State students have worked together to provide an outlet of perspective and acceptance—a place for people to feel comfortable to express themselves and their art.
“The Arrow” is not a new publication. The magazine has existed in some form or fashion since 1942. The title was originally a nod to A-State’s Indian identity but is now being reimagined as a metaphor of perception: an arrow on a compass, a new direction headed toward acceptance and unity.
Mitchell Wells, a graduate student studying English of Terra Haute, Ind., is one of the two co-editors for the publication.
“(The publication) was Grover’s baby,” Wells said, referring to the other co-editor.
Grover Welch, a senior English major of Cynthiana, Ky., is co-editor and zealot for the new project. Welch has prior experience editing for “The Tributary”, which is where he decided A-State needed a second publication for the fall semester.
The content of the magazine is not limited to a certain style or subject. The editors are seeking poetry, photography, short fiction, essays, criticism and anything academic, Wells said.
“The Arrow” will focus on bringing together those whose voices may otherwise go unheard.
“I believe in trying to broaden people’s perspectives,” Welch said.
“The Arrow” is not just for the typical writers. Anyone affiliated with A-State can submit, such as faculty, staff and students.
“(Even a) person who plays sports but likes to write, we want to encourage them to submit. It’s not just about typical voices of unheard perspectives. There’s so much more than that,” Wells said.
The magazine symbolizes a place of community, a place for people to feel comfortable being who they are. The co-editors also encourage international students to submit in their native language.
“Languages are beautiful,” Welch said.
The magazine is also an ally to the LGBQT community. It is non-discriminant of race/ethnicity, as well.
Tabatha Simpson, a graduate student studying English of Blytheville, is the senior copy editor for the publication.
“We’re trying to garner an inclusion of all cultures,” Simpson said.
The unofficial theme of the magazine is fences, which represent the borders that people come to that they may not be ready to tackle yet, such as those instances in life where one idea seems separate from the other. The magazine is about crossing those borders.
“We all have fences. It’s our thread. We’re all connected by the fact that we’re all separated,” Wells said.
Kristi Costello, assistant professor of English and writing program director, and one of three faculty advisors to this publication, said it was definitely the students’ success.
“Grover came to me the first week of my job,” Costello said. “These students are definitely filling a gap in the university. Seldom do journals reach out to the marginalized.”
“We’ll look at anything,” Welch said. “We want to nurture publication.”
All submissions are given to a group of editors and anonymous readers. The works have the author’s name removed and are assigned a number. If a work isn’t selected for “The Arrow,” it is sent to “The Tributary” for consideration. The two magazines are sister publications. However, “The Arrow” is more focused on personal narrative, Welch said.
“We want perspective.” he added.
For those interested in submitting work, send it in along with contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org, or stop by the graduate office and ask for Grover Welch, Mitchell Wells, or Tabatha Simpson. The deadline for all submissions is Oct. 31. The first printing is set to happen over Christmas break 2013.
The editors are also still looking for cover-art, and the theme is open to interpretation.