The editor-in-chief of the University of Connecticut’s Long River Review (LRR) literary magazine encouraged readers to “feel, forget and freeze” at the launch party of its 2016 issue.
This year’s LRR launch party also included the premiere of the 2016 Poetic Journeys, a series of poems that will be featured on posters around campus. The LRR was created in collaboration with UConn’s Creative Writing Program and Design Center in the School of Fine Arts.
The night began with Shannon Hearn’s reading of her letter from the editor, ending with: “so let us whisper softly ‘yes’ and enter into the 2016 edition of the Long River Review.”
Throughout the evening, Therese Masotta, the magazine’s social media coordinator, announced members of the LRR staff, winners of literary contests and authors featured in the edition.
Stephanie Koo, winner of The Aetna Creative Nonfiction Award, gave the first reading of her poem “Pieces of Po Po,” recalling family history with an emphasis on her grandmother’s life.
“I’m so happy to be here; I love our team,” Koo said when she had finished reading.
Sten Spinella, the LRR’s interviews editor and member of the creative nonfiction panel, took the stage to explain the magazine’s year of interviews.
One of the highlights of the year was his interview with William Jelani Cobb, a “nationally-known intellect who has written books, essays and anthologies on everything from the history of hip-hop to the Cold War to racism and to current events,” as stated in the LRR.
Cobb was a UConn professor and head of the Africana Studies department.
“I think interviews are important because conversation is why the literary magazine was started in the first place,” said Spinella, who is also a senior staff writer for The Daily Campus.
The review’s poetry editor, Kate Monica, said that the LRR received about 400 poetry submissions this year. She and her team read each submission and selected what they believed to be the best of the best.
“We managed to put together something that’s really special,” Monica said.
The night ended with Hearn thanking the audience for their support.
“I am so grateful for this year’s turnout, it’s been the biggest we’ve had. I’m so happy with the final product of the magazine,” Hearn said.
Megan Krementowski is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at email@example.com.