This year’s Long River Review was proudly unveiled to a crowd of enthusiastic friends, family and students of contributors to the literary magazine on Thursday night. This year’s edition marks the 21st issue of the UConn student-run journal, and its release was intimately celebrated in the elegant main gallery of the Benton Museum. The artistic space provided a sophisticated venue for an evening of poetry and story reading.
The Long River Review publishes several different genres, and at least one work from each genre was presented during the release.
For fiction, fourth-semester English major Liam Thomas read from his story “Our Modern Love,” a horror. He was thankful to have the opportunity to read at the release.
“It’s nice to get recognized for it,” Thomas said. “I’m really happy and grateful that my piece even has [the] opportunity to be read by more people, which is really great, especially because I usually write… horror, and it’s a little bit squeamish for some people, but I’m glad that they were able to accept it for what it is.”
Later in the evening, Kathryn Warrender, a graduate student, read from her creative nonfiction piece “8934.” The piece detailed Warrender’s struggle as a child to accept other children’s questioning her about who her dad or “father figure” was. The title “8934” refers to the number of the sperm donor who was her biological father. Like Thomas, Warrender also expressed thanks to the Long River Review for inviting her to read.
Before the end of the release party, several poets read from their poems. The poets included two undergraduate students and two graduate students. One of the poets, Erin Lynn, was the First Place Wallace Stevens Poetry Prize winner.
Other literary genres the magazine publishes include translations and interviews. The Long River Review publishes artwork in addition to literature and some of these artistic pieces were presented on a slideshow that accompanied the contributors’ readings.
Among the contributors to the literary magazine, many expressed gratitude and excitement for the recognition of their work.
Lucie Turkel, a second-semester comparative literature major and contributor to the magazine, was awarded the first place prize for the Jennie Hackman Memorial Award.
“That was really exciting to get my work recognized in that way, especially because I’m a freshman, so it was a cool experience, especially being in the company of so many upperclassmen that are really good writers,” Turkel.
Members of the editorial staff of the journal spoke at the release about how the Long River Review provides a place for creative, like-minded people to come together and produce a publication they all care about.
“At least for me, I see it as kind of a creative outlet,” fiction panelist and sixth-semester biology major Lilia Shen said. “And I’m sure that for all of us who are staff on the Long River Review, we all love writing, and for us, it’s a community of people we can be with to both read and write together.”
Editor-in-Chief Rebecca Hill said she takes pride in the publication she and her staff have worked hard to produce together.
“For me, being on the Long River Review is about being part of a literary community,” Hill, an eighth-semester English and economics double major, said.
Hill said the experience has been motivational.
“I had a really hard time finding a like-minded group of people who really care about creative writing before I found this class,” Hill said. “Being in a class of people who are so passionate about creative writing and about helping other people find passion in and understand what’s good about their creative writing is a really inspirational experience.”
Stephanie Santillo is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.