By Mary Chan
Something orange is growing at the University of Calgary, and no, it’s not mould. In fact, it’s (orange), an undergraduate English journal of creative writing.
"Our mandate is to promote new and upcoming writing; writing that comes from the University of Calgary, though not exclusively," says fourth-year English student Nikki Reimer, one of (orange)’s five editors. "It’s also gives undergraduate students the opportunity to learn about editing and publishing and actually running a publication." "Our motto, which is in the magazine, is that we publish ‘freshly-squeezed writing’," adds fifth-year English student ryan fitzpatrick, another (orange) editor. "It’s a bad joke, but it really reflects what we’re trying to do."
After starting in Jan. 2000, (orange) will launch its third issue Fri., March 8 with a reading at The Triangle Gallery at 7:30 p.m. Readers include U of C creative writing professor Fred Wah and master’s student Darren Matthies. Reimer invites people to attend so they can realize poetry and writing are more than just analyzing a piece in English class.
"While that can be really rewarding, it doesn’t always have to be that way," she said. "If people come down to the launch and saw some people who are making their living out of being writers–which Fred and Darren are doing–to these up-and-coming writers who are studying at the undergraduate levels, I think they will be really surprised and impressed by what they heard."
Fourth-year Drama student Ethan Cole will officially publish for the first time in Issue 3. Though his four poems are in the traditional sonnet form, Cole is trying to make something new out of it.
"What I’m trying to do is subvert the history of the sonnet and play with it, play with how the sonnet deals with love and the concept of time," he said. "It’s got to be 14 lines, the way I see it, but I’m playing with the context, trying to be subversive yet respectful."
fitzpatrick believes a publication like (orange) is important to the community because university is a time of exploration.
"University is that time where writers are breaking open the floodgates of language, and figuring out what’s going on," he said. "This is a really good stepping stone to help them get published, to help writers grow and help them become part of the community, because writing is a social activity."
(orange) is based in and funded by the English department, and the editors are all unpaid undergraduate students. Reimer admits it is a very "self-sufficient" organization to the point where fitzpatrick does the layout on his home computer.
Anyone interested in volunteering for or submitting to (orange) can e-mail Reimer at nikki_in the firstname.lastname@example.org.