Mangrove literary journal expands literary community

The Mangrove, University of Miami’s undergraduate literary journal, recently expanded to become a nationwide publication, uniting writers beyond campus boundaries.

The publication now gets submissions from many different universities across the country.

“It’s quite nice seeing the scholars of our time in their early work,” said Editor-in-Chief Christopher Lloyd.

Lloyd said he expects many more submissions this year.

“Mangrove is looking forward to making a bigger footprint in the literary community now that we are a national publication,” Lloyd said.

Creative writing professor Karen Culver has been involved with the journal since its inception, initially as managing editor and now as the faculty advisor. She said that Mangrove has a creative, energetic personality and publishes work that pushes the limits of traditional boundaries.

“Mangrove is a rarity because it embodies the symphony of voices of American undergraduate students,” she said. “It has the flavor of the mountains and the plains, the desert and the ocean.”

Culver encourages her creative writing students to read the journal to read models of the kind of high-quality work that undergraduates are capable of producing. Some of these works have been re-published by “Plain China: the Annual Anthology of the Best Undergraduate Writing,” for which Mangrove is a contributing publication.

According to Culver, writers can develop their own skills by working on staff as readers.

“There’s no better way to develop an aesthetic than to read piles of work and consider which ones are good, which ones are better, and what makes certain ones the best,” she said.

After reviewing many submissions as a reader last semester, freshman Alexa Langen agrees.

“Being a reader has definitely fine-tuned my eye for good writing, mainly because of the quantity of decent submissions,” she said. “It takes a lot of thought to choose the best.”

Langen appreciated the experience for another reason, too.

“Reading them makes me feel connected to a larger body of writers,” she said.

In the past, Mangrove staff have held various fundraising activities, such as open-mic night, a 10-hour read-a-thon, and a poetry slam contest. This past year’s highlight was “Poets for Hire”, in which Mangrove writers sat near the University Green and passersby paid for a personalized poem.

The Mangrove’s promotion and distribution, which is heavily run by students, has recently broadened to include sales by mail, at Books and Books and soon at UM’s bookstore. Students in all majors are encouraged to get involved with the staff.

For more information on Mangrove, visit as.miami.edu/mangrove.

July 11, 2013


Luisa Andonie

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