The Red Barn was decorated with lights and white tablecloths last night as The Auburn Circle, Auburn’s student literary magazine, celebrated its first day of this semester’s distribution. SNAPS, this event, is held each time a new Circle issue is released.
The Auburn Circle is published once a semester and features selected Auburn students’ works in visual arts, poetry and prose. SNAPS is a night presenting live music, an art gallery, poetry readings and free coffee. Everything featured at SNAPS, including the music performed live, art displayed and poetry read, was published in The Circle.
Not a visual or reading material, music is included in The Circle through the use of a QR code that leads readers to the Circle website, which has a Soundcloud link to the submission, said The Auburn Circle Editor-in-Chief Michelle Mandarino.
In addition to music, The Circle highlights submissions running a gamut of artistic pieces including expected mediums, such as photography, art, poetry and prose and more unusual literary magazine features including graphic design, interior design, fashion design and architecture, Mandarino said.
“Our goal here is to represent the creative student body of Auburn, so anything that has a demonstrated capacity of creativity is something that we’re interested in,” Mandarino said. “We’re not really bounded by the literary and art demographic.”
Submissions are open to all Auburn students, including those at the graduate level. The challenge arises in finding people to submit who do not necessarily see themselves as “lit mag people,” said Mary Butgereit, head of public relations for The Circle.
“One of our biggest challenges is finding students outside of the very specific ‘artsy’ majors and inviting people who may not even know they want to submit to the lit mag,” Butgereit said. “For example, maybe you enjoy writing poetry, and you’re an engineer or a graphic design major doing cool projects; we want to publish your stuff. It’s finding those people.”
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One way The Circle promoted the publication was through a community mural project headed by Visual Arts Section Editor Greer Miceli.
Finding inspiration from similar projects, Miceli organized a mural project that would reflect the Auburn student body. A blank canvas was set up adjacent to the Beat Bama Food Drive, and students passing by were invited to come add their own contributions.
“There were only three rules,” Miceli said. “No words, no political symbols or anything controversial and be respectful of others’ art.”
Students responded to the mural with enthusiasm, and the project was a success, Miceli said.
“I was surprised,” Miceli said. “I thought we would have to fill in spots that didn’t get any drawings, but we really had a great turnout. Like people really wanted to draw on this thing.”
This semester’s magazine is roughly 80 pages and is free to all students. The final product was showcased at SNAPS.
“Really, what we’re trying to do this year is become not just a once a semester publication but an ongoing presence at Auburn to really showcase the creative work of Auburn,” Mandarino said. “And so, really, we want to encourage students to be creative and to start wherever they are."
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