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April 17, 2009
Vol. 50 No. 21

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Student publication release features final visiting writer

To celebrate the 2009 publication of "RiverCraft," Susque-hanna's Writers' Institute will host a reading by select published students at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, April 20 in Isaacs Auditorium in Seibert Hall.
The event will also feature Susquehanna alumna Cather-ine Pierce '00, who will read from her work as the last in a series of seven visiting writers to campus this year.
"RiverCraft" is an on-campus literary magazine produced by students and features fiction and poetry. It was first published in 1964 under the name "Focus."
The magazine was renamed the "Susquehanna Review" in 2001. The "Susquehanna Review" became a national literary magazine in 2003 while the on-campus magazine was renamed "RiverCraft."
"RiverCraft" is one of three literary magazines produced annually at Susquehanna.
"Essay" focuses entirely on nonfiction work written by Susquehanna students.
"Susquehanna Review" accepts work of fiction, nonfiction and poetry from undergraduates across the country.
According to co-editors-in-chief senior Sarah Turcotte and junior Danielle Jubic, "RiverCraft" received approximately 160 submissions this year. Of these, 100 were poetry and 60 were fiction.
In the end, 19 poems and 8 fiction pieces were selected for inclusion in the publication.
The process of going through submissions is very intensive and varies based on genre.
For poetry, editors senior Shane Lake, junior Silvana Alfonso and sophomore Melissa Goodrich discuss each at their reading boards.
For fiction, the submissions are divided among editors Sarah Turcotte, senior Charlie Riccardelli, junior Marcus Burke, sophomores Theresa Beckhusen and Ryan Rickrode and their respective reading boards.
The submissions then go through rounds of selection until the final stories are selected.
"Dani and I are extremely proud of the work we're publishing in this journal. We have a wide variety of subject matter and style in both prose and poetry, and we think they really work well together," Turcotte said.
"We're also extremely proud of the publication in terms of design," Turcotte continued. "[Sophomore] Rob Rotell, our graphic designer, along with Dani and myself, have worked really hard to make a journal that is clean, professional, and, we hope, original."
Visiting writer Catherine Pierce is a 2000 graduate of Susquehanna.
Her first full-length poetry collection, "Famous Last Words," was selected as the winner of the 2007 Saturnalia Books Poetry Prize and was published in 2008.
Her chapbook, "Animals of Habit," was published in 2004 and won the Wick Chapbook Competition.
Her poems have appeared in or are forthcoming in several literary magazines, such as "Ploughshares," "Slate," "Indiana Review" and "Mid-American Review."
Pierce received her Master of Fine Arts from Ohio State University and a Ph.D. from the University of Missouri.
Pierce now resides in Starkville, Miss., where she is an assistant professor of creative writing at Mississippi State University.
Gary Fincke, director of the Writers' Institute, spoke highly of Pierce and her accomplishments since her graduation.
"When Katie was a senior, I'd joke with her that she could come back in six years and work here because she'd have a Ph.D. and a book publication," Fincke said. "It took her seven years to turn that joke around, and I couldn't be happier for her. She's talented and smart, and most [importantly], willing to work."
Speaking at a question-and-answer session earlier in the day on Monday will be Amy Harper, a 2001 graduate of Susquehanna. Harper is currently a senior editor for "In Touch" magazine in New York City.
"It's a joy to have Amy return because she sets an example of how taking risks and being bold can take our students to New York and other such cities to prove they belong and can succeed," Fincke said. "Within a year after graduation, Amy had a job at 'In Touch,' and since then, her talent and ambition have done the rest."
As senior editor, Harper writes, edits and oversees In addition, she still writes for the magazine.
"[For many pages,] I am responsible for creating the concept, requesting the photos and writing the text. [These pages] include 'The Poll,' 'In Touch With,' 'Big Changes,' 'Stars and Their Pets'--my personal favorite--any visual features including 'Meet the Baby' and 'How I Got My Body Back After Baby,' and also the table of contents," Harper said.
Pierce and Harper will be able to offer unique perspectives as successful writers and editors.
Each year, one student who is published in the magazine is selected to receive the Juliet Gibson Memorial Award. This award was established in 1988 in remembrance of a student editor who died in a campus accident in 1987.
Two finalists are also selected in the prose and poetry divisions.
The names of the winners will be announced at the reading Monday evening.


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