Semicolons & the Sixth Issue of LIT Magazine

Standing on the legacy of Lauren Sawyer (MA in Theology & Culture, ‘14), founder of LIT Magazine, Issue 6 continues the tradition of making space for students and alumni of The Seattle School to share their literary work that has been part of their practices and processes of coming to know. 2017 saw a record number of submissions and a record number of poems submitted. As the Co-Editor-In-Chief of LIT Magazine this year, I had the great privilege of bearing witness to all of the gorgeous stories and poems submitted that stood like markers along so many journeys. This lead me to wonder why and when do we turn to creative forms of language?

Mary Ruefle in her book Madness, Rack, and Honey argues that, “a poem is a semicolon, a living semicolon, what connects the first line to the last, the act of keeping together that whose nature is to fly apart.” Her idea holds true in a couple of ways. The living organism of a poem, and its single cell the metaphor, hold together seemingly unrelated and opposite images in order to give us a new way of seeing, a fresh idea, a novel little opening through which to see the world afresh.

In another sense, poetry and creative writing also hold us together when we are threatened with falling apart. tweet

We most often turn to poetry when things come together: beginnings, weddings, births, graduations, baptisms and christenings, etc. We most often turn to poetry when things come apart: endings, deathbeds, funerals, divorces, grief work, war, etc.

For many students at The Seattle School, creative words specifically and the arts generally accompany us into the depths which we dive into again and again. Through cycles of falling apart and coming back together again, we find courage in telling the ever unfolding story.

It is my deep hope that LIT Magazine will continue under the banner of the semicolon, the punctuation mark that holds together and allows us to continue speaking and making connections even when it feels like life has come to a full stop. The words in LIT are by and for the broad Seattle School community. May they accompany us in the continued pursuit of text, soul, and culture. You can read Issue 6 online or pick up a FREE copy in the bookstore. As a sneak peak, we invite you to read the opening poem by Hillary Kimsey who won the 2017 Editor’s Choice Award.

punctuation

god is in the single dot. the full stop.
even eternity must have paused
to catch her breath in bethlehem,
on calvary, in that hospital room with me.

god is in the comma, and god is
like outstretched hands, connecting,
or a long pause, grasping.

god is in the exclamation’s shout!
in anger! fervor! wonder!

god could be in the colon:
the answer.

god is in the semi-colon; god
joins what would remain apart.

is god in the question mark?
does the curve and inoffensive dot
mark the fall of a former zealot?
is it my downfall, my lack of faith?
or is it the curve of god’s embrace?

— Hillary Kimsey

 

Brittany Deininger received her MA in Theology & Culture in 2017 from The Seattle School where she explored themes of memory, imagination, poetics, and the creative act as tools for transformation and healing. She received her BA in Poetry from The College of Idaho and currently serves as summer faculty at The Grunewald Guild teaching writing as a spiritual practice. Her work has been featured in anthologies and the On Being blog. When she is not writing, you’ll find her at the local independent cinema or taking in the beauty of the Northwest.

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