This month marks the publication of the fifth issue of Lit, a student-run literary magazine at The Seattle School that features poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and visual art created by writers and artists from within our community. Here, Jessica Hoekstra, a second-year MA in Counseling Psychology student and one of Lit’s editors-in-chief, reflects on the heart behind the publication and introduces a selection from the newest issue, which you can pick up for free in Nourish Market, The Seattle School’s bookstore, or read online here.

We recently published the fifth issue of Lit, The Seattle School’s literary magazine. It is exciting to continue the good work of alumna Lauren Sawyer (MA in Theology & Culture, 2014), who first imagined Lit three years ago as a space for the writers and artists in The Seattle School community to cultivate and showcase their creative efforts.

As a member of the editorial staff for Lit, it has been an honor to read, encourage, and curate the incredible works of creative writing produced by my fellow students, their spouses/partners, and alumni of the school. We have sought to honor the spirit of our learning community while pushing the boundaries of our written work in a way that recognizes and challenges the creative mind and spirit of the student body. As someone committed to the work of creative writing, I’m proud to see another issue of Lit go to print and begin to circulate the school.

With each issue, students bravely submit their written and visual work for consideration and critique. As a graduate of a fine arts program, I know just how nerve-wracking it can be to put forth your very personal creative work to be evaluated, accepted, turned-down, edited, and quite possibly, published for all to see. I know no people more brave than artists. Our artists are the ones who keep our academically-laden imaginations afloat, and they are some of the most visionary and thoughtful change-makers I know. I believe creativity is a way of working out our understanding of who we are and how we exist in the world.

Several years ago I read Yann Martel’s acclaimed novel Life of Pi. I love Pi’s story, and I love how well Martel cultivates imagination through this magical and brave character. In the book, Martel profoundly writes, “If we, citizens, do not support our artists, then we sacrifice our imagination on the altar of crude reality and we end up believing in nothing and having worthless dreams.”

With Yann Martel’s fierce words in mind, I believe we have a responsibility and honor to support and applaud the brave creative work of our artists. They are inviting us into a glimpse of their hearts and minds and giving us fresh eyes with which to see and engage the world. Furthermore, the poets, essayists, and creatives before and behind us invite us to lament our heartache and beckon us to consider the thread of hope that prevails in the imagination.

As a preview to the latest issue of Lit, we invite you to read the recipient of our Editor’s Choice Award, Brittany Deininger’s playful poem. Copies of Lit are available for free in The Seattle School’s bookstore.

Exceptions to the Rules

“I” comes before “e” except after “c,”
except when it doesn’t, as in ceiling,
as in receipt, as in transceiver.
Mammals give birth to live young
and do not lay eggs, except
sometimes they do,
as in the duckbilled platypus.
We always talk about what will
happen using the future tense,
except of course when we don’t,
as in, “The doors open at eight.”
Viruses do not infect other viruses,
except when they do, as in
the sputnik virophage.
But light, now light is a particle,
except that is a half-truth,
as in light is a particle and a wave.
The human body cannot
survive without sleep
except when it can, as in new parents
stumbling toward the wailing
in the night, as in graduate students
coming to know what they know,
artists awake with the muses, as in
caregivers moving ice across dry lips,
saints keeping late-night vigils.
The human heart breaks
under the weight of grief,
except when it doesn’t,
as in rituals, as in community
that holds us together,
as in those who hope on our behalf.

You can read the PDF of the new issue of Lit here, though we think it’s even better in print—free copies are available at Nourish Market.