Graduate students in the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program at the University of Arkansas at Monticello recently launched the first issue of “Shadowplay,” a new print literary journal.
The journal was produced by graduate creative writing students and was the culmination of a magazine editing and design class taught by Mary Meriam, a faculty member in the MFA program.
As part of the semester-long course, students determined the focus of the journal they wanted to create and researched the niche the journal might fill in the broader literary community.
After creating the concept for “Shadowplay,” students formed an editorial team to produce the first issue, according to a news release.
The editorial team was responsible for the journal and website design, soliciting and reading submissions, the selection of submissions to be included, the final layout and design of the journal, the input into Amazon KDP and marketing and sales distribution.
The editorial staff for the inaugural issue are Jonelle Grace Lipscomb and Christian Chase Garner. Lipscomb’s photography was used in the design of the journal, and Garner designed and developed the website.
Lipscomb found the ancient tradition of shadow play puppets to be the perfect metaphor.
“Whereas the audience at a shadow play watches the story unfold on a screen, our readers will watch the author’s words come alive on the pages of ‘Shadowplay.’
Like the light that must be present for a shadow play to be visible, our ‘Shadowplay’ illuminates the meaning the authors seek to convey,” Lipscomb said.
“Shadowplay” features previously unpublished poetry, fiction and nonfiction.
“We asked for moments unseen and these authors answered in ways that both comfort and grieve, often at the same time,” Garner said.
Contributors to the inaugural issue include Sonia Arora, Jim Barnes, Schuyler Brooks, Jeffrey Bryant, Zoe Christopher, Nicholas Claro, F. Brett Cox, Margaret Dornaus, Bart Edelman, Christian Anton Gerard, Cindy Ellen Hill, DeAnn Jordan, Anu Kumar, Mari Maxwell, Mark McDonnell, Wendy Sloan and Yvonne Zipter.
They represent American voices from California to Vermont as well as international authors from Ireland and England.
The editors also obtained permission to reprint the poem “shadows” by the late Lucille Clifton. Clifton wrote a vast number of poetry collections, three of which were nominated for the Pulitzer Prize.
The first issue of “Shadowplay” is available for purchase on Amazon.
For more information about “Shadowplay” or the MFA in Creative Writing program, contact the UAM School of Arts and Humanities at (870) 460-1078.