OCTOBER 17, 2011
Last Friday, VCU student-produced anthology “Amendment” celebrated the printing and release of its 2011 edition with a launch party and reading at Crenshaw House on Franklin Street.
“Amendment” staff members and students who had submitted works for print, as well as friends, gathered in the VCU offices for gender, sexuality and women’s studies to eat, drink, make merry and share their works to a supportive audience.
“Amendment,” whose 2011 edition appeared in stands around campus this month, is one of two student-written and -produced anthologies at VCU. While sister publication “Poictesme” focuses on creative and artistic works of all varieties, “Amendment” collects poems, short stories, essays and artwork based around themes of identity, gender, race, and similar topics. By its mission statement, content published in “Amendment” lends itself to social progression through artistic expression.
Among the readers was “Amendment” managing editor Mari Pack, who read her poem “Ownership,” which was her take on the tale of Adam and Eve, where Eve takes the apple as a sign of protest against Adam. Pack said she wrote this as a response to reading John Milton’s “Paradise Lost.”
“I won’t apologize,” Pack read, “for wanting one thing in all this yours, that I can call mine.”
Kaylin Kaupish, another “Amendment” editor, shared a Sylvia Plath-inspired poem “Sleeping Beauty,” the tale of a woman who resorts to suicide under the pressures of life as a model.
“Put a mirror in your coffin so you can tell yourself how beautiful you look,” Kaupish read. “ ‘Mirror, mirror on my casket, please tell me they lined this thing with gasket.’ So the worms don’t get in.”
Rob Gibsun, an organizer of slam poetry group Slam Nahuatl at VCU, shared some of the work from his journal. Gibsun stood to share his work, and recited several poems from memory to connect to the poems he read from the page.
“So they skip class and hop-scotch over knowledge and end up having to pop lock and drop out of college,” Gibsun read from his poem “O Say Can You See.”
Aside from promoting more submissions, Pack also discussed “Amendment’s” annual Flash Fiction event, where writers come and write short work based on a topic pulled from a hat. No date has been set for the next event, but works that are well received at the Flash Fiction event will published in the journal’s next edition.