Spires is the student-run, student-organized, and student-designed literary arts magazine of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. Every year, a new Editor-in-Chief steps up to take the reins of the magazine, bringing a new flavor and energy to the publication. On some of the electronic editions of the magazine, we’ve included a brief statement by the editor of that year, to give a bit of a Spires retrospective.
Throughout the Fall and into the Spring semesters, we collect creative prose, poetry, and art from the student body. During mid-Spring Semester, usually in February, we hold meetings to discuss the submissions and put together the best magazine possible. Each year, the selection committee changes based on the naturally rotating nature of the student population as well as on the general interest of individuals who contribute to the shifting feel of Spires from year to year.
In 2001, Sarah Knowles conspired with her fellow editors to change the name of the then-current literary magazine, Kaleidoscope. Determined to produce a more professional quality magazine, the staff moved forward with changing the name to Spires, inspired by North Adams, the home of MCLA and the city of spires, and worked towards accepting works they saw as the best examples of the talent, craft, and commitment of the undergraduate student body. As the printing process became more economically feasible, changes were made in the magazine, such as incorporating color under Alison McGonagle’s tenure in 2005, the first color cover in 2011 under Halley Eacker, or turning to a flat bind and larger size under Alex Marshall and Katelynn Larson in 2012. Most recently, changes have included a new website. This was implemented under sophomore editor Shannon Cahill in 2016. In 2020 the COVID-19 pandemic caused many set backs, yet regardless, in recent years the editors have persevered, risen to the occasion, and released two print journals. Each change echoes as a challenge to the next editors to make the best possible publication; a challenge that has, to my recollection, consistently been met and, on occasion, exceeded.