As you may have noticed, this year we have decided to take a new approach with the front and back cover of Spires. We elected to not include the title of the journal on the cover in order to let the art piece speak for itself. Taking inspiration from the Mary Oliver quote on the back cover, we felt that it was our responsibility to focus our attention not only on the issues voiced by the student artists at MCLA, but also the existential threat confronting our entire world.
In October of 2018, the UN projected that the humanity has twelve years to drastically reevaluate our relationship to the material world before the destruction we have caused to it becomes irreversible. The brevity of this time frame, simultaneously disheartening and comical when we consider the scope of climate change, requires all of our immediate attention and action. Mary Oliver, who passed away on January 17th of this year, stood out among other twentieth century writers of nature for her shockingly optimistic tone; Oliver’s poetry provides hope, where so much of our contemporary ethos is rife with despair.
The literary and visual art contained within this edition of Spires represents the careful focus and attention of the campus community. The student creators featured express their awareness in a variety of ways, commenting on the external world as well as their own introspective thoughts. In our current time, as we are constantly surrounded by a cacophony of rhetoric and propagandized slogans, we want to ensure that Spires continues to be a malleable and responsive journal that takes into account the issues facing each new student body. Spires is a vital part of the MCLA culture, as it provides a platform for students to take creative and intellectual risks, and the freedom for students to present their expressive voices to the rest of the college.
Finally, we want to thank those in the MCLA community that allow for this creative outlet. We wish to acknowledge Professor Zack Finch’s commitment and guidance as advisor to the journal. We also want to thank Jennifer Dermady and the English/Communications Department for providing us with the means to create a print journal each spring. Thank you to Professor Shawn Macintosh and The Beacon for equipping us with a design space. Thank you to Paula LaBonte from GHP for bringing our vision of Spires to life in print. And lastly, thank you to all of our contributors that allow for the continuation of a flexible and effective literary arts journal.
Katherine DuVal and Callie Higgins