Letter from the Editor Spring 2019

“I can examine how, but not why, I wrote what I did, or why I had so perversely deviated from my original path. . . A few moments of self-interrogation forced me to acknowledge the strange remorse I felt following the writing of it. I wondered, since I had birthed my characters, if I was mourning them.”

Patti Smith, Devotion

Dear Anthem,
At the close of another semester, I find myself in mourning—mourning the passing days, another Thursday meeting gone by, each week a reminder that my tenure as Editor-in-Chief is nearing an end. Winter gives way to Spring, and the brink of this new season grants a rare moment of pause for reflection. Like the writer who steps away from the penned page, I look back on the year and wonder if I did it justice.

In August, I set out to make the Anthem bigger and better than ever. I wanted to make a space for budding authors and artists to share their work uninhibited by the constraints of school, work, or stricter publishers. I hoped that we could be a hub of creativity, producing the most innovative content on campus. I envisioned an organization that could teach other students how to craft their work in addition to printing it.

Perhaps I’ve fallen short of my own lofty goals, but beyond the initial wave of remorse, I feel an immense pride in belonging to this artistic community. Holding the latest edition of The Anthem, I see the fullness of the year: the open mics and the book swaps, the failed attempts at making mac and cheese, the ongoing Juice & Bile collection, the Bards Dispense Profanity competitions, the Epi milkshake runs, the stress, the laughter, and the surprises. Through it all—the successes and the letdowns, the traditions and the beautiful deviations—I see a family and a home. This year has passed me by faster than you can rattle off a Rupi Kaur poem, but the connections I’ve made with my Anthem family will endure throughout the ages.

This magazine is itself an effort to make new connections. These stories, these words, these characters are no longer ours to keep. We send them out into the world for others to read and make their own. As the leaves of this magazine fall into new hands, our family tree grows a little larger.
We mourn the passage of time, the irretrievable dreams, the ephemeral act of creation. But what is past need not leave us empty. I keep a copy of The Anthem for myself. I push old editions gently aside, making room on the shelf for new ones to come. I fill the blank spaces with poetry and color and memory. I pass my pen to you.

Courtney Lee

Sad Girl Eats Popcorn (Alone)