The Annual Lit Mag Reading

Elie Levine, ’16

Wandering into BHSEC on the evening of Thursday, April 30th, you’d see the familiar library warmed by lamplight and adorned with plants and a crisp red BHSEC poster. You’d hear soft jazz and ambient chatter. Maybe you drift over to the Writing Center table, where this year’s Troubadour was prominently displayed. Maybe you’d buy one—a high-quality compendium of student work—for $5. You’d pick up a finger sandwich and munch on it slowly as you found your way to a seat. Welcome to the Lit Mag’s annual reading.

The reading, which happens annually after the magazine is published in April, was the culmination of eight months of fundraising and networking, as well as reading and discussing poetry and prose submissions, on the part of the twenty-two student editors of the literary magazine. The publication of this year’s Troubadour also marked the end of a year of fantastic student work. To open the evening, Gabriela Lorenzotti, the Editor-in-Chief of the Troubadour, gave a short speech. She introduced the authors (including students, faculty, and professional authors) who would read their work at the event and described the overall experience and aim of BHSEC’s literary magazine. She expressed true pride in the achievements of the club, praising the spontaneous, festive atmosphere required to create it—an environment in which creative writing is celebrated. This atmosphere was cultivated in the homes of BHSEC students, in the halls of our school, and within Room 504 (later, 501) on Monday afternoons.

The Lit Mag is a space within BHSEC in which students interested in good-naturedly discussing the creative work of their peers can do so in a fun and accepting environment. This club provides an especially important niche since our school focuses so heavily on helping us craft analytical pieces as opposed to creative ones. The literary magazine is the only club at BHSEC that publishes students’ creative writing, making its publication especially important. Additionally, it’s hard not to notice how much the magazine has grown this year, from a club many students confessed they had never heard of to a relatively popular one.

Producing a complete and beautiful publication was “not a one woman task,” according to Gabriela, who enlisted the support of coeditors Annalee Tai (Y1), Daisy Patterson (Y2), Simone Messer (Y2) and Peter Diller (Y2). Mr. Garces-Kiley, the faculty advisor for the club, said the magazine was the best he’d ever seen. Featuring work from 34 student writers from all grades as well as drawings and photography, the final product was indeed spectacular.

The event was as successful as the magazine itself. Eliza Fawcett (Y2), Maggie Duffy (Y2)  and I read our work, some of which can be found in the 2015 Troubadour. Mr. Garces-Kiley then recited poetry from his upcoming book. He recited it from memory, rapturously, with closed eyes. The published authors who read at the event were Julie Klam, David Holmberg, Cathleen Bell, and Alex Henderson. Klam, known for her comic memoirs, read a witty piece she had contributed to the anthology Sugar in My Bowl: Real Women Write About Real Sex. Holmberg, a journalism teacher at NYU whose work has appeared in The New York Times and The Nation, read an excerpt from his novel about the decline of print journalism. Bell read from her newest young adult novel, I Remember You. On her website, Bell said that she had written about “the most passionate kind of love she can imagine.” Henderson, whose fiction has appeared in Ekleksographia and Harper-Perennial’s Fifty-Two Stories, read a charming short story.

“A special congratulations… to our students Gabriela Lorenzotti and Annalee Tai, without their incredible love and…support for the Troubador we could not have enjoyed a more meaningful evening. Kudos to our students,” said Carol Turitz in an email to the BHSEC student and parent community. The success of the event stands as a testament to the tenacity and passion of BHSEC students and our ongoing commitment to literature.

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