Lumen Returns for 2020

Ashley Barletta, Staff writer

The “Lumen” is Mercyhurst’s student arts magazine.

One of the many things that Mercyhurst students are preparing for is the release of the next edition of Mercyhurst’s literary journal. “Lumen” is student-written, edited and produced.

This year is no different; “Lumen” will be published in the spring and it is never too early to begin writing your submissions and turning on that creative light.

“Lumen” first came into print in 1995, but it was not the first literary journal to be published on campus. There had been others before “Lumen” that went under different names. Volume 27 of the “Lumen” will be published in this spring.

Typically, the “Lumen” is a physical book. However, due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, this may look a little different.

“It’s important that we produce a physical journal, and we’ll take any steps necessary to ensure safety of the community in the process,” said Gregory Brown, Ph.D., assistant professor of English. “It’s worth noting that the “Lumen” has also been more-than-fully digital as well for years and years, starting with CDs we included inside the print edition. Being multi-media has always been part of “Lumen,” and the digital versions of the past several years may be found on Mercyhurst’s website.”

Once simply a journal for creative writing, “Lumen” has evolved into an interactive multimedia format combining visual art, music, dance poetry and fiction.

“No matter what, we should still be able to print the “Lumen.” Last year, those involved in the “Lumen” had them shipped to their homes and they came sealed in plastic. Worst case scenario, I believe that we could do something similar this year,” said Megan Siegfried, senior English Text, Image, and Design major, and editor-in-chief for the “Lumen.”

The process for creating “Lumen” starts with putting out a call for work. After the closure of the submission window, a group of student editors gather together to read and vote on which works will be included in the final edition. Those who are enrolled in the English course, Editing & Style, proofread and format each piece of writing, while artists in a design class simultaneously work on what the artistic style will be for that year.

The process is competitive and the editors vote on what the final design will be.

Meanwhile, the English faculty receive a copy of each work without the author’s name, and they vote on the best one.

“The three best pieces receive the P. Barry McAndrew prizes for excellence in creative writing,” Brown explained.

Lastly, the files are sent off to be printed and put on the web! Submissions will be open soon, and students will begin to see advertisements for it around campus within the coming days.

Students can submit their poetry, prose and short stories through the Lumen Submission Manager on the Hub page from Oct. 18 through Nov. 22.

“Creating the “Lumen” is completely a student effort. The creative works, the design and the editing is all done by students,” said Siegfried. “It’s a team effort, and the end product is always something beautiful and powerful in both design and content.”

However, the printing of the “Lumen” is only the beginning. There are also open mic nights that occur periodically, as well as a coffee house, which usually happens in the spring.

“We are hoping to host at least two open mic nights this fall. Be on the lookout for advertisements with these dates on the Hub and/ or the Lumen Submission Manager page,” said Siegfried.

The “Lumen” is a great outlet for anyone looking to let their creativity flowing. This literary journal shows the beauty of writing and expressing feelings, while also allowing those who appreciate writing to come together.

Don’t forget to submit your work this year!