Every year, Mercyhurst unveils their student-run literary arts magazine, Lumen, and this hectic year is no exception. Each article in the magazine is written by the students and chosen by co-editors-in-chief, Megan Siegfried and Genevieve Burgess, along with their team of supporting editors.
No one gets to see the final product until it is revealed by the university. This year, the public will be able to dive in on April 28.
Lumen started out as a literary arts magazine. However, over the years, it has progressed into an interdisciplinary, multimedia art journal. So many categories of material are provided by talented students in the magazine. Photography, art, dance videography and music compositions are only a few of the exciting pieces between the covers of Lumen.
Co-editor-in-chief Megan Siegfried explains how proud she is of the magazine this year.
“Lumen stands out because it is completely student-made. From the creation of the written and artistic works to the design and production of the journal itself, students are at the helm. Lumen acts as an opportunity to showcase student talent from beginning to end, and I think all of those involved are incredibly proud of their hard work when they hold the final product in their hands at our annual unveiling ceremony.”
Numerous gifted students are involved in the process and the production of Lumen.
Students from all corners of campus with different majors and backgrounds are able to submit work. Many artists present material, but only a few are chosen. The editing team is responsible for reading and selecting submissions. They also help with the editing process and design team.
When asked how she became an editor of the magazine, Megan Siegfried spoke about her long commitment to Lumen.
“To become an editor-in-chief, I first had to show a dedication to Lumen. I have been an editor since my sophomore year and always actively participated, so at the end of last year, when the editor-in-chief position opened up, I leapt at the opportunity to fill it.”
To have work published in Lumen is a big deal for the few writers that are chosen. Some people submit multiple compositions for publication.
One student writer, Skyler Speciale, is especially proud to have three poems and one essay published. Skyler is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and she is a forensic science major.
Skyler explains how she was inspired to write and push her work into the world. “My work was inspired by my on-going creative mindset of characters, feelings and stories. My professor, Dr. Roessner, was actually the person who drove me to submit my work after I read these pieces for the class, and I am very thankful for his encouragement.”
Not only is Lumen student-run, but many members of the Mercyhurst faculty help with the production process as well.
Gregory Brown, Ph.D., professor of English, is a major player in the selection process of students who get to go behind the scenes of this magazine. Brown is responsible for the selection of editors, getting works ready for voting and much more.
“Most years I teach Editing and Style, a course that, among other things, copy edits the accepted works and prepares them for the design side of Lumen,” said Brown. “This year we had no Editing and Style, so this work fell to me and to the editors. I did the work of collecting the submissions and preparing them for the editors to select from.”
Claire Orr is another incredible member of the Mercyhurst staff that aids in the design of Lumen. Orr executes the designs that are chosen by the editors every year. She oversees the layout, which determines what the entire magazine will look like. This year, the team went for a more classic design to contrast with years past.
“The 2021 issue is different due to the different school year we’ve had. Gillian Mazur and I had to focus on creating a digital version just as much as creating a printed magazine so it’s accessible to everyone,” said Orr. “But, we got to see all the great work that has come out of such a difficult year. It was great to see all the effort put in by every writer and artist.”
All editorials change and evolve with the passing times; Lumen is no different. However, it remains consistently surprising. No one knows what will be between the covers each year, but it is guaranteed to be a world of wonder and flair. Over the years, Lumen continues to hear the unspoken creativity of students all across campus.
“I think what’s remarkable about the 2021 Lumen is what hasn’t changed. This year’s product will be just as good as any other year’s,” said Brown. “It will, as always, have both a print and a digital version. This year’s Lumen is a testament to our Laker persistence and resilience precisely because it is the same high-quality product as any other year. I have seen a proof of the print version, and I think this is one of the best-looking editions ever.”