October 7, 2022

A new literary magazine brings the arts community together

Image courtesy of Catholic University English Department

by Jacqueline Jedrych

In an effort to increase exposure of the creative writing of the Catholic University student body, faculty, staff, and students have come together to create a new literary magazine that will begin in fall 2021, Vermilion.

Vermilion is an online literary magazine, which will offer a new issue every semester. It accepts original works, unpublished literary fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction, screenwriting, drama, and visual art by members of the Catholic University community.

“Catholic University places a strong emphasis on community involvement in rigorous academic research; Vermilion’s primary goal is to recognize merit in scholarship and creative craftsmanship within the community,” said the publication’s co-editors, Jessica Wyeth and Matthew Sawtelle. “As a professional publication, we hope to cultivate a culture on campus that embraces invention in the arts.”

The student-run magazine found inspiration for its name in a deep shade of scarlet red. Color was often used by Renaissance painters to bring the painting to life; “It’s bold, beautiful, a tribute to life, ordinary and extraordinary,” according to Javier Mazariegos, a junior English and philosophy student.

“This hue of red is both the simple scarlet of a lover’s blush and the dramatic sign of sacrifice. ‘Vermilion’ is also the last word in Gerard Manley Hopkins’ poem, ‘The Windhover,’ Mazariegos said.” Like Hopkins’ falcon, literature seems to soar in celestial beauty while rooting itself in the soil of everyday life. Creative writers seem tasked with uniting vast imagination with concrete words. Their craft abounds with the liveliness of vermilion This magazine seeks to share this beautiful profession, which shines like a color so fully alive.

Pieces are already being assembled for the upcoming Winter 2021 issue, including a poetry contest judged by Assistant Professor of English Dr. Amanda Auerbach and Adjunct Professor and Literary Matters Editor Ryan Wilson . The O’Hagan Poetry Prize features works by Catholic University undergraduate students, and the $100 prize will be awarded to the “Best Single Poem.”

Although submissions for Winter 2021 are closed, students are encouraged to apply to join the Vermilion Staff. Staff members must enroll in English 220, a class focused on magazine production. The students of the course will be part of the board of directors and will lead the selection, editing and publication of content.

Vermilion will publish its first issue in the winter of 2021. If you are interested in joining the team, complete the class application form here. To learn more about the magazine, visit the website.