The Quarry Literary and Fine Arts magazine released their 2018 edition at 7 p.m. on Friday, April 20 with a commemorative gallery opening in the Center for Arts and Dance’s Groot gallery. A wide swath of expressively-inclined students flooded into the gallery to mill about the recently hung visual and written art, the majority of which is featured in this year’s magazine or the Quarry’s website.
After about 30 minutes, the Quarry staff asked attendees to take a seat as they gave a brief description of the magazine’s process. Art Editor Jabri Whirl ’18 spoke about the huge volume of submissions that came in and affirmed how difficult they were to pick from, then asking featured artists to point out their work and identify themselves. Following this, Literary Editor Anders Mattson ’19 transitioned into the main event of the night, where the published writers recited their work, both published in the magazine and not.
The first recitation came from Henry Benjamin ’19, who read several of his poems, two of which bookended the magazine. The work was strongly evocative, amplified by a straightforward cadence from Benjamin. His poems were a natural beginning and end to the magazine, and his readings set the tone for a professional and confident series of recitations.
Each writer was offered a brief and unobtrusive introduction from Mattson, who kept the transitions smooth. The night offered a variety of tones, including some comical readings such as Emma Wortman ’18’s elegy to a fallen pet goldfish. Some other readings were incisive and personal, such as James Wheeler ’18’s “Love is Found,” an extremely emotive and cutting poem held up by a passionate performance. Another standout performance came from Alekzandra Thoms ’20, whose work was powerful and thought-provoking while also deeply personal. Their performance exemplified the best elements of the work, making it clear and comprehensible while also complex and gut wrenching.
The readings also ended with a bang from Paulo Gladney ’19, who recited a number of poems. In particular, “I Want to Know,” which was published in the Quarry magazine, was an enthralling piece, offering a plaintive and poignant exploration of heritage, race and identity.
The entire procession of readings was also held up by Joseph Kyle ’18’s painting “Flood #3,” which hung directly behind the readers. Architectural in design, the piece depicts a vacant building has a strong quality of overwhelming, utopic scale and appearance made intimidating through vertical lines made infinite by a possibly bottomless pool of water.
Copies of the Quarry’s 2018 edition are now available and showcase a wide diversity of engaging and challenging work.