Alumnus author to speak at latest magazine launch

BY REBECCA HALL – STAFF WRITER

Marcus Burke, author of “Team Seven” and 2010 Susquehanna alumnus, will help launch this year’s edition of the Susquehanna Review as a special speaker on Feb. 29 at 7 p.m. in Stretansky Concert Hall.

Junior creative writing and Spanish major Megan Rodriguez, the senior editor for the magazine, said: “In the creative writing department, we have a lot of amazing publications and opportunities that a lot of other schools don’t have for undergraduate students. But sometimes it’s really helpful to hear back from successful alumni and find out what they’re doing in the world and what we can do.”
Burke’s presentation is one of six in the Raji-Syman Visiting Writers Series held this academic year, according to Glen Retief, director of the Writer’s Institute.

Retief said that the Visiting Writers Series “brings accomplished literary authors of diverse backgrounds working in a range of genres and formal traditions to campus to share their work, visit classes, mentor students and answer students’ questions.”

During the launch of the undergraduate literary magazine, audience members can anticipate a talk from Burke, the announcement of the winners of the monetary Gary Finke Prize and perhaps excerpts of the magazine read by the original contributors, according to Rodriguez.

“It’s tricky,” Rodriguez said. “All of the pieces we feature in the Susquehanna Review are from other schools. We don’t publish anything from Susquehanna.”

Rodriguez said that the Susquehanna Review, unlike other publications such as Rivercraft and Essay, has a focus on enhancing the experience of learning how to understand the publishing side of a magazine.

She said that by receiving outside pieces, students who assemble the Susquehanna Review will be more in tune with assembling the magazine and pulling in pieces from outside, unknown sources. “It’s like the real publishing world,” Rodriguez said.

The Susquehanna Review is entirely assembled by students, and graphic design majors help to design the magazine. This year, Rodriguez said the magazine will feature mostly creative nonfiction as well as two pieces that were translated into English. One of the pieces to be featured was originally an Italian short story and another was a Chinese poem. Rodriguez said that in order to feature these pieces, both needed to be reviewed by Italian and Chinese speakers.

“Susquehanna Review really gives us a chance to understand what it’s like to have a magazine,” Rodriguez said. “It’s a rare opportunity for us to find a chance like this before graduation.”