Literary Mag Gives Student Art an Advantage

Vermont students witnessed the return this past Monday of their elusive literarymagazine, Vantage Point.This is Vantage Point’s fifth volume after nearly a year, the previous issue having come out last fall.This edition is comprised of submissions from both last spring and this past fall semester, roughly a hundred submissions in total.”We hoped that a condensed version of exemplary works would serve as a potent precedent for subsequent issues,” Treasurer Henry Melcher, a junior English major said.The 32-page magazine boasts one quarter of what they had originally received in submissions.Over the past semester, Melcher has spear-headed the effort to get the magazine up and running again.”Basically what happened last year was that to receive funding from the SGA, requests needed to be filed and that wasn’t done by the deadline, due to a number of factors,” Melcher explained.But this is all about to change as the staff begins to raise awareness of Vantage Point among the artistic student body.”Right now we have poetry and short stories as far as writing goes,” Melcher said. “We’d like to branch out into essays, opinion pieces and drama, as well as criticism. We would welcome well put together pieces in whatever medium,” he said.Indeed it is hard to believe that on a campus with such a palpably artistic student body, the literary magazine wouldn’t have wider readership and.”We know that there are students here who write for themselves, the task now is getting them to send that stuff to us,” Melcher said.Where does the future lie for Vantage Point?”Well, obviously the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a literary magazine is The New Yorker and Atlantic, though I’m more interested in working towards something more like The Kenyon Review or The Georgia Review, something less lofty,” Melcher said. “I know we’ve got a lot of work to do.”The magazine, which resembles more of a “zine” in its current abaca- and cottonbound form, has exemplary content between its pages. Especially interesting in the composition of the magazine is the selection process of content.”Editors scan the index, take off the names and assign the pieces with a number; we sit around for a few hours and read them. Then they’re graded on a scale from one to five, which is followed by a vote.”It’s completely democratic,” Melcher said. “There’s very little executive power being exercised; if pieces fall on the borderline we ask that they be revised and then they go back to vote.”This highly populist process is antithetical to the stodginess and elitist reputations that many lit mags carry with them. “I’m hopeful that it will grow,” Melcher said, “this thing is wide open.”Send submissions of any medium to [email protected]