Spine magazine offers collaboration of art and literature

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Creative outlets are essential to creating an inclusive and unique environment on college campuses. Written and visual work is a powerful way to spark conversation about political and social issues. Karly Simpson ’17 and Tamara Bascombe ’17 are in charge of Spine Literary Magazine, a magazine that focuses on both visual and written art including drawing, painting, photography, short stories, short essays, and poetry.

Formally known as Slate Literary Magazine, Simpson and Bascombe have rebranded the magazine in hopes of increasing campus-wide readership and submissions. Spine was originally printed on a regular basis, but will now be printed once at the end of the semester. The publication is updated online frequently to keep up with content. Their goal is to broaden Spine’s appeal and diversify how its content is divided.

Bascombe and Simpson were both involved with their literary magazines in high school, which inspired them to become a part of the literary magazine at Trinity. Both were previously enrolled in the InterArts first year seminar program, which introduced them to the Trinity arts scene and allowed them to enhance their appreciation of the arts beyond their independent studies and work. Spine, they say, has given them an opportunity to engage in a creative outlet beyond InterArts. Their biggest concern is receiving enough content to be able to publish a substantial issue of Spine. Simpson says they’re not as focused on increasing their staff size as they are in increasing visual and written work, noting that “we can do it on our own, we just need submissions.”

Trinity has often received criticism for its disengagement from the arts. Although there are a number of art showcases, theatre and dance performances, and concerts, the students who attend these events are often those who are directly involved or required to go, not those who are simply curious or looking to enhance their experience with the arts. Bascombe and Simpson have reached out to everyone from students and professors of English/Creative Writing, theatre and dance, and studio arts classes to The Mill, The Fred, and Iron Poets society, in hopes of making Spine have a larger presence on campus. Simpson’s ultimate goal is simple- that “it will be important.” Bascombe also says that “[students] should just get involved for themselves and do art for themselves then submit it…even if it’s just a little thing, it helps the bigger picture.” Spine also is a “great resume builder,” they say.

Spine has also teamed up with Mugatunes, an online intercollegiate community where users can find new music, handpicked by music lovers on their respective campuses, to create a playlist. Spine later published a review of Mugatunes. This playlist was created to share with Trinity’s student body through Spine.

Trinity has three conversational campus publications already- Her Campus Trinity- an online website dedicated to college women, The Beacon- an online newsmagazine, The Odyssey, and The Trinity Tripod- Trinity’s campus newspaper. Spine Literary Magazine is a unique and distinguishable publication, offering students the chance to publish their artwork in a paper dedicated to written and visual art.

For more information on becoming involved with the magazine or to submit original work, email  Karly Simpson or Tamara Bascombe at spinelitmag@gmail.com.

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