Underbridge Press presents new literary journal.

As bright and colourful as it is thought-provoking, the long anticipated literary journal Joypuke released its inaugural issue last week to join the likes of other Mt. A affiliated journals Zettel and 7 Mondays. Produced and published entirely by Mount Allison students through the Underbridge Press, Joypuke compiles works of poetry, prose, and creative nonfiction.

Unlike other literary journals at Mount Allison, Joypuke includes several works from outside the student community, and features submitted works all across the country.

“It’s different in scope because it reaches farther than other journals,” said Underbridge Press founder and President Elijah Teitelbaum in his address during the Joypuke launch. “It excites us a lot at the Press to be able to engage these different writers from all over.”

After their publication of Taylor Losier’s fantasy novel Ragged last January, the Underbridge Press agreed they should invest in producing an annual literary journal.

“It’s good to provide more opportunities and more possibilities for students,” said Teitelbaum in an interview after the journal’s release. “It gives a new way [that] we can engage with publishing and really pull people in.”

One of the primary mandates of the Underbridge Press is to provide an opportunity for students to acquire practical skills and experience related to production and publication. “Because half of our existence is about engaging with publishing processes, what happens inside of the Press is incredibly important to us,” explained Teitelbaum.

He also believes that these processes are their own artistic medium, as decisions about how to construct and frame a collection of literary works require an interpretive element.

“It’s creative in a different way because it’s not content creation. It’s like curation, if you think of it in terms of an art gallery,” said Teitelbaum. “You’re taking a writer’s work and saying ‘Where do we want it placed, how do we want it represented, and how is this going to affect the reader’s experience?’”

In addition to their publication mandate, Teitelbaum believes that fostering an engaged and discursive literary culture at Mount Allison and within the Sackville community is of the utmost importance. To accomplish this, The Underbridge Press has hosted monthly “Open Mic” reading events at Thunder and Lightning to promote the arts and help develop an educational and enjoyable writing community. “[In this way,] people can engage not just with literature […] and their own writing but also with each other,” said Teitelbaum.

The Joypuke overseer and Underbridge president also said that one appealing aspect of the publication process is the insight it offers into contemplating the implications of compilation and book production. He believes it encourages inquiry into the definitions of books and literature as abstract entities, particularly pertaining to the power associated with choosing a poem or a story and publishing it for the viewing public. “I think the form of the book and the experience of the book is incredibly important for the experience of literature, but it’s not all that literature is,” said Teitelbaum.

Joypuke looks forward to releasing their next annual issue towards the end of the next fall semester, or possibly early January 2015. They hope to increase the amount of content in their next publication, with the addition of longer prose pieces.

Copies of Joypuke are $6 and can be purchased at Tidewater Books or ordered from the Underbridge Press via email at [email protected].

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