The staff of the University of Maine at Presque Isle's online literary journal is celebrating the publication of its latest issue with an official Upcountry Reading and Launch Party at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 3 in the Normal Hall Faculty Lounge.
The celebration will serve as the official launch of Upcountry's Spring/Summer 2012 issue. The issue's student editor Mika Ouellette will be on hand, as will journal advisor Dr. Melissa Crowe. Several of this issue's 10 contributors also will be in attendance to read from their work, which ranges from Justin Pelkey's photo collage, entitled "Bridge," featured on the cover, to Tara White's essay "Always Home," to Nicole Moore's poem "Boeing 747," with which the issue concludes. Contributors for this issue also include Kayla Ames, Shawn Cote, Chelsie Hawkins, Wendy Koenig, Ulyianna Michaud, Meridith Paterson, and Anthony Scott. Paper copies of the issue will be available and refreshments will be provided. Upcountry staff also will take the opportunity during the party to welcome incoming student editor Jessica Edney, who will take the reins for the Fall/Winter 2013 issue. The reading and launch party is free and open to the public.
"We're very excited about the party; the Spring/Summer issue is the culmination of a lot of hard work, on the part of the staff and the writers whose work we published, and it's wonderful to have the opportunity to share that work with the community," Crowe said.
Upcountry, a publication of the University's English Program, is dedicated to showcasing poems, short stories, personal essays and visual art from the campus community. It is published twice yearly.
This is just the second time that the online journal has been made available in its interactive, browsable format to give people easier access to the work of the writers, poets and artist from the campus community featured in it. The digital publishing platform they used allows pages of uploaded print material to be viewed much like a traditional printed publication, with animated, flipping pages and left-to-right page viewing. The digital version is viewable at http://upcountryjournal.wordpress.com/.
In keeping with literary journal tradition, however, the Upcountry staff is hosting the launch party to give contributors and the wider community a chance to share the work in person and take home a hard copy of the Spring/Summer issue.
"We're proud to say that our second issue is as strong as our first. We're hoping folks will come out to help us celebrate and maybe learn a bit more about the journal—we'll be open for submissions for the Fall/Winter issue in the coming weeks," Crowe said.