The staff of the University of Maine at Presque Isle's literary journal is celebrating the publication of its latest issue with an official Upcountry Reading and Launch Party at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 25 in the Normal Hall Faculty Lounge.
This very special Spring/Summer 2013 "Town and Gown" issue includes a bountiful selection of written and visual works from both campus and community members, some of them returning contributors and others who are new writers to the journal's pages.
This issue had three student editors—Jessica Edney, Kayla Ames, and Angel Cray. Two of them, Ames and Cray, will be on hand for the event along with journal advisor Dr. Melissa Crowe and several of the 19 contributors in this issue. Contributors will read from their work, paper copies of the issue will be available, and refreshments will be provided. The reading and launch party is free and open to the public.
"Each time we're doing the hard work of soliciting and selecting work, editing individual pieces, and putting the issue together, I'm looking forward all the while to the launch party. This gathering of writers and artists—and their audience—is my favorite part of the process," Crowe said.
Dedicated to showcasing poems, short stories, personal essays and visual art from the campus community, Upcountry is a publication of the University's English Program. Presented both in print and as an interactive, online format, the literary journal is published twice yearly.
The Spring 2013 issue will include visual art by Heather Sincavage, UMPI Art faculty member, and poetry by English faculty members Richard Zuras and Karen McCosker; this marks the first time Upcountry has included work by professors. Dan Ladner's poem "Calm Before the Storm" and Emily Lizotte's essay "Gerard of the Garden" will feature alongside a new installment of frequent contributor Shawn Cote's comic strip "Jillpoke Bohemia."
This issue marks the fourth time that the online journal is being made available in its interactive format. In 2011, the staff made the leap to a more interactive format to give viewers a more hands-on reading experience. The journal now appears in a browsable magazine format through a digital publishing platform called Issuu. The platform 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.
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.
"While I recognize my own bias, I'll say it anyway—this issue is going to be a good one! I hope the community will turn out to celebrate the rich talent and vision of the people of Aroostook Country," Crowe said.