Illuminated by a string of fairy lights, Angelreana Choi ’19 read her original poem “Last Night” aloud to the semi-circle of listeners gathered around her. Her poem, a heartfelt piece about her grandfather, addressed subjects including strength, family, and memory. Choi’s work is one of dozens of pieces featured in the 2018 Spring issue of the Courant.
To celebrate its final release of the 2017-2018 school year, the Courant hosted a launch party with a ’60s theme on the patio of Susie’s last Friday.
“The theme this issue came from the fact that we reprinted a couple pieces by Julia Alvarez who was Class of ’67 at Abbot Academy from her Senior Year Courant, because the Courant was originally an Abbot publication. Because the pieces were reprinted from 1967, we thought we would run with that and do a ’60s theme for the party,” said Miriam Feldman ’18, Co-Editor in Chief of the Courant.
According to Co-Editor in Chief Adrienne Zhang ’18, the editors do not normally have a particular theme in mind when selecting pieces, but instead look for passion.
“That might just be my nostalgia coloring my view of this magazine, but I think when I was reading everything, I saw how much passion people had for whatever they were writing about… There is some beautiful poetry and literature about identity and various factors of identities; those have so much passion,” said Zhang.
“A lot of times we’re looking for pieces that aren’t super affectatious and aren’t pretending to be poetry that a lot of people think poetry needs to look like. We’re looking for things that work together and a lot of the times, we will start reading and things will come together. Mostly it starts patterns, so we see themes that we can build upon for a volume on an issue,” said Susan Lee ’19, a poetry editor.
The length of the newest issue sets it apart from past publications, nearly doubling the average page lengths of previous issues.
“I think the sheer length of [the Courant] is super impressive. Most terms we have one around 40 to 60 pages and this time we’re at about 120, which is in large part due to a higher volume of submissions but also longer proses. I think seeing student works of that scale is something that’s really impressive and particular to this issue,” said Feldman.
Poems published in the Courant touched on a range of topics from family to love to pain.
“I wrote my poems as part of my work for my sport, Creative Writing Basics… [My] two poems are actually ideas that I had when I was walking in the Sanctuary. I was looking at nature mostly and how in the winter all the tree lose their leaves, but in the spring they gain them back somehow. My poems address the idea of loss and rebirth,” said Lin Gan ’19, who contributed to the Courant.
According to attendees, the reading of poems aloud halfway through the party gives a different perspective to the work than when it is presented on paper.
“I like that it’s fine when it doesn’t make sense. Sometimes when you’re not reading on a page, you don’t catch every word and you don’t see every sentence flow. But the little images that people put in still work together,” said Daniel Ulanovsky ’18.