Courant Launch Party Celebrates New Issue In Efforts to Make Publication More Accessible

On Friday night, the Courant launched its fall issue with a party at the Peabody Institute. The literary arts publication, established in 1873 by Abbot Academy, features student poetry, prose, and artwork solicited and edited by a student board headed by Editors-in-Chief Will Leggat ’20 and Zoe Zimmer ’20.

“I like to think of [the Courant] as a bit of Abbot that still exists. And also I like to think that it’s to celebrate student work. It’s a student-run organization to celebrate student work and really showcase all the amazing artists here on campus,” said Zimmer.

Anaïs Shen, Managing Director of the Courant, explained the importance of having a publication like the Courant at Andover. She believes that sharing written work is a valuable experience and important opportunity for its contributors.

“It’s incredibly important to… have something that will publish your work. It’s a way to show your friends and your family something that you’re proud of, and showcase your talent and receive that really important feedback from your peers because that’s how you improve and how you go out of your comfort zone,” said Shen.

Shen and other board members, however, consider that “The Courant” may have a misleading reputation as being unapproachable. They think it’s important for this perception to shift.

“I think currently the Courant is viewed as this sort of intimidating, niche and artsy piece of publication. But I think our goal is to try to deviate from that very narrow and elitist mindset. Because we really are trying to open up to all kinds of contributors…” said Shen.

Zimmer echoed this sentiment. She praised last year’s Editors-in-Chief for their efforts in making the publication more accessible, explaining how she’s tried to continue that effort with this year’s party.

“Last year Susan [Lee ’19] and Mac [Callahan ’19] did a good job of making [the Courant] more approachable. I think the spring launch party last year was really fun and really chill and a lot of people who wouldn’t usually come to a Courant party came. And I think I’m trying to continue that legacy forward,” said Zimmer.

Leggat explained that he tries to make “The Courant” accessible not only through the launch parties but in the content they include. The publication does not limit the subject matter of its entries.

“We tend with ‘The Courant’ not to limit ourselves to a theme because we want to invite whatever someone thinks they want to submit, and whatever someone wants to be read, that’s what we want to publish,” said Leggat.