Grassroots allows students to showcase art and literature

By Bethany Rentfro, Staff Reporter

There are so many students on campus who have an urge to create; whether it be in the form of writing, art and music. Grassroots Literary and Fine Arts Magazine is an avenue that allows students to showcase their work. 

The mission of Grassroots is to help undergraduates get feedback and publishing credit for their creative works.  

Grassroots is a literary magazine that was originally created by the art department at the Southern Illinois University College of Liberal Arts as a way for students to show all of their literary and creative work. 

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Grassroots accepts submissions of any type of creative work, such as short fiction, plays, screenplays, drawings, sheet music, poetry, photography, comics, sculptures and art. 

“We are here to show your work, to give you publishing credit basically to give artists and creative students on campus the opportunity to have their work published and get their work reviewed in a much more low-stakes way,” Matt Gordon, Grassroots Editor-in-Chief, said.

Gordon said Grassroots has been struggling in the past due to a lack of funding for the literary magazine.

“We haven’t had a magazine in the last two years between people’s efforts not quite cutting it and due to a lack of funding,” Gordon said. 

The website Grassroots is trying to create will allow for better visibility, Gordon said. He said they are trying to create a better online presence through the use of social media in order to get the word out.   

“What I have found is that print magazines seem to be dying out,” Gordon said. “We are trying to find a better way to showcase people’s work and to provide information about Devil’s Kitchen, which we also put on, and the magazine all in one place to make it available to people.” 

Students can pick up copies of past Grassroots Literary Magazines in the English Department Lounge in Faner Hall. Gordon said they are hoping to get the 2019 magazine out by the end of the semester. 

“November 30 is the deadline for students to submit their works. Depending on how many we have will determine when we can get the magazine out,” Gordon said. “Sometimes, we have them done by the end of the fall semester, and sometimes, we don’t get them out until spring.” 

Grassroots also puts on an event called Devil’s Kitchen, a yearly literary festival that Grassroots has hosted for several years during the spring semester. 

“We judge a literary contest and choose a winner in poetry, non-fiction, and fiction,” Gordon said. 

Those authors are brought to campus and they do a reading, discussions and an open-mic for students during this three-day long event. 

“If our attendance at Devil’s Kitchen last year was any indication, most people have no idea it is going on,” Gordon said. “Devil’s Kitchen 2019 will take place October 23-25 at the Guyon Auditorium in the Morris Library on campus.”

“We just want to get the word out that Grassroots exists,” David Grandt, a member of Grassroots, said. 

Grassroots is hosting an open-mic reading for all students on October 2 at 3:50 p.m. 

 “We are hoping someone will stop and hang out,” Gordon said. 

Staff reporter Bethany Rentfro can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @BethanyRentfro

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