'The Literary and Art Journal of the College of Charleston'

Image by 20081214-miscellany.jpg The Miscellany Award First Runner-up "Essaies-toi," an etching by Elaine Guillot.

This short article is the first of two "Sunday Spotlights" I'll be passing along today.

"The Miscellany" is the College of Charleston's annual publication of "poetry, prose, and visual art" from students, faculty, and staff. Their editor, Denise Dicks, recently got in touch with me, hoping to bring some more attention to the publication.

To give you a taste of what you'll find is the image at the top, and, this, their award winner in the poetry category:
Hasten: To One Who Will Never Come
By Elizabeth Stephenson

The door was too heavy to open after you.
I tried with both hands, threw my weight against the wood.
Took pins from my hair, clawed at the lock.

I examined the dust and city water
under a microscope, looking at the amoebas
and mites, the filth of our house.

My hair grew gray overnight.
I pulled and twisted to hide the evidence:
a box of bent nails, wheat pennies, chicken wire.
I listened with my ear pressed to the wall.
I poured eucalyptus oil on my pillow.
I pounded and pounded until I was told
to quiet down, take a bath,
and press the wrinkles from my clothes.

Our mother pressed onions to my feet
to bring down the fever.
Called to heaven as though God were upstairs.
Pointed out the hope in lit windows.
Fed me peppers to burn whatever was living in my chest,
to turn your name to ash in my mouth.

So, go ahead and check out the 2008 issue. You'll also find PDFs of back issues on their Web site.

The next issue will come out in Spring 2009.

The publication is one of the many student media programs at the college. The college's English department also publishes the "Crazyhorse," a collection of fiction, essays, and poetry that's not necessarily from folks connected to the college.