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Student Literary Magazine Highlights Creativity of GCU Community

Books on a table

Four empty vases, a lonely boardwalk, American Spirit cigarettes, the shadowed night, a broken clock, and a web glimmering like a CD—these are among the compelling images that appear in the poetry, photography, and artwork of the Spring 2017 issue of Fountain Spray, GCU’s student arts and literary magazine.

Student and faculty contributors read their poetry and discussed the inspiration for their words and artistry at the Fountain Spray release party held at the Mansion on May 8. Appearing on the pages in black-and-white design are selections chosen by the student editors—Jaclyn Baccarella, Kyle Homer, Steve Mulero, Kimberly Sloan, and Julie Temple—from a record-setting 114 submissions from GCU’s students, faculty, and staff.

The layout was designed by Jessica Szewczyk and Nicole Barbella. Jessica also designed the cover art after winning a contest as part of a class taught by Edmond Salsali, Ph.D., assistant professor of digital arts and chair of the Department of Communication, Graphic Design, and Multimedia.

Fountain Spray Team an “Enthusiastic and Creative Group”

Russell McDonald, Ph.D., associate professor of English, served as moderator.

“It’s the students who determine the look and contents of the magazine, and we had an exceptionally enthusiastic and creative group this year who worked hard to make some tough decisions about what to include from over 100 literary and art submissions, which was a record for the seven years I’ve been serving as moderator,” Dr. McDonald said. “I’m very proud of the final product, which reflects the creativity not just of our students, but of the entire GCU community.”

Julie read her poem “Crumbles,” which she defines as a feminist piece, comprising a metaphor in which she “envisioned myself as an old book lying around and imagining my feelings.” Her second poem, “Ebb and Flow,” was inspired by the essay she wrote when applying to the university and serves as a reflection of her time at GCU.

Rebecca Scharen read her poem “American Spirit Cigarettes,” which opens the magazine. She said it began as a love poem in an earlier draft, but she received inspiration from Paul Cappucci, Ph.D., professor of English and director of the General Education Program. After discussing it with Dr. Cappucci during his office hours, he thought the poem could be more than what it was. She took his advice, and it became a new piece.

Student giving a speech behind podium
Kyle Homer, English major, reads his poem “Broken.”

Kimberly’s “Siren of the Sea” was inspired by a Starbucks cup and a siren. Steve said his poem “I Stood by and choked on silence…” was an experiment in letter fonts and their effects on the page. His second poem, “Into the Shadowed Night Next to Life,” began as an exercise at one of last year’s GCU Dose of Poetry events, and he reworked it into the current version. Other student readers at the release party included Jaclyn reading her poem “Dream Another Day,” Patricia Prioli reading her poems “Guardian Angel” and “The Rock Face,” and Kyle reading his poem ”Broken.”

Julie said she and her fellow editors put in several hours of work choosing the final selections. They used a rubric, discussed all of the submissions, and made final decisions based on originality, style, and variety.

To view a copy of Fountain Sprayclick here. Copies are also available around campus.

Aerial view of GCU.

About Georgian Court University

Founded in 1908 and sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, Georgian Court University is Central and South Jersey’s only Catholic university. GCU is a comprehensive, coeducational university with a strong liberal arts core and a historic special concern for women. As a forward-thinking university that supports diversity and academic excellence, GCU is known for expanding possibility for more than 2,100 students of all faiths and backgrounds in 35+ undergraduate majors and 10+ graduate programs. The GCU Lions compete in 15 NCAA Division II sports in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC). In 2020, GCU was named a Best Value College by and a Best Bang for the Buck (Northeast) by Washington Monthly. High student retention and graduation rates also make GCU a Top Performer on Social Mobility on U.S. News & World Reports rankings. The main campus is located in Lakewood, New Jersey, on the picturesque former George Jay Gould estate, a National Historic Landmark. Georgian Court, which is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, also serves students at other locations, such as GCU at BrookdaleGCU at Rowan College of South Jersey–Cumberland Campus, and through multiple online certificate and degree programs.

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