For four decades IUPUI, students, faculty and staff have had an opportunity to read two copies each year of the campus literary magazine, genesis.
Some have had the opportunity to write poems, short stories and essays, or create the artwork that gives the publication its unique look. And a select few have even been paid for their creations, as each recipient of the magazine’s bi-annual “best of” category award receives $100 for his or her work.
Genesis was born in 1972 as a joint venture of the English and philosophy departments in the School of Liberal Arts, according to longtime faculty advisor Jim Powell. Powell, who has retired from full-time faculty work, but still teaches at IUPUI, said he remains proud of what the students and faculty who have been part of the magazine have accomplished.
The art included in each issue has been a compelling part of genesis, said senior managing editor Tiffany Plourde, who helped arrange “The Art of genesis” in the IUPUI Cultural Arts Gallery in the Campus Center. The show will run through the end of March.
Plourde and her fellow managing editor, Victoria Johnson, believe the magazine offers an interesting mix of creative writing, poems, short stories and essays. “But the art that we have featured has given the magazine a terrific look and feel,” said Johnson.
Having two printed issues a year is special, even in a digital age. “The beauty is that it can be mailed, and can be held in your hand,” Powell said. “People still love that.”
He also knows that being chosen for inclusion in an issue can be a feather in the cap for fledgling writers.
“I don’t think students view it as a ticket to fame, but it is a reward for doing good work,” Powell said. “Writing like this may be a campus activity, but it also happens in the real world.”
Plourde and Johnson are both set to graduate in May, and admit they’ll miss the work. For Johnson, each issue is special.
"It’s real, and it creates a sense of possibility for students," Johnson said.
Genesis was created by faculty members Rebecca Pitts of English and Laurence Lampert of Philosophy. The first issue appeared in the spring of 1973 and contained poetry, short stories and essays.
“It’s the second oldest student organization on campus,” said Powell. During its lifespan, genesis has published approximately 2,400 stories, poems and essays. Students write all of the contributions, according to Johnson and Plourde.
Powell believes that genesis captures the hopes and dreams of the IUPUI students who have helped produce it, issue after issue, year after year. And he knows from personal experience that it can be a labor of love.
While gathering material for a 40th anniversary celebration of genesis, for example, Powell found poems written by a second cousin, David Hadley, in archives from the mid-1970s. Hadley later died of complications from injuries sustained in Vietnam, but his experiences from the war and his poetry live on, thanks to genesis.