Alcalá Review kicks off with launch party


Photo Courtesy of Alyssa Amezcua  Dr. Black (far right) and the student staff celebrate USD’s first literary journal on campus.

Photo Courtesy of Alyssa Amezcua
Dr. Black (far right) and the student staff celebrate USD’s first literary journal on campus.

Last Thursday, Oct. 29, the Alcalá Review hosted their first open mic night to introduce the university’s official literary journal. The back patio of La Gran Terraza was lit with soft string lights and the fiery words that flickered from the tongues of University of San Diego’s most eloquent students.

The Alcalá Review is the student-run official literary journal of USD, and welcomes submissions from all students in the form of poetry, short non-fiction, and short fiction stories. The goal of the journal is to foster a greater appreciation for literary arts among the university’s community members.

Senior Miles Parnegg, the nonfiction editor of the Alcalá Review, is proud to be a leader for the project.  He emphasizes the critical role the professors in the creative writing department had in making this idea come to life.

“The idea came from…faculty, from Dr. [Halina] Duraj and Dr. [Malachi] Black who felt that the creative writing program got to the place where there were enough interested students and enough committed students where there would be a lot of circulation of student work,” Parnegg said. “It really grew out of the popularity of the creative writing program.”

The founding professors were present at the launch party on Thursday to support the work of the students and everyone who helped to get the project off the ground. The event opened with readings from Adam Veal, an english professor at USD who is a published poet, and Hanna Tawater,  an MFA student at UCSD whose work is widely published.

Afterwards, the floor was opened up to anyone in attendance who wished to read. Of the 60 or so attendees, around 20 students stood behind the podium, opening themselves up to the acceptance of an attentive audience. The mixture of pieces shared included personal poetry, slam poetry, short stories, memoirs, nonfiction essays, and even a German poem.

After the last contributor sat down, the raffle winners were announced. A fundraiser for the Alcalá Review, the raffle included a gift basket, a signed copy of John Jeremiah Sullivan’s book, “Pulphead,” and a copy of “When My Brother was An Aztec” by Natalie Diaz, who will be the next speaker at the Cropper Memorial Series.

Parnegg was happy with the success of the event, especially with the amount of students who stood up to read their work, and looks forward to the growth of campus creativity.

“We had a lot of people sign up near the end which was cool because I think people saw that it’s not terrifying,” Parnegg said. “It’s about time there was some art on campus, and this is where it’s going to start.”

For those who missed the first open mic of the semester, the members of the Alcalá Review are planning on hosting another after Thanksgiving, during the first week of December. For anyone interested in submitting work to the journal, the priority deadline for submissions is Nov. 15. The submission guidelines are on the Alcalá Review page of the USD English department website. This is an opportunity for students to expand their writing experience, and possibly be published in an official literary journal.