Letter from the Editor

A few weeks ago, I was completing English Ed clinicals at Fieldcrest High School in Minonk, IL, which has a welcome sign that reads “A ‘good place’ to live.” And yes, the quotation marks are really there. One Friday, I had the opportunity to teach simile and metaphor to three periods of freshmen. Before getting into Shakespeare sonnets, I wanted to give them examples of each term from modern poetry. I presented each class with the piece “Today Means Amen” by Sierra DeMulder, which is a spoken word poem that appears on Button Poetry’s YouTube Channel. For the majority of students, this was their first experience with spoken word, and for some, their first interaction with poetry altogether. We were discussing what significance the line “More cracked than mosaic” had in relation to the rest of the poem, or what it might mean in general. There wasn’t a lot of speculation at first, but one student eventually spoke up: “It’s saying she’s more broken than beautiful.” My little teacher heart exploded for a second. I thought that was so cool.

These were intelligent students, processing verse while also relating to their own experiences with  mental illness. But it doesn’t take a genius to feel. Or to write or sing or to open a watercolor palette. Art is accessible, and that’s what fosters student engagement and curiosity. Art deconstructs institutions, pushes for change. Art is a protest, a weapon. Art is confession. Art is. And Euphemism recognizes that art. Recognizes the pain, the inequality, the oppression, and after everything else, the love. And I know that sounds cheesy, but this has been a tough semester, and here we are at the end of it all, celebrating art. So, Issue 13.2 is for those of you who have ever felt “more cracked than mosaic,” more sober than mystic, more broken than beautiful.

On a less sentimental level, I want to say thank you so much to all of the people who make Euphemism and all of its related events possible. If you’ve been to any of our reading events before, you have probably noticed that Spring 2018’s Euphemism reading is taking place at University Galleries, rather than in a typical lecture hall in Stevenson. So, thank you to the staff at University Galleries for allowing us in. Thank you to the English department and office staff for their continued support. Thank you to the College of Arts and Sciences IT department, especially Zach Stella and Mike Regilio, for their wonderful work on our new WordPress site. Thank you to Jim Kalmbach for his technical expertise and guidance in adding material to the new site. If it weren’t for him, none of us would know what we were doing. I am also grateful for Euphemism’s incredibly hard-working board members and general staff; everyone is always on top of their own responsibilities, and I would not be even remotely successful as Editor-in-Chief if it were not for them. I also want to offer a brief thank you to our faculty advisor Jeremy Hurley, even though he hates receiving credit, for his constant assistance and calming words of wisdom on publishing, which often include something like, “I don’t know what I’m doing either.” Finally, thank you so much to everyone who submitted to our Spring 2018 issue. This journal would not even exist if it were not for the amazingly talented and creative authors and artists that continue to offer their work for us to explore. We even set a new record for the number of art submissions we’ve received this semester, so keep creating and keep submitting!



    Alexandra Daggett, Editor-in-Chief