Creating Together

By Aaron Noriega My name is Aaron Noriega, I’m a creative writing major an artist, a performer, and a musician. One of the reasons why I chose to go to SUNY Purchase was because of the many ways for students to express themselves. There are classes like Experimental Workshop, senior art projects, and student-run clubs,…

What Does Fanfiction Mean For The Future Of Writing?

By Cephie Howell It is somewhat well-known that the first modern record of ‘fanfiction’ can be traced back to the 1970’s, with the very active Star Trek fan community. This primitive form of fanfiction was published in fan-run magazines, quickly gaining so much popularity that the show’s creators were eventually compelled to acknowledge it. Now,…

Make My Mood

By Juliana Warta While it may seem tedious to create a mood board for a project that may never have a visual component, it still does come in pretty handy, or at least it has for me. Having a visual reference or simply a collection of ideas and inspirations for a story can make the…

Can Artificial Intelligence Replace Writers?

By Sebastian Rios-Rodriguez Artificial intelligence has been integrated into society with tools such as Alexa, and Siri, a concept that not too long ago only existed in science fiction. As a writer of science fiction, I have read many stories concerning A.I. Today’s technology hasn’t advanced enough for them to overthrow us, but it has…

Throw Me a Line; A discourse on lineation in visual art and poetry

By Natalie Çelebi Photo : Blue Painting by Wassily Kandinsky​ To the poet, the line straddles a nexus of beginnings and ends– at once a breath drawn and a final exhale. Likewise, to the visual artist, the line deftly asserts and differentiates. Lately, I’ve wondered about the line, its sojourn into physical and conceptual space. There’s…

An Ocean of Fear: How Subnautica uses a Thriller Author’s Technique to Create Terror

By Brandon Dennis Photo by Kellie Churchman “ Attention. Hull failure imminent. All personnel: abandon ship.” Announces a faintly staticky robotic voice, vaguely British, quiet in comparison to the steadily blaring siren over the dull base rumble of explosions. A third sound grows audible: your own ragged breath. You’re sliding down a ladder into a…

A Collector’s Guide to Local Bookstores

By el j ayala Despite fears it might, reading has not died out. It has changed though; books are mostly bought online nowadays through venues like Amazon and Thrift Books. People go based on book recommendations; the days of aimlessly flipping through books seems to be behind us. There are few physical bookstores left, but…

Between Alaska and Here: A Micro-Interview with Carlie Hoffman

By Claire Torregiano Carlie Hoffman is the author of the forthcoming poetry collection, This Alaska (Four Way Books, 2021). Hoffman earned her MFA from Columbia University’s School of the Arts, where she was the recipient of a creative writing teaching fellowship, a Philip Guston Endowed Writing Fellowship, and was a poetry editor of Columbia: A…

Replacing the Zombies: A Micro-Interview with Donika Kelly

By Claire Torregiano Dr. Donika Kelly is the author of the award-winning poetry collection, Bestiary (Graywolf Press, 2016), which won the 2015 Cave Canem Poetry Prize, the 2017 Hurston/Wright Award for poetry, and the 2018 Kate Tufts Discovery Award. As a former student of Dr. Kelly, I conducted this interview through email in September 2020.…

The Arbitrary Boundaries of Literature

By Skylar Gikas In high school, I read a lot of manga, often several volumes a day. In an ideal world, the titles and volume numbers would be what I put on my mandatory logs that tracked how much I read outside the curriculum that week. However, no matter how many volumes I read of…

Survivors to Superheroes: Reclaiming Your Story and Voice After Sexual Violence

By Julia Tortorello-Allen As a teenager, I lived through multiple violent sexual assaults. Afterwards, there was a long period of time where I was unable to cope with the trauma and grief. Exploring my emotions, my needs, and letting others in was an impossibility. Over time, I sought help from my parents and realized that…

You Don’t Know My Name: Assessing the Authenticity of My Identity

By Sally Camara No one knows who you are or will ever know who you are until you decide to peel back your skin layer by layer exposing the true inner core. Usually this moment of first revealing oneself begins with a name and progresses until the parties involved decide to form a connection, whether…

Beauty in Craft

By Shannon DeNatale How would you define a beautiful poetic moment? Does it have identifiable qualities? When I read poetry, I trust the writer as I engage in the language, on the language’s terms. This trust in the language, devotedly, is the space where beauty has a chance to emerge. As the writer leads me…

What’s Your Twitch?

By Jasmine Ferrufino Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have been among the most long-standing social media platforms for artists to communicate with their audience. These platforms have set the bar for newer platforms. During Covid-19, I think humanity realized the importance of online communities when face-to-face interactions became impossible. Artists have moved towards live streaming to…

Writing and Dance: The Inherent Resemblance

By Rissa Medlenka My experience with dance and writing has brought me to the conclusion that they are more alike than meets the eye, although my personal journey with each could not be more different. I have been training in dance since I was three years old and am still pursuing it in my third…

The Quick Knowledge Appeal of Video Essays

By Mason Martinez As a high school senior, I was desperate. The graduation clock was ticking down and after three attempts, I still hadn’t passed my Global Regents, a standardized exam required to graduate in New York State. I struggled to retain dull information from dusty textbooks. Large blocks of text made it difficult to…

The Fashion Statement: Fresh or Faux Pas?

By Elizabeth Abrams Visualize one of your characters. What are they wearing? What aspects of their wardrobe stand out the most? Considering fashion isn’t strictly necessary, but it’s an underused method of characterization. Style reveals details about setting, as well as personality and background. Someone prim and proper might dress neatly—or they might subvert expectations…

The Emulation Game

By Lianna Lazaros In a creative writing workshop, we are encouraged to imitate other writers. Take this traditional poetic form and try it yourself. Read this author and draw inspiration from their use of syntax. The first time I found myself imitating another poet’s style was last year in Poetry Writing I. I spent months…

Your First Draft is Not Awful: Writers on Process

By Claire Torregiano Your first draft is not terrible. It is an infant. You do not call an infant terrible because they are a product of a world that is new to them. You nurture and cultivate them so that they become smart, strong, and capable. I interviewed four writers about their experiences with first…

Beyond and Between “Cute”: Review of the Film, Mignonnes

By Grace Mahony Maïmouna Doucouré’s movie, Mignonnes (translated into English as Cuties) addresses how vulnerable young girls are on social media. The protagonist is Amy, an 11-year-old Senegalese-Muslim immigrant girl in Paris, trying to find her path between her Muslim family’s traditional values of femininity and the hypersexualized culture of contemporary society. Amy acts like…

Finding Literature Community During Isolation

By Olivia Adams Having a community of readers is incredibly important, despite the solitary nature of the act. Spending my fifth-grade year at the library is how I got my first job! I experienced my first open mic event at the last independent bookstore in Niagara Falls. But what do you do when the world…

Culture Calling – Diversity Readers and Where to Find Them

By Synovia Roberts As the world gets more outwardly diverse, storytellers—whether it be fiction writers, screenwriters, or visual artists—are rushing to embody that diversity in their work. The influx of representation both solves and creates a problem via the accuracy of said representation. You see, diversifying one’s work requires one to explore cultures/identities that are…

Generation Profit: Learning to Embrace the Pressure for Our Own Sakes

By Kayla Lunden In May of 2013, 35-year-old Jack Conte founded Patreon, an online crowdfunding platform that aims to connect artists and their patrons through a monthly subscription model. In an episode of the podcast Hannahlyze This, Conte told listeners that Patreon began because he wanted to “see if I could just make money by…

Make A Move: The Benefits of Mentorship

By Dylan McKenna What is a mentor? Definitions include: an experienced and trusted adviser; someone who shares with a mentee information about career paths; a person who provides guidance, motivation and role modeling. Depending on the context and relationship between parties, these descriptions all fit. I have experienced them at each step of my journey…

Telling Time With Andrei Tarkovsky

By Colin Sharp-O’ Connor In his directorial manifesto Sculpting in Time, Andrei Tarkovsky took a firm stance against the predominant directorial tradition in film (at his time of writing in the 1960s) known as “montage cinema,” in which the continuity and rhythm of a film is ultimately the result of its editing, the way each…

Why is Feeling Not Enough? A Defense for Poems That Open Doors

By Channa Goldman I was seventeen years old when I read HOWL by Allen Ginsburg, and three billion firecrackers went off in my chest at lines such as: “I’m with you in Rockland/ where we hug and kiss the United States under/ our bedsheets the United States that coughs all/ night and won’t let us…

The Importance of Taking a Step Back

By Kris Rubertone It’s no secret that writing in the heat of an emotional moment helps a writer understand her feelings. However, it’s only in revision that the writer can clearly gauge whether she has effectively evoked that particular emotional truth, and whether it has a similar effect on the reader. Does the language conjure…

Yeah, I Didn’t Finish That One. It Was Too Long.

By Winnie Richards Whether it’s a novel, a poem or a news article, you can bet  the longer it is, the fewer readers you’ll have. In our fast-paced, ever-changing world of technology, there is little appetite for the lengthy. Why would I read an entire news article when the headline tells me everything? Why would…

Does Content Matter?

By Amy Middleton What convinces a reader to pick up a book? As writers, we are told that the opening line, in particular, is meant to pull them in and hopefully convince them to stay for a while. Being that it is the first thing any reader would read, it seems obvious that the opening…

Mapping Your Way to Complex Characters

By Cerissa DiValentino The disorienting feeling you experience after finishing a novel wherein the characters feel like someone you know in real life demonstrates the power complex characters have over our emotions. As writers, we aim to immerse our readers so completely into the world we’ve created that they’re hesitant to leave it. Most importantly,…

Writing 101 for Struggling College Students

By Savannah Lopez Have you ever compared yourself to your peers and felt discouraged?  Do you sometimes find it hard to stay inspired? It’s okay, we’ve all been there. I’ve been in college for almost six years and it wasn’t until 2017 when I realized I wanted to become a creative writing major.  I transferred…

Writing as Medicine

By Ingrid Kildiss Its 3:30 pm, I’m sitting in class and my mind is racing. There are at least two more hours until my professor lets us out of class, but I can’t sit still. I’m anxious about the argument I got into with my mom this weekend, all the work I need to do,…

Writing People We Know

By Elana Marcus In the 2015 Noah Baumbach film, Mistress America, college freshman Tracy meets her stepsister, Brooke, for the first time. Inspired by Brooke’s eccentric personality, Tracy writes a short story about her to submit to the school literary journal. After Brooke discovers the story, she is enraged. A whole interrogation scene follows where…

The Sliding Razor: Effects of Sensory Imagery in Writing

By Shannon Magrane Sensory imagery, by definition, is an element of writing in which the five senses (sight, taste, touch, hearing, and smell) are described in order to make your readers feel what your characters are experiencing. By evoking a sensory reaction, the writer enables the reader to be part of the characters’ physical experience.…

A Celebration and a Weight to Bear: Exploring Violence, Loss, and Culture in Tarfia Faizullah’s Registers of Illuminated Villages

By Mitchell Angelo  Tarfia Faizullah is a Bengali-American award-winning poet. Her second collection of poetry, Registers of Illuminated Villages, examines violence: both personal and societal. She utilizes the confessional style to present the reader with real life challenges she has faced. Faizullah blends the philosophical with the tangible. Her work makes the reader ask questions…

Dynamic Characters in Theatre and Writing

As a Theatre and Performance Major, I’m often asked to consider my character’s wants when playing a role. “What is my motivation?” is a question that actors pose so often that it’s parodied. But as it turns out, there’s something to this question. Actors use it to better inhabit their characters. If I can take…

A Cozier Alternative to the Classroom (An Interview with Paloma Gratereaux)

An Interview by Carly Sorenson  Paloma Gratereaux is a junior double-major at SUNY Purchase and recent founder of the African American Women Writers Book Club. The club meets biweekly on Mondays at 6:30 p.m. in the Multicultural Center. Shortly after the club’s first meeting, the two of us sat down for a conversation about representation,…

Surviving the Day: How Stephen King Helped Me Grow Up

By Nick Sapienza I was always a shy kid. Whether it was talking to people or sending a text message, my social anxiety made me fear even the shortest interactions. During my grade school years, I felt immense pressure to be social and make friends, which left me feeling increasingly paranoid. In times of anxiety,…

We’re Better Together: On Finding a Writing Community

By Christina Baulch As a Literature major, I’m surrounded by creative writing all the time. Whether I’m studying Medieval English Literature or Sci-Fi, I’ve dedicated my four years at Purchase to analyzing and appreciating creative writing of all mediums, genres, and time periods. Yet, with all this reading in my course schedule, I’ve found it…

Defying Genre (and Gender): How Camp is More Serious Than It Looks

By Muse McCormack I’m currently in an amazing class called LGBTQ Theater and Performance History where we’ve been reading plays about feminism, queerness, and genderfluidity. Many of these plays use camp or exaggeration, especially of gender, to comment on gender and feminism in America. Camp is a kind of performance or aesthetic that is usually…

A Magazine Given a Second Chance

By Trisha Murphy If you travel to the back of Campus Center South, you will find a flight of stairs to your left. Take them to the basement, hang a right and walk till you’re just shy of the exit to the dumpster and room 0024/0025 will be on the left, the place I love…

From Paperback to the Big Screen: Is it Worth the Watch?

By Taylor Johnson Every year it seems like more and more books are being adapted for the small and big screen, and the same question follows its release: which is better, the movie or the book? I struggle with this decision as well: whether to watch the movie or read the book first. I fear…

Writing, Wonder, and Wit: An Interview With Joanna Valente (excerpt)

By Finola Mc Donald (An except of an interview with Alumna, Joanna Valente, in our upcoming 2017 issue) Joanna C. Valente is a human who lives in Brooklyn, New York. They are the author of Sirs & Madams (Aldrich Press, 2014), The Gods Are Dead (Deadly Chaps Press, 2015), Sexting the Dead (Unknown Press, 2017)…

The Joys of Another Art

By Rosa Sugarman Image by Kurt Vonnegut When authors come to SUNY Purchase for a reading, one questions always seems to reappear during the Q&A: What advice would you give to young writers? The answer is always different and often contradictory to other writers’ advice. Some say to treat it like a 9-5; work tirelessly…

Why We Really Became Creative Writers

By Kayla Dale I’ve had the privilege of following many talented students through years-worth of creative writing classes, and have not only created friendships, but also watched their voices blossom as writers.  I’ve read their fiction, but I have never had the opportunity to ask them the big question: “Why are you here at Purchase…

Claudia Rankine Visits Purchase College

By Kate Brown The day she was awarded the MacArthur “Genius” Grant, poet Claudia Rankine visited the Purchase College campus for her first event, An Evening with Claudia Rankine: A Reading and Conversation, the first of many talks she will give throughout 2016-17 academic year.

Tales from the Creep

By Erik Goetz “A good writer is always a people watcher.” – Judy Blume “The soul should always stand ajar, ready to welcome the ecstatic experience.” – Emily Dickinson

POV: A Literary Choose-Your-Own-Adventure

By Jiaming Tang Trying to decide on a narrative point-of-view can feel like trying to pick a country to vacation in. Just like how vacationers might say: “Japan is beautiful but China is cheaper,” a writer might say: “First-person constructs a colorful narrative experience, but third-person offers a more objective view of the world.”

The Right Kind of Romanticism

By Lucas Tromblee How many shots at writing a poem does it take be a poet? A long answer short: more than a couple. To go out in the woods with a gun doesn’t make you a hunter. Neither do deer head mounts on your wall. A hunter is what he claims to be in…

Talking with Susan Breen

By Jamison Murcott This semester, Italics Mine had the opportunity to sit down and interview author Susan Breen, who’s new mystery series, Maggie Dove, will be digitally released on June 14, 2016. Here’s an excerpt of the interview, which will be published in Italics Mine’s upcoming issue.

The Transformation of the Fairy Tale

By Cody La Vada In 1979, British novelist Angela Carter forever changed the model of the fairy tale with the publication of her short fiction collection, The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories, which contains ten reworkings of classic tales ranging from a novella-length piece inspired by the “Bluebeard” story to a micro-fiction piece that barely…

Beyond the Pronouns: Point of View in Prose

By Molly McNally   Before the setting, before the characters, before rising action and conflict and resolution, a writer is faced with the question: from what point of view should the story be told? A writer can use the first person (the “I” who speaks), second person (the “you” who the piece addresses), or third…

The Evolution of The Martian

By Zoe Nathan When people think of books, they think of bookstores, libraries, and even school textbooks. All of these books went through different publishing houses and had many people working on them, advertising them, making sure everything was just as it should be before the book made it onto a bookstore shelf to be…

Agents: An Encouraging Word of Advice

By Jonathan Hernandez The aspiring writer faces many challenges. First, we must slay that fearsome foe – the blank white page. Then, we have to polish our rough work with many vigorous hours of revision, submit it to brutal workshops, and subject it to exhaustive rounds of editing. Now you have a gem that you…

I Don’t Read Aloud: An Excerpted Interview with Lydia Davis

By Kukuwa Ashun and Edyn Getz Purchase College welcomed MacArthur Fellowship Award winner Lydia Davis to campus on Thursday, September 24th. Before hosting a public reading and campus wide Q&A, Professor Okasi’s Editing & Production class had the opportunity to sit down and interview the author. She answered questions about the intimate literary world, her…

Female Representation in YA Literature

By Maggie McEvoy Young women are a driving force of the market, especially when it concerns Young Adult (YA) literature. When I think of YA literature, images of screaming fan-girls, Katniss Everdeen with her bow pulled taut, and Barnes & Nobel shelves filled with bright pink binding come to mind. When girls—especially teenage girls—love something,…

The Power of Image in Photography and Poetry

By Danielle McCormack Photography has been a continuous influence in my life. At a young age I would follow my mother around as she would take photographs of family occasions and weddings. Nowadays, everyone with an Instagram account and a smartphone considers themselves a photographer, but when I was twelve and first exploring the art…

Chasing the Muse (Without a Chaser?)

By Kevin Domanski The link between writing and drinking is a tradition that has spanned centuries. Most writers are well aware of the tales of Hemingway drinking his way from Havana to Paris, Carver and Cheever spending more time at The Mill Bar than teaching at Iowa, Bukowski stumbling into and through readings; I could…

The Intersection of Rap and Poetry

By James Siegel When asked about the biggest influences on my poetry, a few names spring to mind: Hart Crane, Berrymen, Dickinson, Stevens. But that response feels academic, the expected answer rather than the true one. That’s not to say that they did not actually influence my work, because they certainly did. It’s just that…

Young Adult Literature’s Race Problem

By Ajani Bazile-Dutes Daniel Handler, a.k.a. Lemony Snicket, the author of the extremely popular novels, “A Series of Unfortunate Events,” hosted the National Book Awards last year on November 19th 2014. At the awards ceremony, he announced that Jacqueline Woodson had won in the category for young adult literature for her book, Brown Girl Dreaming,…

Summer Reading: Slowly & Scarcely

By Christopher Stewart Children all across America thrive in the summer time. It is a three-month break from classes, teachers, cafeterias, but not reading. Year after year American students save their assigned reading till the very last minute and proceed to exchange essays and SparkNote links before the first day of school, resulting in a…

In Defense of Young Artists

By Carly Fowler Everyone has to start somewhere, yet there is a certain disdain for young creators. We turn our noses up at the first attempts made by anyone still in their twenties or younger. Reviews often read, “Amateurish,” or “Juvenile,” without ever explaining what makes the content deserving of such harsh criticism other than…

Prelude to Bruise

By Whisper Blanchard “If I ever strangled sparrows/it was only because I dreamed/of better songs.” Consider this line as an introduction into the work of Saeed Jones, a young poet who has recently published his debut collection, Prelude to Bruise, which was picked up by Coffee House Press and put on shelves in September of…

On Writing, On Observing, On Anxiety

By Riley Dixon In attempting quite fervently to ‘idle,’ I learned that I am almost incapable of remaining in a completely idle state. There is a buzzing inside and out that I cannot seem to shake unless I am totally at peace. I seem to have falsely convinced myself that a moment at rest is…