, Salem, MA


October 4, 2013

Literary journal celebrates 40 years at Salem State

Soundings East, a literary journal published at Salem State University, will celebrate its 40th anniversary on campus Monday.

“There will be readings and people coming up to talk about the magazine,” said Ron Kessler, coordinator of creative writing at Salem State and current faculty adviser to the journal’s student board. “We’ll have cake and a display of old issues” in Marsh Hall 210.

The first two issues are collector’s items, because they published material from one of the first conferences on the works of Jack Kerouac, Kessler said.

Beat generation icons Allen Ginsberg, Peter Orlovsky and Gregory Corso visited campus to participate in that symposium, which was organized by faculty member Jay McHale in the spring of 1973.

In its 65 issues, Soundings East has also published works by major writers, including poets Seamus Heaney, Denise Levertov, Tess Gallagher and Martin Espada.

The journal was first known as Gone Soft, and its first student editor was Ron Bogan, who graduated in 1977 and will be present at the anniversary.

He was assisted by faculty adviser John Currier, “a skinny twenty-six-year-old English instructor” who died at age 29 from cystic fibrosis, wrote Kessler in an article on the journal’s history.

Currier had founded an earlier campus magazine for student writing, but the focus of Soundings East from the beginning was to publish the best submissions they could attract.

“We get 15 manuscripts for every one we publish,” Kessler said. “It’s like fishing.”

Though student work is still sometimes published there, it is more likely to appear in Red Skies, an online magazine organized at the school.

Soundings East benefits students most by allowing them to examine and judge work by accomplished writers from around the world, Kessler said.

Though Kessler advises the students, and sometimes invites established writers to speak with them, their votes determine what goes into each issue.

The most recent issue features work by a local Salem poet, Malcolm Miller, who had been submitting work for several years before it was accepted.

“I liked his archness, his freshness, his eccentricity,” Kessler said. “I think he’s a brilliant poet.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • North Shore religion calendar Saturday, April 19 Easter Bunny Breakfast & Egg Hunt, 10 a.m. to noon, Northshore Unitarian Universalist Church, 323 Locust St., Danvers. The youth groups of Northshore and Beverly Unitarian Universalist churches will hold an Easter breakfast and egg

    April 19, 2014

  • North Shore religion news in brief The Rev. Marya DeCarlen has been named the new, full-time priest in charge at All Saints Episcopal Church of the North Shore in Danvers. DeCarlen's ministry with the parish begins Sunday, April 27. Her appointment comes after the church's yearlong in

    April 19, 2014

  • Dear Abby: Teenage girl’s boyish figure is often deceiving to others Dear Abby: I'm a 14-year-old girl with a problem. Because of my buzzed short hair, slim hips and flat chest, I frequently get mistaken for a boy. It really bothers me because, despite my haircut and body shape, I have a feminine face and I wear women

    April 19, 2014

  • This weekend's Best Bets Best Bets for Saturday and Sunday, April 19 and 20

    Looking for something to do this weekend? Here are The Salem News' Best Bets:

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Vet Connection: Is it OK to give a dog a bone? We have all seen the cartoons and commercials depicting dogs burying bones and stashing them away for later. Unfortunately, most pet owners are completely unaware of the significant risks and problems that are associated with feeding dogs these treat

    April 18, 2014

  • Ask Dog Lady: Why is my dog fascinated with burying things? Dear Dog Lady, My dog came across a dead cat at the park and proceeded to bury the cat with surrounding leaves by using her nose and pushing the leaves over the dead cat. Two days later, we went back to the park, and she found the dead cat again and

    April 18, 2014

  • ed Ipswich author to share drawing techniques Most of Ed Emberley's 80 children's books, 20 of which are still in print, have one goal in mind. "Showing the kids you can draw; everybody can draw something," he said. "They get encouragement from working with the simplest thing." Emberley will giv

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • holtenhouse Quick pick 'Voices From the Back Stairs' Jennifer Pustz of Historic New England presents "Voices From the Back Stairs" tomorrow at 2, at the Judge Samuel Holten House, 171 Holten St., Danvers. In her presentation, Pustz explores domestic service in 19th- and 20

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dear Abby: Assistant’s gruff attitude needs to be smoothed out Dear Abby: How do I deal with an assistant who keeps calling me a "brown-noser"? She did it again yesterday at a staff meeting in front of my boss and another assistant. It was the third time she has said it. She is gruff and rude, and several people

    April 18, 2014

  • Friday's Best Bets Best Bets for Friday, April 18

    Looking for something to do today? Here are The Salem News' Best Bets:

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

NDN Video
Comments Tracker