WRITER: MARTI TIEDEMAN
CONTACT: MARY GERAGHTY
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0011; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Oct. 29, 1999
UI online student magazine grows from honors project
to undergraduate course
IOWA CITY, Iowa The University of Iowa online
student literary magazine SMACK! found a home on the Internet last spring,
and it will find a second home in the classroom next semester.
began as an English honors project for UI junior Stephen Balsley and UI senior
Megan Levad in the spring of 1999 when they approached faculty with the idea
of an online literary publication. It is now in its fourth issue.
"We created the magazine for credit last spring
semester. Now we just do it as a hobby, continuing the metamorphosis of the
creation," Balsley said.
The hobby will soon turn into a teaching responsibility
when Balsley and Levad assist Mary Hussmann, co-editor of "The Iowa Review"
and director of the UI Undergraduate Writing Program, in teaching SMACK! as
an English honors course during the spring 2000 semester.
Students will get hands-on experience with literary
work and web-based journals in the class, Hussmann said. "One of the
course components will be the actual production of SMACK!, which will encompass
everything from soliciting writing and artwork to getting it on the web,"
she said. Students also will look at both web-based and print literary publications
to learn about their contributions to literary culture.
SMACK! is the first online magazine for undergraduates
sponsored by the UI department of English. An outlet for undergraduate work
from the UI and other universities, SMACK! showcases academic and creative
features, photo essays, poetry, fiction and nonfiction. The editors are interested
in promoting many different varieties of work, Balsley said.
"SMACK! is progressive and fresh. Its a
map of the direction that a new generation of writers will take to approaching
the literary world," he said. The students entitled the magazine SMACK!
because of the various meanings it holds in society, ranging from a kiss to
heroin to a physical blow, Balsley added.
"SMACK! is an excellent on-line literary magazine
featuring student writing of the highest quality," said Mary Ann Rasmussen,
the magazines faculty advisor and director of the English Honors Program.
"Its creative, intellectually engaging and a pleasure to look at
and to read."
"This is not a small time journal," Balsley
said. "And by offering SMACK! as a course, our staff will grow. This
will enable us to produce bigger and more intense magazines with each new
Submissions are accepted anytime throughout the semester,
and should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org,
or delivered to the SMACK! mailbox in room 308 of the English-Philosophy Building
on the UI campus. Contact Stephen Balsley, (319) 338-0968, for further submission
information and Mary Hussmann, (319) 335-0641, for further course information.