Spring 2020 marks the publication of Volume 21 of the Bryant Literary Review, as well as the addition of the literary magazine’s digitized archive to the Douglas and Judith Krupp Library’s institutional repository. Just in time for summer reading, it is now available through Digital Commons, part of a worldwide network of scholarly publications.
The network of free, full-text publications from hundreds of colleges and universities around the world is an ever-growing collection of original works curated by college and university libraries and their supporting institutions. The move brings new, worldwide visibility to Bryant’s journal, which itself features submissions from contributors all over the world.
Expanded global reach
The Bryant Literary Review receives thousands of submissions each year from writers around the globe, says the journal’s Editor Thomas Roach, Ph.D., a professor of English and Cultural Studies. With the added exposure, that number is likely to grow. “The quality of our submissions has gone up as the journal has gained more and more worldwide recognition,” he adds.
This magazine is from authors around the world who’ve contributed the work they’ve put so much of themselves into. You’ll find things you didn’t expect.
According to Digital Services and Research Librarian Sam Simas, who worked on the digitization project earlier this year, data show that the Bryant Literary Review files have already been accessed thousands of times globally. The Krupp Library’s entire digital archive has been accessed by people representing 98 percent of the world’s nations, he says.
“Making the Bryant Literary Review available through Digital Commons is an example of how our archive takes the great things that Bryant does, and broadcasts those out to the entire globe,” adds Krupp Library Assistant Director Patricia Lombardi. “It allows us to take things that make Bryant special and share them with a worldwide audience.”
Making the Bryant Literary Review available through Digital Commons is an example of how our archive takes the great things that Bryant does, and broadcasts those out to the entire globe.
Curated and edited by Bryant students and faculty
The literary magazine’s team of editors includes Bryant faculty and students, and several Bryant students and alumni have seen their first published works in the Bryant Literary Review. For example, last year’s 20th anniversary volume featured a poem from Lisa Russo ’19.
Student editors review thousands of submissions and make a case to other editors for those they feel should be published. Each issue typically features 25-30 poems and 8-10 stories, and regularly includes some work from Bryant students, faculty, or staff.
Student editors get remarkable experience curating and editing the magazine, as they are given significant autonomy to evaluate and recommend which works are included in each publication, according to Professor Roach, who serves as both general editor and fiction editor for the journal (Drea Brown, Ph.D. serves as poetry editor.)
[The Bryant Literary Review] is very much a reflection of Bryant because it’s so student driven.
“We had a lot of decision-making authority,” she says. “We got to choose what we felt was most interesting and share our perspectives.”
What she found most rewarding, she says, was the different perspectives each editor brought to the process. “It was so interesting to see how different people can interpret things so differently.” DiStefano appreciated the thoughtful, respectful, and collaborative dynamic among the editorial team, she says. “It’s not that one interpretation is right or wrong; it’s being able to work together to make it all cohere that’s so rewarding.”
“Not only do the student editors get the experience of being at the helm of such a great publication, but their input means the magazine is a contemporary reflection of what’s on the minds of Bryant students,” Roach says. “It’s very much a reflection of Bryant because it’s so student-driven.”
Student fiction editor and Marketing graduate Cherlene Erauda ’20 agrees. “The greatest part of putting fresh work out there for others to read and critique is to find someone else that speaks the same writing language,” she says. “The Bryant Literary Review publications are exactly that: prose and poetry that spoke personally to us as members of the Bryant community.”
Former student editors of the Bryant Literary Review have gone on to work in arts and education administration and writing instruction, Roach says, including Courtney Landi ’12, who is now a Writing Instructor at Grubb Street (Boston), and an Adjunct Writing Professor at Roger Williams University.
Find things you didn’t expect
DiStefano says she hopes members of the Bryant community will incorporate the magazine into their summer reading lists.
“It’s important to look at new things and get involved with different perspectives,” she says. “This magazine represents authors from around the world who’ve contributed the work they’ve put so much of themselves into. You’ll find things you didn’t expect.”
For more information about the publication and its staff, or to receive printed copies, visit the magazine’s website.