It all started with a graduation requirement. In the spring of this year, former student and editor of The Tower, Brandon Gates, gave Graceland something to remember him by. While taking his Senior Project course, a class necessary for an English degree, he embarked on a mission to restart Graceland’s literary magazine.
Throughout the semester, Brandon overcame time restraints, budget concerns, and many other obstacles in order to provide the Graceland community with a collaboration of artwork, essays, poems, and short fiction by students and staff. One of his first major decision was naming the magazine, which he eventually decided to title The Vespiary, or wasps’ nest. After posting fliers around campus in order to gain submissions, he recruited a few readers to help him decide which pieces to include. His last step, after fitting everything together, was ordering all of the copies.
Graceland had a literary magazine called Expressions in the past, but the tradition did not last. Because of this, one of Brandon’s biggest concerns was making sure that the literary magazine’s attendance at Graceland would surpass his own. In order to do so, he hosted a launch for The Vespiary at The Linden Street Coffee House during the last few weeks of the semester where many students, staff, and other community members were welcome to join. After he introduced his project, some of the published writers read their pieces out loud. He then announced that he was passing the well-being of The Vespiary down to the hands of myself and Jacob Boles (also a writer for The Tower) in the hopes that we keep the publication alive. He also had copies available for guests to purchase, saving all the proceeds for the following year’s budget.
As a student of Graceland and participant in the editing process, I was eagerly awaiting the outcome of the first volume of the magazine during the spring semester. When it was debuted, I was very impressed with the work that Brandon did on creating this new tradition. The Vespiary is sophisticated and aesthetically appealing, and he took great care in making sure that it features a variety of work, embodying the many talents and passions that swarm within the Graceland community.
If you’re interested in getting your hands on the first volume of The Vespiary or subscribing to the magazine’s annual publication, there are still copies for sale. To purchase a copy, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. The price is $5 for current students and $10 for non students. The Vespiary staff would really appreciate the support!