News Research

March 15, 2018 at 1:17 pm

Quarter After Eight Features Hybrid Writing, New Voices

Book cover, photo of pincushion shaped like doll

The issue’s cover features artwork, titled “Pincushion,” by visual article Nicole Havecost

by Kristin Distel

Quarter After Eight, one of Ohio University’s creative writing journals, published its 24th issue with Derek Robbins, doctoral candidate in creative writing, as the journal’s current editor.

The journal, which has been run by OHIO graduate students since its founding in 1994, features innovative writing styles, voices, and forms. Quarter After Eight publishes poetry, nonfiction essays, short fiction, visual art features, and hybrid pieces.

An Emphasis on Hybrid Writing

One such hybrid piece is a set of two “essays-in-sentences” written by Beth Bachmann, which, Robbins explains, “exist somewhere in the liminal space between poetry and nonfiction, combining both lyrical, voice-driven sentences and the encyclopedic details of art and history.”

Another particularly innovative piece is Nilla Larsen’s palimpsestic poem, “For the Words Removed from the Oxford Junior Dictionary.”

In this poem, Larsen strikes through words that have been removed from the dictionary and italicizes those that have been added. The poem is a rich exploration of the intersection between the meaning of language and the way in which modern culture and language affect one another.

“The result is a multilayered piece in which the ghosts of removed words still haunt the page in their diminished forms, present and absent simultaneously,” Robbins states.

Highlighting the Work of Emerging Writers

The journal has long supported the writing of both established and emerging writers, including the work of fellow graduate students at other institutions.

It is a special pleasure for the staff of Quarter After Eight to feature the work of writers who are publishing their writing for the first time.

“Issue 24 includes the first publication of Beth Weeks, an MFA candidate at Miami University in Ohio. Her short story, ‘Lien,’ documents the struggles of a young woman working to find her place in the world after her brother’s suicide and the deaths of her parents,” Robbins explains.

Doll shaped with thimble feet and tape measure stomach

The issue’s back cover lists the contributing writers and features “Measuring Tape” by Havekost.

Tackling Difficult Subject Matter

In keeping with the journal’s dedication to innovative writing, the new issue also features short fiction that explores familiar subjects in unique, daring ways.

“Motherhood is one such subject,” Robbins states. “Our culture rarely provides women the opportunity to discuss the downsides of motherhood, much less the idea that one might regret having children. We’ve included a story called ‘Effacement’ by Natalie Homer, an MFA candidate at West Virginia University, that offers a brilliant and visceral exploration of postpartum depression.”

“We also have a quirky but surprisingly touching take on the Flint, Mich., water crisis by Cameron Stewart in ‘Dong Breaks Free,’” Robbins adds.

Graduate Student Staff Plans Anniversary Issue

Robbins is supported by a staff of fellow graduate students who meet each week to read, discuss, and vote on the journal’s hundreds of submissions.

Kristin M. Distel serves as the journal’s assistant editor. Associate editors include Claire Eder, Megan Griffith, Justin Mundhenk, Sarah Olson, Michelle Pretorius, Melanie Ritzenthaler, Morgan Roediger, Samuel Ross, and Lee Spellman.

“I’m especially grateful to our dedicated staff of associate editors who volunteer their time and energy to our journal,” Robbins states. “They make it possible for us to continue our work year by year.”

The staff of Quarter After Eight is beginning to plan a distinctive anniversary edition to celebrate the journal’s 25th anniversary. “The anniversary issue will include a retrospective look to our past, and a set of new pieces to map out our future,” Robbins says.

To inquire about purchasing a copy of Issue 24, contact the editorial staff via email. Quarter After Eight is currently open for submissions.



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