Paperclips – going beyond the classroom staples

Inevitably, students will have classes in which they forget all that they have learned as soon as they hand in the final. But at the College, learning doesn’t always stop when students exit the classroom. This is especially true for Alyson Greenwood, junior English major, and Tara Conte, senior English major, who have turned a class project into an ongoing publication: Paperclips.

Paperclips is the College’s newest newsletter of literary and cultural commentary. “It is focused on all things literary and cultural,” Conte said.

“We write about stuff that is hip and on the edge,” Greenwood said.

The publication began as a project in Catie Rosemurgy’s writing communities class in Fall 2006. The course is an option under the creative writing minor and focuses on organizational aspects of a literary community.

Rosemurgy, professor of English, said, “I was hoping the project would stimulate on-going discussion about books and writers among students and faculty in the creative writing minor, English department and beyond.”

Because the course is not offered during the spring, Conte and Greenwood decided to continue the project in an independent study. The newsletter will be turned back over to the writing communities class in Fall 2007.

The goal of the publication is to foster a literary and cultural community. As Rosemurgy said, “Having more conversations about what we are reading and what’s going on in contemporary literature helps connect our community at the College to the larger culture of books.”

Paperclips has carved its own niche among the College’s other publications. “It’s one of the only outlets to write about culture with wit and humor,” Greenwood said. “It offers more of a journalistic approach for people that want to write creatively.”

The newsletter features profiles of faculty, poets and fiction writers. Along with popular culture and restaurant reviews, there is also literary commentary. But don’t worry: “Everything is applicable and current, no Shakespeare, unless of course you want to publish a list of rap songs that reference Billy Shakes or something like that,” Conte said.

Being a student-run periodical, the editors are in tune to what readers want. The content is interest driven, and as the title implies, humor and wit are essential ingredients.

“I would recommend other students to read it because it truly opened my eyes to the potential and skill, especially in writing that some of my fellow students had,” Jason Taetsch, junior English major, said.

Interested in discovering new authors or the secrets behind Playboy and GQ? Want something fun and enlightening to do this weekend that your brain cells will survive and actually enjoy? Paperclips will point you in the “write” direction, with articles as pertinent as recommending galleries and reviewing books and albums, to others as fanciful as pairing cheeses with a special event.

The first five issues of Paperclips debuted in the fall, and five more will be issued this spring. Copies are available in Bliss Hall, the New Library and the Social Sciences Building. If you have a way with words or an inkling to write about the contours of culture, be sure to check out or e-mail