The school newspaper The Ivy is no longer the only student publication at SMUS, as our new literary magazine The Brier launched this month. The Brier will be an outlet for all the creative writing produced by SMUS, which is considerable, judging from the number of poetry and fiction awards garnered by students last year and the talent contained in the annual anthology Between the Red Walls.
“We were always talking about it,” says cofounder Daniela Loggia, of the idea for a new SMUS publication. This summer, she and Linda Yu decided to do more than talk and in September, the girls obtained the approval of Senior School Director Kath Roth (along with a small budget). Under the guidance of Mr. Terence Young, creative-writing teacher and published author, the girls assembled submissions, planned a website and chose a name. Its founders hope The Brier, named for a prickly plant and pulled from the poem Bonny Barbara Allen, will be a bit edgier than The Ivy, though they don’t consider it a competition.
“They’re a newspaper, we’re a literary magazine,” explains Linda. In fact, editor of The Ivy Kirsten Marsh is one of the contributors to the debut issue. The Brier is also distinctive because of its website, which includes a student event calendar, a forum to get homework help and allows students to submit their pieces anonymously.
“Anonymous is a nice option,” says Linda. “Poetry is kind of personal.”
The website will also be another place for students to read The Brier, which is only available in print at the library and at the student-run café The Daily Grind. This issue even includes an interview with The Daily Grind managers, one of whom designed the literary magazine’s website. The Brier can also be found on the school website.
For their next issue, the girls are hoping to have a wider pool of writers, possibly including Middle School poets and story-tellers as well. “The Brier is open to everyone,” says Linda