News

Launch of 88th Annual Student Literary Magazine Celebrates Writers and Visual Artists

More than a dozen students read selections from their work during the virtual launch party for The Lantern, Ursinus’s long-running literary magazine, which features entries from students across all class years.

“As in previous years, we have poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction pieces, as well as a selection of visual art that includes watercolor, photography, and other mediums,” said Production Editor Sam Ernst ’21, an English major with minors in creative writing and computer science.

“Readers will find a few pieces in The Lantern influenced by the pandemic, making it a sort of time capsule for future generations,” said Ernst, who also noted that physical copies of the publications will not be made available until after the close of the semester due to a backlog at the publisher, presumably another example of the impact of COVID-19. In the meantime, this year’s edition can be enjoyed on the Digital Commons. (Be sure to look for an interesting take on the lantern that is traditionally included on the first page.)

Professor of English Jon Volkmer and Adam Mlodzinski, the publication’s editor, announced the writing awards during the celebration of the launch:

Prose Prize: Aurora McKee ’24 for her short story, “One Thousand and One Is Never Enough”

Poetry Prize: Aviva Schuh ’23 for her poem, “Strawberry Girl (Raw Sugar, Shattered Glass)”

Creager Prize: Sam Ernst ’21 for his creative nonfiction piece, “Douglas Adams’ Guide to Florida”

Although not specifically related to The Lantern, the winner and runner-up of the Dolman Prize, which is endowed by the generosity of the late Geoffrey Dolman and honors a senior whose portfolio of creative writing in any genre is deemed outstanding, were also announced.

Shane Kowalski ’11, who will be teaching fiction writing next semester, judged the portfolios. “I’m really excited for the fall because if the portfolios that I read for the Dolman Prize were any indication of the talent, strength, eclecticism and voices at Ursinus, I think it’s going to be a great year,” said Kowalski.

Adam Mlodzinski ’21 was selected as the winner, and Gabby DeMelfi ’21 was the runner-up.

A piece combining sculpture and painting that was created by Kelsey Gavin was chosen as the prize-winning cover work. “I layer a lot, and a lot of my work tends to be a slow burn. I feel like collectively that’s what we can refer to 2020 as: It was a slow burn where every month felt like March,” said Gavin. “I was working with plaster, canvas, plywood, ink, acrylic. I did casts of my body. [This piece] really just became an investigation into this disillusionment with myself, but also with the world.”