Each September as we begin the months-long process of printing this wonderful journal, I reflect on the meaning of the name Inscape. Ever the English major, my first inclination is to pick apart this word and its (mildly convoluted) definition that we include in each edition of the journal.
In fact, in an early draft of this note I *may* have written such a paragraph—diving into each phrase of the definition in an attempt to enunciate what we do here—before promptly deleting it. Because ultimately, such a detailed examination cannot provide an accurate analysis of everything that Inscape the journal is. Where it has come from, what it is now, what it will become. And so, I propose a simpler definition for this word we call ourselves:
Inscape is an opportunity.
For the students who work on this journal. Undergraduates and graduate students alike, we come to Inscape for the opportunity to be surrounded by the work we love and to form a community with those who have similar passions to us. We don’t always agree on what pieces we like, nor on what the journal should look like. But we come together regardless for that opportunity to create something tangible as a community. We come for the opportunity to create something we can hold in our hands and say, Look at what we can accomplish together.
For those who submit and those who are published. To the poets and the storytellers, the essayists and the artists, Inscape is an opportunity to share a piece of themselves with the world, no matter how small or tender, large or brash. Whether or not the piece is published is ultimately of little consequence; rather, it is the act of putting ourselves out there, the opportunity seized, which reaffirms to us as creators that what we have created is worth consideration. An opportunity to find value in ourselves.
For those who continue to read our journal. For previous contributors, current staffers, our local campus community, and for all those who Inscape reaches, this journal is an opportunity to live life more sharply for a flicker of a moment. An opportunity to laugh at a character’s antics. An opportunity to feel awe at a poem that peeks into a vast universe. An opportunity to ponder the bonds that we create with each other. I hope you take this opportunity to read Inscape and find beauty in it, just as our staff has as we’ve cobbled this edition together. Not all pieces will appeal to you; such is the simple reality of any journal that mingles genres. But I do hope that you will allow yourself the opportunity to try something new, even if just for a moment. Perhaps it will instill a new love for poetry, or help you feel seen and understood, or reopen your eyes to the world. The opportunities in art are endless.