Volume five of the English and Drama Student Society’s undergraduate journal, With Caffeine and Careful Thought, celebrated the launch of its 2018/19 edition last weekend.
Held in the red room of the Student Centre, the journal’s theme this year was survival. Embodied in the setting of the event and in the journal’s pieces, the event attempted to showcase its theme wherever it had the chance to. The room was decorated with flowers and remnants from nature. It fit right in with the journal’s attempts at showcasing survival in more than one way.
According to the EDSS, celebrating the diversity of natural elements was meant to help attendees realize the ways in which we survive the seasons, to make way for blossoming we do after the harsh winter.
There was a set of writers who were up for reading that night—some read short fiction, others poetry, and any writers who read research out loud also read out their excerpts.
Present at the event was the journal’s editor-in-chief and launch coordinator Shalini Nanayakkara. After revealing the book cover, she joined the flow of writers who were expected to read.
Before all the readers had finished reading their pieces, Nanayakkara also invited any last minute writers up to the front, in case anyone had any jitters they wanted to crush before the night was over.
“The contributors were all really eager to read or perform their work, whether it be a poem, short story or essay, even if they were shy,” she said. “I think this really speaks volumes about how much talent there is at UT—and the more opportunities there are for students to express themselves, in and out of the classroom, the better.”
Rebecca Zseder presented her work entitled “Coffee Culture,” a poem about the differences between male and female experiences leaving a night on the town. She spoke eloquently, like a reader well-versed in spoken word poetry.
Writers, editors, illustrators, and department professors had contributed to the overall making of the journal, but the amount of support that the launch had received was what made the success of it so important. Lines didn’t hesitate to form at the table, with journals selling at $10 a book.
On the event’s reception, Nanayakkara said, “I thought the turnout was amazing. We were stunned but so pleased that so many people felt so passionately about their work to invite friends and family to this special event, and that so many UTM students in general wanted to become more engaged with a campus literary community.”
She also claimed that the efforts that were put into the journal’s production turned out to reach the goals the EDSS set out for: “This year, the English and Drama Student Society set a goal to be bigger and better so people can get involved and enjoy themselves more on campus, and the journal launch really brought it home for me. We put a lot of work into the publication and this event for students, and it turned out exactly [what] we hoped it would be.”