Juniors Grace Davis and Christopher Poore have been selected as co-editors-in-chief of Catch, Knox’s foremost literary journal. TKS had the opportunity to sit down with Davis and Poore to discuss their vision for the journal and how they have already changed the staffing process.
The Knox Student: How did you come to be involved with — and eventually co-editors of — Catch?
Grace Davis: I mentioned an interest in it to the faculty as a freshman. […] And [by] getting my own writing out there. Josh [Gunter] and Renni [Johnson], who ran it this year, solicited the professors for recommendations and I got an interview that way and started fiction editing for them this year. For this upcoming year, for the head editorship, it’s just something we’ve both expressed interest in and gone through the process of applying
Christopher Poore: Like Grace, I made sure I was maintaining contact with people on the mag. I started off as organizational editor. I handled all of the submissions and made sure that the blind submission process went okay. This last year, I was promoted to poetry editor. I think Grace and I just wanted to dive in together in the editor-in-chief position and see what sort of books we can make.
GD: This year, we implemented an application process that’s open to all of campus, in which they gave us a short explanation of why they’re interested in working in the magazine and a sample of their work. Then we followed up on these through an interview process. We also solicited recommendations from staff because that’s been a pretty integral part of it in the past. But we did feel it was important to open up applications to the magazine to the whole campus rather than only going through the professional department. I think it worked out well. We got a lot of responses.
CP: We found a lot of names we wouldn’t have found otherwise by opening up the submission process. We’re really happy with the staff we made through that.
TKS: Along the lines of that shift, are there any other changes you’re hoping to implement?
CP: I think that Grace and I are the beneficiaries of several years of really good editorships. So what we want to do as editors is accentuate some of the great things that Catch is already doing. We want to have a more yearlong presence on campus and try to be a more vital voice in the culture discussions that are happening around here. We want to similarly open up submissions to people who we haven’t featured in the magazine recently: biologists or environmental studies majors or people who we wouldn’t necessarily guess would be in a literary magazine. We want to showcase their work, show it as a vital part of what’s happening here on campus, because I think artists can learn a lot from scholars and scholars can learn a lot from artists, and the two can be mutually inspiring.
GD: Catch is … this thing that’s come to represent Knox in a certain way. So what we’re looking to do is make the best representation and depiction of … the incredibly diverse talents and minds of the campus. That’s probably the main thing. We’re not necessarily looking to change but expand on.
TKS: I’ve noticed you’ve singled out the analytical writing section as the one you’d like to develop a bit more…
CP: There’s no unimportant section. There’s no section we want to overemphasize as being core to the magazine. … For poetry, we don’t have to solicit as hard. But if we want to feature a biologist’s work, we really need to do some diplomacy work. … Analytical [writing] is something we have to solicit with greater fervor.
GD: I’m interested too in soliciting for music more than we have in the past [and] for translation.
CP: I think we also want to reconsider how we can feature some things we maybe can’t feature in a book. So we’ve been talking with our music editor about ways in which we can embrace the live music community that is here at Knox.
TKS: How are you approaching that?
GD: Part of the reason why we haven’t made any definitive decisions about the design [of next year’s books] yet is because we’re trying to emphasize the collaborative nature of the book. We’re waiting to sit down with our staff … because when it comes down to it, [junior] Kyle Kunkler, our music editor for next year, is going to have more expertise in that area then I’m going to have.
TKS: What sort of relationship do you want Catch to have with the rest of campus?
CP: Increasing our Internet presence … social media and trying to give people an insider’s view on how we put together the book, what stage we’re in … Just trying to make sure our relationship to campus isn’t just the two events (the submissions deadline and the release party).
GD: I think Catch to some people on campus seems shrouded in mystery, at least the inner workings of it, and I’m really interested in dispelling that because I can see that as something that might discourage people from submitting. Our main priority is to hear the different voices of the campus and [that is] what we’re trying to do.