An underground system of white filaments connected together to protect and warn others of incoming attacks. Mycelia. The goal of ‘Parnassus’ for this year.
Coming out of a skewed season last spring, the production team for ‘Parnassus’ geared up for a new year of publishing student work, helping to bring a unifying voice together through a continuous season of the unknown.
‘Parnassus’ is the student publication of literature and art for Taylor. As the long-running publication approached its publication this past spring, the team faced the battles of COVID-19. Due to the campus shut-down last spring, the production schedule for the journal became shifted, leading to a later completion date and a cancellation of their usual release party.
In the midst of this hard time, the completion of the journal looked very different.
“Every single year, I get several boxes of books, and my editor comes every year, and we open it together, and we see the first one together, and we didn’t get to do that this time,” said Aaron Housholder, professor of English and advisor for ‘Parnassus.’ So, I took a picture of the first one and sent it to her in Ohio, and then I mailed her the actual first copy that I took out of the book because she made it.”
Keeping in mind the conclusion of the last publication, the staff prepared for a new journal this year. This year started with a handful of issues to address. As Taylor offered many budget cuts across the board, ‘Parnassus’ was affected by a decrease in budget.
Due to the budget cut, the journal’s submission website became an item that the team needed to consider changing. Re-examining this system led to Housholder and the production team deciding to change the system to a Google-based submission process, lessening the cost for the production.
Although a change, Housholder addressed the positives in the situation, stating that it worked quite effectively and could lead the way to a permanent change for the journal, regardless of what the future budget may look like.
Even in the midst of a few roadblocks, the team has already sent success for the publication through the development of their team and their engagement with the student body.
This year’s submission levels topped past years, as well as topping their expected number. Many involved expected the numbers to be lower due to the stress of the semester and the pandemic. Taylor’s students blew their expectations, bringing in over 200 submissions for the team to review and discuss thoroughly.
This year’s theme, Mycelia, holds as an excellent representation to what the staff aims to accomplish with this year’s publication.
“We liked the idea of this connectedness,” said junior staff writer Jenna King.“ I think that’s something Taylor has been focused on a lot this semester and the connectedness of community but also how we are connected as humans, and how we relate to others as that. And also the idea of using language and using art to express that.”
Mycelia deals with the underground root system, spanning wide under the soil and are all connected together to help the flourishing of one another and to encourage the sustaining of life within the plants that are connected.
Unifying the voices of the student body in such a time of unique circumstance by bringing together many different pieces was the ultimate goal, and the staff is excited to deliver that to the Taylor community for the 2021 spring.
Junior Ella Harris, a member of the staff for this year’s production, addresses her wants for readers. She wants the journal to be able to offer multiple perspectives for a reader, giving them relatable perspectives, as well as brand new ones.
“I want them to either look at a piece or read a piece that speaks to them very personally, and then, I want them to be able to look at a piece or read a piece that gives them a completely new perspective,” Harris said.
The release date for the 2021 ‘Parnassus’ is currently undecided, but the staff plans to offer updates as the production process continues this spring. For those interested, they encourage looking at the publication’s instagram page, @parnassustayloru as they release more information.