Despite 60 years of time, the mission of the Parnassus has remained the same: create a space where Taylor students can share their creative voices and visions.
Parnassus is a student-run on-campus journal of art and literature, and it is currently on its 60th edition. Parnassus publishes around 75 pieces of writing and visual art per edition. The material published ranges from poetry, prose (fiction and creative nonfiction) and photography. All material is created by Taylor students.
Parnassus began in 1962 and was quite small, containing only a handful of creative pieces.
Since then, the magazine has been able to publish a wider variety of pieces, and they have had the opportunity to be more selective regarding the quality of work they accept. In addition, they have benefited from digital and publishing technologies that were not available back in 1962.
Professor of English Aaron Housholder first began serving as the faculty adviser for the 2009 edition, when a colleague was on sabbatical. After that colleague had retired, he took over as the faculty adviser. Since then, Housholder's passion for the production of the magazine has only grown.
“I treasure the opportunity each year to serve in this room and to work with my students on this annual project,” Housholder says.
Parnassus aims to reflect Taylor’s community through individuality and creativity. The magazine values the individual voices and the ways that the Holy Spirit individually speaks through each person. Senior Hannah Tienvieri, the current Editor in Chief for Parnassus for this year, discusses her hopes for including a diverse range of voices to make up the magazine. She wants to honor each person’s ability to create — regardless of their background or major.
“Many students don’t know about the rich history of student art and our dedication to share student voices for the past 60 years,” said Tienvieri. “We really hope that Parnassus is an opportunity for students from any discipline to share art.
Every individual’s perspective of creativity is different. This year’s edition is calling for a reflection on that notion.
Senior student editor Abbey Chandler hopes that Parnassus can cause a different posture of reflection for each individual as they create, as well as how they interact with creation.
“My hopes for this year's edition are that more people would know what Parnassus is, take time to ponder what creation looks like for them, be bold enough to share their art and that we may gather to listen to the voices around us,” said Chandler.
Looking further into the uniqueness of this year’s edition, the team behind the magazine has many hopes. Their main mission is to combine the roots of Parnassus with the changing voices of Taylor.
One of the primary connection points is rooted in this year’s theme. The theme for this year is “The Mount,” which originates from its connection to Parnassus.
“This year's theme calls back to the origins of the name Parnassus itself: Mount Parnassus in Greece, the home of the nine muses,” says junior student editor Jenna King.
Outside of Tienvieri and Housholder, the team producing the magazine is made up of thirteen student editors. The student staff enroll in a course called Literary Editing and Publishing I (ENG 300). Parnassus is a product of the course.
Through their class, the team works to publicize the magazine. Chandler highlights this as their main goal for the beginning semester.
“We decide on a theme for advertising, then begin getting the word out there,” said Chandler.
Once submissions conclude, the team meets to review submissions, vote blindly on submissions (aiming to approach the process with little bias) and begin the process of laying out and producing the magazine itself.
Parnassus continues to embody the ideals of Taylor and Christ through compassion, understanding and integrating faith with a liberal arts education.
“Each edition of Parnassus is unique because the goal of the journal is to act as a reflection of the student body that year,” said King. “We represent this through visual distinctions such as the cover art and title, but ultimately, what will make this year's edition stand out will be the work it contains: a glimpse of the Taylor community that can be looked back on for years to come.”
This year’s submission link closed on Oct. 31. “The Mount” will be released in Spring 2022, but it does not currently have a set release date. More information can be found at their Instagram page (@parnassustayloru).