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Wednesday, May 29, 2024
The Observer

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‘Chimes,’ ‘The Avenue’ magazines publish first multilingual edition

Writers read in English, Spanish and Chinese at launch event

This Wednesday, Saint Mary’s literary magazine “Chimes” and the nonfiction magazine “The Avenue” held a launch party for their first-ever multilingual editions. The “Chimes and “The Avenue” are independent journals sponsored by the department of English and advised by professor Yelizaveta Renfro, who also teaches many of the creative writing courses at Saint Mary’s.

Several writers came to Stapleton Lounge Wednesday and read their poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction in English, Spanish and Chinese. The literary magazine also featured several poems translated into French and Italian. This edition was produced in conjunction with the Saint Mary’s department of English and the department of Modern Languages and Culture. The department of Modern Languages and Culture helped ensure proper translation of various works. 

The translation into English was featured on one side of the page, and the original language was featured on the other. This edition of “Chimesalso includes a variety of student art and photography.

The move to a multilingual edition was spearheaded by “Chimes” co-editor Julie Sims, a Saint Mary's junior English literature and creative writing major. 

“I remember seeing all ‘Chimes’ and ‘The Avenue’ editions that were out and about, [but] not seeing that language portrayed as it was [written] and the diversity of the campus portrayed as it was,” Sims said. “We believe in this idea to use language to try and ... build connection.”

By providing the multilingual texts both in the language of origin and in English, Sims sought to make the text accessible to everyone while still providing the students a chance to express themselves in all languages. The readings were followed by a reception for the writers with various refreshments, cookies and a cake with the cover of “Chimeson the top.

“Being a literature major, we spend literally all of our time analyzing English and language and why it’s important to us, and I often think [something] is lost when we read just English versions of original Spanish or Arabic texts. You don’t get the same resonance of emotion in it,” said co-editor Danielle Cruz, a Saint Mary’s junior English literature and creative writing major. “I was really excited we were able to do a multilingual edition this year and have people be able to communicate their authentic thoughts.”

Though this is the first multilingual edition, the editors said they hope this isn’t the only one.

“This is our plan for it to be the official standard. We ended up creating submission guidelines and everything just ... to set the foundation for a student who was writing a piece in a separate language so that they would be able to submit it to ‘Chimes’ and ‘The Avenue,’” Sims said. 

This edition of “Chimes” and “The Avenue” can be found in the Saint Mary's English department on the second floor of Spec Unca Hall or in a variety of places around the Saint Mary’s campus.