By Darren McDonald. The insightful narratives, entertaining excerpts and pensive poetry gracing the University of the Fraser Valley’s literary journal will find their way to Grade 12 English classrooms in Mission thanks to a donation from the Mission Community Foundation.
With the recent release of the fifth edition of Louden Singletree — featuring a carefully selected, array of writing and visual art crafted by students at the University of the Fraser Valley — the magazine’s evolution continues to impress.
“Every year, the Louden sees more submissions, and with that, a wider range of creative works,” said UFV faculty advisor Andrea MacPherson, herself a published novelist and poet.
“In the beginning, most of the submissions were poetry, but now we’re seeing poetry, short fiction, novel excerpts, monologues, creative non-fiction, and children’s literature. It’s become an incredible showcase for the very talented students, faculty, and alumni at UFV.”
And in 2013, that showcase expands into classrooms in Mission high schools, thanks to a $500 grant from the Mission Community Foundation’s 2013 Flowthrough Rotary Literacy Endowment Fund. With a direct connection to young writers, MacPherson and the UFV students who organize the journal hope that the collection is will inspire the next generation of UFV students.
The idea to distribute issues of the magazine to secondary students was first proposed to Louden Singletree’s promotional co-chair Nathan Williams by English department assistant Lesley Poh.
“Her idea was appealing because most of the artists and writers published in the magazine went to high school in the communities surrounding UFV,” Williams said.
“Locally, we have some great talent, but much of it remains hidden from the public. More than ever, artists are overshadowed by the Picasso painting or Shakespearean sonnet that’s only a few mouse clicks away. It’s unfortunate, but many secondary students simply don’t know how much great art is being produced in and around their own neighbourhood.”
Thanks to the Mission Community Foundation, students are not only receiving a collection of local writing and art, they’re being invited to create and publish their own. As the magazine’s pages are flipped from cover to cover, secondary students will see the names of friends, former schoolmates, relatives, and acquaintances.
“From all of us at the Louden Singletree, we would like to thank the artists, writers, and those appreciative of creative endeavors that have provided the grade twelve students in Mission with a copy of our magazine. Together, a greater awareness and encouragement will be provided to secondary students to polish and publish their craft,” Williams said.