Debut Literary Magazine to feature 36 student entries

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A man who spins a tale of a heroic hound. A monkey who scathingly addresses the human race. A starving boy who helps a fallen woman — and receives his own aid in return.

Each of these characters and far more appear in the first edition of Oak Park’s literary magazine, Veritas, which will appear on shelves at the student store for $5 Monday, April 17. 

Veritas,” which means “truth” in Latin, features 13 short stories and 23 poems from Oak Park students.

“We were trying to capture this notion of truth being so individual,” English teacher and literary magazine advisor Leslie Miller said. “There are as many definitions of truth as there are people. The only theme is that [each story is] completely singular and individual and special and unique.”

This publication, organized by Miller, sophomore Sasha Grishchenko, and juniors Anabelle Harvey, Zachary Tescher, Emily Burnison and Nick Dilley, marks the first time that a literary magazine will be released at the high school.

The magazine includes the short story “The Bavarian Brie Hound and the Man from Leeds,” by senior Nadav Michael — a tale-with-a-twist for “people who love their dogs,” Miller said.

We were trying to capture this notion of truth being so individual. There are as many definitions of truth as there are people.”

— Leslie Miller

Also amid the pages of the magazine is “Monkeys,” by Tescher, a satirical letter writ by a monkey that mocks human beings for their reliance on technology.

Prose is not the magazine’s only offering. “My Bridge,” a melancholy poem by junior Shailyn Dorado offers an extended metaphor about a turning point in her life. In the poem, the bridge is an “unsteady, wooden rope bridge” that “wobbles and creaks.”

“We give [students] a way to publish their own creative writing pieces, which, I hope, will give them a way to be more open about what they [write],” Grishchenko, the magazine’s president, said.

The creation of the literary magazine was a yearlong process –– from organizing initial meetings in August, to receiving submissions in October and editing and publishing the magazine in March.

The magazine’s cover photo, a black-and-white still of a lone tree atop a rocky hill, was taken by Grishchenko in Tossa de Mar, Spain.

“We chose this photo because we felt the tree was symbolic,” Miller said. “It’s a solitary tree that represents each piece in the magazine in terms of it’s individuality.”

Next year, the club will be open for anyone to join. The editors said they hope that they will have many more authors in the second volume, which would be published by the second semester.

The current members said they already have many plans for the next edition.

“Next year, I’m hoping that we can talk to the art department and next to each poem or short story, we could get a scan of a piece of artwork,” Grishchenko said.

According to Burnison, the founders of the club shared a multitude of memorable experiences and bonded over the construction of this project.

“It was such a great, positive experience. The group was so intimate and accepting of ideas, so I really got to know everyone that I worked with,” Burnison wrote.

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