Sunset Press — Kenyon’s first and only student-run publishing press — will publish three books this spring by Ilan Magnani ’24, Josie Girand ’22 and Stephanie Chang ’25, all with different styles and subjects distinct from any work from past publications.
The staff at Sunset Press works closely with the writers to perfect their longform works, which range across all genres. The staff has to adapt to help the writers with whichever medium they choose, as the Press highly values the variability in the form of their publications. “This unpredictability and the adaptation it requires is thrilling because it pushes our teams of editors to approach each writer’s manuscript with an awareness that they’re starting from scratch,” Virginia Kane ’22, one of Sunset Press’s editors-in-chief, wrote in an email to the Collegian.
Part of Sunset Press’s mission is to give a platform to underrepresented students. They continue to inspire students to think critically about the narrative presented by Western literature and to challenge it with their own perspective.
Sunset Press works alongside the writers all year to develop their work, Kane explained, and she is excited to see each of the three writers’ projects emerge into finished products. “The moment our authors finally hold their finished books in their hands is surreal, since for so long they’ve been abstract ideas,” she said.
Magnani is working to produce a chapbook of poems which explore the intersections of identity and the history of Jewish life in America. For them, the political content of their work is most important and poetry is simply the means of getting their message out. They plan on incorporating Hebrew and Yiddish into their poems, as the languages are important facets of their identity and creative expression. They believe that poetry, like language, is political, and are using the medium to speak out against antisemitic violence and the colonialist mindset.
Girand is working on a comic book that encapsulates the memories of her past summer. Finally, Chang is writing a mixed-genre chapbook that, in their words, “blurs the lines of traditional poetry.”
The Press is hosting an event called “Sunset with Sunset” this Friday at 5 p.m. in the Horn Gallery. The event will include readings from each of the three authors, as well as an open mic for anyone to read their own work. There are a few more Sunset events coming up as well: The Press is hosting Weaver Wednesday on Nov. 17, and the poet Melissa Lozada-Oliva will be holding a virtual reading the week after break, with the date yet to be determined.