On May 7, Sunset Press — Kenyon’s student-run publishing press — will publish chapbooks by their 2021-22 featured writers. Sunset Press was established in 2019 to publish underrepresented voices.
Each academic year, Sunset Press accepts two or three Kenyon students to feature and publishes their work in collections sold at the end of the spring semester. Student editors work alongside the authors as they write and revise their work. Past collections include Virginia Kane’s ’22 If Organic Deodorant Was Made for Dancing, a poetry collection that depicts a kaleidoscope of girlhood, and Jenny Tie’s ’24 A Shoebox of Sparrows, which reflects on the dynamics between Chinese and American culture. The spring collections for 2022 feature three students with diverse backgrounds and creative interests: Stephanie Chang ’25, Josie Girand ’22 and Ilan Magnani ’24.
Stephanie Chang ’25 is an international student from Vancouver, Canada, with a Chinese-Taiwanese background. Her poem “Post Meridiem” was published in the Kenyon Review and is inspired by Studio Ghibli’s Hayao Miyazaki. Her forthcoming poetry collection will be called SAINTLESS.
Josie Girand ’22 is a graduating senior from New York. She writes graphic novels, enjoys thinking about outer space and is also an accomplished illustrator. Her senior art project features pigs and is available for viewing at the Gund Gallery. Girand also volunteers for the Brown Family Environmental Center. Her comic book will be called Cosmic Rice.
Ilan Magnani ’24 is a writer from Pittsburgh (Shawnee and Osage territory) and writes about the dynamics of Jewish-American culture as well as the trans experience. Magnani reflected on the relationship between their poetry and their Jewish background. “One of the concepts I was interested in thinking through with the chapbook was the role of education in reproducing colonial narratives and power structures. I am particularly interested in examining my childhood in Jewish school and the experience of indoctrination into Zionism and American exceptionalism,” they wrote in a message to the Collegian. Magnani went on to discuss how antisemitic forces like fascism and genocide are taught abstractically without real world examples. They also explained how their writing seeks to personalize abstract concepts. “I find poetry useful in its ability to center positionality and subjectivity, often absent from textbooks and other academic writing, and to collapse binaries of political vs. personal and public vs. private life.” Magnani’s poetry collection will be titled Mekhitza.
Sunset Press has a variety of parallel projects. The organization produces the podcast Poetry on the Path on a number of platforms. Applications for the 2022-23 publication cycle will open in the fall. Sunset Press publishes all genres, including those with illustrations, and it’s a good opportunity for students who are interested in publishing their work.
Sunset Press will launch their spring 2022 chapbooks on May 7. The authors’ books can be purchased during Friday lunch and Sunday brunch in the Pierce atrium, as well as at the book release party this Saturday.