Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Students shine in the SAGA spotlight

As summer break approaches, SAGA prepares to release this academic year’s edition of the SAGA magazine, filled with the artistic and writing talent of students. The SAGA magazine has been a part of Augustana tradition since the 1940s and continues to be an outlet for students to express their creativity, no matter what their major may be. 

Every year, starting early in fall semester, students have the opportunity to submit up to three pieces of work for each category of SAGA, art, poetry and prose. Afterwards, students receive feedback from the committees of SAGA for each work, regardless of whether that work is published in the magazine. 

Some of this year’s highlights include works from sophomore Phoebe Fuller, First-Year Gaia Splendore and First-Year Lindsey DeBuhr.

Fuller, a major in creative writing, took home gold this year as she placed first in the poetry category with her poem, “a love poem to the male entity,” and second in poetry for her piece, “i am sex.” 

“I had a very unfortunate experience with a man and it was very odd because I identify sexuality-wise as queer,” Fuller said. “And so it kind of led me into having this queer renaissance for me, basically. “a love poem to the male entity” kind of talks about the way that I want to be male in like all the best ways that one can be male but then also how it’s so hard for women and non binary people, so I just feel like I would accept being a male in the worst ways that males can exist. It’s very odd.”

Fuller also said her pieces reflect not just her experiences, but her interpretation of societal expectations. 

“It reflects the way the society values men because men are held at a higher pedestal, whether they are a good form of masculinity as described in the first half, or a poor form of masculinity as described in the second half,” Fuller said. “‘a love poem to the male entity’ is easily my favorite poem that I’ve ever written in my writing career, it just means so much to me.”

Another prize winner for this year was Splendore, who won first in prose for her work titled “Leopard Watch,” which follows the story of a little girl’s view as her neighborhood is on the lookout for an escaped leopard. 

“In “Leopard Watch,” I explore themes of family and family identity as well as the kind of roles within that,” Splendore said. “For example, the mother character is often overlooked while the dad character has more of an authoritative, yet reserved, role in the family. Along with that, the little girl is kind of apathetic to this all.”

Along with the writing talent of Augustana, SAGA also showcases a number of artistic pieces, including this year’s cover, which was designed by DeBuhr, a major in graphic design.

“I didn’t know much about SAGA, but I’m interested in competition, and I saw that there was an opportunity to enter a piece of work for the cover,” DeBuhr said. “So I researched the magazine a little bit, and I found out that it was a literary and art magazine, and I really enjoy art. So I was like, I’ll enter something and see how it goes. I didn’t really know what they were looking for for a cover, so I just tried to go a little bit generic but also something that would be interesting for whatever the context of the magazine turned out to be.”

Co-editor-in-chief, junior Lainey Terfruchte, a double major in English and Creative Writing, said she was excited for this year and wants to further encourage people from across campus to submit work to SAGA in upcoming years.

“I know a lot of people are really intimidated by it because it looks like a challenge,” Terfruchte said. “But then you see it at the end of the year, and you ask yourself, ‘how did this even get here?’ There’s a lot of student love and work that goes into the magazine, and so I hope that other students see that and aren’t just like, ‘okay well, those students can do that.’ But I can’t do that. Because any student can do it.” 

The SAGA magazine will be hosting a launch party for the magazine on May 11, from 1-4 p.m. at Brunner Theater, where they’ll be handing out the first copies of the finished magazine to students.

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