Tropos relaunches

Andrew Kim

Tropos. It is nothing but Greek to many Lawrentians, even though it is actually Latin.

However, it could be the hidden-away bastion for the Lawrence English major. Clubs and other interest-related organizations abound at Lawrence, but the ultra-literary Lawrentian has likely been making do with either taking a creative writing class — which are impossible to get into, by the way — or simply being bitter.

The English department is vast, it is true — but one wonders sometimes if it is just too vast. English majors roam the campus, scattered and displaced, wondering when they can finally have a conversation with that person sitting next to them in class. Budding creative writers, regardless of major, yearn to unleash their artistic spleen and have people notice.

Allie Thome “has full faith in the Lawrentian’s creative abilities.” As president of Tropos — which is Latin for “a turn of phrase” — she has high hopes for the university’s lone, humble literary magazine. She heads a small committee who will put together a collection of Lawrentians’ original poetry, prose, photography or other artwork, to come out in the spring.

Thome’s desires are simple: she wants the magazine to be filled and to be read. The biology major who secretly thinks her short stories are New Yorker material can submit to Tropos. The art major who drew a silly comic strip over reading period can submit to Tropos. The cellist who took cool pictures of his summer storm-chasing adventures can submit to Tropos. Artistic activity is burning in the nooks and crannies of Lawrentians.

According to Thome, “there might be a lack of visible involvement in creative endeavors at Lawrence, but I think people are trying to them up and running again, getting these sort of clubs to be more active.”

She lists the print-making club — “I don’t know if that exists this year, though” — photography club, film production club and a fresh independent music-making group called Sol Studios all as very accessible places in which a Lawrentian can personalize his or her own artistic endeavors and enthuse over them with peers.

It is a cathartic and exciting process to produce work, but Thome also recognizes the importance of having people take notice. When Thome herself was a freshman, she submitted a free verse poem and a haiku to Tropos and was “really surprised to find people approaching me and saying that they had read my poems.”

When this year’s Tropos issue is released in the spring, copies will be available outside Andrew Commons free of charge. Thome says, “It’s really interesting to see what kind of literary and artistic work your peers are up to.” Past issues are stored in the CTL, open to the public.

People who want to involve themselves further with Tropos can join the club. They meet every other Friday at 5 p.m. to brainstorm advertisement options and plan events. Twice a year, in the fall and the winter, they hold editorial meetings in which they comb through submissions and, in Thome’s experience, “get a good debate going.”

More insecure artists do not have to fret; the process is entirely anonymous. Editorial board members can submit work themselves, but they will find themselves in a situation where they will have to appraise and discuss that work during the meeting and pretend it is not theirs.

Those interested in joining Tropos‘s mailing list can contact Thome.

Although Tropos‘s Halloween scary-story-telling bonfire fell through the previous Tuesday due to inclement weather, the group has in its sights a “Poetry Slam” at Harmony Café, in which people can bring in their original or favorite poems to read aloud.

The Fall Term submission deadline is Nov. 4, but another submission deadline is set towards the end of Winter Term. Submission boxes are in blue and silver at the circulation desk in the library, and at the information desk at Warch. Another way is to email the submission to