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Mount. St. Mary’s University Literary Magazine Nationally Recognized for Third Consecutive Year

Courtney Twigg, C'17

Lighted Corners, which was founded in 1981, is an annual literary magazine that promotes art, fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry and photography by students at Mount St. Mary’s University. Recently, the magazine was nationally recognized by the Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA), and earned its third consecutive gold medal. The CSPA is based directly out of Columbia University in New York, and exists to evaluate and critique various college publications.

columbia-scholastic-press-association-logo.jpgThe judges’ identities remain a secret, but they still provide each college with feedback and constructive criticism for each literary piece. In fact, numerous Mount students who contributed to Lighted Corners received positive feedback from these anonymous judges. This year’s Columbia judge found much to admire: “Lighted Corners is an outstanding literary/art magazine. Good poetry and prose makes the reader feel something. A good story/poem is one which celebrates language, takes the reader on a short journey, and touches the heart or mind or the imagination. Your magazine has succeeded in doing that.”

Tom Bligh, Ph.D., associate professor of English, also commented on the recent achievement. “The magazine received gold medalist status and All-Columbian honors,” said Bligh. “According to the CSPA, ‘All-Columbian honors have been given only when the publication has achieved the 95th percentile or higher in one or more of the three categories.’” Incredibly, Lighted Corners earned 191 out of a possible 200 points for essentials, 391 out of 400 for verbal, and 310 out of 380 for visual.

Mount students Samantha Solis, C’17, Bethany Rainey, ‘C17, and Jennifer Leavy, ‘C16, received individual recognition in CSPA’s Gold Circle competition. One judge commented on Solis’ piece, “The Cadence of Canine Influenza,” stating, “The plot is presented with dramatic, thematic and emotional significance…This work is so good and the character development and dialogue completely realistic, it could become a play.”

Rainey’s story “Jack-in-the-Box” is “outstanding, realistic, makes the reader care and feel the loss,” said another judge. “The judge complimented Lighted Corners for including full-length short stories, somewhat rare in undergraduate publications,” said Bligh.

The literary magazine was also praised for its poetic and visual contributions, with judges once again individually recognizing Mount students. Joseph Theis, C’17, Francesca Lapierre, C’19, and Amber Young, ‘C18, were generously complimented. “The Lighted Corners poets ‘write to be unraveled.’ By that I mean there are multiple layers of meaning in their poems and they also call the reader back to read again,” one judge commented.

“Visually, the magazine garnered praise for its digital photography and paintings,” said Bligh. “Overgrown and Long Forgotten,” a photo by Gregory Pierson, ‘C16, “conveys loss and isolation,” according to the judge. Additionally, “Gimme Some Sugar” by Victoria Barry, C’17, is a “haunting portrait” while her “Devil’s Claw” is “intriguing.”

Here’s a full list of Mount students involved with the award-winning issue.

Courtney Twigg, C'17