Dear Tufts Daily Editorial Board,
In your fervor to publish a (second) article about the supposed lack of a literary scene at Tufts, you may have missed the 100-plus page journal of original poetry, prose and artwork, all contributed by Tufts students and published by the Tufts Canon Literary Journal just last week.
In your Feb. 20 article, “Campus literary culture is exclusive, lacks creativity,” you decried the lack of a literary scene on campus, and then praised two unfunded groups in their efforts to build such a scene. But when The Canon put out its winter journal – a beautiful publication that reflected the many hours of hard work and effort our staff put into it – it went entirely unmentioned, un-reviewed and unnoticed by your editorial staff.
Consider this your notice.
If your supposed interest in a literary culture is genuine, then stop devoting newspaper real estate exclusively to two TCU-unrecognized groups, and engage with the groups that are recognized (The Public Journal, The Observer, The Canon), groups that are putting in the work each semester. Call us cynical, but your continued insistence on only doing the former makes it seem as if it is not Tufts’ literary scene you care about, but rather drumming up controversy about unrecognized groups, in the hopes of attracting more readers. We hope this is not the case.
So review us! Bash us! Tear our journal to shreds! You think we are “raw and unedited?” Tell us specifically where you see this, in a thoughtful piece about The Canon, not buried in an article about other organizations.
Or maybe you’ll like our journal. Maybe you will notice the care that has been put into it, the bravery our writers – your peers – displayed in putting their most vulnerable selves on paper, for the Tufts student body to enjoy and even identify with.
Every year, our staff actively works to give a platform to the many talented writers and artists here at Tufts. Our contributors represent a diverse cross section of the Tufts student body: from classics majors to computer science majors, from liberal arts students writing stories about family or loneliness to engineers writing love poems. What our writers have in common is the simple need to write, and the desire to share this writing with our campus community. You do them a disservice when you continue to ignore their work and reduce The Canon to one glib aside in an article that claims to have their best interests in mind.
We are here. We exist. The Canon is part of that literary culture.
Yes, in an ideal world there would be an infinite number of recognized literary groups on campus. But until the drivers of Tufts culture (yes, the Daily can still be this!) show active support for the groups that already exist, we will never be able to demonstrate a demand for more funded writing to TCU.
That is all to say that, while no one loves words more than The Canon, even we know that when it comes to building an engaged literary culture on campus, it is actions which will speak loudest.
We’ve done our part. You do yours.
Itai Thaler and Zanny Allport
Editors-in-Chief of the Tufts Canon