By Jason Herring, October 6 2015 —
The future of NōD Magazine, the University of Calgary’s undergraduate creative writing publication, hung in limbo throughout most of last year. The publication was unable to print any issues over the 2014–15 academic year due to a lack of funding.
But with the emergence of a number of individual donors, NōD — pronounced ‘node’ — returns this year with three issues, the first of which will be titled “Issue #18: Gender.” All creative writing and visual art featured in the issue revolves around the topic of gender, selected by NōD’s editorial board before the publication went on hiatus last year.
NōD editor-in-chief Katie O’Brien says she’s enthusiastic to finish the work left behind by previous staff.
“I guess the executives from last year decided that gender would be a relevant topic to pick. I think the increased visibility of trans rights and the increased focus on gender and feminism in the media right now was something that played into that decision,” O’Brien says. “But there also hasn’t ever been a theme in NōD’s 10 years of existence that dealt with queer issues or gender issues in any capacity. I think there was an opening and a desire for that kind of work to be published and read by the students at U of C.”
The issue will launch on Oct. 9 with an event at LOFT 112 in the East Village featuring readings from featured authors and live music from Calgary artists Trilobite Collection and Jake Vance. The evening is free for members of NōD or Scribe and Muse, the university’s English department club, and costs $5 otherwise. You can get a copy of the new issue there, but there’s a few other options if you miss out.
“The easiest place to get your hands on a physical copy will be at our launch on Friday,” O’Brien says, but adds that NoD plans to publish online this year. As well, physical copies will be avaliable on request.
Most years, NōD releases two issues — one themed and one unthemed. But O’Brien says the magazine plans to publish three issues this year.
“NōD traditionally publishes twice a year — once in the fall and once in the winter semester,” O’Brien says. “But because we didn’t publish any issues last year, we’re hoping to put out three issues this year.”
The unthemed issue this year is slated for launch in January, while NōD plans to release an issue with the tentative theme of ‘Rebirth’ in May. O’Brien says the publication always welcomes student voices.
“We have submissions open year-round so anyone can send in anything at any time,” she says. “We’re trying to compile submissions for our 19th issue right now. If people want to submit to number 20, they can indicate that in their submission.”
Though associated with the Department of English, NōD operates independently from the university. All financial support for the magazine is provided by donors and grants, and all editorial decisions are make by undergraduate executives.
Though she’s NōD’s editor-in-chief, O’Brien admits she doesn’t know what the title of the magazine means. Instead, the name is shrouded in mystery, but O’Brien offers up a possible meaning.
“The truth is that none of our current execs actually know what NōD means,” O’Brien says. “One of our volunteers suggested that nodes are like beacons. NōD as a magazine has that function too, to draw artists together. We’re not sure if that’s the original meaning, but that’s what we’re going with for now until we figure it out.”
For more information about NōD, visit nodmagazine.wordpress.com.