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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Hannah Jenkins
Hannah Jenkins
Copy Editor

Hi! My name is Hannah Jenkins, and I am one of the copy editors here at the North Wind. I am a sophomore at NMU, and I love all things writing and editing-related. I am proud to be a part of this great...

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

LEAVE NO TRACE — Heather Vivian from Respect Marquette County educates on the impacts of outdoor recreation as part of the organizations mission of protecting natural resources.
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Exploring creativity through Passages North

Maggie Duly/NW
TO ACCEPT OR NOT­—Graduate assistant T Guzman sifts through recent submissions to Passages North for next spring’s edition. Passages North’s 40th edition cover was designed by Associate English Professor Monica McFawn.
Maggie Duly/NW TO ACCEPT OR NOT­—Graduate assistant T Guzman sifts through recent submissions to Passages North for next spring’s edition. Passages North’s 40th edition cover was designed by Associate English Professor Monica McFawn.

Hidden and tucked away on the third floor of Jamrich, there’s a medium-sized office with a rocket painted on a window in the hall. A large table is surrounded by rolling office chairs and a black couch pushed against the windows, overlooks campus. 

There’s books. Everywhere; an entire wall is devoted to giving the books a home. Seven bookshelves line a wall, every shelf maxed out on space. The large windows allow for sunlight to pour into the office, warming out winter’s chill seeping in. 

Between the hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday, you can find the room bustling with laughter and excitement. Anyone is welcome to come in and join the students and staff at Passages North, an annual literary magazine published by Northern Michigan University. 

The journal is released every spring. With a 2% acceptance rate, you’ll find big names such Karen Green and Elena Passarello. Passages North has been publishing works in fiction, creative nonfiction and poetry since 1979.

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Passages North was originally founded by Bay College. In the 1990s, it was published by Kalamazoo College until Northern took over in 2000. 

With a limit of 500 submissions per month, which normally gets maxed out, the Passages North staff has their hands full accepting and rejecting submissions. There are separate meetings for each of the sections, where submissions from each genre are discussed in detail.

Anyone affiliated with NMU is unable to submit their work to Passages North.

The team leader of the genre will go into Submittable, the online site used to submit work, and mark what ones are readable. The groups will read together so they don’t have to read it beforehand. Passages North tries to have at least two people read a submission so there are two sets of eyes, said Jennifer Howard, editor-in-chief of Passages North and English professor.

“One of the best parts is getting to tell someone when we accept their piece,” Howard said.

Though the beginning of the school year is slow while the magazine selects 10 interns who can gain level 400 writing credits for taking part, submissions open Sept. 1, Howard said.

With the release of the 41st edition underway, the staff has been diligently working to sift through entries for next year’s edition, said Randi Clemens graduate teaching assistant and managing editor, who answers every email coming into Passages North.

“We try and publish people who are young and new.” Clemens said.

While they try to get some variety, they also have had repeat authors such as American poet, essayist and professor Mary Reufle, Clemens said.

“I think we tend to gravitate toward things that are experimental or weird,” Howard said.

At a fiction section meeting, two pieces were discussed by the group. One piece was liked unanimously by the members. 

“Such sincere longing in this piece,” Howard said, her hands clutched to her chest.

Murmurs of agreement echoed throughout the room. Heads nodded as the members read the piece once more.

“[The piece is] so well thought out and gorgeous and good hear,” graduate students and team leader of fiction, Tori Rego said.

They did not delay the exciting news. Clemens immediately sent out the acceptance letter.

The other piece, unfortunately, was not what the group was looking for, though they did ask the author for more.

Passages North may be well known outside of the NMU campus, but word doesn’t seem to have spread to those who study here every day.

“Someone came in the other day and asked, ‘What is this place,’” Clemens said. The members welcomed the computer science major’s questions with enthusiasm.”

Another major aspect of each edition is the cover. For issue 40, Passages North asked Monica McFawn, associate professor in the English Department to design the cover art. Issues 39 and 38 featured cover art form NMU illustration graduate Zack Steuf, Howard said.

To celebrate the upcoming release of their latest edition, there will be a launch party at 5:30 p.m. at the Ore Dock Brewing Co. on Thursday, April 16. All are welcome.

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