Issue 4, Fall 2013

Students, World Literature, SFU Surrey

Lyre Magazine: A Creative Place for Students

December 11, 2013
Editors Mike and Cheyenne

I was in my first semester at Simon Fraser University when I first heard of Lyre Magazine, an undergraduate student-run creative literary magazine produced annually by the World Literature program. Daniel Poirier was my T.A. for a World Literature class, and as Editor-in-Chief of the Lyre, he encouraged students to submit their creative works to the magazine. I jumped at the opportunity and submitted a speech about the tyranny of technology and how only through reading can we be saved from technology’s infectious grasp. When I got the email confirming that my piece would be printed in the magazine I was ecstatic. Since then I have continued to submit poetry and stories to the Lyre, and I have been an active member on the editorial board, eventually becoming Managing Editor for the magazine’s fourth issue; for the coming fifth issue I am Editor-in-Chief.

Issue 1, Fall 2010

Lyre Magazine was created in 2009, with the first issue released in 2010. Daniel Poirier (Editor-in-Chief for issue 1-2), Brittany Vesterback (Editor-in-Chief for issue 3) and Sonya Ryou were the major forces in getting the magazine started, wanting to provide students with a creative outlet. Daniel recalls that “the magazine really came about when Ken Seigneurie came on board as the new director of World Literature and saw how many creative and artistic students were in the program.” Professor Seigneurie has been a guide over the years for the Lyre and provides his thoughts when asked, yet he remains an observer, ensuring student autonomy over the magazine, which is run by students and includes the creative products of undergraduate students (with a few alumni contributions). Daniel explains, “[World Literature] has a tendency to attract creative people and the future of the magazine is only ever going to be limited by that creativity. I didn't want to ever have a strict guideline for what Lyre could and could not be, it's much more exciting to see where others take it."

Since Daniel’s time as Editor-in-Chief, Lyre Magazine has expanded and developed. With the fourth issue, Mike Despotovic gave the magazine a cleaner, sharper look, working with Nicola Sznajder, a SIAT student, who provided the Lyre with a professional layout. Subsequent editors promoted the magazine to other universities; the goal was to continue to provide World Literature students with an artistic outlet, and also, Daniel says, to “open up the publication to the rest of SFU and other post-secondary institutions so that it could emulate the World Literature program and be cross-cultural and as globally inclusive as possible.”

Editors Cheyenne and Mike with Managing Editor Emily Peters.

As Editor-in-Chief for issue five, I have been working hard on this goal. My editorial team and I encourage undergraduate students from across SFU as well as from other universities to submit writings and art, and the fifth issue will be the first to have a cover art competition, demonstrating that the Lyre Magazine is not only a way to share poetry, stories, or essays, but also a means to share drawings, paintings, and photographs. It is exciting to get submissions now from Emily Carr University or SFU Engineering students, to see how the Lyre has changed and grown over the years; with every issue there is something new, just as the Lyrebird has a new voice every time it sings.

Cheyenne Bergenhenegouwen

Lyre Magazine issue five is open for submissions until January 31st, 2014;
see the Lyre website for further information on submission guidelines.

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