“Jimson Weed” content editors are busy preparing for the spring 2017 edition of their publication.
“Jimson Weed” is a twice-annual university publication that accepts creative works ranging from poetry and prose to photography.
When asked how “Jimson Weed” got its name, English professor Gillian Huang-Tiller said, “it came out of a time for the magazine that signaled both a bit of elitism and a desire for intellectual rebellion.”
Young writers at the college including Don Blansette, Alan MacMurray, Frank Taylor and Gary Slemp found inspiration in the jimson weed plant (Datura stramonium), a plant poisonous to cattle and not for the common palate. But for the poets, it alluded to intoxication and inspiration, as the plant has the ability (metaphorically) to take you on a trip. It also serves as a good analogy for the creative process and creative writing. The plant likes to grow in “waste places,” giving a sense of flourishing in a difficult environment, symbolizing again the creative process. The name thus stuck.
The first edition of “Jimson Weed” appeared in 1969 and after a short period of hiatus, the journal resumed publication in 1998.
“With enough interest and submissions to support the journal, “Jimson Weed” is now in its twentieth year,” Huang-Tiller said.
UVa-Wise senior Shelby Roberts is the managing editor for “Jimson Weed” and has been working with the journal since the fall of 2014.
“We are open and willing to publish just about anything creative you can think of: art, poetry, prose, music, lyrics, photography, etc.,” Roberts stated. “We have a blind reviewing process in which each editor reads each piece that is submitted and votes “yes,” “no” or “maybe.” We try to keep the process fair and open by giving each piece its own chance. If anyone has questions about what can and can’t be submitted or is nervous about their submission, then I would encourage them to email me. You can’t be published if you never submit!”
“’Jimson Weed’ accepts submissions from anyone, whether that be students, faculty, staff or community members outside of the college,” Roberts added.
UVa-Wise students who are interested in helping with the publication process of “Jimson Weed” are also encouraged to do so.
“Anyone is welcome to join us as a content editor,” Roberts said. “To be listed as an editor at the publication requires that you have read all of the submissions. This semester we will be meeting at 1:00 p.m., convocation hour, in the Student Leadership Wing on the third floor of the Slemp Student Center beginning Wednesday, March 8 and continuing Friday (March 10), Monday (March 13), and Wednesday (March 15). As long as you are able to complete the reading, you are not required to come to all of the meetings. I can also make special arrangements for scheduling conflicts. In short, anyone is welcome and we always have pizza!”
The deadline to submit works for the spring 2017 edition of “Jimson Weed” is Friday Feb. 24 by 5:00 p.m. Submissions can be submitted online to Shelby Roberts at firstname.lastname@example.org or by submitting a hard copy in the “Jimson Weed” office box on the third floor of the Slemp Student Center.