For over 40 years, the students of Centenary College have published an annual literary magazine known as Prism, featuring poetry and artwork by Centenary students.
Beginning in the spring of 1968 as Through the Prism, a group of students sought to foster more creativity on campus and provide a printed platform for students to freely express their artistic voice. They collected poems and drawing and distributed them on their own using mimeographed copies. Support for the publication was lackluster at best. Fortunately, some members of the faculty recognized this as a positive exercise in creative thinking and under the auspices of the English department, Prism began to operate on a larger scale, ‘aiming toward a true publication.‘ (Spilled Ink, 3/5/1969). At one point, enough works were submitted (many anonymously) that selection committees had to meet twice a week to vet and choose submissions for the magazine (Spilled Ink, 3/27/68, 3/5/69).
left, Spilled Ink, 3/27/1968
right, Through the Prism, 2/16/1968
“Prism does an excellent job of portraying different facets of contemporary life and thought in free verse. The poems and artworks are so typical of today, some abstract, some vividly real.” – Spilled Ink, 3/5/69
I’M GOING THROUGH CHANGES
The design and format of Prism has taken various forms over the years. With volumes in all sizes, shapes, and colors, the magazine leaves behind an impressive and often surreal collection of drawings, paintings, poems, and short stories that offer a window into the hearts and minds of Centenary students spanning almost half a century.
left-to-right: Prism: Winter 1970, April 1973, April 1974, December 1974, 1975, 1976, 1980, 1987
With the continuing support of the English department, Prism is still published annually and now accepts submissions from alumni and faculty as well as students of Warren County College (Spilled Ink, 2012). Poetry slams, open mic nights, and other events are held to promote awareness and involvement in the magazine. Such longstanding opportunities for creativity give students a chance to explore their ideas and collaborate with others, further enriching their time here as well as their education. To quote an article appearing in the student newspaper:
“To the student the poetry of Prism expresses thoughts on love, national concern, life –as a depressing, weary, lonely time and as a beautiful and cheerful experience. It sweeps the mind causing room for contemplation and application. Prism does indeed have something to offer everyone.” – Spilled Ink, 3/5/1969