Welcome to Parnassus: A Journal of Arts and Letters.
"The icy peaks of Mount Parnassus stand high above the gulf of Itea in Phocis, Greece. Overlooking Delphi and a sea of silvery-green olive trees, Mount Parnassus is famed as the haunt of Apollo and the Muses of Greek mythology. The Ancient Greeks regarded the mountain as sacred. Two spots were especially important to their worship--the oracle of Delphi and the fountain of Castalia. The fountain was thought to be a source of divine inspiration in mythological goddess of poetry, music, and the other liberal arts. Just as the Muses of Mount Parnassus served as a source of inspiration to the ancient Greeks, we hope that this Parnassus, with the products of artistic endeavor which it contains, will inspire other student writers in the years to come."
-Susan Shank for the editors, Parnassus 1980
Current Volume: Volume 2019 Parnassus
Letter from the Editor
In my life, I have run my hands along a honey-gold bannister worn smooth from decades of such running. I have sat before the sheen of a piano. I have perched a small hawk made of ironwood in the centre of my palm—pitch dark, small feathers incised along its wings—and wondered at the making of it. I remember running my fingers across the tight grain of the wood as I clipped it onto my keyring, a memento of the American southwest whose deserts grow the ironwood trees.
In my life, I have felt split and stacked firewood, had splinters slide into my skin. What of these?
Unvarnished asks us to pause in the motion from hewn edges to years-old bannisters or to tiny birds, to the cavernous precision of a piano. It asks us to walk into the workshop of an artisan and look at what they are making, at how they have taken what could have just as easily been splintered, and known that the splinters were merely excess around good bones—bones whose painstaking discovery would be worth infinitely more than their destruction. And as we look, it asks us to consider why the artisan has kept those discovered bones in the workshop, for though the wood is raw, it has become something by the vision and hand of that artisan, and it is beautiful in what it is now. Unvarnished asks us to see this, and then to see beyond it into the beauty of what it is intended for, the beauty in the potential that it carries within itself as an unfinished work that has not only held art in its past, but that yet holds art in its future.
Such are the works that this issue of Parnassus contains—that every journal of the arts contains. As artists, the process of revision is never truly completed, and because of this, it takes great courage to show our work to the world when it is imperfect, when we could have used a stronger word here, darkened the shadows over there. And yet, it is good. And yet, the world needs it.
So, to the artists: thank you for your bravery. Thank you for allowing us to curate your work, because while it is not complete, neither is anything, and what you have shared with us makes us better for having seen the world in the way that you have shown it to us.
To my staff: your kindness and your honesty were the greatest comfort to me. I could not have undertaken this project alone, and your continual willingness to speak into the weighty work that is the creation of Parnassus stood not only as a welcome for me into my unfamiliar role, but also as a commitment to honoring the artists and to making this journal as excellent as you knew how.
as you knew how. To Dr. Housholder: in the midst of knowing how this process ought to go, you allowed me to learn, For your generosity, your vision, and your care for this endeavor and for me, I am grateful.
To our readers: read well, and may you, like us, find yourself the better for having done so
- Grace Seeman
- Mark Burnett
- Jessica Dundas
- Mica Evans
- Joy Gardner
- Sarah Gorman
- Alexis Harris
- Caleb Hoelscher
- Whitney Martin
- Samantha Moss
- Kendra Smalley
- Hannah Stumpf
- Paula Todhunter
- Naomi Swing
- Dr. Aaron Housholder
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