Volume 2009 Parnassus


As a journal of both literature and art, Parnassus alludes to the mountain-top dwelling of the nine muses and, more specifically, to the mythical inspiration found there. At Taylor University, we might not expect to find the Greek goddess of epic poetry or lyric song hovering over our shoulder while we write or paint, but we do serve a Creator God, a single and thriving source of inspiration and creativity. Parnassus humbly strives to provide a format for the expression of these aesthetic and perceptive gifts by accepting submissions from members of the Taylor community annually during the fall semester. The completed journal is then released the following spring.

One of the distinctive elements of Parnassus is its annual metamorphosis; new staff members, editors, and facilitators turn every publication into a unique and unexpected experience. This year, Parnassus staff members individually voted for their three favorites pieces in the submission categories of poetry, prose, and art, resulting in the collective selection of a single piece from each category. Although all of the submissions are worthy of attention, three pieces have received special recognition as outstanding work: Catharine Barnett’s shape poem “Eucharist” (page 64), Valerie Prescott’s short story “The Hour of Lead” (108), and Lindsey Buchanan’s painting “Balloon Man” (30). Honorable mentions include, in poetry, Sam Edgin’s “like velvet” (42) and Luke Harty’s “The Wasted Life of Ruka Pyraggi and The End of the World” (45); in prose, Ellen McConnell’s “Transmuted” (67) and Anne Wilson’s “Alchemy and Etiquette” (52); and in art, Steven Barnett’s “Linonophobia” (512) and Rachel Moore’s “Captivating” (21).

The year’s cover was designed by sophomore Dustin Friesen, who explains that “on the cover you see two gold fish: one jumping in the water and one jumping out. As this was a creative literary and art journal, my intent was to portray exactly that—our creativity—in a simple way. It is us trying to express our own unfamiliar feelings and ideas—jumping out of the water, so to speak—and making them familiar to those around us, submerging ourselves back in. It is a constant flowing and changing process, one which we should continually go through every day of our lives.”

It’s our nature to shy away from sameness, changing out the boring for the new. Call it restlessness or consumerism or shallowness or whatever you’d like, but it I just being human. Art and literature are alluring because they provide a guilt-free escape from the tedium, a profound peek into someone else’s existence. It’s like a goldfish that swims the same circle around its bowl for hours and then leaps out of the water, spending a precious second in a dangerous and mysterious world before returning to what it knows. That’s what art and literature do: they take us out of the water. The aim of Parnassus is to encourage that leap, because it is freedom from the routine. It is fellowship. It is living naturally, with meaning.

Full Issue


Kelsey Warren
Asisstant Editors
Brandon Fitzsimmons
Jenny Walton
Editorial Staff
Lauren Birtles
Carissa Chang
Kelli Conners
Drew Demarest
Steve Etheridge
Kristina Garvelink
Marika Kossian
Ben Mattice
Cara Strickland
Amanda Trumbower
Faculty Advisor
Aaron Housholder


The Parnassus staff is incredibly grateful for the time, effort, and resources offered by many individuals toward the betterment of this year's journal. Because of their thoughtfulness and generosity, this project has not only reached its current potential but been given a clearer vision for the future. Thank you to all of those who helped in this process, and forgive us for not naming you individually. May you be blessed richly for your kindness.


An interview with Will Vaus


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