Student-run magazine Catharsis makes prominent comeback on campus

Residents of Seneca Hall gather in  the hall library to read and discuss work. Seneca Hall is the center for the Catharsis magazine. This publication revolves around the submission of creative student works including art pieces like creative fiction, non-fiction, painting and songwriting (Udeshi seniveratne/PHoto Editor).

If you’re a writer with notebooks chock-full of stories, a painter whose brush is worn from beautifying canvas or an aspiring bard with lyrics that could soothe a dragon’s temper, then Catharsis may be for you. 

Catharsis is a student-run literary publishment geared toward featuring works by the myriad of talented artists here at Geneseo. From its conception, Catharsis has been a resource for artistic students centered in Seneca Hall. 

Biology major senior Shelby Stensland, advisor of Catharsis, is proud of the opportunities that the magazine creates. 

“It’s a platform for the students of Writer’s House to show off their creativity and hard work,” Stensland said.

While it was originally developed only for the students of Writer’s House, Catharsis has expanded far and beyond, now accepting submissions from any and every Geneseo student regardless of residence hall or major. As a biology major, Stensland personifies the promise that any person interested can help out with or send pieces to Catharsis. 

Specifically, Stensland hopes to step away from the magazine’s previous focus on writing and embrace creative works outside of writing, like painting or songwriting. 

“I want it to be a general celebration of all the hard work and talent,” Stensland said. 

Her push for expanded art forms has led to an increase in interest and has raised excitement for Catharsis to a level not seen in years.

The publication has struggled in recent years due to lack of interest. No issues have been published since 2014. With help from Area Coordinator Christopher Rivera, Stensland is looking to publish at least two issues this semester and believes it’s a realistic goal. 

“We just had our first meeting [on] Sept. 1 and we had about 25 people show up,” Stensland said. “I was not expecting that turnout because last year we had maybe three [students] show up.” 

With strong numbers out of the gate, Stensland is confident that this could be the breakout year for Catharsis. With their next meeting approaching, Stensland and the other students behind Catharsis are looking everywhere for creative pieces. 

“We’re not looking for new things necessarily,” Stensland said. “It could be a couple years old, something you wrote for a class, anything you want to show off or are willing to show off.” 

Any piece of work is considered for publishing, as long as it doesn’t violate any of Geneseo’s Code of Conduct rules. With a group of excited young artists looking to showcase their talent and a team of ready readers, Stensland is hopeful that the first issue of Catharsis will be ready to publish halfway through the first semester.

With the creative arts community growing at an exponential rate around campus, Catharsis is looking to establish itself as a legitimate and popular medium for artists to promote their work. 

English and math major sophomore Rachel Mclauchlin, a resident of Seneca Hall, is glad to have Catharsis as a resource. 

“I think it’s really cool that the magazine is kind of exclusively run in the dorm,” she said. “I was on an art and literary magazine in high school and I think it’s fantastic that more than just writing will be in this version of Catharsis. Honestly, it really balances out the content to have visual art alongside written art.”

Submissions will be reviewed within the upcoming weeks for the newest issue. Students looking to publish their work should submit it as soon as possible.