Student Voice


February 24, 2024




‘Prologue’ provides outlet for students’ creative work

November 14, 2013

For many college students, grade point average, number of internships or what ultimate career one aspires for serves as a measurement for success.

For many other students, specifically those in creative fields such as art or writing, campus recognition or publication are also crucial means of setting up one’s future as an artist or writer.

Often, scholarly work goes unrecognized outside of the classroom. By taking proactive steps and submitting works to magazines, newspapers or other publications, students establish themselves as artists within their communities.

But clear access to a voice was not always an option for students at UW-River Falls. In the 1960s, issues of censorship threatened organizations. Thomas R. Smith, a junior in 1968 and current resident of River Falls, was appointed an editor for “Prologue,” UWRF’s art and literary magazine.

Previously, the editors were responsible for deciding which submissions were qualified enough to make it into the annual “Prologue” magazine. In 1968, however, “The University administration demanded censorship rights over the editors’ choice,” Smith stated.

“This was 1968 with students talking revolution and generally feeling defiant,” Smith explained, “The mood of the times was to not take something like this lying down.”

As a result, students and faculty supporters decided to deviate from the University’s expectations. After receiving enough donations, Smith travelled to Madison to type and print 1968s edition of the literary magazine, however, this year it was published under the name “Prolapse.” According to Smith, prolapse is a medical term for “the falling down or slipping of a body part from its usual position or relations” and “it’s an accurate description of the relationship then of the student literary magazine to the administration.”

This spring will mark “Prologue’s” 56th publication. Since the winter of 1968 and his involvement in the magazine, Smith has published over 10 collections of poetry and has edited five books.

“Prologue’s” present aim remains similar to its purpose in 1968: to provide students with an opportunity to share their voices. Current “Prologue” president Al Waisley stated, “The goal is to showcase the creative talents of River Falls across all disciplines.”

Student Kyle McGinn has submitted his writing to numerous literary magazines and has had work published in “Prologue and Outrageous Fortune.” He promoted the concept of sharing one’s creative work.

“There is a feeling of accomplishment associated with being published. It feels good to be recognized for creative endeavors. There is a weird sense of community as well. I have had people email me or contact me on Facebook concerning my poems. It makes me feel closer to people on campus,” McGinn said.

Promoting one’s work is a great way to jump start post-college writing and artistic careers. As “Prologue” is open to submissions from any major, all students are encouraged to display their creative endeavors. However, there are other ways of advocating for one’s work in the community. Submitting work to publications or conferences enables students to positively represent themselves in the fields they are interested in. Especially in a time when idea censorship is minimal, it is important for students to have a voice.

Hannah Timm is a sophomore majoring in professional writing and minoring in creative writing. When she graduates from UWRF, she intends to work as an editor.