Emily Kucera
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Cal Poly’s English department held a reading and celebration in honor of the release of the 24th edition of the department’s annual literary magazine, “Byzantium,” on May 27 at Sally Loo’s Wholesome Cafe.

“Byzantium” contains literature produced entirely by undergraduate Cal Poly students. Co-editors and English seniors Carly Demetre and Jenna Korver produced this year’s edition, along with help from the student art director, art and design senior Bryn Hobson.

“I thought each of the people read very well, including Jenna, who read for MacKenzie,” English professor and “Byzantium” faculty advisor Kevin Clark said. “And then I thought Lauren — her reading just knocked it out. I mean, it was like every word was a piece of beautiful food, you know? It was great.”

“It’s one thing to envision it … and then a very different thing to actually have the physical book in your hands,” Korver said. “And it’s really exciting.”

The magazine’s poems and stories are chosen through Cal Poly’s annual Al Landwehr Creative Writing Contest. Six of the winners of the contest that were selected for publication in “Byzantium” read their poems and stories aloud Tuesday evening.

“It’s a cool contest,” said third-place winner in poetry, English junior Kara Erickson. “Everyone kind of feels like a family, so lots of support.”

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 Third-place winner in fiction, English senior Kaye Richardson.

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Third-place winner in poetry, English junior Kara Erickson.

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Second-place winner in fiction, English sophomore Rhiannon Kelly.

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Second-place winner in poetry, English graduate student Lauren Henley.

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The first-place winner in fiction, English junior MacKenzie Soldan, could not attend. Demetre read a summary of Soldan’s story, and Korver (pictured) read part of Soldan’s story on her behalf.

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First-place winner in poetry, English senior Erica London.

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