Widener Ink (review)
Reviewed by Mitchell Roshannon, Susquehanna University, Class of 2019
Widener Ink is the literary journal of Widener University in Chester, Pennsylvania. The cover of the 2018 publication shows a flower with an eye in the center, graffitied on cement, a great indication that this journal is dedicated to work both written and visual. The work in Widener Ink does not fall clearly into an elite definition of art; the cover suggests the interest in considering the artistic merit in everything, from sestina to spray-paint. Inside the cover, the writing features topics and takes on subjects that some would consider taboo or out of this world, and manages to see the art within.
Still vividly marked in my memory is the piece “Baby Making,” by Nicole Grey. I applaud Grey both for the aforementioned script and also for her work as editor-in-chief of this issue. Her piece follows a conversation between a married woman and an old (and also married) friend whom she asks to have sex with her in order to get pregnant so she doesn’t have to leave her husband without child because of his infertility.
“ESP” by Haley Poluchuck does a wonderful job of displaying how difference can make someone feel. The piece portrays her experiences attempting to tell friends and family that she believes she is psychic, occasionally knowing that things will happen or are happening without any logical reason for having said knowledge. Even if the reader hasn’t ever believed in psychic abilities, they can relate with the lonely feeling that comes with identifying in a way that isolates.
Everyone can connect to the feelings approached in “Freedom” by Kelly Bachich. The desire for freedom, for something more, is palpable in Bachich’s work; the desire can almost be seen trying to tear itself from the page. Though truly, just as this freedom must be fleeting and temporary, so must the graffiti be illegal despite the uncontested beauty of its petals. Regardless, the graffiti continues to live here on the cover of Widener Ink and so will the freedom of both Bachich’s story and the stories of every other author in this collection as they are forever concretely housed within the pages of Widener’s journal.