News & Events

 


MFA program launches the River Volta Review of Books

Posted on 2019-04-15 in Arts & Culture, Students & Campus Life

Dr. Sheri Benning (PhD) is the supervising faculty member of the new publication and Allison McFarland (right) is editor of the inaugural issue.

by Chris Putnam

A new online publication launched by the University of Saskatchewan’s MFA in Writing Program aims to bring fresh perspectives to literary criticism in Canada.

The River Volta Review of Books features book reviews, interviews and essays written by graduate students in the MFA in Writing Program and the Department of English. The first issue went online at the end of March.

Dr. Sheri Benning (PhD), an assistant professor of English, supervises the project. MFA in writing student Allison McFarland served as editor of the inaugural issue.

“Literary review in Canada in general could use a boost,” said Benning, noting that platforms for writers and publishers to have their work reviewed are becoming increasingly rare.

Benning hopes the River Volta Review of Books will help fill that gap while also building skills and exposure for its student contributors.

“I thought a publication like this would be a great companion to the creative writing program. It would give students the opportunity to really engage with work that they love in different ways than creatively. It would allow them the space to respond critically to books that inspire and make them enthusiastic about literature,” said Benning.

Based in the English department of the College of Arts and Science, the MFA in Writing Program is a two-year, thesis-based program that trains students in the professional and creative aspects of writing.

Benning approached McFarland to edit the first issue of the new publication because of McFarland’s work as co-founder and co-editor of antilang., an open-access online literary magazine.

McFarland said she was interested in getting further experience with editing as a way to develop her own creative voice.

“Learning all about writing can’t hurt, whatever genre you write in,” said McFarland. “Learning different forms and learning work from other people and how to edit that in their voice helps with your own work.”

People involved in Canada’s literary scene and anyone interested in books are the intended audience of the River Volta Review of Books, Benning said. Building community among readers, writers and students of poetry and literature is another goal of the publication.

A new student editor will take over the next issue of the River Volta Review of Books planned for the fall. The publication will come out three to four times each year at rivervoltareview.com.

The English department continues to publish The Fieldstone Review, another digital literary journal whose content includes original creative works. Focusing more on critical approaches to writing, the River Volta Review of Books is planned to work in tandem with The Fieldstone Review.

 


This story aligns with the following Think Big – Be Bold: Arts and Science 2025 plan goals:

  Put Students First
Back to News Listing

Related Articles

New USask hydrology program opens in 2020

Posted on 2019-07-12

The undergraduate program will focus on the Department of Geography and Planning's strengths in water science and geomatics


USask graduate student uses computer modelling to help save Tasmanian devils

Posted on 2019-07-11

The carnivorous marsupials are dying due to the spread of a contagious cancer called devil facial tumour disease


Saskatoon StarPhoenix: Jazz festival's TD Jazz Intensive gives students a glimpse of the professional life

Posted on 2019-07-02

“You can talk about music, you can intellectualize … but you need to do it,” says USask jazz professor and jazz intensive coordinator Dean McNeill


Bachelor of Education program in Cumberland House works to address teacher shortage in northern communities

Posted on 2019-06-28

Program to be delivered through the the College of Arts and Science and the College of Education, in partnership with the Northern Lights School Division


Students visit Ecuador to preserve endangered language

Posted on 2019-06-27

Four linguistics students spent two weeks in Ecuador assisting with a dictionary project


‘There’s something really special about the company’: USask student, alumna land roles with Theatre in the Park

Posted on 2019-06-27

The Young Ones, written by playwright Yvette Nolan, address issues around climate change and environmental responsibility