In 2018, we celebrated National Poetry month by exploring the poetry that can be found in our rare books, covering everything from classics like Paradise Lost to contemporary artists’ books. This year we are focusing on the poetry that can be found in university archives, written by DePaul students, faculty, friends, and even some who have no official affiliation with DePaul whatsoever.
DePaul University has a rich history of publishing the literary and poetic pursuits of its students. Most of these publications can be found in the Collection on DePaul University publications. One of the oldest publications featuring the poetic works of DePaul students is the Minerval, the precursor to the yearbook. The Minerval was published between 1912 and 1923 and features short stories, essays, photographs, student and alumni updates, and, of course, poetry. One poem that stands out among the issues of the Minerval comes from the December 15, 1918 edition. “The Prayer God Answered” was written by DePaul student John H. Drechney in celebration of the Armistice and the end of World War I.
DePaul’s support for the written word has also manifested itself in the form of the many student publications that have existed over the years. The DePaul Literary Magazine premiered in 1963, featuring both poetry and short stories. Notably, many of the works submitted were not by DePaul students, but rather by outside writers. This changed in 1965 when Shantih came into being. Originally a publication of the honors department, Shantih eventually became the main student literary magazine and featured poetry, prose, photographs, and artwork. This legacy has continued on into today – in 1981, Shantih became Threshold, and in 2013 Threshold became Crook and Folly, which still publishes the poetry of DePaul students today.
Students’ poetic output is not limited to the English language, however. Since 1992, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Department of Modern Languages, the Study Abroad Office, and Student Life have collaborated to publish Mille-Feuille, a French-language literary magazine featuring poetry and prose. Students are behind every aspect of Mille-Feuille: third-year French students are responsible for grant applications, advertising, submission selection, and choosing the art for the cover.
If you are interested in reading poetry from the university collections, all of the works discussed above are available for research in suite 314 of the John T. Richardson Library during our open hours of 9:00am to 5:00pm, Monday through Friday. For questions or more information on any of our other university collections, please contact Patricia Chavez. To use these materials in an instruction session please contact Morgen Macintosh Hodgetts or submit a request for instruction.