Creativity displayed at Torch Release party

Rob Griffith, freshman English major, and Chase Techentin, junior music major, perform at the Torch Release in Barefoots Joe. The event promoted the new release of the student literary magazine 'The Torch.' | Photo by Cari Phillips

By Cari Phillips

Students enjoyed homemade treats and listened to several works written and performed by their peers at the inaugural Torch Release held May 5.

“The Torch” is Union’s literary arts magazine, published every spring. Students can submit a number of different types of work, including poetry, short stories, photography and pictures of sculptures and pottery.

“We really wanted to do something new and different about the way we release ‘The Torch’ this year,” said Josh Garcia, junior English major. “There is usually a reading in the spring semester, but in the past, at least since I’ve been on staff, they have been very low-key and not many people who weren’t involved with ‘The Torch’ knew to come or what it was.”

Garcia said “The Torch” staff worked hard on making sure the date, time and lineup of the release were intentional and ordered in a way entertaining to people from all disciplines. This edition of “The Torch” was designed by Kate Allen, junior art major. One of the featured sculptures was made by Caleb Boothe, senior art major.

“This past fall, I started to deal with concepts of pain and suffering,” Boothe said. “I’m trying to deal with those in my walk as a Christian and seeing what visual elements I can use to see them made manifest through sculpture.”

The piece chosen for “The Torch” is currently hung on the wall in Barefoots Joe.

Another performer in the show was Michael Lewis, junior biology major. Lewis has been writing slam poetry, a form of rhythmic, spoken word poetry, for four years, and performed one of his pieces.

“I love the rhythm of slam poetry,” Lewis said. “I like how ideas can flow together and how the thoughts build on each other.”

Lewis enjoys the memorization aspect of poetry and the flexibility it adds to the creative process.

Throughout the event, a myriad of musicians played on stage, led by Rob Griffith, freshman English major, Jay Griffith, freshman English and French double major, and Austin Gray, freshman English major. Accompanying them for several songs were Taylor Hare, freshman English major, Chase Techentin, junior music major, Cassie Osborn, sophomore social work major, and Trey Weise, freshman biblical languages major.

“I really enjoyed ‘The Torch’ reveal show. I liked the way it highlights things like written poetry and art,” Techentin said. “Most students don’t stop and read that kind of stuff, so to have it read out loud and to showcase the visual arts, it’s just a great way to get everyone involved. We artsy people really need to stick together.”

Ellen Cline, freshman art major, read her piece, “Dye Job.” Other readings included “Palm Reading” by Renae Matz, senior English major, “Crabapples and Wisteria” by Chelsea Carrier, junior English major, and “Counting Down” by Cameron Puckett, junior media communications major.

Garcia said “The Torch” staff was pleased with the turnout and said, “We hope the event was a fun sampling of the talented people we have represented in this year’s issue.”

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The Cardinal & Cream is a student publication of Union University in Jackson, Tennessee. Our staff ranges from freshmen to seniors and includes a variety of majors — including journalism, public relations, advertising, marketing, digital media studies, graphic design and art majors.