Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Here. magazine created for Southeast Missouri high schoolers

Wednesday, January 27, 2021
Here. magazine was created to give local high school students a creative outlet outside of class.
Graphic courtesy of Mia Pohlman

In an effort to give area high school students a chance to express themselves artistically, rustmedia has developed Here. magazine, a literary magazine that features poetry, fiction and other works of art. The literary magazine features poetry, fiction and nonfiction pieces and artwork submitted by students.

Founder of Here. Mia Pohlman designed the magazine to be everything she would have wanted in high school from a literary program. The writing club Pohlman was a part of while in high school featured an editorial board of students, but it was missing a workshop experience.

“I didn’t learn a lot about actually getting my work published until the end of my time in college,” she said. “I wanted to design a program that would give students that knowledge now so they can start in high school.”

The magazine is focused on a uniquely Midwestern perspective, something Pohlman said is an important part of its identity.

“It’s important that we’re telling our own stories and not allowing people who aren’t necessarily from here to tell our stories for us,” Pohlman said.

The most involved part of the magazine for students is the editorial board, which currently sits at 17 high schoolers. These students are invited to workshops and presentations hosted by professional writers and artists from the community every month on Saturday morning.

Students need to submit an application, three writing or art samples and a letter of recommendation from a teacher to apply for the board. Then the magazine advisory board reviews and selects the most qualified students to serve on the board.

The advisory board features Pohlman and five other experts in different fields of writing or art. The board consists of Mass Media Chairperson Tamara Zellars Buck, author Amanda Flinn, director of rustmedia Jeff Rawson, Theatre and Dance administrative assistant Sara Steffens and Professor of Ceramics Benjie Heu.

Buck, who serves as the journalism expert on the advisory board, said a big reason she joined the board was because students don’t often get a creative outlet like the one Here. provides.

“Students don’t get nearly enough opportunity to express themselves freely and in an artistic way that is not in a classroom for grades,” Buck said. “I loved the idea of a community project that would allow them to become published.”

Each member of the advisory board has hosted or will host a workshop covering their area of expertise. Benjie Heu’s is set to be the last one of the semester, something he said is not by accident.

Heu will host a ceramics workshop for the editorial board, and the reason he has postponed it is in hope of a better face-to-face experience for everyone involved.

“It’s supposed to be a fun and engaging workshop, not a ‘you’re going to make something that lasts forever’ workshop,” Heu said.

The ceramics professor joined the Here. advisory board to help show students there is a community of creative people in Cape Girardeau.

“As a young creative, you might not always know that’s okay, especially here in Southeast Missouri,” Heu said. “You’re not alone. There is a whole world of us out there, and you can join us.”

More information about Here. magazine can be found online at https://www.herelit.com, and the first printed edition is planned for May in a special section of the Southeast Missourian.

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