Bateau 6.1 includes prose, poetry, images and comics, “reflecting the ideas of roughly 30 authors whose writing styles and ideas extend beyond what one might read in a conventional collection of literature,” says COA writing professor and chief editor Dan Mahoney.
The small magazine is compiled by Mahoney and a team of COA students and alumni. Bateau also operates a letterpress and publishes chapbooks. The operation is envisioned as a centering idea for an arts community, with an accompanying reader series and a writers-in-the-schools program utilizing COA undergrads. Student involvement, Mahoney says, is vitally important to the voice of the magazine and the community aspect.
“We received over a thousand responses to our call for submissions, and it was really amazing to see the students work through the entire editing process. The whole value of the magazine came from them learning to wrestle with and accept different literary perspectives,” he says. “If someone felt really passionate about a piece of poetry or prose we would sit and talk about it; the students ultimately had a lot of editorial sway.”
Mahoney’s college course “Little Magazines & Contemporary Literary Publishing” is another way students are involved in the production of Bateau 6.1. Class members come together to learn about literary magazines through a broad history lecture and hands-on practice with Bateau itself. They help to design and publicly represent Bateau while simultaneously studying the history and styles of many other literary publications.
“This real-world practice,” says Mahoney, “gives valuable experience to students and ensures that the magazine is expanded to include a broader scope of ideas and tastes.”
Beyond its own value as an inspiring work of literary art, the magazine is a powerful tool for teaching the next generation of writers and editors how to organize and market their own creations, he says. Mahoney hopes that new groups of students will continue to work with future issues of Bateau in the coming years, and that their voices will bring fresh perspectives to the magazine.
Mahoney and his students plan to publish one full magazine and one small chapbook a year.
A selection from Bateau 6.1:
The Female Ornithologists Club
By: Tara Roeder
We learn by doing here. We don’t stumble into walls, our noses buried in Auduban guides. We interest ourselves solely in the alight and quickening. We secret ourselves in bushes. We lie in wait.
Make no mistake—every bird is a miracle.
That having been said, three North American species to watch out for:
1.) Red tailed hawk. Rumored to cause serious injury and mental anguish. One of their lot terrorized a Connecticut school in 2010.
2.) Mute swan. Territorial creatures, a gang once overturned a man’s kayak and left him to drown.
3.) Great northern loon. One plunged his razor sharp beak into an ornithologist attempting to study him with deadly consequences.
But this is the minority of birds. Most are inquisitive, delightful creatures. Hummingbirds will entrance you. Bold types like seagulls will grab sandwiches right out of your hand.
A final word of advice: if you see a parrot, it is probably someone’s missing pet. Proceed accordingly.
Now let’s do this.