FHS ‘Connotations’ Writers to Read
By Ginny Masullo
April is National Poetry month. What better way to celebrate poetry than to listen to the young minds of the writers in Fayetteville High School’s art and literary magazine, “Connotations”? “Connotations” is finishing their 26th issue, “All Things Handwritten.”
After viewing the documentary “Helvetica,” a film that assesses the impact of the ubiquitous font Helvetica on human life and thought, the “Connotations”’ staff was inspired to focus on the individuality of the handwritten signature. Each artist’s signature accompanies their piece in the layout of the mag. The theme is explained in the opening statement.
“…. We’ve chosen this theme because in a future-driven world, sometimes emphasis seems to be placed more on convenience than cultivation. We don’t think about how much the very shape of things affects us, yet most would see Times New Roman as clinically precise while Comic Sans would harken most back to their kindergarten class. It is exactly those feelings, involuntary responses to writing that we wished to focus on in the design of this magazine. In our progression we move from single pieces that might be jotted down sloppily in a composition book to those moments of reflection that one might carefully transcribe with a calligraphy pen.”
Thus, the XXVI Connotations conveys the uniqueness of the individual as seen in the signatures and work of the artists and contrasts it with the conformity of the Helvetica font, which they use throughout the magazine. By featuring the seemingly small detail of signatures, a visual theme is created. It is a theme that bespeaks what “Connotations” is all about: creativity and diversity.
“Connotations,” as a part of FHS and our community, is important says editor Emma Britain, because it brings together so many different people from so many different disciplines.
“There are people from AP (Advance Placement) English and people from art with no AP courses,” Britain said. “There are people with no computer skills and people who are highly skilled. Each staff member is responsible for several spreads and this creates a really diverse production.”
This year the mag has more photography and nonfiction pieces than in previous years. “Connotations,” which struggles each year to raise funds, is soon to be hot off the press. Meanwhile, as part of their many fund-raising efforts, readers from Connotations will be the featured readers for the Ozark Poets and Writer’s Collective at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Nightbird Book’s new location on Dickson Street in the Old Ozark Mountain Smokehouse. The reading is free, but a hat is passed for donations to “Connotations.”
Celebrate “Connotations” latest issue and Nightbird Book’s spiffy new digs. Bring your own poetry or poetry by your favorite poet to the open mic (four minute limit per reader) for a rousing Spring night of verse.