Students showcase work in new magazine


Staff Writer

What are you doing this Friday?If you like poetry and supporting youth, the Edison Arts Society wants to see you at 7 p.m. at Java’s Brewin’ coffee house at 545 Middlesex Ave. in Metuchen.

Teens from six area high schools will be reading works appearing in the debut issue of “The Incandescent Doughnut,” the first literary magazine assembled by the Edison Arts Society, which was formed in 1998.

“It’s ‘the teen literary magazine,’ ” said Nina Hand, executive director for the society. “We wanted a magazine that not only was written by high school students, but also appealed to high school students.”

She said the magazine, which will officially go on sale at the Friday reading for $5, features 30 submissions from students from Edison High School, J.P. Stevens High School, Bishop George Ahr High School, Metuchen High School, St. Joseph’s High School and South Plainfield High School.

Area high schools were informed of the magazine contest and students were given the chance to submit. Though they could submit anything from one-act plays to short stories, most preferred to submit poems, Hand said.

Poems included “The Ritual” by Alison Liss, a Metuchen High School senior, about the author’s daily struggle with beauty.

“I can really picture it,” said Hand. “I can picture how hysterical she must look.”

Other poems included “Applying for College” by fellow Metuchen High School student Lauren Rush and “Like English,” one of two poems by Edison High School junior Nicolas Davila that made it into the inaugural Incandescent Doughnut.

“I am the I before your E, except after you left me for C,” Hand quoted from “Like English.”

Nicolas said he’s been writing for most of his 17 years but has dedicated himself to poetry for the last two years. He contributes regularly to the arts world through Edison High School’s literary magazine, the New Jersey Slam Youth Group and his own assembled poetry readings at various coffee shops and bookstores throughout the area.

“I honestly think [The Incandescent Doughnut] is an amazing idea,” he said. “We need stuff like that for young writers.”

Student representatives of the area high schools to the Edison Arts Society, called ambassadors, need to get the word out about events like The Incandescent Doughnut, he said.

“Once kids know, they’ll want to submit,” he said. “People get excited when they see their work in print. I know I do.”

Hand said the poetry reading Friday was inadvertently scheduled the night of Edison High School’s prom. So, Nicolas will only be able to stop in for a few minutes to read his entries – in a full tuxedo.

“If I’m going to go somewhere, I’m going to have to dress to impress,” he laughed.

“We weren’t looking for just the sappy ‘oh, I’m in love,’ or ‘my heart is broken,’” Hand said. “I did put one or two of those in too, because well, that’s what they’re writing about.”

“That was the type of thing we were trying to feature, not only well-written pieces, but also pieces high school kids can really relate to,” she added.

Hand said she expected Friday night’s reading to be a very enjoyable event.

“I’m very excited because it represents such a large contingent of talent from so many schools,” she said. “It was difficult to select who actually was published; we had a lot of great work.”

For more information about Friday’s reading at Java’s Brewin’ in Metuchen, call Nina Hand at (908) 753-2787.