Erato: celebrating 40 years of student expression

. The name might make you think of something risqué or erotic. The truth, in fact, might shock you more than your imagination. At a school so heavily focused on engineering and science, is Tech’s Creative Arts Journal.

was founded in 1969 by a student named Richard Sawyer, who wanted a publication dedicated solely to the artistic endeavors of Tech students. In 1979, lost funding from the Student Government Association (SGA) but was still able to self-publish an issue. remained unpublished for five years before students were able to revive interest in the publication. A new budget was set, and published bi-annually and annually, depending on budget constraints.

now publishes annually, with submission deadlines set for early in the spring semester. This publication contains pieces of poetry, prose, photography, drawing, painting and digital painting which were submitted by Tech undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and staff.

This past year, celebrated its 40 anniversary issue with a launch party on Monday, April 19. The launch party consisted of an Erato birthday cake and an exhibit of all past issues.

“We celebrated the 40 Anniversary issue with a year-long history project, an attempt to find out where we came from to decide how to move forward,” said Amaris Gutierrez-Ray, fifth-year STAC and Editor-in-Chief of .

“There’s been a lot of disconnect over the years and not many editors have passed their stories down, so finding out that we lost funding for the last half of the 1970s was a surprise,” Gutierrez-Ray said.

“I decided to look for in all the s and s since we were created in 1969. I ended up working with the Archives and the Alumni Association to fill in the gaps—to find issues we didn’t have and names of editors who could tell me more. We put together a brief overview of our history in this year’s journal, and we invited all the alumni I spoke with to our launch party,” Gutierrez-Ray said.

When asked what impact this 40 anniversary issue has on the Tech community, Gutierrez-Ray said, “I think that kind of campus outreach was monumental for us this year. We’ve started taking ourselves seriously as a historical publication at Tech, and through extended campus outreach [such as] more events and more distribution racks, people can start to see that for themselves.”

“Though the importance of a literary magazine or journal on the campus of a technology institute may sometimes be forgotten, I believe is an essential outlet for the creativity of students on campus as both an impetus and stimulus for creative writing and artwork as well as a way for students to showcase that work,” said Julia Turner, second-year STAC and one of next year’s co-Editors-in-Chief of .

not only publishes an annual journal, but also hosts open mic nights where attendees can come and share their poetry or prose. In addition, hosts a reading series where poets and prose writers from the community share their work with Tech students. The 40 anniversary issue provides an example of the creative potential of Tech students.

“In the next few years I think we can do amazing things to join disciplines and create a creative commons or campus community of interdisciplinary creativity,” Gutierrez-Ray said, “We hope to take our history into the future to reach an even broader readership consisting of cross-college communication and collaborations with the other print publications on campus.”

Copies of the anniversary issue can be found in distribution racks across campus in the Instructional Center, the Library Rotunda, the D.M. Smith entrance, the Student Center and the Publications Office in the Flag Building.