Erato at Tech: 50 years of poetry and counting

Photo Courtesy of Taylor Gray, Student Publications

For 50 years now, Tech’s art and literary magazine Erato has provided a platform for artistic expression. The magazine’s 55 pages are a physical embodiment of a campus rich with thoughts and ideas. Each issue, from 1969 to the present day, represents a snapshot of a moment in time at Tech, and the stories the community has to share with the world.

Each year, the magazine is carefully curated by its staff and published in the spring. This year, in celebration of its 50th anniversary, an additional issue of the magazine, containing 50 works that span the last 50 years, will be published in November.

“[Erato] has been around for 50 years, and it’s come a long way. People back then cared a lot about writing and art, and people now still do,” said former Editor-in-Chief Gautami Chennur.

While the first issues of Erato were simple black and white leaflets comprised of photography on film and a handful of mailed in submissions — digital photography and internet submissions had not entered the scene as of yet, even at a technology school — recent issues of the magazine are completely in color, with a digital submission process on their website that has maximized efficiency.

During the 2018 – 2019 school year, Erato received around 350 submissions. In addition to pieces submitted on the website, all artwork submitted to the Clough Art Crawl is sent to the magazine for consideration. Once the submission deadline has passed, members of the magazine staff look through the art and literary pieces to select the ones that will be published.

The staff determines which pieces will be paired together, heeding the tone and messages of the works. They then lay out the pages accordingly.

The artistic essence of the magazine is in the submitted works, as well as in the design the staff has carefully crafted to present the pieces as a story.

“The best part of being involved in the magazine is seeing all the work that comes through,” Chennur said. “A small percentage of it makes it into the magazine, but we get a lot of amazing submissions, and it’s really hard for us to decide what really makes it through at the end. But just being able to see all that gives me a lot of confidence in the Georgia Tech arts community.

“It’s really fun designing something that complements other people’s art,” the former EIC continued.

“When you’re creating your own art, it’s often that you decide the topic and the focus, but when you’re designing the magazine, it’s a lot about complementing the literary pieces and art and coming up with something cohesive. I think putting all the pieces of that puzzle together has been very fun.”

The staff of the magazine is comprised of passionate students representing an array of majors at Tech, from LMC to the natural sciences.

“Erato is very open to new people and new ideas about art, so even if you don’t really have experience, or if you have experience and aren’t sure about how that can be translated into art, come talk to us and we can help you,” said current Editor-in-Chief Sabrina Wilson.

“We can teach people the skills if they’re interested in designing the magazine, and if they’re looking for people to review their work, we’re here. We’re here for the artistic community of the school.”

During Erato’s next 50 years and onwards, the magazine’s staff, editors and dedicated readers hope to continue to see it blossom and expand across mediums.

“The magazine has come a really long way. Just the fact that we have the amount of presence that we have is great, and we’ve been working towards making it more exciting for everyone.

“It used to not be in color, and really over my time here, we’ve gotten to see all the pages come out in color and create a really interwoven experience for the reader.

“The goal is to take that forward, to keep looking for amazing art, and also maybe try to integrate more with the technology side of things,” said Chennur.

Meetings are held on Mondays from 6 – 7 p.m. in the student publication office of the Student Services building. The office is an open and inviting environment for all undergraduates and graduates to learn about the magazine and express their ideas.