On The Gas Station Issue

Tyler Maule, ASWC Copy Editor

As submissions for its Binary issue wrapped up, Quarterlife’s staff prepared for upcoming leadership transitions and looming publication deadlines. To guarantee the continued quirkiness of Whitman’s quarterly literary magazine, ASWC Nominations Chair AnnaMarie McCorvie brought Brie Strom and Gillian Gray to Senate for their confirmation as next year’s Co-Editors in Chief. Gray, currently studying abroad, described via email her unabating passion for the publication and her dedication to “[p]ushing the extensive collection of past issues that [she] brought [to the UK…] on semi-interested British students.” As current Co-Editor in Chief with Meritt Salathe, Gray has displayed a knack for constructive criticism and an investment in preserving the magazine’s identity. Strom’s artistic vision and experience with Queering, on the other hand, makes them an excellent candidate for the position. They noted their appreciation for the “spirit in Quarterlife that fosters a lot of different creative work” and hopes to further Quarterlife’s zany advertising techniques. With the blessing of current Co-Editor in Chief Meritt Salathe, ASWC’s Senate confirmed the pair by a vote of 17-0-2.

The following Sunday, Salathe hosted Quarterlife artists, copy editors, and advertisers in a General Selections Meeting, where they discussed which pieces to include in their upcoming publication. “Binary,” developed in concert with the Power and Privilege Symposium, aims to foster dialogue on the harmful nature of socially constructed dichotomies (in addition to inspiring plenty of computer-related art). Salathe led the group in considering each submission and seeking to publish a balance of different art forms and interpretations of “Binary.” Quarterlife’s staff arrived at a healthy mix of fourteen pieces, ranging from a bizarre character sketch of “Eunice B. Fenklie” to frank poems on race and ethnicity. The selected submissions will be scrutinized by Copy Editors and organized by Staff Artists before heading to the press.

With the Binary’s publication on schedule, the staff began brainstorming themes for the next issue. Quarterlife’s fourth publication typically fits a “The _____ Issue” format (think “The Swimsuit Issue” or “The Gardening Issue”), so initial conversations focused on filling that blank space. Because submissions to “Binary” tended to focus on weighty topics, ideas such as “The Education Issue” or “The Immigration Issue,” were sidelined for future consideration. Spring-related odes to regrowth and rebirth were similarly rejected—beautiful often devolves into boring, and Quarterlife favors the bizarre, the uncanny, the mundane. Along those lines, someone floated the idea of “24hr Diner,” attempting to appeal to IHOP-at-2am aesthetics and the tone of the Cards Against Humanity card that reads “waking up half-naked in a Denny’s parking lot.” From there, the general “24/7” theme took hold, the question being: Where would you least like to be at midnight? A convenience store? An airport? A truck stop? Some disquieting dark alley? Even Blockbusters, with its iconic pickles and nostalgic value, was tossed around as a potential theme. But after much deliberation, the matter was settled: this Spring, Quarterlife will ask Whitman to consider “The Gas Station Issue” (staff field trip upcoming).

Submissions deadline to be announced; send paintings, poems, short stories, photos, drawing, graphic art and whatever else you can dream up to [email protected]­­, by April 22nd at midnight.