Award-winning, student-run, weekly campus newspaper of the University of Illinois, Springfield

The Observer

Award-winning, student-run, weekly campus newspaper of the University of Illinois, Springfield

The Observer

Award-winning, student-run, weekly campus newspaper of the University of Illinois, Springfield

The Observer


UIS English Journal Violet Margin 2023 Holds Launch Event Over Zoom

Photo credit: Violet Margin

The 2023 issue of Violet Margin was launched as part of the three-day STARS celebration on Thursday, April 14, via Zoom virtual event. Students from all across the nation featured in the journal were able to read their poems and short stories in front of students, graduates, and faculty and then answer questions at the end of the presentation.

The STARS event is an annual celebration of students’ scholarly and creative works. UIS graduates, undergraduates, and members of the community from all academic disciplines to showcase professional presentations in a symposium setting. The occasion consisted of two in-person gatherings on Wednesday evening and Friday morning.

The virtual events consisted of prose readings of “How to Live a Thoughtless Life” by Zach Boblitt, “Mischief,” and a poetry reading of “Musings on the Great Beasts” by Arahshiel Rose Silver.

“I would like to say Dr. Lupita-Olivares was immensely helpful in giving me confidence in my writing. UIS has great professors,” Zach Boblitt said via the event’s chat.

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This edition also features prose by Rith Scott and Summer Warner, art from Rith Scott and Jaeyeon Kim, and poetry by T. Vorreyer, Carrianne Garner, Carissa Chrysokos, Christian Heigler, Naila Buckner, Jamie Jarosz, Sarah Davis, Rebecca Anderson, and Ameerah Brown.

During the question-and-answer session, many questions were raised about the writing process, reading and sharing your work in public, and the AI future of poetry.

Nick Leonard to Everyone 5:33 PM

Do you think AI, like Chat GPT, will affect the poetry scene? How can we keep poetry a human endeavor?

According to an article in the MIT Press Reader, AI is better with poems that have fewer form requirements and are more nonsensical. Many creatives are concerned about AI replacing their work with artificial versions. This question was posed by the monitor to the discussion onscreen and the chat as well:

Fenton, Scott to Everyone 5:40 PM

This is a terrifying question!

Arahshiel Rose Silver to Everyone 5:40 PM


Taylor McClure to Everyone 5:40 PM

I agree, same thing with art and all.

Fenton, Scott to Everyone 5:42 PM

The process of making the art needs to be itself rewarding for the maker, I think—needs to bring joy. AI can spit out a product, but the revelations you experience during the writing process—those are yours to treasure.

Fenton, Scott to Everyone 5:42 PM

Or something!

The current consensus is that AI is changing writing – while the poems are easy to tell from human-penned ones, the technology is advancing. English studies may just be a few years away from a major sea change. Hopefully, the Violet Margin will be at the vanguard.

The managing editor of the journal is Marcial Rodriguez, and Shanae Vanmoore is the assistant managing editor this year. Colin Fitzgerald is the prose editor, Zoe Sjogerman is the poetry editor, Sarah Pope Is the visual art editor, and Rachel Sharer is the marketing editor.

The Readers are Dorothy Bandusky, Britt Harston, and Marissa Weihofe.

The virtual event was recorded and will be available soon.

The 2023 issue of Violet Margin is now available on the website: check out the daily writing prompts, the archived issues of Violet Margin, and the blog here.

Full disclosure: Naila Buckner is the Assistant Editor, and Zach Boblitt is a Staff Contributor at the UIS Observer.

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