Another spring semester here at Rutgers University - Camden and accompanied with the weather’s indecisiveness comes another edition of The Scarlet Review. Although we were blessed and cursed with not one but two snow days right in the middle of March, we persevered and carried on with our deadlines. Not like we had a choice considering our grades were on the line, but I think we each realized the importance of our roles somewhere along this hectic journey. Whether it was during our intense discussions regarding controversial submissions or grueling over every typographic element of a letter, we knew that there was a final product we needed to achieve. Previous editions established the precedent, and it fell on us to carry on their work. The third entry in a trilogy is infamously hit or miss but as the editor-in-chief, I wanted this edition to be our best one yet. I sought to set a high bar for the next iteration of Digital Publishing to meet and exceed.
Our faculty advisor Travis DuBose was initially surprised by the total number of students that signed up for this class. I was also surprised by this considering he told us it had always been a smaller group in the last couple of years. However, I was also excited because I knew that a bigger group meant more opinions and perspectives. The diversity of our group ensured that the submissions we received would be looked at critically and from many different lenses, from the analytical eye of an English major to the design-oriented mind of a graphic design major. I feel that this diversity is represented well in this edition of The Scarlet Review in both theme and genre. We have strong academic essays that look at classical and modern works, but we also have personal essays discussing significant and relevant current events and issues.
For the first time since The Scarlet Review’s inception, we were happy to include two poems that were coincidentally thematically similar, “Steve” and “To Rise Above.” This was significant for the publication itself—it indicated a willingness to include something new that had not been done before. This decision was even more personal and intimate for me as one of two authors who was lucky enough to be accepted and published. I wrote “To Rise Above” on a cold Friday evening in December while sitting alone in the third floor of the Writer’s House. Although I am a creative writer by nature (mostly novels and short stories), it was by far the most personal poem I’ve ever written and made public. It was supposed to be a one-and-done assignment recorded for a class – it became something more when I realized how much I had revealed about myself. The suggestion to submit it to The Scarlet Review was taken lightly at first. I was intimidated. I didn’t think it was good enough. But here we are five months later and Rutgers University–Camden knows who I am a little more, as they do with every author and every individual who contributed to this exciting and exhausting experience. We hope that our readers enjoy what we’ve collaborated on this semester and the amazing work of the authors contained within. We took every submission into consideration seriously and we humbly present to you what we’ve chosen with the intent of entertaining and enlightening everyone who comes across this incredible endeavor.
Thank you and all the best,
Joseph D. Roman