New magazine appreciates culture

Poetry and art lovers now have their own personal magazine geared toward them at Florida A&M University. CaKe, a literary journal that has been produced for the last three years, features work from students all across campus.

“Our purpose is to highlight poetry and art from the FAMU and national communities,” said Kristine Snodgrass, the faculty adviser and editor of CaKe.

Snodgrass said CaKe, which is produced by FAMU’s English department, has a different focus each issue. In the third and most recent issue, CaKe concentrated on the Black Arts Movement.

“We have solicited work from Amiri Baraka and other famous poets as well as poetry from right here on campus,” Snodgrass said. “It is quite an achievement for a small journal like ourselves to get work without compensation from such a nationally and globally renowned writer like Amiri Baraka.  I have to say that this was all due to the student editors’ tenacity and passion for the magazine.”

In addition, CaKe highlights the extraordinary writing of those living on campus and in the local community.  The goal of CaKe is to showcase creative writing and art here at FAMU.

“We have a deep appreciation for these arts here,” Snodgrass said.

Snodgrass  mentioned that much of the poetry seen in the publications has come from her creative writing classes.  

Poetry, essays, interviews, translation, short book reviews and art are all published in CaKe.

Immediate involvement comes from Snodgrass,  Julius Thompson, the managing editor, Caryn Wilson, the assistant editor and Kiara Wright, the public relations and marketing manager.

Thompson, who became managing editor in fall of 2008, said deciding what is published or not is the easiest process.

“We, CaKe editors, think of and verbalize a few concepts to each other, narrow those concepts down, and then choose the artistic contributions that will best fit each concept,” Thompson said. 

The editors also  take into consideration how audiences will view the work and how it is related to the image CaKe is trying to portray for that particular issue.

“Accessible with integrity is an objective that we focus on during this process,” Thompson said. “What is a publication’s purpose if the content presented inside doesn’t relate to anyone and/or anything? CaKe is advocating people art, not selfish, subjective art.”

Hannah Brooks, 19, a second year political science student, is very impressed by the quality of  the work.

“I was impressed at the range of work, too,” Brooks said.  “Often it seems that blacks tend to write protest poetry or works that plight of the black community. I like those works but it was awesome to see something deeper and so beautifully written.”

Snodgrass said she has previously received a grant from the City of Tallahassee for production of the journal and to cover costs of visiting writers, but they are still in need of help and support.  

“This year, the journal is sponsored solely by the English department,” Snodgrass said. “We have so little money, that we could only print 100 copies and are already running out. 

One of our main goals is to create awareness and fundraisers for the literary magazine so we can keep it going.  It really is a wonderful endeavor.”

CaKe is being sold for $4 for students, and $6 for faculty, but prices will increase soon.  To purchase a copy, visit Snodgrass’ office in Tucker Hall, room 412.