I would like to thank Magazine Editors Jennifer Xu and Dylan Cinti for giving me the reigns to select the student work featured in this year’s Literary Issue. After advertising for submissions in The Michigan Daily, posting fliers and spamming e-mail lists, I received dozens of submissions from talented University students showcasing their works. I took the names off each submission before printing it out because several submissions were from past and present classmates and I wanted to ensure impartiality during the judging process. I’m proud of my peers when I say that deciding on the work displayed in the following pages wasn’t easy.
As a writer, I know what it’s like to tap your soul into a keyboard. As a human being, I know what it’s like to be rejected. Several times during this process I’ve thought to myself, “What gives me the right to put these poems and short stories into yes, no and maybe piles?” The truth is what has made being involved with The Statement such an enriching experience for me. This is a student-run publication. I’m a student and a writer. I haven’t been published. I received a brief moment of vindication when I won a Hopwood Award from the University for a short story I wrote last year. I’m not a member of the Hopwood selection committee, a professor or an admissions officer. I chose the following poems and short stories with care, knowing this could be the only time I will be on this end of the selection process. My submissions were rejected for the Literary Issue published last year. I’ll be rejected from many publications over my lifetime. I want to shine a spotlight on the work here as a small triumph for its authors and for myself. This may only be a small sampling of the talent the University has to offer, but I think all of the work here displays something every person can relate to. Whether you write for a living, for fun, for catharsis or for your sanity, I hope you read yourself into the stories and poems here.