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NMSU English course launches a new undergraduate literary magazine

Din Magazine, New Mexico State University's new literary magazine, will catapult its first issue into the literary arena Thursday, May 6, during a launch party from 5-7 p.m. in NMSU's Reader's Theater, adjacent to Clarabelle Williams Hall.

As a semester-long project, undergraduate and graduate students in the NMSU Department of English's online publishing course constructed the magazine from the bottom up. The edited journal features poems, stories, artwork and video from NMSU undergraduates and Las Cruces artists.

"Students come from lots of perspectives, and I think that blending is a real strength of the magazine," said Jen Almjeld, assistant professor of the graduate portion of the course. "Because our staff and our contributors come from so many different majors and backgrounds, we are really able to define and represent 'art' at NMSU in some pretty broad ways."

Almjeld along with Connie Voisine, associate professor of the undergraduate portion of the course, began talking about the idea of creating a literary magazine for the new undergraduate creative writing track about a year ago.

With a blend of Voisine's expertise in literary magazines and Almjeld's knowledge in new digital technologies, the first semester course was put into motion.

"I did not think such a wonderful publication would be possible - we have an amazing crew," Voisine said.
The name "Din" was chosen after the word's definition fit the idea behind the magazine - confusion leading to something great.

"We also thought about it as a boisterous conversation - like you'd have in a coffeehouse or class or some other place where people talk about ideas in excited, loud, great ways," Almjeld said.

The magazine began accepting submissions at the start of the spring semester, and after the March 31 deadline, artwork varying from written to musical work was dwindled down from the more than 200 submissions.

"I was particularly impressed when the staff managed to pull in over 200 submissions for a magazine that didn't even exist yet," Almjeld said. "I think it's a testament to our staff's ability to engage other artists from a variety of mediums."

The mission of the journal is to "give an opportunity and space for groundbreaking, inspirational, unique and revolutionary artists to showcase their talents."

Preference was given to undergraduates at NMSU branches and affiliates, but submissions were open to anyone.

Almjeld and Voisine plan to teach the course again next spring with the idea of making Din Magazine a yearly publication.

For more information, contact Almjeld at jalmjeld@nmsu.edu or Voisine at cvoisine@nmsu.edu.