- Dimitry Borshch
Juan Morales, editor and publisher of Pilgrimage, a literary journal published out of CSU-Pueblo, says: "There are two different experiences when it comes to writing. There's the time that you [spend] with the page ... but also there's a performance element, and this opportunity to interact with the artists and authors that create the work." But it's the artist-audience interaction that represents the spirit behind Saturday's release party and reading of Pilgrimage's most recent issue: Ink & White Space.
Pilgrimage has been around for more than 40 years, though it has changed a great deal in that time. Starting out with content based in psychology (including essays and analysis), it has spent its decades moving completely into the realm of literature — fiction, nonfiction, poetry and, now, drama. In the four years since Morales took the reins, which he did when Pilgrimage became attached to the university, they've opened up their pages to many different styles, as well as many different forms of art, accepting submissions from all over the world.
But the purpose has always remained. The Pilgrimage slogan, "story, spirit, witness, place," refers to its intent — to capture and share the life and energy of the American Southwest. As Pueblo considers itself the "gateway" to the Southwest, it's an appropriate place to host a journal with such a long history representing the region.
This issue, and Saturday's reading, contain voices of notable locals: Idris Goodwin, Felicia Rose Chavez and Jessy Randall, whose work will be interspersed in the magazine with artwork by New York-based artist Dimitry Borshch. Borshch's clean ink drawings inspired the issue's theme, and provide an interesting visual element to a journal already packed with big ideas and beautiful literary art. Though Morales' work will not appear in this issue, he too will be reading his original poetry at the release.
Between poetic diagrams, traditional poetry, a nonfiction essay, and an original short play by Goodwin, the styles of literature presented will be as varied as the themes they convey. Yes, the focus of the journal is on the Southwest, but its national and international readers and contributors make for a diverse array of voices
"When it comes to looking at the region," Morales says, "even if you're not from that region you notice a lot of commonalities with other communities in other parts of the country, and it leads to those universal themes that bring us all together," just as he hopes Pilgrimage will bring people together Saturday night.
Saturday, July 8, 6 p.m., The Modbo, 17C E. Bijou St., $5 suggested donation, pilgrimagepress.org.