The Tower Launch Party

May 2, 2019

On Wednesday, April 24, The Tower, the undergraduate art and literary magazine of the University of Minnesota, launched its thirteenth volume at the Weisman Art Museum. A production lab class and student group in the Department of English, The Tower is an annual publication that is curated by students from submissions by undergraduates at the U. The launch party included live music, food, and readings from contributors. 

As an alumna of The Tower, I appreciate that the magazine is a platform for student voices to be heard. Each year, I am astounded by the capability of students to tell stories so elegantly through art, poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. With over 700 submissions to this year’s edition, the staff had no shortage of talented writers and artists to showcase. The staff this year chose “each of us is many” as the theme that guided which submissions were accepted to the magazine, and they divided the content into three categories: self, relationships, and community. Below are some of my favorite contributions to this edition of the magazine. 

“Revenge” by Michael Greer

Greer’s poem, “Revenge,” spitefully tells of a person’s desire to get revenge on a childhood friend who has recommended a book by telling that friend just how terrible the book is. Much to the speaker’s dismay, the book is “superb,” and the speaker refuses to admit it. I loved the simplicity of this piece, and it caused me to ask a lot of questions. Why do we hold so close to our dislike of things? Of other people? Why is it so hard to admit when we are wrong? What would life be like if we could more readily admit our faults and seek reconciliation with others? 

“Historians” by Gabriella Granada

I connected deeply with the imagery in “Historians,” a work of nonfiction in which Granada contemplates the concepts of love and attention. She discusses the way we memorialize people and treat them as artifacts. In this manner, people are historians, and each of us is an exhibit in the lives of others. Sometimes, like Granada writes, it feels like people are archaeologists instead of historians, digging up histories and mishandling the artifacts that we are. Granada’s piece beautifully expresses how it feels to be known by others. 

“A Part of It” by Noah Causey 

“A Part of It” had my attention from the start. Causey kicks off the nonfiction piece with lyrics from “The Love Club” by Lorde, setting the tone for his honest commentary about love and sexuality. For the next four pages, he discusses how our minds are tainted by Hollywood rom-coms, why rejection hurts, and why we stray from love. Causey shares his hopeful search for love as a gay man with the world and continues to dream about being a part of the love club. 

“Sea of People” by Emily Jablonski

Jablonski’s blatantly blue digital art piece depicts a mass of people—each a slightly different shade of blue—with unique characteristics. The piece clearly communicates the theme for this year’s edition of the magazine, “each of us is many.” Every blue individual contributes to the “many” that is the sea of people. 

The Tower is stacked with 135 pages of top-notch creative work from diverse students at the University of Minnesota. I highly recommend finding a copy of your own (there are copies available in multiple locations on campus), reading the pieces I discussed, and discovering stories of your own to adore. You will be captivated by the voices of our campus.