High Grade, the Colorado School of Mines’ Literary Arts Journal, released its 2012 edition on Friday April 20 at 5:30 pm. Those who attended the release party were treated to drinks, free food, an elaborate display, and readings from the journal. All genres were represented at the readings with several music pieces (both instrumental and non-instrumental), poetry readings, and one of the journal’s short stories, “Surfacing”. Shane Schrader, Editor in Chief of High Grade, thanked everyone for coming and introduced each performer with the exception of himself. High Grade’s faculty adviser Toni Lefton, stepped in to present Schrader as the party’s host performed.
High Grade’s 2012 edition contains 33 poems, 5 short stories, 36 photos and 14 tracks on an accompanying CD. With over 50 contributors in the journal, High Grade staff noted this year was a great year for submissions, especially in the music genre. The CD, called “Sound Between the Static,” connects the many different genres of music by a small clip of static that represents tuning the stations on a radio. The CD tracks range from peaceful, instrumental pieces like “My River” by Ryan Brusca, to a song about a recent murder in Lafayette, CO entitled “Murdercide Up” by Ska Skank Redemption. Lafayette is the hometown of many of the band’s members according to Hannah Lewis’ artist biography. The balance between the many genres of music and spoken word performances persists throughout the journal.
In the art section, the photos range from a somber tone as seen in “Baby Lost His Head” by Meghan Helper, to a playful tone in “Dragon and Dino, Exploding Bubbles” by Kari Kron. The topics of High Grade’s poetry range from social-political issues, such as transgender people embracing their identity in “A beautiful woman trapped in a man’s body readying herself for the ball, directions from her inner voice” by Calin Meserschmidt, to embracing one’s inner nerd in “Introduction to Physics” by Christina Bailo. High Grade also contains poems by Rachel Ryan, Engineering Physics 2011, who is this year’s recipient of the Blackwell Prize which recognizes artistic contribution from a member of the engineering and science fields. The fiction in High Grade continues to balance different emotions with “Summer Lane” by Kyle Schulz, which describes a man exploring a rundown house from his past, and “Tumbleweeds” by Tyler Scott, which tells a story about life after death.
So the next time you are rushing about campus, pick up a High Grade journal near you. With so many genres and outlets for expression, there is sure to be something to relate even the strictest of engineers to the artist world.