Operated by M.F.A. students and staff, Revolute is a home for creative work featuring student contributions to every part of the publication process: reading, selection, editing, marketing, and publishing.
“At the practical level, Revolute offers our students hands-on experience with publishing,” said Laura-Gray Street, a Randolph English professor and editor for the publication. “They can go into the world with skills in editing, copyediting, marketing, and the many logistics of producing a literary journal, including using Submittable, a submissions management system that has become a standard in many fields, arts, and otherwise.
“A national literary journal was always a part of the plan for the M.F.A. program, but we decided it made more sense to start a year or so into the program launch, to give our M.F.A. students a chance to help shape the vision and the methods,” Street added. “A student, in fact, proposed the name Revolute, and the name was chosen by student and faculty vote.”
Street said the name and logo were inspired by revolute leaves, such as those found on a rhododendron, which curl downward and in to help a plant stay hydrated. It also evokes the shape of a scroll, one of the early vehicles for writing. The word revolute can also be used in other contexts.
“In engineering there is a kind of joint known as ‘revolute,’” Street explained. “Think of doors swinging open on their hinges. These images and the many words echoed in or evoked by “revolute” (resolute, revolution, evolution, route, root, lute) convey what we—students, faculty, staff—regard as essential facets of this new journal ‘committed to publishing the most engaging work possible’ and to ‘actively publish emerging and underrepresented writers.’”
Street said the program is also committed to no-fee submissions and to paying the writers whose work is published. She has already received several submissions from around the country and hopes to see more.
“I’ve been editing in some capacity since my own student years, but particularly recently in co-editing The Ecopoetry Anthology and A Literary Field Guide to Southern Appalachia,” she said. “I love the conversations about poems with co-editors and with contributors—and my students here get regular, zany doses of my love of editing in class. I am excited to have those conversations with our M.F.A. students on staff and with the writers who submit work that inspires us.”
Submissions in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and micro book reviews are being accepted through Dec. 9 for the first issue at http://revolutelit.com/.