Graphic Novels

Meet the High School Magazine That Did Maya Angelou’s Final Interview

Like joining a school newspaper or playing for the football team, there are a lot of after school programs that prepare high school students for certain careers.

 

They might learn the discipline of meeting a deadline for a newspaper, the pain of real injuries in football, or the dedication needed in theatre. At Deltona High School in Florida, students can join Howl to learn the world of literary magazine publishing.

 

Image of the students involved in the magazine

Image courtesy of Teaching Quality

 

Howl, named after the Allen Ginsberg poem and the school’s wolf mascot, has been up and running for four years. It was founded by Dylan Emerick-Brown in his first year of teaching.

 

“I realized that there was a demand for some outlet in which the students could express themselves through poetry or prose,” Emerick-Brown says in an email to Lit Hub. The English teacher had worked himself in literary journals through college, and for a time after graduation.

 

Students are heavily involved in the making of Howl. They made the website, handle submissions, do edits, and run interviews.

 

Logo from the website

Image courtesy of Academy of American Poets

 

“I was there to guide and facilitate through my experience, but the students really took ownership of it,” says Emerick-Brown. The magazine is the first high-school-run magazine to be accepted into the Community of Literary Magazines and Presses.

 

Through the magazine, students are able to interact with people who have excelled in the field of writing, such as Nobel Laureates in Literature, US Poet Laureates, and Pulitzer Prize winners. They even conducted Maya Angelou’s final interview. That interview is now part of the Library of Congress’s archives.

 

Apart from contributing work to the literary world, they also give back to their community by contributing money to Florida literacy initiatives through Pay It Forward. They have also helped Silver Sands Middle School who wanted to start a literary magazine of their own.

 

Feature courtesy of Unsplash