Westmont Magazine Poetry and Art to Chew On
A new literary art magazine fills a void its founders see in Christian publications. Ruminate: Faith in Literature and Art is the creation of Brianna McCabe Van Dyke ’04, editor-in-chief, who met her husband, Jonathan Van Dyke ’03, consulting editor, while at Westmont.
Brianna says she had no publishing or editing experience, but the birth of her first child inspired her to start the magazine. “There was so much to learn,” she says. “But becoming a mother and realizing what I could do was very empowering. I said to myself, I can do this. It was an act of faith.” She also credits the support of Jonathan and his family, who own Darwill Press in Chicago.
As a graduate student earning a master’s degree in literature at Colorado State University, Brianna had tried to find a Christian literary journal or magazine so she could submit a short story, but she was unimpressed with her options. “Our vision for Ruminate is to make it really personal and intimate,” she says. “That’s what sets it apart — I think a lot of literary journals are very academic and sterile.”
The definition for ruminate, “to chew the cud; to muse; to meditate; to think again and again; to ponder,” inspired the name. The quarterly magazine includes short stories, poetry, creative non-fiction and visual art that “resonate with the complexity and truth of Christian faith.”
Other Ruminate staff members include Lacee Perrin ’04, poetry editor, and Nicholas Price ’06, visual art editor. Nick works as the assistant to the Westmont art department and Reynolds Gallery.
“We’re not necessarily focused on showing our Christianity through art,” Nick says. “But it’s a medium for Christians to create and show their work in a published format.”
The first issue included poetry from Paul Willis, Westmont professor of English. The second features artwork by Katie Hayden ’04. “The theme of the second issue is humor’s grace,” Brianna says. “I wanted to reveal the wit, humor and grace involved in faith. We’re hoping people can laugh with it.”
The magazine is available on the Web at www.ruminatemagazine.com and at bookstores at Westmont, Wheaton College, and Eastern University. Paid subscriptions number 100, and interest is growing. “I write notes to our subscribers to say thank you, often adding, ‘We hope you are encouraged and inspired,’” Brianna says.“ This has become our motto.”