Misentity Magazine publication; Students create artwork, poems for recent issue

Kensington Boyanich, News Editor

     A North Harford tradition continues to be carried as Misentity Magazine’s Winter 2021 issue is released. “I joined the NHHS staff in fall of 2012 and I was fortunate to inherit the literary magazine, Misentity. It has been a school publication since the 1960s. We found a few early issues, and we proudly carry the torch forward,”  says Joanna Dallam. 

     The inspiration for this season’s edition is described by Dallam as, “Anything that transcends the ordinary.” The new virtual environment has caused some problems with the magazine. “Last year, with the extraordinary circumstances of the inability to physically print the magazine, we moved to a digital platform called issuu,” Dallam states about the virtual struggles.

      Senior Amber Gray, whose art was featured on the front page of the issue, talks about her inspiration behind it. “My inspiration for my art was the feeling of being taken over and my safe spaces being crumbled.” Gray also states about the lockdown and lack of inspiration, “The process to create this piece was a bit difficult. Being in lockdown from COVID it was hard to find a spot to draw from reference, so I decided to draw my bed. This led to an outburst of ideas and ways I wanted to convey my thoughts. In the end I finally came up with this piece.”

     Dallam talks about the communication between artists and writers, “Sometimes a writer will ask a visual artist to illustrate a poem, essay, short story, or journal. Sometimes a writer is inspired by a piece of visual art.” This can help with the formatting on the page and the layout. “Often, we pair pieces together. Everything is up for grabs each year. Student editors decide on size, length, format, images, and every other decision. We include any work that is school appropriate, and we push that just as far as we can each year.”

     Another student, junior Lauren Smith, whose writing was featured in the article states, “I usually don’t have inspiration for my poems. More often than not, there’s some random idea that passes through my head and I think, “Oh, well, that’s pretty good!” and then I just run with it really. But there are some poems that I write with specific characters in mind. I watch a lot of different shows and anime and so sometimes there’s a specific concept that I think fits with a character really well and then I write about that.”

     “As for the writing process, that takes a bit longer. I’ll write a line or a stanza and then when I look back at it, I’m a bit disappointed with how it came out. I end up scrapping a bunch of lines or stanzas before really liking the final result. I guess you could say it’s like beating a dead horse. You write it, look it over once, edit it, and then repeat” says Smith. 

     Dallam states how “the entire school is invited to submit their art.” And says to email pieces to [email protected]