The 2020-2021 Elixir features a cover photo, "Whispering Wheat Field," by recent studio art graduate Hope Vigil-Shuck.

Brenau students publish first digital ‘Elixir’ literature and arts magazine

May 4, 2021
Michael Lowe
Brenau interior design major Aisa Goforth's photo "Mayon Volcano from Legazpi"
Brenau interior design major Aisa Goforth’s photo “Mayon Volcano from Legazpi” is among the many works of literature and art featured in the latest issue of The Elixir.

With another academic year in the books, Brenau University students recently unveiled a book of their own to add to your summer reading list.

The first fully digital edition of The Elixir, Brenau’s annual student-produced literature and arts magazine, hit the web on May 1. The super-sized issue, which features a cover photo by recent studio art graduate Hope Vigil-Shuck, includes more than 60 works of poetry, prose, art, photography and, for the first time, dance performances by undergraduate students.

This year’s Elixir was dedicated to Sandra Brim, assistant professor of English and long-time Elixir advisor, who is retiring this month after 24 years at Brenau. Elixir Editor Katie Watkins thanked Brim for the incredible impact she has made on students during her time at Brenau, especially over the past year.

“Not only is she one of the best educators this school has known, but she has instilled in all of us a deep admiration for the power of poetry,” Watkins wrote in her dedication. “Although she never imagined she’d be teaching poetry online, she has been a constant and supportive presence for all her students in these difficult times.”

Watkins, who is double majoring in English and dance, said it was encouraging to read and see all of the submissions by students despite the challenges brought about by the pandemic. The issue also includes several works by students in Brenau’s partnership with Anhui Normal University in Wuhu, China.

“A lot of the pieces in this issue have something to do with the pandemic or they were created during the pandemic,” Watkins said. “So it was really amazing to see that art is still being made and people are still writing and creating beautiful poems, stories and works of art.”

Jodie Jernigan, also a double major in English and dance, served as multimedia editor for the issue. In April, she organized Poetry in Motion, a virtual showcase of original performances by Brenau dance majors inspired by poems by English majors. Many of the dance performances and poems included in this latest Elixir come from that collaboration.

In addition to Watkins and Jernigan, editorial staff included English majors Hannah Bowman, Bailey Merritt, Zhiyue “Jessica” Sun, Huihui “Gina” Xie, Yunfei “Lesley” Xie and Fan “Nora” Ye.

Brim credited Watkins for making the digital issue such a success.

“Katie did a wonderful job,” Brim said. “She took all the challenges that came with not being able to do a print issue and turned them into opportunities to make this an Elixir like no other.”