Crown College Faculty and Students Revive The Rivulet

Crown College Faculty and Students Revive The Rivulet

By Kaylyn Strange

What happens when a group of students and faculty are passionate about poetry? They combine their artistic efforts and written pieces together to create The Rivulet, an annually printed and online poetry journal.

The Rivulet is an artistic endeavor that allows Crown writers to publish their work for others to enjoy,” says Dr. Don Bouchard, professor in the Teacher Education Department at Crown.

This journal is a collection of poems and short stories that also includes several photographs, paintings, and drawings. The pieces published in the journal are written and submitted by Crown students, faculty, and staff.

Assistant Professor in the Humanities and Social Sciences Department, Melessa Henderson, says, “The students have done extraordinary work! I would put this publication in any poetry journal competition against that from even the Big Ten-type institutions. It’s both high quality and especially classy.”

Over the years, The Rivulet has changed forms.

Originally, former Professor Casie Szalapski produced The Rivulet in one of her classes. After she went on to another institution and the main student contributors graduated, the class did not fill again when it was offered the next semester. For a few years The Rivulet was not published or produced.

Then three years ago, Dr. Jim Zapf, Chair of the Humanities and Social Sciences Department, asked Professor Henderson if she would be willing to revive and lead the publication.

“She felt it was important to give students the opportunity to be published,” Zapf states.

So Professor Henderson, Dr. Bret Wightman, and Dr. Bouchard helped revive the journal as a student organization rather than as a class. However, both students and professors are on the editorial staff.

“Given The Rivulet production is not a class but more of a club, the time everyone can invest is a bit tight, so we have to be both quick and creative,” says Henderson.

There is an entire team of faculty and students who help produce The Rivulet. The faculty panel includes: Dr. Wightman, Professor Henderson, Dr. Bouchard, and Dr. Michial Farmer. Also, spring student team members have included Amberle Copeland, Alex Kuiper, Hannah McFarland, Psalms Lee, Robin Holmquist, and Stephen Thiessen.

The word “rivulet” itself has a special meaning.

“The word ‘rivulet’ means ‘river’ in French,” explains Henderson, “So we prefer to have water in some form on the cover to resonate with rivulet; but there’s also the high biblical relevance and symbolism of water.”

It is important for a creative outlet to exist on campus.

“[The Rivulet] promotes the arts among students,” says Zapf, “We need to balance all areas of higher education: the arts, sports, governing, socialization, spirituality, and more.”

“To produce a chapbook or journal such as The Rivulet creates a sense of permanence that allows Crown writers’ voices to be heard over many years’ time,” says Dr. Bouchard. “Family members have commented how much they enjoyed seeing their sons’ and daughters’ works in print.”

Poetry lovers can read Crown community pieces on the on-line Rivulet (The Rivulet Blog, or purchase a print copy of the Spring 2017 Rivulet edition for only $10. They will need to send a check to Crown College addressed to Melessa Henderson, and she will then mail it out. Copies of The Rivulet are also for sale at Crown College’s reception desk. All proceeds go directly back into future publications.

To give you a taste of the journal, here’s one poem selection:

A Response to Kitagawa Utamaro – A Girl Powdering Her Neck

By Kaylyn Strange

I am broken, shattered

Like a cracked China doll

Worried about life

And that I might fall

Clinging to God

My hope, my salvation

I know that He’s real

It’s evident in creation