The 45th Talisman is on its way


Skyline College’s literary magazine, Talisman, is celebrating its 45th year of sharing the creative literary works of our students.

Dating back to the 1970s, the original Talisman sprung up from mostly faculty members writing on the political issues during that era as stated in a supposed “legend,” and an old journalism advisor from that time was said to be involved in that as well, until it grew to be more of a student magazine, according to Katharine Harer, a creative writing teacher at Skyline and former advisor of the Talisman.

The Talisman consists of student poetry, prose, and art that is submitted by students, and put together by a group of student editors who dedicate their time to working on it. From a pool of submissions, the student editors come together to decide which literary works are best for the upcoming issue.

It has no particular theme to it; all styles and subject matter are welcomed. It is published and distributed each spring semester. There used to be up to 200 submissions for the magazine, but over the years that number has decreased with the most recent magazine having 80 submissions.

Rich Yurman, a poet, was the advisor for about 20 years before retiring, and the position for advisor was passed on to Harer, who was also a former advisor for more than 20 years before retiring two years ago. Rob Williams is now the current advisor for the Talisman.

Over the years, the Talisman has evolved through changes starting with the format, which used to be 8 inches by 11 inches with staples in the side. Then, it was made narrower and wider. Also, some of the earliest copies of the Talisman were typed. And now, the magazine includes color printing.

“Rob changed things by being able to put in colored art,” Harer said.
The Talisman used to be free with anyone being able to grab one on the many racks that were around the campus. However, last year it cost $8 to purchase one at the bookstore. This was the very first time that the Talisman had been for sale.

“Last year we decided to charge for them,” Williams said. “We wanted the students to see their journal in the bookstore, and we also wanted to start thinking of ways we can bring some money to the Talisman fund.”

There has been an annual celebration for the Talisman. It usually takes place before the end of May every spring semester in the art gallery of Building One.
“It’s a tradition,” Harer said. “It’s been in the art gallery [about] 30 years.”

The celebration includes an award ceremony with live readings from the winners in the different categories. There are also cash prizes, food and drinks provided as well.
“We usually have a reading from pretty much anyone who is in the issue,” Williams said. “It becomes a nice gala event to celebrate the writers.”

Now in its 45th year, the Talisman is currently still open for submissions in poetry, prose, and visual art until Feb. 27, 2015. For people who are interested, now is the time to submit your best work for a chance to be published in the upcoming spring issue of the Talisman.