The 10th anniversary of “Azahares,” the annual Spanish literary magazine published by the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith, will be celebrated at a release event at 6 p.m. May 3 in room 122 of the Boreham Library on the UAFS Campus.
Contributors to this year’s publication include UAFS students and alumni, high school freshmen, and members of the greater Fort Smith region and beyond. Dr. Mary Sobhani, managing editor and head of the World Languages Department, lauded the magazine’s prose, poetry, photography and artwork – especially the short fiction piece, “Norman is Grumpy,” by Anthony Alas.
“I particularly enjoyed how the author played with the notions of oral and written communication, spotlighting the role of social media in the unfolding of the protagonist’s fame,” said Sobhani. “It was on point.”
“Senior UAFS Spanish major Edward Ibarra's artwork ‘El Molcajete’ captures the artist's interpretation of elements of Mexican culture in a beautiful piece of Naive art,” Sobhani continued. “And Elidio La Torre's poem ‘Paseo solitario’ is a powerful expression of loss and acceptance, set against the backdrop of New York City.”
The poetry, short fiction, photography and art included in the edition are creative expressions of what it means to be Latino in the United States, of the themes of the Latino experience in general, and of the beauty and power that underlies the Spanish language, according to Sobhani.
Through close collaboration between the Department of World Language’s Editorial Board and UAFS professor Katie Harper, the 10th anniversary edition of “Azahares” offers artwork and an eye for aesthetics that marks the next generation of graphic designers, according to Sobhani. Students in Harper’s print and publication course designed the layout, with junior graphic design students Brooklin Easley, Julio Gonzales, and Mary Moore spearheading the effort. The cover art, an original illustration of an ascending branch with orange blossoms, was created by junior graphic design student Claudia Lackie.
“As ‘Azahares’ means orange blossoms,” Sobhani added, “the cover illustration beautifully reflects the title of our literary magazine.”
The editorial board for “Azahares” includes Sobhani, Dr. Ana María Romo Blas, Dr. Francesco Tarelli, Dr. Rosario Nolasco-Schultheiss, and Madeline Martínez. Other people assisting with the publication of the magazine are Lynda McClellan, visiting instructor; Dr. Paul B. Beran, UAFS chancellor; Dr. Georgia Hale, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs; Dr. Paul Hankins, dean of the College of Communication, Languages, Arts & Social Sciences; and Dr. Paulette Meikle, associate dean of the College of Communication, Languages, Arts & Social Sciences.
The publishing of “Azahares” is supported in part by a grant from the Arkansas Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the humanities.
For more information about the event or about “Azahares,” contact Sobhani at 479-788-7979 or firstname.lastname@example.org.