The Bridge Unveils 21st Edition at BSU Arts Fest

The 21st edition of The Bridge, Bridgewater State University’s annual literature and arts journal, was unveiled to much anticipation on April 24 at University Park as part of the BSU Arts Fest. The staff of the journal introduced the first, second, and third place prizes for both art and literature, and the winners spoke about their pieces to the crowd. The theme of this year’s journal was “paradox”. Editor-in-Chief Ashley LaVergne (‘25, she/her) explained that there was no singular common theme to be found in all the submissions. Instead, they were generally divided into “bright and colorful art pieces” alongside “darker, more depressing stories.” She told the audience that she hopes the theme served as a reminder that “sameness doesn’t always equal greatness.” The first 100 attendees were able to pick up a free tote bag and keychain along with their journal.  

Jessica Melendy is an assistant professor in the English department and the faculty advisor for The Bridge. She explained that participating in curating The Bridge is a valuable experience for students, especially those who are interested in editing and publishing as a career. The editorial staff has been working on the journal since the fall semester, and they get to see the creation of the product from start to finish. Through their participation, they learn how to read and write in different genres, collate pieces, and manage a PR campaign. At the end of the process, students have a portfolio of published work that they can bring to interviews and future job opportunities. 

Melendy emphasized that this was also a valuable opportunity to learn the skill of collaboration, as the editors and design team work closely together. “They get equal say, everybody votes on everything,” she told The Comment in an interview. Alain Blunt, the design advisor, concurred. He said that graphic design students do not often get assigned group projects, and so that exposing them to an environment where teamwork was important “pushed them to grow as artists and as functioning members of society.” 

Alyssa Aguilar (‘24, she/her) is an English and psychology major who won first prize in the literature category for her poem “Girlhood.” After submitting during a previous year and being rejected, Aguilar had a total of three poems published in this volume. She told The Comment that she’s glad she didn’t give up. “I’m just honored, especially because the works in this volume are so good,” Aguilar said. “To be considered on the same level as these students…I’m so grateful.” Justine Sullivan (‘24, they/them), who had their short story “Fool Around and Find Out” published in the journal, echoed this sentiment. They were impressed by the craftsmanship from the art team and said it felt “refreshing and optimistic as a writer to see that they care enough to make it look this beautiful.” 

Copies of The Bridge can be found at the Maxwell Library and will be distributed at various locations throughout campus.

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