UB literary journal fosters creative connections

NAME offers students the opportunity to delve into the world of publishing


The cover art on a vintage record was obscured by the word “NAME” spray-painted across it. Within each album cover laid a vinyl record and behind it, a small, white booklet.

This booklet was a copy of the 2013-14 issue of NAME, UB’s undergraduate literary magazine. These Banksy-styled album covers are NAME’s first design-oriented issue, according to Christina Milletti, associate English professor and faculty advisor of NAME.

Originally just for poetry, today NAME publishes student fiction writing and artwork, according to Heather Gibson, who graduated from UB in 2014 with an English degree. She was a member on the design and editorial board for last year’s issue.

Jessica Smith, a UB alumna, founded NAME in 1998. Since its original publication, NAME has made strides toward a more artistic and eye-catching design. Milletti said, after this recent issue, she doesn’t think they can ever go back to a less detailed design.

Older editions of the magazine inspired last year’s eclectic cover, according to Audrey Foppes, a senior English major and NAME’s design team coordinator.

“We had the distinct privilege to work with graduate student Joseph Hall, who graciously and eagerly showed us all the fascinating older editions of NAME magazine,” Foppes said. “These issues ranged from simple saddle-stitched books to poems printed on playing cards and fake money stuffed into old leather shoes.”

These old editions struck the undergraduate team.

“We decided to aim for something in the middle – a simple book, contained within an interesting cover,” she said.

Milletti believes the development of the two Creative Writing Certificate programs were instrumental to NAME’s success. The new Graduate MA Certificate in Innovative Writing and the Undergraduate Certificate in Creative Writing have much to gain by the rebirth of NAME, according to the publication.

“Now, students in the Creative Writing Certificate program have a place to focus their energies,” Milletti said.

Undergraduate students can join NAME in the fall semester, but submissions extend into early spring.

The publication, just like the Creative Writing Certificate programs, is open to students of all majors. Milletti said students should get involved with NAME if they want to gain experience with editing or work with a “close-knit team of students interested in creative writing.”

“It’s an excellent example of what might be done with a liberal arts degree, almost like an internship,” Foppes said.

Many of the editors make submissions for the magazine and the writer is often present in the room when their co-workers discuss their pieces.

“If you want your work to be published in the best shape possible, you should listen to the feedback of other writers,” Milletti said

Some students who have received prizes or awards from the English Department or the University Libraries will submit their work to NAME and will be honored with special designation in the magazine.

Milletti urges any student who is interested in writing, publishing or editing to think about joining her team.

email: features@ubspectrum.com