Photo via Alyssa Alexsonshk
The University of Akron students Sylvia Moran, Clover O’Mordha and Samuel Grom have worked together to create an original Upstart Crows zine called Not Cleveland.
The Not Cleveland project began and thrived during the busiest seasons (midterms and finals) for its developers. The group collaborated on this project to create a “more independent or underground, ‘punk-ier’ magazine that would be mysterious and subversive,” said Slyvia Moran, the director of the zine.
The Not Cleveland project’s creation has come at an appropriate time in the lives of its writers and creators. Moran detailed that oftentimes the creative realm is “snuffed out” in favor of other disciplines that generate more money. This online, original “comprehensive art and literary magazine” was intended to validate those creatives, said Moran.
“I’m hopeful that I’ll give isolated people a space to really flourish and express themselves,” she said.
Moran described her own feelings about getting published and hopes to pass the same joy and respect to other individuals’ work and those who want to be heard.
She has been pleasantly surprised with the community that has formed during the development of the Not Cleveland project. Moran mentions how faculty members such as Dr. Jon Miller and Dr. Mary Biddinger have provided her and the group of developers with valuable advice for this project.
“Seeing students, professors, and close friends come together on something that I thought would be a simple ‘one-and-done’ project, watching it morph into a possible long-term thing, has been so heartwarming,” Moran said.
Overall, Moran said the goals of the zine are to “to uplift marginalized voices” and “give voice to the voiceless.”
She also expressed a desire to continue working with the zine after graduation and stay connected with other writers she has met during her time as a student. She also hopes that the authors she met will collaborate with Not Cleveland or participate in providing submissions of their work.
“Seriously, if you get a chance, read some of the creative work being put out by our students—it’s truly beautiful!” said Moran.
Find out more about the Not Cleveland project and how to get involved here: https://notcleveland.wordpress.com