Curry and Culture: The Watermark’s Book Release

Nancy Derby

The Watermark celebrated the release of its eleventh edition in the Campus Center Ballroom on Thursday, April 29 with a crowd of about 100 students and faculty.

The event began as all should-with the food. Catered by India Samraat on Massachusetts Avenue, the vegetarian dishes, samosas, and nan filled the ballroom and surrounding hallways with the smell of curry, drawing in many students from the neighboring centers. The hostesses, Nancy Derby and Diane Costagliola, gave guests the opportunity to view the selected artwork on display, mingle with peers and enjoy a second (or third) portion of the delicious fare before officially starting the event.

After everyone was settled and contently full, students read selections from all three literature sections in this year’s book. The poets, Marylin Bentov and Jessica DelGizzi, along with Darrell Penta and Jen-Ai Casal who were also featured in last year’s edition, read their full works. Fiction readers Eric Brown, John Cento, Joanne Elder, and Evan Sicuranza all read excerpts from their pieces. For nonfiction, George Boley read her complete, brief piece, “Kant’s Moral Philosophy Rests on His Metaphysics.” The diversity of content and students reading well represented not only the talented writers on campus but also the overall diversity this university is known for.

Next came the awards. Funded by the English department and chosen by The Watermark editors, one hundred dollar writing prizes were given to the best works of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. Darrell Penta, a senior just finishing up his honors creative writing thesis for poetry and runner-up for the Academy of American Poets prize, won for his poem “In the Kitchen of Angels and Fruit.” Evan Sicuranza, also graduating and a recent finisher of both creative writing and English honors theses, as well as winner of the Academy of American Poets prize, won for his short story “A Man of Pleasure.” Ilhan Zeybekoglu, a philosophy major and graduating senior who recently completed an honors project, won for his essay “How Useful is Aristotle’s Account of the Soul?”

New this year, The Watermark awarded recognition to works of art as well as writing. Funded by the Student Senate, these one hundred dollar prizes were awarded by the editors to Dylan Seo, for his black and white photo “Eiffel Tower,” Justin Hughes, for his life-size digital image “Portrait of the Artist as a Celebrity: Cardboard Cutout,” and Shunsuke Mizumoto, for “An Existence,” an impressively detailed work of pen on paper.

Everyone in attendance praised the book’s professionalism, increased content, and most of all the fun and eye-catching cover. Students can get their copy of Volume XI at various locations around campus, including the Wit’s End, One Stop Shopping on the Upper Level of the Campus Center, and The Watermark office located on the second floor of the Campus Center, 2400 Street.

Students interested in working on The Watermark staff beginning in fall of ’04 should e-mail [email protected] or call 617.287.7960.

In addition to being copy-editor at The Mass Media, Nancy Derby is co-editor of The Watermark.