LBeezee (balladsofmirth) wrote in cargoes,
LBeezee
balladsofmirth
cargoes

from the Hollins Columns, Spring 2005

Who would have thought The ALBUM and Cargoes have their roots in the same thing?

 

The first literary publication of Hollins was published by the Euzelian Society in 1873. It was called the Euzelian Album. The first issue in 1874 was handwritten and bound with an opening hand drawn illustration of two angels over a book; it was both newspaper and literary journal, publishing such items as editorials, essays, marriage announcements and accounts of such things as the “Fancy Ball.”

 

Another characteristic of this first publication was that of the anonymous journal called “From the diary of Miss ___.”

 

A Dec. 1st excerpt reads, “Received a letter from ‘my own darling Willie,” says he sighs for a glance of my eye.” The following excerpt follows up, saying, “Sewed up a horizontal slit in the bottom of my polonaise. Had a slight aching at the heart and did not eat any dinner.”

 

Though it is important to note the Zeitgeist of the time – this was the nineteenth century, it is just as important to point  out the racism in the first issue of the then Euzelian Album.

 

“Hearing a Physician remark that a blow on the nose would break it, our darkey says ‘I don’ no bout that, I’se given my nose a great many blows and have never broken it yet.” was written by someone with the initials of N.B.

 

Prudishness seems to have been an early theme for Cargoes, as in the 1873 Euzelian Album there was a movement against what was seen as obscene qualities in the English language.

 

N.B. wrote, “The young ladies at a fashionable boarding school in Roanoke, instead of making use of the common and uncouth term dic-tionary have unanimously adopted the more refined orthography richard-tionary.”

 

When the Euzelian Album joined forces with the Euepian Literary Society in 1882 the publication became known as The Album.

 

In 1885, the name changed again and the publication became known as the Annual and Semi-Annual, depending on the number of issues that year. In 1899, because of budgeting and staff issues, Spinster and the Annual were combined.

 

The Annual focused more on news than on poetry, though it did include essays, thoughts and the occasional poem. Instead, such things as the speeches of the valedictory, a list of majors, concert programs, obituaries and a transcript from a Prize Examination on Chaucer were included.

 

In fact, little has changed in terms of the normal anxiety surrounding exams. In the Semi-Annual of 1887, a short poem was written explaining the ‘cry of the senior English girls.’

“Sweet, they say, is the man who wrote

            This Anglo-Saxon Primer.

Sweeter he who teaches it

            Tho’ few can look much grimmer;

Sweeter still are the maidens fair,

            Who study this Primer Charming -

Who ‘take it up’ here , and ‘translate’ there

            In a manner most alarming

Bit sweetest of all things, sweet ‘twill be,

            After weeks of tribulation,

For Prof. T - to send us word

            We’ve failed on examination.

 

In 1902 the publication became known as the Hollins Quarterly and n 1910 the publication’s name shifted again, this time to the Hollins Magazine (which continues today as an Alumnae Magazine, complete with the marriage announcements, articles and spotlights on students).

 

Up until this time, the journal had been published by private groups such as the Euzelian and Euepian Literary Society. It was in 1916, that the publication became a Student Government Association endeavor and was focused on conveying information to the student body.

 

In 1921, the publication was taken on my by the student body and was funded, partially, by the SGA.

 

It was in 1924 that the publication was renamed Cargoes after a John Mansfield poem of the same name. It was at this time that the tradition of including Mansfield’s poem began (and has continued).

 

An editorial in the 1937 issue of Cargoes written by Louie Brown Michaels discussed the poem, saying, “There is a dream that stays upon all ships. There has been one for Cargoes from the beginning.”

 

Its pages were filled with student poetry, fiction, literary criticism, advertisements, news bulletins, and book reviews of such work as Gone with the Wind.

 

It has been known by this name ever since, an exception being the February 1954 pseudo issue called “The Blue Porker.”

 

At this time, Cargoes was printed six times a year. Subscriptions to the journal were offered at three dollars per year.

 

It was typical for the covers of Cargoes during the 1930s to display the Hollins seal or a photograph of the Cocke Building, taken from one angle or another.

 

Though Hollins women were feisty in their bluntness over love affairs and examinations, the expectations of the time are apparent in such editorials as Audrey Russert.

 

She wrote in the 1939 issue of Cargoes that “Among the most successful careers which have been chosen by Hollins alumnae is that of writing children’s stories. Not only is it practicable to write and ‘homemake’ at the same time, but having children of one’s own is of inestimable in composing stories for all children.”

 

However, it was in the 1940s that the publication took on a more political tone. Though the focus was still literature, announcements had been taken out and there was now the inclusion of quotes and puns.

 

The 1942 Centennial Issue, dedicated to the University’s first three presidents, had such puns as “The new slogan for the Red Cross: Knit Pearl Harbor.”

 

Much like the present-day ALBUM, the puns selected for publication often took a stab at the campus’s faculty and administration.

 

“I shall not illustrate what I have in mind’ said Mr. Lerche, as he erased the board,” was a typical pun for the journal during this decade.

 

By the 1950s, Cargoes was printed only twice a year and by the 1960s had evolved to its current form, coming out once a year and containing student poetry, fiction and artwork (with the Mansfield poem beginning the publication.

 

In 1963, The Nancy Thorp Poetry Contest was set up by Dr. and Mrs. Francis Q. Thorp in memory of their daughter, a young poet who died in an automobile accident at the age of 24. From 1956-58 Nancy Thorp was a student at Hollins College where she served on the staff of Cargoes and various other activities at Hollins University. 

 

The contest is open to female high school juniors and seniors, and hundred of entries are received each year from across the country. The author of the winning poem is published in Cargoes and flown to Hollins for the Annual Hollins University Literary Festival in March, during which she has the opportunity to meet with distinguished visiting poets and critics.

 

The 1970s were apart of the streamlining of Cargoes. Essays and editorials were taken out. The only things included were poetry and prose and the aforementioned Thorp competition.

 

Another staple of Cargoes has been the inclusion of the image of a chicken, in some image or another, within the pages of Cargoes. The chicken stems from a discussion in a film course in which Richard Dillard, Professor of English and currently on sabbatical, talked of his Chicken Theory of Cinema. Henry Taylor, MA ’66 donated the chicken residing in Bradley.

 

In 1992, Cargoes celebrated its Sesquicentennial Anniversary with a special Anthology issue compiled by a group of readers to, as it states, “represent the variety and quality “of Hollins writers.

 

In 2000, Cargoes, for the first time since the 1992 Sesquicentennial issue, pursued the look of a professional literary journal, complete with perfect binding and a color cover. Extensive fundraising was completed that year, utilizing alumnae and the Hollins community.

 

This year, Cargoes began a new tradition - the first annual National Undergraduate Competition in Poetry and Fiction. The prize was two hundred dollars and two issues of the journal.

 

The competition’s poetry judge was Nikki Giovanni, who is currently a Professor of English and Gloria D. Smith Professor of Black Studies at Virginia Tech. Giovanni has written more than two dozen books, including poetry, children’s books, and three collections of essays.

 

The competition’s fiction judge was Jill McCorkle M.A. ’80 , teaches in Bennington College’s M.F.A. program. McCorkle is the author of five novels and three collections of stories, most recently Creatures of Habit.

 

Shannon Ravenel ‘60, editor of Algonquin Books and the anthology Stories from the South as well as the former editor of Best American Short Stories, served as the editor of Cargoes in 1960.

 

Cathryn Hankla, professor of English at Hollins University (B.A. 1979, M.A. 1981) and author of such books as Phenomena, Learning the Mother Tongue and A Blue Moon in Poorwater, among others, was the editor of Cargoes in 1979.

 

Julia Johnson, author of a book of poems, Naming Afternoon, and currently a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of North Carolina - Greensboro, was the editor of Cargoes in 1993.

 

Cargoes is a public record of the great history of the Hollins writing program. Madison Smart Bell, Bonnie Bowles, Amanda Cockrell, Annie Dillard, Cathryn Hankla, Julia Johnson, Jeanne Larsen, Katie Letcher Lyle, Melissa J. Sites, among others, have had their work published in the journal.

 

And yet, regardless of the transitions of the journal, there is still common thread for Cargoes and The Euzelian Album, for the past and present. Like everything at Hollins, tradition and camaraderie were and are still synonymous with the institution. 

 

S.C. Cary wrote in the 1873 Euzelian Album, “To see the trees under whose shade we sat in our earlier years, and upon whose rinds we carved our names in the light-hearted gayety of girlhood, as if these frail memorials of our existence would long survive us…what calm delights, what ineffable joys are centered in the word ‘home.’ Friends are gathered around…and many hearts rejoice with us…”

 

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