English and Creative Writing Department Introduces New Literary magazine, Allium, A Journal of Poetry & Prose

Allium will replace the department’s three genre-specific journals, Columbia Poetry Review (poetry), Hair Trigger (fiction), and Punctuate (non-fiction), becoming the department’s first multi-genre print and online publication. This Fall, the English and Creative Writing department has introduced a new literary magazine, Allium, A Journal of Poetry & Prose. Allium will replace the department’s three genre-specific journals, Columbia Poetry Review (poetry), Hair Trigger (fiction), and Punctuate (non-fiction), becoming the department’s first multi-genre print and online publication. The literary magazine will be published three times per year and students will have an opportunity to get their works published.

Here, Professor Tony Trigilio, the poetry editor for Allium, answers a few questions about the new literary magazine:

How was the name Allium chosen?  

The name was chosen by faculty vote in the English and Creative Writing Department. We wanted a name that would reflect the journal’s openness to a wide range of creative voices—a name to represent the kind of writing that isn’t easily representable. We chose “Allium,” a genus of flowering plants that includes hundreds of species and wide variation of sizes, shapes, and colors. Like our namesake, the Allium plant, we want to publish the best work from a wide range and diversity of writers. We’re interested in reading work from emerging and established writers, and from Columbia students. We consider work in a wide variety of forms and genres, including cross-genre and hybrid writing.  

What led to the creation of Allium? Why did the English and Creative Writing department decide to combine the genre-specific journals?  

Several years ago, in response to changes in the field of Creative Writing, we revised the Creative Writing curriculum so that undergraduate and graduate students would have more multi-genre opportunities. These curriculum changes inspired us to create a multi-genre national journal in our department that would reflect the way the field is changing. I’m especially grateful to the members of our department who had a big hand in this first issue: Pegeen Reichert Powell (department chair), Kenneth Daley, Cora Jacobs, Alexis Pride, Re’Lynn Hansen, and CM Burroughs. And we’re all enormously grateful for a gift from the Efroymson Family Fund that has helped make the journal possible.  

How does it feel to be working on/ have published the first issue?  

It’s been a thrill to see the initial idea of the journal become a tangible reality over the past year. I’m excited by the number of submissions we received last year for the journal’s very first issue. We’re delighted that so many writers from around the country sent work to be considered for publication in the magazine. We’re happy, too, that the magazine has been able to give our student editors the chance to learn crucial publishing industry skills. Each spring, the students in our prose and poetry editing classes read every submission and make decisions on what we’ll be publishing. This is a lot of work for the students, and it also gives them invaluable career experience in publishing, editing, and proofreading. Our prose and poetry editing classes are a great opportunity for students to apply the skills they develop in our department’s creative writing workshops, craft seminars, and literature classes. 

How often will Allium be published?  

We’re going to publish three issues each year. Two will be online (September and May of each year) and one will be in print (February of each year).  

How can students interested in being published in Allium get in touch?  

Our submission period opens in mid- to late-October and runs through the end of March, and we’ll be distributing information around campus soon with details on how students can submit their work. Each issue publishes the best Columbia student writing alongside writers from around the country, which can only increase the visibility of a student’s work. I encourage students to consider submitting work to the magazine, and to consider signing up for one of our editing classes in the spring. 


Sarah Borchardt
Communications Manager