onion river review 2014

The Onion River Review

The Onion River Review is a literary journal whose annual edition features poetry, prose, and visual arts. The Onion River Review is edited by the students of Saint Michael's College in Vermont, and is committed to publishing work from students, faculty, staff, alumni, and the greater community.

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The Onion River Review encourages submission of photography, painting, and other media for publication. Digital files may be emailed to onionriver@smcvt.edu. Other media may be submitted at Saint Edmund's Hall, Room 329, or it may be mailed to the following address:

The Onion River Review
William Marquess, Advisor
One Winooski Park #171
Colchester, VT 05439


The Onion River Review accepts submission of poetry, prose, scripts, and other literary forms. To submit your work, email onionriver@smcvt.edu with your work in the body of the email, or with a Word file attached. If you are unable to submit your work through email, you may submit through the process outlined above.


The Onion River Review enthusiastically accepts mixed-media work such as calligraphy that do not fit into the categories above.

The Onion River Review is first and foremost an artistic outlet for the greater Saint Michael's community. We accept submissions from students, faculty, staff, alumni, and our neighbors in the Burlington area.

Each submission is read anonymously. Each editor reads every submission, thus each submission is guaranteed to be read more than once. Contributors may submit with the confidence that their work will be given all due consideration.

1973 onion river review cover

The Onion River Review takes its name from the river that runs near campus: Winooski means "onion" in the language of the local Indian tribe, the Abenaki. The review has existed in various formats since 1973, when the first edition appeared in sixteen mimeographed pages, with a trippy psychedelic drawing on the cover.

Before The Onion River, there was a long history of student literary activity at Saint Michael's. The oldest record dates to 1906, two years after the founding of the college. That was when the Saint Edmund's Literary Club began meeting every other week, aiming "to perfect our English by presenting to the meetings compositions by ourselves, or by reading or by elocution." Annual dues were five cents. Meetings began and ended with a prayer, Father Nicolle presiding. Fathers Jean-Marie and Alliot were among the first judges of the performances.

In the first years, the proceedings of the new club amounted to a kind of literary review. Members' compositions were preserved in a hardbound book, handwritten in flowing penmanship, often with pen-and-ink sketches by the authors. Some of the presentations are accompanied by anonymous criticism. "Mr. A. Bombardier gave the story of ‘Two Queer Englishmen.’ There was evidence of effort having been put into his composition, but we expected more from Mr. Bombardier."

Before long, the book became a chronicle of sports scores and events at the college, a sort of early yearbook. Its literary mission seems to have been taken over by a publication called Purple and Gold, put out by the Newman Lyceum, which was founded at the college in 1908 "to discuss literary, social, and religious topics." This magazine, too, was something of a miscellaney, containing quips and quotations as well as observations on campus life. "Early to bed and early to rise,/And you will meet none of the regular guys." "We would remind Mr. Manette that he is not to say the prayers in Chapel with the same rapidity as he translates Greek in Class." But there was always a "Poet’s Corner" where original compositions were published.

Purple and Gold was succeeded in 1936 by another all-purpose publication, The Lance, which appeared at first in a slick magazine format, complete with advertisements from national cigarette companies. Featuring the caption "The Student Writers of Saint Michael's College," it eventually became a small quarterly, containing poems, essays, and movie reviews as well as sports commentary and campus wisdom ("Don’t forget, the keynote of good breeding is B natural").

The sixties brought a more focused literary effort—The Quest, which proposed the "rebirth of a literary magazine on the campus of St. Michael’s." In the first issue (1961), the editors asked, "Where are our Faulkners, our Hemingways?" For ten years The Quest appeared in the shape of one of the classic "little reviews," containing essays and reviews as well as poems and stories. The final issue in the college archives, dated 1970, includes black-and-white photographs and artwork. And then the literary impulse on campus seems to have gone unpublished for a few years, until the birth of The Onion River Review in 1973.

nick lemonNick Lemon - a Ravenclaw - has lived his entire life eight minutes away from Saint Mike's, as the Google Maps satellite flies. He knew in first grade which college he wanted to attend, but didn't have any idea what to major in until his sophomore English teacher in high school, and Taylor Mali, engendered a love of writing in Nick, inspiring him to take a stab at English; who knew he'd actually like it so much? He anticipates that his major will be served to him with a side of Creative Writing and Classics in May 2014. Until then, you can find Nick procrastinating by studying made-up (and some real) languages, buying YA novels at Phoenix Books, or honing his outdoorsy skills for when he disappears from the grid. Nick teithant i thiw hin!

alex dugasAt the vaguely recognized Saint Michael's Zoo, one can usually find Alex Dugas inhabiting the English tank, from which he will be released into the wild in 2014.  His natural habitat connotes grass, air, and bookshelves, making New Hampshire a suitable den during the off-season.  His interest primarily lies in the ways in which the other animals choose to make their sounds and what they attempt to communicate with them−making tree-toads, whales, and humans particularly compelling.

sarah fraserSarah Fraser is a junior English major with a minor in Political Science.  She hails from Alton, New Hampshire.  In her spare time, she is the one-legged princess of a small nation called Quixotia, and she has been known to travel on the wings of butterflies, dodging saber-toothed tigers, woolly mammoths, and passenger pigeons.  She shares a birthday with Tony Hawk, and her hobbies include reading, journaling, dream interpretation, and making hemp jewelry.

brian hickeyBryan Hickey is currently majoring in English and double minoring in creative writing and philosophy.  After a lengthy stint away from college, he returned to the land of academia in 2009 and then transferred to St. Michael's in the fall of 2011.  During his first year he participated as one of the many fine auxiliary editors for the Onion River.  Then after much bribery and scandal he became a core editor the following year in what was said to be the "Watergate" of St. Michael's.

diana marchessaultDiana Marchessault is a girl who was grown in the small town of Colchester, Vermont.  Her roots still remain in that same small town, as an English and History major in the 2014 class at St. Michael's College.  She almost always writes her stories in the perspective of male characters, has a strong passion for painting trees, and has read over a dozen Holocaust memoirs.  She's not positive about what she wants to be when she "grows up," but she would be happy if it included doing any of those things.

mickey o'neillMickey O'Neill, a freckled English major from the Garden State, found that the song of her hometown didn't match the tune strummed by her heart, so she ventured to the Northeast Kingdom and has found happiness amongst the granola crunching crowd and between the pages of books.  She enjoys finding the figures of narwhals in cloud formations, unsuccessfully trying her hand at a variety of accents, and dancing to Mambo No. 5.  She will graduate in 2014, but you can probably find her on campus long afterwards, squatting in hollow tree trunks, evading capture by Public Safety, coaxing Rosemary into allowing her into Alliot, and generally refusing to leave.

amy wilsonAmy Wilson, class of 2014, is rooted in Milford, New Hampshire; her mind, however, is pickled and waiting on a shelf somewhere in Byzantium.  As both an editor and contributor to the Onion, Amy finds that her involvement in the review enhances her writing and provides insight into the publication process.  She is inspired by common, every-day kinds of magic like fingernails and telephone lines.  Her favorite book is the last one she read.  Amy has the unique talent of being able to slice into an onion without shedding a tear.

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