Q&A with Lantern editor

Joe Makuc discusses struggles and successes of his time as Lantern Editor

William Wehrs


The Lantern Literary magazine has been a staple of Ursinus since 1933. According to the Ursinus website, it “showcases the best of Ursinus student poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction and artwork.” On April 16th, at 4:30, in Bomberger auditorium, the tradition continues as the latest issue will be released and awards for poetry, prose, and best work will be given out. Joe Makuc, the Lantern Editor, sat down with the Grizzly to discuss The Lantern.

How hard was it to select stories and artwork?

Selecting pieces was easy in that I had the input of my Section Editors (and therefore their readers) to inform my decisions. It was most difficult when it came to selecting the cover, because I loved a piece that the Visual Arts section did not at all love. But looking over Visual Arts’ recommendations, I found a convincing preference for “Ragtag Harmony” by Kristen Cooney, and I’m proud to say that’s our cover (which you can see in our Lantern Launch ads.)

What excites you about the launch?

I’m really excited for a groundbreaking Lantern Launch. Our issue this year has ten Visual Art pieces (not counting the cover) by different artists, which is more than we traditionally publish, and I think they’re all evocative. We also have some powerful Creative Nonfiction pieces and a stacked Poetry roster.

Is there anything new this year?

I’m proud to say that we’ll be launching on the Digital Commons on the same day (for the first time, as far as I know), so keep an eye out for our digital issue if you’re off-campus!

Who are the notable winners?

I’m not sure if I’m supposed to name specific winners yet. But our Creager Prize-winning piece pulls no punches, and I’m excited to see its award at [the] launch.

How did you find the judges?

I thank Dr. Keita, our advisor last semester, for finding and recruiting creative writing alums to judge. I merely got in touch with them when it came time to judge – although I wish I’d done so earlier, because judge Blaise Laramee ’16 is a treasure.

What did you learn most from the experience?

I’ve learned again, as I learn every day, that Ursinus has an amazingly thoughtful and committed student body making art that matters, and a community just as committed to engaging with that art as serious intellectual production. I’ve also learned that project management for so many people means an adequate understanding of not just how many people are required for a task, whether it be reviewing fiction or making a cover in InDesign, but also an understanding of which people would do best in that task. Editing the Lantern has taught me that big projects really require collaboration, and much of that collaboration comes down to allocating tasks as people can and want to do them, as advisor Dr. Volkmer rightly reminds me. I’ve learned a real appreciation for my staff and Ursinus.