By: Quintina Northrup
A beloved UNB publication turns 25 this year.
After 25 years, 43 issues, and hundreds of contributors, Qwerty Magazine has earned its claim to fame. The UNB magazine is volunteer-based and run by graduate students from UNB’s English department.
Qwerty has prided themselves on their aesthetic magazines and has recently begun publishing high-quality pieces of art in addition to poetry and prose. Their most recent publication, “Food X Identity,” featured 2SQTBIPOC+ authors and artists engaging with the topic of food. They also welcomed 17-year-old Gaia Rajan, up-and-coming poet and cofounder of the WOC Speak Reading Series, as guest editor.
Qwerty strives to fill literature gaps left by discrimination: “Every year we publish two magazines, one general issue and one themed issue,” explained Grace Taylor, co-managing editor at the magazine. “We tend to highlight experiential work from around the world and are dedicated to publishing writers and artists who have been overlooked or discriminated against by traditional publishers.”
There has been an impressive array of authors who have contributed to the magazine over the years. They have featured Don McKay, winner of two Governor General awards, John Steffler, former Canadian Parliamentary Poet Laureate, and Sue Sinclair, two-time winner of the Atlantic Poetry Prize.
Qwerty’s next themed issue is going to be “Folklore and Fairytales.”
In honour of their 25th anniversary, Qwerty is hosting a giveaway of five past publications to those who purchase a subscription off their website. To enter the draw, buy a one-year subscription ($20) to Qwerty Magazine before the end of the school year.
They also plan to host an in-person launch party for their next issue in early 2022.
Qwerty relies on readers and contributors to further their legacy.
“If people want to get involved with Qwerty, they can reach out to us to volunteer as readers,” said Taylor. “They can also follow us on Instagram and Twitter and buy our books on our website. Everyone is also welcome to submit to us on Submittable.”
The submission period for Issue 44 in Winter 2022 will open soon.
For more information, check out their website at: www.qwertyunb.com.