‘Cauldron’ Co-Editors Invite Artists, Writers into a K Tradition

Co-editors Lana Alvey ’24 and Greta Salamun ’25 are reminding students to submit personal creative written projects and visual artwork to this year’s Cauldron, a printed publication produced by its student organization at Kalamazoo College.

College Archives show The Cauldron has been published annually, except for a hiatus during the pandemic, since 1962. As two students who are passionate about writing, Alvey—an English and psychology double major—and Salamun—an English major—are honored to play a part in the reconstruction of The Cauldron and hope that this year’s edition will reflect K’s population of talented writers and artists.

Most of the editorial staff is composed of English and art majors along with many STEM-focused students, too. They work with Alvey and Salamun to select the content from submissions and organize each edition with support, advice and design services provided through College Marketing and Communication. Categories within the publication include poetry, nonfiction, fiction and art. Professor of English Andy Mozina, the magazine’s faculty advisor, provides guidance and advice to the co-editors; his help ensures that the official unveiling of the hard copies during spring term of ninth week’s Community Reflection at Stetson Chapel runs smoothly.

“When we hold the finished product during the reflection, there will be a moment of thinking ‘we did it,’ with all the students’ hard work toward this piece of art and literature, especially when we can flip through it,” Alvey said. “It will be powerful to see it. We’re proud to be this vessel for creative writing and art.”

In a nod to its former years, the co-editors plan to release this edition as a bound book, suitable for coffee tables, bookshelves and keepsakes.

Portrait of Cauldron Co-Editor Lana Alvey on campus
Lana Alvey ’24, an English and psychology double major, is a co-editor of the 2023-24 edition of The Cauldron.
Cover of 2022-23 Cauldron
Last year’s edition of The Cauldron was a spiral-bound book that co-editors Alvey and Salamun are upgrading to a bound book this year.
Cauldron Co-Editor Greta Salamun
Kalamazoo native Greta Salamun ’25 said she has always wanted to attend K and major in English.
Inside the 2022-23 Cauldron
Pages from past editions of The Cauldron show work of alumni such as contemporary artist Julie Mehretu ’92 and Tony Award winner Lisa Kron ’83.

“It will be a testament to how The Cauldron has returned and evolved,” Salamun said. “We had a spiral-bound book last year, which still felt great, but we’ve wanted to get back to the old format. If that much can change in a year, imagine what else might happen in 10 years’ time. You never know.”

For students uncertain whether they want to submit their personal work, Alvey and Salamun encourage everyone to participate.

“I think we’re removing the high stakes from sharing your work, considering that no one is graded for it,” Salamun said. “If we just submit something, knowing it doesn’t have to be hard, it can be light-hearted and fun because this campus is full of great students.”

In fact, students can think of participating in The Cauldron as being part of a legacy because many accomplished alumni such as the world-famous contemporary artist, Julie Mehretu ’92, and Tony Award winner, Lisa Kron ’83, contributed to The Cauldron as K students. In addition, the Stephanie Vibbert Award will honor select pieces of writing that best exemplify the intersection between creative writing and community engagement. The final award is the Divine Crow Award where recipients will be selected blindly by a member of the greater Kalamazoo community.

“I feel that seeing your name in print and in an actual bound book is a big incentive for submitting your work,” Alvey said. “We have shown that we are good writers when we were accepted into K. This is a cool way to show what you can do, especially during the Community Reflection, where some students read their work aloud and we pass it out as a physical copy.”

Students who want to see their names and work published as writers and artists should use The Cauldron’s Google Docs form to submit before 11:59 p.m. Monday, February 26. All students, regardless of their majors and minors, are encouraged to participate.

“I’m from Kalamazoo and I’ve always wanted to attend this College and major in English,” Salamun said. “What I love about The Cauldron and writing is that it gives students, like myself, a creative outlet for expression. I know we have a lot of STEM majors here, and it can be a little nerve racking for students to try taking on poetry, short stories, art, or whatever it may be. But that creative outlet is so valuable.”

“To the students who have submitted, thank you,” Alvey said. “We know submitting can seem very daunting, but we are so excited to read your work and get it out there because the student population is very talented. We hope more people will submit their work to The Cauldron, so it can return to its bound form. I think being a part of such a great historical magazine and legacy is very powerful and it’s an honor.”