St. Mary’s University’s Department of English and Communications Studies will unveil its redesigned literary magazine, Pecan Grove Review XVI, at The Twig Book Shop on Wednesday, Nov. 18.

Students, faculty and staff will read their submissions from the newest edition of the magazine, which was first released in 1993. The 6:30 p.m. event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

The student-produced Pecan Grove Review is under the leadership of faculty adviser Refugio “Ito” Romo, Ph.D., Associate Professor of English and Communication Studies. Students, faculty and staff submit poetry, fiction and personal essays for consideration of publication.

“At St. Mary’s, we foster a liberal arts education in which we celebrate the importance of creativity within the educational experience, enhancing the formation of the well-rounded individual,” said Romo, himself an accomplished creative writer and author. “The Pecan Grove Review is just one of the many forms in which creativity is expressed on our campus. I am inspired daily by the dedicated students who work diligently on the Pecan Grove Review and by the students, faculty and staff that submit amazing literary work.

“Nothing makes me happier than being surrounded by students full of hope and love for the future of our communities.”

The Pecan Grove Review gives students the opportunity to understand and obtain realistic publishing experience. In 1993, Sister Ann Semel, then-chair of the English and Communication Studies Department, asked faculty member Diane Gonzales Bertrand – now visiting lecturer and writer-in-residence at St. Mary’s – to start a literary magazine.

The Pecan Grove Review’s first staff members were students from Bertrand’s “Intro to the Creative Process” class, and she became its first faculty adviser. The Department of English and Communication Studies resides within the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at St. Mary’s.

The Twig Book Shop – located in the Pearl Brewery, 306 Pearl Parkway, Suite 106 – is the only independent bookstore in San Antonio. It’s a venue for local and national poets and authors, and the launch event gives students an opportunity to read in a professional space.

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