Guest Voices: The value of Chatham’s literary community

Guest Voices is an occasional series that invites students to share their views about a topic of importance and interest to them on campus.


By Merdith Spahic

Minor Bird will always be an important club for Chatham University. It is a way for artists, writers and creatives to express their individuality and artistic capabilities. However, Minor Bird is primarily virtual this semester, and we were fearful that our operations would not happen this year, but luckily, that was not the case. The organization has continued to be a unique niche arts club within the University.

Over the past years, Minor Bird has maintained its status as platform for creative students both majoring in the arts and in other fields. Without creative students, the magazine would not be what it is today. Minor Bird has made contributions to Chatham University, but this year has been the most significant yet because of the ongoing pandemic.

Thus, my team and I were both amazed and felt a great deal of gratitude for the submissions we received this year. Half of the artworks were related to the ongoing pandemic, and the different artworks touched on various topics such as COVID-19 hardships, love and hope, giving a light at the end of the tunnel.

Minor Bird literary magazine accepts proses, poetry and works of art across all sorts of mediums. What makes Minor Bird truly unique is our ability to create a safe space for anyone who wants to be a part of it. Our team is not only an advocate for the arts on campus but also cares about ethical issues and showcases those issues through art and literature. The Minor Bird team strongly believes that our publication contributes a great deal to Chatham, as our school is a liberal arts institution.

At times, creatives here at Chatham are often glossed over because of the popularity of sports, which can be extremely frustrating for us creatives. That’s why the Minor Bird team takes pride in maintaining this club because we believe artists and writers deserve the same recognition and respect as the sports teams receive. With this in mind, we strive to create a safe, creative and open environment. In this same vein, we do not tolerate hatred or discrimination.

Expressing creativity and individuality is vital for all students, but even more so in today’s world wherein we are dealing with an ongoing pandemic. One submission, for example, that stuck out that is related to this pandemic is by Adriana Jurado’s ‘21 titled “bAD aRT: Pandemic Hobby Edition 2.”

Jurado stated that her works of art have been a “therapeutic escape from reality and CoOVID-19,” as sometimes “it’s all too much handle.”

Jurado advocates that art has helped her through hardships during the lockdown and handling her tough schedule that is all virtual.

The Minor Bird team believes that creativity through art and literature is just your soul confessing. With this in mind, we maintain that the arts have and will always to be a way to express emotions, stories, politics and, most importantly, independence for which Minor Bird continues to advocate. We are excited to finally release the literary magazine this spring and showcase the talent, while alleviating the anxiety of this pandemic.

BIO: Merdith Spahic ’22 is a junior double majoring in Arts Management (concentration in art history & graphic design) & International Business, with minors in museum studies and marketing. Outside of her academics, she has worked with the Carnegie Museum of Art for two years. Working at CMOA has helped hone her skills and advance her experience into becoming an international art curator. She works as Minor Bird’s managing manager.