Professors selected for lit publication

 

Photo by: Jacob Jardel CUTV Production Manager Jeff Larson reads through a copy of “This Land,” featuring short stories from Cameron professors George McCormick and Bayard Godsave.

Photo by: Jacob Jardel
CUTV Production Manager Jeff Larson reads through a copy of “This Land,” featuring short stories from Cameron professors George McCormick and Bayard Godsave.

Jacob Jardel

Assistant Managing Editor

Two of Cameron’s own were selected for publication in the summer fiction edition of the literary magazine “This Land.”

Assistant Professor of English George McCormick and Associate Professor of English Bayard Godsave were both featured in the Tulsa-based magazine focused on exhibiting Oklahoma authors writing about topics relevant to the state.

The publishers of “This Land” had approached McCormick and asked if he had any pieces to submit for the publication. The request was a change of pace for him, considering the competition involved with the submission process.

“This one was really satisfying because they asked me,” he said. “Usually, you have to send your work out and fight for publication.”

The piece he submitted was an excerpt from an upcoming novel set in Lawton titled “Inland Empire.”

However, McCormick felt this piece had enough strength in and of itself to be its own standalone piece, despite being a section from a larger story – a prospect he found promising for himself.

“It was self-contained enough that it felt like a story,” he said. “It’s exciting because I’ve never really published novel sections before. I’ve always really published short stories.

“I’m excited that, after five years of living in Oklahoma, I’m figuring out how to write about this place,” he said.

Godsave, who stated he is used to publishing in university-based literary journals, also received an invite to publish in “This Land.” His story, “Snake Ball,” pertains to living with life-changing decisions.

“It’s about adolescence,” Godsave said. “About initiating something that quickly becomes horrific, and not having the bravery to stop it. How that kind of thing can follow you around for the rest of your life.”

For Godsave and McCormick both, this opportunity was a good way to get through to a wider audience within the state, especially in a magazine formerly focused on the bigger cities.

“I thought we should represent Lawton,” McCormick said. “I thought it would be cool to have something that represents this part of the state, not just Tulsa and OKC.”

Godsave mentioned that the wide outreach of the magazine is good both for his writing and for Oklahoma writers in general.

“I’ve seen it for sale at grocery stores, and record stores, places you’d never see a literary journal,” he said. “I think it has the potential to reach more, different kinds of readers.

“It is limited to an Oklahoma audience,” Godsave said. “But as an Oklahoma writer, I’m glad to be able to reach so many readers in this state.”

Overall, both were happy to work with a magazine that focused on Oklahoma writing from Oklahoma writers.

“I think they are publishing some of the most interesting work in Oklahoma right now,” Godsave said. “I love that they have embraced this state so fully, that they’re actively looking for writing that explores what it is to live here, that explores the history of this place, and that they put a premium on good writing, too.”

McCormick said, “I was happy to publish with ‘This Land’ because I think they’re doing good work, in that they’re publishing Oklahoma writers and they’re talking about Oklahoma issues in physical print form.”

“All of these things I find encouraging about what we do,” he said.

Both McCormick and Godsave said they plan to continue their writing endeavors, with Godsave premiering a new book, “Torture Tree” on Sep. 9, with a reading on Sep. 11 at Books & Banter.

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