Looking Back

Toyon has been in production since 1954. This spring will see the distribution of the 63rd edition of Literary Magazine. The university library hosts all 62 editions in the Humboldt Room, which serves as an archive for thousands of documents related to Humboldt County and the university.

The Toyon staff spent some time in the Humboldt Room, examining old copies of the Toyon. It was an interesting experience to see how the magazine has evolved since its creation. I noticed that for the most part, the Toyon has kept the same dimensions with varying page counts. This allows the copies to fit nicely together on a shelf and is something that should continue to be considered for all future editions.

I examined the 1974 edition of Toyon. While the dimensions were the same, the content was vastly different. This edition contained only poetry, fiction, and visual art. However, each poem was handwritten and accompanied by an illustration. The rest of the works seemed to have been printed using movable type. Another staff member at my table noticed that the 1975 edition contained only fiction – an interesting change in one year.

After getting a bit of insight from previous editions, I think we should bring back some of the more personal aspects of poetry. I think handwritten poems and illustrations would add character to our magazine. Illustrated poems do have a long history of popularity that has not yet dissipated. It is too late to add these details at this point in the production process; but it is something we can consider for next year.

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