Onion peels open the heart of the community

By Matthew Fournaris

Peter Linn, '17, reads his peice on Jerry Collins
Peter Linn, ’17, reads his peice on Jerry Collins

It’s that time of year again! St. Michael’s College unveiled its 2017 issue of the Onion River Review. This was followed by a release party on April 5th with nearly 100 guests.

Every year, the Onion River Review showcases its best works of poetry, prose and visual arts. It is committed to publishing the best work of students, faculty, staff, alumni and the greater St. Michael’s community.

“I love the idea of underground artists who may not be art majors at St. Mikes having a platform to show their work,” Emma Gilfix, ’17, said.

However, it is no easy task getting published in the Onion. With nearly 300 submissions this year, the editors had their hands full trying to finalize the issue. Each submission is read anonymously by each editor, guaranteeing each piece is read more than once.

“Being published in the Onion definitely says alot about the quality of your work,” core editor Lily Gardner 17’ said.

This year’s edition of the Onion features artists from the Burlington area, as well as Montreal.

The Onion gives people a voice, as well as a place to express themselves and how they are feeling. This was proven when an elderly woman in the community by the name of Pierrette Roy read aloud her poem “A Fifty-Mile Hike to See My Gal” during the release party. The Onion has been a tradition in Roy’s household, with her son contributing work while attending St. Michael’s. Roy suffered from a stroke, and she explained to the crowd how through her writing she can express her struggles. She believes it has been her most effective form of therapy throughout her recovery.

2017 has been a politically charged year both on and off St. Michael’s campus. Topics such as women’s rights, Black Lives Matter, and conflicts in Syria are all touched upon in various art forms throughout the Onion.

“There have definitely been more political submissions this year than ever before,” Gardner said. “It reflects the strong political energy that has been present throughout the year.”

Sadly, the St. Michael’s community mourned the loss of four of its members this past year. This year’s issue of the Onion reflects upon these tragedies through multiple poems, drawings, and stories. Professor Marquess commemorated Father Michael through a poem he wrote called,

“Quis ut Deus.” Peter Linn, ’17, and Emma Gilfix, ’17, honored their late friend and roommate, Jerry Collins, through writing and art.

“People needed to hear a lighter part of Jerry,” Jerry’s roommate Peter Linn said. “I wanted to end my piece with a story about Jerry’s character, because that’s what we should focus on instead of what happened.”

Linn’s piece about Jerry, “Too Weird to Live, Too Rare to Die” is the second piece of writing he has gotten published by the Onion. His motivation for the title behind this piece reflects a quote from one of Jerry’s favorite movies, “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.”

If you want your voice to be heard at St. Michael’s, the Onion has begun accepting submissions for its 2018 issue