CSU English students and Fort Collins community youth will read tonight from the short magazines – zines – they have created together.
The Writing in a Gendered Context class has spent eight weeks working on the zines with students from Turning Point, the Boys and Girls Club and the Youth Activity Center.
"The zines are supposed to be counter-culture," said Tobi Jacobi, the English professor for the gendered context course. "They're not supposed to look perfect."
The zines contain both poetry and pictures expressing the various youths' desires, passions and dreams.
"It was cool to see how universal writing is," said Casey Downing, a junior English major. "They got excited about it, and wanted to write about their lives."
The CSU students involved have held weekly meetings with the youth to encourage them to talk about themselves and their lives and to express those feelings through writing.
"It was great to participate in an activity where you can help serve your community and witness the positive impact of the kids firsthand," said Cheryl Seele, a senior English major.
The zines have been printed off with money allotted to the class as well as a budget raised by the class groups. Jacobi said there is not enough money to make them available to the public, but if there is community interest it could become an option.
"If we could get more money we could sell the zines to the community, possibly have them in bookstores," Jacobi said. "I think the kids would love it to know that their work is available to the public."
The presentation will be today from 6 to 8 p.m. in Clark Building A-103. The Fort Collins community and CSU students are encouraged to come.
"We love people to come on campus and feel that they're a part of it," Jacobi said. "It's really important for the community to feel welcome and comfortable here. "
The English students are excited that tonight's events will be focused completely on the kids' work.
"It's great how universal the ideas are to express your voice and how you can feel the same as others," Downing said.