Baily’s Beads has been a staple of the Pitt-Bradford community for years, the print editions filling up the newsstands around campus, free to students and visitors. But this year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, for the first time in our more than thirty-year history we decided not to print an issue but instead to take our magazine online. While we hope to be able to print future issues, we also plan to maintain a digital presence, featuring contests and regular issues with creative work from students, faculty, staff, and community members. We’re also looking at the possibility of including work between issues and linking to other creative work produced on campus.
Moving online has allowed us to include more writing in this issue and to publish full color art selections for the first time, since budget considerations have restricted that in our print issues. Among the many unique and wonderful pieces featured this year are a hilarious story about a mall Santa and a beautiful poem about lying under the summer sky, as well as a haunting sestina about a miscarriage and a witty poem about cowboys and figs. This issue includes work from numerous veteran Baily’s Beads submitters as well as many writers and artists who are new to us.
Going digital also enabled us to add some newer, very timely submissions, in particular a series of powerful poems by this issue’s featured poet, Pitt-Bradford student Kellen Gaither, of protest in the wake of racial injustice and celebration of history and culture. We are pleased to highlight these impactful poems: “Beautiful Black Boy,” “Cantu Bantu,” “Not Allowed to Hurt,” “I Can Feel It,” “Businessman,” and “The Hood Isn’t Even Ours Anymore.”
Over the course of the year we spent working on this issue, we said goodbye to graduating staff members and welcomed many new ones who brought fresh eyes and ideas. We were challenged to find new ways of working during the pandemic, but our staff persevered despite obstacles, while collaborating to accomplish something wonderful. This issue would not have been possible without the teamwork of a fantastic staff, and I am incredibly thankful for them.
Moving from the classroom in the spring to Zoom, Box, and Canvas, we reviewed and edited a large amount of work, consulting our style guide and providing grammar and style reviews via Powerpoint to refresh our editing skills. Of course, none of this would have been possible without our advisor, Dr. Nancy McCabe. Her dedication to the magazine and her guidance have helped in the production of this issue, as even in the toughest times over the last two semesters, she helped keep our heads up and focused on producing the best possible magazine for 2021.
We would also like to thank everyone who contributed to making this magazine happen. Thank you to our art advisor, Professor Rick Minard, Communication and the Arts Division Chair Jeff Guterman, Art Professor Anna Lemnitzer, our new Dean and Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dr. Emily Williams, Communication and the Arts Administrative Assistant Jenifer Spencer, Writing Professor Karen Bell, Catherine Kula from the Pitt-Bradford Writing Center, and, for their work on our website and their willingness to teach us, Gina Prosch and Lohman Hills Creative, LLC.
Without further ado, here is the 2021 issue of Baily’s Beads!