English Majors Unite is the blog of LitCouture.com, an online magazine publishing original fiction and poetry by the nation’s hottest emerging and established voices.

We aim to:

-showcase stuff that English majors might like

-pair original fiction and poetry (with a special emphasis on prose poems, humor, and hybrid forms) with visual art

-indulge in our ekphrastic sensibility, our passion for art and artifice

“…Among other things, we have a penchant for the eccentric, and marvelous–the snuff bottle painted from within (housing a fleet of tiny wooden ships); the finely-chiseled jade lamb chop (set beneath such flattering light as to appear edible); the “puzzle-jug,” with its bizarre intestinal maze, requiring users to discover the exact angle at which it should be tilted for drinking… Useless, good-for-nothing prodigy things that exist for the sake of themselves. Let these exist as metaphors for some of the literary objects we admire (though we will not limit ourselves to that aesthetic). As for landscapes, give us the grotesque and bewildering, the overgrown and past-its-prime (everything which is magnificent in its pathos or pathetic in its magnificence), the crumbling theater and deserted funhouse…

We like to ask ourselves impossible questions and answer them literally. How would you embed an epic in an instant? Or tell a story entirely with footnotes? Or catalog descriptions? Or lists?”

-feature famous English majors who have accomplished something dreamlike and visionary with their degree

-explore “worlds within worlds”- kingdoms of infinite plenitude that recall the works of Borges, Calvino, and our favorite Romantic, Steven Millhauser

Check out our Facebook page, English Majors Unite. Follow us @LiteraryCouture.

Want to submit your work? Follow the directions here.

Here’s a sense of what we like:

“As far as our editorial focus goes, we appreciate cleanly written, character-driven stories but are very open to experimental work. Like other editors, we are looking for originality of perception and facility with language. Linguistic pyrotechnics and verbal exuberance are particularly welcome with us (we have a high tolerance for cerebral cleverness and showiness). The plain, understated, and ‘pretentiously unpretentious’ look of many literary magazines (while very classy) is not for us. We seek to be a sanctuary for all artifice and illusion, a home for those who follow their bliss and take ‘play’ seriously. ‘Makers’ of all suits and sizes are beloved by us. We love the muscular, significant, and politically aware. But the slight, introspective, psychological, ornate, improbable, overblown, coincidental, programmatic, conceptual, pretentious, perfect, romantic, and symmetrical may have a place with us, too. We believe there are unexplored ways of presenting and packaging literature and that presentation itself is a neglected art.”

The people behind this operation:

Christina Yu (Founder & Publisher): Christina holds an A.B in English from Dartmouth College and an M.F.A in fiction writing from Notre Dame where she was the Diversity Fellow and Sparks Fellow at Hachette Book Group USA. In recent years, her fiction has appeared in various literary journals nationwide and has been nominated and cited for several Best American anthologies. Previously, she worked as a lecturer in English at Kean University and Southern Connecticut State University. She currently works in marketing at a NY-based tech startup.

Michelle Dimino (Summer Associate): Michelle is a rising junior at Harvard University, where she is studying Romance Languages & Literatures — Italian, Spanish, French, and Catalan — as well as a more familiar tongue, English. Her passion lies in the written word in any and all of these languages, and she is particularly interested in multicultural literature and translation in the digital age. Michelle is most often found perusing pictures of Pomeranian puppies while alternating between states of sleep deprivation and over caffeination.

Gabriela Josebachvili (Summer Associate): Gabriela is a rising sophomore at Dartmouth College, where she is heavily involved with the literary magazine, The Stonefence Review. She is thinking about majoring in Comparative Literature with a concentration in Creative Writing. If that doesn’t work out, she plans to drop out of school and open a little cafe in a foreign country, where can she indulge in her favorite things: coffee, traveling, and reading.

Michael Riordan (Summer Associate): Michael is a rising sophomore at Dartmouth College, where he plans to major in English and Linguistics. A reporter for The Dartmouth newspaper, he is the 2011-2012 recipient of the paper’s John E. Johnson prize for student journalism and also works as the Legal Director for Dartmouth Broadcasting.

Past Summer Associates (who created the foundation upon which this project is built):

Christopher Allen Walker is a graduate of Columbia Law School and will begin a PhD in English at UC-Santa Barbara in Fall, 2011. When not reading Joyce or Faulkner, he has been known to take a stab at writing poetry. Among his other passions are Murakami, handcrafted liquors, and summer’s cicada song.

Augusto Corvalan is a student at Columbia University. While originally hailing from a small town in the Hoosier state, he now plays out the starving artist life in New York City. Some of his work can be found in the anthology Winter’s Canon, Potluck Literary Magazine, Flashshot, Journal & Courier, Bewildering Stories, and others. In his free time, Augusto volunteers in psych studies for food money.

Allison Malecha is a student at Columbia University, majoring in Comparative Literature & Society. Wrestling with the 7 grammatical cases of the Czech language and editing articles over late-night pizza as the Arts&Entertainment editor of the Columbia Daily Spectator master most of her time. But she is happy to be back tangling with the creative word this summer, as she has been doing since her first badly-rhymed poem (the word “ape” may have been involved) written at age 8.

Kristine Rodriguez is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design. Although majoring in graphic design, she prefers to approach her work from as many creative disciplines at possible. Contributing to people’s understanding of the world is her main priority as a maker. Thus, her materials vary. In addition to creating, some of her other loves include pennies, Spongebob Squarepants and all cats everywhere.

Rumit Pancholi has degrees from the University of Maryland and the University of Notre Dame. He was the recipient of scholarships and fellowships from the University of Maryland, the Maryland Higher Education Commission, the Folger Shakespeare Theater, and Tin House Magazine/Summer Literary Seminar. At Notre Dame, he received nominations for the AWP Intro Journals Contest, the 2007 Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowship, and Best New Poets 2007. Rumit won Northwest Missouri University’s The Laurel Review / GreenTower Press 2007 Midwest Chapbook Series Award for his manuscript entitled “Anatomy of a Ghost.” He’s received honors from Black Warrior Review, High Desert Journal, and the 2007 Atlantic Monthly Student Writing Contest. While pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing at Notre Dame, Rumit published more than twenty times across a dozen journals including Harpur Palate and the Painted Bride Quarterly.

Arton Gjonbalaj is a graduate of Columbia University, where he is actively involved in a variety of academic and athletic activities. He is the Editor-in-Chief of Ex Cathedra Literary Magazine. Arton is particularly fascinated by lighthouses and fond of both urban and nautical lifestyles. Thankfully, Arton was born and raised in New York City.

Matthew Badalucco graduated with cum laude honors from Dartmouth College in 2005 with a degree in international relations and East Asian studies. He both studied and interned in Asia before moving to New York to join the investment banking division of Lehman Brothers. He later worked as an assistant portfolio manager at Sandell Asset Management, a multi-strategy hedge fund. Now he is the founder and executive director of Pixel Equity, Inc., a non-profit corporation that gives video games to children who cannot afford them.

Yin Yin Lu is a student at Columbia University studying English and Linguistics. She has been entrenched in the suburbs of New Jersey for most of her life, but her spirit resides in Oxford, England because she is intoxicated by words (a smattering of her favorites include periwinkle, defenestration, aposiopesis, incandescent, insufferable, perhaps, indeed, and sesquipedalian). In fact, her primary goal in life to own and read the complete and unabridged 20-volume second edition of the Oxford English Dictionary. When she isn’t writing short prose and unfinished novels, she occasionally attempts to produce a poem, but always fails miserably (and loses a lot of blood and brain cells in the process). Her peculiar habits and favorite pastimes include dabbling in hyperbole, footnotes, em dashes, and semicolons, indulging in cheese, cucumbers, grapefruit, mangos, scones, and salt and vinegar potato chips, imbibing pomegranate juice, ogling birds, watching period dramas, wearing hats, oil painting, perusing the New Yorker, inveighing against Times New Roman users, and composing vituperative Ph.D.-dissertation-length e-mails. She would like to change her name to Perrine Wynkel. (Oh, and she cannot resist parenthetical comments.)

Andy Foust, known as ‘Frosty’ to his friends, is a senior English major/Russian minor at Dartmouth College. He has taught English in Ukraine, learned Russian in Russia, and studied British literature and Scottish pub habits in Glasgow. He is currently preparing his thesis while teaching English in upstate New York. When he’s not teaching he’s photographing, and when he’s not photographing he’s mixing music. He enjoys long walks into deep dark woods listening to post-rock, Enya and Lady Gaga. When asked to describe himself in one word he replies, “polysyllabic.”

Frank Santo is a graduate of Dartmouth College majoring in Creative Writing. At Darmouth, he is the co-editor in chief of a the Stonefence Review, the only literary magazine on campus. What’s more, he is also the lead singer and songwriter of a terrible band. Frank harbors many unusual fascinations and should not be trusted under literally any circumstances.

Catherine Greenman is a graduate of Columbia College, majoring in East Asian Studies. She adores great literature and is very excited to be working for CLC to give such literature the spotlight it so richly deserves. In her free time she teaches Creative Writing at a New York City elementary school and serves on the Executive Board of the Columbia Chapter of 85 Broads, a professional women’s network. She also enjoys taking photographs, playing the oboe, and dancing.

Yoon-Ji Kim is an English major at Dartmouth. She creates graphics and illustrations for the Dartmouth Newspaper and is co-President of the Dartmouth Knitting Club.

Caitlin Petreycik is a freelance writer, illustrator, and jewelry designer who recently graduated from Fordham University with degrees in Communication and Sociology. Before working for Cavalier Literary Couture, she completed editorial internships with Glamour Magazine and Elle Magazine. Caitlin also contributes to Time Out New York.

John Alzate is an alum of Dartmouth College where he majored in English, studied in Italy for a semester, and served as an editor for The Dartmouth. In the past, he has worked as an intern for The Associated Press.

Walker Linares is a Government major at Dartmouth College. He has studied abroad in Spain and is currently a member of Theta Delta Chi fraternity and the Varsity Soccer Team.

Aimee Moon is a recent graduate of Dartmouth College, where she studied Government and Art History. As a student, Aimee gained experience in event planning and fundraising while working for the Office of Pluralism and Leadership and the Dartmouth College Gospel Choir. Currently, she coordinates regional events and reunions as the Secretary of the Dartmouth Club of Washington, D.C. and an active member of the Executive Committee of the Class of 2009. By day, Aimee works as an analyst for a small consulting firm in the District.

Alexandra LeClair is a student at Dartmouth College where she is considering a major in English.

Edward Nepomuceno is a math major at Dartmouth College where he is co-editor-in-chief of Main Street and a member of the Dartmouth Investment and Philanthrophy Program.

Have feedback or just want to contact us? Drop a line.


One thought on “About

  1. tsuchigari says:

    Thank you for stopping my My Literary Quest and leaving that awesome note, I very much appreciate it. I plan to start doing regular posts once school starts for my little ones this Fall. Love your site here, keep up the good work. Although I’m not an English major, I certainly enjoy their company.

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