By Monica Warren
KEVIN B. KLAUS/Arizona Daily Wildcat
Creative writing graduate student Christie Cooke and American Indian studies doctoral candidate Leo Killsback, managing editors for the magazine Red Ink, pose in their office yesterday on Seventh Street.
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday, October 21, 2004
For the past 14 years, UA students committed to advancing American Indian culture and artistic achievements have worked to produce a journal that is now read by people across the nation.
Red Ink: A Native American Student Publication was started in 1990 by a group of graduate students in the American Indian Studies department, said Ian Record, curriculum development manager for the Native Nation Institute and former managing editor of Red Ink.
The mission of the magazine is to give a voice to American Indians who have "something to say, something to share with others about themselves and their lives," Record said.
Leo Killsback, a second-year Ph.D. student and co-managing editor of Red Ink, said that while the magazine gives priority to works submitted by American Indians, any submission that deals with American Indian issues will be considered. Scholarly articles, poetry, short stories, nonfiction, art and photography and reviews are encouraged.
"We want to publish people who are up-and-coming artists, poets and scholars," he said. "It's a get-your-foot-in-the-door kind of thing."
The magazine's staff consists entirely of students, making it the only publication of its kind in the country, according to Red Ink's Web site.
Killsback said this year's editorial board is made up mostly of graduate students in the American Indian Studies program, with several undergraduates and graduate students in other departments also involved.
Killsback said while the journal is known throughout the nation and even in parts of Canada, every year the staff struggles to attract more readers and more funding.
"We're a non-profit organization," he said. "The magazine produces itself. No one's getting rich off this. Maybe once in a while we'll order a pizza or something."
What started as a tabloid magazine has turned into "a very polished, very dynamic full-color magazine" that is published twice a year, Record said.
Red Ink also publishes occasional theme issues, dealing with topics that are of concern to native people, Record said. Past theme issues have dealt with Native language preservation and revitalization, tribal governance and economic development, love and erotica, and identity and stereotypes, Record said.
The number of submissions from UA students and non-UA students are about equal, Killsback said. He said the journal receives many submissions from the local American Indian community, especially artwork.
Red Ink's subscribers are both individuals and institutions, such as libraries at universities and Indian reservation high schools, Killsback said.
Record said the Red Ink staff is also committed to doing outreach to the community as a part of their mission.
"We have a very high visibility at most native community events," he said.
The staff leads writing workshops for American Indian children in middle and high school, he said. They were also instrumental in organizing the Tucson premieres of several American Indian movies.
Record said that another part of the magazine's mission is to get beyond issues that are typically addressed by American Indian publications. For example, the magazine receives many submissions that deal with Christopher Columbus "and what a horrible person he was," Record said.
"That may be a valid message, but it's been said so many times it's almost cliché," he said.
More information about the magazine and submission guidelines can be found at its Web site www.redinkmagazine.com.