ALMA — Pine River Anthology has been recognized for excellence in the 2023 Recognizing Excellence in Art and Literary Magazines (REALM) program, through the National Council of Teachers of English nonprofit group.

Pine River Anthology (PRA), a juried annual magazine consisting of art, poems, and other short prose written by Alma College students, received the rank of “Excellent” from the REALM program for the first time, following publication of its 2022-23 edition, “Dichotomy.”

“As the editor, I am very happy to work on an anthology that continues to honor the creativity of Alma College undergrads, and I’m excited that this award may get more eyes on it,” said Charlayne-Aye Olegario, an art and design major from Trenton, Mich., who serves as editor-in-chief of the PRA. “‘Dichotomy’ tried something new and totally different from the previous editions, and I was proud of how it came to be.”

Currently in its 71st year, PRA is a student-led collaboration between both the English and art departments at Alma College. It seeks to promote creativity on campus and unify two imaginative mediums, while establishing appreciation for the arts and honoring the talent of students. The club meets once weekly to discuss themes for the publication, produce and distribute posters, create cover designs, select and edit submissions and format the book.

This year, as part of the REALM program, schools in 46 states and five countries nominated 375 student magazines from middle schools, high schools and institutions of higher education. The REALM program publicly recognizes excellent literary magazines produced by students with the support of their teachers.

In “Dichotomy,” the PRA staff sought to engage the reader by flipping the layout at its halfway point, in order to encourage viewer interaction with the physical book.

“Regardless of media, creatives always seek to represent ideas in various ways; in the arts and literature, works are rich with symbolism,” PRA staff wrote in a description of the publication. “Oftentimes, people do not realize that although their manner of communication can differ, these two worlds are not as divided as they seem. The juxtaposition of differences in things sometimes has a greater impact.”

“This award is a testimonial to the dedication and vision of the editorial team — and Char’s leadership,” said Laura von Wallmenich, associate professor of English and American studies. Von Wallmenich serves as faculty advisor to the group with Lee Vander Kooi, assistant professor of art and design.

“However, it is also a wonderful affirmation of the vibrant creative life of our students — artists and writers. It was the quality of their work, as well as the thoughtfulness of the design, that earned this award.”