SAU Buzz

Quercus celebrates 25th anniversary

by Livv McDonald
Posted on Apr 14, 2016

These little books with an interesting name can be found all over the St. Ambrose University campus.But what are they? What is Quercus?

Celebrating its 25th anniversary, Quercus is the campus’s art and literary magazine. Staffed by students with a deep love for writing and art, Quercus strives to provide a creative outlet for all SAU students, faculty, staff, and alumni.

“It’s really special to have the involvement of all groups at Ambrose,” Carl Herzig, the founder of Quercus, said. “Especially those groups that are not always included in other ways, particularly staff.”

When Herzig started working at SAU, the school had no creative arts journal. He believed that the inclusion of one would enhance the SAU experience for everyone on campus.

“There were people doing cool, creative things, there was and no outlet for them to share any of it,” Herzig said. “There was one creative writing course that was offered every other year, but that was it.” 

In its first year, the magazine had no budget and relied on donations from many of the campus’s departments. After the first year, it went through the board of directors and received a budget. Since it was established, Quercus has published hundreds of submissions from talented writers and artists with new names being added to the list every year.

“The growth of Quercus reflects the growth of creative writing at St. Ambrose,” Herzig said. “About 8 percent of what is submitted gets published. More than 10 times that many things are being written and painted and are not being submitted. It’s really just a glimpse at Ambrose’s creative mind.”

When Quercus started, Herzig searched for a name that would fit. He wanted the name to reflect where it came from without necessarily being “bee-related.” The name Quercus was suggested by a biology professor. It comes from the genus of the oak plant.

“Quercus is not only for English majors,” Herzig said. “And I really love the involvement of alumni. We recently included a poem by someone who graduated in 1947. It’s a way for them to be involved at St. Ambrose without being asked for money.”

The Quercus staff is always looking for submissions. The staff always encourages students who have not submitted before to send in their work. New writers and artists are always welcome.

“Quercus is a long standing tradition for St. Ambrose,” Tessa Pozzi, this years Quercus editor, said. “I think that anyone who enjoys writing or making visual art should submit. There is a good chance of getting in for many people and the jury is always a panel of your peers.”

The reading and art show for Quercus is on Tuesday, May 3, and is open across all curriculum, faculty, and staff. The reception starts at 6:30 p.m., with the art show and reading following at 7 p.m.