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Weaving Together Conversations: The Development of Angime Literary Journal — By Mariya Deykute

Updated: Nov 6, 2021

It’s difficult to talk about a project that hasn’t launched yet. In Russian, there is a saying about divvying up the fur of an uncaught bear; in Kazakh -- a warning about expecting milk from a barren cow; and in English, of course, a familiar admonition about counting unhatched chickens. And yet the process of developing the concept of Angime, and the dialogues that are happening as the journal slowly moves towards its inaugural edition, are valuable in and of themselves.

The idea of Angime, which in Kazakh means story or conversation, was born out of conversations I was having during my first year teaching at NU. Conversations with scholars in Kazakh literature and languages department; in Literature and Linguistics department; at the Writing Center. Conversations about the need for a journal that would highlight not just the academic, but the creative work of NU faculty; the need for a faculty-run publication that would give students the ability to participate in a professional publishing process; and ultimately, the need for a journal in the region that would weave together Kazakh, Russian, English, literary works and scholarly pursuits, regional and international voices.

These conversations continued with the local authors, like the instructors at the Open Literary School in Almaty who visited NU as part of the Kazakhstani author series last year. Those authors were e

xcited by the prospect of launching the first trilingual journal in the region. One of our guests, Kanat Omar -- the prize-winning, Nur Sultan-based poet and translator -- eventually became our Kazakh language and literature editor. Others have already submitted stories, poems, essays to be included in the inaugural edition.

But perhaps the most vocal in the conversations around the start of this journal were the NU students. The journal, after all, while edited and run primarily by NU faculty, was truly created not just from a recognized need but from a recognized abundance -- an abundance of faculty talent, and an abundance of student creativity and enthusiasm. Named after a student-run fiction reading series Angime recognizes the creative potential and desire for professional humanities outlets for students who want to be a part of the global literary conversation. They to see NU’s journal joining the ranks of literary journals that sprung from Western universities: Ploughshares at Emerson, Gulf Coast at the University of Houston, AGNI at Boston University and others.

With dozens of submissions already received from around the globe, this wish will become reality in the Fall of 2020. And while the conversations leading to the launch of this project have been enjoyable and important, the true dialogue lies ahead: the trilingual, international dialogue between NU’s Angime and the world.

To learn more about our mission at NU, please visit the Angime Main Page

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