—by UntitledTown Blogger Nick Reilly
UntitledTown is named in reference to the fact that as authors, readers, and artists, we rely on our communities for inspiration, integration, and sometimes commiseration.
And yet, the arts communities often feel fragmented in Green Bay, Wisconsin, a.k.a. Titletown, USA. UnititledTown was founded to bridge gaps between writers and artists and audiences in these arts communities.
One place to find arts communities is in college. For me, it was the first time I really left my comfort zone and came into contact with a variety of like-minded individuals. In college, I was a Managing Editor (among other roles) at University of Wisconsin-Green Bay’s award-winning journal of the arts, Sheepshead Review. The organization shares a major goal with the UntitledTown Author’s Festival: strengthening community ties across town, country and globe.
What is Sheepshead Review?
Sheepshead Revue began publication in 1970s at UW-Green Bay. There are few still around who know how it got its name. Legends speak of a sheepshead fish making an epic journey from Chesapeake Bay, along the St. Lawrence Seaway, all the way to the Bay of Green Bay in order to take part in a spontaneous open mic night at the campus coffee shop. The fish had a villanelle in its gills, and after gently chanting the poem in a lilting, reedy tenor, it flopped into the nearest drainage pipe, returning to the Bay, never to be seen on campus again. The oft-spoken event inspired a group of art-minded student to start a literary journal, which they named in homage of the wondrous event.
(It may also be named after a card game.)
On and off for years, the undergraduate-run journal focused exclusively on campus writers, and it was a mainstay every semester at UW-Green Bay before going on hiatus in the late ‘90s.
In 2003, the journal returned with a slightly different name: Sheepshead Review. This new— and current— incarnation saw the developments of full-color issues, online submission management, more submissions in single semesters than in past years, and international recognition via contributors from as far as New Zealand and Israel.
Uniquely among arts journals, we also proudly featured—and still do— 20-25 pages of Visual Arts in each and every issue.
And true to its founding and original mission, Sheepshead Review offers both an opportunity to spotlight college writers alongside internationally renowned authors, and a place where the people behind the sheep forge lifelong friendships.
Sheepshead Review is sponsoring two events at UntitledTown.
Spring Issue Launch Party at Old Fort Square
Taking place during the UntitledTown Book Fair, the Launch Party for the brand new Spring issue of Sheepshead Review will feature readings from recently published authors, a gallery of work by published fine artists, free snacks, and sheep-shaped cupcakes free to all. EVERYONE is welcome to share in the festivities, toast the winners of the Rising Phoenix student awards, and welcome special surprise guests from the book fair into the flock.
UW-Green Bay Alumni, friends, and lovers of great writing and visual arts: stop by Book Fair on Saturday to get a copy of the issue, grab a cupcake, listen to amazing readings, visit with celebrity authors, and buy some cool Sheepshead swag!
The College Author Reading Invitational (Titles On Tap)
When not putting together a biannual arts journal, the staff at SHR actively supports the arts on campus and the community. Sheepshead Review will be sponsoring a College Reading Invitational at Titletown on Sunday.
The open mic event is open to any college student willing to showcase original poetry, fiction, non-fiction, Spoken-Word. Writers from St. Norbert College, UW-Green Bay, and the UW-Colleges are already on the program.
The only limit is your own creativity. Contact Kelsey Langlitz, Sheepshead review publicity director, to sign up and read.