Hamline News

22 Under 22: Hamline Students Publish Anthology of Young Writers

Book cover of 22 Under 22, featuring student art

A new anthology edited by Hamline students Emma Harrington ’22 and Abby Doty ’21 and recent grad Madelaine Formica ’20 captures the unique challenges of coming of age in a pandemic and beyond.

The student-driven anthology, 22 Under 22, released in November 2020 from Minneapolis-based Flexible Press. The book of essays, fiction, and poetry features writers between the ages of 16 and 22, including Rose-Marie Athiley ’21, fellow Piper, who contributed a poem. Topics range from the universal challenges of coming of age, such as moving away from your family and establishing an adult identity, to 2020-specific events and struggles like the pandemic, climate change, and the death of George Floyd and related uprisings.

When the project began in the fall of 2019, the COVID-19 pandemic had yet to reach Minnesota. In the spring, however, the team learned quickly to pivot their collaboration to online platforms. They also extended the submission period for the anthology, recognizing that these events marked a historic point in the lives of young writers.

“Since the start of the project, there has been a global pandemic, protests, and uprisings against police brutality, as well as an overall upheaval of what ‘normal’ life seemed to be,” wrote Harrington in the book’s introduction.

As the anthology’s executive editor, Harrington managed a small team of other editors and served as liaison between the group and Flexible Press. Harrington is an English major with a creative writing concentration, also working toward minors in nonprofit management and women’s studies.

For student editors, the anthology built on skills from Hamline classes and on-campus work, especially when it came to determining which submissions to accept. Harrington recruited Doty and Formica as fellow editors of The Fulcrum, Hamline’s undergraduate art and literary journal. Formica graduated in 2020 with a BFA in creative writing.

“It helped me know what to look for in literature and what makes a piece good,” said Doty, who is majoring in psychology and English with a creative writing concentration. “It definitely broadened my experience with different voices.”

The anthology represented an opportunity for student editors to both gain practical experience and express themselves creatively.

“The resilience of young people really shines through,” said Harrington. “There is a good deal of anger and bitterness toward the world that exists right now, but also passion behind the writing in terms of envisioning a better world for young people.”

Readers can purchase copies of 22 Under 22 online. Proceeds benefit Model Cities, a Saint Paul nonprofit that provides housing assistance and other social support services.

January 12, 2021
Written by Anne Kopas