Entre Líneas – Rice undergraduates go ‘between the lines,’ create first student-run Spanish literary magazine in Texas

Some literature-loving undergraduate students at Rice have created Texas’ first student-run Spanish-language literary magazine, Entre Líneas (Spanish for “between the lines”).

They just published the third issue this summer around the theme “Erotismo” (Spanish for eroticism). The colorful, well-designed 20-page issue provides an exploration of love, sensuality and romance through poetry, short stories, photography and art that draw readers in and leave them wanting more.

The annual magazine was founded in 2010 as an outgrowth of Hispanic Studies Assistant Professor Gisela Heffes’ Spanish creative writing class. The inaugural issue featured a general compilation of submissions, and the 2011 issue focused on the environment. The publication’s website states that the magazine is intended to be “a unifying voice for the disparate groups of Spanish-speaking artists across the United States,” and every fall, the students send out broad calls for submissions, reaching out to Hispanic studies and creative writing departments across the U.S. and in Latin America. Submissions have been received from as far away as Mexico and Paraguay as well as from students at Princeton University.

Loris Simón, a 2012 Rice graduate who majored in psychology, has served as the magazine’s editor in chief over the past three years. Born in Mexico and raised in Houston after her family moved here when she was 9, Simón said the magazine is energized by her fellow students’ interest in Latin-American culture and creative expression. The editor’s hat has been a good fit for her. “(Producing a magazine) has to do with psychology; it’s dealing with people,” Simón said. “And art and literature are an expression of the psyche.” 

Members of the Entre Líneas team.

Participation in the creation of the magazine both as providers or editors of content is open to students of all classes and majors. It is a rare opportunity for students to express themselves and be published in Spanish, Heffes said. She has served as a sounding board for the student-editors, who took it upon themselves to make the magazine happen. “The students had autonomy, and they made decisions,” Heffes said. “It’s very impressive.”

José Aranda, chair of the Hispanic Studies Department, is a strong supporter of the effort and the department funds the magazine’s production-related costs. He said it is part of a national movement of growing interest in creative writing in Spanish, spurred in part by demographic changes as the Latino population grows. The educational benefits are real. “It’s very important to provide students an opportunity to express themselves in a way that’s different than more formal structures,” Aranda said. “We’re at a tipping point at Rice in terms of study abroad to Spain and Latin America. The magazine is going to provide a venue for students to bring back those experiences and express them creatively.”

Entre Líneas is free of charge and distributed across campus and to interested individuals upon request. Hard copies of the magazine are also available in the Hispanic Studies Department and on the department website, http://hispanicstudies.rice.edu/Content.aspx?id=474. Rice students who are interested in participating this fall in the production of the 2013 Entre Líneas issue as editors, writers or designers may contact Heffes at gisela.heffes@rice.edu.

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