Dear Buzzsaw Magazine,
I will always remember how I found out about this publication. And I am sure glad I found out about it. On the last day of finals during my first semester as a freshman at Ithaca College, my first college boyfriend broke up with me. I was devastated. I didn’t know what to do with myself. I texted a mutual friend of mine and my now-ex, the only person I knew that was still on campus, and asked him if he could hang out with me for a little bit. He said yes, so I tearfully headed to his West Tower dorm room. Once I got there, I laid down on his bed and I cried and cried for a very long time while he tried to comfort me. While my face was down on his bed for most of the time I spent crying, I did look up once and saw the Space Issue of Buzzsaw Magazine displayed on the opposite side of the room, his roommate’s side, balanced on a shelf on the wall. I told my friend, “Do you know anything about that magazine? I need to know how to get involved. I need your roommate’s phone number so they can tell me how to get started with Buzzsaw.” While my friend did not know much about the magazine, he promised to get me in touch with his roommate. With his roommate’s permission, he gave me his number so I could text him the next day and inquire more about Buzzsaw. I headed back to my own dorm room in Landon so I could grab my laptop and come back. The reason why I was so desperate to know more about Buzzsaw was that I was a writer and a poet, but I had not told anyone from my hometown or my new friends at Ithaca College yet because I was afraid of judgment and harsh critiques of my writing, and also because all of my friends knew me as a STEM-oriented person. I was afraid that people would tell me that I couldn’t do both writing and science, or that I could only be talented at one subject or the other. I had headed back to my dorm room for my laptop because I was very close to finishing my first book of poetry— now published as Look Both Ways— and after seeing a possible platform for the publication of my poems outside of self-publishing, I wanted to work on my book so I would have a couple of poems ready to go by the time the Spring semester came around. I brought my laptop back to West Tower and worked on my book in my friend’s dorm room until 1:30 a.m.. I then headed back to Landon, went to sleep, and woke up in tears again around 5 a.m., desperately texting my ex, who was now traveling by plane to Washington, D.C. for a climate protest organized by Fire Drill Fridays and questioning him on why he didn’t love me anymore, why the breakup came so suddenly, if we could get back together, etc. etc. I passed back out around 5:45 a.m., woke up again at 9:00 a.m., and texted my friend’s roommate to ask him how I could join Buzzsaw next semester.
When winter break came to a close, I attended the pitch meeting for the Clue issue, the first issue of the Spring 2020 semester, and from there, the rest is history.
Buzzaw helped me get through a horrible time in my life, and for that I am grateful. Prior to Buzzsaw, I felt as though I had to hide my writing and only write in secret, which was a miserable way to exist as a writer. By being a part of Buzzsaw, I was able to work past both heartbreak and the fear of sending my writing out into the world. I am grateful for a place to have put my writing for the past four years, I am grateful for the writers and editors I have met, and I am grateful for the opportunities I have been given by being a part of this club. I have published numerous pieces in the issues throughout the years, I became the Prose and Cons editor in the Fall 2021 semester, and I became the president and website editor in the Fall 2022 semester. I have enjoyed every second of reading, editing, and gathering as a community. I have grown both as a writer and editor since joining Buzzsaw, and I have been honored to lead Buzzsaw for the past year. It is a community I will miss very much and I know it is a community that will be impossible to find elsewhere. Until I found Buzzsaw, I had no creative outlet, no one to ask for advice on my writing, and I was scared to let others know about my hobby. Since joining Buzzsaw, I have also become a more talented and confident writer, thanks to the help of my fellow editors. It has felt so nice to share a different part of myself with the world, a part of myself that I really love, and I know I would not have been able to come as far as I have without Buzzsaw.
Thank you for everything, Buzzsaw. I’ll miss this community.