Cover of literary journal about the eclipse

Buffalo State Student-Produced ‘ELJ: The Eclipse Edition’ Debuts April 12


Elm Leaves Journal, Buffalo State’s literary annual, will release its Eclipse Edition, a collection of writing to commemorate the once-in-a-lifetime total solar eclipse, with a free public launch on Friday, April 12, from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. in the Campbell Student Union. The event will include food, drinks, and readings and presentations from featured writer T. L. Sherwood, students, and alumni.

The journal will also be part of Buffalo State’s Eclipse Fest on campus on April 8, during which featured writer Nancy McCabe will read an excerpt from her work.

When associate professor of English and ELJ chief editor Kim K. Chinquee learned about the 2024 total solar eclipse, she recognized an opportunity for cross-departmental collaboration.

“As soon I heard, I approached Kevin Williams,” she said. “We haven’t had an issue before that collaborated with the sciences.” 

Williams, associate professor of geosciences and director of the Whitworth Ferguson Planetarium, has spearheaded the eclipse celebration events at Buffalo State for the past year

To ensure the issue’s completion in time for the eclipse, the project was helmed by students in the fall section of Chinquee’s ENG 327: Literary Publishing class, who sorted through an abundance of themed submissions: fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. 

“We received a lot of submissions,” Chinquee said. “Some contain the word ‘eclipse,’ some are about the eclipse, some are about how things can eclipse other things.”

ELJ has been in existence since 1948, always administered, edited, and produced by Buffalo State students. In 2013, after a brief hiatus, the publication was reimagined as an international literary journal under Chinquee’s editorship. The 2013 edition was the first to include work by writers outside the Buffalo State community, be printed by a professional publisher, and involve students earning credit in Chinquee’s Literary Publishing class, three practices that continue today.

Students are involved in the selection, editing, layout, and formatting of the journal. “Every piece in the issue is vetted through the class,” Chinquee explained. “We discuss the quality of the work, how the pieces work together, strengths and weaknesses. The process of putting the book together is a great experience and résumé builder.” 

Since ELJ takes submissions and solicits work from published, award-winning authors, students learn from and build connections with professional writers. Chinquee herself is the award-winning author of numerous collections whose work has appeared in hundreds of journals and anthologies. The recipient of three Pushcart Prizes and a Henfield Prize, she is currently the senior editor of New World Writing Quarterly, associate editor of Midwest Review, and co-director of the Buffalo State writing major.

The Eclipse Edition is largely funded by the Whitworth Ferguson Planetarium and the Geosciences Department, with supplemental coverage from Buffalo State alumna and benefactor Ilene Fleischmann, ’73. Chinquee hopes to continue similar collaborations for future issues.

She encourages purchase of ELJ: The Eclipse Edition as a commemorative artistic keepsake. Copies have been distributed to the edition’s writers and editors; they will be able to experience the event with their contributions in hand.

 “It’s a piece of art you can take with you,” Chinquee said. “The eclipse lasts four minutes, but these creative works last forever.”

ELJ: The Eclipse Edition is available for purchase for $16. Inquiries should be directed to

To purchase tickets for Eclipse Fest, please visit Buffalo State’s eclipse website

Cover design by Joan Wilking