The College of Charleston publication Illuminations: An International Magazine of Contemporary Writing is now available.

The publication is created by the College’s English Department and features South Carolinian poets and writers. The current issue (Illuminations 31) focuses on the mass shooting at Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston in June 2015 and how it directly and indirectly impacts the state’s race relations. 

Among the poets featured, Matthew Foley ’08, a College of Charleston alum and Charleston high school teacher, writes in direct response to the shooting of Walter Scott. Also, South Carolina Poet Laureate and College of Charleston adjunct professor Marjory Wentworth contributes three poems including One River, One Boat, written for the re-inauguration of S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley.

The issue also includes portraits by local photographer Jack Alterman, selected from his East Siders Matter series.

In addition to the strong thematic content of the first half of the issue, Illuminations also includes its customary mix of established and up-and-coming writers from the United States and around the world. Anchoring this section of the issue is a previously unpublished interview with Nobel Prize-winner Seamus Heaney conducted in 1984 by Illuminations’ founder-editor Peter MacMillan.

Simon Lewis

Illuminations is currently edited by College of Charleston English professor Simon Lewis

Illuminations has published the work of three Literature Nobelists (Seamus Heaney, Joseph Brodsky and Nadine Gordimer) and two Peace Prize-winners (Desmond Tutu and climate-scientist Chris Magadza). 

The magazine has run special issues on writing from South Africa, Vietnam, Cuba, Haiti, Zimbabwe, and Greece, and has featured prominent photographers and artists, such as Simon Norfolk and David Hockney, as well as interviews with poets and writers such as Athol Fugard and Tim O’Brien.

Copies of Illuminations are available by contacting editor Simon Lewis at or 843.953.4972.