Vancouver Island University students will be holding a launch party for Portal Magazine on Thursday night.

Vancouver Island University students will be holding a launch party for Portal Magazine on Thursday night.

Students launch annual magazine

Gary Geddes will be guest speaker at Portal launch party.

After months of hard work, the creative writing students at Vancouver Island University are set to launch the latest edition of Portal Magazine.

In order to celebrate their achievement, the students will be holding a magazine launch party at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre tonight (April 9).

Magazine publisher and Vancouver Island University instructor, Joy Gugeler, considers the launch party a “magazine prom.”

“Everybody gets dressed up,” Gugeler said. “We have hors d’oeuvres and cocktails.”

The annual full colour magazine is completely student produced and includes roughly 25 pieces of fiction, poetry, non-fiction and script.

“It’s been getting bigger and bigger each year,” Gugeler said.

The party’s keynote speaker will be author and poet Gary Geddes, who was awarded the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence in 2008

Gugeler said Geddes, who has been a professor at number of universities and is the author of Drink the Bitter Root: A Search for Justice and Healing in Africa, is the ideal speaker for the creative writing students.

“He covers so many bases for students and for the community, too,” Gugeler said. “He has spent four years as distinguished professor for Canadian culture at Western Washington University and so he has represented Canada and his writings in a number of ways.”

The Portal Magazine launch party takes place in the Mt. Benson Ballroom D at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre, 101 Gordon St., at 7 p.m., with the doors opening at 6:30 p.m.

Tickets are $5 for general admission or $12 for admission plus a copy of the magazine.  For more information, including online ticket purchases, please visit www.viu.ca.arts@nanaimobulletin.comFollow @npescod on Twitter