In 1987, The Atlas Observer, a short-lived moniker of the student newspaper, announced that “in search of an outlet for their creative energy a group of USF students met and resolved to establish a new USF literary publication.” The following year, and with official aid from Associate Students of University of San Francisco (ASUSF), the campus literary magazine was officially re-launched as Ignatian in honor of – but not necessarily in the spirit of – its early twentieth-century origins.
Since 1988, the magazine has been consistently produced as an annual publication under the aegis of the USF Department of English, featuring art, prose, poetry, and photography from current students, alumni, faculty, and staff. The magazine has since dedicated itself to uplifting a diversity of voices by exploring themes of gender identity, expression of sexuality, race-based oppression, struggles with one’s spirituality, and the challenging, yet thrilling, experience of being a young adult in San Francisco.
For the last two decades, Ignatian has expanded its reach beyond the USF community, welcoming submissions from established and emerging artists and authors from around the world. In Spring 2023, the staff unanimously decided on “Ignatian” as the magazine’s official name, formally removing the definite article that has intermittently appeared in its title throughout its history.
With the unexpected onslaught of the Covid-19 global pandemic, and in an effort to remain a vital part of the USF community, Ignatian published its first ever online publication in May 2020. Reviving its traditional print issue during the 2022-23 academic year, the editors and staff turned the magazine into a hybrid literary journal: a two-volume digital series for the Fall and Spring semesters, and, in tribute to Ignatian’s substantial print history, a single printed “compendium” of the entire academic year’s best prose and poetry.
Ignatian remains a student-run effort, functioning as a class that meets twice a week that requires dedication, professionalism, and a passion for writing from each student. With support from the Gleeson Library team, funding from the Department of English and College of Arts and Sciences, the guidance of an English department faculty advisor and teaching assistant from the MFA in Writing graduate program, and extraordinary submissions from writers and artists around the world, the legacy of USF’s diverse and esteemed student literary magazine is honored through each publication of Ignatian.