Who we are
We're UF's only undergraduate literary and arts magazine, of course.
Run exclusively by and for the undergraduate students of University of Florida, Tea Literary & Arts Magazine publishes the best writing and artwork created by our student body. Our publication is created entirely with the time volunteered by our staff. We strive to show the power and capability of Gainesville artists, writers, and creatives.
Tea takes pride in being a platform for UF undergraduate students of all identities. Our meetings are safe spaces and we work each day to create a place of security, positivity, and support for our staff and for the rest of the students at UF.
We currently have an all-women editorial team and we create our magazine with the intent to showcase the voices less heard. We have worked with the UF Center for Gender, Sexualities, and Women's Studies Research, Dragonfly Graphics, and other Gainesville communities and companies who also work to foster diverse learning and research environments.
Where we came from
When you open the second-ever issue of Tea, this is what you read in the masthead:
“Tea is the official hardcore java jivin’ subterranean ‘little pieces are stupid,’ nerve-wracking, sunshine-spewing, bloodletting, shin-diggin’, shirtless platito de pollo, spry leather whips, bondage fetish (?) and otherwise general poetry/ficción zine of the University of Florida.”
It was made on a borrowed Xerox machine and hand-stapled. The contents vary from hand-scribbled letters, a poem titled “How to Write” by Matthew DeVille, and dedications to Lou Reed, Princess Leah, Henry Miller, Chopin, and Harriet the Spy.
It maintains a sort of punk-rock, tongue-in-cheek, refuse-to-take-yourself-seriously ideology that we at Tea still find to be very, very important in life and in publishing, and work to keep today.
Blackbird Prize for Poetry
Honors students published in Tea are all eligible for the Blackbird Prize for Poetry. The prize is provided by the Wentworth Scholarship Fund and is sponsored by the UF Honors Program. It was originally advocated for by Dr. Kevin Knudson, Professor of Mathematics and former Director of the UF Honors Program. In 2012, Dr. Knudson named the prize after one of his favorite poems, “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird” by Wallace Stevens.
“Buried Alive” by Martha Paz-Soldan has been selected by our former Poetry Editor, Leah Brand, to be the 2019 winner.
Here is what she had to say about it:
“Martha Paz-Soldan’s writing style is cinematic and kinetic. Her poem, ‘Buried Alive,’ pulls its reader through scenery, history, and the emotions that are tied to a physical place. In this poem Paz-Soldan is nostalgic, but not uncritical. She tells an emotionally dense story in a compact form.”
Palmetto Prize for Prose
All prose submissions published in Tea are eligible to receive the Palmetto Prize for Prose. One student each year is selected by Professor Jill Ciment, the award-winning writer of Small Claims, The Law of Falling Bodies, Teeth of the Dog, and other works. Each student awarded the Palmetto Prize has their name etched onto the plaque displayed in the UF English Department.
There was no prose published in Volume 21, so Jill Ciment guided us to Ange Mlinko, who selected a poem to collect the title. A renowned poet and critic, Mlinko is the poetry editor of Subtropics, has edited for The Nation, was named a Guggenheim Fellow, and has published five award-winning books of poetry. She has selected “Leander and Hero” by Danilo Marin as the 2019 winner:
“[The poem] is exemplary in the way that it grounds a mythical couple in a sensory world we can recognize—olive oil, gulls, soft bed sheets, and irrational passion. I especially liked the ending, where Hero cannot “harbor” her body’s weight before throwing herself off the tower: the word “harbor” which has associations of “safe harbor,” is deployed ironically to give a sense of her tragic wit as well as her despair.”