Penumbra (pi-num-bruh) ~ A space of partial illumination (as in an eclipse) between the perfect shadow on all sides and the full light
On Thursday, March 30, several upper schoolers took part in an on-campus Penumbra retreat. The club, which has been operating and publishing its yearly issue of Penumbra for decades, also began publishing an online version, Penumbra Weekly, in December.
Co-editors in chief, Nancy Duer ‘23 and Jaidan Voelkner ‘23, have both been heavily involved with Penumbra during their time in the Upper School.
“A lot of people step outside of their comfort zone. They’re proud of their writing, they want to put it out there,” said Duer. “It's a beautiful way to provide a platform for the community.”
A lifer at GFA, Duer says Penumbra is a great way to end her time here while leaving behind something that is a great representation of herself and the club.
For Voelkner, her first exposure to Penumbra was before she stepped foot on campus for her first day of classes. After receiving her acceptance, she was connected to Gail Greiner, Upper School English teacher and Advisor for Penumbra. At her previous school, Voelkner started a literary magazine, so she was keen to keep doing that at GFA. Her connection to Greiner & early insight into Penumbra made her that much more excited to begin at GFA.
During their retreat, upper school members took time reading and organizing submissions for their bigger print publication this spring. While they get several submissions for Penumbra each week, the way in which they review each submission is unique. Each submission is printed out anonymously, without the name of the author, allowing the editors to read and reflect on each piece in an unbiased and honest manner.
For the magazine, editors choose a theme based on the content. Previous themes have included ‘celestial,’ ‘nature,’ and ‘covid,’ serving as whole reflections of the year itself and the works written by contributors. The theme for 2023 will be released with the publication of Penumbra 2023 later this spring, at their annual dedication ceremony on May 24.
Nancy Duer and Jaidan Voelkner
Assistant Art Director
Associate Managing Editor
Editor of Penumbra Weekly
Associate Editor of Penumbra Weekly