History and Mission


Early History of the Divide:
Kirkwood always had a literary magazine. First there was Bicycle, founded by students with funding and guidance from the Student Activities Office (now Student Life) during the late 1960’s. Then in the 1970’s came Fingerprints, still funded by Student Activities but designed, printed and probably edited by the Graphic Arts faculty.
By 1980 the Communication Arts Department, then home to the English faculty, was eager to adopt an arts and literary magazine of its own. We solicited art and literary submissions from anyone who had ever taken any sort of course at Kirkwood, credit or non-credit, and from the faculty and staff.
Where did we get the title? We advertised a contest, asking that title suggestions be submitted anonymously. From among 20 or 30 suggestions the student editors chose Cedar Valley Divide. As faculty sociologist Robert Frenier was fond of pointing out, Kirkwood’s Cedar Rapids campus sits on the watershed between the Cedar and Iowa Rivers, the divide. Voila.
Funding at the time came from Student Activities while the Graphic Arts faculty and students did the layout, typesetting and printing. We gave them a typed copy (no personal computers yet), photographs, and a dummy layout. Our first budget was $800 for 800 copies; no color printing allowed! The first issue of Cedar Valley Divide appeared in the spring of 1981. We were rolling.
At some point, perhaps in 1991, we began taking the galleys off-campus to be printed. That was a major shift: for the first time, student editors were preparing the entire layout on computers. We experimented with die-cutting and colored paper (red) to enliven our black-and- white cover. In 1993 the course Editing a Literary Magazine was developed and the next generation of the Cedar Valley Divide began.
(Major content for this history provided by Ann Zerkel, faculty advisor to the Divide from 1980 to 1996.)

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Mission Statement:
The Cedar Valley Divide is a literary and art magazine operated by Kirkwood students. It seeks to provide a creative outlet not only for Kirkwood students, but their friends, family and the Cedar Valley community. Now in Iowa City for the third year, the CVD staff looks forward to fresh and expanding perspectives
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-2013 Cedar Valley Divide Staff