The Blue Ash Review, both print and digital versions, is produced through the Department of English and Communication at UC Blue Ash College. Our campus is located in Blue Ash, Ohio, north of UC’s uptown campus in Cincinnati. We offer associate and bachelor’s degree programs in the liberal arts, business, and several health fields, attracting students and faculty with a broad range of interests and talents.
Our magazine is also a product of the Liberal Arts Program at UC Blue Ash. We work with faculty and staff throughout the college to identify students with an interest in the creative and literary arts, and encourage them to submit their work to the magazine. We also feature the work of award-winning authors who visit our campus.
This online version will supplement our print edition, and represents a new phase in the magazine’s history, allowing us to expand our literary offerings, publish our contest winners more quickly, and broaden our readership. A digital archive will include our more recent out-of-print issues. In addition to work by UCBA students, faculty, and staff, we also seek submissions from beyond our campus. Our online version will permit us to include more extensive and varied visual material, audio recordings, and experimental audio-visual texts that take advantage of the electronic medium. Go to our Submissions section for submission information and instructions.
A Little History
There have been many versions of a literary magazine on our campus since the college was established in 1967, then named the University of Cincinnati Raymond Walters College after Dr. Walters, UC’s longest tenured president.
The first issue was published in 1969, the product of the Creative Writing Workshop taught then, with help from faculty advisors. Beginning with Act 1, Scene 69, the magazine went by at least twelve different titles before becoming the Blue Ash Review. Many of these early titles capture the social and creative turbulence of the late 1960s and 1970s: Mind’s Mirror; Walter the Lit Mag; The Bottom Drawer; Bald Bobby’s Barbecued Beef on a Bun; Lit Mag; Ersatz (this one lasted three years), doordreams, Scattered Pieces, etherea . . ., Heartsounds, and Kaleidoscope.
The physical appearance of these issues ranged from (roughly, in inches) 8.5 x 5.5, 8.25 x 7, 8.5 x 11, and back to its current 8.5 x 5.5. Cover designs and colors varied, and the magazine’s contents primarily featured student literary writing, with a scattering of drawings, sketches, and cartoons. Blue Ash Review became the official title sometime around 1992.
As our campus expanded its academic programs and services, writing contests emerged from the Department of English and Communication, the Writing and Study Skills Center, and the Liberal Arts Program, providing poetry, fiction, and essays by winning students for the magazine. After the college initiated an annual celebration of National Poetry Month with poetry and song writing contests, readings, and open mic performances, the Blue Ash Review included contest winners, as well as interviews with guest authors and artists, and art and photography by students.
Meet the Team
Rhonda Pettit, PhD
Rhonda Pettit, PhD, is a professor of English at UC Blue Ash, and an Affiliate Faculty member of the UC Department of Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies. She is editor of the print edition of the Blue Ash Review, and serves on the editorial board of the Blue Ash Review Online. Her creative work includes two poetry volumes, Riding the Wave Train (Dos Madres Press, 2017) and Fetal Waters (Finishing Line Press, 2013), and The Global Lovers, a poetic drama that premiered at the 2010 Cincinnati Fringe Festival. She has also worked collaboratively with H. Michael Sanders, and individually on a series of poems and collages. Her scholarly work has focused on Dorothy Parker’s poetry and fiction: The Critical Waltz: Essays on the Work of Dorothy Parker (2005) and A Gendered Collision (2000), both published by Associated University Presses. She teaches creative writing, women’s literature, and composition, and coordinates a year-long poetry celebration featuring writing contests, guest poets, performances, and interviews for UCTV Online.
H. Michael Sanders
H. Michael Sanders is Professor and Department Chairperson of Electronic Media Communications at UC Blue Ash College. He is an artist, photographer and poet. His video work and photography have been exhibited nationally and internationally. He co-founded the UCBA Art Gallery with faculty colleague and gallery director, John Wolfer. He serves as curator and editor of gallery publications. He is also founder editor of MetaDada: The International Journal of Dada Mining. He often collaborates on media projects with William Boyle, with whom he completed an Artist’s Residency at the Experimental Television Workshop in Owego, NY. He also collaborates regularly with Blue Ash Review colleague Rhonda Pettit on visual, written and recorded projects. His most recent publications include Wordmonger: Postcard Poems (May 2018) and Ocular Rosacea and Aural Cacophony: Visual Newspaper Poems (June 2018).
Claudia Skutar is an associate professor of English at the University of Cincinnati. She teaches composition, creative writing, literature, and introduction to liberal arts at the university’s Blue Ash College. As a scholar, Dr. Skutar has studied and written about the work of contemporary American poet Mary Oliver and her roots in the Romantic tradition.
Dr. Skutar also writes articles, book reviews, creative nonfiction, and poetry. Her creative themes encompass the natural landscape—and the Michigan landscape, in particular—as a backdrop to describe ideas about the predator/prey relationship, suffering, and loss among both animals and humans. She’s taught creative writing and poetry workshops to university students in Michigan and Ohio and to community members in the Cincinnati area. She’s also been a guest poet at Michigan State University, University of Cincinnati Blue Ash College, and Wright State University.
Her creative work has been published in the Blue Ash Review; Express Cincinnati; Fresh Water: Women Writing on the Great Lakes; Telling Our Own Stories, 1998 Detroit Worker-Writer Festival, an anthology published as part of the National Writer’s Union YMCA Writer’s Voice Project, and a Tupelo Press chapbook anthology.
Scholarly work includes a co-authored book chapter in Faculty Learning Communities in Two-Year Colleges: Sustaining Scholars by Stylus Publishing and a co-authored case study chapter in Case Studies for Assessing Student Learning in General Education published by Anker Publishing Company.
Amber Kuftic is the Program Coordinator for the English and Communication, Veterinary Technology, History, Philosophy, and Political Science departments, in addition to the Honors Program at the UC Blue Ash. She received the 2018 Rising Star award, which is presented to UC Blue Ash staff members who have demonstrated outstanding contributions to the college within the first three years of their tenure. She was recently nominated for the Provost’s Staff Excellence Award for staff who have gone above and beyond to perform their duties, in an outstanding manner that directly contributes to the success of the university’s academic mission. In addition to her work duties, she is currently working on a graduate degree in Educational Studies with a concentration in Higher Education Administration.
Editorial Technical Associate
William Boyle is currently Studio/Lab Manager and Adjunct Associate Professor in Electronic Media Communications at University of Cincinnati Blue Ash College. He teaches courses in photography, video and audio production. During his more than 20 years at UC, he has worked on countless collaborative projects with H. Michael Sanders involving video, audio, photography, music and motion graphics. His previous work experience involved commercial quality control, recording and duplication for AGT/SpotLink for clients like Disney, Columbia-Tristar Pictures, Dreamworks-SKG, Jenny Craig, Nissan, The Home Depot and General Motors.