The Voice of Bates College Since 1873

The Bates Student

The Voice of Bates College Since 1873

The Bates Student

The Voice of Bates College Since 1873

The Bates Student

Snaggletooth: The Wonderfully Peculiar Literary Magazine

Screenshot of the Snaggletooth “microissue” 12, published winter of 2024.

Do you ever feel yourself jutting out from the norm? Sticking out a bit? Perchance feeling unserious, peculiar, or exceptionally introspective? If any of these feelings resonate with you, the inner workings of your mind might find an unfiltered place to gather, and that place just might be Pettingill Hall, room 162 at 7 p.m. every Monday at Snaggletooth Magazine’s weekly meeting. 

As Bates’ only student-run literary magazine, Snaggletooth aims to provide a creative space that is both “for and by the community,” as described on the magazine’s website. Since it was founded by two underclassmen in 2018, Snaggletooth, more commonly referred to as Snag, has been the home for all things arts at Bates College. 

This past week, The Student sat down with Talia Skaistis ‘25 and Audrey Esteves ‘26, the managing co-editors in chief of Snaggletooth to learn about the behind the scenes of this elusive and impactful literary establishment.

Twice a year, the Snaggletooth team creates and publishes multimedia collections of poetry, prose, photography, sketches, and anything that a creative Bates (or beyond) mind can possibly dream up. Notably, these publications are not bound by themes, formats, or mediums, but only by the ultimate goal of offering an outlet for the written word and the organic, complex nature of the human mind. 

Although the bi-yearly Snaggletooth publications are confined by no theme, so as to highlight the creative potential and diversity of student writers and artists, Snaggletooth works to make each issue fluid, constructing a narrative between the individual works. 

“It’s kind of serendipitous sometimes, how things match so well, with each other and feel so connected,” Esteves commented. 

To prepare for each publication, the team assembles a collection of submissions from Bates students, friends, and faculty, which they call the “slush.” From here, the editors, along with contributing editors and meeting attendees work through the slush, facilitating open dialogues on the submissions. The team places emphasis on what language they use when assessing a work, avoiding objective terms such as “like,” “dislike,” “good,” and “bad,” acknowledging the subjective nature of the creative arts. With this, the managing editors are very intentional in opening the floor in editing meetings, allowing everyone to share their feelings. They value the communal assessment of works, emphasizing the extent to which they can better understand a piece in a group context. 

“It’s such a collaborative space that sometimes you have a gut reaction about a piece and when you get to speak about it with a lot of people it changes your whole perspective on it,”.  Esteves said. 

In addition to the two main issues that they produce each year, Snaggletooth also publishes one themed micro-issue, as well as a collection of mini-magazines (zines, if you will) and other smaller publications. This year’s most recent micro-issue was titled After Dark. This issue compiled installations inspired by the contemplation, danger, and mystery that come with the earliest hours of the night. This publication “takes place over the course of a night, with each piece of writing and art indicating a different point in the night,” as ascribed in a letter from the editors at the beginning of the issue. 

Snaggletooth released its 11th issue this past fall, in conjunction with the 12th micro-issue and a zine, which they called MOSH! In collaboration with Bates Musicians Union (BMU,) this publication spotlights student musicians and performers from across the Bates Campus. This spring, Snaggletooth is working towards the publication of its 13th issue. 

Since its founding in 2018, the club has gained momentum and attention across campus and has now become a widely established, respected, and loved group. In the last three years, especially, Snaggletooth has been able to really develop in a post-COVID world. “Snag was very different when I joined as a freshman,” Skaistis explained. “It was really small, mostly online, and we didn’t have the big, inclusive network that we do now.” 

Over the last few years, Snaggletooth has established itself across the Bates campus and beyond as a unique, collaborative, and professional literary magazine. Snaggletooth has given not only a name but an energy to the magazine, hosting open mic nights, writing workshops, and collective creation spaces, to which all members of the Bates community are invited and welcomed. 

“To me,” Skaistis explained, “Snag is a home for all the people at Bates who are creative, who are a little bit unserious, and who want to be around other people who are like that. Even if you don’t write, or don’t do art, you can still find a place in Snag.” 

Looking down the line, Skaistis and Esteves hope to lean into the community that this club has become. “We all kind of came into this year with the intention of transforming Snag into a more collaborative, community-based arts collective. It sounds ambitious, but in reality, it’s what Snag has become.” Esteves explained. “It’s not just a magazine, or a literary publication, it reflects so much of what people are making on campus.”

Within the next few weeks, Snag has multiple events in the works that will highlight projects and multimedia creative projects across the Bates Campus, including collaborations with BMU, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), Tree Street Youth, and Raices Unidas. 

Eventually, Snaggletooth hopes that they can reach a point where they can sponsor people’s creative processes outside of the context of their large publications: supporting artists to make what they want to make, when they want to make it.

The ability to develop and grow in this way is somewhat contingent on the funding that Bates is willing and able to provide for the magazine. “At the end of the day, we just want to keep getting copies of Snag into people’s hands,” Skaistis remarked. “It’s so important, the physicality of printed art and printed writing,” Esteves said, echoing Skaistis’ statements on the value of printed work. “There’s something there that you can’t get from the screen.” 

And they’re right. Talking to Snaggletooth and seeing the energy that the magazine has corroborated, it’s clear that this club is cultivating an outlet for something that nothing else on the Bates campus is providing. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of building, nourishing, and prioritizing a community-based creative platform for this school. Snaggletooth stands as a beautiful testament to the value of this space, to the power in jutting out, and to the celebration of the impolitic. 

This magazine is nothing short of sharp, unsettling, and deeply organic – a true passion project, started by artists whose goals are to make art, share art, admire art, and create a platform in which their whole community feels free to do the same.

I prompt you all, as members of the Bates Community, to explore the creative potential of your peers and within yourself. Revel in the impact of creative arts, read the latest Snaggletooth issue, and heck, submit to Snaggletooth!

To learn more about the inner workings of Snaggletooth Magazine and view all of their past issues, check out, email [email protected], or pop by Pgill room 162 next Monday for their weekly club meeting!

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Sydney Schuster, Assistant Features Editor

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