Inspired by RHINO, Von Steuben Students Launch Poetry Magazine Ricochet Review

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Ricochet Review and Von Steuben student Maria De Leon  with teacher, poetry translator, and Ricochet Review co-founder Maja Teref at the RHINO 2013 release party.

RHINO inspired recently launched high school lit mag, Ricochet Review. “The seeds for Ricochet were planted last spring when Maja Teref invited Von Steuben Principal Pedro Alonso to a reading sponsored by Rhino Poetry . . .” Read the article here.


RHINO poet Steven Teref and co-founder of Ricochet Review recalls that Von Steuben Metropolitan Science Center Principal Pedro Alonso attended to hear teacher Maja Teref and him read a poem they translated that was published in the 2012 issue. During the reading, Mr. Alonso was inspired by RHINO’s readers and the high quality of the magazine. After the reading, Mr. Alonso asked the Terefs what it would take to start a poetry magazine at Von Steuben MSC. From that conversation, Ricochet Review was born.


Ricochet Review is a student-run magazine that publishes high school poets who’ve been mentored by established poets. The magazine publishes work by the students and their mentors, and reflections by them about the mentoring process and what each learned from the other.


A year later, Ricochet Review editors and poets came to hear RHINO’s poets read work published in the 2013 issue. Shortly after, RHINO editors came to Ricochet Review’s inaugural release party. To date editors Virginia Bell, Angela Narciso Torres, and Jacob Saenz are now mentoring student poets for Ricochet Review’s second issue.

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Poet and Ricochet Review Editor Steven Teref with three Von Steuben and Ricochet Review students.


RHINO editor Virginia Bell on her experience: “As the title “Ricochet” suggests, the brilliance of this journal comes from the interplay between pairs of writers, so-called apprentice poets and master poets.  In the past month of mentoring a high school student writer, I have been startled, moved, inspired, and reminded of why my life involves reading, writing, and teaching poetry at all.”

Novice writers have the gift of what Dean Young calls “the art of recklessness,” the ability to take risks while writing, to write with abandon, and to write without too much self-censorship. What often emerges is a natural wellspring of technique, as well as profound motivation.  Their work is driven by a refreshingly urgent need for expression.  Although my job is to help a young writer become more conscious and aware of craft, and to practice revision, I am learning anew as much as I am guiding and teaching.  A mutual and reciprocal relationship–a kind of collaboration really–is at the heart of this wonderful new journal.”


RHINO editor Angela Narciso Torres: “As a graduate of a low-residency MFA program at whose heart lies one-on-one individualized instruction through regular correspondence between mentor and student, I jumped at the chance to participate as a mentor in Maja and Steven Teref’s high school poetry program. Having been on the receiving end of rigorous critique of my poems, careful attention to what makes each poem work, and honest ongoing assessments of my strengths and weaknesses as a poet—all from the hands of trusted and knowledgeable master poets in a mentorship role—I felt this high school program was the perfect opportunity for me to give back. What a gift it would be if all young aspiring poets could be granted access to a community of writers who cared about as much as they did about their own poetry.  Ricochet’s mentorship program is a sure step in this direction, and I am proud to be part of it.”

Ricochet Review Release Party with Maja Teref, Angela Narciso Torres, Josalyn Knapic, Steven Teref, Von Steuben MSC Principal Pedro Alonso, Jacob Saenz, Kenyatta Rogers.  (photo courtesy Ricochet Review).

Ricochet Review Release Party with Maja Teref, Angela Narciso Torres, Josalyn Knapic, Steven Teref, Von Steuben MSC Principal Pedro Alonso, Jacob Saenz, Kenyatta Rogers. (photo courtesy Ricochet Review).

Poetry Forum Led by Steven Teref – Fourth Sunday Poetry Workshop – February 24, 2013


Evanston Public Library

Church & Orrington

1:30-4:30 — Room 108

Steven Teref is the translator of Assembly (Host Publications, 2009), the selected poems of the Serbian poet Novica Tadic. Steven’s translations and poetry have appeared in numerous literary magazines, such as Rhino, Another Chicago Magazine, South Loop Review, and forthcoming in Artifice Magazine. He teaches literature and writing at Columbia College Chicago where last year he was the recipient of an Excellence in Teaching Award. He is the founder and editor-in-chief of Ricochet Review. The first issue is due out this spring.

TOPIC:  Translation as Cover Song Translation has much to teach writers about the suppleness of language. The act of translation, paired with reading work in translation, reveals the nuance of meaning and intention. Translation is an interpretation much like the cover of a song (i.e., a new version of an original or previously recorded song): the success or failure of a cover rests on enhancing the tone, pacing, texture, or complexity of the original. Now, imagine if one had access only to covers. Which cover is the “best?” Rarely does a faithful rendition garner that honor.

Bring 17 or more copies (2 page limit) of a poem you want critiqued.*$5 – $10 donation appreciated.

This project is partially supported by grants from:   Poets & Writers, the Illinois Arts Council

and The MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation.

RHINO Reads! Open Mic & Featured Readers Maja Teref, Steven Teref, & Helen Degen Cohen 11-30-12

Open Mike        6:00 pm – 6:30 pm

Featured Poets        6:45 pm – 7:30 pm

Brothers K

500 Main St.

Evanston, IL


Maja Teref is the translator of Assembly, the selected poems of Novica Tadić (Host Publications, 2009). Her translations have appeared in Conduit, Black Clock, and 6×6. She teaches AP Literature and Composition classes at Von Steuben Metropolitan Science Center, Chicago and is an CollegeBoard AP English Lit Reader. She is also a past president of IL TESOL (Illinois Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages).

Steven Teref is the translator of Assembly, the selected poems of Novica Tadić (Host Publications, 2009). His poems and translations have appeared in Conduit, Rhino,
Dirty Goat and elsewhere. He teaches poetry workshops and literature at Columbia College Chicago.

Helen Degen Cohen is the author of fiction, essays, memoir, work for theater and for children, and most of all poetry, including the collections Habry, On A Good Day One Discovers Another Poet, Neruda Nights, and the larger collection The Book of Night Writing. “Edge of the Field”, an essay, is featured in the anthology “Where We Find Ourselves“and received first prize in Stand Magazine’s International Short Story Competition (England) and is reprinted at Her essay “God of the Prison received an Illinois Arts Council Literary Award and is at  Levure Litteraire. Her poems about the war received a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Cohen has also received  three Illinois Arts Council Literary Awards in fiction and poetry, an Indiana Writers’ Conference Award in Poetry, an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship, and fellowships to the major art colonies, including Yaddo, The MacDowell Colony, the Virginia Center For Creative Arts, and Ragdale, or, as she once called it, Home.  She  has worked statewide as Artist-In-Education through the Illinois Arts Council, taught at Roosevelt University, and is a founding and current editor of RHINO and coordinates its monthly Poetry Forum.

Her poems have been published in The Partisan Review, Another Chicago Magazine, The Minnesota Review, The Spoon River Poetry Review, The Antigonish Review, Versal, Stand Magazine, Akcent, and Nimrod. Her work is the subject of the essays “Rootlessness and Alienation in the Poetry of Helen Degen Cohen” by Miriam Dean-Notting (Kenyon College), in Shofar (University of Nebraska Press) and “This Dark Poland – Ethnicity in the work of Helen Degen Cohen” by John Guzlowski in Something of My Very Own To Say: American Woman Writers of Polish Descent (Columbia University Press).

Helen Degen Cohen was born Halina Degenfisz (Halinka) in Poland.  Her childhood includes time in the Lida Ghetto in Belorus, a year in hiding, and a couple of post-war years in a Displaced Persons camp in West Germany.  Upon coming to the U.S. her parents decided to settle in Chicago, where she remained and raised her own family.

As always, authors will have books available for purchase & signing!