About Phaethon, the literary and arts publication of Herkimer College.

The myth of Phaethon is simple. He seeks to know his father. So he asks his mother Clymene, and she tells him his father is none other than Apollo, the god of the sun. Phaethon goes to Apollo and asks for some proof of their relationship, and Apollo says he will grant him one wish. Phaethon wishes to drive Apollo’s chariot that pulls the sun across the sky. The only being that can do this successfully is Apollo himself. Not even Zeus can pull the sun across the sky. Knowing this, Apollo tries to dissuade Phaethon from this task. This does not work, and Phaethon is placed in charge of the chariot and its horses that breathe fire. Doomed from the start, Phaethon loses control of the chariot and nearly burns up the Earth. The Earth cries out to Zeus for help, and Zeus strikes Phaethon dead with a thunderbolt. Phaethon, now a falling star, plunged into the river Eridanos still ablaze. His epitaph reads:

Here Phaethon lies who in the sun-god’s chariot fared.
And though he greatly failed, more greatly he dared.

In the spirit of this figure, we at the Phaethon value bold, confident, daring, courageous, and risky fiction, poetry, and art. Phaethon is not a tragic figure. His actions, that of a mere mortal, for a brief moment of time are equal to an immortal. He did something no other mortal, or immortal for that matter, could ever do. His confidence, courage, and daring are an inspiration to all of us. We too, if we risk our very lives, can be gods.

So we want pieces that challenge, inspire, stump, and move us. We crave new expression. New ideas. New connections. We do not value art that tests the boundaries of expression. We value art that obliterates them.

Faculty Advisors:
Andrew Devitt, Assistant Professor, English
Blake Pitcher, Assistant Professor, Digital Graphics
Matthew Powers, Instructor, English

We welcome feedback at


Phaethon 2023

2023 Phaethon


All awards from Community College Humanities Association, Eastern Division, Small Colleges


  • 3rd Place, Best Magazine, Eastern Region, Small Colleges
  • Best Short Stories: 3rd Place, "The Ivory Cabinet" by Carynn Bohley ‘21 (Salem, NY)


  • 2nd Place, Best Magazine Eastern Region, Small Colleges
  • Best Creative Nonfiction: 1st Place: "Are We Just That Primitive" by Dillon Cowen (Waterville, NY)
  • Best Short Stories: 1st Place: "God Wears Ruffled Socks" by Raychel Alvarez ’20 (Brooklyn, NY)


Phaethon was named best magazine in the Eastern Division, small colleges by the Community College Humanities Association. This means we are one of the Top 10 publications in the nation, regardless of size. 

Individual awards, Eastern Division (includes colleges of all sizes):

  • 1st Place, Best Magazine (small colleges)
  • 1st Place, Creative Non-Fiction: “Mistakes & Mischief” by Skyeler Brodkorb
  • 2nd Place, Fiction: “Small Talk” by Aubrey Ketcham
  • 2nd Place, Artwork: “Frida Kahlo” by Alyssa Patterson


  • 1st Place Best Script (The Other Side of the Curtain by Theodore Cook)
  • 3rd Place Artwork  (Longping by Guihua Gan)


  • 1st Place – Photography: David McKenzie, “Childhood”
  • 2nd Place – Short Stories: Fallon Jeffers, “In Retrospect”


  • 2nd place, Best Overall Publication
  • 1st place, Fiction, Poppy Fields and Prince Harry by Zachary Vercz
  • 1st place, Artwork, Untitled Photograph by Shunyu Yao
  • 3rd place Artwork, Untitled Photograph by Xavier Goins

Past Issues


2022 Phaethon


2021 Phaethon

2020 Phaethon

2019 Phaethon

Phaethon 2018 Cover

2018 Phaethon

2017 Phaethon

2017 Phaethon

2016 Phaethon

2016 Phaethon

Phaethon 2014

2015 Phaethon

Phaethon 2014

2014 Phaethon