Since our founding in 1935, Hofstra University, named for Kate and William S. Hofstra, a lumber magnate of Dutch heritage whose family estate became our campus, has acknowledged its Dutch roots. Our arboretum harbors rare varieties of trees and flowers from the Netherlands, including a white Darwin hybrid tulip named “Hofstra University.” Long Island is also home to the largest number of surviving windmills in America. As icon and idea, the windmill reflects our journal’s home and heritage.
For more than a millennium, humans have relied on the mill: to pump water from the land, to crush grains for food, to saw wood for building homes. The windmill captures the energy of air — invisible, ineffable, enigmatic — and harnesses its power, utilizing raw materials from the earth to create something more than was there before. A workshop is both a place to discuss creative work and a place where manual work is done. In this way, our creative work in Windmill becomes utilitarian and vital, force over distance.
The windmill was often the center of the village or society, where townsfolk gathered and shared stories as they waited for their grain to be processed, a grassroots version of the agora, the hearth, or the village square. Windmill is a kind of center as well, a place where the spokes of art, creative writing, and publishing intersect, with readers and writers creating the conversation.
With the industrial revolution underway and the modern engine gathering steam, the windmill fell out of favor. But like all great and simple ideas, the windmill was reborn — not as a remnant of the past, but as part of a brighter future. Sleek and steel, these modern turbines now stand proud in our seas and perch on the crests of mountains, producing energy to light our way forward. In this way, Windmill is our storytelling past and the infinite possibilities of our future.