Story last updated at 4/24/2014 - 5:07 pm
For the 12th year, "Tidal Echoes," the literary journal of the University of Alaska Southeast, is bringing Southeast Alaskans' creative endeavors to an area-wide audience. They'll be celebrating the issue with a launch on April 25.
The featured artists this year are Rachael Juzeler, who uses reclaimed and found pieces in her art, and Christy NaMee Eriksen, a spoken word poet and co-founder of Woosh Kinaadeiyi poetry slam.
Senior editor Meghan Stangeland said the journal never has an official theme, but one tends to emerge from the pieces chosen for publication. This year, many of the pieces focus on Alaska and the natural world.
Cultural and personal exploration is also a big part of this year's issue, in large part because of Eriksen's work, which focuses on her identity as a Korean adoptee, Stangeland said.
The journal includes photos of Juzeler's work and several poems from Eriksen. Tidal Echoes staff interviewed both artists.
"The one with Rachael is really interesting," said junior editor Rebecca Salsman. "I knew some of her work, but I didn't really understand the depth she put into it."
Stangeland said she is a writer fascinated by others' processes, and one of her favorite parts of the journal are the interviews.
"It gives a depth to their work you wouldn't otherwise have," she said.
"It makes them more human," Salsman added. "You realize they have quirks, they're funny, sarcastic, down to earth and real."
Much of what the editors like to include in the journal is diversity - both of subject matter and of form.
This year, they have some new genres. They're publishing a screenplay for the first time, Stangeland said. They're also publishing a translation of one of Chilean poet Pablo Neruda's poems, as well as poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction and visual art like sculptures, paintings, photographs and installations. Salsman added that they'd also like diversity within the genres - form poetry like a sestina, for example, as well as the free verse they frequently receive.
The only stipulation for the journal is that those published in it must live in Southeast Alaska. Generally, about 25 percent of submissions are from UAS students.
This year, artists are from Sitka, Haines, Juneau and Ketchikan.
"It's part of our mission, trying to get the word out to smaller communities ... to represent all the voices of Southeast," Stangeland said.
Tidal Echoes' faculty advisor is poet Emily Wall. Guy Unzicker was this fall's intern.
The 127-page journal is available at the Juneau Arts and Cultural Center, Hearthside Books, the UAS Bookstore and the Juneau city museum, as well as bookstores in Skagway, Haines and Ketchikan. The journal will be available to all Southeast libraries.
A launch party will be held at 7 p.m. April 25 in the Egan lecture hall at UAS. Eriksen will perform her poetry. Both she and Juzeler will talk about their work and process, Stangeland said.
There will also be a question-and-answer session and an opportunity for other writers published in the journal to read their work.
The Most Beautiful Women in the World
Editor's Note: This poem, written by Christy NaMee Eriksen, is featured in the new edition of 'Tidal Echoes'.
My legs and their legs were
mazes to a hard bass
on the dance floor.
Chris dared three of us to kiss him at once
and our tongues
were so empty
they learned anyone's language.
I watched John eat a hot dog
and it was disgusting.
Mustard on his chin.
Words and relish falling out of his mouth.
Later he took my shirt off
and I stood there like
cold hands and tender loins.
Ryan told me he didn't like me
but would sleep with me
and we did that for years.
Some nights I held him.
They are whistling,
they are talking about us,
grabbing at our hips
placing their names on our lips
they shove lines into our face
like sweaty bouquets:
are the most beautiful women in the world,
and I was so proud that
I wore my skin
like a drink.
Let them throw me back.
Call me smooth.
For a time,
I could have been anyone's granddaughter
I could swing on a bell on a mountain of prayers
I could shave my head and sprinkle pieces of my midnight
all over Korea like a trail, like a bad joke
I could bear the name of a prescription drug
and my ancestors would never feel the pain
I could swallow the Pacific
mile by raging mile
in my mother's kimchi because
that's what happens
to your insides
when you accidentally see
what they see
when they look at you.