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Intertwined: A Phoenix Story

Students across campus can now pick up copies of the 2018 issue of Clark’s arts and literary journal, which features a modern and abstract twist, following a May 15 unveiling in Gaiser Hall.

Copies of the Phoenix are available in Frost Arts Center office room 101, the office of Student Life, Archer Gallery and the English department office in Hanna Hall 111.

Phoenix Fiction Editor Christianne Verzosa wrote in the journal’s Editor’s Note that this year’s theme of “Intertwined” focuses on community growth. She said the cover design, by student artist Victoria Gutierrez, plays abstractly at the idea of working toward a greater whole.

Verzosa said “Intertwined” is taken literally in some pieces such as ones that describe their subjects being consumed by their art. She said “Intertwined” is also interpreted in pieces about culture, women and other personal identities.’

“There’s been a shift to a more modern aesthetic in the last couple years,” Kathrena Halsinger, faculty art advisor since 2003, said. She said the main example of this shift is their switch to sans-serif typefaces rather than Roman type fonts.

English professor Liz Donley, who is currently on a sabbatical, became faculty literary adviser in 2013 and teaches the English 277 course Editing for Publication every fall quarter. Halsinger said the class can have anywhere from one dozen to two dozen students while the art production classes in Winter and Spring usually have a dozen students.

Halsinger said when production begins every Fall quarter, student editors determine the year’s theme, begin promotion, build comradery and learn about other literary periodicals. She said she loves seeing the journal come together each year and the students’ excitement at how far they come by the unveiling in Spring quarter.

Halsinger said literature submissions are usually due in December and it’s always important to inform new students early. Promotions for the Phoenix include flyers, meet and greet tables on campus, t-shirts and social media outreach.

She said during Winter quarter student editors determine which submissions will go into the final journal and start the layout, design and production processes. Halsinger said the advisers hire student editors each year who usually either have a background in creative writing or graphic design.

She said the biggest challenge in hiring editors is finding students who have enough time to commit to the Phoenix. Halsinger said many students who can’t commit as much time play smaller roles such as being part of the promotions team or a literary assistant.

Halsinger said editors manage content in their section of the journal, including fiction, poetry, fine art, photography and layout design. The Phoenix also has a managing editor who organizes student outreach and promotions.
“It’s been a wonderful ride,” second-year Managing Editor Megan Robb said.

Robb wanted to get involved when she heard about the Phoenix three years ago, so she emailed Donley last spring about volunteering. Donley said she encouraged Robb to enroll in the literature production class the following Fall quarter.

“I had no idea about the class,” Robb said. “So I took the class and here I am.” She said she likes that the Phoenix staff work hard to create their magazine and contributing to the production is rewarding.

“The ones I’ve worked on I feel a special kinship to,” she said. “It’s just a beautiful feeling to look at it and know my mark is on it.”

Robb said it’s challenging when she likes a literature submission that doesn’t make it into the final production. “But we are a collaborative process and they do give you a chance to fight for pieces,” she said.

Robb will complete her Honors Program Capstone Project of short stories and poems when she graduates this quarter. She said next year at Washington State University Vancouver she will pursue a major in Literary Studies and a minor in Creative Writing. Robb said she is interested in working at WSUV’s literary publication, the Salmon Creek Journal.

Robb said she will always remember how working at the Phoenix taught her to work in a team.

“[It’s rewarding] to see something that is just images on a screen turn into one of the most beautiful books I’ve held in my hands,” she said.

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