2020 Writers

Letter from the Editors

Dear Readers,
When reading through the submissions for the magazine, it was clear that many of our peers were grappling with their identities, their homes, and the people that have shaped them. We hurriedly write this letter after the news of campus closing due to COVID-19 and after a year of loss and political strife, so it is easy to see why members of our community are caught questioning their lives. Yet, we realize that peace still persists in uncertainty and that beauty can come from pandemonium.

We can see this in the diverse and multifaceted compilation of collected poems, prose, collages, photos, paintings, prints, drawings, and cross-stitchings. In Chivon Ou’s “The Blood of Rivers,” we see a narrator torn between two upbringings, yet finding strength in their ambivalence, while Crystal Wallace’s mixed media image, “The Hate You Give,” illustrates the importance of discovering one’s voice in uncertain times. Conroy Boyd’s captivating image of milk spilled on a table contrasts with the simple brilliance of a bird’s flight in Kaylin Ingalls’s “The Raven.” Our contributors also engaged with the harder times in life: Brienne Tajima pays homage to her friend in the impactful remembrances in “Ren,” and Christian Jocson artfully articulates aspects of the theological colonization of the Philippines in “The Lamb of God.” And despite negative pressures, other contributors comment on the beauty of the mundanity of everyday life, such as Morgan G.’s appreciation of women’s work in “unobserved” and Cameron Beasley’s memories in “A Childhood.”

This year, we are honoring Owen Klinger, who also called The Bluff home. A first-year student, Owen passed away unexpectedly during his first semester at University of Portland. Owen’s “Where I’m From” poem accentuates the sweetness that comes from the little things in life—grassy lawns and almond roca, generating a collective nostalgia for what was and what will never be again. Owen’s writing anchors our theme of “Where I’m From” as he reminds us that while we each have our individual stories to tell, we also share a collective human experience which culminates in our yearning to hold onto our memories.

We hope that this year’s issue will serve as a catalyst for a sense of comfort and belonging when so many parts of our lives are seeped in uncertainty. May you find peace in this publication despite the chaos that so often consumes our lives.

Claire Breiholz & Sophie Downing
Senior Editors



Writers 2020
Mary Klinger, Owen Klinger, Chivon Ou, Crystal Wallace, Lindsey Keefer, Mary Higgins, Andre Jaurigui, Cora Hyatt, Isabel Cortens, Sophie Kerr-Davis, Zacharie Breaux, Molly Lowney, Claire Breiholz, Kaylin Ingalls, Conroy Boyd, Grace McDonnell, Francisco Franco, Sophie Downing, Sadie Wuertz, Christian Jocson, Will Mulligan, Margaux Lynch, Brienne Tajima, Natalie Briare, Katie Wojda, Meg Bender- Stephanski, Zoe Kellermyer, Sammie Van Norstrand, Morgan G., Jennifer Ng, Spencer Henningsgard, Cameron Beasley, Patrick O’Bryan Cornell, Ajay *, and Hannah Rae Pickens

Cover Image by Claire Breiholz


Senior Editors
Claire Breiholz
Sophie Downing

Jo Geisen
Cora Hyatt
Sam Leicht
Margaux Lynch
Jennifer Ng
Sadie Wuertz

John McDonald

Copyright is retained by the author(s).