By: Molly Alexander
On Oct. 23, the Oregon East Gala was held in the Ackerman Alumni Room. Kailey VanOcker and friends sang in accompaniment to acoustic guitars as excited students and faculty filled the room.
Jodi Varon, advisor to Oregon East, was pleased to announce that this year marks the magazine’s 43rd issue. Editor Maggie Byrd welcomed several readers for the night, including the cover artist Sheyenne Johnson, who shared the inspiration for the acrylic on canvas piece. It was drawn from a photograph she took on the Oregon coast of a lone man standing still along the beach.
Many different genres of work were read, each having something unique to offer. From Aimee Kidrick’s fictional story “Waiting” to James Long’s poem “New Apartment”, inspired by his apartment that was once a morgue, to Cheyenne Valade’s nonfiction piece “Mother Taught Me” which was broken into several sections with headings. Taryn Lewis shared her experience writing “Alzheimer’s” in David Axelrod’s poetry class.
The students were given a list of words to work with, and Lewis’s poem was the result, after much contemplation of how to use those words.
In her touching poem, “Stephen”, Theresa Hamman writes of the death of a loved one. Other poets, like Kailey VanOcker, cannot explain where or how they received their inspiration for the piece—only that it “simply just came to them.”
Oregon East encourages students in all areas of study to submit work. The staff of Oregon East is currently distributing copies. Be sure to get a copy!