Atlantis Issue #77 | Spring 2018

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Spring 2018 | Issue 77

Editor's Note Dear Readers, Atlantis is said to be a lost, underwater city. Whether you heard of it growing up from the 2001 Disney movie Atlantis, learned about it in mythology and philosophy classes, or saw it depicted in other forms of media and entertainment, you know this famous lost city. Atlantis: A Creative Magazine, however, is not lost. It’s right here in the heart of UNCW’s campus, publishing the work of students from all over North Carolina. Before the city of Atlantis sank, it was called a utopia. For 77 issues, Atlantis has been its own utopia for young and emerging writers. The magazine has kept these stories, essays, poems, photographs, and art pieces safe for the past 47 years, and will continue to do so as time progresses. Atlantis has also been my personal utopia for the past two years. This is my third magazine as Editor in Chief, but my first taste of Atlantis was a feature I wrote that the magazine published the issue before I became Editor in Chief. I’ve been with Atlantis as long as I’ve attended UNCW. I’ve made irreplaceable friendships, learned a lot about publishing and producing a magazine, and read and observed amazing work by all the contributors we’ve published in my time. My personal utopia has shaped me for life after graduation in ways I never would have expected. I’m eternally grateful for everything Atlantis has given me. I hope that as you read this, you are grateful too. This issue has some of the best prose, poetry, and visual art I’ve seen in Atlantis. I hope this is a utopia for you, whether you are a writer, artist, or reader. Even though the city of Atlantis is long gone, it is not forgotten; it will continue being the myth and hidden treasure it always has been. I may be graduating, and this may be my last print issue as Editor in Chief, but Atlantis will always be a treasure in my life. Yours truly, Carey Cecelia Shook

Staff Carey Shook Editor in Chief

Katherine O'Hara Managing Editor

Logan Prochaska Layout Editor

Cecilia Monahan Marketing Coordinator

Caleb Horowitz Copy Editor

Lindy Schoenborn Photography Editor

Rebekkah Leigh LaBlue Fiction Editor

Patricia Patterson Nonfiction Editor

Spencer Conn Poetry Editor

Autumn Taylor Wilson Art Editor


Contents Nonfiction


05 Disassembly Joe Day

Dwelling Olivia Norman

17 21

The Way It Has Always Been Done Jake Mills

03 16

No Voice Marisabel Cajiao


Sky Ride Lena Moriarty


Morning Glory Becka Jackson

22 23

Untitled Jubal Strube


Triplets Madalyn Feder


Saharan Workers Nicole Amato



Village Across the Water Skylar Baker

Azure and Cobalt 09 Blue, Rachel Fussell 11 Impossible Alaina Bubeck Grasp 13 Without Kenly Cox Atmosphere 20 Harmonic Nathan Batts


Black Balsam Tom Ruple


Evanscence Jessie Carter

38 40 Opera Sha Liao

Blue Callie Darress

Cover The Edge Justin Cushman

Letters from the Universe Garrett Hawkins

contrast in environment Ian Schulte



Sola Gratia Becka Jackson


Banana Nut Muffins // Not Bluffing Becka Jackson


My grandfather writes a letter to my father from his deathbed Sam Bible-Sullivan

Want My Bonsai Tree Back 36 IWilliam Eddins Myself in Borrowed Language 39 Introducing Raven Moffett


14 25

Stephanie Tried to Kill Herself Yesterday Evan Seay


My College Sister Mary Anna Rice

Nappy Headed Kayla Greene



Photography by Olivia Norman 3


Disassembly Nonfiction by Joe Day “Blood is thicker than water,” my mother, Aimee, told me in response to my complaints on moving away from my friends. My father, Harold, had accepted a management position at a pallet production and distribution company, which required relocating our family from Indiana to Illinois. The fact that we moved to a farmhouse in the middle of nowhere stemmed from my parent's dislike of people. Not once in my twelve years had I ever seen them socially engage with anyone other than family. They had no friends and seemed happier for it. As we drove in a U-Haul along the vast green cornfields leading to our new house, I realized the potential to make friends during the summer was bleak. No two houses were less than a quarter mile apart, which meant that there would be no neighborhood kids nearby to play with. Most likely, I would be stuck with just my older brother, Brad, and younger sister, Amber, until school started in the fall. *** After spending the first few days settling in, my father decided to purchase some livestock. This was not a financial decision, but one that he felt would teach us some responsibility. Never one to enjoy chores, I, like my brother and sister, hated the idea. At the local county fair, my father bought a dozen chickens, six white rabbits, and three pygmy goats. While he arranged for the animals to be delivered, I scanned the fairgrounds, searching for kids my age to talk to. It had been less than a week since we had moved, but I was already going through social withdrawals. Later that evening, the animals were delivered along with heavy bags of grain and bails of straw and hay. We housed them all in the many paint-chipped barns and rusted, tin buildings scattered across our property. While eating dinner, my father bestowed each child with the welfare of one species that he allowed us to pick. Amber, the youngest, picked first and chose the rabbits. I, the middle child, picked second and chose the three goats, leaving Brad with the chickens, which I knew he would hate as he would have to gather their eggs early each morning. “Up yours,” I said, ribbing Brad at the dinner table. Having been born just a few weeks prior, though, the goats came with an extra set of instructions not previously


disclosed by my father during the animal draft. First, the goats needed to be weaned from their mother's milk and given formula three times a day for the next two weeks. Also, all three males would need to be castrated within the next few weeks if we wanted to stunt aggressive tendencies that would develop at puberty. “But I don't know how to castrate a goat,” I told my father. “Well, look it up,” he said, handing me a thick book titled Raising Goats for Dummies, which he had bought earlier that day. “You picked the goats, and now you're gonna take care of ’em.” “Up yours,” Brad said. “Laugh it up, Brad,” my father said. “You're gonna help him.” Later that night, while Brad and Amber played video games, I read about bottle-feeding, examining poop for worms, and barn hygiene, as well as a chapter titled “Castrating Males.” In the chapter, I read that the process was also called banding. “Banding,” the book said, “refers to applying a small, thick rubber band to the top of the testicles with a metal tool called an elastrator. It is quick, easy, bloodless, and reliable.” The book instructed that by squeezing the forceps of the tool, four prongs would expand a small rubber ring that would then be slid up over the goat's testicles and released. “The scrotum and testes then dry up and drop off in about two weeks.” This process sounded excruciating, and I hated the thought of taking an animal’s ability to mate. (Yes, I thought about such things at age twelve.) *** The next morning, my brother, sister, and I went to our respective duty areas to feed and give water to our animals. I carried three bottles of freshly mixed formula inside the goat’s shed and found all three of them huddled together on a bed of straw. As I shut the door behind me, the creaking stirred the goats awake, and they galloped toward me. “Got some milk for ya guys,” I said, holding the first bottle forward. “It’s not the real thing, but I’m sure it’s just as—” The goats took to the bottle immediately. I had planned to bottle-feed them individually, but they were ravenous

and nudged each other with their curled horns, competing to suckle from the rubber nipple. As the goats fed, I wondered what to name them. One was mostly white, save for a black spot that ran the length of its eyes which resembled a robber's mask. “I'll call you Bandito,” I said to the spotted goat. The second goat was pure brown, which reminded me of a reindeer. “Dasher,” I said. I then looked to the black one, whose underbelly was a creamy white. “And you're Oreo.” After the formula was gone, I filled their metal trough with grain and a large bowl with fresh water pumped from our rusty well. As I stepped out of the shed, I heard the high-pitched baas of the goats yelling for me to come back. I felt bad for leaving them, but it felt nice to be wanted. *** Later that afternoon, my father called my mother from work on his lunch break. After their conversation, my mom hung up and stepped into the living room where Brad and I were playing a video game. “Dad says you need to have the goats banded by the time he gets back,” she said. “Can we finish this level first, Mom?” Brad asked in vain. “No, the game needs to be turned off anyway,” she said. “Grab some rubber gloves and get it done.” I hated when my dad would tell my mom to have us do something over the phone. Her parenting style would flip from kind and nurturing to authoritarian and tyrannical, almost as if my father's spirit had possessed her through the phone jack. *** Brad and I stepped out into the summer heat armed with the elastrator, rubber rings, and a pair of scissors, which the book explained would be needed if the band was mistakenly applied too low on the goat’s scrotum. The thought of having scissors near such a sensitive organ made my knees wobble, so I hoped we wouldn’t have to use them. Inside the shed, the goats stood at the door as if they’d been waiting there since morning for me to return.

“If only they knew what was coming,” Brad said. As Brad grabbed Bandito by his armpits, I snapped my gloves on, placed a rubber ring around the prongs of the elastrator, and squeezed the forceps, spreading the ring open two inches in diameter. Shaking, I grabbed his scrotum and gently slid the band up to its base. I then un-flexed the forceps, releasing the rubber ring from the instrument. With that, Bandito baaed in pain and galloped repeatedly into the air, its sack now squeezed to the diameter of the tip of a fountain pen. Dasher was quick and easy, but baaed and leapt around the shack just the same as Bandito. Last was Oreo, and as I slid the ring over his scrotum, he leapt up from Brad’s arms, causing me to release the ring too low, banding only one of his testicles. Pissed off, Oreo butted me in the face with his horns, knocking me back onto the straw-covered floor. As my lip dripped with blood, Brad couldn’t help but laugh. I punched him hard on the leg and told him to grab Oreo so I could cut the ring free. He did, and I grabbed the scissors, inching the sharp utensil toward the goat's scrotum. The band was so tight though, that it seemed as if it was buried deep inside the goat's sack. “How do we do this?” I asked. “You read the book,” Brad said. “All right, let's just leave the ring on, and do a new one around the whole thing,” I said. “It's falling off anyway, right?” We went with my idea, hoped for the best, and swore not to tell our father. As we left the building, I heard the baas of the goats once again, but this time, it wasn't for me to return. *** The next day, the goats seemed unaffected by my presence. They drank the formula I gave them, but refused to eat any of the grain in their trough. This continued for the next couple days until one hot, summer morning I stepped inside the shed and found them missing, one of the rear doors open. “Oh shit.” Panicked, I ran around the building but couldn't find them anywhere. “Baaaaa!” I heard nearby. “Baaaa!”


Village Across the Water Art by Skylar Baker


I stopped, listened carefully, and ran in the direction of the high-pitched sounds. Finally, I found them with their heads stuck in the rusted wire fence that spanned the perimeter of our property. I laughed at the sight of them at first, all three in a row, yanking their heads back in vain, but soon realized by the gaping of their dry tongues that they had been at this for hours. They had squeezed their heads through the fence easily, but their long, curled horns made it impossible for them to pull their heads back out. I ran to the garage and came back to the fence with a set of wire cutters. I knew my father would hate me cutting up his fence, but I also knew this was the only way to set the struggling goats free. One by one, I cut the goats loose, snipping out small portions of the fence. At first, I expected them to gallop in joy at their newly earned freedom, but instead, they each collapsed to the ground, exhausted. I moved them each under the shade of our towering windmill and ran to the well. I came back with their large metal bowl, brimming with fresh water, and placed it in front of them. First, they were slow at taking to it, but as they started slurping the water down, I could see their energy start to return. Looking up at me as they drank, their glossy, marble eyes expressed a sense of gratitude, as if they were collectively saying, “Thank you.” After the bowl was empty, I grabbed it and headed back to the well. As I walked, I noticed the three goats following me like ducklings. When I walked, they walked. When I stopped, they stopped. After filling their bowl once more, I escorted the goats back to their shed like the Pied Piper leading a line of marching rats. I locked them in the shed and felt a sense of joy as I heard their baas calling me back. Once again, I was wanted. *** This relationship continued for the next month, and by the time the goats’ testicles had shriveled up and detached from their bodies, I discovered that each had its own distinct personality. Bandito was dominant and would often nudge my shins until I scratched the skin at the base of his horns. Dasher was both a daredevil and a klutz, tripping over his own legs on a near-daily basis, and Oreo behaved more like a dog in constant pursuit of his own tail. Though I still yearned

for human friends, the goats served as strong surrogates for me, and I couldn't imagine my summer without them. *** After feeding the goats on a blistering Saturday morning in early August, I stepped out of the shed and noticed a large, Hispanic family walking from their parked vehicle to our front door. There were a middle-aged man and his wife, a grandfather and grandmother, and five kids spanning the ages of three to sixteen. My father greeted them and then escorted them toward me. “What’s happening?” I asked. “We’re selling the goats,” he said. “What?” “Have you fed the goats today?” the middle-aged man asked. “I just fed them,” I said. “Why?” “It’s easier if their stomachs are empty.” “Empty for what?” The family and my father escorted Bandito, Dasher, and Oreo—oblivious of their impending doom—out of their shed and to the middle of our lawn. “Dad, please,” I said. “Please.” My father didn’t respond, and, lip quivering, I watched as the man slit each of the goats’ throats with his freshly sharpened machete. As their blood drained into the dry crabgrass, one of the children—who couldn’t have been older than three or four—arrived with two shot glasses and handed them each to her father. The father then lifted the spasming Bandito up by his horns and filled the two glasses with his blood. The two smiled, clinked glasses, and took the shots straight back. As if having just sucked a lemon, the toddler shook her head and grinned at her father, blood coating the few baby teeth she had. The rest of the family then followed suit. Once everyone took their shots, each grabbed a knife and cut the goats to pieces, filling several two-gallon Ziploc bags with their organs and meat. It was remarkable how efficient and organized they were, working like a team of mechanics disassembling a truck. Hearts in one bag, livers in one, and eyeballs in another. Letting nothing go to waste, they harvested every organ. That is, every organ but one. “Mr. Day,” the man said, looking up from his knees to my father. “Next time, don’t remove their testicles.”



Blue, Azure and Cobalt Art Series by Rachel Fussell



Art by Alaina Bubeck


I. Weather A. October i. your bare arms ii. fading scabs B. July i. your long sleeves ii. almost-lazy eye II. Love (?) A. two fingers split blinds apart B. you outside my window w/ a flower i. I didn’t believe it at first III. Things that bother me A. when you take too long in the bathroom B. elbow skin i. blood ii. needles iii. veins C. that I didn’t notice anything at all i. does that make me a bad lover? IV. Sep. 5 A. afternoon i. told me (and everyone) about The Relapse a. because your roommates caught you ii. I didn’t believe it at first B. morning i. splashed through sunlit waves ii. thought you were just tired a. too long in bathroom? iii. good thing I drove us home a. there must be a god b. during those two months you drove so much V. Nov. 14 A. K drowned i. not everyone gets a god ii. last time I saw her a. double date at the fair b. her face painted like a skeleton B. funerals are not funny i. but why does everyone ask how she died ii. when they already know the answer iii. there’s no polite way to say drunk in her bathtub VI. Things from the car A. jerking wheel B. sideways stomach C. watched tires recross double yellow line i. I was chosen to live ii. and I chose to live w/ you

Sola Gratia

Poetry by Becka Jackson


Without Grasp Art by Kenly Cox


Stephanie Tried to Kill Herself Yesterday Fiction by Evan Seay

It wasn’t much of anything, her mother said. She’s fine. A wave of her hand. Go home and eat something with sugar or something, you look pretty thin. Fatten you up, she mumbled. Pie or cake or something. The door slammed behind her. *** Stephanie tried to kill herself yesterday. It was all over school. Even Rachel McIntyre was talking about mental health. There’s no need to go through that alone, she said. Seriously, like, how hard is it to just talk to someone? I think it would be the worst to believe you couldn’t talk to anyone about that, when everyone is here for you. Like, literally everyone. Stephanie is okay, most people think. At least she came to school today. No one talked to her. No one knew what to say. She sat in the back of her classes and didn't speak. Mrs. Rawlings talked to her after Spanish II. Davis Freeman said he heard it, but no one believed Mrs. Rawlings told Stephanie to, quote, finish the job, unquote. No one laughed at his jokes today. He said he wanted to slash his wrists, but no one believed him. Just like you believed Stephanie, he said. But they hung their heads and kept to themselves. *** The police went to Stephanie’s house about ten p.m. last night. The ambulance came almost three minutes after, the neighbor lady said. Damned city needs to work on those response times. There were no sirens, just flashing lights. She said she’d heard something that sounded like a gunshot. Maybe it was a scream. She had never heard a gun go off before. Her father used to shoot pistols years ago at the range behind the Kmart. He never took her, though. She asked him once if she could come. She wouldn’t be able to keep the gun from knocking her

off her feet, he laughed. He’s dead now. Ran his car into the lake and drowned. I always thought that girl was a little strange, the neighbor lady said. She walked back home and went to sleep. *** Dr. Patrick called Principal Steve. Stephanie was a no-show for an appointment yesterday. Her mother isn't picking up at home. I was given this number as an alternate? No, Dr. Patrick, she's been to school today. I'll let her know to call you back as soon as she can. Thank you, sir. Thank you, sir. Thanks. Bye. All right. Stephanie was eating lunch when Principal Steve found her. Stephanie, can I have a word with you? Sideways glances. Please? Chewing mouths open. Shut. Open. Shut. Grinding. Slicing. Cutting. Swallowing. In the hall, please, Stephanie. Thanks, I’m sorry to pull you away from your lunch. I’ll be quick so you can get back. *** Stephanie’s mother stayed home all day. The kitchen was a mess, but she didn’t bother to clean it. She unplugged the answering machine in the den downstairs. Still they called. She let it ring. The sound continued after they hung up. Shaking the house. *** It’s going to be in the paper tomorrow, someone says. A big piece about mental health. Resources for people. Numbers to call. People to talk to. A whole three-page spread in Section B, plus a featured mention on the front page. George Yaltz, portly editor, says it is a coincidence. Slides a police report back onto his desk with a sigh. Goes home. Eats dinner with his wife. Hears about it from his daughter: Stephanie came to school today. Selfish bitch tried


to kill herself last night and won’t talk to anyone about it. He says nothing. Nods and grunts. Eats more. Lets his daughter go to sleep without saying goodnight. *** Stephanie goes straight to her room when the bus drops her off. Her mother is on the bed. Stephanie, I love you. I know, mom. Silent dinner watching sitcom reruns. Stephanie wants to laugh. Her body feels empty, and the food sticks on the back of her throat. Her mother stares at the back of her head. Prays for her to laugh at the terrible sitcom jokes. Smile at least. Flip your hair like when you did when were younger. Do something. Anything. Stop eating. Look at me. Again, I love you. Do you hear me, Stephanie? I love you. *** The neighbor lady comes over after they turn the TV off. Just checking up. Polite chuckles.


Shallow smiles. Yeah, Stephanie says, I’m okay. All right, sweetheart, just checking. You two have a good night. The neighbor lady goes back across the street and drinks a cheap bottle of white wine by herself. Watches through the window. Stephanie’s mother tries to read a book. Words like foreign faces. Pages passing without a single sentence seen. Thinking about Stephanie. Turn out the light, she thinks she says. No one answers. Reaches across the empty mattress. Flips the switch. Stephanie sits at her desk. The fluorescent bulb in the table lamp flickers. Her pen gliding over paper. Ink staining the page. Letters, words. Not knowing what is written. Just knowing it feels right. Lying still in the dark. Only one sheet over her. Her body an outline. Her breath suspended like a cloud. Her eyes closed. Hands at her sides. Ripples in the fabric. Feet upright. Still. It was beautiful. I swear.

Letters from the Universe

Photography by Garrett Hawkins


The Way It Has Always Been Done Nonfiction by Jake Mills

It was in western North Carolina between winter and spring. Dad picked me up early in the morning to fish the rivers that wound through the Great Smoky Mountains. He drove until the only signs of humanity were shacks with rusted tin roofs and fences wrecked by weather and rot. Then he kept driving. I sat in the passenger seat and witnessed the deep greens brought on by the coming spring and the skeletons of barns long abandoned, their exposed beams picked clean by time. There was a peace to the scenery, a lonesome comfort in nature’s reclamation of man’s failed attempt to conquer. Come noon, we were running out of paved roads. Dad eased the car into a pull-off, and we surveyed the area. Locals would call the place we had come to a holler; tourists would call it a valley; to Dad and me, it would simply be camp. It was nestled in the consummation of two sloped ridges, flat enough and clear of trees. Damp leaves carpeted the earth, and the soil smelled of iron. The ridges were high, so there was shade during daylight hours and a break from the wind at night. Dad and I pitched the tent and stowed away the packs. We would need a fire—and wood to stoke it—but the sun was high yet, and there were fish to be caught, so we took our poles and tackle and hiked to the river. We didn’t talk much along the way, despite the fact that I hadn’t seen Dad in a while. My parents’ bitter divorce and his commute from Charlotte to see me left an emotional distance between us. The way we bonded was through action. Camping, fishing, shooting, sports, and (in that moment) walking were our common ground. By the time we made it to the edge of the river, the sun had teetered from the perch of midday and begun its long, almost imperceptible descent. Its rays warmed a rock grouping on the bank, and we baited our hooks there. Hominy corn and nightcrawlers were


the key to big trout. The corn smelled sweet, and the worms flailed silently, blood pooling with dirt as the hooks pierced their skin. I wondered if this was painful for them as I impaled my worm two, three, four times before casting it into the river. I was thankful for the warmth of the rocks, so I wedged the rod down into a pile of stones and stripped my shirt and boots. Dad worked down the bank a piece, casting methodically. He let line out and reeled it in, tugging slightly so the bait mimicked the darting of prey. The river was high that year, and the fresh melt from the peaks above us produced a powerful current. The dark water surged, breaking on logs and boulders and coming together again. I don’t know why, but in that moment, I became possessed to enter it. I climbed onto a boulder near the water’s edge and stepped off. The river was bitter cold and faster than I’d anticipated. My body tensed as I was sucked downward and swept along the undercurrent. After several yards of tumbling through darkness, I kicked and pulled my way to the surface. I found my bearings, grabbed a boulder, and pulled myself out just a few feet downstream of where my father was fishing. “How cold is it?” he asked. “Cold,” I said, “but refreshing.” Dad grinned and shook his head and went back to fishing. I walked upstream to the place where I’d left my clothes. Nothing was on the line, so I reeled it in and rebaited the hook. I cast once more and lay down on the warm stones. The heat on my flesh and the sound of the river flowing lulled me into a pleasant dream. When I woke, I stretched and dressed and checked the line. Still nothing, so I baited again. It was slow going at the start, but when the fish came, they came quickly. I caught the biggest first, a fat, fourteen-inch rainbow that had been resting in a bend of the river. I must have dropped my line directly above it because I had it on the bank, flopping in the dry leaves as I got it off the hook. It was dark as the

river that birthed it, save for the speckling and the streak of pink that began at the gills and ran down its side. The rest were good too, though less impressive—a slender twelve-inch and a couple of nines. Dad didn’t catch any. He enjoys fishing, but lacks the patience for trout. When the sun began to set, we took the day’s catch and headed back. Dad built the fire, and I went to the creek near camp to clean the fish. I laid the stringer on the bank and crouched at the edge of the stream, pulling one fish at a time and washing and cleaning it. I saved the big one for last, not wanting to mar my trophy until necessary. Its body was stiff, but its dead eyes were dull. I drug the tip of the knife along its fat belly and pried apart the cold, taut flesh. I scooped out the entrails and tossed them into the weeds for the foxes and coons; then I ran a fingernail along the spine to remove the remaining fecal matter. It was probably safe to eat, but hard to stomach nonetheless. This was the way I had been taught to clean fish in my family, the way it has always been done. When I was finished, I wrapped the trout in tinfoil and took them to the campfire. Dad and I distributed them among the coals, which glowed

orange and angry as the eye of a stovetop. While they cooked, we passed the time with beer and talk of girls and my schooling and of the day’s fishing. I had memorized “Invictus” for my freshman English class, and I recited it for him. He said he liked it, but I’m not sure if he understood. By the time the fish had cooked, it was almost dark. We moved closer to the fire and peeled back the foil, revealing succulent, steaming flesh. I took the big fish and gave Dad the nines. We separated hunks of meat from splinter-thin bones and popped the morsels into our mouths. I stared into the flames and chewed. When the fire died down to embers, we groped our way through the darkness to our tent and crawled into our sleeping bags. That night, we slept the kind of hearty sleep that only men who have caught and cooked their dinner know. I think about that time now, nearly a decade later, and how time goes quickly. I am ever that child: curious, hopeful. And I am mountains and rivers, or a breath of cold air in the lungs. I am the smell of wood smoke on skin. Fresh-caught fish in the belly.


Sky Ride

Photography by Lena Moriarty 19

Harmonic Atmosphere Art by Nathan Batts


No Voice Nonfiction by Marisabel Cajiao

1. Because, when I was eighteen, I was in a summer haze, infatuated with a boy who liked to spend time with me and hold my hand. Because it was my first relationship. All I knew and cared about was that he liked me and I liked him. But I should’ve known to say no. No—when he began getting too comfortable and putting his hand on my thigh while I drove. No— when he started grabbing and slapping my butt when our friends weren’t looking. No—when he would unclasp my bra and try to feel me up. Because I didn’t want him to leave. Because he did. 2. Because, while I was still broken, another got his way with me. While I was waiting in a quiet hallway at my community college for algebra class, he approached me. He was friendly, and I was on a search for new friends. I told him I had to go to class, and he asked me to skip so I could keep hanging out with him. Because, despite my protests, he insisted, and I gave in. Because we wandered around the small campus, getting to know each other, and he offered to walk me to my car. Because he asked, “So, did you do a sport in high school?” And I said, “I did gymnastics and played soccer.” “Wow,” he said, “gymnastics. You must be flexible.” Then I gripped the straps of my backpack tighter and argued that gymnastics was more than just flexibility; it was about strength as well. And he told me that he works out, and that he could probably carry me. Because I just laughed it off. Because he told me he had a far walk back to class, and I felt bad, so I offered him a ride. Because, after placing my backpack in the backseat, he grabbed the back of my legs and picked me up. He had me straddling his waist and wouldn’t let go. Be-


cause he carried me to the back of my car and placed me on the trunk. I jumped off. “Come on,” he said. “I was just playing around.” Because I didn’t say anything. “Will you still give me a ride?” Because I let him inside the car and drove him to the nearest entrance. It took five minutes to get rid of him; he refused to leave until I gave him a kiss. This time, I told him “no.” Because, when I got home, he texted me: Hey, it’s that adventurous guy you met. The one that made you ditch your class lmao. Oh and also i didn’t wanna try anything cause it wasn’t isolated it’s school public lol :p I’ve gotten in trouble before doing that. Other wise I would of made the move a while ago x:D Because when I told my best friend what had happened, she said, “You let him do that?” 3. Because, when I was nineteen, my first kiss was taken away from me. Because I was alone in a room in my aunt’s house. My parents and my aunt were in the living room. Because my aunt’s husband stood beside the bed. Because he bent down and forced his lips on mine. Because I was stuck. Because his head blocked my vision. Because the kiss felt like it lasted an eternity until I ripped away. Because I didn’t look at him. I couldn’t look at him. Because I heard him chuckle as he walked away. 4. Because when a friend of mine set me up on a blind date, I had to endure four agonizing hours with a guy who was interested in things other than talking. Because when I met him at a coffee shop, he chose to sit in a loveseat rather than at a table. When I would ask him questions about law school, he would brush it off and tell me he didn’t feel like talking about it. Because after getting up to get a refill, when he sat back down, he made sure that our legs were touching. He tried to play off this sudden need to be closer by putting his arm around my shoulder and then on

my bare thigh. Because I should’ve pushed his hand away. I should’ve gotten up and left. Because he said, “Do you really have to go? We could go back to my place if you want.” And I told him “no,” that I had already made plans to see a friend. But I drove to the beach and cried instead. Because the friend that set us up asked if I had a good time. And I told my friend that he got too close, too fast, and it made me uncomfortable. Because my friend didn’t understand why that would make me uncomfortable. He told me that I should be happy that someone was that interested in me. “I just met the guy,” I said, “and I don’t like it when guys touch me like that.”

5. Because, before I go back to school for my final semester of college, my mother tells me, “Muñeca, you should have fun and meet someone.” I laugh, mutter a “sure.” By now, I realize I can’t. Because there is a fear engraved in my mind that causes this block when a guy gets too close. Because I can’t go out to bars and kiss random strangers or make eye contact when I’m walking past guys on campus. I can’t be close to or alone with older men. Because I can’t even have my dad kiss my forehead or show too much affection without closing my eyes or pushing him away. And I can see the hurt in his eyes. But I’m hurt, too.


Photography by Jubal Strube


contrast in environment Photography by Ian Schulte


Nappy Headed Fiction by Kayla Greene

My legs stick to the red, shiny plastic of this salon chair I’m sitting in, and my skin feels like it’s ripping away, little by little, with every movement I make. The hairdresser pulls at my curls, her long, lacquered nails looking like claws when they flash in my peripheral. She tuts under her breath. “Your mama never put a relaxer in your hair?” I hear disdain in her voice as she sections and combs. I cringe internally; I liked my hair how it was, my wild, cotton candy afro with stray curls all over. “Once,” I say, “when I was younger. My hair fell out.” She tugs sharply on a particularly thick spot. “She must not have done it right,” she says. “Don’t worry: when I’m done with you, all the boys will be falling at your feet.” I cringe outwardly this time, mutter some incoherent agreement, and look back at my legs pressed against the red chair. I wasn’t thinking about how my altered appearance would appeal to the male gaze. I had no concern for the male gaze whatsoever: all of the “males” could keep their gazes away from me. Thank you. I was thinking about how the parentals forced me to be here because, and I quote, I would not be taking my senior pictures with a “nappy head.” *** I rolled my eyes at the time, pretended it was no big thing to go have a piece of me burned, pressed, and pulled into everyone else’s idea of pretty. I pretended the words “nappy head” didn’t bring back a world of self-hatred, a world of avoiding mirrors, of late nights crying because my hair had been pulled too tightly, as if someone had dragged me by it even though my head was pressed gently into a pillow; like I didn’t think about those times as a little kid: sitting for hours on


a hard floor between a pair of legs, having my neck jerked back at extreme angles, my mother muttering under her breath about how she “should have had me with a white man”; I pretended going to sit in that plastic, red chair didn’t make me feel twelve years old again, like the me who wished for another skin color, a different ethnicity, a different body altogether; to have the label “black” must be the worst travesty; what had I done in a past life to be born with this hair, this hair that wouldn’t cooperate unless I fried its life away into straight, black curtains; this skin, this too-dark skin, nose and hips too wide, thighs and lips too thick; afraid to get on the bus, new school years terrifying because I knew I would hear those dagger-like whispers: “There goes that girl. The fat girl. The black girl”; I got so wrapped up in their insults, in their snickering and finger pointing, that I forgot there was a person just under here. *** “You’re almost finished!” The sound of the hairdresser’s voice brings me back to the present. My hands are shaking slightly. She lightly spritzes the last piece in her hands with something and runs it through her burning blades to give it a glossy and fine-looking quality. She lets it hang next to my face and turns me around to the vanity mirror; her lacquered claws brush against my shoulders, and she looks at me expectantly. I am meant to give her some kind of reaction. I meet her eyes in the mirror and put on a mask of a smile. “You look so pretty,” she tells me. I look at the stranger in the glass. Pretty, I think. I smell the scent of burning hair barely hidden beneath the fruity heat repellent.

Banana Nut Muffins // Not Bluffing Poetry by Becka Jackson

Banana Nut Muffins Not Bluffing Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon baking soda ½ teaspoon salt 3 large bananas, mashed ¾ cup white sugar 1 egg ⅓ cup butter, melted ½ cup pecans, chopped Tip: Aluminum foil can be used to keep food safe and warm, cook it evenly, and make tidying easier. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Muffins will spring back when lightly tapped.

The wheeze of slow breath falters. Now Her hands halt, tired of shaking. Now Her lids shutter, aching, blood and bones hope to soon waltz upwards, cloudy, hands attached like steeples. This sight should warn the proudlegged: Her shelter was a yellow kitchen song blocked only by him, two deep by six o’clock, worshipping the night. If She could be hushed, he could’ve loved Her cleaner. Lord of regrets, sing Her a house full of warmth to ease the first night She slapped back.


Morning Glory Nonfiction by Becka Jackson Riding a chairlift in the summer is infinitely more terrifying than in the winter.You never realize just how high the alpine snow stacks above the earth until you see bare dirt below, carpeted in wildflowers and grass instead of powder and ice. In the winter, the distance between your dangling feet and the ground doesn’t seem so far, and you can imagine the snow cushioning your impact and rolling you gently down the slope. In the summer, the jagged rocks are not disguised. The slopes appear steeper even as the chair lurches forward on the cable, and you imagine your ankles rolling and your knees jolting as you collapse on the hard dirt. More hardcore hikers probably bypass the chairlift altogether, but I do not fall into this category. For me, summiting Mount Crested Butte means a chairlift ride on the Silver Queen Express up to the trailhead at 11,340 feet; the trail gains more than 1,000 feet of elevation over 2 miles of hiking and scrambling over scattered boulders. This trail was strenuous even when I lived at elevation 6,035, but now I live at sea level. Even climbing a staircase at over 10,000 feet rips the air from my lungs and leaves me dizzy. *** Grammy and Gramps lived in Mount Crested Butte, Colorado, on the hill that rises above the ski resort.


My family wintered here, at the house on Morning Glory Way, every year until I was fourteen, braving the winding mountain roads no matter the weather. I learned to ski on these slopes the same year I learned to walk. Grammy taught me the names of the mountain wildflowers one summer and showed me how to press them between pages of a book. Gramps taught me how to hold my ski poles and that a true mountain girl would never walk directly underneath a roofline in the winter because falling ice and snow can be a potential hazard. I always shared a room with my brother and sister at Morning Glory. We’d climb into fuzzy long johns and waterproof snow gear in the dark of morning, throw on soft hats and boots, and trek down the hill in the frosted hush. Sometimes I’d grow tired of walking, especially after a cold day on the slopes, so Gramps taught me to count my steps instead. When you reach one hundred steps, you start over. Again and again, and then you’re home, and then it’s over. This way, we distract ourselves from discomfort by focusing on something easier. *** Once, my dad took me up the Silver Queen lift for my first black diamond run. I was around eleven years

Black Balsam

Art by Tom Ruple old and a strong skier, so this was a reasonable request. As soon as we neared the trailhead and I looked down the slope, I knew I would hate it. I wanted to sit on my butt and slide to the bottom, but my dad made me ski it. I stayed near the edge of the trees and flinched every time a snowboarder swooshed by, sure I would be flattened. I knew how to carve, but the slope was so steep that every time my skis turned downhill I wasn’t sure that I’d be able to turn them perpendicular again. The hill was too steep and too long to be thinking like this. One turn at a time, just like Gramps taught me: Turn skis downhill, carve left, lean into the uphill. Turn skis downhill, carve right, lean into the uphill. My turns broadened, and my body relaxed into a rhythm. Still, I was annoyed that I was having such a hard time, that I wasn’t braver, that I would never ski this kind of hill on my own. *** In August of 2008, Grammy and Gramps went for a hike on Mount Crested Butte. They’d summited year after year; it was hardly out of the ordinary. They packed lunches, rain gear, water, a camera, and a bird identification book. About halfway up the trail, a fork to the left leads to the backside of the mountain. From here the ground

drops away to reveal a broad valley and the lone peak of Teocalli to the north; the slanted trees of the Gunnison National Forest and the snow-capped Collegiate Peaks to the east; and the East River winding southward. This view makes my lungs swell, threatens to split my ribs apart—just a small crack at my sternum and they’d expand like the unfurling wings of a hawk. Grammy and Gramps stopped here to snap a picture, eat lunch, and page through the bird book. Ready to summit, they packed up and headed out. Gramps led the way. Maybe it was a sudden dizzy spell, maybe it was to swat a bug away, or maybe it was a rock jutting out from the path—something happened that I cannot understand. Grammy tripped. By the time Gramps had turned around, she’d disappeared down the side of her mountain. *** On July 30, 2016, I hiked Mount Crested Butte for the first time since Grammy died. Flying in from sea level, I was not acclimated to the altitude yet. I was already out of breath by the first switchback, could hardly lift my gaze from the inches in front of my feet until I reached the boulders. In this section, the trail disappeared, replaced by balanced towers of rocks that indicate the best way to climb. Most people bring gardening gloves to reduce wear on their hands; some even wear kneepads.


On the way up the boulders, my shoulders longed to flatten against the earth, draw from her strength, and breathe rock dust; at the same time, I couldn’t keep my chin from tilting upward into the breeze. On the way down the boulders, my muscles lost all their earlier confidence. Not only do you have to look over the face of the mountain as you crab-walk and slip down the boulders, but there is no option of turning back. We all reach the bottom one way or another. I don’t remember much about this part, but I do remember how my legs shook with every jarring step and how it seemed to take hours because every placement of every hand, foot, and knee mattered. Count the steps; it’ll all be over soon. Don’t think about the spot where she fell and all the ways you could die today and how perfect it would be to see the sky like she did, cloudless and birdless, the whole world gone blue like her beloved lupine flowers. I don’t remember how I got home or how many hundreds of steps it took. The mountain watched me silently all the way. Just beyond the edge of the blacktop, the wildflowers beckoned me into the valley, promising to cushion my fall and carry me all the way to the river. Indoors, I walked to the master bathroom and ran a bath in the big tub. My leg muscles ached and my head spun with slight altitude sickness, slight migraine. I let the hot water lull me into a dazy half-sleep. I woke with water tickling my nostrils. *** This May, I camped in the nearby alpine town of Buena Vista with two high school friends. We stumbled on a kayaking festival at the river on the edge of town and lounged on the rocks with a crowd of locals and weekenders, laughing and cheering lazily under the mountain sun. After an hour of watching, we felt a cool breeze at our backs: a dark cloud rolling in over the mountains, casting strange and distorted shadows behind buildings and people alike. We were among the few who left. By the time we’d reached the car it had started to snow, tiny flakes that stuck in my eyelashes and melted


off my fingertips. I sped along the highways, needing to outrun the wall of gray advancing from the west. I wondered if the kayakers were still twisting and bobbing in the icy water or if they’d gone running home, too. The drive seemed to stretch on for days. At times, the rain grew so heavy that I could not tell the edge of the asphalt from the grass beyond. I did not lose my vision that morning, despite my fingers clenched on the wheel and the unease pulsing behind my eyes. Instead, I stared down the ominous storm clouds threatening to swallow the road, and I couldn’t help but smile in joyful terror. Colorado’s front range is a paradise in the sunlight, all waving fields of flowers and sunshine glare on the windshield and sheer faces of stratified rock layers rising from the sides of the highways. In a summer storm, all the colors in the valleys deepen and turn to shadow. The dark, bristly conifers huddle together. The aspens whisper in groves. The dry land aches for rain and soaks up water before it can puddle. The sun is just strong enough to slip between the storm clouds, slanting down in an eerie halo to touch the earth. Driving east through the valley and away from the mountains, the land widens for miles in all directions, and the sky stretches larger than the earth. You can almost forget who you are and where you came from. You can trick yourself into believing that one hundred steps closer to the end is an accomplishment and ignore the pain, the terror, the sadness that comes with the thrill of having lived at all. You can outrun the storm and the snow, you can watch the peaks shrink in the mirrors, you can drive across the country and walk beside the Atlantic. But someday you will find yourself alone with the wildflowers caressing your broken body, with soapy water cradling your eyelashes, your vision clouding over as summer snowmelt trickles through your hair and calms your heart.


Photography by Madalyn Feder 30


Art by Jessie Carter 31

I Want My Bonsai Tree Back Poetry by William Eddins

the one we planned to plant deep in the pines, off the asphalt trail from D.C. to Purcellville. It had that twisted trunk that grew towards stars and swayed back, balancing evergreen clouds. For years, we trimmed tiny needles to look like Hiroshima Survivor1. Then one passive winter, we watched it overgrow the pot and droop onto our apartment floor.

“Hiroshima Survivor� is a Japanese white pine bonsai tree that survived the atomic blast in Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. 1


Saharan Workers

Photography by Nicole Amato



My College Sister Fiction by Mary Anna Rice When I was small and used to welcome the sun, I read long books on the roof of my building, mostly naked and sweating onto the pages. I liked it up there, free from the leering of the boys in my neighborhood, those slutty miscreants. That’s what my college sister used to call them: slutty miscreants, schlepping around with their elastic waistbands and inflated shoes. I thought at the time that she carried this too far, and that she had experiences that I would never have, experiences that made her feel this way. My college sister gave me books to read that I didn’t read, and they sat beneath the books I did read. She called herself lucky to me—lucky to be free from this shithole, she said. My sister refused to eat fried chicken in public now, and that disgusted me. She told me she knew boys only wanted one thing and I would learn that when I got to college; when I did finally make it to university, I found I disagreed, and thought instead that boys grew into men who had things, and we gave these things to them. When she told me this place was a shithole, I told her she might as well be all white, because that was what she was sounding like. She said I knew nothing about the world and that there would never be a real place for us. I said that’s probably true, but that doesn’t mean you leave this place behind, like we’re nothing and we’re not your family.


She said you keep doing whatever you want and they’ll drag you out by your weave and your European nose because no one can tell who the fuck you are. I didn’t say anything. She said you’re going to have to pick a side. *** The next time I saw my college sister was on Thanksgiving, and she and her white boyfriend were only stopping by for a day before they drove up north to his parents’ big celebration. I got tired of watching our parents fawn over the two of them, of that boy chewing his black-eyed peas too long and slipping his hand up her thigh beneath the table as though no one could tell what he was doing. Slutty miscreants. I helped our mother clean the dishes while they vanished into her room to watch a documentary about the Middle East. It was dark when I crept from my room up to the roof of the apartment complex. Rust crawled up the skeleton of the beach chair I never brought back inside. I placed her dusty, old books written by dusty, old men up on the ledge. I aimed carefully for her boyfriend’s car; it was still parked out on the street. The first one missed. The second one hit the roof of his sedan square in the middle. The third set off the car alarm, but I didn’t worry too much. The police rarely came our way.

My grandfather writes a letter to my father from his deathbed Poetry by Sam Bible-Sullivan

After Ocean Vuong My grandfather writes a letter to my father from his deathbed Jacob I can only say to the dark/How it feels to become a vicious cliché/It is the rotting of your intestines/And the way fingers grip a belt/Resembling my father’s face/My father tangled my stomach/Taught me different shades of red/And I became the thrashing of second chances/Jacob/I know wrath/It’s a roll of quarters gripped in your palm/It’s tasting your son’s knuckles on your cheek/It’s being the part he’s afraid of becoming/Jacob/I know the sound of dying alone/is an “oh” out of your son’s mouth/a raised inflection after loss/But Jacob/I hope I know /I don’t deserve pity/Pity is for those /Who don’t lie down on crossroads/Jacob/I hope I wish/I was in your life right now/I sent your son my motorcycle jacket/A month before this/I hope I meant it as a peace offering/I know none of us really know



37 Art by Callie Darress

Introducing Myself in Borrowed Language

Poetry by Raven Moffett

Oki Nii ta nik ko maistowa They tell me I should introduce myself: pansexual queer anarcho-feminist unregistered bi-racial Native female presenting (breath) all white-men-made words for white-men-made concepts I must define myself as not white man Born 300 miles from the reservation my grandmother’s stories tell me my blood, bone, and raven-feather hair belongs to but my paperwork says I can never know My mother will never know her own skin My grandmother will never know her own skin I can only dream sage-burn feathers can only grasp at colored beads running through my fingers Taciturn my father says is the red-man’s charming way well caucasian-passing red-stained female tongues are also tied by him my loving white man father I had to piece together a history society makes me doubt from the fragments of my grandmother’s “what’s the weather” phone calls and the cookie recipes she gave to my mother (who does not bake)


I hear the news tell me that the prime minister of Canada (northern neighbors across nation lines in grass, where my ancestors once followed the buffalo/iinii) has recognized a new gender: two-spirit and I will never know this but goddamn do I know the feeling of being split in half and not knowing on which side I belong O White Buffalo Woman, do I know the numbness between my legs O Great Spirit, I am a shell Abalone that feels Turquoise feels coral feels dirt and buffalo patty depending on the wind and although I have known the sacred peaks and valleys of many baptized myself in their white rapid rivers I do not know how to tell my Grandmother/Aahsaa who may never know me and my mother/Niksista who may never see me cry is left to reassemble pieces of stone scattered the peaks and valleys will never be mine should never be mine they were all stolen anyway and I may never know me without white-man-words I cannot speak (and be heard) without white-man-concepts I cannot think (and be acknowledged) without white-man (savior) I do not exist



Art by Sha Liao 40

Contributors Nicole Amato is a UNCW student majoring in marketing and psychology and minoring in digital arts. She went solo backpacking for a few months last summer, and now that she caught the travel bug, she spends most of her time researching possible countries to live in when she graduates. Photography is just a hobby, but accidentally killing plants and obsessing over Cole Sprouse are fulltime jobs. Skylar Baker has always involved herself with new hobbies or interests that allow her to express herself creatively and artistically. She would pick up on new skills over the years and through phases, such as drawing, playing piano, photography, videography, henna tattoo art, and more recently, painting. Last year, her roommate had to paint for an art class, and Skylar decided to join. After purchasing a few brushes and canvases, she found herself in love with painting. While her first subjects were landscapes, she began expanding into abstracts, faces and album cover art. For a year, her art was only seen by family and friends before she had enough people motivate her to begin selling them. While Skylar will never cease to explore the endless opportunities that the art world has to offer, painting has truly been one art that she will forever continue making, whether to unwind, procrastinate, give to others, or simply to fuel her happiness. Nathan Brian Batts is a twenty-year-old art major in his final semester at CFCC. He is not held by one type of medium, and prefers to use various media in various styles. Graphite and ballpoint pen illustration were how he started his fine arts career. However, painting is the current primary medium he practices. His most current works are traditional oil paintings and acrylic pours. Sam Bible-Sullivan is a first year student at UNCW. He became involved with HomeWord, Asheville's youth spoken word organization, during his senior year of high school. He quickly fell in love with the art of both spoken word and page poetry, and became a member of the 2017 Asheville Brave New Voices team. He plans to write poetry forever. He would like to thank Atlantis for this opportunity. He would also like to thank all the members of his Asheville poetry family, and his blood-related family for being dope people. Alaina M. Bubeck is currently a freshman at UNCW. Alaina is majoring in studio art and is aspiring to become a high school visual arts teacher. As long as she can remember, Alaina has been in love with creating art. Alaina’s art pieces have been selected for exhibit by the North Carolina Museum of Art, and she won first place and the award for most outstanding student at the 2016


North Carolina State Fair. Art is Alaina’s passion in life, and she looks forward to more great artwork ahead. Marisabel Cajiao attends UNCW. She is from Chicago, IL and only came down to Wilmington for the beach and warm weather. Marisabel is a fiction writer, but is starting to find a voice for nonfiction. After she graduates in May with a BFA in creative writing, she hopes to travel the world, write a lot, finally finish the long list of books she’s been putting off, and pet all the dogs she can. Jessie Carter is a senior at UNC. She has worked with many media over the past ten years, but especially loves watercolor and acrylic painting. She hopes that her artistic experience will help her become an art conservator in the future. Kenly Cox is working on her BFA in studio art with a concentration in ceramic and metal sculpture while studying at UNC. Her work lately has revolved around the impermanence of unusual objects and animals, along with human figures and emotions, while presenting a subject's spiritual presence and lingering memories. Along with her fine art studies, Kenly enjoys cosplaying, traveling, participating in cast metal pours, and loving her cats. Justin Cushman is a North Carolina photographer who was born and raised on the coast of Carolina. He is currently studying commercial photography at ASU, yet he attended UNCW before discovering his passion for photography. Justin’s primary subject matters are landscapes, astrophotography, and adventure photography. After college, Justin plans on traveling to expand his photography capabilities. Callie Darress, Asheville, NC native, is an undergrad student at Brevard College majoring in visual art. Her concentrations are in painting and photography, both of which she is extremely passionate about. Due to how fascinated she is by faces and the human body, much of her work tends to involve portraiture or figure studies of some sort. After graduation, she plans on working toward a master’s degree in fashion photography. Joe Day is a senior at UNCW majoring in film and minoring in creative writing. His short films have screened in over a dozen film festivals across the country, winning three “Best Short Film” awards. Before attending college, he served five years in the army as a combat cameraman, deploying twice to Afghanistan. William Eddins currently lives in Greenville, NC, where he is a graduate student at ECU. When he is not writing or studying (as

if that ever happens), he enjoys spending time with his rescue dog, Merlin. His poems have appeared in Deep South Magazine and The Bitchin’ Kitsch. Madi Feder is a sophomore at UNCW and will be starting the nursing program in the fall of 2018. She is from Huntersville, NC and has enjoyed photography since taking classes in early high school. She most enjoys shooting portraits of people she knows and animals. Rachel Fussell is a senior illustration major at UNCC. She specializes in rendering the human body in new and abstract ways. Her work uses vivid color and subtle expression to convey emotion. Kayla Greene is currently in their third year of college, and their second semester at UNCW as a transfer. They are double majoring in Spanish and creative writing. They enjoy writing anything, especially poetry, but they don't like labels in any context. They also enjoy sleeping, painting and drawing, and stressing out about becoming an “adult.” Garrett Hawkins is a photographer and student at ASU. Becka Jackson is a junior at UNCW studying professional and creative writing and publishing. She was born in California, grew up in Colorado, and currently lives in North Carolina. She likes the sound of rustling leaves, roads that point toward the sunset, and earthy-toned wool yarns. After graduation, she hopes to live somewhere green with lots of trees and water. Sha Liao was born in China and moved to the United States at the age of fifteen. She received her BFA from The University of Maine, with a major in studio art and a minor in graphic design. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in art and design at the College of Design at NCSU, with a focus on animation and interactive media. Her work was influenced by both Chinese culture and American culture. Jacob Wesley Mills is a senior at UNCW. He is a creative writing major with a focus in nonfiction. Jacob enjoys Wild Turkey bourbon and reading while stroking his beard. This is his first published piece. Raven Moffett is a senior at ASU pursuing a degree in art and visual culture with a focus in studio art and a minor in anthropology. Although they predominantly work in photographic, video, performance and installation media, poetry has always been an important “extracurricular” outlet for ideas or materials they cannot otherwise express using visual art. Their most recent work confronts personal anxieties regarding their biracial, white-passing Native identity and their queer sexuality.

Lena Moriarty is a senior at UNCW set to graduate in December. She is a double major in communication studies and professional writing. She got her first film camera about a year ago, and she’s been obsessed with shooting ever since. She loves everything about film photography, but one of her favorite aspects is that you never know how the pictures will turn out until they're developed, so every time you send a roll in, you are greeted with a bunch of surprises. Olivia Norman is a junior commercial photography major at ASU. She enjoys anything outdoors, from bouldering to backpacking. Capturing the beauty of the land surrounding her is a passion. She is influenced by photographers such as Ansel Adams, Jimmy Chin, and Chris Burkard. Mary Anna Rice is an MFA student at NCSU. She is studying fiction, and in her writing focuses on interpersonal relationships, imbalance in romance, and introspection. Mary Anna grew up in Garner, NC. She has two cats who do not like her nearly as much as she likes them. Tom Ruple is a painter from Lexington, SC. He finds inspiration in his daily life from the human condition and examples of magnificence in nature. His works are mainly executed in oil paint. Ian Schulte is an art student currently at CFCC. Schulte is often very opinionated on the aesthetics of the works he creates, with a specific vision of what he wants to portray. Finding his passion in photography at a young age, he has moved on to various media including print, assemblage, and video work. Constantly diving head first into new roles, Ian is a polymath of sorts, with a large set of skills he employs in his artistic endeavors. Evan Seay is a freshman at UNCW studying creative writing. When he’s not in the library or in class, he spends his time outdoors hiking, camping, and staring into the void. His poetry has been published in Durham’s The Blotter Magazine. Jubal Strube hopes to bottle up happy moments in his photographs to save for later. As an artist, Jubal uses photography as a means of documenting the world around him. He makes pictures that call attention to things that other people overlook. This exploration of the overlooked helps him engage more deeply with where he is in space and time. His work can feel like a physical meditation for the most part. Jubal is inspired by the moments we lose to memory. Perhaps unsurprisingly, these photos reference memories of home and family to him.


Committee Members




Jennifer Mabes

Jennifer Mabes Lena Moriarty Rhianna Powell



Kayla Greene Ciera Lloyd Olivia Walsh

Berkley Brown Angela Ciarletta Cat DiCaprio Kayla Greene Jake Mills


Copy Editing

Cat DiCaprio Kayla Greene

Nikki Kroushl Megan Travers

Thank You to Our Sponsors


AtLant s

Spring 2018 | Issue 77

a creative magazine

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