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Echoes Volume 21 Forever Changing

Meghan Ariagno, 2020

The Independent School 8317 E. Douglas Ave WIchita, KS 67207 316.686.0152 I

Table Of Contents Fear / Elisa Larson ..................................................... 1 Blood Petals / Julia Fetters ....................................... 2 The Bee / Anna Tracy................................................. 3 The Bee / Emily Bishop .............................................. 4 La Abeja / Shera Campini .......................................... 4 The Family Roast / Emily Bishop ............................... 5 Morning Rain / Mary Ramsey ..................................... 6 Green / Emily Gilliam .................................................. 7 Adventure / Anna Tracy ............................................ 8 MacBoot / William Rowley, et. al. .......................... 9-11 River Market / Anna Tracy ....................................... 12 Ace / Olivia Riedmiller ............................................... 13 Penguin / Yuxin (Shirley) Xia .................................... 14 Place Setting / Emily Gilliam ..................................... 14 The Day the Sun Died / Lauren Agpoon .................. 15 The Last Sun / Austin Shaw ..................................... 16 On Dover Beach / Jacob Estes ................................. 17 Seaside / Deena Eichhorn ......................................... 17 22, A Million / Sense Cadman .................................. 18 The Lonely Man / Karson Littell ............................... 18 Dreaming in Color / Sophie Solomon ....................... 19 The Way / Mikayla Haehn ......................................... 20 Lost and Resentful / Garnett Tate ........................... 21 Palm Tree / Deena Eichhorn ..................................... 22 California / Jacob Estes ............................................ 22 San Francisco / Emma Talbott ................................. 22 Angel / Rachel Watson ............................................. 23 Starstuff / Sebastien Patino ................................... 24 Fishbowl / Jonah Bolin ............................................. 24 Farm Pond / Reed Nolte .......................................... 25 Vibrancy / Anna Tracy ............................................. 25 Wildfire / Emily Brun ................................................ 26 Fire / Austin Shaw ................................................... 26 Music to My Ears / Winnie Shaw ........................... 27 Piano / Mary Ramsey ............................................. 27 Passengers / Evan Evans ........................................ 28 Travelers / Austin Shaw ......................................... 28 Freedom / Emily Gilliam .......................................... 29

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Independence / Deena Eichhorn ................................... 30 A Vow, For Tomorrow / Yilin (Bill) Liu ........................ 31 John / Malina Wagner ................................................... 31 Alcoholic / Megan Dublynn .......................................... 32 From Syd’s Row to Zer / Blaise Webster ............. 33-34 Home Once Again / Peter Daood ............................... 35 Home Once Again / Clara Moon ................................. 35 Distance / Emily Gilliam .............................................. 36 The People of the Gym / Kennedy Gray .................... 37 Runner / Zach Hole ...................................................... 38 Crash / Emily Brun ................................................. 39-40 The Good Place / Aveo’n Hodge ................................ 41 Perspective / Emily Gilliam .......................................... 41 A Shadow at Noon / Vincenzo Rudy ......................... 42 Welcome / Emily Gilliam .............................................. 42 I Am a Woman / Emily Gilliam .................................... 43 Dancer / Rose Palmer ................................................. 44 Canvas / Irving Zarza ................................................. 45 Planetary Collapse / Anna Tracy ............................... 46 Bound / Emily Brun .................................................... 47 Brooklyn Bridge / Emily Gilliam .................................. 48 Bursting Colors / Eleena Amirani ............................... 49 Tropical Flower / Deena Eichhorn .............................. 49 Nanjing / Yilong (Edward) Chen ................................. 50 Fireworks / Anna Tracy .............................................. 50 Bird / Julia Fetters ..................................................... 51 Acrophobia / Alece Stancin ....................................... 52 Lost Boy / Garnett Tate ........................................... 52 Bubble Composition / Peyton Reynolds .................... 53 Pleasure and Deceit / Emma Gunderson .................. 54 Electronica / Emily Gilliam ......................................... 55 Flower Offering / Rose Palmer .................................. 56 Sororcidium Per Associationem / Emily Bishop .. 57-60 Bullet Dispersion / Sebastien Patino ........................ 60 I Want to Take in the Sight / Alece Stancin .......... 61 Weeping / Anna Tracy ............................................. 62 Checklist / Laeh Dean .............................................. 63 Sunday Candy / Deena Eichhorn .............................. 64

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Letter From the Editor

Dear Readers, Welcome to the Twenty-First Edition of Echoes Literary and Arts Magazine. Every year, Hundreds of submissions from talented Independent High School students are evaluated and included in the latest edition of Echoes. Through the years, Echoes has grown to become an award winning magazine receiving ratings of Superior, Excellent or winning the Highest Award offered in the state of Kansas from the National Council for Teachers of English for the past ten years. With every new year, students of The Independent School work hard to display the talent and art appreciation of students at The Independent School. On behalf of the Echoes 2016-2017 Staff, I would like to dedicate the Twenty-First edition of Echoes to Mina Farahnakian, a beloved student of The Independent School who was published in the nineteenth edition of Echoes.

Fly High Mina, Emily Gilliam Echoes Staff

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Awards and Recognition Essays:

First Place: Checklist, Laeh Dean Runner Up: Lost and Resentful, Garnett Tate

Poetry: First Place: I Want to Take in the Sight of the Trees till I’m Drunk on Their Elegance, Alece Stancin Runner Up: Fear, Elisa larson Art:

First Place: Vibrancy, Anna Tracy Runner Up: Ace, Olivia Riedmiller

Short Stories & One Acts: First Place: MacBoot, William Rowley, Runner Up: Sororcidium Per Association, emily bishop

Special Thanks to our Judges: Ms. Virignia Quincy - Essays Ms. Monica Patino - Poetry Ms. Katie Idbeis - Art Mr. Scott Huggins - Short Stories two thousand seventeen V

Fear Elisa larson, 2019 Runner-up

I hate it when people say fear is cold, reaching with icy dead fingers to haunt the souls of the lucky ones. Fear is not dead, fear is alive. So hideously and horrifyingly alive, near sentient in its abilities to rip the feelings of happiness and security out of my soul. Fear is a scorching, burning, destructive force with the ability to destroy the mental walls. I’ve so carefully contructed, burning the ashes to nothingness. Fear is the hot, stale air I forced myself to choke down under the sheets in hopes that I could hide myself from my demons. Fear is that lightning strike that strips my flesh from my bones that occurs whenever someone looks in my direction. I can feel their apathetic eyes and their judgements that are not true. Fear is the acid pooling in my guts, realizing I wasn’t careful enough this time around. The agony on my way to the emergency room while my skin is burning from the itching that I can’t help. Fear is the violent nausea of receiving a grade, the hot shame I feel at the realization that I wasn’t good enough, that I didn’t work hard enough. Fear is being awake at three in the morning, sweating and panicking because I did a compulsion WRONG and now the universe will punish me horribly.

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Fear is the shock and embarrassment I get when he looks at me, seeing into my soul and the dark places I tried to hide, from even myself. It’s hard to remind myself that no one is omnipotent. Fear is sharing my thoughts, my actual feelings that are as complex as spun glass and twice as easy to break. Fear is the fragile person trapped in her security blanket of lies and facades, screaming for help in a plethora of bizarre unreadable social cues that no one understands. I’m not doing well.

Blood Petals / Julia Fetters, 2020

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The Bumblebee / Anna Tracy, 2018 3 echoes

The Bee by Paul Valery

translated by Emily Bishop, 2018 What, and if fine, and if deadly, Whether your point, blonde bee, I do not have, on my tender basket, Throw a dream of lace Pick from the breast of the beautiful gourd On whom love dies or sleeps, One part of me even vermeil Vienna with the round flesh and rebel! I have a great need from a prompt tournament: A lively and well finished evil It is better than a sleeping torture! So are my senses illuminated By this small golden alert Without whom love dies or sleeps!

L’ABELLLE Paul Valery, Original Quelle, et si fine, et si mortelle, Que soit ta pointe, blonde abeille, Je n’ai, sur ma tendre corbeille, Jeté qu’un songe de dentelle. Pique du sein la gourde belle Sur qui l’Amour meurt ou sommeille, Qu’un peu de moi même vermeille Vienne à la chair ronde et rebelle! J’ai grand besoin d’un prompt tourment: Un mal vif et bien terminé Vaut mieux qu’un supplice dormant! Soit donc mon sens illuminé Par cette infime alerte d’or Sans qui l’Amour meurt ou s’endort!

La Abeja by Paul Valery translated by Shera Campini, 2018

Que, y tan finé, y tan mortal, Que es tu aguijón, rubia abeja, Tengo en mi cesta dolorosa Soló tirado un encaje de ensueño Así pica con su pecho esta calabaza hermosa En la cual el amor muere o duerme, Así esa poquita de mi autoestima rosita Vendrá a la carne redonda y rebelde! Está en necesidad profunda de una aflicción pronta: Un dolor brillante y bien definido Es mejor que un castigo eterno! Así mi sensación se iluminará Por esta alerta dorada Sin la cual el amor muere o se duerme!

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The Family Roast Emily Bishop, 2018 Twas the morning of Christmas and the family was coming They arrived in their cars, their approach was like drumming Aunts, uncles, and cousins They arrived by the dozens As auntie welcomed us, the host with the most I knew that it was time for the family roast

The other one small, her nature was bookish With big eyes and small lips, she resembled a fish Shy and quiet, unnoticed by most She was not a fan of personal boast Near perfect ACT, and 4.0 GPA Of her accomplishments, she never knew what to say She would go find a corner and sit by herself Unmoving and still, like the elf on the shelf

The first to arrive was dear old grandma With a cane made of wood from south Alabama Thirty minutes early, to auntie’s delight Dear grandma spoke out with a voice full of spite “That turkey looks dry, your bread could be sweeter You don’t cook well enough for my son, he’s an eater” Auntie continued, not batting an eye but she rolled them real hard when she sugared the pie

Our third cousin arrived, and he held seniority For some reason all viewed him with superiority Lack of rest from studying was the reason his eyes were scarlet But I knew he was spending time with Mary Jane, the harlot He moved with a lack of speed Which was a side-effect of weed He smelled like old musk And was always out until dusk despite the fact that he was wild, Grandma saw him as the golden child

Next was my uncle, grandma’s oldest son His voice always loud, like the bang of a gun He came in, kissed his mama, greeted his sister-in- law Then his brother came in, munching on a bear claw They hugged and said hi, then continued outside He had to give the details of his newest bride while the younger had been tied down for many a year The older one never seemed to marry with cheer This was wife number four, even younger than before and he reassured that this one was for sure not a whore Next was my cousin, not quick with her wit her head was adorned with a hat she had knit she came in all giggles, happy to be here And had a smile that was sized from ear to ear Although she was pretty, she wasn’t smart and some thought of her as the town tart She did not know of Shakespeare, Tchaikovsky, or Rous seau But she walked around proudly, with several boys in tow Her lips, bust, and hips were curvy and full but her head, I’m sad to say, was all full of wool Unnoticed behind her arrived her twin To say they were similar would have been a sin Fraternal, not identical, they were hardly the same Only one of them was clearly a dame 5 echoes

The last to arrive was my sister, Who had been knocked up by a mister She no longer had a bright, youthful glow And found that now she was her greatest foe she arrived two minutes before dinner began Followed by her own personal clan Two boys less than four, with number three on the way Her new man was loaded, and starting to gray He saw in her the Cinderella he’d looked for since divorce She said he was kind, and I said of course and the nephews screamed loud as they ran wild I realized right then, I would never want a child We all sat down for dinner, aching with hunger Looking to one another, from older to younger We held hands and said grace, thanked God for his might The sound of cutlery scraping was the bell of the fight Sister against sister, mother against son I knew then and there, that the roast had begun.

Morning Rain / Mary Ramsey, 2020

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Green Emily Gilliam, 2017

It is moss growing on the side of a slimy rock Next to the pond outside of my house. It is the color of rich vegetation, springing from bacteria and grime lining the earth. It is the color of a doctor’s gloves and the ingredient my mother puts in my least favorite dish. It is the color of sickness and distaste. It is the color of resounding energy. It is the color of zen, the color of thought. It is universally understood by human nature, and it speaks to each in a different way. Its glow personifies fertility and life. It is calm, inspirational, and hopeful, Lifting us from the inescapable fate of humanity. Green is the most neutral of all colors. It is fear, hopefulness, and energy. It radiates with meaning, and can be found everywhere.

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Adventure / Anna Tracy, 2018

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Macboot Act II:

This Town Ain’t Big Enough For The Two Of Us William Rowley, Duncan Bauserman, Ethan Chandler & Lea Coccetella, 2018 First Place

SHERIFF DOONKIN: MACBOOT: An honest man that is just too honest The roughest toughest cowboy around. LADY MACBOOT: BANQUO THE KID: The roughest toughest cowgirl around. A partner to MACBOOT. DRUNKEN CONSTABLE: MACSNUFF: He don’t even know what he’s doin’ Faithful man that just tries to wake up Sheriff Doonkin ROSSMAN: OLD MAN JIMBO The one and only Just an old man tryin’ to be himself. BANQUO THE KID is at the bar stage R, having a drink. He is in a casual position, enjoying himself. MACBOOT enters from stage left, suspicious, hand on his holster. MACBOOT: (suspicious) Who’s there? I have my six shooter handy pardner. BANQUO THE KID: (nonchalant) Ya’ haven’t hit the hay yet? The sheriff had been drunken since the high noon. He’s happier than a cow in a green pasture and has been buyin’ drinks for the whole town. This here gold nugget is a present to your woman for bein’ such a dame. MACBOOT settles down at a seat next to BANQUO THE KID. He pours himself a drink and sips it while he talks. MACBOOT: Darn tootin’. BANQUO THE KID: I dreamt about them three fortune tellers. They done spoke some truth. MACBOOT: I put them girls off my mind. We can talk bout it morrow if you are so inclined. BANQUO THE KID: Sounds mighty fine pardner. MACBOOT: Sleep well pardner. BANQUO THE KID begins to leave towards stage R, turning around to respond to MACBOOT. He then exits stage R. BANQUO THE KID: Darn tootin’ BANQUO THE KID exits stage R. MACBOOT, who is obviously intoxicated, begins to stare and squint at the air in front of him. As he speaks, he gets up and gestures with his hands, getting more and more angered. At his final line, it should be obvious he is crazy and drunk. MACBOOT: I see the smokin’ barrel of Colt’s finest revolver. It be floatin’ before my eyes. Have I been in the honky tonk for too long? I’ll be darned, you look as real as a rattler in a desert. I was plannin’ on usin’ that there revolver against Sheriff Doonkin. Why, you are even pointin’ in his direction. There be blood on your barrel that my eyes have never seen. I hear the rooster callin’ now. I reckon I’m fixin’ to kill the Sheriff. That there rooster tellin’ me to do it. Sayonara Doonkin. MACBOOT exits stage L to kill Sheriff Doonkin. LADY MACBOOT: That there whiskey be givin’ me courage. MACBOOT’s fixin to kill the sheriff. The deputies ain’t gonna wake up for awhile now. MACBOOT: (Offstage) Who’s there pardner? 9 echoes

LADY MACBOOT: I reckon one of them deputies woke up. Did MACBOOT find the .45 that we was s’pose to be framin’ the deputies with? MACBOOT enters from stage MACBOOT: I done shot the Sheriff in his slumber, did ya hear my .45? LADY MACBOOT: I ain’t heard nothin’ but the rattlin’ of the rattlers and the tumblin’ of the tumble weeds. MACBOOT: One of them deputies almost caught me red-handed. LADY MACBOOT: Don’t you worry your dear heart. KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK DRUNKEN CONSTABLE: I reckon I heard more knockin’ than ever before. Who be there? MACSNUFF enters MACSNUFF: Has MACBOOT hit the hay? MACBOOT enters MACSNUFF: My racket disturbed his slumber. MACBOOT: Howdy pardner, this mornin’ is gonna be good one. MACSNUFF: Is the Sheriff awake? MACBOOT: Not yet. MACSNUFF: He telegraphed me to git him up at the break o’ dawn. And I am late pardner. MACBOOT: Follow me cowboy, I’ll show you where he fixin to sleep. MACSNUFF leaves~enters after findin’ Sheriff dead MACSNUFF: Well I’ll be, Doonkin be layin’ deader than a doornail in his own blood. He been shot straight through the chest. Wake the town! There been a murder. LADY MACBOOT enters LADY MACBOOT: What’s all that racket for? BANQUO THE KID enters BANQUO THE KID: The sheriff been shot! LADY MACBOOT: In our own town?! MACBOOT: Yes ma’am. It sure is a sad day for all. You know what they say, “Renown and grace is dead. The wine life is drawn, and the mere lees is left this vault to brag if.” BANQUO THE KID: Huh? MACBOOT: Nuttin’. Somebody go tell his kids about the murder. They should know. two thousand seventeen 10

Old Man Jimbo and Rossman enters OLD MAN JIMBO: I member’ the past seventy years well pardner, and I’ll tell ya I’ve seen some crazy thangs. But last night!? Oh me oh my that was real crazy. Crazier than anythin’ these old bones have ever seen. ROSSMAN: Yessir Jimbo. I’d say our good old Earth ain’t happy with us right now. The skies a-stormin’ and the clouds are thunderin’. It just ain’t right. OLD MAN JIMBO: Yup. It don’t seem real, just like the death of the Sheriff. ROSSMAN: That wasn’t the only weird thang. Doonkin’s beautiful mares broke mild and threw and flew off a handle! OLD MAN JIMBO: Yup. Someone told me they ate each other. ROSSMAN: Darn tootin’. Hey, look up yonder. Here comes Macsnuff. Macsnuff enters ROSSMAN: How ya doin’ pardner? Do ya know who shot the Sheriff? MACSNUFF: Not to good bud. It was those shady deputies. I knew it. The people are sayin’ they was paid by Doonkin’s own sons, Milkcolm and Donald. ROSSMAN: Thats a darn shame. So I spose’ MACBOOT is the new Sheriff? MACSNUFF: Yeup. He’s runnin’ with the big dogs now. Where are ya goin’ now pardner? The Scoone Saloon in Salsbury? That’s where I be headin’. ROSSMAN: I’ma head back to my stompin’ grounds in Fiferton. Hope erythin’ goes well in Salsbury. MACSNUFF: Same goes to you pardner. See ya Old Man. OLD MAN JIMBO: Bye bye, cowboys. THEY ALL EXIT

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River Market Anna Tracy, 2018 In days of summer, I wander through crowds of old, of young, human and not. Colors and smells at every turn. Within a market is where I roam. The people, bright and beautiful. The food, fresh and handmade. The scents, exploding and delectable. Along my way, I come across a man selling plants and their colors vibrant and inviting. As I pass the man, taking a turn and heading into a side shop, I follow my nose into an Indian spice hut. The intoxicating scent cause my mouth to water and my nostrils to flare. Nonetheless, out of the shop I go and enter the fray once more. Stopping outside the door, my eyes wander across the market: artwork and clothing, food and plants, music and children, shops and stands. Such a bright but small world amidst a dark and scrawling city. A solace for the soul in times of rough, where the happy gather and spread their love. At a market by a river, a home in a dark world.

River Man / Anna Tracy, 2018

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Ace / Olivia Riedmiller, 2017 Runner-Up

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Penguin / Yuxin (Shirley) Xia, 2018

Place Setting / Emily Gilliam, 2017 two thousand seventeen 14

The Day the Sun Died Lauren Agpoon, 2018 I knew you. Years like the hours from dawn till noon. But when you left, You were gone too soon. Illumination followed by Your perpetual laughter, not calm like the rustling of leaves when the wind blows, But high and lively, Melodic, like birds chirping when you rose. Bewitching, ethereal, floating above humanity lighter than Wispy clouds on a bright spring day. This was your spirit, your melody. Kind and pure. Vivacious, like the simultaneous awakening of the Earth when dawn comes. Unadulterated by the specks of dirt and rubble embedded in the rest. The only thing that could hurt you was your physical being. Internal imperfections struck your core. At the stroke of eight, You ceased to rise. All the animals wondered when we would again meet your eyes. Perhaps the spring showers were accompanied by Winter’s last breath. You were ensconced in an Accumulation of clouds. Surely you’d be back tomorrow or the next... Only to learn the Wind swept you away. No longer could you emit your rays Of amber oh so brilliantly. Like lightning in the middle of water, Striking a current and bringing life to What seemed concrete. Magic in mind and heart, Irreplaceable. None thought that winter’s grasp would return with a hold so tight. AlI the birds, butterflies, and beautiful creation miss you. I miss you. Took your illumination for granted. Should have shouted Three. Short. Words before you ceased to rise. Regret. I was encased in Ignorance. Thought I would wake to see you shine the next day. Too golden for this small Earth. Too pure to stay.

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The Last Sun / Austin Shaw, 2018

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On Dover Beach: A Response to the Poem by Matthew Arnold Jacob Estes, 2018

The Dover Beach so calm, so violent the wind’s smooth breeze, yet such a harsh wind. The cliffs echo the crashing of waves, distant yet so close. My love watches the violent waves while I watch her, the only thing in place. The world so corrupt, yet so beautiful.

Seaside / Deena Eichhorn, 2020 17 echoes

22, A Million / Sense Cadman, 2020

Sad Head down, ashamed He plays for no one Hoping that someone who passes by will notice

The Lonely Man Karson Littell, 2020

Pale Notice his empty eyes, Greying hair, gaunt face and Empty soul Mocked Children running by ridicule Laughing at the ‘blue man’ Sitting alone Joy Music, his only companion The only light in his soul The only happiness he feels

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Dreaming In Color / Sophie Solomon, 2020

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The Way Mikayla Haehn, 2018

i love the way that you are able to find your way through the endless maze that is my heart i love the way that you smile when i tell you that a day without you is not a day, but a space until I see you again i love the way that you spend your time wrapping your arms around mine, scarred and dry on your new couch that already smells like you i love the way that you need my eyes and my mind and my lips in order to feel normal

i love the way you love me plain and simple complicated and complex completely

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Lost and Resentful/ Found and Accepting Garnett Tate, 2017 Runner-up

May 24th, 1998, was the day Glenn and Susan Tate were gifted with the blessing of their first son, Garnett Tate. Glenn and Susan found themselves in a position they were unfamiliar with, having raised a daughter to adulthood, they did not know what to expect from their new son. However, they did know they loved him with all of their heart and would do everything they possibly could to make him happy and feel loved. From the moment my parents held me in their arms, I knew they loved me and would protect me from all things bad in the world. At that moment I did not know it, but the next eighteen years would be filled with unexplainable confusion, terrible sorrow, and incredible joy. Growing up, my family was perfect and I felt loved and appreciated. Unfortunately perfection was not meant to be; when I was nine years old my mother was diagnosed with non-terminal liver cancer. I did not know what cancer was, but what I did know was my mom was sick and no one could help. Soon after my parents decided to start going to church. I had no idea who or what God was, but I did know my mom was happy at church so I did not complain.

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A year later my mother’s cancer spread to her lungs and she was sent to the hospital to be constantly taken care of. During school the only thing I could think about was how badly I wanted to be with my mother and that when my dad picked me up we would go visit her. At the end of the day I got in my dad’s car and asked to go see mom, but my father told me she had died that morning. When my father told me that, I felt angry, alone and scared, and I blamed it all on God. However, thanks to my incredible friends and loving family I built back up my strength to face life again and told myself that my mom would always be with me. My dad was forced to work longer, so I spent more time with my grandmother. While at her house we would pray to God to watch over those we loved and tell those who were not with us that we would never forget them. My dad got remarried to my wonderful stepmom Kathleen, which in my mind marked a new beginning filled with happiness. Unfortunately, happiness did not last and my grandmother suffered a stroke and after living a few more months scared and confused, passed away.

Again I was angry and scared and yet again, blamed all of it on God. Thankfully, the love and affection from friends and family lifted me up and I moved on but did not forget. During freshman year of high school I became involved with Young Life and purely for the social aspect decided to go to camp in Colorado. While at camp I made my first true connection with God and asked him to forgive me for all the times I hated him, and as I did a huge weight was lifted from my shoulders. I returned home with a new look on life and a want to push on. Unfortunately, bad decisions and lack of caring drove many of my close friends and family away. I started to hate myself and everything about my life. Adding insult to injury, the one man I respected as much as my father, my uncle, suffered a heart attack and died. I was alone, scared, angry, and had no one to go to. However, instead of hating God I leaned into him and slowly but steadily built back the relationships I had lost and grew to appreciate life more. My life is bent but is not broken, those who I have lost are still with me and will never leave.

San Francisco Emma Talbott, 2018

California Jacob Estes, 2018 The sunny and dark days, the warm skies and cool nights, from the inner cities to the desert dunes, California is my inspiration. The warm beaches bring my mind ease. The busy cities bring me comfort. The bustling traffic and constant noise bring me home. Whenever I see the mountains, I am happy. I feel the warm ocean breeze and become calm. The diversity of people gives me a sense of belonging. California brings me home. Palm Tree / Deena Eichhorn, 2020

Five months, one day, twenty-two hours and fifty-five minutes since I experienced the beauty that San Francisco offers. The city life mixed with a natural flair brings this city to highest peak. The ocean clashing against the landscape, the seagulls awakening us as morning approaches, the music that flows through the alleyways, along with the honking of car horns. fill the streets of San Fran. It’s almost as if this place were a symphony orchestra and the wind its conductor. From the winding road that thousands will travel to just drive, to the prison known as Alcatraz where no man could escape or survive, history is one of the many reasons why San Francisco is truly beautiful. Nature and city come together to create the culture of San Francisco.

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Starstuff Sebastien Patino, 2019

The most extraordinary fact about our universe is that the universe is a forever expanding bubble of opportunity, of successes and failures, with mysteries lying around every corner, mysteries that not even the greatest minds can begin to understand. Our universe is full of wonder, such as galaxies which bear stars and planets that revolve around these stars creating solar systems. However, the wonder of our universe really shines because even the most destructible things are admirable, such as asteroids; these huge masses of rock could one day get on course with Earth and, in an instant, wipe out the entirety of the human race. Although we know this, we still are willing to admire them because of our curiosity and need for comprehension of what is around us. Still, the human mind has limits; everything has limits, and this is why some of the unknown cannot be answered. So many things are beyond our imagination and understanding, but the things we can understand are incredible. Despite how clueless we can be, many people think, or many people may want to believe, that we are the center of the universe, that the universe is made just for us. But, we are only part of this universe; we a part among many. When I look up at the night sky with its luminescent stars, I realize this,

and I know I am small physically. But, really, I am big. We are all big because our planet, us, all living things, are composed of atoms, and those atoms are traceable to the mighty crucibles of life: the stars. I can see millions of stars in the night sky, but I know there are many more than just millions, the ones none of us can see. There are more than even trillions of them, all of which we cannot see the light of because it has not yet reached us, even though light travels the fastest of all things in the entire universe with nothing to match it. And, still, I do not feel small because, although we may be part of this universe, although we may be in this universe, and although we

may be possibly one of the smallest beings in all of existence, the most important thing to know is that the universe is inside us. We were forged by the fiery crucibles we see in the night sky; we are the children of the stars. This is what allows me to wake up every day, when times seem tough, or even impossible. I know that there is so much more to life than what our eyes see. We are not just people of flesh and blood. We make up and--are made of--the most magnificent, comprehensive thing in all of existence: our universe. This simple fact makes us magnificent as well. And, that is the most extraordinary fact about our universe.

Fishbowl / Jonah Bolin, 2020 23 echoes

angel rachel watson, 2017 You cradled me in my first hours on Earth, You always made sure I knew my worth. Every birthday, every milestone, every holiday too, I knew you’d be there, Me and you. I’d sit on your lap and we’d read for hours, You never got tired of me, Your love was never sour. You watched me grow, Inside and out. You were there for me and mom, Always, without a doubt. You saw me struggle, And made me feel calm. You could see that I hurt, And I knew I could come to you for comfort. We spent my first days together, And your last days together. Although you are out of sight, Our memories will live on forever. Goodnight, papa. And as we’ve always said together, “Sleep tight, and don’t let the bedbugs bite.”

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Farm Pond Reed Nolte, 2018

It’s been a year Since last I was there Pulling up to the red gate With the Kansas summer heat And the smell of grass As we drove through the gate We came upon the pond Beside the pond was the cabin When we walk in, we smell the dust We turn in the A.C. and head outside Once outside, we run for the dock We dive off the dock into the murky water We dry off to light the fire Then we cook our food and continue to play

Vibrancy / Anna Tracy, 2018 First Place 25 echoes

Wildfire In this situation, I know nothing Well, that’s not entirely true I know that I have, in some sort of way, fallen for you And I know that all it does is make me want to throw things And I know that kissing you turned my head into a spinning vortex And that I became addicted to your lips and your hands And the way you would wrap your arms around me And hold me against you In this situation, I know nothing But I’m sort of lying I know that my mind is on fire And every second of elapsed time Is another second that allows the flames inside of to me get taller And hotter And brighter

Fire / Austin Shaw, 2018

Emily Brun, 2017

In this situation, I know nothing But I do know that the way you held my face And brushed your thumbs over my cheeks Let me know that it was not one-sided And I still know that I am on fire I know that this distance should have cooled me, Released me from your ignited grasp But all it has done is make the flames grow taller And stronger And it has become harder to escape In this situation, I know nothing But I do know that you made me feel safe Even when everything in my head was telling me You were a liar And maybe I should have listened All I know is that you are the flame that turns my bones to ash But I would gladly reduce myself to smoke for you In this situation, I know nothing But I do know that you are the spark that set me on fire My entire existence is ablaze And you are one fire I know I will never be able to extinguish two thousand seventeen 26

Music to my ears Winnie Shaw, 2018 From strings to skins, there’s no way you can’t win. With beautiful bass, and notes in your face. Pick it or strum, from your pinky to your thumb. wood or brass, heavy metal or with class. Black and white keys, will make to hard to leave. Compositions old and new, listen the whole way through. Entrancing tones, from xylophones. Cymbols and drums, you will hear when the beat comes.

Music To My Ears / Mary Ramsey, 2020

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Road Trip / Austin Shaw, 2018

Passengers Evan Evans, 2018 On your next flight, you may find other passengers of many a kind. Each one different, with each their own strain. But everyone is stuck on the same airplane. The first is a person all of us know. His face is tired and his stress does show. He is flying for business; probably a meeting. Avoiding those other travellers in his business class seating, a cocktail or two, then maybe a nap. Is he in the mile high club, or just taking a crap? The next is one we just cannot stand. An ignorant mother, with an infant in each hand. Please, oh please, deal with your kids’ crying. Get off of twitter. They sound like they’re dying! People like this make me look for the door. If I find it, I can jump out and suffer no more.

Of course there’s our friend, the talkative neighbor. She’ll lend you her books, her music, or do any favor. Perhaps the conversation lasts for a while, but her jokes start to bring out a more grim smile. Okay lady, just leave me alone. I can’t stand your chatting, your constant drone. Alas we’ve come to paranoid Ned, sweating drips down his fat forehead. Always alert, looking around, “Did you hear the plane make that sound?” He can’t relax, he can’t calm down. “We’ll crash in the ocean! We’ll all drown!” And how could we fly, without our dear captain? Without your skills, something bad could happen. In the face of conditions that may seem grave, you keep us comfortable and remain brave. Or at least that’s what the passengers think.

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Freedom: An Unexplainable concept Emily Gilliam, 2017 Freedom is a basic element of humanity; it allows each individual to do what they please. In David Foster Wallace’s speech: “This is Water,” Wallace refers to characteristics like “discipline” and the ability to “truly care about other people” as things that make up freedom in its purest form. In the novel A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess, the main character Alex, a rebellious youth, encounters freedom in several different ways. His implied definition of freedom changes over the course of the book because of the way his mind has been influenced. Real freedom in which humans experience rather cannot be explained or broken down, this being because freedom for each person is so individualized and cannot be limited to a few words. In the excerpt from “This is Water” by Wallace, he explains several virtues as the things that define freedom. He first refers to “attention”; the kind of attention that makes everyone human. The ability to pay and hold attention to something is important, but likewise, does not define freedom. Wallace also refers to the human characteristic of “awareness.” Awareness is not only the consciousness that a human has but it is also what helps each human to decide whether each decision is ethical. He next uses “discipline,” which is important to consider when defining one’s own personal freedom, but the element of discipline does not apply to each individual’s own personalized freedom. 29 echoes

In the novel A Clockwork Orange, Alex, the main character of the story is a violent teenager who seemingly lacks empathy and a basic moral structure to live by. In the first part of the novel, the actions, or rather crimes, that Alex and his droogs commit are graphically described. Their crimes include include murder, rape and burglary among other unspeakable things. At the beginning of the novel, Alex practices “Self-interest, fear of freedom with disregard to physical pain, drove him absolute other humans and the value of their life and innocence. to that grotesque act Once Alex finally gets caught of self-abasement. Its in his actions, he experiences life inside the walls of a prison, stripped of the insincerity was clearly freedom he previously experienced. to be seen. He ceasAlex then agrees to be “cured” with Ludovico’s treatment. The doctors that es to be a wrongdoer. treat him continuously tell Alex that the He ceases also to be treatment is “curing” him despite the horrific symptoms he is experiencing, a creature capable of “You’re becoming healthy, that’s all.” moral choice.” His doctors try to justify their actions of stripping Alex of the freedom he experienced before the treatment. Later on in the novel, the All of the elements that Wallace refers prison chaplin tries to explain what to regarding the true meaning of freehas happened to Alex after he tries dom are not necessarily incorrect, but committing suicide by jumping out they are too specific and marginalized of a window: “He has no real choice, to completely define freedom in it’s has he? Self-interest, fear of physical purest form. The definition of freedom pain, drove him to that grotesque act is individual to each person because of of self-abasement. Its insincerity was each individual’s opportunity to create clearly to be seen. He ceases to be limitations that apply to their own mora wrongdoer. He ceases also to be a al compass. creature capable of moral choice.” The chaplin tries to tell people that Alex The ability to care and sacrifice is obviously a tremendously valued element of humanity. As well as this, sacrifice and the act of caring are arguably inherited traits of humanity and without these things, humanity would lack sympathy and the ability to love and care in a variety of different ways.

was driven to the point of “self-abasement” and he had no ultimate choice and no freedom because of the results of Ludovico’s treatment. After the treatment, Alex was heavily influenced and obviously affected by the method of curing the state had used on him. In the novel, there are two alternate endings; the first ending continues the story from the point of alex attempting to commit suicide. He wakes up in the hospital the next morning with his parents next to him as well as the prison chaplain, and state officials. Alex wakes up completely reversed of his sickening treatment and returns to his violent self. Alex’s freedom twists from absolute freedom to freedom within the bounds of his treatment and then back to his original freedom. The second ending starts with a scene at the milkbar once again, where Alex and his new group of droogs are plotting their plans of violence for the night, except Alex feels different. While his friends torture and beat an innocent man on the streets, Alex steps back and decides not to partake in it. Later that same night, he pours his beer on the ground in a bar him and his droogs are at. Alex realizes something has changed about himself after the treatment and confuses the good he feels with the treatment he underwent, “There was something happening inside me, and I wondered if it was like some disease or if it was what they had done to me that time to upsetting my gulliver and perhaps going to make me real bezoomny.” The novel A Clockwork Orange displays the freedom and free will that humans encounter in some of the most exaggerated instances. Alex, the main character of the book experiences a

change of his own personal freedom throughout A Clockwork Orange. In David Foster Wallace’s speech “This is Water,” Wallace includes simple traits such as “discipline” and “attention” as pieces that make up “real freedom,” but through examples in the

book A Clockwork Orange, it can be observed that human freedom cannot be described through only a few words on a piece of paper, it is much more than that because of it’s ability to fit to each individual’s morals.

Independence / Deena Eichhorn, 2020

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A Vow, For Tomorrow Yilin Liu, 2018 The daylight comes into my life as I sing under the sun. The twilight break the sunrise. You’ll realize it is tomorrow. Stars shine from the milky way. I wave to my sorrow and see meteor shower down the east wind. You wipe your tear off. Coffee stream ascending up in air, I felt my heart warm. Snowflakes land on the evergreens, and you breathe the halitus out. People regret to their time lost. I laughed at night. People wish their past back, but you pray for a nice future. So open your eyes for the graceful tomorrow and when night comes, I will be there by your side.

John (Inspired by Homestuck) / Malina Wagner, 2020

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Alcoholic Megan Dublynn, 2020

One last sip. His head dips on the pillow, finally calm and mellow. For it’s not easy living with an alcoholic.

Husband’s gone. He went insane, leaving you with a messed up brain. There is only one answer though of course, and that answer was divorce.

At first for a while, it’s calm and you smile. For you think he’s being progressive, but then he thinks, “okay just a few drinks,” and that’s when it gets excessive. “Don’t worry dear, you have nothing to fear, for I am perfectly sane!” Yet, he says this while banging on one the window panes.

Maybe things could have changed. Then things wouldn’t be so strange. But you married aWhat do you call it? Oh yeah. That’s right; An alcoholic.

Glass is thrown, a broken bone. Who would have known it could be this bad? Oh the fun you could’ve had, but he is an alcoholic. The yells, books flying off the shelf, you think you may have gone mad yourself. He’s has basically spent all your wealth, because he is an alcoholic. Then, after a few years go by, things start to go awry. You have no money, so you bet, causing you to go in debt.

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From Syd’s Row to Zer Blaise Webster, 2017 In Syd’s Row after a long tedious day of listening to dull lectures by unemotional HAL-9000-like professors, I found myself at the corner of Conception Avenue and Chastity Road while waiting for the bus to take me home. Syd’s Row was a small suburb of Anywhere, USA, which was close to where I grew up. My parents use to take me up and down the streets of Syd’s Row when I was a child. Around special holidays, the relatively small community came together, sang songs, and finally had a scrumptious feast. Just the scent of the air was enough to give me intense nostalgic feelings, as I stood on that lonely street corner. I took a look at my wristwatch and noticed that it was exactly four hours after lunch time. The day seemed to go by excruciatingly slow. It was difficult to find any enjoyment in anything at all. I guess that’s why I always walked to the bus stop in Syd’s Row. Everywhere I looked, a memory was triggered; the first time I rode a bicycle, my first date, my first kiss, my first time driving alone without a parent in the car. All of these memories kept me going. They made life just a little bit less dull. As I was standing there on the street corner, I saw the distant red bus approaching. I then noticed some other people make their way to the corner. Not a word was said to anyone as if none of us exist at all. The bus finally pulled up to the curb and parked near us. Once the doors were opened, we all entered and paid our share to the bus driver. I picked a seat near the middle 33 echoes

of the bus. This was always my favorite area to sit in as it wasn’t close enough to the driver as to make awkward conversation, and it wasn’t in the back where I would have to awkwardly waltz through the entire aisle. As more and more people were entering and exiting, I found myself joined with another passenger who sat beside me. I wasn’t overly thrilled at first, as I was not in

“Oh boy”, I thought to myself. Jordan reached inside a backpack and pulled out a book, titled The Virgin Suicides. “I just finished this one on my break not too long ago. I thought the story was incredibly well done. My only complaint is that the whole damn thing is told in the first person. I hate that.” This caught my attention. I was trying really hard to ignore Jordan in a non-rude way, but this sentence really interested me. I had never really heard “This neighborhood that opinion before. I put down my was notorious for book and bent the page to keep my place for later. desperation and “Is that so?” I asked. robberies.” “Yeah, I just find it annoying and somewhat implausible. I especially hate it when the story is being told through a the greatest mood that day, and I had child’s eyes, and the writing and vocabsome reading to do for class. As the ulary is that of an english major.” passengers began to take their seats I thought this was interesting, but also and the bus began to move, my new a little vague. I had just met Jordan, seat buddy’ noticed the book I was and didn’t want to present myself in reading. a negative way, so I just nodded and “Oh my goodness, is that went with what was being said. Dream Story?” “You know what else I hate?” “Mhm,” I said with with my face still Jordan said, waiting for me to nod buried in my book. my head to make sure I was listening, “That is one of my all time favorite “Short stories. I can’t stand them. I novellas! The story is so dense. Every feel like short stories are only written single page has something going on. It by authors who do not have either the is simply timeless.” wit nor the time to write a novella or a “Yep….” I was attempting to give my novel, and they’re only read by those seat buddy one word answers as to who don’t want to spend their time on relay the message that I was getting a good long book.” annoyed. Now Jordan was really getting “Hey, my name is Jordan! I know of crazy. I understood the opinion on first some really neat books, if you want any person narratives, but short stories? I recommendations.” love short stories, especially the ones

that really leave you wondering and wanting more. Once again, I didn’t say anything. If there is one important lesson that I have learned, it is that debates are ninety percent futile. Chances are you and the person who you are debating already believe what you and they believe and that any change in opinion wouldn’t likely occur, especially when the arguments are completely subjective, like literature tastes. The bus stopped at the corner Tarquin and Lucretia. I said some final words to Jordan, who stayed on the bus for the next stop. I put my book inside my backpack and left for the front of the bus. I thanked the bus driver and exited. As I made my way to the sidewalk, the bus doors shut and the big red vehicle was off to its next stop. My residence wasn’t very far away at this point, so I decided walk a bit slower than my usual walking speed to enjoy the scenery. I lived in the interesting village of Zer, which was about twenty-five miles from Syd’s Row. This section of Anywhere, USA was much more industrial than Syd’s Row, and was a much less wholesome neighborhood. This place was where the poor lived. Whether they grew up into unfortunate circumstances, or were simply people who spent their money unwisely, this neighborhood was notorious for desperation and robberies. At exactly 5:30 that evening, I took a shortcut in an alleyway just as a decent sized figure popped up before me. It all happened so fast. The next thing I knew, I was being held at gunpoint by a desperate looking robber. “Give me your wallet, and everything will be okay,” said the robber. I hesitated. I was still in terrible shock and it took some time for me to realize exactly what was going on.

“Damn it, give me your wallet! I will shoot you! I don’t give a damn!” I locked up. I didn’t know what to do. What was moral thing to do? Say no? What was the smart thing to do? Give up the wallet? “I’m gonna give you five seconds to give me that wallet, or I will blow your brains out.” “No!” The robber looked completely shocked. I had done it. I had just signed my own death warrant and I was about to meet my maker, that is, if there is a maker. I couldn’t believe what I had just said, and I don’t think the robber did either. The robber simply looked at me and pointed the gun straight at my forehead. “POP!” I fell to the ground. Is that it? I thought to myself, Am I dead? Well, I wasn’t dead, but I felt like I had just had a heart attack. The robber fiddled with the gun for a bit, until finally cursing it and running off. My ears were still ringing from the gunshot. I placed my hand to my forehead, and realized that there wasn’t even a scratch. The robber tried to kill me, but failed. It took me a while to compose myself, but I eventually got on my feet and headed down the alleyway to my apartment. I still couldn’t believe it. Why was I alive? Did the gun misfire? Was the bullet a dud? Was there a blank in the magazine? Was it some miracle from the maker? I had pondered all of these questions, but soon came to the realization that I would never realistically get a concrete answer. As I exited the alley, I saw my apartment building on the other side of the street, and wished to be home as soon as possible in order to end this very interesting day. As I was waiting to cross the street, I noticed a person sitting next to a blue building. I realized that

this person was homeless. I studied the person for moment, and noticed a tenderness and attractiveness to the nomad. The nomad then made eye-contact with me and smiled. I smiled back. There was so much sadness in those eyes. I walked over and sat next to the nomad, who was very quick to welcome me.

“Hi I’m Jesse,” said the nomad. We shook hands. At no moment did Jesse ever beg or ask for anything at all. I could tell that good company was all that was wanted. I thought for a moment, sitting across from my apartment, about how terrible this person’s life must be. Sure University can be dull sometimes, and I could be doing better things with my life, but at least I had a place to stay and something to eat. With that, I reached into my back pocket and pulled out my white wallet. As I opened it to take money out, Jesse began to protest against it. I smiled and said the world famous line, “You need it more than I do.” Jesse smiled and quickly took the money and expressed sincere gratitude. I nodded and rose up to my feet. “Don’t spend it all at once,” I said with a smile. “Oh I won’t,” he responded. I turned for the street, and when it was clear, I crossed over and entered my apartment building.

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Home Once Again Peter Daood, 2020 Paul Cezanne is home once again, in L’Estaque the village. Even though he was not born there, village life is key. City is too loud. The water’s breeze had him at ease, Paul Cezanne is home once again. The rolling hills, the cottages, and smells from the chimneys, and trees. The fish dance to the nets and hooks and even though he missed the fish, Paul Cezanne is home once again. He keeps trying until he eats. His paintings clearly show his love and where he wants to be. Because, when he is in L’Estaque, he says: Paul Cezanne is home once again.

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Translated to Korean by Clara Moon, 2018

Distance / Emily Gilliam, 2017

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The People of the Gym Kennedy Gray, 2018

At my gym, many people crowd the weight room Some of them on steroids, it’s safe to assume. With their grunts, groans and more They make my eyes and ears quite sore. Buff Jesus is his name and protein shakes are his game. He can curl more than 45s But all he is thinking about is the pantsless jive. Worst of all, the men who excessively grunt. I’m sorry, but you’re not performing a belly busting stunt. Is it really that hard? Come on, you’re barely lifting the bar. Next the guy with all the advice, “Okay so what you gotta do is use this new device” “It’ll make you bigger and stronger, I promise. I wouldn’t lie to you bro, yo drink this tonic.” The guy that does anything but squats at the squat rack This is a gym, not a place for your nap and your snack. You’re a tool if you use anything but the right equipment. Get out of my way, you better stay distant. Basic gym chicks, fit with their starbucks and lulu. Lifting makes you manly? Oh sorry, let me go get my tutu. While you’re over there climbing the never­ending stairs being snooty I’m over here doing deadlifts and eating doughnuts, just growing the booty

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Runner / Zach Hole, 2018

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Crash Emily Brun, 2017

I had watched him grow up. Perhaps that was why it was so hard to watch them sink his casket into the dark earth. I had spent the entirety of my twenty-four years with him and the thought of living without him for the remaining seventy sent the heaviest of air waving in and out of my lungs. Everyone kept telling me that I was lucky I wasn’t being dragged down right beside him, that I should be just as cold and dead as he was. I had to admit, at the very moment my best friend began his journey into the abyss of nothingness and ambiguity people called “death”, I was quite jealous of him. My therapist had told me two years after the crash that my initial response was not atypical; that it was actually quite normal to feel guilty for being the driver in a fatal crash, but angry at the person who had suffered the fatality. However, the waves of refusal to participate in society were not acceptable seven years later. I had tried telling her that he was the only friend I had ever known. Our fathers had been in the same fraternity in college and decided that their children would either be the best of friends or married.

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We grew up dangling upside down from tree branches and rubbing dirt in the scrapes we acquired on our knees. We went through high school together, hand in hand as we were taunted and teased and thrown in front of swinging fists. We had written and studied our way into our dream college and spent entire

“And once I was able to understand the true unfolding that was falling in love, the fire that pulsed through my veins only seemed to get hotter.” weekends drinking with friends and spoiling our cat. He was the only sure thing that was mine. I had always loved him. From the moment I was old enough to form a coherent English sentence, I knew we were supposed to be together. It was like seeing something for the very first time, but feeling like you’d seen it before. Looking at him was like having waves of deja

vu swim through your body like fire every single day. And once I was able to understand the true unfolding that was falling in love, the fire that pulsed through my veins only seemed to get hotter. He had been in Brookdale University Hospital for several days, surviving and enduring a series of exploratory and emergency surgeries. Although his brain activity was low and he yet to awaken from the first round of anesthesia, the doctors seems optimistic. When the ambulances had brought us in, his skull was crushed in two places, and he had a pink, foamy liquid seeping out of his ears; which I later learned was brain matter. The swelling was relatively easy to control and he responded well to treatments. When I was discharged a few days later with nothing but a broken wrist and bruised ribcage, I had spent every second of my days beside him, hoping to see the blue of his irises. About a week after his first surgery, his condition began to deteriorate. An infection in his kidneys was traveling through his blood stream and wreaking havoc on anything that was in it’s path. His organs were shutting down and his doctors told me they were going to

remove one of his kidneys and his appendix. It was a routine procedure, but his body was weak and survival was not likely. I refused to give up on him. I had kissed his forehead before they took him to the operating room. When the neurosurgeon approached me in the waiting room of the hospital, I felt as if he was already standing next to me. I saw no point in an update, I already knew he was okay. I felt as if any second he was going to return from the bathroom, the cafeteria, or the room of the relative I thought we were visiting. From the moment I saw his surgeon walking down the steps into the waiting room, I felt a sense of relief; free of presentiment and anxiety. It was when the surgeon was close enough to me that I could see her face in detail that I began to see every second I spent with him flash before my eyes. It began with the days we spent when we were young. Our eyes big and bright and ignorant to everything about the world that wasn’t imaginary and made up inside our minds. I watched him gather fallen, crisp leaves into a pile before shouting at the top of his lungs and heroically leaping into them, sending the dead shrubbery

into the air surrounding us. I was too young to realize it then, but the smell of the leaves intermixed with the cries and laughter of immature voices gave me a feeling in my chest that I could not recreate. As our life together sliced through my thoughts, bits and pieces of it began to obscure. Our early adolescent years were completely blurred by the tears brimming in my eyes as his surgeon spoke. “I’m so sorry for your loss. We did everything we could,” she promised. Doctors said that all the time. It was required, wasn’t it? To apologize for the loss the person in front of them was beginning to process, and to swear that they hadn’t rested until they felt there was no longer a point in trying to save a life that was already gone. I don’t remember the surgeon leaving, or sitting down in one of the waiting room chairs. I remember looking at my trembling hands and thinking that they could only rest when he held them, took them within his own and pressed them to his face. He would kiss them until the blood pulsed slower and the tremors were silenced.

Who was going to go out into the living room with a baseball bat when our cat knocked over a cup left on the end table? Who was going to help me pick out a color for the walls, or fix the kitchen pipes that were always backed up? My partner in crime, my inspiration, the world as I knew it, was gone. Tell me how in the hell I was supposed to get over that. That night, I returned to an empty home and a bed that felt so much bigger than it had just the week before. I replayed my favorite memories of him in my mind, hoping that when his soothing voice finally took me to sleep, an aneurysm in my brain would burst or a meteor would crash into the earth or the sun would swallow me whole because that night, I did not want to breathe if it wasn’t with him beside me.

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The Good Place Aveo’n Hodge, 2018

perspective / Emily gilliam, 2017

Two years ago, at the good place: ATL where it’s hot, sunny, where you can go outside, chill, and feel the good breeze. A place some people call homeit’s known as The Peach State. Georgia is a place where you can go to get away for a little. A lot of people walking, then driving. It’s a big city. Might run into some famous people. Georgia, The Peach State, where some people call home.

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A Shadow at Noon Vincenzo Rudy, 2017

Welcome / Emily Gilliam, 2017

Lost boys cannot fly Their wings have been clipped By the demons inside They cannot outrun The problems they chase Problems unknown by everyone Lost boys cannot trust Covered in scars Happy memories now dust They cannot find home All they see is an empty house The fireplace has since been doused Lost boys are an island in the sun Aesthetically pleasing But truly loved by no one They may have been given the world But feel as lonely as the moon They have no direction, a shadow at noon Some lost boys wake up from the nightmare Unable to breathe, gasping for air The family realized just too late Nobody thought to send a prayer two thousand seventeen 42

I am a woman emily gilliam, 2017

I am compelling and fierce, the pure golden baby and the lioness that hunts. I am a girl with ashy blonde hair and blue eyes, the perfect woman as many would say, but I desire to be more. I am more than a prize; a gift only given to those who ache for me. I am intelligent and beautiful, but not the way that you would see me. I am deep and residual. I echo in the streets. I am a woman. Look into me, not just at me. See the pain I have been through and appreciate things about me that I never knew. Look at the things I strive to be: the strong woman, the fearless woman, the earth-shattering woman. I know I am only as good as I think myself to be. I will not have my femininity undermined. I will wear whatever I please and expect the same service and respect as any, whether I’m asking for it or not. Look at me, my hands are softer than yours but have been through just as much. I am a human being and I live and breathe the same as you. I am a woman and I will not have my femininity undermined. I am the student sitting next to you, earning my place. I am the mother in the next booth over with two crying children in her lap. I am your equal, and I am not to be confused with anything less. My strength comes in the way I comfort and my unpredictability. Yes, I am a woman, but I am not weak and fragile. I am a woman and I will not have my femininity undermined, but I am not hard and cold. I ache for a sense of belonging, for something to grind against the softer parts of my heart. I am intense, but I am not ruthless. And I am occasionally moody and unstable but love me, despite what you see on the surface. I am a woman and I will not have my femininity undermined, because so often it is. I am smart, sexy and worth it. I am a woman and I am so tired. Tired of explaining and justifying myself to those who objectify me and expect an attitude of respect in return. I am a woman and I am exhilaratingly beautiful. I am a woman and I will not have my femininity undermined.

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Dancer / Rose Palmer, 2017

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Canvas: A Song Irving Zarza, 2019 You gave me a white canvas and then you took my heart you said that I don’t need it to create my own art You gave me a million reasons to leave your side and I stayed was a mistake, but I was blind and I was just a fool *But you took my soul and threw it from the window you gave me a white canvas and broke my heart You gave me a white canvas the morning you walked away I was crying, then you came along with my own salvation I tried to sell myself but the pressure was strong enough to make me quit from everything I did before, just let me go Now I have a white canvas to paint me a new lover or to paint my pain* I had to say that I am sorry every time I expressed myself you don’t understand what I do but you think you have the power here Someone once told me take your breaking heart make it into art, and that’s what I did with your paper love (*) Repeats

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Plantery Collapse / Anna Tracy, 2018

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Bound Emily Brun, 2017

You have been “gone” for almost over a year but you never finally vanished until mid October when we both said our final wounding words

I am still baffled how I found pieces of me within pieces of you when everything I had been told looked to drive me away from you

but you still shake my father’s hand, you still go to where you know I’ll be, and your sister still looks at me like I set your world on fire

I don’t remember the last time I saw you in person but I have not forgotten anything that makes you who you are

which I probably did but don’t you forget that you turned me into a different person if I set you on fire you took everything I was and broke it in front of me

I haven’t held your hand or touched you in months, but I can still feel the softness of your fingertips and the ruggedness of your back

you are the one that ultimately took the most and you always seem to forget that you have the most precious piece of me I will say that this is not what I wanted, this is not how I wanted us to end because there are still days that I can’t shut out from my memory I still replay the moment; I fell in love with your family and how even amongst so many unfamiliarities, I had never felt so at home

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I know you I know every imperfection; I have memorized the dent on your face and the scar above your hip And you know me you know which wrist holds my hair ties, how I cover my lips when I laugh, and how I sit far too forward when I drive We are a mess and we will never be okay again because we will never truly fall out of love, but the house we built will never be a home

Brooklyn Bridge / Emily Gilliam, 2017

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bursting colors Eleena amirani, 2020

Bursting colors Oranges, blues and greens The sun coming out with shining light Bursting colors The trees grow taller and are in people’s sight The wave, pushing boats further into the river Bursting colors Oranges, blues, and greens

tropical flower / Deena Eichhorn, 2020 49 echoes

Fireworks / Anna Tracy, 2018

Nanjing Yilong (Edward) Chen, 2018 Feels like I have been away for a thousand years. Tired of the loneliness and strangeness, I shiver in the night as I think of that place. I stroll in the streets and stare at the stars, wishing they could bring me there. The sky I love the most is in Nanjing. I will melt in the moonlight and follow the rampart to the center of the city that I love the most . . . in Nanjing.

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Bird / Julia Fetters, 2020

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acrophobia Alece Stancin, 2018


nce a man leaned over the dark hole the ominous abyss that unforgettable moment he found what he was looking for a way out now everything seems to have reversed the world is upside down it is no longer what it used to be the man doesn’t know how he feels about that but he knows he wants to leave there’s no turning back now he is gone forever he leaned over too far

Lost Boy Garnett Tate, 2017


young boy lost in the crowd, lost and unsure of how to be found. Where is his mom? Where has she gone? She has gone away, lost and never to be found. Because he was happy next to her and spent all of his love on her, they bore her away from him, before her time. They taught him to stow away his love and be cold to the world. And because he smiles and hides the pain, they think that he is unharmed. So his friends leave to speak alone as he left, searching for his mom.

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Pleasure and Deceit Emma Gunderson, 2017

Taken for pleasure, but presented with deceit. Tasted for sour cheeks and a flexible tongue, but unprompted hateful words are spit where happiness was intended. Sweet like candy, but utterly disgusting. Full of dead air and water. Crawling skin lumped with sores from the heart. Compassion takes a turn for green. The gift that keeps on giving. Salty veins unable to be restricted by a human medicine. Where did it think it was going when it ran off with my lungs tied together with who knows what. They told me to be quiet, but I didn’t have a choice in the first place. I’m surrounded by long notes of melody, and I can’t find one that sounds like mine. The sugar rush of activity takes away every ounce of syrup injected into the heads of youth. The two of them that were once in front of me have abandoned my oxygen. Stockholm syndrome.. I wonder.. do they miss me? They were the only ones who shared my melody. They took my breath away and didn’t speak. Help captive was my strength, let go was my motivation. Searching. Sobbing. Silent. Who were they and why do I feel nailed to notions negotiated by my boss that fired me from MY inner. Hot blooded harmony, taken from my individual orb. Now, my orb is filled with orange glass. The orange glass tastes sweet. I’ll wait for the vile manifestation alert to eradication. Will you?

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Bubble composition / Peyton Reynolds, 2020 two thousand seventeen 54

Electronica Emily Gilliam, 2017

walls breathing trees reaching ground pulsing air resting

smiles seeping face warping hearts beating pulse racing

colors changing skies waving stars shooting eyes twitching

hands sweating blood pumping minds dancing souls searching



Flower Offering / Rose Palmer, 2017

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Sororicidium per Associationem Emily Bishop, 2018 Runner-Up

My name is Margo DeLaffe. I have a sister, Anastasia, who is three years older than me. She’s my best friend and I care about her more than anything. I’ve always looked up to her because she’s gorgeous and kind and smart and funny. When I was little I wanted nothing more than to be like her. But recently, she hasn’t been herself. It started about two years ago when she met a boy, Ryan. He was tall and thin and when he smiled, it looked more like a sneer. I could understand why she fell for him; he was a musician and he was too clever for his own good. I just couldn’t understand why she would stay with him. He was a sadistic jerk, to say the least. He was loud and pretentious. He thought he was the smartest guy in the room, and he let you know it. I could tolerate that if it wasn’t for the abuse. It was rarely physical, but there were times when my sister had come home with a cut across her cheek or a bruise on her wrist that I knew came from the same source. His verbal abuse destroyed Anastasia. He made her feel like an idiot and like a harlot. He guilted her for being friends with guys she had known since she was six; he would accuse her of cheating on him with 57 echoes

them. When she used the same logic on him, he reacted with rage and told her she was a jealous tart who was too clingy and was lucky that he even paid her any attention. I don’t know why she stayed with him and I knew that she would never leave him. I knew that the only way to save my sister’s life was to destroy someone else’s. I didn’t like

“He was loud and pretentious. He thought he was the smartest guy in the room, and he let you know it.”

what I had to do, but I knew that if I planned it out to perfection, it would go off without a hitch. I knew I could get away with. I was more wrong than I had ever been in my life. My plan involved several weeks of planning as well as a little knowledge about the schedules of Ryan and his family. I knew that his parents would be out of town the second weekend of September. I knew this because he had tried to get Anastasia to stay the night with him so that they could fool around.

She said that she couldn’t because our parents would never allow her to do that since she was only seventeen. She had come home that night with a bright purple bruise on her collar bone. I also knew that Ryan worked as an intern at a law firm from four until seven in the evening every Friday. Everything was going to align perfectly for my plan to go off without a hitch. The materials I needed were few and I spent the week before procuring them. The first thing I needed was a forged note in Ryan’s hand writing. It took me the whole week to get his penmanship just right. I had practiced by looking at notes he had written my sister. They all seemed angry and manipulative. Things like, “remember, I’m the only one you love.” And “I don’t know how I’d go on if you left me.” Really creepy and really abusive. The second thing I needed was drop cloths. Lot and lots of drop cloths. We had a bunch in the garage from when we had repainted the living room, so I had those in no time. I also got bleach from the cleaning supplies under the kitchen sink, and a pair of leather gloves from my sister. Ironically, the gloves had been a gift from Ryan when they had first started dating.

Finally, the day arrived that I would the one that led to the master enact my plan. I told my parents bedroom. My heart started pounding I had a study group at the library. as I reached under the queen sized They were completely unaware that bed and wrapped my hand around my bag was not filled with books, a metal box. I pulled it out from but the items I thought would save under the bed and unlatched the my sister. She wasn’t planning on clasp keeping it shut. I opened the going out that night. I was relieved. box and saw to my delight a black I didn’t want her involved in this. handgun. Ryan only lived a few blocks away, so I walked. I took the long way around the block through the alley that ran behind his house. I didn’t want to be seen by anyone. I hopped the back fence and climbed up onto the railing of the back porch and then pulled myself onto the roof of the portico. I crawled over to the window that I knew was his and put on the gloves I had borrowed. I pulled up on the window frame and it slid Beat / Meghan Ariagno, 2020 open, just as I had hoped. I climbed through the window, being careful not to touch anything. Besides being a musician I then began my hunt for the final and a manipulative schmuck, Ryan and most vital tool for my plan to was also a sharpshooter. He had a work. I searched in his closet, under real talent for guns, it was a family the bed, in his desk. It was nowhere tradition. I knew that there would to be found. It then dawned on be a gun somewhere in the house me that if it wasn’t in his room, it that was easy to get to. They kept was probably in his parents’ room. them hidden in places that could be I raced down the hallway opening easily accessed in case there was door after door until I opened an intruder. The pieces of my plan

began to fall into place. I picked up the gun. My hands were shaking. Was I beginning to have second thoughts? “Get a hold of yourself, Margo. Don’t you want to save your sister?” I said to myself. I knew that I was doing this for her, not for me. I couldn’t bear another night of hearing her cry or of seeing her try desperately to cover up a bruise that was in an obvious spot. I knew that it was time for her to be her true self once again. I checked my watch. It was 6:30. Ryan would by home in less than an hour. I had to act quick. I creeped down the stairs and placed my bag in a chair in the living room. It was in a straight line with the front door and the light switch. I decided I would sit here when I pulled the trigger. I took out the drop cloths and placed them on the ground near the front door and on the surrounding walls. I didn’t know how messy this would be, so I planned for the worse. I took the forged note and placed it carefully on the coffee table next to a book of famous architecture. I read over the note one more time, impressed by my skilled forgery:

Two Thousand Seventeen


Mom and Dad, By the time you read this note, I will be long gone. I can’t take this town anymore and the expectations placed on me by everyone. I have become a person I do not like and I am afraid of who I might become if I don’t try and change. I have decided to head west, looking to change myself. I hope you understand and know that there was nothing you could have done to fix me. I want you to know I love you and I’ll come back for you one day. Your Son, Ryan I had to give people hope that he wasn’t dead. If they thought he ran away, the authorities would spend a few weeks looking for him and then he would fade into obscurity. I knew that once I shot him I would have to get rid of the body. It was supposed to rain the next night. I would move Ryan’s body in his own car to the river just outside of town and then dump it. The heavy rain would cause flooding and wash the body away. I would leave the car near the train station. I would place the gun back in the box, I would clean everything to be spotless, and I would get away with everything. I checked my watch. It was 7:09. Ryan would be arriving any moment. In fact, I thought I heard his car pulling into the driveway. I moved to the chair and sat there, waiting. I wasn’t going to give some speech about how he was getting what he deserved or that I was doing this as an act of love. I had seen enough movies and read enough

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books to know that monologuing takes too much time and is usually the downfall of a plan. Besides, he didn’t deserve an explanation. But he did deserve what was coming. My heart began pounding and my hands were shaking. I tried to steady my breathing, but it wasn’t working. I knew that it was okay to be scared. I knew that what I was doing was right. I heard footsteps approaching the front door. It was dark outside and inside. I could barely see the figure that unlocked the door and stepped through. The door closed, I could vaguely make out a hand reaching for the light switch. I knew it was now or never. BANG! One shot. I heard a gasp. The lights flickered on. Tears welled in my eyes and I dropped the gun. I looked up and saw a purple sweater with a dark spot slowly growing. Black Curls that were pinned up and grey eyes that shone like moonlight. “Ana!” I shrieked. I had shot my own sister. Her expression was one of confusion and fear. I rushed to her. She fell back. Her hands were pressing on the bullet hole. Her breathing was rapid and her eyes were watering. I propped her up and held her. I began to sob. “Ana, I didn’t mean to. This wasn’t for you. This was for him! I would never hurt you!” She reached a blood-stained hand up feebly and wiped a tear from my face. “It’s okay. Don’t cry. I’ll be okay. It’s not your fault.” Of course in her final moments, she would try and comfort me. That’s

just the kind of person she was. I sobbed and my tears fell on her face. I wanted to believe her words. I wanted to believe that everything would be fine and go back to normal. I knew I was lying to myself. The bullet had hit her in the stomach. It was an unfortunately accurate shot. “Margo. I need you to talk to me. Please, just tell me a story,” she begged, her voice shaking. I nodded and tried to stop my crying. I told her how much I loved her and how much she meant to me. I told her about the park where we used to go and feed ducks when we were little. I told her about the time we tried to make our parents breakfast for their anniversary, but had ended up horribly burning the toast. I told her that she was loved and that she was amazing. She smiled and said she loved me. And then she closed her eyes. It felt like I sat in that living room for an eternity. I held Anastasia and cried silently, not knowing what to do. I just held her. I just sat there, unmoving. It felt like the wind was knocked out of me. I heard footsteps approaching the front door. I would not let my sister die in vain because of my mistake. I leaned down and kissed her forehead and placed her gently on the ground. I crawled over to where I had dropped the gun and picked it up. I stood and held the gun out in front of me, one finger resting tentatively on the trigger. The front door opened. “Margo?” Ryan said in confusion. His expression turned to one of

terror and he placed his hands in the air. “Close the door, Ryan.” “Look, Margo. I think we should-“ “I SAID, CLOSE THE DOOR, Ryan.” He closed the door and locked it. “It should have been you, asshole.” BANG! BANG! BANG! The bullets hit him in the shoulder and the chest. The third one missed. His body fell to the flood. He laid there, bleeding out. I sunk down, my back against the leg of the chair. I heard police sirens. One of the neighbors must have called the cops when they heard the first gun shot. I’m screwed. There’s no way I’m getting out of this. I had too much pride, too much faith in myself. I don’t even know why my sister came to this godforsaken house. She was probably planning on surprising Ryan. Maybe she had convinced our parents to let her stay the night. I won’t ever know. My time is running short. I know that the police will come in the house soon and I’ll be taken away to some institution or I’ll be tried in court for my crimes. I’ll end up in the chair, electrocuted painfully as people watch. That’s not how I want to go. I’m running out of time. At least if I go this way, it’s on my terms. I don’t know what waits on the other side, but even the possibility of a dark, never ending void of nothing seems more appealing than my current options. A tear rolls down my face and I take a deep breath.

Bullet Dispersion / Sebastien Patino, 2019

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I Want to Take in the Sight of the Trees Till I’m Drunk on Their Elegance Alece Stancin, 2018 First Place

I keep my eyes glued to the window so I don’t miss a single thing: not my favorite corridor of trees, the snow-capped mountains lining the horizon, or the jumbled, ramshackle streets. Neither the farm where we picked pumpkins, nor the school playground where we spent so much time will be forgotten. The do-not-disturb bear, the crunch of gravel under rolling tires, and the sound the water makes as it eases onto the rocky shore are not left out. I soak everything up, committing each detail to memory, as if every trip is my my first and last, so I can fall in love with it all over again.

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weeping / anna tracy, 2018

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Checklist Laeh Dean, 2020 First Place


was a checklist. I was a walking, talking, breathing checklist. But that was the best type of person to have around, right? You could tell me what to do and I did it. No questions asked, no denials. I did it. Even if I didn’t want to, I did it with a smile on my face. Nothing would continue until I finished doing what I was supposed to do. “In order to be succesful you have to get amazing grades.” That was my first “to-do”. At the time I didn’t know what they had done to me. I obsessed over it, night and day. If I got a bad grade on something, it would eat me alive. Next it was “relax”. I had to stop showing I cared. So I acted dumb, like I didn’t know up from down. People seem to like you more when they feel as if they are better at something than you are. Then it was “be the best”. This is the thing that destroyed me. This was the one thing that I could never achieve and it still makes my skin itch. These were the words of someone that I looked up to. My whole world asked me to do this. How could I refuse? I worked incredibly hard to be this, but I never accomplished it. This was heartbreaking. No matter how hard I worked, I never failed to find someone better than me. I started to question myself. I wondered about everyone who ever added to my list. I started to ask myself if I was happy. I wondered when and what I was going to get to choose. That was the day I decided I was more than a checklist. I was a person.

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Sunday Candy / Deena Eichhorn, 2020

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Index Agpoon, Lauren 15 Amirani, Eleena 49 Brun, Emily 26, 39-40, 47 Bishop, Emily 4, 5, 57, 58, 59, 60 Bolin, Jonah 24 Cadman, Sense 18 Campini, Shera 4 Chen, Yilong (Edward) 50 Dean, Laeh 63 Dublynn, Megan 32 Eichhorn, Deena 17, 22, 30, 49, Estes, Jacob 22 Fetters, Julia 2, 51, Gilliam, Emily 7, 14, 29, 36, 41, 42, 43, 48, 55 Gray, Kennedy 37 Gunderson, Emma 54 Haehn, Mikayla 20 Hodge, Ave’on 41 Hole, Zach 38 Larson, Elisa 1 Littell, Karson 18 Liu, Yilin (Bill) 31 Moon, Clara 35 Nolte, Reed 25 Patino, Sebastien 24, 34 Palmer, Rose 44, 56 Ramsey, Mary 6, 28 Reidmiller, Olivia 13 Rowley, William 9, 10, 11 Rudy, Vincenzo 42 Reynolds, Peyton 53 Solomon, Sophie 19 Shaw, Austin 16, 26, 27 Shaw, Winnie 28 Stancin, Alece 52, 61 Talbott, Emma 22 Tate, Garnett 21, 52 Tracy, Anna 3, 8, 12, 25, 46, 50, 62 Wagner, Malina 31 Watson, Rachel 23 Webster, Blaise 33, 34 Xia, Yuxin (Shirley) 14 Zarza, Irving 45

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Congratulations To the 2016 Echoes Staff for being nominated for the

Highest Award by the National Council of Teachers of English in student literary magazines. Now accepting 2018 echoes submissions. Email or visit our website:

2017 Echoes Staff Faculty Advisor: Amanda Evans Editor-In-Chief: Emily Gilliam Essays:


Editor, Malina Wagner Editor, Clara Moon Assistant, Emily Gilliam Assistant, Mary Ramsey Clara Moon Emily Gilliam Art:

Short Stories:

Editor, Mary Ramsey Assistant, Clara Moon Sophie Solomon Jacob Littrell

Editor, Sophie Solomon Assistant, Malina Wagner Mary Ramsey Emily Brun

The Independent School 8317 E. Douglas Avenue Wichita, KS 67207 316.686.0152

Echoes Literary Magazine 2017 Vol 21  

Echoes is an award winning literary magazine created by and for the students at The Independent Upper School in Wichita, Kansas.

Echoes Literary Magazine 2017 Vol 21  

Echoes is an award winning literary magazine created by and for the students at The Independent Upper School in Wichita, Kansas.