Dear Readers, Thank you for picking up Xylem Literary Magazine. Historian Barbara Tuchman once said, “Books are humanity in print.” This is how—after months of hard work advertising the magazine, poring over submissions, and getting the book ready for print—we’ve come to think of Xylem. Our unparalleled collection of University of Michigan undergraduate student poetry, short stories, creative nonfiction, artwork, and photography is what makes Xylem unique. Because the inventive work that appears in this issue is by UM undergraduates, exclusively—and because of the year-round hard work of the Xylem staff, also made up of UM undergraduates—Xylem, in a sense, represents the humanity of the undergraduate student body here at the University of Michigan and offers an innovative, unified voice to the creativity of the Ann Arbor community. UM’s diverse undergraduate voices come to life within these pages of Xylem: the literary and visual art of this issue embody students’ shared experiences as well as their artistic and intellectual difference. The student photography, poetry, and prose in this magazine are unique to UM, and the style and tone throughout cannot be replicated by any other literary journal. As Xylem’s Editor-in-Chief this year, I am proud to share with you with the 2010-2011 issue of Xylem. We hope you enjoy reading it as much as we have enjoyed producing it and making tangible the original student voice that lives within the art and language of UM undergraduates. Cheers, Heather Bicknell Editor-in-Chief Xylem Literary Magazine
Xylem Literary Magazine is a publication of the Undergraduate English Association. Sponsored by: The University of Michigan English Department Printed by Edward Brothers
Cover Art: â€œâ€œ by
Xylem Staff Editor-in-Chief Heather Bicknell Advertising Co-Managers Kelsey Strait Cecilia Jaquith Communications Manager Nick Nuechterlein Copy Manager Mallorie King Assistant Copy Manager Julia Adams Finance Manager Sergio Escudero Layout Co-Managers Claire Holloway Zoe Pearl
Publishing Manager Chris Dye Submissions Manager Seher Chowhan Assistant Submissions Manager Nicolette Amstutz Staff Rachel Fentin Julia Hickey Sue Li Sariha Moyen Kaitlin Schuler Michael Spaeth Stefan Yambao
Xylem, n. Collective term for the cells, vessels, and fibres forming the harder portion of the fibrovascular tissue; the wood, as a tissue of the plant-body. â€” Oxford English Dictionary Xylem is also the name of the Undergraduate English Associationâ€™s annually published literary journal. This is a collection of the best prose, poetry and art by University of Michigan students. Not only does the journal feature work exclusively by undergraduates, but all aspects of publicity, production and publication are student-run.
Table of Contents Poetry & Prose 1, 60 Andrew Whipple 3, 62 Stefan Yambao 4 Colleen Smythe 5 Erin Cousins 9, 58 Emily Caris 11 Emily Pittinos 13 Kathryn Spencer 17 Allison Epstein 19, 49 Jacqui Sahagian 20, 50 Julia Adams 21, 56 Carlina Duan 39 Seher Chowhan 43 Corey Smith 44 Kevin Lane 46 Trent Hansen 48 Wes Darland
Art & Photography
Kelsey Strait Joshua Bay Katie Klaric Devon Kraus Gulay Kaplan Seher Chowhan Claire Elise Mike Padila Stefan Yambao
24 25, 33, 38 26 27, 28, 37 29, 30, 36 31 32 34, 35 39
Contributors As a sophomore Asian Studies student studying Japanese, Julia Adams is often reminded of how much she loves English. Partly for that reason, she joined Xylem Literary Magazine and became assistant copy editor, participating in the editing and selection processes. She appreciates working on Xylem because it gives her an opportunity to engage with her love for poetry, fiction and prose. During the rest of her free time, she volunteers for Blood Battle, docents at the Kelsey Museum, and works on her own writing. Two of her pieces, a nonfiction piece called "Vision Correction" and a poem called "Surprise Inside", are in this magazine. Also, she would like to thank all those who participated in making this magazine, not just the Xylem's staff, but the writers who found the courage to submit their work. Emily Caris is currently studying human rights and social movements in Argentina, en Sudamérica, which only slightly has anything to do with her English concentration and Urban Studies and PitE minors. Today she came home and found her ceiling raining on the few possessions she has in this country. Tomorrow she will probably buy some new things. Before living in Argentina, she used to be a moderately strict vegetarian but has since discovered that she is a carnivore, a fact which she is afraid to share with her compañeros back home. Emily’s ability to communicate and write in the English language has also deteriorated rapidly, and thus, these two poems may be her last decent work. Seher Chowhan is from South Bend, IN. Currently a senior in LSA, she picked the weird combination of being an English major and a pre-med student, dreaming of going into psychiatry. She plans on taking a year off before applying to medical school to volunteer abroad in Peru and relax (a word quite foreign to her after being at UM). She has been writing and creating art since middle school. She likes taking advice from poets, and lives by Theodore Roethke’s words, “I wake to sleep and take my waking slow.” Wes Darland spends most of his time losing at Go and teaching cats
how to more fully appreciate James Brown. He is from Saginaw, Michigan. Carlina Duan is currently a first-year LSA student hoping to study English, and sub-concentrate in Creative Writing. When she's not writing, she explores art through chalk, bicycle-riding, and dunking slices of fruit into chocolate. She hopes to pursue a career teaching Creative Writing and English literature. Her poem "Horoscope Sky," was a recent recipient of the Fall 2011 Hopwood Underclassmen Poetry award. Allison Epstein is a sophomore in LSA's Residential College. She is a double-major in creative writing and literature and English language and literature, and is also pursuing a French minor. Her work has appeared in previous issues of Xylem, as well as Fortnight Literary Press and the RC Review. She is also a staff member of the RC Review and encourages you to pick up a copy of that magazine as well because it is amazing, in her completely objective and unbiased opinion. Allison hopes to be a published novelist after graduation, but for the moment is more than content to be published in high-prestige literary magazines like Xylem. Trent Hansen is a very busy hermit who wishes he had more time to tell you about himself. And more time to read, as long as we're on the subject. Kevin Lane is an undergraduate student at the University of Michigan, and will be graduating this term with a B.S. degree in both Philosophy and English Language and Literature. He is also a senior member of the Michigan Ethics Bowl Team, which competed on the national stage this year after going undefeated in the regional competition. He was born in Flint, Michigan but spent most of his childhood and teenage years living in the nearby and much smaller city of Swartz Creek. Kevin has played several sports throughout most of his life, with his favorites including hockey, baseball, and golf. Although an avid reader growing up, Kevin admits that for most of his undergraduate career he had planned to major in Philosophy and Cellular and Molecular Biology (completing the Pre-Med course track along the way), and that it was not until a little
x â—† xylem
more than a year ago that he truly discovered his deep interest and passion for both the reading and writing of poetry. Claire Morey is an artist, photographer, writer and model from Northern Michigan. Much of her work deals with the ambiguity and oppression of socially constructed identities such as gender, race, class and ableness—through seriousness, satire and unconventional boundarymorphing aesthetics. Claire currently resides in Los Angeles, CA where her work is on display at Cafe De Leche. She is working on a new book about mental 'disability' based on her relationship with her brother who is on the autism spectrum. Mike Padilla is a freshman with a passion for photography and video. He was once told by his cousin that he should stop taking photos of the sunset and enjoy it before he missed it. He tried, but what he truly enjoys is working with his camera to create beautiful memories. At U of M he plans on earning a degree in mechanical engineering. Jacqui Sahagian is a junior English major and Anthropology minor. She received the Jeffrey Weisberg prize in poetry winter 2011, the Roy Cowden Fellowship for fiction in winter 2012, and has been published in the Gargoyle Humor Magazine and the Michigan Daily. She was recently admitted to the creative writing sub-concentration for fiction. When not writing fiction or poetry, Jacqui writes music and performs with her two person blues-punk band, the Alcoholic Oracles. Corey Smith, originally from Temperance, Michigan, is a sophomore Music Composition student at the School of Music, Theatre and Dance studying under Bright Sheng. In his spare time, he fancies himself an artist and writer. Colleen Smythe is an LSA sophomore from Toledo, Ohio who plans to major in Sociology. She is a member of Michigan Political Union, DoRAK, and Bilateral, and she is a Writers’ Community core member. Her hobbies include reading, writing (obviously), and playing acoustic guitar. Colleen also plays for the UM Women’s Rugby Club.
Contributors ◆ xi
Kathryn Spencer is an undeclared LS&A freshman. She is an active participant in the Michigan Community Scholars Program, U of M Spanish Club, and the Brightmoor Youth Garden Partnership. The piece included here is a personal narrative written for her English 125 class last semester. Stefan Yambao likes writing, photographing, reading history and making merry. The spell check function on his computer often reminds him his name is spelled wrong when it really isn't. His spring allergies get the better of him. A few of his favorite scents include rosemary, freshly cut grass, mangoes and gas stations. He owned a guppy, once.
xii â—† xylem