Editor in Chief
Design & Web
Mara Almanzor (Web)
Christine Reed (Web)
Kai Richardson (Design)
Phe Shay Lock
I have never harbored doubt that this issue of LandEscapes would, at its end, coalesce into a bright moment of unbearable beauty. This magazine was invented out of social star stuff, through endeavors of love, by the finest humanists at WSU. If I get any credit for any of it, that credit should be exclusively for collecting such a group of sculptors, all of whom, individually, are the best human being I have ever met, and all of whom have delivered, now, into your hands the heartbreak and astonishment of a crumbling, shifting society; of gendered edifices weathering into dust clouds glowing pink in the midday sun; of ruddy voices screaming atrocities in rooms so old you should only whisper. Also cute little notebooks.
Know, reader, that any visage of success or leadership which I wear upon my shoulders has been unbashfully plagiarized from the stunning people that actually made this thing. My skinny unconfident voice would’ve been lost quickly in the smoke of August were it not for the booming intelligence of Laura Abbott (currently absconded to Japan), my small hands melted in the sog of December if not for the iron backbone of Ashley Guarino: LandEscapes’ flagship Managing Editors so exhausted by the weighty puzzle of making art out of our chaos they had to split the job up.
Of course the funny ideas up in management would have been legless without our staff. To Anna Villatoro and to Amber, you who filled our white pages with color. To Anna Cloud, Shaun, Rochelle, and Kassandra who made Fiction section ridiculously perfect, and imaginative, and emotional and who put in confusing amounts of time, work, and creativity. To Hailey, Darcy, and Lauren who found among many a few voices of quiet truth and loud beauty now echoing across this campus in visceral shudders of the spine. To Becky, Jackson, Phe Shay, and Holly who had the easy job of finding good poetry in their thriving community and still blew it out of the damn water, collecting perfect voices, shining imaginations, and exhilarating screams for justice. To Joe, Karl, and Heather, our bored music and marketing section who got us some good art and who banded together to make this a year in which LandEscapes was a difficult presence to ignore. To all of you: thanks bruh.
Thanks bruh also to Peter Chilson, our closed-mouth and undyingly supportive faculty advisor. To diligent Debbie Lee over at VWS, to longsuffering Annie Smith in finances, to understanding Kandice at the SEB Arts Grant, and to the exasperated Kathy and Jessica at University Press. Thank you all for helping us achieve every ridiculous dream we had.
Thank you to Heloise who made perfect our werds. To Kai who designed our pretty book and who rarely feels any emotion other than being chill with stuff. To Kelsey who trained him, mother of our current style. To Mara whose built us magnificent websites the reader will never see and who is currently working to make a magnificent one you will. Thanks hackers. Thanks Christine for unadvisably taking on this job with her. Thank you to Ana (Awe-nuh) Schmidt, last year’s Editor and current guy-who-hangs-around-after-graduation-alright-alright-alright. Thank you for being there in moments of panic. Thank you to the wheat-fields. To Gary and Rico’s. Thank you to the snowy springtime and the magazine that made us feel human. Thank you to the reader. This is the breath and blood we can offer you. We are grateful for your hunger.
LETTER FROM THE MANAGING EDITOR
At every step of this year’s issue of LandEscapes I felt pride in what I was doing. I knew that this issue would stand-alone in a sea of many. This magazine, longstanding with a wonderful staff year to year, has shone even more brilliantly due to the tireless efforts of the staff and our contributors. By no means does just one person, despite the titles, run this magazine. LandEscapes, known for its nearly effortless beauty, is composed due to the tedious work of our staff. We are known on campus, even though I’ve had several people ask if we only do landscapes. Despite the name, we stand tall in our brightly colored shoes to motivate a campus dying to exclaim its excitement.
To those reading our magazine, we appreciate picking up our copies year to year, or accepting it as its gently tossed into your lap or sitting at a table in the Compton Union Building. Please know reader that my work was cut out for me. Our Editor in Chief, Travis Bryant, gathered a group of stunning creative minds that constantly amaze me. There is not a day that goes by without a twinge of jealousy as I see one of our staff excel above and beyond while I wish I could have thought of it first. It was due to Laura Abbott’s travel abroad to Japan that I was lucky enough to even be considered for the position of Managing Editor. I hope I didn’t disappoint.
With Travis at the helm, he used his commandingly quiet voice to maintain order in a group so driven to succeed. Our staff, solely put together by Travis with some nudging from our faculty advisor Peter Chilson, never stayed quiet and always had an idea to throw out. Each section worked to gather their submissions and to create a voice within their pieces. Anna Villatoro and Amber Larks handpicked each submission to captivate our readers with stunning art pieces that collaborate to wow with each turn of the page. Anna Cloud, Shaun Bush, Rochelle Mascey, and Kassandra Vargas diligently focused on every fiction submission to make the author feel beyond appreciated. Becky Sharp, Phe Shay Locke, Holly Matteson, and Jackson Ferderer chose poetry that enlightened the mind while collecting voices that are so distinct only to meld into one harmonious section. Hailey Gibson, Darcy Malberg, and Lauren Getzin found truth and emotion through non-fiction pieces to show the endless struggles humans go through. Karl Howell, Heather Spurling, and Joseph Cardenas brought together musical inspiration to flow through our beautifully made marketing tools to not only bring a tear to your eye, but happiness to your ears.
Thank you again Peter for standing tall along side our staff and always letting us know when we were headed down the wrong way. By keeping us up to date and never losing sight of what’s important, the creative voices, LandEscapes wouldn’t stand as proudly as it does. To Debbie Lee, who tirelessly works on the Visiting Writers Series, Annie Smith in finances, and Kandice at the SEB Arts Grant, you made our vision possible. Another welcome goes out to Kathy and Jessica at University Press that made sure a day didn’t pass without an email to keep us on track.
Thank you to Heolise, the copyeditor that double and triple checked all submissions. Thank you to Kelsey Johnson for bringing us Kai Richardson, who motivated the staff to match the vibrant colors of this year’s magazine. Thank you to Mara Almanzor for creating a beautiful website only to redesign it with Christine Reed. Your patience and work is stunning, and we thank the hackers for making them redesign a perfectly functioning website. Thank you to Ana Schmidt, the previous Editor that did most of the work so it was a cakewalk for Travis, Laura, and I. Thank you to the reader as you sit in some coffee shop trying not to act like a hipster reading a student-run magazine. With eyes and ears please enjoy this year’s issue of LandEscapes, and let the springtime air whistle past the pages.
by Kai Richardson
From the very beginning we wanted to have a theme for this year’s LandEscapes journal, and as the year progressed that theme turned toward the idea of the disintegration of social structures. I chose the leaf to signify the social norms of WSU.
The LandEscapes symbol in the middle is smoldering in the leaf, whilst the smoke billows out of the top to show the rebirth of the WSU culture. We hope the literature pieces in this journal help do just that. The progressive pieces run a counter-narrative to common WSU culture and hope to help fan the flames of change and aid in creating a new, stronger culture.