UAS’s Literary and Art Journal
By ALYSSA MADRID
Staff Writer, UAS Whalesong
More than 450 submissions of poetry, fiction, non-fiction and art were received for this year’s Tidal Echoes.
The annual University of Alaska Southeast literary and arts journal will be launched April 19 at an event on the Juneau campus. This year’s number of submissions is a record.
Associate Professor of English Emily Wall, and a former faculty member, wrote a grant about 18 years ago to start a UAS literary journal run and edited by students. After five years, the UAS chancellor started to fund the journal permanently.
“We wanted a journal that published work from all over Southeast Alaska,” Wall said. “We accept submissions from anyone living full time in Southeast Alaska and one of our primary goals is to have representatives of multiple communities, like Kake, Wrangell, and Metlakatla.”
UAS students, faculty, staff, and Southeast community members, including high school students, submit their work for publication.
“Each year students are interns or editors and work with me on it,” Wall said. “I kind of oversee the whole thing but they do the actual editing work. We have a board of students and faculty members, staff members, sometimes community members.”
According to Wall, the board blind judges all the submissions and chooses those that will be published. The art is juried by Juneau and Sitka campus art professors.
India Busby, a liberal arts major, is this year’s senior editor for Tidal Echoes. The senior editor is in charge of the editing process.
“I was friends with last year’s senior editor, and I also took a creative writing class with Emily Wall. I just kind of got involved by talking to both of them and worked closely with Emily,” Busby said.
The incoming senior editor is chosen by Wall and the current senior editor. The senior editor works their way up to the position by interning or mentoring with the editing team, according to Wall and Busby.
“There are definitely times that it could be a little stressful and there are definitely times that it’s a lot of fun. But overall it’s definitely rewarding, especially when you’re holding the journal and you’re like ‘I did that,’” Busby said.
Submissions for Tidal Echoes are due Dec. 1 every year. It is published and ready for sale in April.
Tidal Echoes is sold in bookstores throughout Southeast Alaska at a price of $5.
“One of the things we did early on is we made them really cheap,” Wall said. “We want to put this book in everyone’s hands. It showcases the amazing students we have here because it is a student project.”
The Tidal Echoes team hosts a launch party on the UAS Juneau campus to promote and celebrate the journal, which are also available to purchase. The Juneau and UAS community are invited to eat snacks and watch the year’s featured writer and artist present their work.
Wall encourages students to attend the launch because she said it is a good opportunity to get involved with the journal.
“We really like to see students at the launch. Twenty-five percent of the journal is UAS students’ work so if students are interested in publishing in it coming to the launch is a great way to see what it is about,” Wall said.
This year’s April 19 launch begins at 7 p.m. in Egan Lecture Hall.
An excerpt from Tidal Echoes 2019
provided by India Busby
A baked potato
Maija Olšteina, UAS student, Juneau
I scrub his skin
of all the mud and grub,
I scrub his skin
as he moans with pleasure
and turns his plump body towards me.
I wrap him warm
in a blanket,
he giggles and tucks
the blanket under his chin.
illuminating the night,
I throw him in the fire.
He won’t put up a fight.
As his body heats up
his skin pops.
Editor’s Note: Whalesong staff writer Melissa Scriven will be published in this year’s edition of Tidal Echoes. Congratulations, Mel!