Tidal Echoes elevates LGBTQ2S+ voices in 19th edition

JUNEAU, Alaska—Featured Writer Lin Davis and Featured Artist Chloey Klawk Shaa Cavanaugh are bringing some “unapologetically queer” content to the 19th edition of “Tidal Echoes.”

“Tidal Echoes” is Southeast Alaska’s literary and arts journal, publishing poetry, prose, and artwork from around the region. A quarter of the entries in “Tidal Echoes” are reserved for UAS students.

The journal is closing submissions Thursday, December 1, 2022, at midnight.

Senior Editor Shaelene Moler and Junior Editor Sienna Chubak, along with a team of faculty judges, will make selections for the journal in the spring.

The journal highlights a featured writer and artist from Southeast annually.

This year we feature Lin Davis, who has been writing peaceful protest poetry for over 40 years. She weaves decades of queer and environmental activism into pantoums and villanelles, what she calls “word music.”

In forthcoming poems that will be published in “Tidal Echoes” 2023, Davis remembers her father’s death, drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, homophobia she and her wife have faced in Juneau, and the deadly attack on Pulse Orlando Nightclub in June 2016.

Davis’s wife of 32 years, Mo Longworth, was the “Tidal Echoes” featured writer in 2020 for her play “Blue Ticket.”

In 2019, Davis and Longworth created and hosted multiple pride events around Juneau for the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising in Greenwich Village, New York. This came after decades of protests on Supreme Court and Alaska State capitol steps, paper bags worn over heads at 1990s Anchorage Pride Parades, and personal audiences with virulent anti-gay politicians.

Davis has been featured in “Cirque,” “Alaska Women Speak,” and multiple iterations of “Tidal Echoes.” She can be heard reading her poetry around Southeast.

We are also featuring Chloey Klawk Shaa Cavanaugh, a Lingít and queer woman who describes herself as “unapolagetically queer.” Cavanaugh works with graphic design, creating logos for Goldbelt Heritage and Juneau Pride 2022, through which she combines formline with other art styles. She is Was’ineidi Tax’Hit Lingít, Eagle Wolf Clan out of Kake, Alaska.

Cavanaugh cites her grandfather, Archie Cavanaugh, as inspiration for her work. She got started with graphic design by archiving his carving templates after his passing in 2018.

Through her work, Cavanaugh asks what it means to look Indigenous and what it means to look queer. Her work encourages conversation and redefines Indigenous and queer representation in a community that hasn’t always succeeded in that realm.

Cavanaugh is always working on improving her community. Funds from sales at her business have gone to kids at the gym in Kake and the Zach Gordon Youth Center in Juneau. She is also currently co-hosting the AWARE program spectrum with Meryl Conelley-Chew for the third time.

Chloey sells her work through her online business Black and White Raven Company and at markets and other small businesses throughout Alaska.

Both Davis and Cavanaugh will have prominence in the journal, including an interview with each that I conducted this fall.

As a queer and transgender person myself, I am honored to work on this project with such prominent queer community members. It has been healing to hear Davis’s and Cavanaugh’s words and see them promoted to such a prominent position.

I first submitted to “Tidal Echoes” in 2020, after Faculty Advisor Emily Wall told me that voices like mine were underrepresented in the journal. My flash fiction piece “Nana’s Quilt” won the Mac Behrend’s prize, a local scholarship given out to exemplary student publications, that year.

In the wake of Transgender Awareness Week, Transgender Day of Remembrance, and the violence enacted upon LGBTQ2S+ people in late November and throughout the year, it is especially important to elevate and hear queer voices. Both Davis and I were born in Denver, so the tragedy at Club Q is an uncomfortably close reminder of the world into which we were born and the one in which we still live.

As you encounter Davis’s and Cavanaugh’s work in “Tidal Echoes” 2023, think about the role queer voices take in your own life and their importance. Think about what it means, in this turbulent and triumphant time, to be unapologetically queer.

by Olive Brend, “Tidal Echoes” Fall Editor

Leave a Reply