Tidal Echoes: Remember, Remember the First of December

BY KAYLYN HASLUNDtidal-echoes-2016-proof-1-front-only
Fall Intern, Tidal Echoes
For the UAS Whalesong

Are you an artist, photographer, or writer that lives in Southeast Alaska or currently a student enrolled at the University of Southeast Alaska? Well, you should consider submitting your creative work to Tidal Echoes. This is the regional literary and arts journal, published through the University annually. It is edited and published by a team here in Juneau made of UAS students and faculty. Continue reading “Tidal Echoes: Remember, Remember the First of December”

Othello: The Experience

For the UAS Whalesong
For the past month, Perseverance Theater has been putting on a stage performance of Shakespeare’s famous tragedy Othello. I attended the performance in an attempt to branch out from my usual cinematic theater experience, and also because I won a free ticket at Campus Kickoff earlier this year. So, one rainy night that didn’t really differ from the usual kind of Juneau night in any way, I headed downtown with my friends to see if I could become a more culturally edified person.
My recollection of Othello was fairly limited going in. I remembered reading the play in high school – a “Shakespeare Made Easy” version with the original convoluted English on one page and the modern translation on the other. I also remembered that the general gist of the plot (sorry about spoilers, but it’s been out for a couple hundred years now) was that a guy named Iago works his hardest to break up the Moorish general Othello and Othello’s new wife, Desdemona. This culminates in Othello flying into a jealous rage and murdering Desdemona, then having Immediate Regret and killing himself. Other than that, though, I only really recalled dialogue, so I was interested to see what the Perseverance Theater had in store for me.
The first thing I noticed upon entering the theater was that the stage was fairly empty for a play. It was just a sort of dark blue square, with doors in the walls. This immediately tipped me off: this play was going to involve a lot of Monologues. It seems to me like there are two kinds of plays – ones where the characters move around and do stuff in different settings, like Pirates of Penzance, and then there are ones where the characters mostly just stand around talking to each other and to the audience. Othello ominously promised to be one of the latter. Continue reading “Othello: The Experience”

Literary Traditions: Children’s Literature


While I did not have the chance to attend what was no doubt an excellent class by Professor Nina Chordas on this exact same topic, I will try to do the subject justice by addressing it through the lens of one of J.R.R. Tolkien’s most prominent essays—one which I lightly referenced in a previous article, “Literary Traditions: Eucatastrophe”—“On Fairy Stories.”

Tolkien, of course, is well known for writing The Hobbit, which is widely regarded as a children’s story, and has recently been transformed into three feature films by director Peter Jackson. Legend has it that Tolkien, who was a professor at Oxford, was grading essays one evening when he came across a student who had mistakenly left a blank page. Extremely bored at the time, he apparently nearly gave the student an A for his error, and proceeded to write, in the spur of the moment, the famous first sentence of The Hobbit: “Once, in a hole in the ground, there lived a hobbit.” He then stared at it and wondered what on earth a hobbit was, which sparked a lifetime’s work of world-building, ultimately culminating in The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion.

In his essay “On Fairy Stories”, which he wrote just as he was beginning to write The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien unfolds why it is that he takes fairy stories like The Hobbit so seriously, and what they mean for children.

Continue reading “Literary Traditions: Children’s Literature”

Poetry is the Art of Literature


According to Esther Lombardi in her article, “Literature”, literature is a term used to describe written or spoken material. “Literature” is used to describe anything from creative writing to more technical or scientific works, but the term is most commonly used to refer to works of creative imagination, including works of nonfiction, drama, fiction, and poetry. Personally, I think poetry is the best form of literature. Poetry is the only form of literature which needs no translation to be appreciated. With poetry, the emotions the author is expressing are translated without the need for interpretation.

Continue reading “Poetry is the Art of Literature”