“The living aren’t equal and neither are the dead. Transformation is the bravest fantasy,” said Inez Tan as she read from her poem, “I Am Trying to Care about You as a Person but You Keep Turning Me into a Bear.”
Last Friday evening, Oct. 12, Foothill Poetry Journal hosted a night of poetry reading and a showcase of digital art at Claremont Graduate University’s Peggy Phelps and East Gallery. The event was held in celebration of the publication of the 10th volume of Foothill.
Various poets showcased their work after the audience had a chance to browse the art on display. Among this art was the group show, “Chroma,” a collection by second-year students at CGU. Work by Aurora Berger was showcased at the event and published in this year’s edition of Foothill.
The featured art by Berger was used by Foothill as the cover art for the 2018 edition of the poetry journal.
Berger’s art was a raw depiction of the womanly body and bodies with disabilities. One piece, titled “Tributaries,” showed stretch marks that paint a woman’s hips and tell the story of a winding path, similar to the nature of tributaries flowing into a larger river.
“We are celebrating the release of this journal,” said Emily Schuck, co-editor-in-chief of Foothill. “We publish once a year. This is the first time our journal has shifted leadership. We have also done a redesign and renaming of the journal.”
Previously, Foothill was named Foothill: a journal of poetry. Schuck and her co-editor-in-chief, Brock Rustin, led the refining and sophistication of the brand in efforts to streamline the appearance of the journal.
“I think this is our strongest issue so far,” Schuck said. “It really focuses on marginalized voices in a way that none of our other issues have.”
The entire journal, from the cover art to the poetry itself, strives to uncover voices from a variety of marginalized groups.
The reading featured Patricia Smith, the 2018 Kingsley Tufts Poetry award winner, and Lynne Thompson, an interviewee featured in this year’s publication of Foothill, along with two Foothill contributors, Inez Tan and Ashanti Anderson.
Each poet commanded the group with emotive anecdotes concerning race, womanhood, and sexuality — speaking with the enthusiasm and vivacity that the 10th volume of Foothill embodies.
Anderson stunned the audience with a powerful reading of the poem “Scrabble,” which creatively tackled the topic of racism and the history of racial conflict in America.
To subscribe to Foothill Poetry Journal, you can visit the official website: https://arts.cgu.edu/foothill-journal/.