TOYON STAFF - VOLUME 66 - Fall 2019
Assistant Managing Editor / Community Liaison
Editorial Team Leads / Acquisitions Editors
Alec Cox and Alice Jiang
Division Editors, Fiction and Playwriting
Alexandria Weber and Alexis Avitia
Division Editors, Creative Nonfiction
Jessica Lewis and Danielle Dornan
Division Editors, Poetry
Keith Gonsalves and Megan Graeser
Division Editors, Literary Criticism
Alexis Avitia and Maximilian J Heirich
SPOKEN WORD, EJ, & WEB TEAM
Team Lead & Social Media Manager
Spoken Word Editors
Cahner Cameron-D'Angelo and Todd Loughran
Division Editor for the Environmental Justice Award
Production Team Leads & Multilingual Proofreaders
Drew Ahlberg and Milagros Ortega
Visual Art Editors and Cover Designers
Kayla Riley and Rae Diamond
Typesetters and Book Designers
Paweenaporn Pongampornsakda and Helen Berry
Division Editors for the Multilingual Award
Milagros Ortega and Paweenaporn Pongampornsakda
Sam Dunlap is a 4th year Environmental Studies major from Carlsbad, CA. He enjoys working to implement Environmental Sustainability measures around campus with HSU Green Campus and spending all of the time he can outside. Sam likes to bodysurf, ride bicycles and go birdwatching. He also likes to express his creativity through writing and cooking.
Hello everybody! Todd Loughran (pronounced Lockran) is excited to be apart of the Toyon Literary Magazine, and work with an amazing group of people. He is an English major in the writing concentration. Todd wants to help inspire people into submitting so their voices can be heard and their work recognized. He looks forward to making the 66th issue of the Toyon Literary Magazine one of the best yet!
Rae is a Senior at HSU. She is majoring in English with a Writing Concentration and minoring in Studio Art. She is excited to be a part of the Toyon staff and to bring her perspective and ideas into this year’s issue, as well as ensuring diversity in the art showcased. She has been writing and creating art since she was little and is looking forward to having a hand in the publishing process of this magazine.
Hello. This is Paweenaporn Pongampornsakda, and she goes by “Paweena.” She is from Bangkok, Thailand, and she has been in the United States as an international student for four years. She is still learning English, as her major is English with Writing Practices concentration. She is a senior as well. She is interested in English since it is her second language as same as she wants to learn new challenging things and work with new people. For this reason, Toyon will be the most exciting and challenging thing to learn and experience through her fall semester of 2019.
Milagros Ortega is currently a Junior majoring in English at HSU and is looking forward to one day being a High School English teacher. Growing up Milagros was always fascinated by literature and decided to take Literary Editing as a way of getting a more indepth look into the literary publication process. During her free time Milagros likes to read, write, and walk her dog Julio.
Megan is a senior at Humboldt State majoring in English: Writing Practices and minoring in both Communication and Linguistics. Outside of school, her hobbies include listening to music/going to concerts, watching movies, and giving animals the love they deserve (most specifically her two cats). This is her first time working with Toyon, and she is very excited to be serving as one of the Division Editors for Poetry.
Max is a sophomore student at Humboldt State University majoring in English Writing Practices with a minor in Studio Art, though is considering another minor in History. Max has always had a passion for literature which he fostered in numerous writing projects, the most recent of which being a novel which he plans on approaching a traditional publisher with by March of 2020 (hopefully). Outside of writing, Max enjoys drawing, painting, playing D&D, running, hiking, fishing, sailing, and watching movies. He is very enthused to begin working with Toyon in hopes to gain both experience for editorial/publishing jobs he might pursue after grad school and to really get to know the industry.
Kayla Riley is in her senior year at Humboldt State University. She is studying to become an elementary school teacher, in hopes to provide a rich writing and art environment for her students. Kayla has two young daughters, Trinity and Tiffany, and her longtime partner, who she loves to spend her time with. She has been working with different art media her whole life, and is excited to be a part of something so creative and amazing.
Erika Andrews is a Senior at HSU. Her major is English: Writing Practices with a minor in Comparative Ethnic Studies. She is the current Member at Large in her sorority Delta Phi Epsilon Inc. Erika is the author of the upcoming Y.E.S. House 50th Anniversary novel. Erika is a functional introvert who loves cooking tasty vegan food for non-vegans. Erika enjoys writing poetry, even though it torments her soul. Erika aspires to sleep enough to maintain her immaculate vessel, this is a continuous effort.
Drew Ahlberg is a senior here at Humboldt State University and is working towards a BA in English:Writing Practices and a minor in Ethnic American Literature. They received their AA in English from Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill, California. In their spare time they enjoy playing videogames, reading graphic novels, and going to local art events. After they graduate from HSU they hope to pursue a Masters degree in Library and Information Science in the hopes of being an academic librarian.
Danielle is a fourth-year student at Humboldt State University. She is majoring in English (Writing Practices) and double minoring in Linguistics and Philosophy. She was born in Jackson Hole, Wyoming and spent her childhood traveling back and forth between California and Wyoming. Danielle is quite passionate about reading and writing and hopes to ignite that enthusiasm within the lives of others around her. She is thrilled to be a part of Toyon’s 66th edition editorial team and cannot wait to be immersed in diverse submissions of art from all over the world.
Alexis Avitia was born and raised in the same house in Fresno, CA before she moved to Humboldt County. She has an associate's degree in English from Fresno City College. Alexis has been working in accounting for the past seven years as a payroll processor/bookkeeper (and now tax preparer). She hopes to never work in accounting again after graduating from college. She is graduating Spring 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in film with a minor in English writing. In her free time she likes to watch movies, talk with her plants, do puzzles, drink micheladas, and eat delicious food! Some of her favorite books are Ender’s Game and White Oleander. Don’t ask what her favorite movies are, it will be a long and lengthy conversation with no definitive answer.
Alexandria Weber has had a love for english and for literature ever since she was a child. Now a child at heart, she is excited to be a part of the Toyon staff, to work with people who share her enthusiasm for the power of words, and to delve into the creativity of various fiction authors. She hopes to create a memorable issue that exemplifies not only the multi-faceted expertise of her fellow staff members, but the wide-ranged vision of all the authors involved.
Alec Cox is a junior at HSU majoring in English in the writing practices concentration and minoring in art studio with an emphasis in photography. He enjoys writing, photography, being outdoors, cathartic screaming, and going on drives in the wee hours of the morning with the music up and the windows down, even if it is really cold and/or rainy. He is very excited to work on Toyon’s 66th volume with the rest of the Toyon staff and all of the contributors and wants to put out the best volume possible. Though Alec is currently exploring what he will do after he graduates with his BA in the spring of 2021, he already knows that he will continue writing, taking photographs, and learning as much as he can about both himself and the world. His portrait here was taken by his best friend, Tiffani Thompson, who is an amazing artist you can find on Instagram at @mist.pouffer.
TOYON STAFF - VOLUME 66 - SPRING 2020
Cahner Cameron D'Angelo
Alice Jiang is an English student at Humboldt State University, with a focus in literary studies. One day, she would like to be an English professor, and maybe even teach at Humboldt. She looks forward to working on the magazine, especially aiding in looking through all the submissions and compiling a collection of outstanding art and literature to bring to print. In the past, she has worked on student-run newspapers and participated in essay contests. Outside of the world of literature, she enjoys drawing, cooking, and fawning over dogs.
Cahner is a junior English major with a focus in the writing practices at HSU. They are looking forward to being a spoken word editor for the 66th edition of the Toyon and helping bring around a new set of spoken word performances to the literary scene. Cahner is excited to try and get as many submissions for spoken word as possible and to inspire those who are nervous about submitting to give it a try and get their work out there. When they’re not helping the Toyon out, Cahner can be found creating art or working on their own creative stories. And when they aren’t doing that they’re generally either somewhere on campus or on the couch playing video games.
Drew Ahlberg is a senior here at Humboldt State University and is working towards a BA in English:Writing Practices and a minor in Ethnic American Literature. They received their AA in English from Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill, California. In their spare time they enjoy playing video games, reading graphic novels, and going to local art events. After they graduate from HSU they hope to pursue a Masters degree in Library and Information Science in the hopes of being an academic librarian.
Helen has been writing creatively since childhood and devotes most of her leisure time outside class to personal projects, both fiction and poetry. Born and raised in Santa Cruz, Helen is drawn to the redwoods and attends Humboldt State as a transfer student studying English: Writing Practices. Helen is excited to be a part of Toyon and hopes to engage with other student artists, reading the works of her peers and working collaboratively with her teammates. As a typesetter, Helen is interested in the production aspect of publishing and hopes to design a book based on the team’s collaborative ideas. Helen considers herself edgy and a little bit twisted, and she’s excited to explore the taboo in the 66th edition of Toyon Literary Magazine.
Imari Washington is a junior at Humboldt State University pursuing a bachelor's degree in English with a concentration in Literary Studies. She comes from a small town in San Diego where she spends most of her time reading at the beach. However when she's not there, she busies herself by singing, painting, and spending lots of time with loved ones. An important goal of hers is to keep HSU's English community inclusive, accessible, and welcoming to all.
(Jenn)ifer is a nonnative Californian who found her home among the trees and seas. She will be graduating this spring with a BA in English, Writing Practices concentration, and hopes to finish the first draft of her novel by the end of the year. Until then, she spends her days with coffee, writing and various carbs; her nights with cats, books, and very loud humans. Sometimes she plays Yoshi's Island and watches anime.
This is Jessica (and her son Garrett.) Jessica is a senior majoring in English (Writing Practices Pathway) and is currently one of the Creative Nonfiction Divisions Editors. When she’s not drowning in homework, “playing” the trumpet on the band, or otherwise dwelling in her cave she enjoys reading, rummaging through thrift shops, and binging horror movies. While her face may not always express it, she is actually really excited to be a part of Toyon this year. Sidenote: Garrett is the Jade Plant. He enjoys the sun.
Keith Gonsalves spends a lot of time not wearing glasses for someone who is so blind. Keith is currently attending Humboldt State as a Political Science major concentrating in Law & Policy. The connection to Toyon comes from a passion for writing explored through a minor in Creative Writing, and a long history of childhood to teenage writing that Keith would rather not think about. The newer writings are much more “presentable.”
Mary Lipiec is an English major in her second year at HSU after transferring from College of the Redwoods, where she studied under the tutelage of David Holper and had a poem published in their literary magazine, Seven Gill Shark Review, in Spring 2018. She enjoys writing fiction and screenplays, and she would love to get better at poetry (there’s no way she’s letting that one poem be a fluke), but essays for English classes have taken up much of her writing time lately. When she graduates in Spring 2020, she wants to become an author and filmmaker, and maybe, just maybe, finally get the hell out of Humboldt.
Tim Arceneaux is a senior student that attends Humboldt State University. The academic discipline that he has chosen to commit himself to is English with a concentration on literary studies, which is appropriate for someone taking a class about a literary magazine. There is not much else to say about Tim; few things truly make him distinct, as his habits and behaviors do not significantly differentiate him from the rest of his species, nor is his chemical composition dissimilar to other carbon-based lifeforms that inhabit Earth. However, because of his familiarity with the standards of writing classes and his sense of decorum, he recognizes the necessity to go beyond such banal generalities and convey some more of the detailed peculiarities that characterize his own ego construct or personality. Drawing from his experience with this kind of assignment, he is aware that inclusions about the ego’s preferences and enjoyments are typically viable options for conveying what his species considers to be personality. Therefore, the ego-construction that is called Tim will list some of his favorite preferences and enjoyments; they are: oxygenated air, food, water, sleep, being alive, sunlight, dry land, rain, shelter when there is too much rain, flowers, grass, trees, puppies, three-dimensional objects, Erykah Badu’s album New Amerykah Part II (Return of the Ankh), and the vacuum of space itself. These are all of Tim’s enjoyments that are worth mentioning; thus, you, reader, now understand him in his entirety and he can rest easy knowing that his assignment has been fulfilled. Additionally, he would prefer that this passage does not become uploaded to the university website, for he also recognizes that the sheer intensity of personality that is being expressed in this passage maybe too much for some readers.
Rachel Matteri is a senior in the English: Writing Practices program at Humboldt State. Rachel spent the past 14 years waiting tables and fretting over her future and overcooked steak. Her path to the HSU writing program took 3 years of piecing together transfer credits in a junior college tour of Northern California. Her efforts were sponsored by the monetary kindness of restaurant owners and strangers who she sang Happy Birthday to amidst the clanging of plates and glassware. Although her singing voice has improved slightly, she hopes her future career paths include less ketchup stains and less uncomfortable eye contact over unwelcomed serenades. Rachel hopes to bring her well seasoned creative courage and innovation to the upcoming Toyon projects of 2020.
Rae is a Senior in her last semester at HSU. She is majoring in English with a Writing Concentration and minoring in Studio Art. She has been writing and creating art since she was little and is looking forward to having a hand in the publishing process of this magazine.
Selena is a fourth-year student at HSU studying English (Literary Studies) and is also pursuing a minor in German. She is an absolute bookworm with a growing fascination for world languages. Although the vast majority of her life is currently committed to studying and working, when she isn’t at school, she enjoys spending time with friends, dancing in the kitchen, and petting every dog she meets.
Theressa Lopez is a junior, pursuing her bachelor's degree in English (Writing Practices) at Humboldt State. During her second year with Toyon, she will be working as an Assistant Managing Editor and Community Liaison for Volume 66. She is excited for Toyon to maintain a closer relationship with other student-run organizations on campus. Outside of Toyon, Theressa works as an Ambassador for HSU, and the Outreach Manager for HEIF (Humboldt Energy Independence Fund). She does not miss Fresno, but she does miss good food, and her big family. You can learn more about Theressa on her website, Ghosts of Us
Hello everybody! Todd Loughran (pronounced Lockran) is excited to be back on the Toyon Literary Magazine Staff, and to be working with both new and returning staff members. He is an English major in the writing concentration and a minor in literature that enjoys cooking and performing spoken word. He is looking forward to completing Toyon’s 66th issue and its release.
Will Hamann is currently a senior at Humboldt State University. He grew up in Yosemite National Park, where he developed a love for being out in nature, which, incidentally, was a contributing factor for choosing to attend HSU in beautiful Humboldt County. During his free time he enjoys going for runs on the trails of the community forest, reading books (both fiction and non-fiction), and laying on his back, staring at the ceiling and contemplating life… or wondering what he’ll eat next… it depends on his mood. He is excited to be a part of the Toyon team this semester and is looking forward to what the future may hold for him.
Zoey Buitrago is a sophomore at Humboldt State University studying Sociology. Originally from southern California she is slowly but surely adjusting to the small town feel. She enjoys reading and writing in her spare time. Zoey hopes to make meaningful pieces of art and putting them into the world so that other people can relate and find comfort in her work. All in all, Zoey is excited to be working on the Toyon and become a bigger part in the Humboldt community.