Editor’s Note

Everything is an attempt. My friend taught this concept to me last year, pointing to my favorite novel (the one I cherish above all others, the Holy Grail of books as far as I am concerned) and said simply, “That was just an attempt by the author. It’s all attempts.” 

I’d never thought of it that way. Of course, I knew the author was a writer like me, but at the same time, I believed they were nothing like me—they were beyond attempts, they’d made it! No more trying, just doing, and succeeding. I reckoned they probably never failed, or if they did, it was a different (cleaner, easier) failure. Certainly, if they failed—and that was a strong if—it was in a graceful way, not in the knee-scraping, plummeting face-first, head-over-feet failing that I am familiar with. 

But, of course they fail. Every day has its failings—we forget something, accidentally say something cruel, burn the sauce for the meat that is drying out in the oven, misplace a comma, spell the words separate, restaurant, and tired wrong on the first, second, and third tries. Three steps forward one step back, or maybe no steps at all because we laid in bed the entire day reading fanfiction.  

Life would be boring without our daily failings, without the challenge of trying to do better, without reaching, without attempting. It’s all attempts. 

Remember the best cake you’ve ever eaten, the one you hold all cakes against, for which you would do questionable things to taste again. Consider the album that makes you feel like your nerves are on fire when you listen to it, and it’s all you can do not to dance or cry or sing right out of your skin. Try to recall how you used to draw as a child, or the way you used to write your capital “E”s, your first poem, the first photograph you took on your mom’s purple digital camera, the worst piece of writing you’ve ever created, and the best one, too. They were all attempts, some more successful than others, but attempts just the same, and a laundry-list of failings came before them. And there are successes, too—the everyday attempts you think will be spectacular failures but turn out to be your most triumphant wins! We celebrate these attempts and are grateful for every person who sent them on to us. 

So here is our latest attempt: an online edition consisting of art and writing and interviews, each piece brimming with something we loved. As you read, imagine us, a staff of editors sitting around tables in the library in the dead of winter, doing our best to give all of the submitted attempts the respect they deserve and shine light on our favorites. I hope you’ll love them as much as we do.

May we all keep attempting, failing, attempting again, until we have something that someone somewhere might love just a little. 

Kath Richards 
Winter 2022

 

 

University Place

by Marissa Albrecht

 

Marissa is a visual artist that finds excitement in everyday environments and material. Her artwork elevates the ordinary and allows items to be seen for something other than their original function. Marissa graduated with her MFA from Brigham Young University and now shares her love of art with her own students.

Greenhouse Vending Machine & Clubhouse At Night

by Madeline Rupard

Madeline Rupard is an artist and educator. Born in Utah and raised on the East Coast, she grew up moving frequently around different parts of the U.S. and traveling across long distances. She paints pictures to describe the overwhelming sensory effect of the modern American landscape and the experience of moving through spaces.

Fragments from Ernesto and Leti

by Isaiah Rubio

"caves" by Janessa Lewis

“caves” by Janessa Lewis

He rode The Beast. She walked miles.
On The Beast, he said, I saw a man fall off
to the tracks. Just gone. She set off 

from a small village in Jalisco at 15, said, 
I was the only girl there. All the other people
were men. But there was one older gentleman.
He took care of me and made sure 
I was protected. Once, he got caught

and was sent back to his village in Oaxaca.
He said he’d try it one more time.
He held onto that Beast 
until he abandoned it. In Reedley, 

they found work in those endless fields. 
He was already in a relationship
when we met, she said, but they eventually separated. 
30 years later, with three sons, she reflects:

When we got close to the border, 
we told each other ‘Good-byes’ and ‘good lucks.’ 
I never saw the older gentleman again. At a stop 

and inspection, he hid in a shipping container:
I saw the officer with his flashlight 
looking around. I swear to God, he flashed his light 
on me and he saw me, eye to eye,
but he kept looking until he left. In that silence,
he waited until the Beast roared and moved again. 


Isaiah Rubio is studying poetry in the MFA program at Brigham Young University.

(Art) Janessa Lewis was born in 1998 and is from Springville, Utah. While receiving her BFA from Brigham Young University, Lewis has been in several group exhibitions. She makes work that revolves around the human experience with land and how the earth is transforming. The earth is the common thread that weaves between nations, cultures, and communities, tying individuals together through shared experience and a foundation of empathy. Through visual symbols and imagery often seen in land, she communicates ideas around the themes of memory and place, pain and growth, and our relationships with humans and deity. Lewis gravitates toward painting, drawing, and printmaking techniques.

Relapse

by Isaiah Rubio

"RESIDUAL I" by Samantha Atzbach

“RESIDUAL I” by Samantha Atzbach


                                          With this handgun
                                                                 I pull 

                                                            the trigger
                                                                   to
                                                  de  stroy

             my third eye. The muse
                      says nothing,
                                                               closes
                                                               her 
                                                               vision,

                                                 and
                                           leaves me

                      in silence. I burn
                                    my pile of wood
                                    on the first day

              of winter. I hide in churches
                                                                to save
                                                 time

                      for the retribution. I think

                                     I want this. 





Isaiah Rubio is studying poetry in the MFA program at Brigham Young University.

(Art) Sam Atzbach (b. 1998) is currently living and working in Provo, Utah. Her foci are painting, 
textile, and sculpture. Her work examines the relationship between predecessor and successor, the 
weight of being, and the immutable collective unconscious that exists within the sentient and 
insentient, irrespective of time and space. She seeks to reconcile the constant pull from the past and 
push of the future to find space in the present in-between through an assemblage of apparition-like 
figures, guttural marks, found stones, and organic forms, both human and non-human.