by August Linton
The 68th edition of Toyon, Cal Poly Humboldt’s multilingual literary magazine, was released on Tuesday, March 29. It is the culmination of a year of work by staff, through the forced distancing caused by COVID-19, over great distances, and from a multitude of points of view.
Contributions to this year’s Toyon came from countries all over the world. The broad scope of the submission base means that works in many languages are submitted. Some of the works originally submitted in a language other than English are presented in both languages, and some of the translation work is only available online on Toyon’s website.
‘Germogli verdi’ or ‘Sprouts of green’ by Maurizio Castè, published both in the original Italian and translated into English by Toti O’Brien, is a gently insistent witness to the beauty of spring and the resilience of nature in the face of the currency climate. It’s a theme that surfaces at other moments in Toyon 68, in Dobby Morse’s “The Fate of the Earth,” Larissa A. Hul-Galasek’s “Climate Change,” and “What’s Left in the World?” world to say? ”
In these works there is a deep reverence for both the delicacy of nature and its strength. There is also an anger that seems to well up from deep within the Earth; anger for the future of humanity in the face of a climate apocalypse and for the fate of the natural world afterwards.
There are many other notable poetic works in Toyon 68. Grace E. Daverson’s magazine opening “Whenever I Held a Dying Bird” takes the reader into delicately described and emotional pocket memories. As Daverson methodically describes every bird she has known, the savage joy of holding a bird in her hand and the childlike wonder of shining a flashlight to develop eggs blend organically with the sharp grief of not being able to protect those you love.
Toyon also publishes short stories, academic literature and visual arts.
“Dismantling Structural Systems of Oppression through Revolutionary Pedagogy” by Ambar A. Quintanilla systematically explores the institutional barriers to education faced by Latino and Black students, compounded by the conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic. Quintanilla’s emotional connection to the subject as someone who encountered these obstacles (and saw those dear to him affected by them) is as important to the article as his effective and insightful analysis of socio-economic factors. complexes that contribute to it.
Among the magazine’s small selection of visual art, “Thinking” by Ernie Iñiguez and “Concrete Sculptures” by Mario Loprete stand out. “Thinking” is a polished, pastel digital illustration of a meditating robot, while “Concrete Sculptures” are photos of the artist’s graceful and haunting sculptures of folded clothing.
Toyon 68’s theme is “Hope and Healing”, which is evident from the artwork inside. The contributors’ love for this world and for the ever-painful process of healing runs throughout the magazine, as taut and musical as a guitar string. Healing takes time, passion, work and love, and Toyon 68 has it all. On the back cover of the volume, their dispatch is this:
“WARNING: This product contains love, anxiety, dysphoria, tenderness, birds, affection, grief, orange juice, trauma, anger and bonding Side effects may include self-reflection and a sense of inner peace.
Toyon 68 is now available in print and online.