Eastern Oregon University > Oregon East > Oregon East 2021 > Contributor Notes – 2021 – Vol. LII

Contributor Notes – 2021 – Vol. LII

Sophia Aimone is an artist from Bend, Oregon, majoring in Art with a minor in English/Writing. She enjoys painting in a simplified, abstract style and has a passion for writing poetry. Sophia has enjoyed growing as an artist and poet during her time at EOU. 

Emily Andrews is a lifelong resident of La Grande. She is currently pursuing an English/Writing degree with future plans to become an English for Speakers of Other Languages teacher in addition to a creative writer.

Mary Jo Campbell is a senior pursuing a BS in English/Writing. She’s been published in print and online, including in MOMSense, Suburban Woman, and Underwired. She is currently drafting a YA realistic novel and shares her essays, short fiction, and writing tips on Medium. She lives outside Chicago with her husband, two sons, daughter-in-law, and two dogs. She is Oregon East’s Assistant Editor.

Phil Carson is in the MFA program in Creative Writing. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a BA in German Studies and Comparative Literature with minors in Creative Writing and Philosophy. He has had one poem published in the ezine Cathexis NorthWest. Phil lives in Oregon with his partner, Tabitha; German Shepherd, Candy; and Siamese, Noki.

Garrett Christensen works for EOU’s newspaper, The Voice, and will graduate in 2022 with a degree in English/Writing. He has always enjoyed creative writing, poetry, and world building. After graduating, he hopes to pursue goals in news writing, script writing, and lore writing for the video game industry. 

Garrett Dixon is a senior with a major in English/Writing. 

Ida Ghramm is a non-traditional student pursuing a BS in English/Writing. She has wanted to be a writer since she was nine years old and is finally chasing that dream. Ida is married with two grown daughters and a five-year-old granddaughter, eight cats, three goats, and many chickens. 

Kristi Helgeson is pursuing her MFA in Creative Writing at Eastern Oregon University. She cannot eat raw onions, has conquered her fear of (most) spiders, and once single-handedly managed a Norwegian fjord horse ranch with no prior experience (yes, they all survived). Now a city mouse, her work is inspired by life as a country mouse who happened to stow away on various moving machines in order to, eventually, circumnavigate the globe. She lives on an island in the Salish Sea with her family, who tolerates her.

Jessica Hitzman is a Pendleton-based ceramic artist who only started developing her skills in ceramic sculpture two years ago. In the thirteen years since high school, Jessica took an unconventional approach to work, floating from thing to thing without finding her real passion. She was called to the tangibility and tactility of clay and how the act of turning messy mud into a beautiful piece using her hands paralleled her own journey turning the messy parts of her life into its current, beautiful existence. Sculpture has given her a way to materialize her creativity and her work is born from years of insights and failures. She is Oregon East’s Art Editor.

Alexis Maki was raised in Colfax, Washington, and is planning on receiving her BS in Art in the spring of 2021. Alexis creates digital landscape collages that examine the juxtaposition of the beauty in an environment and the hazards that can be hidden within it. The idea behind this concept is presented by using the darker aspects of the sublime to portray a sense of contrast within the artwork.

Colette Marie grew up in the Seattle area, lived for thirty-five years in Colorado where she worked as a service provider and advocate for people with developmental disabilities. She moved to Walla Walla with her husband, daughter, and two dogs in 2018. She is currently a candidate in the MFA program in Creative Writing. Colette has been writing poems since she was six years old as a way of listening and looking for what she might not have noticed before, always hoping to discover new friends, old friends and possibilities for joy. 

Spencer Marotto is attending EOU while pursuing a major in Art with the potential to get a Masters in teaching. He creates digital collages that toy with the idea of digital interaction using graphics from Windows 98/XP and statues based off of mythological figures. Marotto takes inspiration from classical literature/mythology and contemporary technologies, as well as semiotics, psychology, and posthumanism. 

Dalton Mauzay is from Cheney, Washington, and studying to obtain his Art degree. Art practice has been a form of meditation, many times allowing him to focus on the present and express himself in ways he needs to. This self-discovery that happens during the artistic process is just as important as the final product. While exploring the capabilities of abstract expressionism, he tries to incorporate a universal tension between the medium and the viewer.

Kia McGinnis is a senior at EOU where she is majoring in English/Writing. She works as a copywriter, music critic, and food stylist. She currently resides in Salt Lake City, Utah, with her two Maine Coons. 

Caiti McGowan is an English/Writing major and a Writer/Reporter for the EOU’s newspaper, The Voice. She has a special place in her heart for writing poetry, as she loves taking experiences and feelings from her own life and transforming them into words that others can connect with. Her hobbies include reading, jewelry making, drinking tea, and spending time with her cat and her loved ones. In the future, she hopes to continue to write poetry and to find a career within the writing world.

Ashley Mooney is a senior pursuing a degree in English/Writing. She is a lifelong Oregonian that enjoys spending time with her two daughters.

Edgar Navarrete was born and raised in Hermiston, Oregon. He graduated with a BA in History with a minor in English/Writing in Spring 2021. He loves to learn more about history, with a special interest in American history and modern European history.

Jan Ng was born and raised in Colfax, Washington. She is currently pursuing a degree in Art and Business Administration. Jan has always enjoyed art, with watercolor and photography being her favorite mediums. She intends to pursue a career in illustration after graduating.

Rachelle Nycz is from Umatilla, Oregon, and is a recent graduate with a double major in English/Writing and Theatre. She enjoys learning about the world through stories, whether it be through books, poetry, theatre, or playing Dungeons and Dragons with her friends.

Alexander Ortega is a Salt Lake City-based fiction writer currently pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing. He explores absurdism, realism, and the interstices therein to fabricate his own dimensions on the page.

Beverly C. Reid was an alumni of the MFA program in Creative Writing. She began as a nonfiction writer in the program and graduated in 2017 with the submission of her fiction thesis, “Springtime in Alaska.” After earning her degree, she never stopped writing, taking classes, and inventing plot twists. Her warmth, humor, and generous spirit left an indelible mark on all who knew her, and on the program itself. 

Ashley Rhoton earned a BS in English/Writing and an MFA in Creative Writing from EOU. She currently holds the position of Crisis Response Advocate at Shelter from the Storm in La Grande, where she lives with her husband, daughter, and two dogs. 

McKenzie Sheehy moved to the Grande Ronde Valley, where her family has farmed for almost one hundred years. She loved the mountains and the family farm full of goats, horses, cats, and dogs just outside Union. Much of her family has been ranchers and farmers for generations, and she loves and is fascinated by this history, the connection of the people, land, and animals. She currently lives in La Grande with her husband, and continues to work in agriculture at a goat dairy until they can have a small farm of their own. 

Corrina Stadler is from Baker City, Oregon, and currently an Art major. Her work is inspired by an interest in viewer interpretation and how meaning changes from person to person. She works in 2D media with a focus on photography and painting.

Sarah Stout is an Economics major by day and works in public health research, also by day. She secretly wants to be a poet but almost never writes. 

Kain Ward is majoring in Communications with a minor in English/Writing and is looking at a job as a 911 dispatcher in La Grande or other jobs in public affairs. He was born in Boise, Idaho, but has lived all around eastern Oregon. He adores creative writing and spending time with his friends.

Lauren Wolf is a senior studying English/Writing. She is from Coatesville, Pennsylvania.

Alyson Yates is a freshman pursing a major in Agricultural and Animal Sciences. She works primarily in color and monochrome digital mediums to capture wildlife, still life, portraiture and journalistic photography. She has been working with digital photography since she bought her first DSLR camera in 2015, and began taking photos for hire in her hometown of Lakeview, Oregon, in 2019. She strives to focus on the use of color, light, and shade to reinforce meaning and emotion in the subject, particularly in portraiture. She is inspired by the photographic works of Merlin Tuttle, Art Wolfe, Matthew Hahnel, Brian Skerry, and Gina Danza.  

Elijah Zane is a junior at EOU and a full-time librarian. In his spare time he enjoys traveling, hiking, music, reading, and writing.  Poetry and short stories are his favorite to write. He also feels a connection with character-rooted stories and enjoys the intimacy those stories create. He hopes you enjoy his story, and reminds you to find joy in the small things in life.