This summer for me was one of the best I’ve had in what feels like lifetimes. I drove on new roads, got so sunburnt I couldn’t sleep, met up with old friends, greeted new flings, cried for no reason at all, worked more hours than I can possibly count, and swallowed up as much sunshine as possible. This summer, I did not want to focus on creating, but rather absorbing. Absorbing books, flavors, feelings, art, and as much music as humanly possible. Music is one of my most celebrated art forms and I will endlessly be inspired by the ever-growing realm that is sound. Sound, for me, is directly aligned with memory, and this summer’s memories made a lasting home within these five songs. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did and will continue to for more seasons to come.
Hi, I’m Jams, an editor at New Forum, and this is my alternative to expensive moleskin journals. Fancy journals can be intimidating to write on and are often abandoned before they’re filled. A paper bag journal is a casual and cozy art buddy that can hold your creativity without breaking the bank.
Fairy tales take us to far away magical lands and introduce us to magical creatures. If you’re like me, you grew up with, or at least heard of classic fairy tales such as “Cinderella” and “Snow White.” These classic tales have been around for centuries and continue to be remade. I have always wondered why these tales continue to be so loved by so many, including myself.
I remember my first DIY punk show. It was in a warehouse that housed a makeshift stage, a halfpipe, and graffiti on the walls. There were hundreds packed into that 400 square foot space. It was nauseatingly hot and extremely difficult to catch a breath in the haze of cigarette smoke. The bands made their noise and racket while a sea of leather jackets and neon colored hair sang along at the top of their lungs. I was convinced the scene was a collection of individuals screaming obscenities and incomprehensible lyrics. Standing as far as possible from this commotion I never felt more out of place. I was the outsider and from that position I was convinced that this was the culmination of Bakhtin’s carnivalesque. I swore to myself this was my first and last punk show because I would never return. Continue reading DIY Punk: Poetry Within the Music
Going to Europe was very spur-of-the-moment for myself and my travel-partner, and good friend, Samantha. Sam and I had travelled together before, the summer after our freshman year of high school, we went to Honolulu, Hawaii. This time, however, we’d be going somewhere much further. We decided we were going to Europe, but more specifically, we’d be going to Barcelona, Amsterdam, and Paris.
We were much older now, we were going on our own, and we were going to be in Europe for seventeen days. You could say, we had the time of our lives. Without a doubt our experiences were unparalleled. Still, there are moments unmatched, engraved, and unfading for me. Moments collapsing against each other over the course of these days. Moments I still think about now.
The first I heard of New Forum was my first time at UCI. I’d accepted my admission without ever visiting the campus, so that spring I decided to attend a Welcome Day tour, promptly abandoning the tour and getting terribly lost but also getting to see more trees. After a few hours, I’d gone to an English majors’ mixer, met Professor Jayne Lewis, and felt secure in the fact that I wouldn’t hate it here. I was trying to find my way out when I wandered by the club fair in Aldrich Park.
Within five minutes, a girl stopped me and asked if I had any interest in creative writing (Yes!) She asked if I had ever tried submitted anything for publication. (Definitely not.) She asked if I wanted to be on their email list. (Su-ure?) I signed my name, left, and forgot about New Forum until several months later, when I had my first piece published in the journal and was formally introduced to a small but passionate pocket of UCI students.
Time has passed and a lot has changed — this year I have the privilege of serving as editor-in-chief of New Forum, while Jayne Lewis is stepping in as our new faculty advisor, and our events have grown in scale and ambition — but in many ways, I still feel a certain timidity when it think of my role in the creative writing community at UCI. The truth is, some days, I don’t feel like much of a poet, much of a writer.
Several weeks ago, former president Barack Obama released his summer reading list. This collection of books was shared by us folks at New Forum several times and I was struck by its thematic diversity: speculative fiction, autobiographies, social commentaries, and short stories. One title struck me and stuck in my mind, “Men Without Women”. So I bought it, and I read it, and it made me feel silly.