Jefferson Community College State University of New York Watertown, New York
Volume XXXII Spring 2022
EDITORS Dr. Christine Pristash, Editor in Chief Lucinda Barbour, Art Editor, BRR Dr. Lisa Scrivani-Tidd, Music Editor, BRR Roy Romano, Head Literary Editor, BRR Dr. Aleksin Ortega and Corey Pentoney, Literary Editors, BRR Dr. Christine Grimes, Head Literary Editor, NCW Brandon Maxam, Literary Editor, NCW Josh Dickinson, Literary Editor/Proofreader
Emma Corbett Colors for All Seasons (oil painting)
Opinions expressed by the authors and artists do not necessarily reflect those of
the editors or of Jefferson Community College.
This year's edition is full of great surprises. Part of that, for me, is the surprise
of learning someone I know is an artist or writer, including two of my wonderful colleagues.
The visuals of Dr. Cynthia Lonsbary's "Fighting Chalk Dragons" are so beautiful and
capture the magic and imagination of childhood. Margaret Taylor is clearly a double
threat with her photography in "My Country" and writing skills in "The Black Hair
Experience: An Identity Crisis."
While I was pleasantly surprised by the choices our contributors made in their works,
I was not surprised to see the level of talent represented. Vatressa Teamoh submitted
another impressive musical composition with "mollitiam," and you can see the full
composition (and listen to the recording) in the online edition of the BRR. Several of our contributors took inspiration from the classics. Ed DeMattia successfully
captured the humor and bawdiness of Chaucer in "The Sailor's Tale." Malachi Adkins
was able to take creative twists on several writers, including their use of white
space in "An Excerpt from the Personal Writings of Eleos and Dice." Artist Anna Snell
was able to transfer one of DaVinci's oil paintings into pencil with skill.
Ultimately, I am surprised and honored to find myself editor of another year of the
Black River Review. . . and grateful for the work that my colleagues put into this publication. Happy
Black River Review Contributors, 2022
* Indicates Outstanding Creative Writing, Art, or Music Contributor
is a Humanities and Social Sciences student at JCC. They plan to transfer to a four-year
SUNY school after graduation and study philosophy. They work in Student Activities
and bartend in a local restaurant.
is a Creative Writing major. Her hobbies include reading fantasy novels and making
is an aspiring artist who is graduating from JCC in May 2022. She plans on transferring
to a four-year design program.
is a JCC alumnus who has enjoyed writing in the North Country since his graduation.
is a proud New Yorker who admires and appreciates the Northern country. Wilson loves
his nieces and nephews very much. He is also the writer of the unpublished novel series
"GodsLived, The Mythos." Wilson is a senior at JCC who will receive his associates
degree in Creative Writing this May and plans to transfer to SUNY Cortland in the
fall. During his time at JCC, he spent his semesters as part of the Campus Activity
Board and helped plan campus activities.
is currently twenty-one years old and working on becoming a teacher. He was raised
in Pulaski, a sleepy fisherman's town in New York. He loves to read and write as a
hobby and hopes to get his book ideas published someday. He loves reading, writing,
and watching fantasy as well as horror and all things whimsical.
returned to the North Country in 1980 after traveling through much of the eastern
half of America, finding out that what he was looking for was actually right here,
where he was born and raised. We are shaped by the land. It forges us into being who
we become. Because we live in such a rich and diverse location, our lives and experiences
can be helpful to others. His writings have appeared in Appalachia, Journeys, and
Sporting Classics. He has won or received honorable mention nine times in the North
Country Writers Contest. He resides in Black River, next to Rutland Hollow, where
the crows go.
has lived in Florida, California, and Oregon and presently lives in Belleville, NY.
He is retired, happy, and content.
is a Creative Writing major in her second semester at JCC. She is unsure of her future
path but enjoys English and psychology and plans to become an editor.
is a senior in Urban Studies and Planning at MIT, soon to be working in environmental
policy after graduation. She spent a semester off volunteering at Cross Island Farms
on beautiful Wellesley Island. In her free time, she loves to write, read, and explore
is a psychology professor, wife, mom, and the devoted sidekick in her daughter's epic
adventures. Occasionally she writes poetry.
is a JCC alumna (2021) and is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Creative
Writing & Literature at SUNY Empire. She is expected to graduate in 2023 and is making
plans to attend an MFA program.
is a playwright and a homeowner in the Thousand Islands. His two novels (Glomar and The Hyphenated Man) were developed at the Yale Writers Workshop, and he is currently seeking publication
of them. When the cold winds blow in the North Country, he resides in New York City,
where his theatre reviews can be found in The Riverdale Press. He has also coached NCAA Division III softball at the College of Mount Saint Vincent
in the Bronx and had a longtime "day job" as an RN at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital.
James is a graduate of John Carroll University, Kent State, and Hunter College.
has dual enrolled at JCC for two semesters. She is a homeschooled senior who plans
to major in art and illustration next fall.
currently serves as Director of Student Activities & Inclusion at Jefferson Community
College where she manages the college's student engagement activities as well as student
programs that addresses cultural diversity, inclusion, equity and justice. Her international
travels to New Zealand, Peru, Brazil, and France have given her the opportunity to
engage and explore other cultures firsthand. Ms. Taylor believes that it is beneficial
for everyone to seek self-enrichment by learning about other cultures because it increases
cultural awareness and cultural sensitivity.
is an Individual Studies A.S. major in her second year at JCC. She will be graduating
this spring and transferring to the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam this fall
to major in Music Business. Although her primary focus is percussion, she has recently
found a love for composing and writing her own music. The title of Vatressa's piece
is a Latin word that in English means "resilience" and was written during a time of
her own self-reflection and struggle with change.
is currently enrolled in Jefferson Community College with an aspiring degree for Creative
Writing. Writing has been her passion for over five years, and she continues to search
for any writing opportunities annually and always anticipates creating the best piece
she can pull out of herself. As her future has only begun, she is unsure of what she
wants to do with this passion but knows that writing is a part of her that she wishes
to never give up on.
plans on pursuing a career in graphic design and illustration. She likes working in
bright colors. Markers and digital art are her favorite mediums, though she is a fan
of colored pencils as well.
The editors seek original submissions in the following categories: Poetry: Up to 7 poems, not to exceed 50 lines each Fiction: Up to 2 short stories, not to exceed 1500 words each Non-Fiction: Up to 2 essays, not to exceed 1500 words each Plays: Up to 2 one-act plays, not to exceed 1500 words each Artwork: Up to 4 works In the original medium, such as black ink or charcoal drawing, computer
graphics, b/w photographs, even if printed from color film Music: Up to 2 composition 16 or more measures in length
Only submissions from Jefferson Community College students (full or part time), faculty,
staff, and alumni will be considered. Include name, address, and phone number on each
submitted work, as well as a biographical note of 30 words or fewer. Cash awards for
outstanding work will be awarded. All submissions become the property of the Black River Review. Submitted works will not be returned.
The editors also seek original submissions for the North Country Writers in the following categories:
Poetry: Not to exceed 100 lines Fiction: 1,000-3,000 words Non-Fiction: 1,000-3,000 words
Open to all who live (or have lived) in the North Country. Entries must be previously
unpublished work, in letter quality, double spaced, and should reflect a connection
to the North Country. A maximum of 3 submissions will be considered from any one participant.
Winners from the previous year will not be considered in the same category.
$75 first place prize in each category with online publication. $25 honorable mention prize in each category with online publication.
Submitting and presenting work: For both the Black River Review and North Country Writers submissions, include name, address, and phone number on each submitted work as well
as a biographical note of 30 words or fewer when submitting for either publication;
remove name from manuscript. See sunyjefferson.edu/brr for submission forms. All submissions become the property of the Black River Review, submitted works will not be returned. However, after first publication, all rights
revert back to authors.
Award recipients are encouraged to participate in the reading of works and presentation
of awards during the Black River Review unveiling in May 2022.
Deadline for Volume XXXIII: February 24, 2023
Publication of the Black River Review is made possible by support from the School of Arts & Humanities. Funds for student
awards for outstanding artwork and writing are provided by the Jefferson Community
College Campus Life Committee and Campus Activities Board.
Typing and layout for this volume of the Black River Review is done using Microsoft Word. Typing by Christine Pristash and Jess Jones; prize
notification by Jess Jones. Printing by Mitchell's Speedway Press. Digital photography
and logo design by Marketing. Website layout by Andrew Lackey and Jess Jones.