Black River Review 2018
SUNY Jefferson
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Black River Review 2018

Black River Review Logo

Jefferson Community College
State University of New York
Watertown, New York

Spring 2018

Dr. Christine Pristash, Editor in Chief
Lucinda Barbour, Art Editor
Dr. Lisa Scrivani-Tidd, Music Editor
Brandon Maxam, Literary Editor
Dr. CJ Southworth, Literary Editor


A bright purple dog with pointed ears on an orange background
Chelsea Kain
Sigyn’s Nerves
(computer-enhanced collage)

Copies of the Black River Review, a non-profit publication, are for free distribution. Opinions expressed by the authors and artists do not necessarily reflect those of the editors or of Jefferson Community College.



Christine Pristash

Passion animates the world. It causes students to work two jobs, late nights, and with almost no sleep. It motivates creative writers to submit and submit… and submit their work despite the anxiety and pain that it entails. It is what makes people call some of us nerds. Many of us wear our passions on our sleeves despite the world’s potential derision. In my case, passion what keeps me smiling every day I teach despite (metaphorical) piles of papers and long days.

Editing this year’s Black River Review was truly a joy because of the passion demonstrated by the writers, artists, and musicians who submitted to this year’s edition as well as that of my fellow editors. I have had the privilege to read a range of literary works this year that demonstrated passion in its best forms. Even those who did not make it in this year’s publication should be proud of their accomplishments. It is a risk to put your head and heart on the page.

In several of her novels, Jeanette Winterson repeats the same quote: “What you risk reveals what you value.” The best parts of life are fueled by our passions despite the risk involved. So, please keep creating – or enjoying the creations of others. Be willing to take the risk. Be passionate.







  • A piece symbol and heart flanked by the words “Peace” and “Love.”
  • A young man clutches two stuffed animal rabbits.
  • A woman stands with her arms in an X in front of her face, chained to the word “beauty.”
  • Dreamcatcher
  • Close-up of a puppy.
  • Squares arranged to resemble a twisting tunnel.


  • A woman whose bottom half turns to swirling air/smoke.
  • Two orb-like tree houses and wooden bridges high in the trees.
  • A young woman and toddler sit on an isolated cliff as many arrows target them from above.
  • A young girl is held by a smiling skeletal creature, flanked by hearts and flowers. The words “Remember my Dear, stay true to yourself” are written across the top.
  • A maze-like tree with the word “travel” written across the middle.
  • Bee sitting on flower.
  • A hand with an eye in its palm (the hamsa) surrounded by roses.


  • Close-up of daisy with dew on petals in black and white.
  • Lizzy Hale playing guitar. Image in black and white


Contributor's Notes

is a current student and formerly received an associate’s degree in Business Administration from JCC. He is the owner of The Stage Door and Stage Door Images and has photographed hundreds of events throughout the United States including World Cup Snowboarding, Motocross, and concerts.

grew up in the nomadic lifestyle of an Army Brat. Today she is a member of the New York Army National Guard, has been attending JCC for two years, and still lives in her parents’ basement. She has ambitions to someday take over the world and/or graduate.

is an adjunct English professor at SUNY Jefferson, works in the Tutoring Center, and is Director of Rhonda’s FooteWorks in downtown Watertown. Her greatest achievement is her daughter, Madison Draper, SUNY Jefferson class of 2017 and prospective Hartwick grad 2019.

is a sophomore student and is currently a liberal arts major at JCC. He is currently searching for a career to choose. However, wherever he goes he will continue with his passion for music.

is a happily retired Social Worker. She appeared in the 1987 edition of the Black River Review while attending JCC. She then stopped writing until her retirement in 2016 when she joined the Cape Vincent Poets & Writers Ink.

is a liberal arts student at JCC. When she was little, she was told to “create what you want to see in the world,” which has fueled her love for art, poetry, and non-fiction writing. She will be pursuing a BFA in Graphic Design in the fall of 2018.

is set to receive an A.A. in Creative Writing from JCC in May 2018 and will be continuing his education at SUNY Oswego in the fall.

currently serves as Executive Director for the Jefferson Community College Foundation. With a degree in creative writing from St. Lawrence University and a career in which boundless creativity is encouraged, writing poetry and short stories is one way Greg channels and perfects the art of building poignant images through words.

served in the US Navy abroad the USS Antrim, FFG-20. He has been working with juveniles with cognitive disabilities for almost a decade. He earned an A.S. degree in Human Services and is currently pursuing an A.A.S. in Chemical Dependency. He plans on pursuing a master’s degree in Social Work to help individuals with substance abuse issues.

is an author and poet who has been teaching at JCC since 2000.

is a 23 year old Liberal Arts major who lives for art of any kind.

is a first year student at JCC concentrating in Art for a Liberal Arts degree. After receiving her associates, her future plans are to go on to receive her masters of Fine Arts in Drawing and Painting and a Masters of Art Education.

will be graduating from JCC in May 2018 with a Paralegal degree and plans to attend SUNY Canton in Fall 2018 to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Legal Studies. He lives in Watertown, NY as a freelance editor and the editor of

enjoys art, music, dancing, and the theater. She plans to be an art major in college.

is originally from Central Texas and is currently studying Individual Studies to hopefully go into the Graphic Design Career.

spent most of his early life in the most northern parts of Jefferson County. He now lives in Watertown where he sells pianos and guitars, hangs out with his cat, and works on his various music and design endeavors.

an adjunct instructor, lives somewhere under snow north of Watertown. Some poetry publications/acceptances have been in Blueline, Comstock Review, The Cortland Review, and Plath Poetry Project.

is an alumni of JCC. She graduated in fall 2017 with her degree in Liberal Arts: Creative Writing. She is currently a student at Binghamton University studying Technical Theatre and Design with a minor in Cinema. In the future, she hopes to continue to pursue her love for technical theatre and design.

is a sophomore liberal arts student at JCC who plans to complete his degree here and then plans to transfer to another school and start his studies in the technical theater field. He has been participating in theatre shows in Watertown for eight years and hopes to make a career out of the art.

is a wife of one and a mother of two little girls and two dogs. When not teaching or tutoring at JCC, she is trying to whip up some amazing creation in the kitchen, enjoying time with the ones she loves most, and trying to maintain her sanity while doing all of the above.

is from Lowville, New York. She lives with her mom, sister, her cat, and dog Cooper.

retired from the “old” Melvil Dewey Library not long ago, misses his former work mates and goes on about his business.

wishes to be a psychology major and art minor. Someday, she hopes to be a school counselor who can incorporate the use of art therapy into everyday life to help make lives better. She loves all forms of art and helping people.


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: In the original medium, such as black ink or pencil drawing, computer graphics, b/w photographs, even if printed from color film.
Music: 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 by currently enrolled students will be awarded. All submissions become the property of the Black River Review. Submitted works will not be returned.

Email submissions, contact information, and bio to
Or mail to
Jefferson Community College English Department
1220 Coffeen Street | Watertown, NY 13601
Attn: Black River Review
Deadline for Volume XXIX: February 15, 2019


Publication of the Black River Review is made possible by funding from the English Department. Funds for student awards for outstanding artwork and writing are provided by Jefferson Community College Faculty-Student Association.


Typing and layout for this volume of the Black River Review is done using Microsoft Word. Typing and prize notification by Jessica Jones. Printing by Mitchell’s Speedway Press, Oswego, NY. Digital photography and logo design by David Bowhall.

Copyright © 2018 Black River Review
(After first publication, all rights revert to authors, artists, and composers.)