Word play

Clackamas literary review prints twentieth issue this spring

By Tom Bogges

The “Clackamas Literary Review” is about to release its nineteenth issue. The literary journal produced entirely by Clackamas Community College student co-editors and designers goes on sale May 1.

The CLR is an anthology that includes poetry, prose and text. There are pieces from local authors and others around the world, all assembled together by 16 students in an editing and publishing class.

Trevor Dodge, an English instructor at CCC said, “CLR began in the mid-1990s with English Department faculty members Tim Schell and Jeff Knorr, who wanted to create a national literary magazine for poetry and prose.”

Before coming to the college in 2004, Dodge had heard of the CLR.

“I had heard about CLR when I was myself an undergraduate at the University of Idaho and starting to send out poems and short stories for publication. So when I was offered a teaching job at Clackamas I was doubly thrilled,” said Dodge.

Dodge went on to say, “The simple majority of the fiction, comics and experimental pieces in both last year’s issue as well as the new one are pieces I solicited from writers all across the country, and I’m very proud of the trajectory the magazine is on. CLR has published so much amazing writing by some of the country’s most important established and emerging writers, making it not only an important part of this college’s creative history, but really and truly of the entire West Coast literary scene as well.

”In the fall of 2008, Ryan Davis from the college’s English department took control of the production of the CLR. He helped produce the 2009 through 2014 issues of the literary anthology. A few years ago issues got backlogged, but with the help of students the issues were caught up and published.

In 2015, the CLR transitioned with the electronic age and a new teacher, Matthew J. Warren, took over. They began receiving some of their material through a new platform called Submittable.

Since the 2015 issue, two thirds of the acquisitions have been selected through Submittable, far different than the hard copy stories received through the mail in previous years.

“The CLR stills get a good number of prose and poetry through the mail as before,” Warren said. “But the market for new writers and established ones grew through the new method of delivering their pieces to the CLR.”

This year the CLR received about 300 submissions from authors. Then the process of editing the accepted manuscripts began. Warren, along with the 16 students of Writing 246 that were involved with picking this year’s inductees to this addition worked long, and hard, in a very short timeframe, to make this issue happen.

One of the accepted manuscripts is from Margaret Malone, author of the prose piece “Child Care.”

“This is my first time in the Clackamas Literary Review. I’m thrilled to be in the upcoming issue,” Malone said. “CLR has a great reputation as a student lit mag. The issues are well done and beautifully put together and the caliber of writing is incredible. It’s a pleasure to have a story included.”

The Writing 246 class is not only about teaching what to do in order publish a book. In the class, students experience hands-on work to discover what it takes to complete every one of the tasks in the process. Everyone’s opinion counts in the outcome of all the time-consuming work performed. Minds working together to reach one goal that is what this is all about.