Student artists and writers celebrate twenty-first edition of Zaum

STAR // Nolan Brough Students with work featured in the newest edition of Zaum came together for a release party on Thursday in the University Art Gallery.

STAR // Nolan Brough

Students with work featured in the newest edition of Zaum came together for a release party on Thursday in the University Art Gallery.

As one of the smaller CSU campuses, Sonoma State University may appear to have fewer outlets and opportunities for students. However, this assumption could not be farther from the truth. The extracurricular life at Sonoma State was especially apparent during the release party of Zaum XXI, Sonoma State’s literary magazine. 

The twenty-first edition of Zaum is more alive than ever. While it’s formatting has remained the same over the years, containing submissions of prose, poetry and visual art, the theme and content set new standards for Sonoma State’s artists. 

“The theme focuses on the beauty of chaos,” said Sean Johnson, the senior editor of Zaum. “There can be a lot going on in the work but there is still an ultimate message.”

The party, which began with wine and appetizers led to students reading their selected pieces, ranging from poetry to short stories. No piece was the same, but they were each rich with intention and personality, covering topics from racism and death to the DMV.  

When discussing the selection process, Johnson shared that he tries to run Zaum in a democratic sense, since the magazine is really for the students. The staff votes multiple times on work before any publication takes place.

“The selection is hard because who is to say what’s chaotic and what’s not,” said Johnson.

Although the English Department staffs much of Zaum, submissions are open to anyone. Brooke Mallory, an art major has several paintings and drawings featured in the magazine with one as the cover piece.

Zaum is a great way for aspiring writers and artists to archive their talents. Having work published before graduation is something that will stand out to employers. Like Cinenoma and Campus Movie Fest, Zaum is an outlet for creative students to meet likeminded people and to grow in skill and credibility.

Bringing awareness to existing clubs or outlets will help improve the programs and will also make the transition to college easier for students who feel they may not have a place at Sonoma State.

“If you’re looking for a career in publication or journalism this is a great class to take” said Deborah Lightcap, a contributor, prose editor and English major. “It is a stimulating class environment as well as a great work environment.”

Finding your place at Sonoma State can be intimidating, but for those who are struggling it’s important to know that there are so many people who share interests as well as classes that will act as hobbies. 

Zaum is just one of these outlets. With more attention on extracurricular outlets, it’s likely that fewer students will leave Sonoma State, and that benefits all students.