Poets showcase talent at Zaum gala

The crowd sat silent, their eyes all focused on Dulce María Preciado Encarnación in the dim room of Redwood Cafe, while reading her poetry piece “America.” Preciado was one of 10 poets who read their published works in the recently released print issue of Zaum Nineteen, Sonoma State University’s literary magazine. 

Zaum Press held their gala for the release of Zaum Nineteen, at Redwood Cafe in Cotati on April 14. 

“America is inspired and dedicated to the entire continent of the Americas - from the most northern tip of Canada to the most southern tip of Chile and Argentina - where I seek to defy and explore where is America,” said Preciado, senior and global studies major. 

Zaum Nineteen, does not only consist of Sonoma State poets, but students from all over. Student Kali Pollard from the UC Berkeley was published in the latest issue of Zaum, and read two of her works at the gala.

“Never done anything like this before,” said Dean Elayda, a senior and economics major. “Never had I been published before and it was real exciting to do.”

The night consisted of platter after platter of fruit and cheeses, a photobooth for goofy portraiture, the sales of  Zaum Nineteen, as well as back issues and raffles that included goody baskets.

Various items were also donated to Zaum Press to raise funds, including a 1920s Royal typewriter by Liliah Ornelas, poetry editor for Zaum Press. 

“The money earned from raffle ticket and magazine sales goes right back into paying for field trips, and various Zaum expenses, so it’s important to fundraise,” said Carly Perkins, senior editor for Zaum Press. “Luckily our efforts were successful.”

Not only were the items raffled donated by individuals, but Redwood Cafe also donated gift certificates and the space to hold the gala.   

“I think what distinguishes us is that we are 100 percent student-run and we are so dedicated to show what students are capable of,” said Natalie Albana, managing editor for Zaum Press. 

Zaum Press is a one of a kind program like no other. It’s a completely student-run literary magazine, producing two issues every year: 

Zaum, the print edition and Zaum XS, the online edition. Both editions are filled with student poetry and prose writing. 

“It means a lot to have your peers come support something you’ve worked so hard on,” said Perkins.

The staff of Zaum Press goes to work at the beginning of each semester to review submitted work and to work on the design of the magazine.

For anyone who interested in becoming a part of the culture and Zaum Press community, look for English 368: “Small Press Editing: ZAUM” in the fall 2015 course catalog. 

“I think Zaum is an amazing resource for emerging artists like myself because the magazine is distributed in the Bay Area,” said Preciado. “It feels great to know I am published in their 19th edition, for I am now part of a legacy of artists, and that feels great.”