Summer / Fall 2020

Letter from the Editor

Dear Readers,

This has been a difficult year, from the big things like the virus that has taken too many lives to racism and police brutality, which are just as lethal. Then there are the little losses: the routines turned upside down, the forced distance from family and friends.

Literature has been at our side for all of it. There are the books we’ve reached for to bring us, for a moment, out of quarantine. The sheer enjoyment of picking up something new to read. Or the urgent need to put pen to paper, as an antidote or creative outlet, whether it’s a way of working through or into altogether new terrain.

The pieces that we have collected in this edition revolve around the theme of identity and belonging, coming on the heels of a year that’s demanded us to redefine even the basic ways we fit together. Brianna Williams writes powerfully about a black girl coming of age in a white family in the short story “The Perfect Puff.” Sarah Koppelkam looks at the movie Moonlight to discuss queer timelines and how they are at work in the BLM movement in an essay that moves with breathtaking momentum. It brings you along, a bit spellbound, from the first word to the last, as Koppelkam urges us, compellingly, away from an insistence on static definition. “When we imagine we have queerness figured out, we lose the magical potentiality of queerness,” she writes.

And in the vivid poem “Catherine of the Wheel,” Caroline King looks at the relationship between father and daughter, conjuring Catherine of Alexandria if she lived today, a little girl who is faced with a father’s impossible betrayal.

This edition was an experiment, and we’re pleased to share the results with you here. As always, Clamantis would not be possible without the dedication of our talented team of editors as well as the authors who entrusted us with their work. We are also indebted to our faculty advisor Anna Minardi for all she does to make the journal a vibrant publication. Many thanks to Nick Sammartino who has been our steadfast digital editor at a time when digital publishing was the only sure way of staying in touch.

In the two years I’ve been an editor at Clamantis, it’s been invigorating to see the way this publication has morphed and evolved, both shaping our literary community and responding to it. As this is the last time I’ll be writing to you in this capacity, I want to express my gratitude for the opportunity to have served as the editor of this journal.

I’m excited to see how the new board and group of assistant and associate editors make this journal their own, as it continues growing and evolving.

Amanda Gokee

From the Editors



Caroline King


The Countdown
Ali Abdolsalehi



Big Brave Dog
Meghan Kelleher


The Perfect Puff
Briana Williams


Andrea Marion



Amanda Gokee
Editorial Board Members
Janina Misiewicz
Julia Ceraolo
Aneeq Ejaz
Faculty Advisor
Anna Minardi
Digital Editors
Janina Misiewicz
Nick Sammartino
Associate Editors
Amanda Skinner
Pierce Ellinwood
Isadora Italia
Eric Fantauzzi
Assistant Editors
Vibhustuti Thapa
Joseph Martinelli
Isaiah K. Diaz-Mays
Taqdees Mahmood Mela
Alumni Editors
Maisea Bailey
Teresa Lust
Matt Zachowski
Cover Design
Janina Misiewicz