Sanaa LaCore: 2024, Political Science and Sociology Major. Sanaa is working with a museum curator to have her poems featured in a display.
I wanted to be an artist when I was younger, a visual artist. I never imagined making spoken word or poetry-type art until last semester in my Journeys class, [open art and migration]. We met with a bunch of artists, some were musicians, visual artists, poets, one was Rachel Griffiths, who I really loved. That same month we had the Writer’s Festival, which had conferences with people like Rita Dove and Tiana Clark. Hearing from other Black poets really made me think, “Oh, maybe this is something I can really do,” because I never really thought poetry was accessible to me. It seemed really far out to reach with the language and topics that catered to more “mature” adults.
The poem series I wrote was originally just one poem, but after the Chauvin trials, after he got convicted, I was inspired to write more about it. I was looking for a way to express my feelings about being Black in America and thinking “I shouldn’t be so excited that this one person with video evidence got convicted, but I am, because the system is so corrupt that a criminal, who was recorded with multiple witnesses, was actually convicted of a crime.”
When I was writing my poem I was thinking about the ups and downs of being black, sometimes it’s exciting and it’s community, and other times it’s very tiring to go through the same things all of the time. It can be a lot to carry, and poetry has helped me release. I thought about double majoring in Creative writing and political science, but I think Sociology and political science would make more sense. I still think that I want to be a poet, just maybe not as professional as well known ones. I feel like a lot of artists aren’t recognized until they’ve passed anyway so I might as well do what I want now.”
Lucy Sackin: 2025, Undecided Major. Lucy is a tattoo artist.
I’ve loved tattoos since I was maybe 8, because that’s when I specifically remember learning that you could get them. I’d always wanted tattoos, and I gave myself my first tattoo when I was 12 – which was demented and unsafe and I can’t believe that I’m still alive. I kept giving myself shitty tattoos for a while, but then I started getting more into it within the last year.
I’ve also loved getting tattoos, and it’s not just the pain that draws me to get them. I love the idea of putting your trust in someone, I love having art on my body, and the relationship it builds with the artist and the person getting the tattoo, it’s a lifelong bond. I love how it’s such an intense bond, yet so many people are willing to make it, and I feel like that says a lot about the way that humans just trust each other.
And then the fact that we’ve been tattooing for as long as we have–the oldest preserved body we have of a human on record is covered head to toe in tattoos. We’ve used almost the same methods that we always have. Ancient tattoos would consist of a carving method–sharpening a rock, making cuts in the skin, and stuffing it with ink, but then Native Hawaiians, I think adopted the method of poking with a really small point, which is what we still do now. The modern tattoo machines–there’s only two types–both were invented in the 19th century, and we still use that same exact technology. It’s just such a reliable human activity, we will always be stabbing each other and giving each other tattoos.
Luca Bixler: 2023, English Creative Writing Major
I had never gone on any sort of international trip before, but the summer before my first year of college I was able to go to Ireland and Scotland. It was super beautiful, and cool, and I feel like I had a lot of moments that made me feel more connected to everything–myself and my spirituality–than I ever had been.
One of those moments was when we stopped in a little town in Ireland, after renting a car and driving around for a while, until my dad got freaked out about the car being on the other side of the road and decided to stop in said little town. There was a huge sheep-herding show with a big crowd. Everyone kind of wandered off, and me being a little loner wandered off too, until I found a creek under a bridge and decided to walk under it along it.
I looked out the river bank and saw that there was a little lamb that was asleep. It must have escaped from the big herding show and decided to hide himself. We stared at each other for a second until I tried to pet it, then it decided to run along the riverbank. I must have been there for a while, because when my sibling found me they told me that my family had been looking for me for half an hour.
There were a lot of moments like that, like a moment I had in Scotland on a beach where I could see jumping crabs and bugs that looked like they were vibrating particles in the air. It made me feel present, probably more present than I’ve ever been. It feels silly looking back at my thought process, I seemed “up in the clouds” and not very grounded in reality, but at the same time I felt like I was grounded in something way more real than I am now. The lamb reminds me of what I was experiencing at the time–almost childlike wonder. I feel like to have escaped his fate and just relaxed by the river, he must represent something strong.