My photo

The Suisun Valley Review was established as a way for the students of Solano Community College to learn the art and craft of editing a literary journal while putting together their own magazine once a year. Since the first issue was published in 1981, student editors have collaborated on over thirty issues of SVR, carefully selecting the contents from new and established writers from across the U.S. and abroad. The students are also directly involved with creating the overall design aesthetic and narrative of each issue. Each spring, all of their hard work and endless creative energy is repaid with a bound collection of prose and poetry, sold and kept as a testament to sleepless nights.
SVR's 2014 Submission Guidelines

Friday, April 27, 2012

“Even a Word Has a Story”

On Tuesday, Solano Community College was pleased to welcome Patricia Killelea. Ms. Killelea is a former Solano student who is also our poet feature for the 2012 edition of the Suisun Valley Review. It’s more of a homecoming than anything, really; not only is she a former student, but she has also been published in the Suisun Valley Review before!

For the first half of the hour, Killelea read to us from her book of poems: “Other Suns.” A Native American Studies doctoral student, Killelea incorporates Native American mythology and imagery in many of her poems, such as in “Report: Police Shoot Baby Deer in Oakland for No Reason.” (We were also treated to “Long Blue Coat,” which was the poem published in the Suisun Valley Review.) Her poems are also influenced by the natural world, particularly the marshes of northern California. When she reads aloud, she is so passionate that her shoulders rock with the words, punctuating phrases.

After the reading, she answered questions and spoke to many qualities of poetry. One of the most important qualities is sound: Killelea says, “Poems weren’t meant to be on paper,” for they began only as the spoken word, long before language was written. While she stresses that sound is not more important than the subject matter, it is a very important part of her poetry, and can even become the subject matter in some cases.

Killelea prefers writing poetry over writing fiction prose; she feels more comfortable in this condensed form. But she doesn’t feel far from stories, because poems have stories just as prose does. She told us, “Even a word has a story.”