ARC hosts annual review for literary magazine


Editor and Chief of the American River Review, Eric Vincent, holds a Q&A at the “Word Soup” college hour at American River College on April 26. This college hour allowed poet Danny Dyer, and authors Christian Kiefer and Patti Santucci to share their work with an audience. (Photo by Sharriyona Platt)

Allante Morris

American River College hosted “Word Soup,” a collection of writing done by students and faculty members that are featured in the annual magazine, “The American River Review.”

ARC Professor Michael Spurgeon began with informing students that they could sign up for this year’s conference for $95 at Summer Words, a creative writing festival from May 26-29.

“Word Soup,” which has been at ARC for the past two and a half years, was originally created by Harold Snider, a faculty member.  

Every year, “Word Soup” features a faculty member, but this year it was turned into a review of the magazine’s potential stories hosted by their current editor in chief, Eric Vincent.

Vincent notified everyone in attendance that the magazine was currently accepting submissions for writing, poetry, and graphic design, hoping to get more people to participate.

The college literary magazine is solely a student produced magazine and has won the title for “Best in the Nation” on nine different occasions, making it the only community college in the country to achieve this more than twice.

Vincent then introduces their first guest speaker, author and ARC student Patty Santucci, who read a piece titled “Enough Said.”

Next was instructor Danny Dyer, who read three short sonnets and seven poems that he wrote.

Dyer credits his mood and “the time spent in Alaska” for his inspiration in writing sonnets that were primarily based in nature.

Last to speak was ARC professor Christian Kiefer, who said “We should all thank the professors for offering extra credit or no one would be here.”

Vincent then opened up a question and answer panel where he asked the three guest speakers three random questions, such as to describe their outfit, the last book they touched, and what they last bought at a grocery store.

The audience then got the chance to ask the guest speakers some questions on writing, what inspires them, and how’d they knew what to write for certain feelings.

When asked what makes a good writer, Dyer said “A writer is defined by writing, if you write, you’re a writer”.

Santucci said “I don’t know honestly, if you write and you may think it’s good but they think it’s awful, you just keep writing.”

When a student asked about how they deal with writer’s block, Kiefer said “I don’t because  don’t get writer’s block,” and the other speakers seemed to agree but gave the advice to keep writing through it.

“It was very helpful to hear how they get from one page to the next and how to form and shape your work,” ARC student Valencia Melnik said when asked how she felt about the “Word Soup.”