River’s Voice presents talents within Rio Hondo

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Michael Carranza, photographer of the published piece “Mansion on a Hill”.

by Krystyn Bristol

River’s Voice is a journal of art and literature that has been published annually for the past 14 years. Certain spectacular pieces produced by students of Rio Hondo are selected to be printed within the pages of the popular book, and feature a wide variety of talents from drawings and photography to scripts and poems.

English major Gabriel James-Miranda’s poems, “My Inability to Quit Skateboarding” and “I Have a lot of Regrets” were published in this year’s issue. After being introduced to River’s Voice by his former literature professor Jim Mathis, he felt excessive encouragement and motivation to submit his work. James-Miranda, writer of short stories, poems, and an in-the-works novel submitted five pieces.

Oddly, “My Inability to Quit Skateboarding” was his least favorite of the ones he submitted; yet it was published. Regardless of the circumstances, James-Miranda enjoyed the experience of having his pieces published for the second consecutive year.

Inspired by his favorite poet E.E Cummings and various fiction writers, James-Miranda has big goals in his near future and is thankful that it is beginning with his published pieces in River’s Voice. When asked about what he is working on outside of Rio Hondo, he responded, “I’m focused on compiling a manuscript and sending it to a publisher so that I could eventually have my own book.”

Another deserving piece that was published in volume 14 of River’s Voice was a photo by Michael Carranza titled “Mansion on a Hill”. This photo was purposely published in gray scale because of the emotion that he wanted to portray through the photo.

Surprisingly enough, Carranza “first picked up a camera eight months ago” and started his hobby with a digital photojournalism class. “I thought I could learn the basics from there”, said Carranza. “I was already an art major, but I was more into design. After I bought my Canon DSLR, I just started taking photos and getting into photography.”

Also influenced by a professor, Wendy Carrera, Carranza sent in four photos with hopes to get one published in this issue of River’s Voice.

Though he claims to still not know what he wants to do in his legitimate career future, he says that photography “is not something that you can focus a career on” and that “you have to have other artistic skills and values” to succeed.

Many others had their artistically visual and emotional pieces published, as the total amount of selected submissions exceeded 50. With a plethora of goals paving the way to the bright futures of these students, River’s Voice is and always has been a great stepping-stone on the way.