Centripetal 2023 launch!

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Blue and white banner with the phrase "poets and writers"

Near the hectic end of this semester, PSU’s Poets and Writers gathered once again at the Groovy Noodle for a final open mic night. More importantly, we were celebrating the latest issue of Centripetal, our campus journal of arts and writing. Published once a semester, Centripetal highlights a beautiful collection of artwork, poetry, and fiction from the PSU community.

In front of a vibrant open mic crowd, this year’s contributors had the opportunity read or speak about their work. Emily Roy, junior and artist, spoke about her pieces “Pines beneath a red night sky,” and “Bracken Perspective,” the latter being prominently featured on this issue’s cover. Kerstin Nielsen, graduating senior and co-president of the club, read her poignant poem “Coming of Age.” Throughout the night, we had the opportunity to hear from some first-time readers, including Jonah Rosenberg with his poem “Light Snow Falls,” and some veterans like Kieran Bondarchuk, reading stream-of-consciousness from a ragged notebook.

Interested in checking out all of the other brilliant work features in this issue? Copies of Centripetal are free to all! Swing by the front desk of Ellen Reed House to pick one up or check beneath the Poets and Writers bulletin board outside Rounds 204.

If you are interested in submitting your work for the fall issue of Centripetal, submissions are accepted on a rolling basis. Send up to 4 pieces of poetry or prose shorter than 1000 words and up to 4 pieces of artwork to: PSUPoetsAndWriters@gmail.com, subject line “Centripetal Submission.”

Poets and Writers will be back in the fall with regular open mic events at both Lamson Library and the Groovy Noodle, so keep an eye out for those! And fret not, we will also be back in December with another issue of Centripetal and another incredible release party!

~Dan Harrison, President of PSU Poets and Writers

Centripetal would also like to share Mara Tomlinson’s poem “Synesthesia,” which is included in the spring issue of Centripetal but which had its last stanza lost at the printers. Our apologies, Mara! Here’s the poem in full:

Blueberries don’t taste blue.
Raspberries don’t taste red.
Cape Gooseberries don’t taste yellow.
And most certainly blackberries never taste black.

Every color has a taste, a sense of being –

Blue is that first bite of cotton candy –
That blissful combination of sugar and dye,
Like you didn’t cry not even the hour before.
Like you weren’t reminded that you have no worth.
Blue tastes like a reprieve from pain. 

Red is the taste of cranberry juice after toothpaste.
A bittersweet taste of rejection.
Good enough to kiss in shadowy corners,
Not good enough to date; never good enough to bring home.
Red tastes like pain.

Yellow is the taste of lemons after something sharp.
The stinging reminder of what you lost.
Was it worth the heartache of one last kiss?
Will it ever sting less?
Yellow is like the aftermath of pain.

Black is loneliness.
Remaining unknown in a crowd no matter how small.
The roar of voices surrounding you, yet never comforting you.
The blue of silent tears, no one wipes away.
The burn of red lines on the wrist, no one notices.
The yellow of fading bruises because life holds no meaning.
Black is loneliness.

~Mara Tomlinson, “Synesthesia”