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The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus


The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus


Local Poetry and Art Showcased at Penumbra’s Spring 2024 Book Launch


The cover of this year’s spring edition of Penumbra. (Signal Photo/Marcos Zaragoza)

On May 3, the CSU Stanislaus Art Gallery was filled with art and poetry as Penumbra, Stan State’s art and literary journal, revealed its latest edition at their Spring 2024 Launch.

There was lots of excitement as people got together to celebrate the final product of months of hard work and creativity.

The 60 to 70 event attendees were made up of members of the campus community and the public. Artists, writers and poets that were featured in the spring edition also attended to represent their work. 

According to their website, Penumbra gives a voice to artists, writers and poets from all backgrounds, ages, and walks of life. With every publication, Penumbra offers art, poetry, fiction and non-fiction that expresses human intellect, emotion and experience.

The event rolled out in three sections. The first part was dedicated to special guest poet Mai Der Vang, who read her poems for the first hour of the event.

Schuyler Becker, a Co-editor-in-Chief of Penumbra and an English M.A. grad student, talked about the success of the event.

“I think our Spring 2024 Launch Event was a success. It garnered a substantial crowd this year,” Becker said. 

“The night was made enjoyable by the beautiful poetry of special guest Mai Der Vang, a unique variety of art pieces encompassing the room, and celebratory conversation on the culmination of Penumbra’s efforts this spring: the latest edition of our literary and art journal, hot off the press!” she added.

In the second part, the Penumbra team took over and shared information about the magazine’s significance and history. Staff members and guests also read poems from this year’s edition. 

Dr. Jesse Wolfe, a professor in the English Department, attended the launch. 

“It was delightful, as it is every year, to attend Penumbra’s book launch. The atmosphere is always celebratory, and the creative work on display, both literary and visual, is always impressive,” Dr. Wolfe said.

“Having a talented regional poet–Mai Der Vang–share her work made the event memorable,” Dr. Wolfe continued. “Plus, I love that Penumbra has a tradition of more than 30 years: it’s a real jewel of our campus life.”

One of the artists who was present was Kristina Solomita (senior, Creative Media), whose painting “Plagas de la Vida” was selected as “Penumbra’s Staff Favorite,” and is an example of the artistic talent that is selected for the magazine.

During the final part of the event, attendees were invited to walk around the gallery, look at and talk about the art and mingle with other guests. There were also drinks and snacks, provided by Penumbra staff.

For Sarah Hernandez (junior, Creative Media), one of the highlights of the event was how guests were invited to talk about the art. 

“What I enjoyed most was getting to see all the artwork on the walls and have everyone look at it,” Hernandez said. “I heard people talking about the artwork itself and trying to decipher what they think it means based on what was shown. I thought that was really cool.”

Penumbra is run entirely by student staff. Students who are interested in Penumbra can take English 4019: Editing Literary Magazines in the Spring semester, which is open to juniors and above from any major. 

The current and past issues of the journal can be accessed digitally through Penumbra Online.

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Local Poetry and Art Showcased at Penumbra’s Spring 2024 Book Launch