“To the Moon and Back” by Cheyenne Goetz

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Congrats to Cheyenne Goetz on earning an honorable mention for her work of fiction, “To the Moon and Back.”

Cheyenne is a Junior at the University of Montana studying a double major of Computer Science and Creative Writing.  She enjoys writing things that are ever so slightly abnormal.  Cheyenne is originally from Boise, Idaho and therefore likes potatoes an adequate amount. Her other talents include getting lost easily, wearing pajamas for most of the day, spilling/dropping things, and photography.

Her first line:

I flipped the bird in the direction of Saturn.

Click here to read “To the Moon and Back.”


“Clara Venus” by Ava Johnson

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Variously described as “cool,” “wow,” “neat,” and “fun,” Ava Johnson is a senior studying creative writing and literature at the University of Montana. She likes candy, memes, gay stuff and things that glitter. She is very nice. Congrats on your honorable mention for your poem, “Clara Venus,” Ava!

Clara Venus
by Ava Johnson, after Arthur Rimbaud’s “Venus Anadyomene”

Does this lipstick make me look beautiful
or like a dead fish with lips or both?

On any given day, I am whatever
the glam version of an Ed Gein skin suit is:

you wear my nipples and I wear yours.
Bring your catalog of avatars

and strange prosthetics to my house,
after you get home from school, and also

that teal ski mask, and also
your sequin skirt, and also

I love you, and you look cute, today.
I love when you buy new nylons

just so you can tear holes in them.
You make me wanna play dress-up,

steal some nice champagne
and throw a slumber party!

Let’s all toss our nipples in a Ziploc bag
and trade until no one has a matching pair.

Then after the sutures
we can select our tongues, like witches’ pendants,

from some VCR parts. If we’re bored
we can always swap and make out:

you wear my tongue and I’ll wear yours.
Spin the bottle, kiss me,

probe my mouth with your movies. Curl it at the tip
like a flexing bicep, muscle my wet

mouth with your muscle.
Let’s choose our favorite genitals

from the box of vulvae, and fetch the trunk of cocks
from the kitchen freezer.

I wanna get lowbrow,
be your basement queen, forever.

Now watch me bimbo,
watch me Barbarella.

I am your power bottom,
I am your body horror.

“Nothing Gold Can Stay” by Megan Jessop

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Megan Jessop earns an honorable mention for her piece of visual arts, “Nothing Gold Can Stay.”

Megan is a Senior at the University of Montana, majoring in English and Creative Writing. She was born and raised in the beautiful Bitterroot Valley of Montana. Megan enjoys experimenting with different mediums of art and creativity. She has a deep appreciation for finding aesthetic in the seemingly mundane moments of life. Her chosen medium for her submissions is a use of photography with slight edits and alterations using filters to add to the subjects.

Congrats, Megan!

“Nothing Gold Can Stay” by Megan Jessop

“Wolf with Wings” by John Hooks

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John Hooks, who refers to himself as a “functionally literate Media Arts student from Helena, Montana” earns an honorable mention for his work of fiction, “Wolf with Wings.”

His first paragraph:

           Brayden walked through the yellow brown grass that reached his chest. The stringy bunches at the ends of the tall blades reminded him of how girls braid their hair sometimes. They looked spikey, but when he picked them off and rubbed them in his fingers they were soft and fell apart on to the ground. He asked his dad once if picking the heads off the grass killed it, but his dad said that it needed to be picked, that there are seeds in the head and you help it spread when you drop them at your feet.

Click here to read “Wolf with Wings

OVAL X Staff Edition

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Oval Staff Issue 2017

From the hard-working staff of the OVAL X come their own words & works. We are sad to lose a number of these folks to graduation, but know they’ll do great things in the future. Cheers!



“Ballet” by Hannah Fay

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Hannah Fay is a native Austinite who braved the snow to come study microbiology at UM. The Oval staff awarded Hannah an honorable mention for her photo, “Ballet.” Congrats, Hannah.


“Ballet” by Hannah Fay


“Silent Sounds” by Samuel Forstag

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Congrats to Sam Forstag on earning an honorable mention for his work of fiction, “Silent Sounds.”

Sam is a Senior studying Political Science & Philosophy at the University of Montana. Sam’s favorite novel is Kesey’s “Sometimes a Great Notion,” and his favorite poem is “The Country,” and he is currently serving as President of the Associated Students of the University of Montana (ASUM) and the Montana Associated Students (MAS).

Sam would also like it noted that Sam does not typically talk about himself in the third person.

His first paragraph:

“…The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.”

            Something feels different. Thank God we did it on a Saturday so that I’d have today to chew it all over – It would have been a serious psychological struggle if I’d had to work at the call center the day after that. Hell, it would’ve been tough just trying to drive back into Argot. I needed to get out of town like a billygoat needs his balance, and I don’t think I could have gotten any farther away with a 30-minute drive.

Click here to continue reading “Silent_Sounds.”