“MONUMENT” by Steven Abell

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This year’s first honorable mention for poetry goes to Steven Michael Abell for his poem, “Monument.” Steven writes that he is more or less from Red Lodge, MT, and has been writing poetry for 12 years. He is a senior and he will be attending graduate school this coming fall at UMass Amherst. Congrats, Steven.


People walk around, across the
world, wearing your coats, hats.
Streets are sometimes barricaded.
Balloons let go, thousands of them.
People cover their houses with lights.
The sun rises and burns up all the snow.
Men and women leave their homes to pray,
pay debts, get into arguments at the post office.

The morning after your twenty-first, I rise and
dangle a headache over my toilet. I burn toast.
Paper says a dozen more statues were torn down.
Radio says to stay inside because it’s way too hot.
Few people go to work because it’s Saturday.
Many people go to work because it’s Saturday.
There’s a hole in my shoe but it hasn’t ever rained.

I join the men and women who march in the streets
throwing rocks and bottles, congesting traffic, lighting
fires, choking on gas, bleeding from their noses, mouths,
shouting for change. I crawl through a broken window
and look for your name on lunch pails; inside the cover
of an old hardback about spiders. I dig through a mound,
lifting shoes by their tongues, and I can hear the streets,
like a television left on for background noise. I cannot tell
which part is riot, which revolution. I do know,
though, I’m the only person looting this second-hand store.


The Oval Cleans Up the Clark Fork

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Last Saturday (Earth Day) a group of dedicated students joined Oval Captain Robert Stubblefield for some volunteer hours. Way to go Ovalites! The earth thanks you . . .



“foraoise” by Juliette Viera

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The first honorable mention from the Spring 2017 submission cycle goes to Juliette Viera and her watercolor painting, “foraoise.” She writes of her painting,

“A forest landscape after it has rained and nearer to dusk.  A conjunction of the artist’s perspective and choice of colors with the movement of the water on the paper.”

“foraoise” by Juliette Viera

Callan Wink Slays

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A BIG “Thank You” to Callan Wink for his spectacular reading and Q&A. Students were left invigorated by his fiction and commentary about a writer’s life. Additionally, The Oval is grateful to Chris Dombrowski for guiding Callan into this monster. Thanks fellas!B77C6B9D-89E0-4A6F-A919-BEF21AE4A7E8

Callan Wink Reading

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Callan Wink Reads Monday, March 27th @ 7pm in the Mansfield Library.

Callan Wink is a writer and fly-fishing guide from Livingston, Montana. His stories have appeared in the New Yorker, Granta, Men’s Journal, Ecotone, The Best American Short Stories and others. He is also an NEA Fellowship recipient.


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Submissions are OPEN for Volume X of The Oval: Undergraduate Literary Magazine

To submit, you must be an undergraduate at The University of Montana.

Submissions are outlined as:

  • Two pieces of fiction or of dramatic works, limited to 5,000 words each, double-spaced, submitted as Word documents.
  • Two pieces of non-fiction, limited to 5,000 words each, double-spaced, submitted as Word documents.
  • Five poems, each must be submitted in separate Word documents.
  • Three pieces of visual art.

An individual may submit to more than one genre.

Under Cover Letter/Biography, please include a brief biography written in third person and your UM student ID number (790). Please note that your submission is incomplete without this brief biography.

Submissions for Volume X open November 15, 2016 and close at midnight on February 22nd, 2017. https://theoval.submittable.com/submit

Submissions are OPEN!

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img_4365The Oval has opened its submission doors for all you undergraduates. Although stuffed from Thanksgiving, our editors are salivating at the chance to review your work!

Please send us your most delicious creative nonfiction, fiction, poetry, and visual art.

Submission window closes Feb 15th, 2017. Please refer to our Submission tab or Submittable page for guidelines.