“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.”

“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