Meet Editor Jessica Hayes

Get to know our wonderful staff working on The Bridge vol. 19. We asked Jessica a couple of questions, keep reading to find out more!

Jessica has always been surrounded by art and artists her whole life. She comes from a long line of artists on both sides of her family. Jessica has always enjoyed the simple pleasures of looking at artwork. Her favorite types of art are landscapes, portraiture, and character design. Personally, her favorite art to create is portraits and character design. Jessica loves how every face is different; no two are the same, in most cases.

            A couple of dream jobs of Jessica’s would be to become a book cover designer, an animator for movies, or a book/graphic novel illustrator. Any one of those jobs would not only complement her graphic design major but her illustrative talents as well. Incorporating Jessica’s illustration talents into her graphic design work is very important for her.

What is your area of focus?
Studio Art with a concentration of Graphic Design

What do you look for when picking out a good piece?
Something that is intriguing, shows how much effort was put into it, has feeling

What is class you have taken in your field that you really liked?
4D Design

What makes you smile?

What’s one piece of advice you could give to someone wanting to submit in the journal?
Submit more than one piece. This makes your chances of being entered increase.

What’s your dream job?
An animator for movie

Review of Lost and Found by Helene Dunbar

By Jonathan Gillis

We Are Lost and Found by Helene Dunbar is a hauntingly beautiful coming of age story. Set during the 1980s amidst the AIDS crisis in New York City, the story focuses on the life of young gay teenage boy and his friends trying to grow and find themselves. The main character Michael struggles with living in his friends’ shadow and lives in fear of his home life imploding if he is true to who he is.

Dunbar extensively explores what it feels like as a teenager to compare yourself and consistently feel incompetent to your seemingly more successful friends. The feeling of loving someone but being so jealous of not only their accomplishments but of their being is uniquely explored, at least in my reading experience, throughout the story as Michael struggles with his sense of self compared to his David Bowie type best friend James. James has talent, looks and the demeanor that Michael wants and as the story Michael both grows into to be comfortable in his own skin and learns that James is more than just the Ziggy Stardust exterior.

The experimental writing style excludes quotation marks from the dialogue and the story is told in a more vignette style rather than chapters. The exclusion of dialogue at its worst makes it confusing as whether the written words are dialogue or inner monologue as the story is also told in first person, but at its best it immerses the reader into Michael’s singular perspective of viewing the world merging his thoughts and feelings with the events around him. The vignette style story breaks almost divide the plot into more of an act structure and makes the plot feel more connected and removes the creative manipulation of ending chapters with cliff-hangers which is one of my literature pet peeves.The experience is comparative to viewing a movie or miniseries versus a typical cable tv series with 20 something episodes. Both methods of storytelling have their pros and cons but at the end of the day it’s up to the readers’ personal preference.  

The immediate supporting characters like James and Becky feel real and genuine, fully flushed out people, but some characters fail to feel as real and genuine which is a disappointment as many are incredibly interesting at surface level, such as Michael love interest Gabriel who simply plays the role of “love interest”, Michael’s brother Conner that doesn’t appear in person a lot in the story but is referenced quite frequently and Becky’s boyfriend that acts as a neighborhood vigilante/ watchman which is never delved into as a thing that is happening seemingly parallel to the events of the plot playing out. Many of these can be hand waved away as the reader only understands these characters as well as Michael himself understands them, but nonetheless some wasted potential for interesting characters.

On a whole this coming of age story was a wonderful read cover to cover. The unique prose, creative methods of storytelling and themes of self actualization, love, fear, and hope make this a fine addition to any To Be Read list.

“We’re fine. I say loudly and more confidently than I feel. Just walking like you belong here. And that’s what we do. Because we belong to the city and the city belongs to us”

Meet Editor Grace Guindon

Get to know our wonderful staff working on The Bridge vol. 19. We asked Grace a couple of questions, keep reading to find out more!

Grace is working on the editorial side of this years journal. She is a junior here at Bridgewater State, and is majoring in English with a concentration in the Writing Studies, as well as minoring in Biology.

What is class you have taken in your field that you really liked?

One class that I really loved was writing about literature. This class covered all my favorite genres to read including poetry, fictions and plays. The variety and diversity of stories enabled me to learn a lot and develop a solid foundation of literature.

What’s one piece of advice you could give to someone wanting to submit in the journal?

I would say to go for it! There is always a possibility that your work will be selected. It is an amazing opportunity to get experience with the publishing process. I would like to encourage anyone that wants to show their work to do it. We would love for you to share a piece something that you are proud of and love because the editors and readers of the journal will share those same feelings.

What’s your dream job?

I would love to open a bookstore café. In this café I would have all sorts of freshly bakes pastries that I’ve baked myself and delicious expresso and coffee to drink while flipping through some books. I would love to spend my days working in a place that is full of my favorite things, good books, good food, and good coffee.