2023 Staff Picks

Maximilian Hennigan

Recipe for your first daughter” is probably one of my favorites if not my favorite poems of our selection. I have a sister, who is the first born, and it is the spitting image of her. It talks perfectly about the emotions and feelings she experienced and I had never even considered this kind of perspective before. I found it to be quite enlightening to say the absolute least. It did exactly what I believe poetry is meant to do.  

Julia Martinez

My favorite piece is the poem “Nearing Galena.” As soon as I read it, I knew it was very sentimental and was one of the most moving, as well as emotional poems I have read. Every time I read it, it hits just as strongly as it does the first time reading it through. This piece is truly a treasure to Portage Magazine!

Alexander Moss

For me when I first read through “It’s Time,” I immediately knew that it was a special piece, because by the end of reading it I felt some tears from the sheer emotion resonating from it. The way it grips onto the feeling of loss for that special animal in your life is completely heart-wrenching. I hope that everyone else can gleam the same from it that I did.

Paige Hill

Nesters” by Nancy Jorgenson was the best of the best for me. I enjoy nature and birds, so it really resonated with me. Summer is my favorite season, and I can almost feel the nostalgia from the story coming through. Wonderfully written.

Abigail Daun

The piece I liked most was the short story “Nesters” by Nancy Jorgensen because of its beautiful connection to nature. I think this author did a great job of drawing on naturalistic elements to describe the beauty found in the mundanity of life. I really enjoyed the tranquility and simplicity of this piece. 

Caelen Crowley

My Personal favorite poems are “Doves in the Rafters” and “IN WARD” by Robert Kokan.  His poems are extremely visceral and emotional in his descriptive language.  “IN WARD” was especially significant to me as a person who has been to a psych ward to see something capturing the mind set and experience so fully. 

Ian Waldoch

I enjoyed “Mr. Krall” as it combined fragmented language and potent anchors of memory to effectively convey the complicated feelings that surround loss. Its short, choppy lines when delving into the more traumatic moments of the narrative was very effective in simulating exactly how those memories tend to be experienced. 

Gina Magno

One of my favorite pieces is probably “Breath and Spark.” I have so many memories from when I was younger and living around Lake Michigan during the winter, and reading this piece brought back all those memories. I found the story to be beautifully written and deeply intimate. I hope that everyone gets to experience the beauty this story has to offer!

Alexandra Caucutt

My favorite poem to read was “The Warm Little Pond Where Life Began.” As a Biology major I thought it was really fun to read a poem with a science theme like climate change that was so well written. It immediately felt contemplative, taking the reader through life evolving and the destruction we are causing. I definitely recommend giving this poem a read!

From all of us here at Portage we would like to thank each and every person who submitted and or read the poems we have on display for our 2023 issue. None of this would be possible without the brilliant minds in each and every one of you. Thank you!

– Portage Magazine

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