As the weather begins to shift in anticipation of autumn’s arrival, it is time for me to say my goodbyes to the CALYX staff and prepare for my final year of college.  I am very thankful for the time I have spent in this office, and for the people with whom I have had the opportunity to spend it. I’ve learned so much about the intricacies of working for a press — from how to solicit the donations needed to keep a nonprofit publication going to the details (and excitement) involved in publishing a new book.

It’s fitting, I think, that CALYX’s newest publication, Who In This Room by Katherine Malmo, arrived in Corvallis just yesterday. Having the opportunity to be there during the unwrapping of the first box of books — to have the chance to be one of the first to glance through the pristine pages and take in that new book smell — was one of my favorite moments during my time here at CALYX. Although I was only present for the final tasks involved in the editorial process, it was nonetheless amazing to see what was once a chunk of text transformed into a book. As I held a copy in my hands, scanning over its cover and contents, I couldn’t help but conjure up an image of the book suddenly standing straight up to shout, “Look, Geppetto, I’m a real book!” It was a moment of awe for all involved, I think, and gave me a real taste for the beauty and sense of accomplishment involved in publishing.

The upcoming season brings with it new challenges and opportunities, both for myself and for CALYX.  I know that I leave this summer behind having spent many wonderful hours with a group of smart, sassy, sweet, strong, and supportive women whom I only wish the very best for in the future. I feel honored to have been invited into the CALYX circle, to have worked towards greater self-efficacy among women, and to have hopefully helped the CALYX staff further their worthy and beautiful mission.

Women of CALYX – past and present staff, poets, prose writers, and artists – may your work towards seeking equal representation for the creative endeavors of underrepresented women stay as strong and as poignant as ever, for as Ani Difranco once wrote:

“down beneath the impossible pain of our history
beneath unknown bones
beneath the bedrock of the mystery
beneath the sewage systems and the path drain
beneath the cobblestones and the water mains
beneath the traffic of friendships and street deals
beneath the screeching of kamikaze cab wheels
beneath everything I can think of to think about
beneath it all, beneath all get out
beneath the good and the kind and the stupid and the cruel
there’s a fire just waiting for fuel.”

All the best,

Paige O’Rourke | CALYX Intern, Summer 2011