Each year, Literary Arts publishes an anthology of student work created in the Writers in the Schools residencies. This year, we received nearly 130 submissions—double what we’ve received in the two years prior.
We choose one line from a poem each year to title the anthology, and that poem becomes the first piece in the book. The 2021-22 WITS Student Anthology is called To the End, Through the Tunnel, and it’s pulled from the poem by a student at Woodburn Wellness, Business, and Sports school in Woodburn, Oregon where we started a WITS partnership in 2021.
The WITS Anthology will be launched at the 2022 Portland Book Festival on November 5, where students will read their published pieces on stage.
You can read Belen’s powerful piece below.
The Room at the End of Apartment 20 Belen Mendoza Cortes To get to the end you must go through the tunnel Through the halls that hold comfort yet anguish Passed the doors that open forgotten memories The room at the end of apartment 20 holds everything that I am And Have been It is Filled with the many hugs The many bendiciones and prayers near my collection of rosaries gathered from the visitors and visits The many goodnights I whispered to my roommate in which I played my corridos tumbados playlist which she pretended not to like but I would still catch her red handed humming the lyrics The many 143 from my mother slash best friend and the response of every I love you too The 10 year worn out blanket in the corner that I find warmth in every night The growing bookshelf that I hope to one day fill with newly discovered knowledge yet filled with random and necessary objects The mirror with the broken border that reminds me every day of my features which creates a variation of feelings each and every single time The room at the end of apartment 20 It is Everything I am fearful and ashamed of The bed in which I laid starting at the ceiling as revelations came to light The pillows no longer dry soaked with remorse The hope of a future certificate hanging above my bed The room at the end of apartment 20 Is not all I will ever be