“Personas” showcases the beauty of the written word in multiple languages


Writing to express oneself is universal, no matter the language.

College of the Redwoods is launching the second issue of its multi-language journal, Personas, showcasing stories and poems from students and international authors.

Personas celebrates the written word as it ebbs and flows across genres and languages.

“We have quite a few multilingual students who frequently engaged in writing in their classes and number one, don’t always have a venue to display their talents and writing and therefore to find a purpose in what they’re writing,” CR student development advisor Johnathan Maiullo said.

Languages featured include Spanish, Japanese, and Arabic. Personas goes beyond the written word, allowing local student artists to submit their works.

“Last year we had, a sculpture that the artist had, a description of how the sculpture was indicative of their particular heritage, Japanese American, which was just absolutely beautiful,” Maiullo said. “Anybody who picks this up and kind of flips through it and not only sees all the great pieces in here, all the kind of different textual forms between poetry and like an essay but also see a few examples of great visual art.”

While this year does not have much fiction, it is still a collection of the writer’s personal experiences and expression through poetry.

The translations are done by the writers allowing their voices to still carry over to the English language.

“We want to be sure that, you know, we’re being as faithful to the piece as we can,” Maiullo said. “They’re always very happy to do their own translation. I’ve always really enjoyed while reading is that authenticity of reading something in the voice that it should be in.”

The hope is that readers will see the beauty of being multi-lingual at the personas release event in Eureka.

“I think that maybe more rural areas tend to be more monolingual that’s something that is not always well understood. You’re doubling your capacity for expression. I think that’s an incredible talent, an incredible gift,” Maiullo said.

The personas journal release party and reading -begins at 3 p.m. Saturday at the Wharfinger Building in Eureka.

Select authors will read their submissions. There will be free copies of the issue for everyone who attends.