For Shaelene Grace Moler, seeing her time come to an end as the senior editor of the University of Alaska Southeast’s Tidal Echoes literary magazine has been bittersweet as she’s on track to graduate this May.
Moler first joined the team behind the annual literature and art journal when her adviser and professor Emily Wall asked her to be an editor in the spring of 2021. From that position, Moler worked her way up to junior editor and then to senior. While Moler said she’s sad to be parting ways, she’s leaving the magazine in the hands of good friends who she knows will continue to do great work.
“I’ve been working with Tidal Echoes for quite a few years now and the first time I was ever published was with Tidal Echoes, so it’s pretty sentimental,” Moler said. “This edition feels like a culmination of everything that I have done at UAS and everything I’ve done outside of UAS because I see a lot of people that I’ve grown up with and worked with professionally and that I’m friends with being represented in the journal and that’s very exciting to me. It has always been wonderful to be a part of this journal because I feel like I get to shine the spotlight on other people and give them their first entry into the world of publication.”
The latest UAS Tidal Echoes edition has its hybrid launch on Friday from 6:30-8 p.m. at the Egan Lecture Hall on the UAS campus which will feature food, beverages, a pop-up shop for artist’s merchandise, and a table to purchase the journal. Kindred Post will also have copies for sale after Friday.
Moler said this edition promises to be one of the best yet, with over 300 writing and art submissions combined. Though this edition didn’t exactly have a specific theme, Moler said she noticed a lot of the submissions that came in were focused on topics such as climate change and religious commentary, far more than compared to previous years.
“In the wake of Roe V. Wade there has been a lot of discussions on how religion influences politics, and I feel like a lot of submissions ended up talking about that, mostly critiques on how religion influences decisions,” Moler said. “As for the climate crisis, I’m not exactly sure what influenced people to submit so many pieces about the climate crisis other than it’s just a topic that we are constantly thinking about.”
For this edition, Moler said she’s especially excited because this Tidal Echoes will feature two well-known Alaska artists: Chloey Klawk Shaa Cavanaugh and Lin Davis. Cavanaugh is an Indigenous graphic designer originally from Juneau where she runs her business Black and White Raven Company. Davis is an established writer and activist in the LGBTQ+ community.
“It was our goal to highlight the LGBTQ+ community and we got both Chloey and Lin,” Moler said. “Chloey being a much younger voice and a leader in the support group spectrum of people within that community, as well as a member of the Pride board in Seattle. Then we have Lin Davis who has been an activist for decades and one of her main goals is learning from the younger generation on how to better support people, so we got two very involved voices, an elder and a younger voice that kind of feels like they’re working together in some sense which is cool.”
Davis’ “Pulse Orlando” poem, inspired by the 2016 mass shooting in an LGBTQ+-friendly nightclub in Florida, is probably one of the best known among her work and one of the pieces she’s most proud of given the weight of the subject matter. Davis said it was so challenging for her to write about, which forced her to do research and study the details in depth. Davis said while the poem is still an emotional read, she’s proud to have the piece featured in Tidal Echoes because it succeeds in doing “what a good poem should.”
“I am a very slow poetry worker, and I have little notebooks and scraps of poems all over,” Davis said. “I’m not good at promoting my work, so this is absolutely awesome; to have this invitation to be featured has been really special, a life’s best.”
For Cavanaugh, she said she’s especially excited to be showcasing art pieces that were tied to larger community projects this year that she’s excited to have the opportunity to talk more about, such as the Juneau gay pride logo, Wayne Price’s artwork that was featured at the totem pole raising and artwork she did for Juneau playwright Frank Katasse’s play, “Where the Summit Meets the Stars.” Cavanaugh said she’s excited to share those community projects with the public and speak to what the process meant to her while detailing what the projects looked like throughout the year.
“I’m super excited to be featured,” Cavanaugh said. “When they reached out, I was telling them I was on a plane to Seattle for a trip and I was just mind-blown and so stoked to be a part of it. My mom has ties to UAS, she’s a single mom that raised three kids and she went to UAS to get her associate’s and has been working for the tribe for over 20 years, so to now be able to work with UAS on this project and be a part of it feels really special to me.”
• Contact reporter Jonson Kuhn at firstname.lastname@example.org.