I am relatively new to the college lifestyle, seeing as I have been out of the classroom for about a decade now, it was certainly an adjustment. However, returning to an academic setting is more than I could have ever hoped for. After retired from the Marine Corps in October of 2020, having served for nine years, as soon as I moved into town, I made the jump back to the classroom. My current pursuits are in Art Therapy, and I have a six-year plan to earn a master’s degree in Psychology for that specialization. I feel quite strongly about art, expression, and maintain a deep desire to help others. I look forward to graduating after my summer semester concludes. Below are my poems and a painting with brief descriptions afterwards.
Aamer Farttoosi is a Creative Writing student at Middlesex Community College in Bedford by day and a writer of strange things at all times. Starting spring 2021, he is one of the Dead River Review crew of editors. His poetry and fiction workshopped at MCC and working on their publishing at DRR. 2003-2007, he was one of the translators/interpreters working side-by-side with the US Military and the US Department of State in Iraq during wartime has been given the ability to focus and deliver results, even under stressful conditions, 2010 took Introduction to Computer Science Using Java / Harvard Extension School, 1985-1989, received Bachelor of Arts in English Literature (with Honors) from University of Baghdad, 1975-1980 received Diploma in classical music performance (violin) – played one season with the Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra.
Kenneth Brown is an alumni from Middlesex Community College with a degree in Engineering Technology, and is 25 years old. He enjoys drawing still lives and comics in his spare time as well as using Unreal engine to make small entertaining 3D videogames. He takes inspiration from traditional artists, mechanical devices, and nature.
Raymond Anganes grew up surrounded by a family with a love for the inner workings of nature and technology alike. He now works as a tutor for STEM, writing, and literature courses, with plans to go into the field of forensic toxicology after earning his degree. As an avid outdoorsman, he takes inspiration from long treks out into nature, as well as from the large amount of historical nonfiction he reads in his free time. A copy of his first novel-length work “Past the Woods and Beyond the Sun” resides in the McMurdo Station Antarctic library, and an excerpt of his story “The Harvestman” has appeared in the Dead River Review online literary magazine.
Writing has always been one of the things I loved most. Ever since I stole one of my sister’s anthology books in third grade, I have adored poetry. I hope to continue writing pieces that push people to think, to feel, and to wander outside of their comfort zone. Hopefully, it also comforts anyone struggling and for them to feel seen and heard.
Matthew Tighe (Tadhg)
Matthew Tighe is a sixteen-year-old Portuguese-American writer, he aspires to write fiction and hopes to make a career out of it, he grew up in Lowell MA and has been writing fictional stories since he was seven years old—beginning with short horror stories involving Frankenstein’s Monster and various other monsters like vampires, he would go onto win small competitions for his stories. He had an obsession with stories, he grew up reading Tolkien especially. His biggest influence was from Tolkien and The Hobbit—but as he grew older, he discovered other authors such as GRRM and Robert Jordan which fueled his journey even more as an aspiring writer. He still works hard at his writing, and consistently participates in small writing events.
Razan Shahin is an English Literature and Dental Hygiene major in the northern Massachusetts area. Dabbling in writing since she was a little child, she wishes to one day become a published writer but until then strives to obtain a degree in Dental Hygiene from Middlesex Community College and a Bachelor’s in English Literature from the University of Massachusetts Lowell.
Nora McClellan is in her last semester studying Liberal Arts and Sciences at MCC and will be transferring to UMass Amherst in the fall. She is the President of Middlesex’s Mad Queens Creative Writing Club and was featured in last year’s Dead River Review.
Robert Castagna is a photographer based out of Medford and is a 2021 Massachusetts Cultural Council Photography Fellow as well as a 2021 Artist Resource Trust Grant recipient for his upcoming book on the U.S./Mexican borderlands. His photographs are part of the permanent collection of the Boston Public Library and the Art Complex Museum. He was also a recipient of the Cambridge Arts Council Grant for his project teaching photography to senior citizens.
Carolyn Reistad is a Middlesex Community College alumna and aspiring science fiction/fantasy book editor. She holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maine and an MS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Massachusetts Lowell. Her publication credits include her Master’s thesis and an IEEE article, but she hopes to publish things that people actually want to read. Carolyn lives in Massachusetts where she loves wine, cheese, and chocolate (a little too much).
Alexandra “Lexi” Balevre
Alexandra “Lexi” Balevre is a Creative Writing student at MCC. She resides in Lowell, Massachusetts. She has previously been published in Venture Literary Magazine, and has a self-published chapbook of poems on Amazon.
Elizabeth Lux is in their final semester at Middlesex Community College as a Writing major, after which they will pursue a Bachelor’s degree at University of Massachusetts Lowell with the end goal of becoming a technical writer. They have written stories since they could hold a pencil, they have spent the last three years honing that skill to a fine edge. Elizabeth’s writing has a strong focus on overcoming trauma, the healing power of love, and the importance of queer characters in media.
MJ Bujold is a Beverly, MA. based artist, photographer, and writer. Ms. Bujold enrolled in Middlesex Community College in 2018 in search of clarity. She sought to discover a way of blending her many creative interests into one expression and needed assistance to do so. A year and a half later after what she called, “Goldilocks and the Three Semesters,” she found a synthesis that satisfied her. Visual artist, abstract photographer, and now writer, she was empowered to feel confident that she could create work that would be uniquely and authentically her own and ready to present to the world. Ms. Bujold is grateful for the encouragement and confidence that her professors, Joe Nardoni, and Katie Durant gave
her during her instruction at MCC.
J.M. Grenier is a writer who is both a long-time faculty member and alumnus of Middlesex Community College.
Jared Waugh is a native New England resident currently in his second year at Middlesex Community College, hoping to earn his Bachelors Degree in Creative Writing. When not managing his commitments to academia, he can be found wishing that he had more time to read and make comics. Hopefully he’ll get around to both soon rather than later! This is his first published work.
I’m an aspiring short story author and poet, and hoping to someday be able to write and illustrate stories for children. Writing has always been a spot of sunlight in my life, a way to express myself- whether it was writing terrible sixth grade poetry on DeviantArt, or singing to myself and writing down the lyrics as I went. These pieces are incredibly special to me, so I hope you enjoy them, or can relate.
Saneidaliz Melendez born on August 18th 1999.
Robert Ringuette is a Massachusetts writer, a high school teacher of 13 years, and a husband and father. He holds an MA in Education and undergraduate degrees in English and Theater from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and continues his education at MCC in the Addictions Counselor Program. This is Robert’s first submission to Dead River. Robert is currently working on his first work for the stage—a play about love, a plane, and a talking cat—which he hopes to debut this winter season at Newburyport’s New Works Festival at The Firehouse Center for the Arts and Reading’s Suburban Holidays at the Quannapowitt Players Theater.
Cayleigh Baillargeon is the number one Cardi B tribute artist in Boston since the pandemic. She is currently in her Jesus year, but doesn’t let that stop her from acting like an old lady. When she’s not jotting down poetry to soothe the sleep paralysis demon, she can usually be found tie dying, gardening, handing out with dogs or touring American battlefields.
Cort LaCasse is a creative writing comprehension major at Middlesex. He has always had a love of reading and writing, finding it to be a good outlet. He writes mostly poetry and short stories, most of them inspired by fantasy writers, such as Tolkien, Stephen King, Lovecraft, and R. A. Salvatore.
Kyla Murray is a writer and artist who has been a Dual Enrollment student at MCC for over three years. She hates writing essays, but loves writing fiction and poetry, especially works with elements of mystery or fantasy. She has done several paid art commissions, and enjoys combining writing and illustration. As a homeschooled student, she has had the privilege of pursuing many different interests, including music, language, computer programming, and theater.