Contributors Issue #3 2018

Alexandria Drouin

My name is Alexandria Drouin, and I am a Studio Art/ Liberal Studies major at Middlesex Community College. I have spent much of my life writing poetry. Everything I write is deep and gripping. I intend to publish my poetry book soon and look forward to attending University of Massachusetts Lowell, this fall, where I plan to pursue sculpture, illustration, and fine tune my writing craft.

Angelina Pino

Angelina is currently finishing her Junior year at University of Massachusetts Boston and majoring in English. She loves reading, writing, working out, and traveling. When not stuck in the never-ending swamp of homework that, apparently, never ceases to end, she also writes for University of Massachusetts Boston’s Mass Media.

Avery Ferrante

My name is Avery Ferrante, and I am a Studio Art major at Middlesex Community College. This is my last semester at Middlesex, and I plan on transferring to University of Massachusetts Dartmouth later this year as an Illustration major. Although I am an Art major, my interest primarily lies in storytelling, and I seek to write fiction through visual mediums like comic books or video games. In the meantime, I have been generally practicing on improving my technical abilities. An example of this would be my pastel piece, “Cat.” I created this during the preparation of my portfolio for my college application. I am particularly fond of cats, and two of them happen to share the same roof as me. As a result, out of the two, I choose Zoey, as I found her current pose to be more photogenic and, out of the two, she was slightly less hostile. My Pyramid Head costume was created as a result of my love for one of the horror games that inspire me as a writer, Silent Hill 2, which features the creature. The project was completed over my summer vacation, and in order to create the helmet, I utilized pieces of EVA foam, that I would proceed to cut apart and attach together with hot glue. During the process, I cut out a triangular hole on each side and inserted a wire mesh. I then spray painted the entire piece to create the red-brown color.

A.T. Halaby

A . T. Halaby was born in Massachusetts. They’re studying Linguistics and Arabic. They’ve had their work published in Maps For Teeth and Middlesex’s student run zine Middleground. Their submission to Dead River Review means they believe deeply in the work being done at community colleges and the people who put their energy into keeping their voices heard.

Brandon Thompson

Brandon is a graduate of Middlesex Community College (MCC) and currently a student at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. While at MCC he developed a passion for writing as part of the Middleground Zine club.

Britni Crotty

Hi my name is Britni Crotty. I am a hard working employee for the town of Billerica water division. I currently attend Middlesex Community College for an Associate’s Degree in Liberal Arts and Science since graduation from Shawsheen Tech in 2013. I have always enjoyed and excelled at art and had a love for nature. As you can see from the provided paintings, I love to capture nature and small but meaningful details. My hobbies include archery, hunting, four-wheeling, and of course, painting and drawing. Painting has become my therapy after going through some hard times the past year or so. All of my paintings have some meaning to me, whether it be a past memory I wish to hold on to, or a session just to pull my mind from something. I wish to let go and create something beautiful. I am honored that my work has been recognized as art and others can appreciate it as much as I do. Every day is a good day when we create something beautiful.

Carla M Duran Capellan

Carla Duran, a student of Middlesex Community College and a 2016 graduate of Lowell High School, writes poems and op-eds to local newspapers. She is the co-author of the book Defining Diversity together with 23other graduate students. Carla is alumni of the Student Leadership Board for Generation Citizen and a participant or the Obama Foundation: Training Young Leaders.

Follow her on Twitter at @carlamassiel1.

Charlotte Koch

Charlotte is a former Middlesex Community College student. She loves writing angsty poetry, seeing dogs on the street, and RuPaul’s Drag Race.

Danielle Bennett

My name is Danielle Bennett, also known as Scribbles.

I got the nickname in my high school poetry club called Ego’s Aside during my Sophomore year when I was beyond reluctant to share my poetry and said they were “just some scribbles.” It stuck, and it kind of fits since most of the lines of my first drafts of poems are typically scribbled out. I’m always disorganized and feeling chaotic. I’ve been writing since then and found a home with Lowell’s Untitled Open Mic at Brew’d Awakening coffee house on Market Street after high school. I competed in Louder than a Bomb youth poetry festival for three years in high school, then with Lowell’s youth team Free Verse! . And, when I was too old to compete in youth slam, I joined up with Untitled’s Mill City Slam team which competed in The National Poetry slam. I coach a youth team at my old high school and enjoy that a lot. I study Creative Writing to hopefully make a life out of it.

Delaney Conserva

My name is Delaney Conserva. I’m from Tewksbury and I’m in my second year at Middlesex Community College majoring in English/Creative Writing.

Edwin Chamba

I was born in Guayaquil, Ecuador in 1996. Three years later, my father, mother, brother, and I moved to the U.S.A. I went to Bartlett Community Partnership School and then to Lowell High School. I went to Middlesex Community College (MCC) right after high school. After graduating MCC, I plan on going to University of Massachusetts Lowell to study Civil Engineering.

Eli Miller

My name is Eli Miller. At the time of writing this, I am in my second semester at Middlesex Community College. When I wrote this poem, it was the day after I learned about a site that tracks the shootings in this country. Seeing that we weren’t even three months into the year, and there were already over a month’s worth of shootings, I was rightfully as pissed as half the country is right now.

Emily Grochowski

Origin of mind: unknown. Description of self: I am the torn out page of a forgotten journal with its veining fissures disembodied, infinitely parted in the death of words. I am the crossed out mimetic prose resembling an untrammeled Rorschach test unable to give itself meaning. I am the metamorphosis of burning ink in a poem which inevitably bursts and becomes eternal within the fire.

Erica Coakley

My name is Erica Coakley. I am an on and off student of Middlesex Community College for about three years. Having been an amateur storyteller since a young age, I began writing various forms of Fiction in high school and continue to indulge in the written word happily into this day between raising two cats, wasting too much time on video games and hoarding a classy collection of varying teas and vodka.

Erik Phillip Lindsay

Erik attended the University of Southern California (USC) where he studied both Theatre and Film. During his last year in school, he wrote an award-winning screenplay which was to be his “Rocky” or “Goodwill Hunting,” as he planned to star in the film himself. Although when offered enough money, Erik quickly sold out and rose all the way to screenwriting mediocrity for the next 20-years. Fortunately, a brief romance with the Russian poet, Tatiana Ananich, in his hometown of Manhattan Beach caused this creatively blind man once again to see. With some guidance from Tatiana, and a copy of “Letters to a Young Poet” that she suggested, Erik set out to change his literary legacy. He wrote a book of sonnets titled “50 Sonnets of Love & Lust” in which these works of “Women” and “Melissa” are included. He has also just completed his first novel, “The Rules of Law,” which while researching on the island of Capri caused an epiphany that would change the course of his life. He quickly flew home to Los Angeles and sold everything he owned and quit screenwriting completely. Erik is now living in Acton, Massachusetts, spending time with his family and learning Italian at Middlesex Community College until this summer when he moves to the island of Capri permanently to do nothing but write meaningful words for the rest of his days.

Fyodor Berkovich

Hello, I am Fyodor Berkovich. I’m not usually in the business of writing biographies about myself because frankly I would prefer to write about something more interesting. I guess I am your ordinary engineering student, mostly because machines are easier to deal with than people. My interests are sports (soccer, running, MMA, snowboarding) and League of Legends. I do not care about modern politics much and I see the world through a bit of relativity. I served in the Army for about 2 years until I got an honorable discharge for medical reasons. I also speak several languages and love to travel because of the things I learn while doing so. I believe that life is what you make of it, and the best way to measure a person is by their inner resilience. This means that I honestly do not care about what others think, be it positive or negative, and prefer to focus on bettering myself in life as opposed to catering to what others think.

Jacob Senghas

A lifelong student of the spoken word, Jacob aims to end his Middlesex Community College journey a teacher. Most of his time spent coaching a local high school debate team and tutoring mathematics, he does his best to set aside quiet moments for writing. He has mixed success doing this. He was born, is living, and will die.

Kate McCadden

I grew up in Groton, Massachusetts, and I am 29 years young. This is my fifth attempt at college, and you know what they say, “fifth time’s the charm.” Just kidding, no one says that. I am currently a Creative Writing major, who is very interested in abnormal psychology. I have been a thousand places and known a million people. I have battled my way through great struggles to great triumphs and gone on to help others find their true selves. I hope that my works will help anyone who reads them come to peace with their inner demons, just as I have.

Keegan Eller

Keegan is a 20-year-old Hospitality and Tourism Management Honors student at University of Massachusetts Amherst who just recently transferred from Middlesex Community College. She has always been passionate about putting feelings on paper in any shape or form, via poetry, drawing, painting, etc. It is her belief that through expression beautiful artwork is achieved. She was born in Hickory, North Carolina, and has lived in Pennsylvania, Mexico, and now currently resides in Massachusetts. Even though the new school and all that comes with it have kept her insanely busy, she still finds comfort in writing. Due to her amazing experience with the Dead River Review last year, she was excited to have the opportunity to submit new work again for this year’s issue. She looks forward to seeing the new work from new and old authors and artists and plans on submitting again next year as well.

Kenneth Brown

Kenneth Brown is a student here at Middlesex Community College and is 21 years old. He enjoys drawing still lives and comics in his spare time as well as programming small entertaining games. He takes inspiration from Renaissance artists, mechanical devices, and nature. He is currently majoring in Engineering Technology.


L. Deepwater is from Lowell, Massachusetts, and is very excited to be part of the Dead River Review. This is the first time they have released their work in written form. They hope you enjoy reading it.

Maddie Fox

Maddie is a 2017 graduate of Billerica Memorial High School and has been writing poetry for about a year. She competed in the Louder Than A Bomb youth slam competition with some of the best people that exist on this planet. She is a lover of hiking, the uncharted art gallery, and Chuck Palahniuk.

Mark Andrews

Mark Andrews is very ticklish and if you tickle him he will tell you to stop with his words but internally desires for you to continue. His hugs are incredible. His laugh makes you laugh. His ballroom dance will wet your whistle. And his tang is comparable to the hiss of a pneumatic. Ask him to dance.

Michael Kaminski

E.L.A. Instructor
Lowell Middlesex Academy Charter School

Olivia Agostini

My name is Olivia Agostini. I am currently 19, and majoring in Creative Writing, working towards becoming a fantasy/sci-fi author. I have been working on writing my first novel for about a year or two now, and I hope that having this essay published will help me gain exposure. I chose to write about the representation of lesbians in the media because it is a very personal topic for myself, and many of my friends, and I felt that it was important to address and discuss. I hope it is enjoyable and thought-provoking for you to read.

Sam Sweikata

Hi! My name is Sam and I’m your friendly neighborhood college student, trying to make a difference in the world. I’m not a very hard person to find, just look in the dark corners of Starbucks, or maybe at a Salsa or Bachata club. If I’m not there, I might be playing acoustic guitar at a Coffee House, in a park, or on the beach in the summertime! Making music, art, and bad jokes are some of my favorite things to do along with using my voice to try and better our society and keep love alive. I am a big advocate for keeping the Arts in our schools and expanding the horizons of the next generation; having a well-educated younger generation will lead bring us to a place of love, connection, forgiveness, and hope! Spread love, healing, and acceptance to everyone you meet and tell lots of puns along the way.

Samantha Lynch

My name is Samantha Lynch.

I am a twenty-year-old student from Burlington. I live now with my boyfriend, Michael, and puppy, Ollivander. Unlike many people, I have not been writing for long. However, I have always been very fascinated with fantasy as well as magic. I want to create worlds with inciting stories for anyone to read. I am currently working on creating my first novel. I am a previous Creative Writing student at Middlesex Community College and am constantly trying to improve. I have never really been a fan of poetry, but recently I have seen the potential it has to convey strong emotions and feelings.

Samantha Pirog

I enjoy watching nature shows and romantic comedies. I love nature walks and going to the beach. Writing has been a passion of mine since I was twelve.

I’ve found life to be a tumultuous and bewildering experience. I say this because our lives are experienced through our minds and our senses, combining with thought and attempts of rationalization and the need to make sense of it all. Most of us have had our share of heartache or experienced something that we still don’t quite understand fully. Now, whether that experience hurts, or perplexes, or overwhelms, or inspires us, we revisit it in our heads regularly. We re-evaluate. Sometimes, we look straight to the sky and shout: “Why?”

Scarlet Phoenix Rise

When thoughts become too loud, or too disruptive, or if they’re so beautiful that you can’t for the life of you contain their song, how can you keep them within? How can we not extend our physical abilities to release these thoughts and emotions? Some may contain their experiences easily, but I do not. In this way, I am an open book. Please, turn my pages, and see with my eyes and with my heart.

Know. Me.

Tasty Steve

Has a healthy disrespect for elbows.

Thomas Catyb

Thomas is a 21-year-old Liberal Arts student who will graduate from Middlesex Community College in the Spring of 2018. Future plans are to attend the University of Massachusetts Lowell for English, focusing in Theater.  His hobbies include singing, acting, and writing of all kinds.  In addition to his busy schedule, he always tries to make time to dedicate to Boy Scouts, a program he has been involved with for the majority of his life.

Tim Bleecker

I teach English classes at both Middlesex and Quinsigamond Community Colleges. When not grading essays or reading, I like to play volleyball, ride my bike, kayak, and paint or draw, none of which I do particularly well.  In high school, I was once commended warmly by a gym teacher for showing good sportsmanship.  I am blessed with a wonderful wife and two wonderful boys.

Victoria Wiciel

Victoria Wiciel was born in a small town in New England amongst the autumn of 1996. She is an artist in many areas of life. Right now she is mainly focused on film photography. Victoria has sought to create a nostalgic visual dream world for lovers, dreamers, and brokenhearted. Victoria plans on moving to New York City in the upcoming months. When she isn’t creating, she enjoys writing, Gucci, playing her untuned guitar, and admiring dogs.

Zack Smith

Zack is an aspiring editor of Fiction and is currently a student at Middlesex Community College. Transferring to Salem State University in the Fall, he is pursuing a degree in English in order to apply for a job with an editing company. He writes in his free time, when not working retail or doing school work, but also enjoys video gaming. The first gaming system his family owned was a Super Nintendo.

Zenathia Zanos

I’m 25 and female. I live in Lowell, Massachusetts. I live with my grandfather and I haven’t seen my mother since I was 18 months old. My father recently passed away. Other than that I love Japanese anime and culture as a whole. I’ll listen to a lot of different music except country, rap, or pop. I like watching movies especially animated movies, I love to read, write, and draw. I love video games especially Hidden Object Games. I grew up watching, playing the game, and collecting the cards from Pokemon, and I still do all three. I’m going to Middlesex Community College for Psychology, History, & English majors although I might just stick with English in the long run. I love food but I am allergic to most seafood, coconut, & mushrooms and I can be an extremely picky eater. And last, but not least, if you were to ask any one of my friends they would all agree that I’m crazy and nuts but loyal and funny, and I agree with every word even the negatives.

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