Hello Matchbox Readers,

Welcome to our first blog post of 2021. We know that it has been a while since we’ve posted here, but there is some exciting content coming your way in the next two quarters (and beyond, we hope). In the spirit of re-introductions, here are some profiles on our staff members–the bloggers!

Name: Sarah

Why did you join Matchbox? I am a dabbler in most all of the arts, so Matchbox is an opportunity for me to interact critically with a wide variety of mediums that I’m passionate about.

What have you been reading, watching, or listening to lately? I’ve recently fallen in love with The Magnus Archives. It’s a horror podcast, so naturally, each and every character in it is horribly flawed, but the writing is phenomenal.

What is your creative outlet? Writing poetry, when I have the time for it.

Have you adopted any new activities or hobbies during the pandemic? While not necessarily new, rekindling my interest in painting with acrylics again after several years of not so much as touching a paintbrush has been revitalizing.

What’s your human superpower? I can be something of a comedian at times and have a small talent for using voice acting to make people laugh.

Name: Howdy! My name is Madison Epstein (they/them) and I am a third-year literature major at UCSC.

Why did you join Matchbox? I joined Matchbox because I love to read, and I hope to prepare myself for a career in publishing.

What have you been reading, watching, or listening to lately? Lately, I’ve been reading novels by Brit Bennett (The Mothers and The Vanishing Half), Ocean Vuong (On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous) and Rumaan Alam (That Kind of Mother). I’ve also been listening to the coffeehouse playlist on Spotify, which helps me focus to write!!

What is your creative outlet? I love writing and creating written works like poetry, prose pieces, and stories in general. Most of my writing centers around the relationships and connections we hold with others.

Have you adopted any new activities or hobbies during the pandemic? I’ve recently gotten into yoga and hiking to become more centered with myself and the environment I am in.

What’s your human superpower? I would say my human superpower is constantly doing what it takes to continue my growth and development!

Name: Willow.

Why did you join Matchbox? thought it would be cool to help people get published…… it’s rough out there.

What have you been reading, watching, or listening to lately? music: black midi, Daughters, The Microphones, Have a Nice Life

What is your creative outlet? standard art making: writing, drawing

Have you adopted any new activities or hobbies during the pandemic? honestly I haven’t

What’s your human superpower? thriving in awkward silences

Name: Rina

Why did you join Matchbox? I joined to get more involved with the literary community at UCSC and to make friends along the way! 

What have you been reading, watching, or listening to lately? I’ve been watching art restoration videos on YouTube (Baumgartner Restoration) as I unwind and get ready for bed! It’s super relaxing 🙂

What is your creative outlet? I make jewelry! I love going to the craft store to get new charms and pieces.

Have you adopted any new activities or hobbies during the pandemic? I’m really into nail art nowadays. I buy fake nails from the drugstore and try out new styles!

What’s your human superpower? I’m an early riser. Even if I go to bed late, I always wake up at the same time. It’s a blessing and a curse.

Name: Alia

Why did you join Matchbox? I’ve never considered myself an artist, but I appreciate other people’s work. I’d been wanting to join a student organization for a while by the time I decided to join Matchbox, and my friend convinced me that this was the one! She was right.

What have you been reading, watching, or listening to lately? I’ve been listening to Beautiful Stories from Anonymous People  and watching The Good Place.

What is your creative outlet? I love to cook, especially with others because I learn so much from their styles.

Have you adopted any new activities or hobbies during the pandemic?  I tried doing yoga & exercising regularly at the beginning of the pandemic, but now… lol

What’s your human superpower? I’m a fast learner!

Name: Juliet

Why did you join Matchbox? I love the arts but didn’t always feel connected to that community while in my classes so I found an outlet here with Matchbox! It’s been an awesome way to make friends and gain collaborative leadership skills.

What have you been reading, watching, or listening to lately? I have had no time to read or watch anything but I find myself listening to a lot of Alabama Shakes, Leon Bridges, and The Regrettes.

What is your creative outlet? I love to draw and paint and I am hoping to create more things to decorate my walls with in the coming year.

Have you adopted any new activities or hobbies during the pandemic? I’ve gotten better at watercolor painting since the beginning of quarantine… but not by enough.

What’s your human superpower? I’ve been told I’m great in a crisis, but more importantly, I can burp on command.

Name: Cameron

Why did you join Matchbox? I’ve always wanted to be a part of a newspaper or magazine and I’ve tried to join some other ones but none of them suited me quite well. Matchbox, on the other hand, feels like it was perfect– not an overwhelming workload or socially jarring environment at all– and everyone is and has been incredibly welcoming.

What have you been reading, watching, or listening to lately? I have been reading Anne Lamot’s Almost Everything: Notes on Hope recently, which isn’t a fiction novel but it was more of a “self-help” book of sorts (not as corny as you may think, I promise) and she discusses important topics like death, grief, hatred, faith, and even processes of writing in such a beautiful Anne Lammot way that makes you feel so warm inside after reading a short passage or so. I watch a lot of Adventure Time and other cartoons that usually have me laughing while simultaneously thinking about meta post-apocalyptic theories, which helps with creativity I think.

What is your creative outlet? I love to write, garden, crochet, and sometimes draw.

Have you adopted any new activities or hobbies during the pandemic? I started my first ever vegetable and succulent garden in my backyard, which was incredibly fruitful. I also helped rescue an old pitbull who was practically dying from social isolation. Crocheting has also been a new thing for me thanks to my boyfriend’s mom, who is basically a professional at it by now.

What’s your human superpower? I honestly don’t know. I’m drawing blanks, but if I really had to choose I suppose it’d be trying new things for the sake my own mental, emotional, and physical health.

Name: Neva

Why did you join Matchbox? I joined Matchbox because I love creative spaces. I love to analyze writing. I love to look at art, and I love to talk about it. I am interested in multi-modality, and the fact that this magazine moves between many forms – prose, poetry, visual art – intrigued me. To see the process that goes into collectively creating a final product has been helpful for me creatively. It’s let me imagine possibilities for larger creative spaces, events, workshops, and collectives.

What have you been reading, watching, or listening to lately? I’ve been reading Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo. Her form is amazing – a poetry-like prose that leaves me starstruck. I’ve also been reading The Collected Poems of Audre Lorde and There are More Beautiful Things than Beyoncé by Morgan Parker.

What is your creative outlet? My creative outlet is writing. It’s a lifeline. I keep several notebooks at once, write on scraps of paper, on phone notes. I often feel like I am writing hundreds of poems at once. It’s simultaneous. Gwendolyn Brooks said that poetry is “life distilled.” I love that and hold onto that.

Have you adopted any new activities or hobbies during the pandemic? I’ve been collaging a lot during quarantine. I never really thought I could do it before. It helps me break out of poetry and just think about arranging the scraps that I made. It’s really calming. Sometimes I’ll send them as letters or keep them in a notebook for future recollection.

What’s your human superpower? Talking to people. I get a lot of energy out of making connections and conversation with people.

Name: Emma

Why did you join Matchbox? I found it really unique how it was UC-wide and I’ve always wanted to be a staff member for a magazine/publication.

What have you been reading, watching, or listening to lately? I’ve been listening to music by Devon, a really talented artist from the Forest of Dean.

What is your creative outlet? Photography, specifically of architecture and nature.

Have you adopted any new activities or hobbies during the pandemic? I’ve gone on a lot more walks and explored the city that I live in more.

What’s your human superpower? This isn’t that exciting, but I can type really fast.

Name: Logan

Why did you join Matchbox? I joined Matchbox because I wanted to have an active role in publishing student work!

What have you been reading, watching, or listening to lately?  I have been reading The Jungle by Upton Sinclair, and I’ve been listening pretty much exclusively to Shannon and the Clams right now.

What is your creative outlet? My creative outlet is doing any hands-on projects like building shelves or working on cars. Right now I’m building a shoe rack!

Have you adopted any new activities or hobbies during the pandemic? During the pandemic I’ve finally gotten around to learning how to grow plants successfully! Shoutout to my pink lilies and my onion plant.

What’s your human superpower? My human superpower is looking on the bright side of things and cracking jokes.

That’s all for today! Thank you for reading, and see you next week!

Matchbox Magazine Staff