Palabras: Words

Palabras: Words

Current Editorial Staff.

G. Michael Rapp, Lead Editor and Website Manager

Simon Chavez, Assistant Editor/General

Alexandra Itzi, Assistant Editor/Fiction

Emilee Nieman, Assistant Editor/Poetry


The mission of Palabras was so eloquently articulated by its founder (and original editor) Dr. Gina L. Hochhalter in the first issue way back in 2002:

As editor, I really resist the call to write this note because Palabras — a.k.a. “Words” — is not about the editor but about its writers and artists (and its readers). Palabras is, to simply say, a space to exchange ideas; it is a forum for expression. It is to give voice to the written worlds we inhabit as readers and thinkers and doodlers and intellectual perusers and creative meanderers (if this latter can be constituted as a word, well…). It is, in more editor-esque terms, a place to manifest vision.

And yet perhaps my hesitation to begin writing this editor’s note stems from the fact that I know how difficult it is to write (and to be heard)… and it is this point which takes me back to the journal’s (not a magazine, please) point of origin:

Palabras hopes to always begin itself with Controversy, but this wasn’t Palabras’s original intention. It was, rather, to create a space for undergraduate students and writers (myself included at the time) to publish their research and creative gestures (that much hasn’t changed); it was also, in the beginning, intended to compete, on a certain level, with journals whose editors require that their writers hold pretty-much Ph.D.’s in order to be heard in the realm of literary academics. My original dream, so to speak, was to get something going that would prove something about knowledge, and something about the educational process and students’ dedication to the intrigues and results of that process.

Intensely said, perhaps—and yet I have a feeling…

Palabras has another purpose: to hear voices (hey, all writers do!) from outside of academics, from the community of Clovis, New Mexico, and the United States. While Palabras for the most part honors students here at Clovis Community College, it can’t help but put out a call for all writers and artists who know of its existence. This is to say that Palabras welcomes work written by children, adults, friends, acquaintances, teachers, employees, colleagues, bosses, and students. It is not limited in scope or discipline; it is not limited because it is hungry for perspectives.

In some respects, perhaps I’m being a bit idealistic; after all, there must be some kind of parameter when putting in one place a slew of varying perspectives from a number of contexts. I mean, how is one form of expression chosen over another, and what are the requirements for a work to be published?

I admit to you freely that there are a few expectations, such as focus and sincerity. But so, too, is required a level of dedication and respect for the idea and its effects on readers. Work submitted should consider depth and take responsibility for its brevity. Work submitted might comment on or rep- resent the world, play games with language, compel readers to thought or thoughtful action. Writers or artists and their work, if controversial or eloquently opinionated, must also hope to be reviewed by readers, since Palabras‘s subtitle is Journal of Exchange, which means that those who agree or disagree might respond.

Beyond this, there is time and circumstance: what’s hot? if you write current affairs, or what’s been going on? if you write about world or community. Yet beyond this, there is only that you wish for a work to be read or viewed.

It is with great honor that Palabras has been realized, and so it is with thanks to CCC  [Clovis Community College, New Mexico] and Palabras’s writers and readers that this first issue has been printed.


Much like the original journal, Palabras 2.0 will provide a discursive (and inclusive) space for writers, artists, thinkers, and readers. Palabras is a place where poetry, short fiction, and academic essays can inhabit the same space without being antagonistic toward one another. Instead, they can exist within the same discursive space, allowing them to conversate about the important issues of our day.

Unlike Palabras 1.0, the new rendition of Palabras will be completely online, in order to make access easier, freer, and more engaging. However, that does not mean that Palabras won't see print again. Far from it. We, the editors at Palabras, hope to develop enough new content to ensure that we can publish a sort of "Greatest Hits" compilation, using the Website's content as fodder for such a project.

If you're interested in Palabras, consider reaching out to our lead editor, G. Michael Rapp (see Submissions page for the lead editor's contact information).

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