“Professional and personal” is the concept behind the Pomona Valley Review.

It is a liberal arts journal that is based out of the Pomona community but goes as far as publishing work from worldwide writers and artists.

The PVR publishes a mixture of poetry, short fiction and various other mediums of art.

The journal has published works created by folks as young as high school students and older.

Beginning in the early 2000s, PVR took a break for a bit but was revived in 2010. 

PVR is an annual publication that originally began as print but went to online-only in 2010.

Thoughts of bringing it back to print are currently up in the air.

Ryan Leack, who is now the emeritus editor for the new issue, was one of the Cal Poly Pomona students to revive the PVR along with his colleague Chris Baarstad, who was the managing editor.

“When Chris and I were picking it up, we didn’t see much of an avenue, like on campus, for the liberal arts in terms of poetry, fiction and art work,” Leack said. “We wanted to have a campus community of creative work … we wanted to find an avenue for the community to show their voices on campus.”

“El Genio” (the genie) by Saul Villegas was featured on issue 12, The Pomona Valley Review’s latest issue. (Courtesy of the Pomona Valley Review)

As years go on, the journal gets larger and larger. Their latest edition that came out summer of 2018 reached 163 pages of content compared to around 80 pages of content during PVR’s early years.

PVR wanted to create an interactive community by having different yearly events such as art galleries and even open mic events.

They range from approximately 300 submissions every year, making that roughly 120-150 different writers and artists.

Each writer is allowed to submit up to three poems and two short stories. Artists are allowed to submit about five pieces of art work including mixed media.

Submissions normally open as early as January and they stay open till the start of summer.

The editors all come together to work collaboratively to decide what is published and how the journal is arranged.

It is a group effort to get this journal organized and published.

The goal of these collections is to give a place or even a voice to the community and beyond, to create a sense of culture and give a chance for different writers and artists to take the first steps into the publishing world.

Part of a collection called “Bet on Black,” this piece is by Assyrian American and Dubai-based artist Nathalie Odisho. (Courtesy of the Pomona Valley Review)

Amanda Riggle, who started by submitting one poem years ago, is now the new incoming editor-in-chief for PVR.

She is currently receiving her Ph.D. in English at University of California, Riverside.

“I think is a really good chance to show not only what poets, artists and storytellers are capable of, but what a group of students are capable of,” Riggle said.

“It’s a beautiful journal — it has been for years, and we are very proud of what we output and execute and it’s not just there to curate content or there to say ‘this is amazing’ but there to say ‘this is what our community is capable of.’”

This semester is the first time PVR has a class led by PVR’s faculty advisor Marta Albalá Pelegrín, who will interview you before acceptance based on your passion and commitment for being part of the PVR team.

Riggle further expresses that the arts are a way of expressing one’s self, which is why PVR is a good platform for expression.

Leack adds that the contents that one may find in the PVR are pieces that express issues that are important to the community.

Lastly, another main goal of PVR is to inform, engage and entertain the people who are reading it.

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