Whadja do for summer vacation?

It’s 90 degrees. The sun’s like a big delicious mango in the middle of a bright blue sky. But it’s “fall.” Back to school. UWL’s The Catalyst is gearing up for another year of boostin’–we’ll publish issue 13 this winter, full of plush student writing and art, and we’ll put together some exciting programming events for everyone to get together and celebrate life. Kind of like this poem, part of our current issue. It’s “Three Waters,” by Jennifer Glasgow. Warning. The following text contains overtly Canadian scenes, crustaceans, awkward family encounters, and uplifting realizations to make you feel alive.

Three Waters

Jennifer Glasgow


One summer, my family went on vacation

before my brother left for college.

We travelled to Canada to see the falls,

whose roaring waters mesmerized me

and made me feel so insignificant and small.

And it was so hot that day.

We baked inside our plastic ponchos

when we rode on the Maid of the Mist,

like potatoes in a roasting bag.

Then we went to Maine.

Where we ate lobsters, watched whales,

and my father flirted with hypothermia

in the coast’s aquamarine undulations.

Not a shimmering pool of gemstones

could be more beautiful than that ocean.

And our last stop was Redbank, New Jersey,

to go swimming at the shore with my peculiar family,

whose oddness compared to the ocean that day.

Those slate gray, choppy waves paled in comparison

to the others many miles away in Maine.

There were disturbed winds floating through the air,

and the undertow tossed me as a giant would flick a fly away.

I remember thinking in that moment,

tossed and turned and disoriented,

how amazingly formidable the power of the ocean was.

It is so indifferent.

So unaware of its potential to harm

And I was so small, so easily spun like a leaf in a hurricane.

It was indescribable.

As if even my words are too small.

And when I surfaced from that water,

my lungs searing,

gasping, stunned,

I heard the voices.

“Where is Evan?”

When my dad brought my brother back,

he collapsed in the sand,

arms spread wide, heaving.

His body was decorated with large red streaks,

burns from the rope that saved his life.

Which he clung to as the mighty ocean,

in increments too quick for him to breathe,

forcefully washed over him,

unconcerned about the jetty of rocks

a few feet away.

And in a week or so after we returned home,

my aunt sent my mother an email.

A news article reporting the death

of a young man

who died swimming in that same water.

And I wondered if he too was taking a vacation before college

to commemorate the beginning

of the rest of his life.

“What Are You Waiting For?”–the new issue is here!

Check out the Spring 2015 issue of The Catalyst here: http://issuu.com/uw-lacrosse/docs/thecatalyst_vol12_spring2015

Table of Contents


Black Lamb

Sylvia Neumann


Jessica Fanshaw

Winter and Cactus

Mikaela Kornowski

From infancy to clarency; womb to tomb

Rhiannon Fisher


Molly Duggan

Photo of Mom and Dad at Uncle Tommy’s Wedding

Mikaela Kornowski

The God, The Drone, and The Dead

Rhiannon Fisher


Molly Duggan

Three Waters

Jennifer Glasgow


Molly Duggan



Prose/Short story

The Puppy Dilemma

Dani Weber


Samuel Fischer

The Doorbell

James Groh





Danielle Nolden


Danielle Nolden

In The Garden

Molly Duggan




Emily Plachetka


Dylan Bloch


Imani Paul (Bones)



Spring 2015 Preview

The Spring 2015 Issue is almost in the can (as they say in Hollywood). Watch for the issue to appear right here on our website, by mid-May, 2015. As a teaser, here’s one of our favorites from the issue, a poem by Molly Duggan.

It was a calm sort of chaos.
There was a crowd of slow swimming goldfish in an aquarium resting at the end of a hallway of
fish supplies–ceramic translucent pastel blue pebbles, water filters, and plastic plant life.
The girl waited for me to decide which fish I wanted to bring home with a look of confusion, “Mostly we use them as food for other fish” she said.
I poured him, and his world, into a pitcher and gingerly carried him with me all the way to the car realizing I might finally empathize with the moon–who has no control over causing the currents in the ocean.
I wonder if the moon cries for every organism lost in the selfish pull of the riptide––the little boy in a black and white striped shirt building a sand castle just a little too close to the wave break.

Submission Period Open!

We are now accepting submissions for Volume 11 of The Catalyst! This semester’s theme is “Don’t Stop Me Now.”  We all have a few aspirations in life that we feel we are kept from achieving.  We want to hear and see how you deal with spoilsports that try to keep you down!  Send your submissions and a short bio to us at catalyst@uwlax.edu by November 3rd.  (As always, you’re submissions don’t need to be within the theme. It’s simply a suggestion for inspiration.)  For submission guidelines, click here.

We look forward to seeing all of your hard work!

The Editors

Seeking Editorial Staff

The Catalyst is looking for motivated students to join our staff.  We are seeking:

  • Future Editor-in-Chief
    • Learn the ropes this fall and take over in the spring
    • Get valuable experience in publishing
    • Meet awesome people and be involved with the La Crosse writing community!
  • Assistant Editors
    • Help the Editor-in-Chief in all areas of the process
    • Learn about publishing from the publisher’s perspective

Welcome to the new site!

It’s with great excitement that we welcome you to the new site for The Catalyst!  Please bear with us while we work on moving everything over.  Though only the last volumes are available currently, we hope to get the rest up by the end of summer.

For now, we will try to keep you updated with any other local publication opportunities or creative events.

Have a great summer!
The Editors