My Top 13 Books I Want to Read Before College

Oftentimes, I consider myself a person who lives in the present. However, with the millions of uncertainties swirling around me at the moment, from school to college to majors, I sometimes like to think to the future in an effort to think of what will be instead of simply what is.

Another confession. I have not read a full book outside of English class in quite awhile. I feel that in order to strengthen my writing, explore the various facets of my imagination,and dabble in other efforts outside of poetry like prose, I simply need to read more. Between my necessity to plan for the future and wanting to read as much as I can, I have made a goal for myself to read these books before I head off to college this fall. 

All of these books can be presumably found online, but the majority were bought at a used bookstore in Plaza Midwood called "Book Buyers". To anyone in the area, please check them out! Giving a book a new home and a new opportunity to be read is an amazing one. 

1. The Atonement by Ian McEwan

2. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

3. The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri

4. Hard Times by Charles Dickens

5. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins 

7. The Peneloprad by Margaret Atwood

8. The Bourne Objective by Robert Ludlums

9. Complete Poetry and Prose by Percy Shelley

10. A Multitude of Sins by Richard Ford

11. Portrait of a Lady by Henry James

12. Ulysses by James Joyce

13. Complete Poetry by Robert Frost

...Wow! That's a lot of books! But I am already enjoying those I have started, and if you find one on this list that you enjoy as well, feel free to comment below or contact us.

Love as always,


Top Ten List for Finding Flow...

This week I have been finding creative places to get inspired. As many of you know the pursuit of art written or visual requires self discipline and an illusive spark that puts you in your artistic flow. I have been in the throws of writing my first novel which is accompanied by midnight brain storming and sudden bouts of Eurekas, yet it is also accompanied by the ever dreaded dry spell. In order to call upon the gods of inspiration I have been trying creative ways to inspire myself. The main way I wring the words from brain to keys is changing up where and how I write. It always helps me to make a list or a diagram of my characters and the chaotically organized ideas that trail behind each one, yet for times when a list won't do the trick changing my space works too. The following list consists of the top ten places or situations that will give you a little boost. 


1. On the roof of anything

2. Sitting on your bathroom floor

3. In a coffee shop- must be busy

4. Sitting on your bed 

5. On a park bench- for nature watching

6. On a city bench- people watching

7. Early in the morning/late at night Looking out your window

8. In a strange new place

9. In a dark room with loud music

10. In your diary before bed 


My Top 5 Most Inspiring Poems

To be uninspired is, often, a time that is dulling to the imagination. What is the point of letting the mind wander when there is nothing to wander to? I have many times been uninspired and have turned to many different sources to find myself back in my creative routine again. Sometimes, these sources have been as simple as the world around me and nature and other times, I have had to dig deeper in order to get the words flowing once more onto the page.

After years of this digging, I have come up with 5 of the most inspiring poems that, whenever I cannot fathom the idea of creating, I always turn to as a reminder of the possibilities that lie in words. These poems evoke many emotions for me, from pensiveness to grief, and while they may vary in length, they all have caused me to ask countless questions at the end.

I will also provide a part of each poem that is my personal favorite. Feel free to share your favorite part!

A final note before sharing these works: I found a number of these through the Poem A Day email list by the Academy of American poets. You can see subscribe here!

Much Love,


1.       Four Quartets by T.S. Eliot

“The wounded surgeon plies the steel / That questions the distempered part; / beneath the bleeding hands we feel / The sharp compassion of the healer’s art…”

2.       Dedication by Czeslaw Milosz

“What is poetry which does not save / Nations or people?”

3.       Music from Childhood by John Yau

“You begin to hear words mourn the sounds buried inside their mouths”

4.       The Bee Meeting by Sylvia Plath

“why am I cold.”

5.       Birthday by Richie Hoffman

“I loved Mozart before I loved you.”

We're Back...With Lists

Welcome back to Hollow Tongue Magazine! This upcoming issue is not only our second issue, but it marks our growth from a fledgling magazine to a full-blown grown up! I can’t wait to continue my education of humanity through the varied and talented voices that find their ways to my submissions inbox.  I appreciate and congratulate last year’s contributors and hope to match our last issue with its sincerity and excitement. We have been away for a while dealing with what I can only call fires of the quotidian. I am back with Kathyrine to reopen the magazine and add some sparkle to your days with our eager keys! From now on weekly we will introduce lists. I am the number one fan of the list- appreciating its concision, order, yet magic in the vast expanse of what a list can cover. Lists can take you on a journey or prepare you for one. So, I am happy to introduce our first list of issue two...

This year for me has been a particularly grueling one- for reasons personal and reasons communally shared. I find it necessary to begin this year’s first top ten with a top ten yoga channel list. Keeping with last issue’s theme of starting and what it takes to do so, I would like to give new writers- or old ones- ways to work up to it. I know that writing for me sometimes feels like it’s never the right time, or I’m not inspired enough, but there are ways to get past this feeling that there is a mountain between you and your illusive idea. For me that is good music, being alone and feeling like everything else is in its place and the only thing that needs attention is my writing. So, when I feel inquietude I turn to yoga. Yoga can relax you and remove the mile long to-do list form your head, hopefully long enough to get the words flowing and give your story some TLC.  

- Valentina Jaramillo

1. Yoga With Adriene

2. Livestrong Woman- The Yoga Solution With Tara Stiles

3. Ekhart Yoga

4. Fightmaster Yoga

5. Yoga by Candace

6. Bad Yogi

7. KinoYoga

8. Yoga With Tim

9. BrettLarkinYoga

10. SarahBethYoga

Poem of The Week...Differences of Opinion by Wendy Cope

Why we chose it...

I stumbled across this poem the other day and it struck a chord. Aside from fitting perfectly into my feminist agenda, it reminded me of the power that comes with being right; The power of knowledge and truth. Sometimes I don't think truth is given enough credit; no matter what opinions threaten to tarnish it, or how you stretch it, you cant change it. Today, there are many dark figures threatening to cast shadows over the truth, over the "disadvantaged," "the brave," and "the honest" but regardless of these shadows, of prejudice or inequality, the truth stays the same...and the earth is round. 

Let this be a call to all the lady artists and writers out there, the world needs you. 

Differences of Opinion

by Wendy Cope



He tells her that the earth is flat —
He knows the facts, and that is that.
In altercations fierce and long
She tries her best to prove him wrong.
But he has learned to argue well.
He calls her arguments unsound
And often asks her not to yell.
She cannot win. He stands his ground.

The planet goes on being round.

Children of the Months: A New Chapter

If you asked me a year and a half ago if I woudl be self-publishing (granted, quite imperfectly) a poetry book, I would have leaned back in my chair, laughed, and quickly changed topics. My whole life, I have been plagued by insecurities, and concerns and confusions about who I am, who I should be, and what it means to matter have not left my poetry unscathed by any means. For years, I kept my meager words close to me like an obituary written on a winter morning that no one thought mattered except to that one person that it meant everything in the world to.

Except that Children Of the Months isn't an obituary. It's a new chapter. It's life breathed into my papery lungs and it has brought light into my eyes, into my life, into my mind. Children of the Months entered just like the wind left and allowed me to set the candles in this room called reality aflame. 

I am not saying that my book is perfect. It is nowhere near so. I dread receiving the first paperback copy in my hands as I know that it will probably look a mess and I will have to take it off the market and completely reconfigure it. The poetry itself is mediocre at best compared to what else is out there, but it is out there. And that is what matters. My work, once hidden in a dark corner because I was too afraid of the hurting that would come with people either shunning or ignoring me, which I have experienced far too many times, is out there.

And I cannot ask for more.

Children of the Months deals with love, loss, and grief, to be vague. To be more specific, I wrote it after losing several people close to me. Their stories, along with the story of losing--then finding--myself, is all interwoven throughout the seasons and the months. If you want to learn more and possibly support me on my endeavor to better myself, better my work, better my art, then please, please, take a look at it. It can be found in the links below:

I love you all, I love you all, I love you all. And know that this book loves you too. 

Love love,


Poem of The Week...The Fastest Way to Feel Alive by Benedict Smith

Why we chose it...

Life can be lonely when everyone lives their own. At times making art either with a pen or a block of clay can seem like a call to the dark, or a scream in a crowded room. Everyone's screaming, so no one will hear, or no one is there. This poem reminded me why I keep screaming in the dark and joining the chorus.


The Fastest Way to Feel Alive

by: Benedict Smith

Even in solitude
You have a thousand friends

They live between the pages of your books
The frames of your films
And the notes of your songs

No one’s as pure as their art
People are art diluted

There is comfort in being alone
And you are brave, brave, brave

Find art that makes you die inside
It’s the fastest way to feel alive

When Inspiration Doesn't Come Knocking...


Dear Fellow Creative Spirits, 

I’ve always thought of music as a necessary companion to creation. Without it, silence would get too loud. In some ways, I guess there isn’t anything worse than the shrieks of a sleepy morning, or the wails of a drowsy night; the silence that lives there has little to offer but haunting echoes of discarded thoughts. It’s an irrational fear of mine, a fear of the blank quiet, like needing a night light to keep away figures that hide in the dark. I am aware that music won’t banish silence, much like night lights won’t kill the Boogeyman; for one to exist, so must the other. I think of it as a spell, and for the duration of its enchantment I’m isolated but not lonely and curious but not doomed. If you’ve ever been attacked by ticking seconds or victimized by white noise, maybe you share my silly fear. If so, I offer reprieve, if only until the music stops.



Poem of The Week...The Hollow Men by T.S. Eliot

Why we chose it...

                The first time I picked up a piece from TS Eliot, read it, and fell in love with his writing is, in my opinion, one of the pivotal moments in the trajectory of my life. Though I previously wrote poetry on occasion, I only started writing it seriously after immersing myself in The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock. There was something about the way the words worked together to create a new universe in my mind. As I read it out loud to my mother, my voice became a booming crescendo, every word suddenly becoming louder than the one before because I wanted the entire world to hear the importance of such writing. Today, TS Eliot remains my favorite poet and will always have a place in my heart as the person who turned me into the pursuer of poetry that I am today. Though I am not as familiar with The Hollow Men as certain stanzas of Four Quartets or La Figlia Che Piange (I recommend both!) I still find within it Eliot’s ability to tighten my chest with aching, shatter my heart, and, most importantly, pick up the fragments of answers I once had to questions resurrected in the face of such profound work. I hope that this poem resurrects questions that you once thought you knew the answer to and encourages you to see the beauty that can come from not knowing anything at all in such a bleak, bleak world.



The Hollow Men by T.S. Eliot

Mistah Kurtz—he dead.

A penny for the Old Guy

We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Leaning together
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
As wind in dry grass
Or rats' feet over broken glass
In our dry cellar

Shape without form, shade without colour,
Paralysed force, gesture without motion;

Those who have crossed
With direct eyes, to death's other Kingdom
Remember us—if at all—not as lost
Violent souls, but only
As the hollow men
The stuffed men.

Eyes I dare not meet in dreams
In death's dream kingdom
These do not appear:
There, the eyes are
Sunlight on a broken column
There, is a tree swinging
And voices are
In the wind's singing
More distant and more solemn
Than a fading star.

Let me be no nearer
In death's dream kingdom
Let me also wear
Such deliberate disguises
Rat's coat, crowskin, crossed staves
In a field
Behaving as the wind behaves
No nearer—

Not that final meeting
In the twilight kingdom

This is the dead land
This is cactus land
Here the stone images
Are raised, here they receive
The supplication of a dead man's hand
Under the twinkle of a fading star.

Is it like this
In death's other kingdom
Waking alone
At the hour when we are
Trembling with tenderness
Lips that would kiss
Form prayers to broken stone.

The eyes are not here
There are no eyes here
In this valley of dying stars
In this hollow valley
This broken jaw of our lost kingdoms

In this last of meeting places
We grope together
And avoid speech
Gathered on this beach of the tumid river

Sightless, unless
The eyes reappear
As the perpetual star
Multifoliate rose
Of death's twilight kingdom
The hope only
Of empty men.

Here we go round the prickly pear
Prickly pear prickly pear
Here we go round the prickly pear
At five o'clock in the morning.

Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow
For Thine is the Kingdom

Between the conception
And the creation
Between the emotion
And the response
Falls the Shadow
Life is very long

Between the desire
And the spasm
Between the potency
And the existence
Between the essence
And the descent
Falls the Shadow
For Thine is the Kingdom

For Thine is
Life is
For Thine is the

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.

Welcome to Hollow Tongue Magazine

Hello and welcome to Hollow Tongue Magazine!

Perhaps you're here by begging--er, referral--from co-editors Valentina Jaramillo and Kathyrine Hankin or perhaps you've been looking for a place to submit previously unpublished work and heard of us through word of mouth, friends, family, or the internet. Or maybe you're just here because you love the way that words and images capture moments and want to share moments of your own.

Either way, we're glad you're here. 

Hollow Tongue Magazine is meant to spark the creativity of muses near and far, hoping that those who draw from them for inspiration will soon be hunkering over their desks or staring at their canvases, immersed in the next great thing they are creating.

We aim to do this by becoming a family and providing you with inspiration a number of times a year with issues; these issues will be filled to the brim with everything that you could ever hope for creatively--and perhaps featuring you as well. We want you to be the best you can be in that pursuit. Have a question? Hit us up via email, Instagram, or Twitter! Want to submit something, anything? Send a piece our way, and we will carefully revise it and see if it has a home in our next issue. Even if the piece doesn't make it in, if it is poetry/prose, we will send you our written/typed annotations; if it is art, we will send you our thoughts on a separate document. It is a small token of appreciation for you sharing what is going on in that beautiful mind of yours; it is only fair that we share a bit of what is going on in ours. 

Finally, because we strive to be family, things may not be perfect. This is why your feedback is entirely necessary. Let's not make this a five act production where you patiently wait in the audience but an active dialogue instead. If there's something you absolutely, completely, and utterly do not like, let us know! If there is something you love and wish to see more of, especially if we start putting less of it out there, please send it our way! We want you to be as involved in this journey as possible.

Finally, we wish you the best of luck in submitting, sharing your work to, and supporting this fledgling magazine. As our title says, our tongues are hollow, and we need your stories to fill them in and tell an epic tale.

Before we let you guys go, a few quick logistics; submitting closes on August 20th--any submissions after that will be pushed to the next issue, which will likely take place closer to winter. If you have any immediate questions, feel free to check out our submissions guidelines! If you want to know our story, our aim and masthead will do the job. And, as always, don't forget that we are here to answer any and every query or concern you may have.

-Kathyrine and Valentina, Co-Editors of Hollow Tongue Magazine