The University of New Mexico Best Student Essays

Fall 2015 Deadline

By Kimberly Mitchell

Fall 2015 Deadline

October 5th

Submit here:

Magnifying the Mundane: A Critical Introduction to the Poetry of Matthew Zapruder

By Morgan Podraza
Since 2002, Matthew Zapruder has produced three volumes of poetry—American Linden, The Pajamaist, and Come On All You Ghosts—along with a forthcoming chapbook, The Odyssey, and has co-translated the final collection by late Russian poet Eugen Jebeleanu.

Fully Equipped

By Jeffrey Hertz
Wedged with my father between the two sides of the clunky carriage, I spotted spidery veins protruding from our runner’s left calf.


By Alan Dahl
My friends and I laughed as the desperate screams danced in our ears. It was just what we wanted to hear coming from the little toy cabinet in my family room.

Spring Reception this Wednesday!

By Sarah Parro
The reception for the Spring 2012 issue of Best Student Essays is this Wednesday, May 2, from 4:00 to 5:30pm in the University Honors Department Forum. The forum is located on the ground floor of the Student Health Center building, just east of the SUB on UNM Main Campus.

Spring 2012 Deadline Extended to March 8!

By Sarah Parro
Great news! You now have more than a week of extra time to submit your writing, photography and artwork to Best Student Essays!

Read this! New Submission and Faculty Nomination Forms

By Sarah Parro
Students and faculty: this is our first time trying an entirely electronic submission process, and we’re still working out some of the kinks.

Human or Divine? Tolkien and the Hypostatic Union of Christ

By Sara Rivera
In the foreword to The Fellowship of the Ring, J.R.R. Tolkien addresses the issue of allegory: “I cordially dislike allegory in all its manifestations, and always have done so since I grew old and wary enough to detect its presence.

Long-Distance Lovers

By Amy Dicketts
Is it possible to be in love with no one there to love? To have a significant other and yet go to bed alone each night?

The House That Love Built

By Carol J. Stokes
What did my husband and I, two overweight and out of shape late 30-somethings, know about building a house?

The Shades of Identity: Variance in Second Generation Chicano Archetypes.

By Ashley Dorneden
Developing an identity is one of the most challenging parts of life. Individuals develop identities by experimentation and comparison, typically in adolescence, with the outside world.

BSE Fall Issue Reception

By Sarah Parro
Join us for good food, good company and good writing as we celebrate the authors and artists published in the fall 2011 issue and reveal the finished magazine!
When: Friday, December 9th, 2011
Where: The Honors Department Forum, located on the ground floor of the Student Health Center Hope to see you there!

EXTENDED FALL DEADLINE! Submit through October 17th, 2011

By Sarah Parro
Now you have more than a week of extra time to submit your best nonficiton writing, photo essays and cover art for consideration in the Fall 2011 issue.

You've got them. We want them: Submit your nonfiction work to be published.

By Sarah Parro
In academia, publication is one of the most prestigious marks to have on your record. Get a step ahead and your voice heard by submitting your nonfiction work for publication.

Spring 2011 Issue: Out Now!

By Sarah Parro
The Spring 2011 issue of Best Student Essays is now out for your literary enjoyment!

A Clockwork Orange: The Intersection Between a Dystopia and Human Nature

By Samantha Moya
An archetypal depiction of a dystopia is one dominated by bleakness and roboticism, a totalitarian government enforcing upon the people a lifestyle that lulls them into a state of obedience. Anthony Burgess’ 1963 novel, A Clockwork Orange, is a nightmarish vision of future Britain, one in which behavioral modification is taken to dangerous extremes in the quest for preserving the order of a disconnected society. In many ways, A Clockwork Orange differs from the standard prototype of the dystopian sub-genre.

The Words of Unhappiness

By Melissa Hobbs
The search for happiness is the driving force in Samuel Johnson’s History of Rasselas Prince of Abissinia. By examining the two core words, quiet and novelty, and exploring the lexicon used in relation to each, it becomes apparent that man cannot be happy in Rasselas because the dual qualities that afford happiness are actually in fundamental conflict with each other.

UNM Standards Rise as Education Disappears: The Top-Down Effect

By Roy Gonzales
I would like to paint a visual aid in your mind now, so that you remember the points I make throughout this essay. Picture the Statue of Liberty: crown like royalty, book in one hand, torch in the other as if to reach for the sky, calm sea waters all around her, standing tall and proud…better yet, BEAUTIFUL! Am I right? Now, let’s change a few things.

Historical Factors and the Future of Spanish Maintenance in the Albuquerque Metro Area

By Camille Padilla, Diana Aceves
The following study was motivated by an interest in collecting data on the Spanish spoken in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It focuses on the communities known as Saw Mill, Wells Park, North Valley, and Old Town. The central focus of this research is to study maintenance attitudes toward the Spanish language of these communities.

Playing Dead: The Tomb-Trick and Its Various Effects

By Matthew Pridham
Of the many disguises adopted by characters in Shakespeare’s plays, one is most natural. One is always, indeed, a prefiguration of a guise every character must one day authentically wear: the appearance of death.


By Kaitlin Jencso

I have often felt that the fabrication of the “ideal woman” is an outdated and damaging social construct that should be revaluated. Such confines separate women from the work-world, as well as from self-realization, alienating them from men and removing their individuality and human- ity. My work takes symbols of femininity and juxtaposes them with the reality of their emotional repercussions. The overall degradation and broken/shattered nature of the environment becomes the symbol of femininity, be it a dress, deer, or an actual woman.