Meet the Windmill Staff


Welcome to Windmill: The Hofstra Journal of Literature and Art! Our staff is so excited to bring this year’s print issue of Windmill to life, and we hope that you are excited too. We have been busy gathering and editing content for the journal that are sure you all will love, but we wanted to give you a glimpse at the people behind the curtain who are making sure that this issue of Windmill will be the very best yet. So, without further ado, meet the Spring 2019 Windmill Staff!

From left to right: Theresa Pham, Olivia Beaton, Sabrina Noury, Hannah Aronowitz, Kelly McMasters, Christian Santos, Maia Loy


Kelly McMasters

Kelly is the co-founder (with Publisher Melissa Connolly) and the Editor-in-Chief of Windmill; she also runs the class that is responsible for putting together each issue of Windmill. Kelly loves Windmill because the experience of making each issue changes so dramatically each time. She believes that what’s happening in the world politically and culturally, the writers and thinkers visiting out campus, and the personalities in the classroom all swirls together into its own unique object. She also loves the experience of building the book, comparing it to a real windmill with each student pulling their own weight and circling together to build a powerful energy. A fun fact about Kelly is that she first came to Hofstra was as a young music competition student with NYSSMA in sixth grade. She remembers walking around and feeling incredibly small compared to the huge building, the grounds, and the college students, fearing a mix of fear and possibility; she loves feeling that all over again with each issue of Windmill!

Nicole Dykeman

Nicole is one of the managing editors of Windmill. She helps manage contact with authors, sorts through submissions, and lays out the Windmill issues in WordPress and Adobe InDesign. A fun fact about Nicole is that she’s read 68 books so far this year!

Kira Turetzky

Kira is one of the managing editors of Windmill. She is largely responsible for overseeing the submissions process and laying out the interior of the journal. She has been involved with Windmill since her freshman year and has been a managing editor for a year and a half. She loves creating the journal from the ground up, working on InDesign to create, design, and lay out both the interior and exterior. A couple fun facts about Kira are that she is a junior with a double major in English Publishing Studies and Geology, and she hopes to combine her interests in publishing and earth science to work as an editor for National Geographic!

Ashrena Ali

Ashrena is the MFA Fellow of Windmill. She reads and makes comments on submissions for all categories. She has also conducted an interview with Mitchell Jackson, and she has written a blog post on a Latin American translator and poet, Raquel Lansero. She loves Windmill because she believes in its mission to serve as both an idea and image, and she loves having the opportunity to read hundreds of thousands of new and emerging writers from all over the world as a collective force to bring about new energy and creativity. She loves being a part of something that considers what literature was in the past, how we can bring about change now, and what it can lead to in our future. A fun fact about Ashrena is that she owns the entire Nancy Drew series, and she bought most of the books in Trinidad to complete her collection.

Theresa Pham

Theresa is the Associate Editor of Windmill. She loves Windmill because it is student run, and each edition of Windmill is a representation of the group of students itself which makes it special and different. A fun fact about Theresa is that she wants to travel the world and see what there is to offer.

Sabrina Noury

Sabrina is the Conversations Editor for Windmill. She loves the diversity and exploration that this edition of Windmill is doing in terms of the layout and the content of the stories. A fun fact about Sabrina is that she wrote and published a teen fiction book in 2017 called Silent Luna.

Christian Santos

Christian is the Fiction Editor for Windmill. Christian loves Windmill because he loves all things narrative, so he was bound to love Windmill. A fun fact about Christian is that he got a “D” in seventh grade English.

Olivia Beaton

Olivia is the Creative Nonfiction Editor for Windmill. She loves Windmill because it’s so exciting to find pieces that she feels passionately about, and she loves getting to connect with those writers and follow them throughout their careers. Some fun facts about Olivia are that she is a yoga teacher and she is working on her own essay collection.

Hannah Aronowitz

Hannah is the Production Editor for Windmill. She loves Windmill because it allows her to gain real-world publishing experience without having to go into Manhattan. A fun fact about Hannah is that she has a dog named Kevin.

Rae Farina

Rae is one of the interns at Windmill and runs the social media accounts for Windmill. She loves Windmill because it brings together so many diverse pieces of writing and art that it is easy for anyone to find a piece that really speaks to them. A fun fact about Rae is that she is very into natural/herbal remedies and medicine.

Emily Duffy

Emily is another one of the interns at Windmill. She reads through submissions for the journal and creates content for the blog (a prime example: this post!). Emily loves Windmillbecause it gives her the opportunity to read diverse stories from many different writers. A fun fact about her is that she has met Taylor Swift.

8-Bit Narrative: Red Dead Redemption 2

I’ve been begging for more of NPR’s excellent series, Reading the Game, which explores the crossover between literary and video game narrative.  I got my wish, a few months ago, when Jason Sheehan wrote on last year’s Game of the Year contender, Red Dead Redemption 2.

The game’s old news now, but even so I can’t help but thinking back to this game, this 50-hour-long glance at the Wild West: a period so warped by American mythology that it’s difficult to think of as a real place.

RDR2’s story opens in the most unforgiving of mountain ranges, where a blizzard whips and batters a poor caravan as it slogs through the snow.  If I had ignored the prior text scrawls, I would have no idea this caravan belongs to the notorious Van der Linde gang.

The gang takes shelter at an abandoned settlement, where Dutch van der Linde, the leader, makes a motivational speech. There’s no music—just the voice of a man talking to his starving, crumbling followers.

It’s here where a little exposition is dropped, but it’s not much to go on.  The gang’s running from a job-gone-wrong in some place called Blackwater.  A few characters, who I never got to know, are already dead.  That’s all I know.

It’s important to note that RDR2is not a chronological sequel to its predecessor. It’s essentially a prequel. Knowledge of the first game, while helpful, barely serves a purpose here.

After Dutch’s speech, the player takes control of Arthur Morgan, the main protagonist and Dutch’s pseudo-right-hand man.  I say “pseudo-right-hand” because the gang hierarchy goes mostly unsaid.  Characters flow in and out of Dutch’s graces.  Arthur starts somewhere near the top.

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Arthur Morgan, RDR2’s troubled protagonist

Immediately, I realize how loyal Arthur is to Dutch and the gang.  He says little.  He rarely hesitates.  He does ask questions though, and it’s here where RDR2’s conflict is set in motion.  All’s not right with the Van der Linde gang, and Dutch’s credibility is already being called into question.

The player’s first task as Arthur is to find food. That’s all.  Not shoot up a saloon.  Not rob a bank.  Just find food.  How quaint for a developer like Rockstar Games, whose pedigree has largely been defined bythe Grand Theft Auto franchise.  This is not a loud and proud opening.  This is cinematic but reserved and self-contained.

Early on, I’ve already discovered what this game is about. This is about people.  This is about struggle, natural and man-made. This is about a man with a vision, Dutch, and his followers as they seek to keep up with him.  This is about one follower in particular, Arthur—loyal to the vision yet a cut above the others.

It’s a slow opening for sure, something that you would sooner see in a book or a 5-season Netflix series.  The freedom of the open world doesn’t really become “open” for the first few hours, and for some, that’s just too long for a video game.  I had one friend who quit the game just an hour in—because he said it was so slow.

And I guess that’s fine.  Games are games for a reason.  They’re meant to be played and interacted with.

But as a writer, I’m inspired by games like RDR2—ones that take their time, develop their characters, and weave an engaging story.