Senior Spotlight: Sonia Charales

Written by Roshni Khosla, Writer & Social Media Coordinator

Sonia Charales
Photo is courtesy of Sonia Charales

Senior Sonia Charales published her 20th piece of art and literature this month! Charales is the Editor-in-Chief of Austin College’s Suspension Literary Magazine, where her first piece was published in the 2018-19 edition. Being published in Suspension gave Charales confidence and pride in her work which inspired her to submit more of her work to Suspension each year. 

Charales branched out to other literary magazines when she saw that  herAustin College alumni peers had their work published in them over the summer of 2020. “I thought, I want to do that, too! I haven’t graduated, but I can still do this,” she said. Soon, she began submitting to the literary magazine “Antonym.” After talking to the Editor-in-Chief of Antonym about what it is like to hold that title, Charales joined the Antonym team. 

Joining Antonym further motivated Charales to find other homes for her work including literary magazines based in India and run by Indian women. Charales said contributing to these kinds of lit mags allows her  to “reconnect with [her] roots.” 

The Suspension Literary Magazine is an inclusive space on campus, and when asked how she facilitated inclusivity within the organization, Charales recalled a conversation she had with Dr. Lisa Brown. She was told that diversity is not just one person, but a “plurality of multiple people from different backgrounds coming together.” In her time at Suspension, Charales has noticed quite a bit of involvement from women of color and the publishing of pieces in languages other than English. “It’s really cool looking back at Suspension ten years ago and seeing translations of Korean poetry,” Charales said. 

Suspension is promoted as a diverse and inclusive space for all kinds of people as well as all kinds of work. Charales believes it is important to experience a diversity of literature and art from diverse creators because learning about other people’s stories is important in understanding them. “You never know what will connect with you,” Charales said. “I know there are plenty of people different from me in their background and experiences they have gone through, but their stories resonate with me. Even if I can’t relate to it, I think it is beautiful and bold how people are willing to share their vulnerabilities with others. I think that’s really beautiful.”
You can find Charales’ work in the past few Suspension editions and in Maw: Poetry Magazine. You can also watch her perform at Raise Your Voice hosted by Suspension and Alpha Psi Omega at 5:30 on November 5th in the blackbox theatre.

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