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Toyon Literary Journal Collection


Toyon Literary Journal Collection

Collection Number


Contact Information

The Library, Special Collections
Cal Poly Humboldt
One Harpst Street
Arcata CA 95521

Processed by 

Drew Ahlberg, Sarah Godlin, and Carly Marino 

Date Collection Processed




Collection Creator

Toyon Literary Journal

Dates Covered by Collection 

1969-2023 (date span)
1994-1998  (bulk dates)

Size of Collection

2 boxes


Toyon Multilingual Journal of Literature and Art at Cal Poly Humboldt is a student-run platform for voices in written or spoken word and art. Toyon recognizes diversity across disciplines, cultures, and regional boundaries with an emphasis on inclusivity, intersectionality, and multilingualism. The journal promotes environmental and social justice, both in content and in practice.

This collection contains past Toyon issue layouts, art prints, paperwork, printing press negatives and other miscellaneous Toyon-related pieces. The collection demonstrates the work by students to create the literary journal and exhibits how Toyon was created over the years. 


Open for research by appointment.


Copyright has not been assigned to Cal Poly Humboldt. To obtain permission to publish or reproduce in any format please contact the Special Collections Librarian.

Acquisition Information

The collection was originally donated to Special Collections in 2018 by Professor Janelle Adsit. Materials are added to the collection when the current Toyon staff deem an item or document important enough to include in the archive. Each academic year, the Toyon class designates a “Toyon Archivist” position. This person is  responsible for bringing items to the library for addition to the collection and updating the finding aid. The Toyon Collection is a collection that will expand, and be added to as the publication continues.

Biographical Information

Toyon as a publication was founded in 1954 at Humboldt State College, now Cal Poly Humboldt. It originally only published fiction pieces and poems, but it has grown over the years to include visual art, environmental justice writing, creative nonfiction, literary criticism, and spoken word as its current additional genres. The publication collects publishes work on a local and international level, and has been read in over 80 different countries

In 2017, Toyon began to publish multilingual submissions within their written genres, and while it historically has published work in other languages, the addition of Translation as a genre of focus has helped Toyon expand as a publication. In the past Toyon has had issues that reflect a specific theme, and have dedicated a portion of submissions to pieces surrounding the issue chosen topic, for example, Issue #65 was focused around the theme of Migration and the Movement of People.

Toyon has changed their online presence, to make their issues easier to access on different platforms, They now have an audiobook, e-book, as well as videos and written pieces of their Spoken Word pieces.

As one of their features, Toyon magazine has several different awards that are given to recognized submitters of their respective categories. While they have added, removed, or renamed awards there are still several that are still annually awarded. These current awards are:

  • Jodi Stutz Award in Poetry, 1987.

  • Richard Cortez Day Award in Fiction, 1999. Renamed from Raymond Carver Award in 2012.

  • Barbara Curiel Multilingual Award ​in Translation, Multilingual, or Spanish-Language Writing, 2015.

  • Environmental Studies Program Award ​in Environmental Justice Writing, 2016.

  • English Department Award in Critical Analysis, 2016.

  • Toyon Staff Award in Visual Art, 2016.

  • Fuerza Award in Spoken Word, Audio, and Multimedia, 2017.

  • Redwood Empire Mensa Award in Creative Nonfiction, 2018.

Scope and Content

This collection contains material related to past Toyon Award contests, controversial cover content (1969 issue w/ letter), visual art prints, issue layout designs w/ negatives, and Toyon technical paperwork. The contest ads were created by the student staff members of Toyon to help promote the Raymond Carver short story contest ( later renamed Richard Cortez Day Award), one of many themed awards that Toyon has continued to promote when calling for submissions each year. The layout designs included in the collection display both rough and final drafts of layouts that were created by students on the production team.

Arrangement of Collection 

The collection is arranged by both the size of the contents, theme, and by chronological order in each individual box. The collection is organized by size and content. Box 1 contains art prints, full issues, letters, work forms, and miscellaneous work. Box 2 contains original and negative layouts of past published issues as well as contest advertisements for past Raymond Carver short story contest awards, and newer acquisitions.

Container List

Box 1
  1. Toyon Complete Issue 15, 1969, with acquisition letter, 2017.

  2. Work Request Forms, 1993. 

  3. Misc. Toyon Pages, 1995.

  4. Toyon Visual Art Prints, 1995, 1998.

  5. Printing cost worksheet, 1998.

  6. Issue 52 copy w/errors.

  7. Issue 64 Final Proofs, 2018.

  8. Issue 64 w/o Binding, 2018.

  9. Deed of Gifts, 2018.

  10. Toyon Finding Aid Draft, 2019.

  11. Toyon:A History Draft, 2019.

  12. Toyon Misc. Folder.

Box 2
  1. Issue 41 Layout, 1995.Issue 41 Layout signatures and unbound proof,1995.

  2. Issue 41 Layout Negatives, 1995.

  3. Issue 42 Layouts: Photos & Originals, Fall, 1995.

  4. Raymond Carver Short Story Contest Ads w/ Negatives, 1994-96.

  5. Issue 43 “Digiplate” Layout, cut and uncut digital proof, 1997.

  6. Issue 44 Layout signature paste up, 1998.

  7. Issue 44 Negatives of Layout,1998.

  8. Issue 69 Hall poster and event speaking notes, 2022-2023.

Bibliography & Related Works

Cal Poly Humboldt Archives Pamphlet Collection, “Department- English” (1985-1999)
Jodi Stutz Collection, (1984-1987)
HSU Public Affairs Collection (1930’s-2000’s)
Toyon Literary Journal
Toyon : seven decades of student driven publishing
Toyon Website

Subject Headings

Humboldt State University. Department of English. Periodicals
College students' writings, American -- California -- Arcata -- Periodicals
American literature -- California -- Arcata -- Periodicals
American literature -- 20th century -- Periodicals
American literature -- 21st century -- Periodicals