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A Note from the Editorial Staff

One Twenty-One is BACK and we are so thrilled to bring you ISSUE THREE!

This year, we saw a lot of amazing poetry, fiction and even some screenwriting in our inbox. It has been our honor to see the talent and developing artistry of our fellow VSU writers! Our small student staff met weekly throughout the fall to discuss each and every submission, and we worked closely with authors throughout the spring semester to edit and proofread, bringing you what we think might be our best issue yet!

The 2023-2024 academic year saw the return of the Ekphrasis in reVerse Poetry and Art Contest, established in 2017 as a collaboration between the the Department of Languages and Literature, the Department of Art & Design, and Sigma Tau Delta. Ekphrasis is a style of poetry that aims to describe a work of visual art in a way that deepens the experience of both poem and image. The Ekphrasis in reVerse Poetry and Art Contest flips this idea. This fall, we asked VSU students from all disciplines to submit their best original poetry. Submissions were reviewed anonymously by the One Twenty-One student staff, and ten poems were selected and sent to the Department of Art & Design. The ten winning poems will be re-imagined into visual art by VSU’s student artists. Stay tuned for the artwork, forthcoming in a future issue!

In November, we hosted a successful Open Mic event to close out the fall semester, convening in the Trojan Corner for pizza, sodas and other refreshments while listening as our classmates and professors told stories, read poetry, and spoke truths. There were prizes and stacks of free books to peruse and take home, including a few copies of Razorblade Tears by S.A. Cosby, this year's Lena M. Whitt Endowed Lecturer!

This spring, our student staff and poetry contest winners were celebrated at the Department of Languages and Literatures Honors Dinner, held on April 11th, 2024, and all ten poems are also featured here, in Issue Three of One Twenty-One. We'd like to take a moment to recognize our 2023 Ekphrasis in reVerse Poetry contest winners here:

“Untitled,” by Joshua Branch-Howell

“In a Cemetery,” by Mystique Meredith

“There is More to It…” by Janae Spates

“I Woke Up Today,” by Morgan L. Jones

“No Vacancy,” by Shamia Thompson

“Connection,” by N’yasha Jones-Holloway

“He’s Eleanor’s Weapon, Not Her Son,” by Brandon X. Givens

“Grab my Thighs,” by Yana Harrison

“I’m a Mess,” by Janise Johnson

“Makes Me Proud,” by Janise Johnson

We'd like to extend a huge thanks to everyone who submitted their poems to the contest, and a huge CONGRATULATIONS to the authors of the ten winning poems!

Our staff would also like to thank Ahn Do, Dr. Leah Thomas, Dr. William Hobbs, Dr. Gabrielle Pina, Dr. Latorial Faison, Dr. Merry Byrd, Dr. Michael McClure, the Department of Languages & Literature, and the Department of Art & Design for their continued support.

We hope you enjoy Issue Three of One Twenty-One!

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