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.:Seeds:. Literary Arts Journal of NEIU Winter Launch Event

By Shantez M. Tolbut - Staff Writer
On November 22, 2011

On Nov. 11, .:Seeds:. Literary Arts Journal had its first annual Winter Launch in Golden Eagles. Special guests included Dr. Tony Adams from the Communication, Media and Theatre (CMT) department, Eric Von Alroth, artist and a recent alumnus and Avery R. Young, a local artist, poet, educator and activist.

.:Seeds:. Literary Arts Journal was founded in fall 2010 by Janean Watkins and gives writers and artists a chance to publish their work. Lakeesha Harris, editor in chief of and co-founder, further shares the vision of the journal, "I would like to bring more noted speakers that will engage people and make a name for .:Seeds:. in and out of the university. [I would like to] broaden [the journal] to a larger literary community similar to The Orchard Review at SIUC."

This year marked the journal's first Winter Launch. The launch began with speaker Eric Von Alroth, a gallery owner and a metal-smith. His advice to fellow artists was, "As an artist, you are an observer and must reflect to the world and society [around you]." In between each speaker's presentation, awards were given to different to the staff of and contributors to the journal. The next speaker was Dr. Tony Adams who read and lectured from his book entitled "Narrating the Closet: An Autoethnography of Same-Sex Attraction". He explained the issues with coming out in the gay community.

Being a trailblazer in the field of ethnography and autoethnography, Adams stated, "Autoethnography is the mixture of academic writing and the personal. It makes your stories and experiences matter. Whether it's music, poetry, storytelling or theater, it brings together the different forms and it is more attainable…very similar to .:Seeds:."

The last speaker was Avery R. Young, who shared some of his experiences in being a poet, becoming a brand and teaching poetry as an art form to his students. Preceding his presentation, he delivered two dynamic poems in his own signature style called "Sunday Morning Jukebox". When asked about how he feels about literary outlets such as .:Seeds:. he quickly made his own unique observation, "I always find it interesting how text and visual art is combined in journal form; what visual narrative [really] is. We get reality from journals like .:Seeds:."

The night ended on a good note with all of the artists whose pieces were chosen for the journal received awards. Next semester, .:Seeds:. will be taking submissions for the spring issue, but this time with the theme "Down South". For more information, contact .:Seeds:. at

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