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"Harlem Treasures: Reimagined Renaissance"
Jackson Jones

Currently a sophomore and Education major at HT, Jackson Jones already aspired to becoming a published poet before the "Harlem Renaissance Meets Huston-Tillotson University" project was announced. He was eager to practice his craft by using multiple literary devices, styles, and writing techniques in developing his poetry cycle "Harlem Treasures: Reimagined Renaissance", and was inspired in part by the work of Countee Cullen, a star poet of the Harlem Renaissance who published his first collection, Color, while still a college student himself.

Beginning with ambitious goals to write up to a hundred poems in the time allotted, Jackson ultimately rescoped his project three times, going from "too much" to "manageable" in order to prioritize his best work and balance the quality of his work across each section. He sought out context and feedback from readers as he developed the themes, and developed not only a better sense of how to plan a poetry series, but also of how to solicit and receive feedback on his work.

Jackson's hard work and creativity has paid off with a cycle of 24 memorable poems in eight themed sections. He has also gained a greater willingness to write self-reflective poetry that shows the reader personal experiences and vulnerability, progressing towards his goals of becoming a published poet.

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