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    Christella Almonacy

    Christella Almonacy is a 24-year-old college student studying Early Childhood Education, Birth through Kindergarten. With her degree, she intends to become an Infant/Toddler specialist; work with young children in need of early intervention, and help young children with developmental delays. She writes poetry, plays, short stories, novels, and children’s books and developed a love for writing in the 4th grade with a class poetry anthology assignment. Her intentions in her writing are to increase the number of strong, Black characters and writers within the literary world. Her work in this issue, Timeless Vengeance with roots in African and African Diaspora mythology, is the Libyan retelling of the story of Medusa and Perseus. It tells of their battle that stretches across time. Medusa, known in the country of Libya as Anatha, is a wise woman and a healer; she is part of the Triple Moon Goddess which consist of Metis, Athena, and Medusa. Perseus is a Greek explorer sent by the jealous Athena to slay Medusa. Medusa escapes her first battle with Perseus, but encounters men like him throughout history before coming in contact with his reincarnated self in the year 2018. Christella shares, “With my writing, I hope to open up a world of wonder to young children and young adults. I want all my writing to be from the point of view of relatable and empowering Black people that my readers can emulate. My greatest goal is to create characters that remind Black readers of their importance and worth in this world.” Through her writing, she wants to give voice to the ideas and experiences of the Black community.

    Dionna Vereen

    Dionna Vereen (aka Dionna V) of African-American/Asian-American decent represents a level of being and cultural authenticity, which is grounded in being a proud and determined young woman. A pursuer of pLaY, authenticity, and connection, as well as by her enthusiastic self-description she is “Feverishly in love with language…her poetic adventures…investigate the intrinsic physicality and musicality in language and explores the world [where] she/the page with an inquisitive and curious eye.” A senior at Syracuse University, Ms. Vereen is a classically & contemporary trained actor & vocalist; creator of the South Jersey holistic forest festival SunGround; vice president and a founder of Syracuse University’s Linguistics Club, and “just generally fascinated by the concept of existence.” She has read as part of the 2019 Just Poets Reading Series, Nox Cocktail Lounge, Rochester, NY; the annual Art in the Age of Trump, 2018 convened at ArtRage Gallery in Syracuse, NY; Love and Relationsh*t at Wildflowers Armory, Syracuse, NY, as well as at numerous open mics showcased in New York, New Jersey and London, England. Dionna was a selected vocalist at Syracuse University’s annual Songwriters Showcase, and hosted SU’s annual Rep Where You’re From Spoken Word event in the fall 2018. In October 2018, she released a poetry album titled, Curiously Sensual: Words for the Physical & Mental Body. And that recording is available on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, etc.

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