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Jackson Lewis

About the Author

jackson LewisJackson Lewis, 21, was born in Sherman, Texas and currently resides in Decatur, Illinois. He is a junior at Millikin University majoring in Creative Writing with a minor in Theatre. Jackson has been writing tanka since his freshmen year, thanks to a Tanka Roundtable course hosted by Dr. Randy Brooks and Dr. Carmella Branige. Hd has been writing tanka ever since.

Winter Hearts is a collection of tanka from Jackson's freshmen year through summer of 2011. He has been published in a variety of journals including Millikin University's literary journal, Collage, and national journals Lynx, and Atlas Poetica: A Journal of Poetry of Place in Contemporary Tanka.

"Jackson is the kind of student some teachers wait a lifetime to meet," says Dr. Carmella Braniger, director of university studies and associate professor of English. "Not only am I lucky to have had Jackson in class, but we've also published collaborative poetry sequences together and co-presented at professional conferences. Students like Jackson inspire and motivate faculty to perform at their best. Dutiful, sharp, responsible, creative, respectful and sincere, Jackson authentically performs his learning wherever he goes. Actively shaping his academic experiences in pursuit of knowledge, Jack- son embodies the essence of Millikin's brand — 'THRIVE.'"

Profile from the Millikin University Alumni Quarterly

Hometown: Plano, Texas Major: Creative writing with a theatre minor Graduation date: May 2013

What's next after Millikin?

I hope to edit and write for The Record, the quarterly magazine pub lished by the Sigma Alpha Epsilon Foundation, while writing plays and acting on the side.

What has your experience with Millikin Quarterly been like?

This is my first semester working with the Quarterly. I have learned so much about writing features, profiles and news spots. I have also come to appreciate the great effect this university has on the lives of its students. I have interviewed several alumni about their accomplishments since graduating, and they all tell me they would not be where they are today if it had not been for Millikin.

What other writing opportunities have you had at Millikin?

Last year, I co-wrote Millikin's first live episodic series, "Cheated," with fellow students Kaylie Honkala and Ryan Kragie. I have also had some of my tanka, a form of short Japanese poetry, published in the journal, Atlas Poetica, in a collaborative collection with fellow student Joseph Bein; Dr. Carmella Brani- ger, associate professor of English; and Dr. Randy Brooks, professor of English. My tanka have also been featured in Collage, Millikin's student-run literary journal. Finally, Bronze Man Books is publishing a chapbook of poetry I have written, Winter Hearts"

What have you taken from your time with Sigma Alpha Epsilon?

I had no intention of joining a fraternity, but I'm very grateful I did. I have made great friends, and it has afforded me many opportunities. SAE has taught me that there is nothing one cannot accomplish with the support and guidance of true friends, and what you gain from an organization or university all depends on what you give, so give your best and you will similarly profit.

Student activities:
     • Intern for Millikin Quarterly magazine; duties include preparing student profiles for this report
     • New member educator and past secretary for Sigma Alpha Epsilon
     • Managing editor for Collage Literary Journal

Honors and awards:

     • New Member Scholar award from Sigma Alpha Epsilon
     • Order of Omega, Greek honors society
     • Sigma Tau Delta, English honors society
     • Dean's list
     • Attended 2010 Allerton Articulation Conference and 76th Annual John O. Moseley Leadership School

Community service:
     • Head Start children's tutoring program
     • Children's Miracle Network volunteer

Book by Jackson Lewis

Winter Hearts, by Jackson Lewis, illustrated by Monica Smith. (Decatur, IL.): Bronze Man Books, 2012, 40 pages, 4 x 6, hand-sewn addle-stitch binding. ISBN 978-0-9819591-4-6. $12.00 and $2.50 postage from the publisher at <> or by mail from: Bronze Man Books, Millikin University, 1184 W. Main, Decatur, IL 62522.

Sample Tanka Poems

on dad's porch
deep in darkness
a black grackle
laughs at me


                                     headlights on
                                     in the parking lot
                                     father and son
                                     try to bridge
                                     the gap


she mentions
her boyfriend —
how lonely
I've become


                                     haunted by a kiss
                                     that will never be
                                     I struggle to speak
                                     of home efficiency
                                     in the summertime


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