The Mesa Visions Literary Magazine awards students


From left to right, President Dr. Pamela Luster, Poetry winner, Alauna “Rocket” Rickterson, and Honoree winner, Professor Jennifer Costall posing together after the awards ceremony. Photo Credit: Guadalupe Santillo Salinas

Students from the Honors English 249 class, writers, and staff came together to celebrate and award the writers’ hard work and dedication to their publications on May 10 at the Mesa Campus during The Mesa Visions Literary Magazine’s annual award ceremony.

The show began with complimentary snacks and a slideshow of artwork done by Mesa students. An opening performance called, “Interrupted” got the room excited for the rest of the evening. This short play was written and directed by Taylor Carpenter from the English 249 creative writing class. It involved three students, two of them acting as voicemail recordings while the other “drunkenly” left message after message on her ex-boyfriend’s machine. It was humorous and a little bit sad, and the crowd seemed to enjoy it.

Next, the show moved on to the awards for short fiction. Students Lizeth de la Luz and Miguel Trevino announced the nominees and explained that they were chosen by a committee of seven English 249 students. These students created a rubric with various categories and then scored all of the entries in order to pick the top 4. There were readings by two nominees in this category. The first was Trevor Holombo’s “Grilled Chicken Sandwich.” Despite the name, this piece was surprisingly dark and deep. It involved a paramedic who tries to cope in a world filled with violence and gore and not a whole lot of time for lunch breaks. Holombo joked that he aspires to be a “reasonably” good writer, who writes “acceptable” stories. The next piece read was by Samuel Tallman, called “Glory Days.” This piece was about a high school coach who felt on top of the world until he got a reality check about the means he had to use to bring his team to their victory. This piece was moving and seemed to be very personal.

The winners for the Poetry category were next to be announced. The two top winners for this category shared their poems to the audience. Second place winner, Cindy Flores read her poem, “Where I am From” that illustrates her resilience to grow with her peers in a place where she loves. The first place winner for this category was Alaua “Rocket” Ricketson with her poem, “Eating Matches for Breakfast.”  Ricketson holds this poem close to her heart as she finds it to be very personal. Jennifer Derilo said the poem “ reflects the uncontainable flame she holds inside.”

After having a break to allow the audience to congratulate the winners and enjoy some snacks, the winners of the Special Recognition Awards were presented. These awards went out to Professor Jennifer Cost and Professor John Gregg, who both highly contributed to the creation of the Mesa Visions Literary Magazine for many years.

To close up the night, the show moved on to the winners for Creative Writing. The honorable mention winner, Shujen Walker read an excerpt of her work, “Living Room Teardrop.” The excerpt shared an intimate moment between a family while winding down in their living. The second place winner, Briana Parker, illustrated a daydream for the audience as she shared an excerpt of her work, “Remember to Swing.” The final winner of the night was not able to attend the stage, but President Dr. Pamela Luster presented and read Ky Graham’s work, “The Bathroom Key.” The night couldn’t have ended any better– Graham’s work deeply touched the hearts of the audience. The story was about Graham on her way to a women’s bathroom. She talked to herself and gave herself reminders that she is a woman who is simply using the restroom. With her courage, the bathroom key unlocked.


On behalf of the Mesa Press, congratulations the winners and the Honors English 249 class for a successful awards ceremony.