Hot off the heels of the stupendously successful inauguration of Ashley Jones‘s Magic City Poetry Festival, ASFA-CW’s Ron Casey Visiting Writers Series looks to keep up the momentum by spotlighting three talented poets who all hang their hats in Alabama: Jacqueline Allen Trimble, Jim Murphy, and Jerriod Avant.
With events slated for Princeton Elementary School, ASFA, and the Desert Island Supply Company — and with the support and sponsorship of our extraordinary partners at the Nitty Gritty Magic City Reading Series, the Alabama State Council on the Arts, and the Alabama Humanities Foundation — we’ll be bringing poetry to the people all day long, this Thursday, April 12!
The DISCO event, featuring Jacqueline and Jerriod, is free and open to the public. Their fine work will be complemented by some stellar refreshments courtesy of Church Street Shop. Doors open at 7 p.m., with the reading to start circa 7:30 p.m.
Here’s some more information about our esteemed visitors:
Jacqueline Allen Trimble lives and writes in Montgomery, Alabama, where she is a professor of English and the chairperson of Languages and Literatures at Alabama State University. Her work has appeared in various online and print venues including The Griot, The Offing, The Louisville Review, and Blue Lake Review. Her poetry collection, American Happiness, published by NewSouth Books, won the Balcones Poetry Prize and was named a poetry finalist and the Best Book of 2016 by the newly launched Seven Sisters Book Awards. The ironically titled book examines America’s refusal to grapple with hard truths, preferring instead the pretense that everyone and everything is just fine. Of the work Honorée Jeffers wrote, “I longed for her kind of poetry, these cut-to-the-flesh poems, this verse that sings the old time religion of difficult truths with new courage and utter sister-beauty,” and Randall Horton noted, “There is a jewel of a poet in the epicenter of Alabama who adeptly revisits the ugly of race, the power and legacy of familial bonds, the joys and beauty of growing up Southern—our complicated humanity.” She is currently the recipient of a 2017 literary arts fellowship from the Alabama State Council on the Arts.
Jim Murphy is a Professor of English at Montevallo University. He holds a BA from the University of Missouri-Columbia, and an MA and PhD from the University of Cincinnati. He’s author of three books of poetry: The Uniform House (Negative Capability, 2014), Heaven Overland (Kennesaw State UP, 2009) and The Memphis Sun (Kent State UP, 2000). His poems have appeared in journals including Brooklyn Review, Cimarron Review, Gulf Coast, Painted Bride Quarterly, Mississippi Review, Puerto del Sol, Southern Poetry Review, The Southern Review, and TriQuarterly. His critical articles have appeared in venues including Modern Fiction Studies, MELUS, and Mississippi Quarterly. He has also translated a chapbook of poems from Spanish, Amazonia, by Colombian American poet Juan Carlos Galeano, a portion of which appeared in Mid-American Review.
Jerriod Avant is from Longtown, Mississippi. A graduate of Jackson State University, Jerriod has earned MFA degrees from Spalding University and New York University, where he was a Writer in the Public Schools Fellow. A graduate of the Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop at Brown University, his poems have appeared in the Mississippi Review, Boston Review, Pinwheel, Louisville Review, The Rumpus, Callaloo and other journals. Jerriod is a poetry and photography editor for Kinfolks: a journal of black expression and co-lead curator for Voluble: a channel of Los Angeles Review of Books. He is the recipient of two Pushcart nominations, a finalist for the 2015 Mississippi Review Prize, recipient of the Joseph F. McCrindle Online Editorial Fellowship from Poets & Writers, a 2015 Vermont Studio Center residency and two fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts. He teaches at the Adele Goodywn McNeel School in Birmingham as part of the Writing Our Stories project, a program for juvenile offenders created by the Alabama Writers’ Forum.