Thanks to a gracious invitation from the UAB Creative Writing faculty (headed by the inimitable Kerry Madden), a group of ASFA-CW students ventured over to Southside to hear children’s author Linda Sue Park read and answer audience questions this week. She had lots of great, practical writing advice, such as: when in doubt, start a draft in third person POV because it’s more flexible, especially with genres that require a lot of exposition (fantasy, historical, sci-fi…). You can always go back in another draft and shift POV to see if that does something interesting to the narrative. Also: the Pomodoro Technique! Thanks to Linda Sue, Kerry, and UAB for availing us of the opportunity…
Around this time every year, things get kinda hectic at ASFA-CW. Readings, applications, interviews, outreach visits, senior theses, college acceptances, classes (of course)…and more! It’s a special place to be, where opportunities and challenges abound, and we wouldn’t have it any other way! In keeping with that attitude, here’s Linda Sue Park’s TED talk, “Can a Children’s Book Change the World?” Her answer? [SPOILER ALERT!] No — but the kids who read them can. (Can a CW department change the world? No — but the students who navigate its steady stream of opportunities and challenges certainly can!)
ASFA-CW students get to avail themselves of the rich cultural scene in the Birmingham city center — museums, parks, historic landmarks, coffee shops. This year, that’s even more true as we have been traveling to Southside to take in the UAB Writers’ Series — most recently to hear Matt Miller read from his excellent latest collection of poems, The Wounded for the Water. Many thanks to Kerry Madden-Lunsford, the Director of UAB’s Creative Writing program (and an ASFA-CW parent-alum!) and all the CW faculty at UAB for the great opportunity!
We’re always excited to share what we do and why we do it, so Open House is always fun times for us. Here are a few links to check out if you’re interested in ASFA-CW:
- “How to Do What You Love” by Paul Graham
- The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything by Sir Ken Robinson
Nuts + Bolts (Poetry + Fiction)
- Poetry 180 | Academy of American Poets | Poetry Foundation
- Jhumpa Lahiri: Interview | Short Story (“The Boundary” via The New Yorker)
Selected Resources for Young Writers
- New Pages Young Writers Guide
- YoungArts Foundation| Scholastic Art & Writing Awards
- Summer Programs: Ada Long | Iowa | Sewanee | Kelly Writers House | Adroit
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: Continue reading
All schools are their own little galaxies — with their own sets of stressors and opportunities, triumphs and challenges, values and traditions — and, as such, they can sometimes feel like self-contained centers of the universe. Within each school community, the poets tend to find their niche on the fringes; their orbits tend to be elliptical to their school-galaxy’s epicenter.
That’s why programs like Poetry Out Loud are so great: they’re intergalactic. All those elliptical young poets come together from far and wide to compete — but, more important, to meet — with each other. In the process, they get to form their own epicenter for a little while, smack-dab in the middle of the parallel universe of poetry.
One such epicenter formed yesterday at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival in Montgomery, where the Alabama State Council on the Arts and the Alabama Alliance for Arts Education partnered to present this year’s state finals of the Poetry Out Loud competition. In the morning round, ASFA-CW’s Ashley Tate joined fourteen other talented poets in the Alabama Original Poetry Recitation category, then later in the afternoon, eleven other equally talented students competed in the main event — the National Poetry Out Loud category, in which students recite poems by poets as diverse as Philip Larkin, Nick Flynn, Kazim Ali, and Margaret Walker. The parallel universe of poetry was well-served, and we were glad to be a small part of it. Thanks to all the sponsors, teachers, and most of all the young poets who made it happen.