We’re looking forward to having poet Abraham Smith at ASFA this morning. He’ll be giving a reading in the ASFA Lecture Hall starting at 11 a.m. (please note: this is a time change; it was originally scheduled for 1:45 p.m.), then he’ll conduct a prosody master class for our students. Here’s a link to his page on the Academy of American Poets website, and here’s a good profile of him and his work at the Chautauquan Daily.
Three ASFA-CW students — Myra Grizzard, Egg McClure, and Kenzie Price — competed in the Region III Poetry Out Loud competition in Tuscaloosa today. In what Tuscaloosa County Arts Council Education Director Sharron Rudowski described as the strongest field of competitors ever to participate in the Region III competition, Egg and Myra advanced to the state competition to be held in Montgomery next February. Egg won first place in the anthology (recitation) category and third place in the original poetry category, while Myra was chosen as one of five competitors to advance in the original category. Congrats to all the competitors on representing their schools — and poetry — so admirably!
We’re pleased to welcome poet and performer Jahman Hill to ASFA-CW for a “mini-residency” in October. On Oct 14, he’ll perform his acclaimed one-man show, “Black Enough,” for our students in the ASFA Lecture Hall. Then on the two following Mondays (Oct 21 + Oct 28), he’ll conduct master classes for our students in writing poetry for performance. We can’t wait to see what the students create under the tutelage of an artist and educator as multi-talented as Jahman!
In conjunction with the Princeton students’ Black History Program later in the day, ASFA-CW students spend their most recent Princeton workshop session sharing some Langston Hughes poems — “I, Too” and “Theme for English B” — and talking a little bit about the Harlem Renaissance. We then wrote poems modeled after Hughes’s poems, which made reference to popular culture and music of his day while commenting on the political and cultural climate surrounding him. Continue reading
For posterity (and/or if you weren’t lucky enough to be in attendance for last week’s “My Favorite Poem” event at ASFA), here’s a list of our readers and the poems/poets they favored — with links! Thanks so much to all the participants…
Anna Butcher (Hoover) | ASFA-CW Senior
- “Forest Fires” by Sarah Kay (see above)
Ben Allen (Vestavia) | Pharmacist
Beverly Radford (Cook Springs) | Retired Educator
- “Allison Beals and Her 25 Eels” + “Falling Up” by Shel Silverstein
Andrew Brown (Vestavia) | Actor/Comedian
Lauren-Elizabeth Dewberry (Pell City) | ASFA-CW Senior
Judy Jones (Highland Park) | Retired Banker
Brielle Morrow (Montgomery) | BTW-CW Senior
Linda Williams (Fairfield) | Banker
Murray Vella (Homewood) | Nanny
J.D. Peppers (Crestwood) | Stylist
- “There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly” by Melissa Webb
Lee Gaines (Montgomery) | BTW-CW Sophomore
- “What You Should Eat Before Reading the Poem” by Richard Hague
Lisa Oestreich (Downtown Birmingham) | Physician
Jack Royer (Mountain Brook) | News Anchor (CBS 42)
We’re pleased to report that our annual My Favorite Poem event was a smash success. Many thanks to the folks at Reed Books, Birmingham Arts Journal, as well as our ASFA-CW parent group, all of whom worked hard to make it happen. Thanks, too, to our friends and fellow creative laborers from the Booker T Washington Magnet High School in Montgomery, who joined us as well. Thanks to the generosity of the large crowd on hand on Friday night, we’ll be able to send a check for over $650 to the BTW Fame Board, which will be earmarked to help the BTW-CW department recover from the recent fire that decimated the school’s campus.
It’s that time of year again:
ASFA-CW and the Birmingham Arts Journal are teaming up for our fourteenth annual My Favorite Poem community reading on Fri Sep 28 at 7 p.m. in the ASFA Lecture Hall! Here’s a highly shareable link to the Facebook event page:
And this year there’s an important philanthropic twist:
The Booker T Washington magnet school for the arts in Montgomery burned down last month. They lost much of their campus, the library, and a great deal of expensive Visual Arts and Media Arts equipment/supplies. They’ve been displaced to a dormant elementary school, and they’re trying to salvage this school year as they recover/rebuild for the future.
All that’s to say: we’ve invited the BTW-CW students to join us at the MFP event. Eleven students, three parents, and the chair of the CW department (Foster Dickson) will attend; two of their students will join the group of readers, and we’re going to set up a Poem-on-Demand donation table in the lobby during the reception.
All that’s to say: poetry’s always a great cause, but this year we’ve doubled down on great causes. Here’s a link to the BTW Foundation board’s web site for fire-related donations, but the most direct way for folks in the BHM metro to show their support – especially for the BTW writers — is to attend the MFP event at ASFA later this month!
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