Poets Jacqueline Trimble and Jerriod Avant Bring #NationalPoetryMonth to Princeton Elementary

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It was a great day to be a poet at Princeton Elementary in Birmingham today! Poets Jacqueline Allen Trimble and A. H. Jerriod Avant visited the Princeton fifth graders to help them celebrate National Poetry Month and, more importantly, to help them hear the music of their everyday lives and put it into words. Thanks to Ms. Clancy and Ms. Mack and to the entire school community at Princeton for their time, their energy, and for their support!

ASFA-CW Opens National Poetry Month with a Three-for-Thursday Poetry Extravaganza!

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

Young Poets Unite: Poetry Out Loud in Alabama!

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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.

Slideshow: Author Sheree Renee Thomas Inspires ASFA-CW to Turn Off the Editor and Tune In to the Creative Spirit

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This past Friday, as a part of the Ron Casey Visiting Writers’ series at ASFA-CW, we were graced by the presence of Sheree Renee Thomas, who read from her latest multi-genre collection, Sleeping Under the Tree of Life, and then inspired us all with a set of feeling/thinking/writing exercises that encouraged us to shed our preconceived notions of what (and how) we’re “supposed” to write. Below the break, check out a few examples what we were able to create: Continue reading

Writers on the Mic: Sheree Renée Thomas, Jenny Sadre-Orafai, and Robert Collins in the Magic City — This Thursday (7 PM) @discobirmingham!

We’re pleased to again join forces with the Nitty Gritty Magic City Reading Series and the Desert Island Supply Company (with an able culinary assist from the good folks at Church Street) to host “Writers on the Mic” this month. Here’s the deets:

  • Who: Sheree Renée Thomas | Jenny Sadre-Orafai | Robert Collins [Scroll down below the break for more about these fine writers, including bio material and related links…]
  • What: Poetry! Fiction (speculative and otherwise)! Hybridity! Books! (And music and food and drink, oh my!)
  • When: Thursday – Feb 8 |Doors – 7 pm | Show starts at 7:30 pm
  • Where: DISCO | 5500 1st Ave N, Birmingham, AL 35212
  • Why: Because art saves the world. Every time. But don’t take our word for it: just ask the Alabama State Council on the Arts and the Alabama Humanities Foundation, who have generously supported this program for precisely that reason.

Continue reading

ASFA-CW Is Large, We Contain Multitudes: Student Readings, Visiting Writers, Statewide Contests!

IMG_20171109_113435[1]Hello to the ASFA-CW Extended Support Network – Happy 2018! If it’s January, we must be plugging some events: student readings, visiting authors, and statewide contests, o my!

January

  • Wed 1/24 – Elijah Thompson, Allison Sharp, Lauryn-Elizabeth Dewberry, Daniel Blokh
  • Wed 1/31 – Anna Butcher, Annabelle Blomeley, Kameron Helms, Shelby Nesbitt

February

  • Fri 2/9 – SENIOR READING #1: Scarlett Connolly & Blanca Tallaj (7 PM)
  • Wed 2/14 – Tyler Dalzell, Sebastian Anderson, Hugh Fournier, Tess Moore
  • Wed 2/21 – 9-10th Grade Student Reading (Readers TBA)

As per usual, Wednesday afternoon student readings start at 3:30 PM; all readings are held in the Lecture Hall and open to the ASFA community (students, parents, teachers, and their guests). Here’s a link to the full semester schedule, for those of you keeping score at home…

Also: won’t you help us plug our writing contests for young writers throughout Alabama?! The deadline for submissions is just about one month away. {{Cash prizes!}} Link to our submission guidelines on your respective Instaweb feed(s) etc:

Thanks!
TJB

PS…Speaking of thanks: thanks to some generous grants from the Alabama State Council on the Arts and the Alabama Humanities Foundation (and to the tireless efforts of the ASFA Foundation team), fiction writer Sheree Renee Thomas will be in town on Feb 8-9, reading at DISCO on Thurs 2/8 @ 7 PM and visiting ASFA-CW the following day. You’re all encouraged/welcome to join us for both events, and we’d be much obliged if you’d help us spread the word about the DISCO reading, as well, which is free and open to the public!