Ala. Writers' Forum News August 2010
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2010 State Champion Youssef Biaz (photo by James Kegley)
The Alabama Alliance for Arts Education (AAAE) invites teachers to join the thousands of others who have become inspired, had fun, and discovered surprising success "making poetry matter" for students. Joining the Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest is a great way to teach poetry and help students with written and oral communication skills. The program was designed for teachers to easily implement this "poetry bee" contest in the classroom. The contest awards more than $100,000 in prizes to students and schools at the state and national levels.
Classroom contests and district/regional contests typically happen throughout winter and the state competition is February 28 at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival in Montgomery, culminating in the National Finals in the nation's capitol April 27-29, 2011, at the Lincoln Theatre.
Poetry Out Loud satisfies most of the National Council for Teachers of English Language Arts Standards. In addition to memorizing and performing great poems, students will have the opportunity to discuss poetry and-if the teacher wishes to use the supplemental lesson plans-to write poetry of their own.
Teachers should contact Donna Russell at the Alabama Alliance for Arts Education to officially sign up their schools. Phone 334-269-1435 or e-mail aaae@.... Or contact Diana Green at the Alabama State Council on the Arts, 334-242-4076 Ext. 241 or diana.green@....
Candlewick Press recently announced a donation to the National Park Foundation's National Parks Disaster Recovery Fund in honor of The Secret World of Walter Anderson, written by Hester Bass and illustrated by E.B. Lewis. The book received the 2010 Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) Award in the children's category.
"My gratitude goes out to the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance, the Southern Territory Associates sales representatives, and Candlewick Press for the support they have offered The Secret World of Walter Anderson," says author Hester Bass. "Five years after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, everything Walter Anderson loved so much on the Gulf Coast is threatened anew by the oil spill, and my hope is that the SIBA Book Award...will help focus attention on all that is so worthy of preservation there-the art, culture, environment, wildlife, and lifestyle of the American Gulf Coast."
The Secret World of Walter Anderson is a picture book biography of Walter Anderson, a reclusive artist who was inspired by the natural beauty of Horn Island off the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Candlewick's donation to the National Park Foundation will be used to fund park enhancements, education, and environmental monitoring in the Gulf Islands National Seashore, which includes Horn Island National Wildlife Refuge.
(photo by Holly Robinson Foss)
The West Florida Literary Federation (WFLF), a nonprofit writers' group headquartered in Pensacola, Florida, has launched an online literary magazine devoted exclusively to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. A volunteer staff is accepting prose and poetry composed on and after April 20, day one of the Deepwater Horizon spill. The Federation began the literary magazine The Spill as a "catharsis" according to editor Diane Skelton of Gulf Breeze.
"Several of the members in my writing group were already writing poems and essays as a way to cope with the effects of the disaster," said Skelton. "It just seemed logical to provide a place for writers from the Gulf Coast and around the world to deal with the tragedy."
According to WFLF president Patricia Edmisten, The Spill also provides an opportunity for online readers to learn first-hand the impact of the spill on Gulf Coast residents and the environment while experiencing the emotions of a coastal people in turmoil.
Categories include nonfiction, short fiction, humor, opinion, personal column, one-act plays, works for children, and poetry. Submissions will be accepted for one year after the successful capping of the well. All works must be related to or inspired by the Deepwater Horizon spill and submitted by e-mail at WFLF1@....
This year's Arts Education Summit will take place at the Hotel Capstone in Tuscaloosa, October 6-8 with a focus on Making It Happen. In January 2011 the Merce Cunningham Dance Company plans a legacy tour through Alabama. Cunningham, John Cage, and Robert Rauschenberg were the first improvisational collaborators to create "Happenings" at Black Mountain College beginning in 1930. A "Happening" is an arts event (improvisational, multi-disciplinary, and non-linear) created by both performers and audience. Boundaries disappear and the audience becomes part of the art. Often things are left to chance with no script or plot.
Making It Happen is looking for presenters willing to go out on a limb to offer "Happenings" that will engage us in advocacy for arts education. That advocacy should include excellent teaching in the arts, both sequential and integrated, building awareness in communities through strong partnerships with schools, and building legislation in our government to create policy stating the arts are essential for every student.
Break Out Sessions will be 90 minutes. Making It Happen needs sessions on: 1) How to integrate the arts; 2) How to develop community partnerships; and 3) How to influence policy makers. The summit need sessions on anything that enhances arts education, including technology, assessment, questioning, envisioning, strategic planning, networking, and more. Making It Happen also needs teaching artists to showcase their work.
Proposals should include objective, planned activities or improvisational direction and a creative element that uses lessons learned or discoveries made to culminate your session. You may send narratives or lesson plans. Choose your own format for your "Happening" proposal. Include current contact information.
August book reviews lead with three Harper Lee Award winners--Albert Murray, Sonia Sanchez, and Andrew Hudgins. Also included are reviews of new books by Allen Barra, Philip Beidler, Jennie Helderman, Dennis Sampson, Lee Smith, and more. August again features Books Noted to keep you current on the latest releases from Alabama authors and publishers.
Each month First Draft Reviews Online features reviews of books by Alabama authors, books about our state, and books by local publishers. Each review offers a link to authors, publishers, and reviewers when available. The page also features a searchable archive to benefit readers, students, and scholars.
Reserve your ad space for the Fall 2010 issue of First Draft today and receive a 10% discount. Your reasonably-priced, four-color ad will reach an audience of eager readers interested in your literary endeavors. To receive our current rate sheet, contact managing editor Danny Gamble at gambledanny@... or 205-665-7986.
In the meantime, point your family and friends to eleven years and twenty-nine issues of First Draft online. They will enjoy reading interviews with Harper Lee Award Winners, essays by some of the country's most notable writers, and reviews of books that have become literary treasures.
First Draft mails to AWF members in good standing. Make certain your membership is current so you won't miss a single issue.
Michael Knight, Aug 26, Page & Palette (photo by Jill Spearman Knight)
Aug 19, noon, Architreats: Food For Thought: Karen I. Hendricks, Department of Archives and History, Montgomery
Aug 19, 5-7 pm, Carolyn Haines book event, Main Street Books, Hattiesburg, Miss
Aug 26, noon, Lunch and Learn: Richard Bailey, Bradshaw Public Library, Valley
Aug 26, 5-7 pm, Michael Knight book event, Page & Palette, Fairhope
Sept 1, 6 pm, Library Friends: To Kill a Mockingbird, Spring Hill College, Mobile
Sept 9, 5-7 pm, Carolyn Haines book event, Page & Palette, Fairhope
Sept 14, noon, Lunch at the Library: Clyde Bolton, Demopolis Public Library
Sept 14, noon, Julie Williams book event, Huntsville Rotary Club
Sept 15, noon, Brown Bag Lunch: Mary Ann Neeley, Birmingham Public Library
Sept 16, noon, Architreats: Food For Thought: Ed Williams, Department of Archives and History, Montgomery
Sept 16, 3:30, Ted Dunagan book event, Black Belt Treasures, Camden
Sept 16, 6:30 pm, Rheta Grimsley Johnson book event, Decatur Public Library
Sept 22-24, Escape To Create, Rosemary Beach (Fla.) Town Hall
Sept 23, 6-8 pm, Rheta Grimsley Johnson book event, Page & Palette, Fairhope
Sept 24, 6-8 pm, My Favorite Poem, Alabama School of Fine Arts, Birmingham
Sept 25, noon-5 pm, Limestone Dust Poetry Festival, Huntsville-Madison Public Library
Sept 28, noon, Lunch at the Library: Jaye Murphy, Demopolis Public Library
Sept 28, 6-8 pm, Friends of the Library: Carolyn Haines, Foley Public Library
Sept 29, 7 pm, An Evening with Seter Jeter Naslund, Troy University Montgomery Campus
SAVE THE DATE:
Oct 8-9, The Auburn Writers Conference, Auburn University Hotel & Conference Center
The Scrolling Calendar on the AWF homepage features upcoming in-state readings, conferences, book signings, and more. To publicize your upcoming event, simply click "Submit your event" then complete and submit the form.
The Announcements page features nationwide publication opportunities, contests, conferences, retreats, and other items of interest to the literary community. To list your announcement, simply click the "Announcements" tab and then "Submit your announcement."
Each week on the Alabama Arts Radio Series, staff members of the Alabama State Council on the Arts visit with writers, musicians, visual artists, and other individuals who contribute to our state's rich artistic traditions. Recent interviews include Ted Rosengarten, Rick Bragg, and 2010 Poetry Out Loud state champion and national finalist Youssef Biaz.
Listen Sundays 5-5:30 p.m. on WTSU 89.9 (Montgomery-Troy), WRWA 88.7 (Dothan), and WTJB 91.7 (Columbus-Phenix City). Those farther south may listen Saturdays 2:30-3 p.m. on WHIL 91.3 (Mobile-Biloxi-Pensacola). Broadcasts are also streamed live and archived on the Web.
Did you know that proceeds from the sale of the Alabama Support the Arts license plate help fund the Alabama Writers' Forum? They do. Next time your car tag needs renewal, purchase one of these colorful plates to help support the Forum and other Alabama arts education projects.
Do you have news to spread? Submit your items to the AWF Literary News monthly e-newsletter. It's easy. Simply e-mail: 1) two-five paragraphs in an editable format such as Word or Rich Text Format; 2) a digital graphic such as a photo or logo in JPEG or GIF format with an RGB color palette. (We can not accept CMYK or gray scale files) Please include photo credit; and 3) a Web link to your complete story or Web site. Send your information to gambledanny@... or phone 205-665-7986. Please include your name, e-mail address, and telephone number. Deadline: 20th of each month.
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