Ala. Writers' Forum: Literary News September 2010
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Sena Jeter Naslund (photo by José Betancourt)
The Alabama Writers' Forum and the Troy University Montgomery Campus Department of English invite you to An Evening with Sena Jeter Naslund, celebrating the launch of her new novel Adam & Eve. Naslund will read from her book, answer questions, and sign copies afterwards.
The event will take place on Wednesday, September 29, 7-9 p.m. on the Troy University Montgomery Campus in the Gold Room at Whitley Hall.
The 2001 recipient of the Harper Lee Award for Alabama's Distinguished Writer of the Year, Naslund is the author of five novels, Abundance: A Novel of Marie Antoinette; Four Spirits; Ahab's Wife: Or, the Star-Gazer; Sherlock in Love; and The Animal Way to Love. Her two short story collections include The Disobedience of Water and Ice Skating at the North Pole.
Capitol Book and News will donate a portion of book sales to the Forum's High School Literary Arts Awards and Scholarship Competition. If you are unable to attend the event, the bookstore will to take pre-orders for signed books and mail these to you for a modest shipping fee. Call the shop at 334-265-1473 or e-mail capitolbook@... to reserve your copy.
An Evening with Sena Jeter Naslund is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Nancy Hutcheson at the Forum at 334-265-7728 or toll free at 1-866-901-1117 or e-mail writersforum@....
Six elementary school teachers were awarded the 2010 Jenice Riley Memorial Scholarships at the Alabama Humanities Foundation's annual fall luncheon on September 13. The scholarship supports their professional development and classroom enhancements in history and civics. Generously funded by Edgar and Louise Welden of Birmingham, the scholarships honor the memory of Jenice Riley, the late daughter of Gov. Bob Riley and his wife, Patsy. Jenice Riley's dedicated passion for teaching and devotion to community helped ensure a quality education for our state's youth.
This year's recipients include Takisha Durm, a sixth-grade teacher at PACE Alternative Education in Huntsville; Cheryl Evans Hall, a third-grade teacher at Lacey's Spring School; Diane Henderson, a fourth-grade teacher at East Lawrence Middle School in Trinity; Mary Elizabeth Lee, a sixth-grade teacher at New Market Elementary School; Gerri McDonald, gifted programs at Perdido Elementary/Middle School; and Beverly Robinson, a fourth-grade teacher at Crossville Elementary School.
These six recipients were chosen from a pool of applicants based on their proposed spending of the scholarship money to improve their teaching abilities and to create a more effective classroom environment.
The luncheon also honored Edgar Welden as the 2010 Alabama Humanities Award recipient, the Robert R. Meyer Foundation, and a special recognition of The Rev. Fred Lee Shuttlesworth. Author and chief legal correspondent for CBS News Jan Crawford delivered the keynote address.
On October 8-9, readers and writers will come together for the first annual Auburn Writers Conference: The Child on the Page.
Focusing on writing for and about children-but valuable for writers in any genre-The Child on the Page will feature small-group workshops, panel discussions, and readings with keynote speaker Julianna Baggott, agent Holly Root, and award-winning authors Peter Campion, Elizabeth Dulemba, Rachel Hawkins, Peter Huggins, Irene Latham, Emma Bolden, and Judy Troy. The Auburn Writers Conference offers instruction, practice, perspective, and community for both established and emerging writers. CEUs will be offered for teachers.
The Alabama Alliance for Arts Education (AAAE) will host "Making It Happen," the third statewide Arts Education Summit, October 6-8 at the Hotel Capstone in Tuscaloosa. This fall, the conference will focus on "Making It Happen" by supporting stakeholders in their efforts to implement quality arts education.
Some sessions are designed to enhance arts instruction, arts integration, inquiry-based learning, and reflective questioning. Other sessions will support community collaborations through the introduction of model programs, an introduction to the Kennedy Center Community Audit, a showcase for the University of Alabama Creative Campus programs, teaching artist showcases, and school poster presentations. An advocacy day will also be planned by the newly formed Alabama Arts Education Leadership Team.
Keynote speakers include Tim Tyson, Tommy Bice, and Hank Lazer.
Marlin Barton (photo by Rhonda Goff Barton)
"Into Silence," a short story by Marlin Barton, has been selected for publication in Best American Short Stories for 2010. Guest edited by Pulitzer Prize winner Richard Russo, the anthology will be published on September 28. Barton's story first appeared in The Sewanee Review.
"It was a real thrill when I found out my story had been chosen for Best American Short Stories," said Barton. "This is the kind of honor short story writers live for."
Barton is the author of two volumes of short stories, The Dry Well and Dancing by the River, and the novel A Broken Thing. His new novel, The Cross Garden, is forthcoming. At the Forum, Barton serves as assistant director for Writing Our Stories and is a master teacher for the program at the Alabama Department of Youth Services Mt. Meigs Campus.
The Birmingham Public Library (BPL) is hosting a monthly poetry slam starting October 1 at the Central Library. Held on the first Friday of each month, slams will be emceed by poetry slam events director Brian "Voice Porter" Hawkins. Each contestant contributes $5 to the pot, and the winner takes all. Southern Fried Slam rules will be observed. A vendor with a liquor license will provide free beer for sampling. Slam participants must be eighteen years or older. IDs will be checked. Live music begins at 6 p.m. Call time is 6:30.
Hawkins (AKA Brian Porter) is a full-time performance artist and poetry slam events director. He has hosted On Stage at the Carver at the Carver Theater, one of the longest running poetry open mics in Birmingham. He has also hosted numerous additional events of this nature and performed his own work across the country.
The library is also working with DISCO (Desert Island Supply Company) and Real Life Poets to offer four workshops for high school students grades 9-12 who are into slam poetry. These free-standing sessions will be held October 2-January 8 at the Central Library and are free of charge. Interested students may attend one or all of the workshops as each will vary in focus. Space is limited for each session, and prior registration is required. Students should e-mail Haruyo Miyagawa at hm@... or phone 205-226-3670 to reserve a spot.
Shelby Jaco (photo by Glenn Baeske/The Huntsville Times)
Shelby Jaco of Mountain Gap was one of twelve student writers nationwide to be selected for the Mark Twain Young Authors Workshop, according to a feature by Pat Ammons Newcomb, published in The Huntsville Times. Jaco is an eighth-grader at Mountain Gap Middle School.
Jaco told the Times that the workshop taught her to "not to let anyone negatively influence your writing. Mark Twain wrote about what he wanted. He drew his writing from seeing what's around him."
Hosted by Stetson University, the workshop annually invites twelve students in grades 5-8 to attend the weeklong seminar in Hannibal, Mo., Twain's childhood home.
The Alabama State Council on the Arts (ASCA) has called for nominations for its 2011 Arts Awards Program. Nominations may include professional artists, businesspersons, arts volunteers, arts patrons, arts administrators, legislators, arts educators, and others noted for promoting the arts in Alabama. The basic criteria reflect the level of achievement in and/or support for the arts in the State of Alabama.
The awards will be presented during a special gala event to be held at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival on Tuesday, May 17, 2011. Submission deadline is 5 p.m. on November 1, 2010.
The honors include the Jonnie Dee Riley Little Lifetime Achievement Award for one who has devoted a lifetime of energy, service, and contributions to the arts in Alabama; the Distinguished Artist Award for a professional artist who is considered a native or adopted son/daughter of Alabama and has earned significant national acclaim for his or her art over an extended period; the Governor's Arts Award for individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the arts in Alabama; the Alabama Folk Heritage Award for master folk artists who have made outstanding, long-term contributions to their particular artistic tradition; and the Special Council Award, presented by the Council on occasions where special recognition not falling within the other categories is warranted.
Both Sena Jeter Naslund and Tom Franklin have new novels. Michael Knight and K.T. Archer, too. Also included are reviews of poetry by Jeffrey Side and Jake Berry and by P.T. Paul. September 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.
The Fall 2010 issue of First Draft is in production. This issue features Don Noble's take on the 50th anniversary of To Kill a Mockingbird, Sean Hill's look at electronic broadsides, and Tony Crunk's musings on Writing Our Stories after two years as a teaching writer in the program.
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 to renew your membership when the time comes so you won't miss a single issue.
Lashea M. Johnson at the Limestone Dust Poetry Festival, Sept. 25, Huntsville-Madison Public Library
Sept 20, 6 pm, UA Honors College Speaker Series: Joan McBreen, 208 Gordon Palmer Hall, UA Campus
Sept 21, 11 am, Joan McBreen reading, Birmingham-Southern College
Sept 22, 3:30 pm, Joan McBreen reading, University of Montevallo
Sept 22-24, Escape to Create, Rosemary Beach (Fla.) Town Hall
Sept 23, 6-8 pm