Newsroom

  • 2014 Alabama Book Festival announces lineup of writers

    Some fifty-five authors will converge in Montgomery’s Old Alabama Town on April 19th for the 9th Annual Alabama Book Festival. During the free, daylong, family-friendly festival authors will read excerpts, answer questions, and be available to sign books. Local independent bookseller Capitol Book & News provides books for the festival at an onsite store in the Grange Hall.

    According to coordinator Gail Waller, the Alabama Book Festival also offers something for aspiring writers this year. “For those wishing to write and publish their own work, festival-goers can sign up in advance for two free, hands-on workshops,” Waller said. Read more

  • On Reading and Writing with Students: A workshop for teachers

    Spend the day in workshop with two outstanding Alabama Book Festival authors on Friday, April 18, 2014, the day before the 9th annual Festival, held in Montgomery’s Old Alabama Town. Alabama teachers in grades 7-12 are invited to join Kelly Norman Ellis and Donald Anderson for an exciting day of writing workshops free of charge. These workshops are designed to introduce teachers to new strategies for integrating creative writing into language arts and English curricula. Teachers have the opportunity to write in both sessions. Read more

  • U.S. Poet Laureate selects two Alabama poets as 2014 Witter Bynner Fellows

    The 19th Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry at the Library of Congress, Natasha Trethewey, has selected poet Honorée Fanonne Jeffers as the recipient of a Witter Bynner Fellowship and has named poetJake Adam York posthumously as a fellow. This is the 17th year that the fellowship has been awarded.

    Trethewey will introduce a program celebrating the fellows at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 26, in the Montpelier Room on the sixth floor of the James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave., S.E., Washington, D.C. 20540. The event is free and open to the public. No tickets are needed. Read more

  • POL announces new State Champion

    On Presidents’ Day, when most of Alabama’s high school students were home taking a well-deserved break from studies and classes, a group of thirty-one highly dedicated students traveled from all over the state with their teachers and supportive family members to the Alabama Shakespeare Festival in Montgomery to participate in the state finals of Poetry Out Loud (POL). Read more

  • Pres. Obama nominates new NEA chairman

    President Barak Obama has nominated Dr. Jane Chu to lead the National Endowment for the Arts NEA). “Jane’s lifelong passion for the arts and her background in philanthropy have made her a powerful advocate for artists and arts education in Kansas City,” said Pres. Obama. Read more

  • Poetry Out Loud State Finals announced

    On Monday, February 17, 2014, students from high schools from all around the State of Alabama will travel to Montgomery to compete in the state finals of the Poetry Out Loud competition at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival. The program begins at 9 a.m. with the Original Poetry Competition and is free and open to the public. Competing students will give moving renditions of poetry from well-known poets and will also perform their original poems. Read more

  • HSLAA 2014 ceremony date set

    The Alabama High School Literary Arts Awards and Scholarship Competition (HSLAA) ceremony will be held on Wednesday, March 12, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. in the Alabama State Capitol in Montgomery. Read more

  • H. Chervis Isom joins Forum’s board of directors

    H. Chervis Isom, senior counsel in Baker Donelson’s Birmingham office, has joined the Alabama Writers’ Forum board of directors. A graduate of the Cumberland School of Law of Samford University (1967) and Birmingham-Southern College (1962), Isom formerly served as Chair of the Real Estate Practice Group.

    “I’m impressed with the mission of the Forum to improve the reading and writing skills of the youth in the care of the Department of Youth Services (DYS) through its Writing Our Stories initiative,” said Isom. “I think this is a timely program and that all the students in the public schools of Alabama could benefit from such a program. That program alone proved to me the importance of the mission of AWF.” Read more

  • Alabama and Illinois students collaborate in poetry, photography exhibit

    Creative writing students from the Department of Youth Services Mt. Meigs Campus recently collaborated with undergraduate photography students at The Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago (AI-Chicago) to produce a poetry and photography exhibit titled Freedom though Creation.

    Twenty-eight large format photographs set with corresponding poems are on view through January 2014 at the Old Supreme Court Library in the Alabama State Capitol in Montgomery. Read more

  • ASCA announces deadline for Fellowships for Individual Alabama Artists and Arts Administrators

    The Alabama State Council on the Arts (ASCA) is now accepting applications for fellowships. Individual artists working in literature, crafts, dance, design, media/photography, music, theatre, and visual arts are eligible to apply. Recipients may use funds to set aside time to create art, improve their skills, or to do what is most advantageous to enhance their artistic careers. Also, arts administrators are eligible to apply for a fellowship to improve their skills and ability to serve their organization and community. Deadline is March 3, 2014. Read more

  • Mark Childress wins Harper Lee Award for 2014

    Monroeville native Mark Childress has been named the recipient of the 2014 Harper Lee Award for Alabama’s Distinguished Writer of the Year. He will receive the award in his hometown during the Awards Luncheon at The Alabama Writers Symposium on April 25, 2014.

    "Mark Childress's career is both an inspiration for writers and a delight for readers,” said Alabama Writers’ Forum President Kirk Curnutt. Read more

  • ASCA awards 99 grants at its December meeting

    The Alabama State Council on the Arts (ASCA) awarded ninety-nine grants totaling $342,695 at its Council meeting in Montgomery on December 6, 2012. This round of grants will support arts in literature, education, folk art, community, performing, and visual arts programs January 1– September 30, 2014. Also included in this round of awards are folklife apprenticeship grants.

    Recipients of literature grants include Alabama Southern Community College for the Alabama Writers Symposium, Auburn University Montgomery for Four Mondays of Poetry, the Birmingham Public Library Foundation for Bards & Brews, the Huntsville Literary Association for its Young Writers Contest, and the University of Alabama English Department for the Slash Pine Writers Festival. Read more

  • ASCA releases economic impact study

    Creative Industries in Alabama: Building a Better Alabama Through the Arts, a recent report released by the Alabama State Council on the Arts (ASCA) and South Arts, a nine-state regional arts agency based in Atlanta, profiles the creative industries in Alabama as an 8.7 billion dollar economy. The report highlights an industry representing over 4,700 businesses and employing 71,000 people, earning over two billion dollars annually. The nonprofit arts and culture community is at the core of the data collected, but the report also includes the for-profit sector as part of the total industry profile. Read more

  • In Memoriam: Helen Norris, June 22, 1916-November 18, 2013

    “We are sad to learn that Alabama has lost another luminary,” AWF Executive Director Jeanie Thompson posted on Facebook after learning of the death of Helen Norris Bell. “I deeply treasure the time I spent with Helen—one of the brightest minds I've encountered in Alabama letters.”

    “Mrs. Bell” to her students, “Helen Norris” to her readers, Norris passed away on November 18 in Black Mountain, North Carolina. She was 97. Read more

  • Shelby County Arts Council Receives IMPACT Award for Writing Our Stories

    Donna Russell, executive director of the Alabama Alliance for Arts Education (AAAE), presented the 2013 IMPACT Award to the Shelby County Arts Council (SCAC) at its annual meeting on November 12, 2013. The award is given to an organization for outstanding commitment and dedication to children and the arts for innovative and creative programming, curriculum, teaching, and/or presenting.

    Since January 2011, SCAC has worked in collaboration with the Alabama Writers’ Forum and the Shelby County School System to bring Writing Our Stories to 7th graders at Columbiana Middle School (CMS). An award-winning creative writing program for adjudicated youth, Writing Our Stories moved into Alabama public schools with its classes at CMS. Read more

  • Alabama's own Fannie Flagg comes home again with another new book inspired by her home state

    Editor’s Note: This article by Bob Carlton first appeared on al.com on Oct. 31, 2013, at 10:00 a.m. © 2013 al.com.

    BIRMINGHAM, Alabama – Appropriately, the idea for Birmingham native Fannie Flagg's latest book, The All-Girl Filling Station's Last Reunion, goes back to her family's Irondale Café, the iconic meat-and-three that was the inspiration for Flagg's breakout novel Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café. Read more

  • Free Authors Series Offered by Alabama Center for the Book, University Press

    The Alabama Center for the Book, under the aegis of the University Libraries, and The University of Alabama Press have collaborated in a lunchtime speaker series spotlighting recent works by Alabama writers.

    Each hour-long, free session will provide attendees with the opportunity to learn from and engage directly with authors whose new books illuminate facets of the University, our state, region, and world. Read more

  • Brian Hawkins introduces “Behind the Gate”

    Ten McNeel School Writing Our Stories student writers read their work or the work of others at the release ceremony for Behind the Gate, an anthology of poems and stories, at the Department of Youth Services (DYS) Vacca Campus Chapel on October 31, 2013. Two of the ten students returned to campus to celebrate with their fellow writers, family members, guests, administrators, faculty, staff, and state dignitaries. Read more

  • Daniel Wallace’s “Big Fish” opens on Broadway

    Algonquin Books released Birmingham native Daniel Wallace’s novel Big Fish in 1998, and it became a runaway success, especially in Alabama, where much of the book is set. Film director Tim Burton read the book, and his film version hit the screen in 2003. Now, some ten years later, Big Fish, the musical, arrives on Broadway. Read more

  • Mt. Meigs celebrates 16 Years of Writing Our Stories

    On October 24, 2013, family members, guests, and Department of Youth Services (DYS) students, administrators, faculty, and staff filled the chapel on the DYS Mt. Meigs Campus to celebrate the release of the sixteenth installment of Open the Door, an anthology series edited by teaching writer Marlin “Bart” Barton and written by his students in the Writing Our Stories (WOS) program. Read more

  • Lee Smith to read from new novel during Fitzgerald Society Conference

    Esteemed Southern novelist Lee Smith will read from her latest novel, Guests on Earth, on Friday, November 8, 2013, at 8 p.m. at Troy University, Montgomery Campus’s Gold Room, 231 Montgomery Street, Montgomery, AL 36104. The event is free and open to the public. Books will be available for sale and signing as well.

    Guests on Earth is the story of Evalina Touissant, orphaned child of a New Orleans exotic dancer, who enters Asheville, North Carolina’s infamous Highland Hospital in 1936. While under the care of celebrated psychologist Dr. Robert S. Carroll, Evalina meets the doomed Zelda Fitzgerald and other patients whose lives contain devastating secrets. The novel details events that lead to the tragic fire of 1948 that killed nine women, including Zelda. Read more

  • Nominations open for 2014 Harper Lee Award

    The Alabama Writers’ Forum invites nominations for the Harper Lee Award for Alabama’s Distinguished Writer of the Year 2014. The award will be made to a living, nationally recognized Alabama writer who has made a significant, lifelong contribution to Alabama letters. The honor recognizes those who primarily write , or a combination of these. This is not an award for journalistic, historical, or scientific writing, nor is it an award for service, scholarly research, or teaching. Nominations must be received by October 21, 2013. Read more

  • High school students statewide invited to compete in Poetry Out Loud

    The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the Poetry Foundation present Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest, in partnership with the Alabama State Council on the Arts (ASCA) and the Alabama Alliance for Arts Education (AAAE). Poetry Out Loud is a program that encourages high school students to learn about great poetry through memorization, performance, and competition. Beginning now, and continuing through December, schools are invited to participate in classroom and school-wide contests, advancing to a regional competition in late January and finally a state competition on Monday, February 17, 2014, at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival in Montgomery. The Alabama State Champion will advance to the National Finals in Washington, D.C., on April 28-30, 2014. Read more

  • Third annual ABF Student Readers Group selects “Weren’t No Good Times”

    The Outreach/Education sub-committee of the Alabama Book Festival (ABF) planning committee invites high school (grades 9 – 12) students and university undergraduates to participate in the third annual Student Readers Group. This program selects one Alabama-related book per year for participants to read prior to meeting the author and discussing the book at the festival on April 19, 2014, at Montgomery’s Old Alabama Town. The Student Readers Group seeks to engage high school and college students in Alabama’s culture, literature, and history by encouraging the reading of books that connect to or discuss the realities of living in the state. Read more

  • Birmingham novelist Sena Jeter Naslund lends Four Spirits title to civil rights memorial for slain children

    On Saturday, September 14,2013, a monument titled Four Spirits was unveiled in Kelly Ingram Park in Birmingham as part of Empowerment Week, held in commemoration of the civil rights movement and culminating in recognition of the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church on September 15, 1963. The memorial, positioned diagonally across the street from the church, was created through a commission with Birmingham native Elizabeth McQueen.

    The City of Birmingham is commemorating the events of 1963, the historic year in civil rights history, with its Fifty Years Forward initiative.

    Sena Jeter Naslund’s novel, Four Spirits inspired the monument’s title, according to Chervis Isom, a founding member of the Board of Governors of Four Spirits, Inc., the non-profit organization that raised funds to erect the monument. Read more

  • In Memoriam: Albert Murray, May 12, 1916-August 18, 2013

    Noted writer and Nokomis, Alabama, native, Albert Murray, 97, died Sunday, August 18, 2013, at his home in New York. Recipient of the inaugural Harper Lee Award
    for Alabama’s Distinguished Writer of the Year
    in 1998, Murray earned his reputation writing about social justice, particularly in the South. An authority on the blues and jazz, Murray often incorporates the cadence of the music into his writing. Read more

  • Birmingham’s Michael Morris to join AWF board of directors

    Michael Morris of Birmingham has accepted a position on the Forum’s board of directors for fiscal years 2014-2016. The 2014 fiscal year begins October 1, 2013. FY 2014 will also mark the Forum’s 20th Anniversary.

    “Alabama has such a rich literary history, and I see the Alabama Writers' Forum as a way of bridging that legacy with new voices across our state,” said Morris. “It’s an honor to join the board. I look forward to spreading the word about the Forum not only with other writers but also with corporations and elected officials.” Read more

  • Poets & Writers Selects Alabama for 2014 Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award

    Poets & Writers, the nation’s largest nonprofit organization serving creative writers, invites Alabamian writers to apply for the 2014 Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award.

    Each year, Poets & Writers invites poets and fiction writers from a selected state to apply for the award. This year, those who are residents of Alabama are eligible, provided that they have published no more than one full-length book in the genre in which they are applying. The judges for 2014 are Victor LaValle for fiction and Evie Shockley for poetry. Read more

  • AHF to honor Horton, Noble, & Books-A-Million

    Alabama Humanities Foundation (AHF) Annual Awards Luncheon will feature an all-star cast October 7 at noon at Birmingham’s The Club.

    Best-selling author and Harper Lee Award recipient Winston Groom will offer the keynote address. Renowned multi-instrumentalist Bobby Horton will receive the 2013 Alabama Humanities Award. AHF will also award Don Noble with the Wayne Greenhaw Service Award and Books-A-Million with the Charitable Organization Award.

    To purchase tickets phone Paul Lawson at 205-558-3992. Please RSVP by September 30, 2013. Read more

  • Documentary based on Mobile County teachers’ book receives regional Emmy

    A documentary based on a book co-authored by University of South Alabama Writer-in-Residence Frye Gaillard and Bayou La Batre teachers Sheila Hagler and Peggy Denniston won a regional Emmy for Outstanding Achievement, Television Programming Excellence in the category of Documentary-Cultural from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences on June 8. Read more

  • Bullman, Stevens receive ASCA Literature Fellowships

    At its June meeting in Montgomery, the Alabama State Council on the Arts (ASCA) awarded fifteen fellowship grants. Brooke Bullman of Huntsville and Kyes Stevens of Waverly received the two Literature Fellowships. Read more

  • J. Mark Hart & Pro Start Academy team up to produce Teen Video Book Report

    Birmingham author J. Mark Hart
    recently teamed up with Pro Start Academy to produce a Teen Video Book Report for his new young adult novel, Fielder's Choice. Read more

  • HLA and The Ardent Writer Press release student anthology

    For forty-five years, the Huntsville Literary Association (HLA) has sponsored the Young Writers Contest for elementary, middle, and high school students in Huntsville and Madison County to encourage creative writing and the literary arts. Read more

  • Former BWR Editor Makes 10 Best Millennial Author List

    Flavorwire.com recently chose former Black Warrior Review editor Alissa Nutting as one of the 10 Best Millennial Authors You Probably Haven’t Read (Yet). Read more

  • J.D. Wilson joins UA Press

    The University of Alabama Press, founded in 1945 and the largest publisher in the state, announced recently that it has hired John "J.D." Wilson as sales and marketing director. A professional with twenty-four years' experience in publications and marketing, Wilson will contribute his expertise in traditional areas of publicity, advertising, direct marketing, exhibits, and sales as well as in the rapidly growing areas of database and metadata management and social media. He will work in the Press's Tuscaloosa office. Read more

  • Nine Alabamians honored at Celebration of the Arts Awards

    The Alabama State Council on the Arts held its biannual Celebration of the Arts Awards ceremony on Tuesday, May 21, at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival in Montgomery. The event recognizes and honors Alabama artists and individuals for their contribution to the arts in Alabama and beyond. Al Head, executive director of the Council said, "This awards program is an opportunity for the state to recognize special individuals who make the arts happen and bring great credit to our state through their work."

    This year’s recipients included a Pulitzer Prize winning author, an internationally recognized poet, a professor emeritus and cultural historian, a university president and his wife, a dance instructor and artistic director, a playwright, a traditional band, a community arts volunteer and arts patron, and a long-time leader in the state legislature. Their contributions to the arts are diverse and far-reaching. Their impact on the entire state has been profound and sustained for many years. Read more

  • In Memoriam: Mary Ward Brown June 18, 1917-May 14, 2013

    The Alabama Writers’ Forum is saddened to learn that celebrated author Mary Ward Brown, 95, died this morning in Marion, Ala. A native and longtime resident of Hamburg in Perry County, Brown was a graduate of Judson College. She is survived by her son, Kirtley Ward, his wife, Susannah, and their daughters, Helen and Mary Hays.

    "On behalf of the Alabama Writers' Forum I want to express our sorrow over the passing of Mary Ward Brown,” said Kirk Curnutt, Forum board president. “Not only was she an astonishing talent, but her career was comfort to a lot of us knowing that talent blooms later in life." Read more

  • Sue Brannan Walker receives the Eugene Current-Garcia Award

    “It’s huge and it’s heavy,” exclaimed Sue Brannan Walker as she received the Frank Fleming bronze, symbolic of the Eugene Current-Garcia Award for Alabama’s Literary Scholar of the Year. Walker received the honor during the annual Awards Luncheon at the The Alabama Writers Symposium on April 28 in Monroeville.

    Introducing Walker from the dais, Judge John Rochester, Board Chairman of the Alabama Humanities Foundation, said, “Sue is an Alabama original—teacher, writer, poet, publisher.” Read more

  • Gay Talese receives 2013 Harper Lee Award

    “Show up in person; never use a phone,” said Gay Talese, recipient of the 2013 Harper Lee Award for Alabama’s Distinguished Writer of the Year. “People have admiration for people who have the courtesy to show up in person. Dress well.”

    Dressed well in his tailored, double-breasted suit, custom Italian shoes, and Panama hat—“A man is not completely dressed without his hat,” he once said—Talese, the son of a tailor, was concluding an anecdote about getting his first job in journalism as a copyboy at The New York Times. The story also explained this Ocean City, N.J. native’s connection to Alabama.

    The creator of “the art of hanging out,” author of the bestsellers Honor Thy Father and Thy Neighbor’s Wife, and longtime contributor to Esquire and other top magazines, Talese was in Monroeville on April 26 to receive the honor at the annual Awards Luncheon during the Alabama Writers Symposium. Read more

  • AWF board member Dr. Trudier Harris to speak in Washington

    As part of American Women Writer’s National Museum's 50-state project to showcase women writers from each state, the Alabama Center for the Book will co-sponsor a presentation by Forum board member Dr. Trudier Harris, May 15, 2013, in the McLendon Room of the National Press Club, 52 14th St. NW, Washington, D.C. Harris’ lecture, "Bama Bones: A Black Southerner Talks Place & Creativity," will begin at noon. The one-hour program is free and open to the public. Read more

  • Two Harper Lee Award recipients among nine special Alabamians to be honored

    Harper Lee Award recipients Sonia Sanchez (2004) and Rick Bragg ( 2009) are among nine outstanding Alabamians to be honored by the Alabama State Council on the Arts at the 2013 Celebration of the Arts awards ceremony on Tuesday, May 21, 2013, at 7:30 p.m. The event will take place at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, located at 1 Festival Drive, Montgomery. A reception will immediately follow the awards ceremony in the lobby of the theatre. The event is free and open to the public but reservations and tickets are required.

    This year's recipients are:

    Lyndra Daniel, Birmingham - Jonnie Dee Little Lifetime Achievement Award
    Rick Bragg, Piedmont – Alabama’s Distinguished Artist Award
    Dr. Wayne Flynt, Auburn - Governor's Arts Award
    Gordon & Geri Moulton, Mobile - Governor's Arts Award
    Jean Prescott Pierce, Birmingham - Governor's Arts Award
    Sonia Sanchez, Birmingham - Governor's Arts Award
    Kitty Seale, Montgomery - Governor's Arts Award
    Excelsior Band, Mobile - The Alabama Folk Heritage Award
    Sen. J. T. “Jabo” Waggoner, Vestavia Hills - The Special Council Legacy Award

    Read more

  • Alabama Book Festival announces lineup of writers

    Some 45 authors have accepted the invitation to attend the 8th Annual Alabama Book Festival
    in Montgomery, April 20, in Old Alabama Town. During the daylong festival the authors will read excerpts, answer questions, and be on hand to sign books. The festival concludes with the Alabama Readers Theatre performing Now Is the Time for All Good Men, a play by Harper Lee. A list of all the authors, brief biographies, schedules, and other information is posted on the ABF website. Read more

  • Academy of American Poets launches Dear Poet student letter writing project

    This April for National Poetry Month and in the spirit of Rainer Maria Rilke’s iconic book, Letters to a Young Poet, the Academy of American Poets will encourage students throughout the United States to engage with poetry by handwriting letters to the distinguished poets serving on the Academy’s Board of Chancellors. Selected letters submitted to the Dear Poet Project will receive a reply from the poet and will be displayed on Poets.org, the Academy’s popular website. The Academy of American Poets created National Poetry Month in April 1996, and today it is the largest literary celebration in the world, reaching over 10 million Americans. Read more

  • 2013 Alabama Book Festival Set for April 20

    The eighth annual Alabama Book Festival will be held in historic downtown Montgomery at Old Alabama Town on Saturday, April 20, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The free public event is the state’s premier book festival, with more than 4,000 people from around Alabama and the South converging on the capital city to meet and mingle with celebrated authors. Read more

  • Forum to sponsor Alabama Book Festival Outreach and Teacher Workshop

    The Alabama Writers’ Forum will again offer outreach to teachers and students in conjunction with the eighth annual Alabama Book Festival. On Friday, April 19, three Book Festival poets will visit G.W. Carver High School to read from their work and discuss the importance of poetry writing in their lives. The same day, teachers will gather at Troy University Montgomery Campus for a day of workshops and interaction with several Book Festival authors. Read more

  • Sabria White, Bonny Chen named Alabama’s Poetry Out Loud Champions

    From a competitive field of over 6,000 students from across the state, Sabria White, a student from New Century Technology High School in Madison County, was selected as the 2013 Alabama Poetry Out Loud State Champion on Monday, February 18, during the Statewide Finals at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival (ASF). The event was held in partnership with the Alabama State Council on the Arts, the Alabama Alliance for Arts Education, ASF, and the Alabama Writers’ Forum.

    White recited “Calling Him Back from Layoff” by Bob Hicok, “Dover Beach” by Matthew Arnold, and “The Way It Sometimes Is” by Henry Taylor. White will advance to the National Finals to compete with fifty-two other champions from the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. She will receive an all-expense paid trip (with a chaperone) to compete in the National Recitation Contest that will take place in Washington, D.C., on April 29-30, 2013. The honor also carries a $200 cash award. New Century Technology High School will receive a $500 stipend for the purchase of poetry books.

    Alabama has added its own unique element to the program, providing an opportunity for students to recite their own poetry. This year’s winner in the Original Poetry Competition—underwritten by the Alabama Writers’ Forum—was Bonny Chen, a senior at Auburn High School. She recited her original poems “Legs” and “The Virtue of Triangles.” The honor carries a $200 cash award. Read more

  • Gay Talese named 2013 Harper Lee Award recipient

    Literary innovator Gay Talese has been named the 2013 recipient of the Harper Lee Award for Alabama’s Distinguished Writer of the Year. A University of Alabama (UA) alumnus, Talese will receive the award at the Alabama Writers Symposium in Monroeville on April 26 at the annual luncheon. The conference will meet April 25-27.

    In his letter of nomination, Don Noble, UA Professor of English Emeritus and host of the Alabama Public Television literary talk show Bookmark, wrote, “Gay Talese has strong Alabama connections. He graduated from UA in 1953; covered the civil rights movement in Alabama in the 1960s; returns often to visit, read, speak, and sign; and he has written of his experiences in Alabama in the 2006 book, A Writer’s Life.” Read more

  • Alabama Students To Perform at Statewide POL Recitation Competition

    The 2013 Alabama Poetry Out Loud (POL) State Championship will be held Monday, Feb. 18 at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, 1 Festival Drive, Montgomery. The event will include two rounds of powerful student poetry recitation, including an original poetry competition. This event is free and open to the public. Read more

  • ASCA announces fellowships deadline for Alabama Artists and Arts Administrators

    The Alabama State Council on the Arts (ASCA) awards Artists Fellowships of $5,000 to individual artists working in literature, crafts, dance, design, media/photography, music, theatre, and visual arts. An applicant applying for an Artist Fellowship must provide work samples of the highest quality that have been completed within the last five years.

    Arts Administration Fellowships of $5,000 are awarded to administrators to improve their skills and ability to serve their organization and community. The application deadline is March 1, 2013. Read more

  • In memorium—Jake Adam York

    The Forum is saddened to report that poet and former Gadsden resident Jake Adam York, 40, passed away this afternoon in a Denver hospital after suffering a stroke. The author of three volumes of poetry and a literary history, he was an associate professor of English and creative writing at the University of Colorado Denver. Read more