[Photo: Ashley M. Jones via Facebook. Credit: Amarr Croskey]
Birmingham native Ashley M. Jones was recently named Poet Laureate of Alabama (2022-2026), the youngest and first Black person to hold the position created 91 years ago.
“Hopefully, as poet laureate, I can shine some light on the work that is being done that is positive and just remind people that the south is still part of the U.S.,” Jones said.
Jones guest edited Poetry magazine earlier this year after the magazine and its publisher were challenged to do more to support poets from marginalized populations and support Black Lives Matter protests. Jones’ 2021 collection Reparations Now! examines history through verse, such as the 1963 Birmingham church bombing that killed four little girls, as well as Jones’ personal experiences with racism.
Jones earned a Master of Fine Arts degree from Florida International University, according to jbhe.com. She currently teaches at Converse College in Spartanburg, South Carolina, as well as the Alabama School of Fine Arts.
Jones also co-directs the PEN American chapter in Birmingham, Alabama, and runs a nonprofit organization called the Magic City Poetry Festival, which is having an online event on November 13.
Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/21/us/ashley-jones-poet-laureate-alabama.html
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Original article source: https://goodblacknews.org/2021/11/05/birmingham-native-and-reparations-now-author-ashley-m-jones-named-poet-laureate-of-alabama/ | Article may or may not reflect the views of KLEK 102.5 FM or The Voice of Arkansas Minority Advocacy Council