Category: Uncategorized

Past Is Present: A Conversation in Poetry

 

University Libraries, and the Alabama Center for the Book Present on September 9th, 2022 in the Camellia Room of Gorgas Library: Past Is Present; A Conversation in Poetry. Past Is Present is a unique event featuring three poets, Ashley M Jones, Poet Laureate of the State of Alabama, Jaqueline Allen Trimble, chairperson of Languages and Literatures at Alabama State University, and Kwoya Fagin Maples, Assistant Professor in the Department of English at the University of Alabama. The poets will have an improvisational conversation in which they can only use their poetry to communicate with one another. Following the conversation, the poets will debrief the exercise, and take questions from the audience.  

African Town, by Charles Waters and Irene Latham, Chosen as the 2022 Alabama Great Reads Selection


The Alabama Center for the Book has selected African Town, by Charles Waters and Irene Latham, to be featured as the Alabama Great Reads selection for the 2022 National Book Festival. This year’s theme is, “Books Bring Us Together.”

The Library of Congress National Book Festival is an annual literary event that brings together best-selling authors and thousands of book fans for author talks, panel discussions, book signings and other activities. The 22nd Library of Congress National Book Festival will be held Labor Day weekend, returning this year to the Washington Convention Center on Saturday, September 3rd. A selection of programs will be livestreamed, and video of all presentations can be viewed online after the Festival concludes. 

African Town is a novel-in-verse, chronicling the story of the last Africans brought illegally to America in 1860.

“In 1860, long after the United States outlawed the importation of enslaved laborers, 110 men, women and children from Benin and Nigeria were captured and brought to Mobile, Alabama aboard a ship called Clotilda. Their journey includes the savage Middle Passage and being hidden in the swamplands along the Alabama River before being secretly parceled out to various plantations, where they made desperate attempts to maintain both their culture and also fit into the place of captivity to which they’d been delivered. At the end of the Civil War, the survivors created a community for themselves they called African Town, which still exists to this day. Told in 14 distinct voices, including that of the ship that brought them to the American shores and the founder of African Town, this powerfully affecting historical novel-in-verse recreates a pivotal moment in US and world history, the impacts of which we still feel today.”

–Penguin Random House

Every year, a list of books representing the literary heritage of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, is distributed by the Library of Congress’s Center for the Book during the National Book Festival.  Each book is selected by a Center for the Book state affiliate or state library and most are for children and young readers. Books may be written by authors from the state, take place in the state, or celebrate the state’s culture and heritage.

The Alabama Center for the Book supports reading, literacy and other book-related activities in Alabama as well as promotes appreciation of regional writers.  The Center is a founding co-sponsor of the Alabama Writers Hall of Fame.

The Library of Congress’ Center for the Book, established by Congress in 1977 to stimulate public interest in books and reading, is a national force for reading and literacy promotion.  A public-private partnership, its sponsors educational programs that reach readers of all ages through its affiliated state centers, collaborations with nonprofit reading-promotion partners and through its Poetry and Literature Center at the Library of Congress. For more information, visit Read.gov.

 

2022 Alabama Writers Hall of Fame Dinner and Induction Ceremony Rescheduled for 2023

TUSCALOOSA, Ala.  — Eight distinguished authors will be inducted into the Alabama Writers Hall of Fame at The University of Alabama’s Bryant Conference Center on Friday, March 10th, 2023. Originally scheduled for June 6th, 2022, the Alabama Writers Hall of Fame Planning Committee decided that it would be in everyone’s best interest to reschedule the induction gala.

Michael Pearce, Director for the Alabama Center for the Book, noted in making the change, “We apologize for the inconvenience, but we are thinking of the health of our inductees and attendees, and the overall quality of the services we can provide.  We also want to ensure that the Alabama Writers Hall of Fame induction ceremony is a well-attended and meaningful evening for our inductees.”

The Alabama Center for the Book and the Alabama Writers’ Forum would like to congratulate the inductees. Members of the 2023 class include: Tom Franklin, Trudier Harris, Angela Johnson, Howell Raines, Michelle Richmond, and Daniel Wallace. Authors Eugene Walter and Kathryn Tucker Windham will be inducted posthumously. 2020 inductee Carolyn Haines is slated to serve as Master of Ceremonies. More information will be provided in the coming months.  

For press inquiries please contact please contact Jeanie Thompson, Executive Director of the Alabama Writers’ Forum, at jeaniethompson@writersforum.org  or Michael Pearce, Director of the Alabama Center for the Book, at pearc007@ua.edu .

Join us virtually for SHELF LIFE—Music, Grace & Grit: Black Voices in Verse December 16th

Ashley M. Jones, Alabama poet laureate (Reparations Now!), Khalisa Rae (Ghost in a Black Girl’s Throat), and Crystal Wilkinson (Perfect Black) confront their complex Southern inheritance, mourning the horrors of racism while celebrating the sweetness of Black love and language. Join us as they read from and discuss their latest collections with moderator Valencia Robin.

This virtual event is FREE to attend and open to the public. To attend, please register below to take part on Zoom or simply make plans to watch the livestream on Facebook.com/VaBookFest.

This event will offer closed captions and an accompanying live transcript using Zoom’s built-in automatic speech recognition software (ASR). To request live-captioning accommodations, please write vabook@virginia.edu no later than seven days before the event. A video recording from this event will be provided soon after completion and an accurate transcript will be available at a later date, at VaBook.org/watch

Click Here To Register

 

 

2021 National Book Festival Starts Friday 9/17/21 and runs through Sunday 9/26/21

Great Reads From Great Places

The 2021 Library of Congress National Book Festival starts Friday 9/17. 

Author Rick Bragg, whose book, The Speckled Beauty is the 2021 Alabama Great Reads, will be featured in an author panel that can be accessed here on Monday 9/20 Great Reads from Great Places .

You can create your own Festival experience from a variety of programs and formats with an expanded schedule over 10 days, Sept. 17-26.

You can:

Genres

Author events and videos are all organized into one of the following genres:

Authors & Moderators

Explore the full lineup of authors, check out their biographies and discover their featured books.

Learn more about our moderators.

Meet the Library of Congress experts hosting special interactive presentations.

Programs & Schedule

The 2021 National Book Festival takes place Sept. 17-26, with a variety of programs and formats. On Sept. 17 at 10 a.m. ET, 35 video-on-demand programs will become available to watch anytime. The full Festival schedule of live programs features 38 virtual author conversations, nine audience Q&A sessions for children and teens, two in-person events with simultaneous livestreaming, and five interactive presentations with Library of Congress experts. This year, the Festival also features a national television special and related events on PBS, NPR podcasts, and author interviews on Washington Post Live. You can also explore events closer to home with the Festival Near You, which features related programs from local organizations and affiliate Centers for the Book.

All programs livestreaming from the National Book Festival website will be held Sept. 17-26, between noon and 8 p.m. ET on weekends and between 3 and 8 p.m. ET on weekdays. All live programs will include time at the end for audience Q&A. Only one program will livestream at any given time, meaning this year you won’t need to make any tough choices on which program to attend! Check out the schedule online or download a printable pdf (PDF 895KB).

Rick Bragg’s The Speckled Beauty selected to be featured at the 2021 National Book Festival

The Alabama Center for the Book has selected The Speckled Beauty: A Dog and His People by Alabama author Rick Bragg to be featured as the Alabama Great Reads selection for the 2021 National Book Festival.    

The Library of Congress National Book Festival is an annual literary event that brings together best-selling authors and thousands of book fans for author talks, panel discussions, book signings and other activities. The 21st Library of Congress National Book Festival will be a 10-day event with the theme, “Open a Book, Open the World,” running from Sept. 17-26. The, “Great Reads from Great Places,” portion of the festival will be held virtually again this year and broadcast through various web-based venues which will be announced in August.

The Speckled Beauty: A Dog and His People  is the warm hearted and story of how Rick Bragg’s life was transformed by his love for a poorly behaved, half-blind stray dog:

“Speck is not a good boy. He is a terrible boy, a defiant, self-destructive, often malodorous boy, a grave robber and screen door moocher who spends his days playing chicken with the Fed Ex man, picking fights with thousand-pound livestock, and rolling in donkey manure, and his nights howling at the moon. He has been that way since the moment he appeared on the ridgeline behind Rick Bragg’s house, a starved and half-dead creature, seventy-six pounds of wet hair and poor decisions. Speck arrived in Rick’s life at a moment of looming uncertainty. A cancer diagnosis, chemo, kidney failure, and recurring pneumonia had left Rick lethargic and melancholy. Speck helped, and he is helping, still, when he is not peeing on the rose of Sharon. Written with Bragg’s inimitable blend of tenderness and sorrow, humor and grit, The Speckled Beauty captures the extraordinary, sustaining devotion between two damaged creatures who need each other to heal,”

–Penguin Random House

Every year, a list of books representing the literary heritage of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, is distributed by the Library of Congress’s Center for the Book during the National Book Festival.  Each book is selected by a Center for the Book state affiliate or state library and most are for children and young readers. Books may be written by authors from the state, take place in the state, or celebrate the state’s culture and heritage.

The Alabama Center for the Book supports reading, literacy and other book-related activities in Alabama as well as promotes appreciation of regional writers.  The Center is a founding co-sponsor of the Alabama Writers Hall of Fame.

The Library of Congress’ Center for the Book, established by Congress in 1977 to stimulate public interest in books and reading, is a national force for reading and literacy promotion.  A public-private partnership, its sponsors educational programs that reach readers of all ages through its affiliated state centers, collaborations with nonprofit reading-promotion partners and through its Poetry and Literature Center at the Library of Congress. For more information, visit Read.gov.

 

Children’s Book by Charles Ghigna selected to be featured at the 2020 National Book Festival

The Alabama Center for the Book has selected The Night the Forest Came to Town , by Alabama author Charles Ghigna to be featured as the Alabama Great Reads selection for the 2020 National Book Festival .    

The Library of Congress National Book Festival is an annual literary event that brings together best-selling authors and thousands of book fans for author talks, panel discussions, book signings and other activities. The 20th Library of Congress National Book Festival will celebrate “American Ingenuity” in 2020, featuring the creativity and inspiration of some of the nation’s most gifted authors in a re-imagined virtual festival the weekend of Sept. 25-27. The event will be held virtually this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, broadcast through various web based venues which will be announced in August.

The Night the Forest Came to Town , “sings the story of a paved parking lot returning to a paradise teeming with diverse people, plants, and animals. It begins with an illustration of distracted townspeople scurrying across gray streets on a summer evening. The children, full of wide-eyed wonder, notice the wind blowing in something new…” (Kirkus Reviews,  2018).  With beautiful and engaging illustrations as backdrop, Ghigna takes reader’s on a lyrical journey from drab grey concrete living, to vibrant urban renewal.   

Every year, a list of books representing the literary heritage of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, is distributed by the Library of Congress’s Center for the Book during the National Book Festival.  Each book is selected by a Center for the Book state affiliate or state library and most are for children and young readers. Books may be written by authors from the state, take place in the state, or celebrate the state’s culture and heritage.

The Alabama Center for the Book supports reading, literacy and other book-related activities in Alabama as well as promotes appreciation of regional writers.  The Center is a founding co-sponsor of the Alabama Writers Hall of Fame.

The Library of Congress’ Center for the Book, established by Congress in 1977 to stimulate public interest in books and reading, is a national force for reading and literacy promotion.  A public-private partnership, its sponsors educational programs that reach readers of all ages through its affiliated state centers, collaborations with nonprofit reading-promotion partners and through its Poetry and Literature Center at the Library of Congress. For more information, visit Read.gov.

Alabama Writers Hall of Fame Inductees Announced for 2020

Alabama Writers Hall of Fame 2020

TUSCALOOSA, Ala.  — Seven distinguished authors will be inducted into the 2020 Alabama Writers Hall of Fame at The University of Alabama’s Bryant Conference Center March 9, 2020.

This year’s inductees include Mark ChildressFaye Gibbons, Carolyn Haines,  Honorée Fanonne Jeffers and Michael Knight. Authors Ralph Ellison and Zelda Fitzgerald will be inducted posthumously.

A reception will be held in the authors’ honor at 6 p.m. followed by dinner at 7 p.m. The induction ceremony will immediately follow dinner.

Individual tickets and sponsor tables can be purchased by contacting Emily Burnett at emburnett@ua.edu or 205-348-5543.

The Alabama Writers Hall of Fame was created in 2014 by a partnership between the Alabama Center for the BookUA Libraries and the Alabama Writers’ Forum. Dr. Donald Gilstrap, dean of UA Libraries, said the gala showcases Alabama’s literary heritage as well as its contemporary prize-winning authors.

“This year we are honoring writers who are well-known for award-winning fiction, poetry, screen-writing, and writing for children and young adults, as well as two ground-breaking 20th-century authors,” Gilstrap said. “The variety of genres underscores the level of literary talent in Alabama. We hope people will celebrate their achievements with us in March.”

Childress is a native of Monroeville and a UA graduate. He’s the author of seven novels translated into 14 languages, as well as screenplays, children’s books, numerous articles, essays and reviews. He adapted his best-selling novel, “Crazy in Alabama,” into the screenplay for the Columbia Pictures film directed by Antonio Banderas.

A long-time resident of Deatsville, Gibbons has written more than a dozen children’s picture books and young adult novels that focus on life in the rural South since the 1980s.

Haines is a Lucedale, Mississippi native who lives in Semmes. She is a “USA Today” bestselling author of more than 80 books of fiction.

Jeffers was born in Kokomo, Indiana and grew up in Durham, North Carolina and Atlanta, Georgia, but she was educated in Alabama, with degrees from Talladega College and UA. Jeffers has published widely in poetry, fiction and essays, and she has four poetry collections, with a fifth, “The Age of Phillis,” scheduled to be published in early 2020.

Knight is the author of two novels, three collections of short stories and a book of novellas. His most recent collection of stories, “Eveningland,” was selected as an Editor’s Choice Pick by The New York Times and a Southern Book of the Year by Southern Living magazine.

Ellison was born in Oklahoma in 1914 and trained as a musician at Tuskegee Institute from 1933 to 1936. Soon after, he made a visit to New York and met author Richard Wright, which led him to his first attempts at fiction. The result was “Invisible Man,” a first novel by an unknown writer that remained on the bestseller list for 16 weeks and won the National Book Award for fiction. He died in 1994.

Fitzgerald is a Montgomery native who was an artist, writer and personality who helped to establish the Roaring 20s image of liberated womanhood embodied by the “flapper.” She and her husband, novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald, became icons of the freedoms and excesses of the 1920s Jazz Age. Her novel, “Save Me the Waltz,” published in 1932, is an autobiographical recounting of her marriage. She died in 1948.

“The Alabama Writers Hall of Fame inductions present Alabama’s literary arts with distinction, and love,” said Jeanie Thompson, executive director of the Alabama Writers’ Forum. “This is a gala event, with individual tickets as well as tables that can be purchased in honor of a past inductee, or to celebrate one of the incoming inductees.”

Letters About Literature National Contest Ends

After 27 years, the Letters About Literature national reading and writing contest, co-sponsored by the Library of Congress and the state centers for the book, will end with the conclusion of the 2019 program.

The Library of Congress has decided to step away from the administration of the program and give the state centers full control of the Letters About Literature program.

At its peak, more than 70,000 students entered their letters each year and wrote about how books changed their lives for the better.  More than 1 million students in grades 4-12 were touched over the life span of the contest.

“Due to the short notice, The Alabama Center for the Book has made the difficult decision not to continue the program this fall, but will look at reinstating the program or a similar program in the future,” said Donna Adcock, director.

 “I have had the privilege of working with many students, teachers and parents during the past 10 years.

“Meeting the students, their teachers and families at the Alabama Letters About Literature Awards Ceremony is always a highlight of the year.”

More than 200 Alabama students entered the national contest this past year.

The Alabama Center for the Book has been housed in the University Libraries at The University of Alabama since 2010. The Center supports reading, literacy and other book-related activities in Alabama and promotes appreciation of regional writers.  The Center is a founding co-sponsor of the Alabama Writers Hall of Fame. 

Children’s Book by Kerry Madden-Lunsford selected to be featured at the 2019 National Book Festival

Alabama Center for the Book has selected “Ernestine’s Milky Way” by Alabama author Kerry Madden-Lunsford to be featured at its booth at the 19th National Book Festival . Located in the Pavilion of States, the booth celebrates the Library of Congress’ “Discover Great Places Through Reading” program. 

The book festival will be held Saturday, August 31, 2019, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.

The Library of Congress National Book Festival is an annual literary event that brings together best-selling authors and thousands of book fans for author talks, panel discussions, book signings and other activities.  

“Ernestine’s Milky Way” is an empowering picture book set in the 1940s about a determined five-year-old girl who embarks on a journey to deliver milk to her neighbors in the holler. The book is for children ages three to seven.

“The inspiration forErnestine’s Milky Way’ was my real mountain friend, Ernestine Edwards Upchurch,” said Madden-Lunsford.

“She was a social worker, a historian, the literary matriarch of the mountains, and a great storyteller. She had a bright burning curiosity about people and she read everything. Her house was full of books and she championed new authors and supported established authors. She loved kids and wanted them reading and telling stories too.

“After she told me about carrying milk through the mountains as a child, the title popped into my head when I looked up at the sky and saw the Milky Way and I thought – ‘Ernestine’s Milky Way.’ Somebody should write a story. Then I realized a few years later that somebody was going to have to be me, and I’m so grateful for Emily Sutton’s illustrations that brought the story to life.”

Madden-Lunsford’s first novel, “Offsides,” was a New York Public Library Pick for the Teen Age.  Her book, “Up Close Harper Lee,” made Booklist’s Ten Top Biographies of 2009 for Youth.  She has written plays, screenplays, articles and books.  She turned to writing children’s literature with her award-winning and well-reviewed Maggie Valley Trilogy.

Madden-Lunsford directs the Creative Writing Program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and teaches in the Antioch MFA Program in Los Angeles.  The mother of three adult children, she divides her time between Birmingham and Los Angeles.

Every year, a list of books representing the literary heritage of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, is distributed by the Library of Congress’s Center for the Book during the National Book Festival.  Each book is selected by a Center for the Book state affiliate or state library and most are for children and young readers. Books may be written by authors from the state, take place in the state, or celebrate the state’s culture and heritage. 

The Alabama Center for the Book supports reading, literacy and other book-related activities in Alabama as well as promotes appreciation of regional writers.  The Center is a founding co-sponsor of the Alabama Writers Hall of Fame.

The Library of Congress’ Center for the Book, established by Congress in 1977 to stimulate public interest in books and reading, is a national force for reading and literacy promotion.  A public-private partnership, its sponsors educational programs that reach readers of all ages through its affiliated state centers, collaborations with nonprofit reading-promotion partners and through its Poetry and Literature Center at the Library of Congress. For more information, visit Read.gov.