She is the poetry ambassador for the state!
A Birmingham teacher is making history as the first Black Poet Laureate for the state of Alabama, ABC 3340 News reports.
Ashley M. Jones is a teacher at the Alabama School of Fine Arts, an author, and The Magic City Poetry Festival founder. During an Alabama Writers Cooperative members meeting, it was announced that Jones was named the next Poet Laureate for Alabama. She is making history as the first Black person to hold the title in the state and the youngest person to have this honor.
In her new role, Jones will serve as an ambassador of poetry for the state, touring to make appearances at schools, universities, libraries, and other state institutions. She will also give lectures, read poetry and hold workshops locally and nationally. Jones will hold the title for four years.
“When I was a little girl growing up in Birmingham, Alabama, I made a plan for my life as a poet, and part of that plan - a big, big dream- was to serve as Alabama State Poet Laureate. I’m so honored to serve my home state as an ambassador, advocate, and as a lover of poetry and all the people who write it, read it, and find new magic from it in this life," Jones said via statement. "I have dedicated my life so far to making poetry accessible to all, to celebrating everyone’s voice and working to eliminate gatekeeping in our industry. I’m so excited to spend the next four years helping to make Alabama poets and poetry radiate here at home and beyond,”
Jones has already penned two books of poetry, “Magic City Gospel,” and “Dark/Thing.” Her third book, “Reparations Now!,” is scheduled to be released on September 7th.
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