Since last year’s inaugural Magic City Poetry Festival founder Ashley M. Jones has been busy. She’s been busy publishing her second book, dark / / thing, which she describes as “a book that can’t sit silently.”
Ashley, a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award recipient who also won the silver medal in poetry in the 2017 Independent Publishers Book Awards for her debut collection Magic City Gospel, has also been busy planning this year’s Magic City Poetry Festival.
The 2019 festival will kick off April 4 and host events throughout the month including a reading by poetry legend and Birmingham native Sonia Sanchez!
Ashley started the Magic City Poetry Festival to help showcase the talent of Birmingham-based poets and to expose more people to the power of poetry. See Jane Write had a chat with Ashley recently to discuss how this year’s festival will do just that.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — good writers read good writing. But I believe good writers watch good writing too, good writing that comes in the form of good movies. And that’s why every year you’ll find me at the Sidewalk Film Festival. If you’re in the Birmingham area, I hope to see you at this weekend’s festival, August 25-27.
There are always so many films showing at Sidewalk that sometimes I feel overwhelmed when trying to decide which films I’m going to see.
Fortunately, I have a pal to help me out. One of my colleagues at the Alabama School of Fine Arts is also a features programmer for the festival. Corey Craft has written about film since 2009, for five years as the primary film writer for The Tuscaloosa News and now exclusively for the upstart arts and entertainment website artsBHAM.com. He also teaches a history of film class at ASFA and has a degree in telecommunications and film with an emphasis in critical studies from the University of Alabama. So he knows his stuff.
I had a chat with him about the best movies to catch this weekend.
Like nearly every other black woman in the United States of America, I kicked off my weekend by going to see Girls Trip with one of my best friends. The movie follows four college BFFs as they reunite for a long overdue girls trip to New Orleans for ESSENCE Festival.