Rivertown Reading Series presents a FREE and important night of literature with two amazing Alabama writers, Ashley M. Jones and Tina Mozelle Braziel, as they continue their Dark Salt Sisters Tour and share their new books!
Ashley M. Jones received an MFA in Poetry from Florida International University (FIU), where she was a John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Fellow. She served as Official Poet for the City of Sunrise, Florida’s Little Free Libraries Initiative from 2013-2015, and her work was recognized in the 2014 Poets and Writers Maureen Egen Writer’s Exchange Contest and the 2015 Academy of American Poets Contest at FIU. She was also a finalist in the 2015 Hub City Press New Southern Voices Contest, the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry First Book Award Contest, and the National Poetry Series. Her poems and essays appear or are forthcoming in many journals and anthologies, including CNN, the Academy of American Poets, Tupelo Quarterly, Prelude, Steel Toe Review, Fjords Review, Quiet Lunch, Poets Respond to Race Anthology, Night Owl, The Harvard Journal of African American Public Policy, pluck!, Valley Voices: New York School Edition, Fjords Review: Black American Edition, PMSPoemMemoirStory (where her work was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2016), Kinfolks Quarterly, Tough Times in America Anthology, and Lucid Moose Press’ Like a Girl: Perspectives on Femininity Anthology. She received a 2015 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award and a 2015 B-Metro Magazine Fusion Award. She was an editor of PANK Magazine. Her debut poetry collection, Magic City Gospel, was published by Hub City Press in January 2017, and it won the silver medal in poetry in the 2017 Independent Publishers Book Awards. Her second book, dark // thing, won the 2018 Lena-Miles Wever Todd Prize for Poetry from Pleiades Press. She won the 2018 Lucille Clifton Poetry Prize from Backbone Press, and she is the 2019 winner of the Lucille Clifton Legacy Award from St. Mary’s College of Maryland. Jones is a recipient of a Poetry Fellowship from the Alabama State Council on the Arts. She currently lives in Birmingham, Alabama, where she is founding director of the Magic City Poetry Festival, 2nd Vice President and Membership Chair of the AWC , and a faculty member in the Creative Writing Department of the Alabama School of Fine Arts.
Tina Mozelle Braziel won the 2017 Philip Levine Prize for Poetry for her book Known by Salt (Anhinga Press 2019). Her chapbook, Rooted by Thirst, came out in 2016 with Porkbelly Press. Her individual poems have appeared in The Cincinnati Review, Southern Humanities Review, Tampa Review, Appalachian Heritage, PMSpoemmemoirstory (where her work was nominated for a Pushcart Prize) and other journals. In 2018, she was awarded a fellowship for the Alabama State Council for the Arts. In 2017, she served as an artist-in-residence at Hot Springs National Park. She was awarded an M.F.A. scholarship to the Sewanee Writers’ Conference in 2013. She earned an M.F.A in Poetry from the University of Oregon, an M.A. in Poetry at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and a B.A. in Intercultural Studies at the University of Montevallo. She directs the Ada Long Creative Writing Workshop at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and she and her husband, novelist James Braziel, live and write in a glass cabin that they are building by hand.