Alabama Poet Laureate to speak during Stillman convocation Thursday

A black woman poses for a photo

Ashley M. Jones, a Birmingham native and the first Black Poet Laureate for the State of Alabama, will deliver the keynote address during Stillman College’s spring convocation Thursday.

Convocation will be held at 11 a.m. at Birthright Alumni Hall.

Jones, a graduate of the Alabama School of Fine Arts (2008) and University of Alabama at Birmingham (’12), is also the youngest poet laureate in the state’s history.

Jones’ poems are often inspired by her experiences of race and culture in Birmingham, the State of Alabama, and across the country. Her career and milestone selection as Alabama Poet Laureate in August 2021 have been highlighted by both NPR and the New York Times, among other news outlets.

Her poems and essays appear or are forthcoming in many journals and anthologies, including CNN and the Academy of American Poets.

Jones currently lives in Birmingham, Alabama, where she is founding director of the Magic City Poetry Festival, board member of the Alabama Writers Cooperative and the Alabama Writers Forum, co-director of PEN Birmingham, and a faculty member in the Creative Writing Department of the Alabama School of Fine Arts. She is also a member of the Core Faculty at Converse University’s Low Residency MFA Program. Jones recently served as a guest editor for Poetry Magazine.

STUDENTS: You are strongly encouraged to attend this campus tradition.

FACULTY: Faculty should line up for the procession in full regalia (if they have it) in the foyer of Birthright Alumni Hall by 10:45 a.m. on Thursday morning.