Ashley Jones to Headline 2024 Summer Writing Summit

Kares Library

Athens State University’s Writing Center will be hosting the 2nd Annual Summer Writing Summit at Kares Library from June 17-18. The two-day writing conference is designed for students, faculty, and community members who are interested in improving their writing skills and knowledge.

The Writing Summit will feature writing workshops in three categories: creative, academic, and professional. Local authors and college professors will facilitate these workshops, while students, writers, and creatives from the community will share their finished works and works-in-progress. 

Students who are working on capstone projects are encouraged to turn their research into poster presentations, and those who are preparing to go on the job market have an opportunity to attend for a session on writing elevator pitches. Business owners and book authors can also promote their products or services during the Summit.

This year’s keynote speaker will be Alabama Poet Laureate, Ashley Jones, who will give a keynote address and facilitate a poetry-writing workshop. Ashley Jones is the Poet Laureate of Alabama (2022-2026). She is the first person of color and the youngest person to hold this position in its 93-year existence. She holds an MFA in Poetry from Florida International University, and is the author of Magic City Gospel (Hub City Press 2017), dark / / thing (Pleiades Press 2019), and REPARATIONS NOW! (Hub City Press 2021). She is the co-editor of WHAT THINGS COST: An Anthology for the People (University Press of Kentucky, 2023).

Her poetry has earned several awards, including the Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers Award, the Silver Medal in the Independent Publishers Book Awards, the Lena-Miles Wever Todd Prize for Poetry, a Literature Fellowship from the Alabama State Council on the Arts, the Lucille Clifton Poetry Prize, and the Lucille Clifton Legacy Award. She was a finalist for the Ruth Lily Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship in 2020, and her collection, REPARATIONS NOW! was on the longlist for the 2022 PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry. 

Jones has been featured on news outlets including Good Morning America, ABC News, and the BBC. Her poems and essays appear in or are forthcoming at CNN, POETRY, The Oxford American, Origins Journal, The Quarry by Split This Rock, Obsidian, and many others. She co-directs PEN Birmingham, and she is the founding director of the Magic City Poetry Festival. She is the Associate Director of the University Honors Program at UAB, and is part of the Core Faculty of the Converse University Low Residency MFA Program. She recently served as a guest editor for Poetry Magazine. In 2022, she received a Poet Laureate Fellowship from the Academy of American Poets.

For more information about the Writing Summit, please contact Kem Roper at Registration is now open and attendance is free for the first 100 registrants. Guests can register here.

Ashley Jones - Alabama Poet Laureate
Ashley Jones, Alabama Poet Laureate
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