Local poet leads off UAB Writers’ Series Sept. 13

writers seriesCome see nationally recognized authors visit UAB to give readings and participate in discussion sessions in this September, October, January and April for the annual Writers’ Series. Readings are free and open to the public.

The Writers’ Series is co-sponsored by the Department of English, the Honors Program, Birmingham Area Consortium for Higher Education (BACHE) Visiting Writers, the Alys Stephens Center, UAB Student Government Association, the Alabama State Council on the Arts and Friends of the Writing Program.

The visiting authors for the 2017-18 academic year:

Ashley M. Jones

Jones, a faculty member at Alabama School of Fine Arts, will speak 6 p.m. Sept. 13 in the Alys Stephens Center Reynolds-Kirschbaum Recital Hall.

Her debut poetry collection, “Magic City Gospel,” was published by Hub City Press in January 2017 and won the silver medal in poetry from the 2017 Independent Publishers Book Awards.

Her poems appear or are forthcoming in the Academy of American Poets, “Tupelo Quarterly,”” Prelude,” “The Harvard Journal of African American Public Policy,” “pluck!,” “Fjords Review: Black American Edition,” “Kinfolks Quarterly” and others.

Karen Bender

Bender, a visiting distinguished professor of creative writing at Hollins University, will speak 6 p.m. Oct. 25 in the Hulsey Recital Hall.

She is the author of the story collection “Refund,” published by Counterpoint Press in 2015. It was the finalist for the National Book Award in Fiction and shortlisted for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Prize.

Bender is the author of the novels “Like Normal People,” which was a “Los Angeles Times” bestseller, and “A Town of Empty Rooms.” Her stories also have appeared in “Best American Short Stories” and “New Stories from the South: The Year’s Best.”

Allen Gee

Gee, who teaches fiction, prose forms and creative nonfiction at Georgia College and supervises GC’s Early College Writers in the Schools program, will speak 6 p.m. Jan. 31 in the Alys Stephens Center Reynolds-Kirschbaum Recital Hall.

His essay collection released in April 2015, “My Chinese-America,” was chosen by Lee Gutkind for the SFWP Award Series. Other work appears in the “Portland Review,” “The Grab Orchard Review,” “Lumina,” “The Common” and “Gulf Coast.”

Erica Dawson

Dawson, associate professor of English and writing at the University of Tampa and director of its low-residency MFA program, will speak 6 p.m. April 4 in the Alys Stephens Center Reynolds-Kirschbaum Recital Hall.

She is the author of the “The Small Blades Hurt” and “Big-Eyed Afraid,” and her poems have appeared in “Barrow Street,” “Blackbird,” “Literary Imagination,” “Unsplendid,” “Virginia Quarterly Review” and other publications.