FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 15, 2023
Five Alabamians will serve as Alabama Poetry Delegates as a part of the Alabama Poetry Delegation (APD), a leadership and service project created by Alabama Poet Laureate Ashley M. Jones, supported by the Academy of American Poets and the Mellon Foundation and in partnership with the Alabama Writers Forum. APD is a service initiative of Jones’ nonprofit organization, Magic City Poetry Festival.
Jones, who is the first person of color and the youngest person to serve as Poet Laureate in Alabama’s history, created this project as a part of her application for a Poet Laureate Fellowship from the Academy of American poets in 2022. Jones received a $50,000 award, with $15,000 of it designated for a service project in Alabama. 22 Poet Laureates from across the country received this award.
The Alabama Poetry Delegation empowers five delegates to serve in five designated multi-county regions throughout Jones’ tenure as Poet Laureate (2022-2026). Delegates are tasked with crowdsourcing and creating events and programs for the regions that they serve and in which they live.
Jones says about the project: “It’s vital to me that I don’t prescribe what Alabamians need, but rather that I simply assist in finding resources so each region can be empowered to decide what will work best for them. The role of the Poet Laureate, in my eyes, is a role of service, and this project is representative of that goal: five delegates from different walks of life from different parts of the state serving those regions with poetry programming!”
The delegates were selected after an application process, and each delegate was required to partner with an organization local to their region who will assist them in their programming. Delegates receive a $1,000 stipend for personal use, and partner organizations receive $2,000 for programming.
The chosen delegates and their regions are: