Board of Directors

Julie Friedman, Fairhope
Julie Friedman, FairhopePresident
Julie Friedman graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Alabama with a BA in Art History. She served on the Boards of the National Museum for Women in the Arts (Alabama Committee), the Alabama Writers’ Forum, the Mobile Arts Council, the Mobile Opera, Mobile Ballet, the Mobile Museum of Art, and the History Museum of Mobile.
She is currently serving on the University of Alabama’s Paul Jones Collection Advisory Board and the University of Alabama’s Library Leadership Board.

She is serving her third term on the Alabama State Council on the Arts and is the former Chair of the Council. Friedman also served as chair of the Council’s Grants Committee and as chair of the Council’s Long-Range Planning Committee.

Friedman’s other civic activities include the Community Foundation of Southwest Alabama (Building Families Committee), the Steering Committee and Implementation Committee for the Cultural Plan (City of Mobile), Fairhope Chamber of Commerce, Junior League of Mobile, Mobile Opera Guild and Leadership Mobile. She also is a member of Mobile United and participated in the Leadership Initiative of Leadership Alabama.

Friedman and her husband, Dr. Frank Friedman, own and operate the Point of View Bed and Breakfast Inn.

(photo by Barbara Reed)

Zanice Bond, Auburn
Zanice Bond, AuburnVice President
Zanice Bond has made Alabama home for over a decade and is passionate about the arts and the humanities both in and out of the classroom. She is on the board of the Alabama Writers’ Forum and serves as its Vice President. Dr. Bond earned her Ph.D. in American studies from the University of Kansas and is currently an associate
professor of English in the Department of Modern Languages, Communication, and Philosophy at Tuskegee University (TU), where she teaches first-year English composition, African American literature, Southern literature, and Modern English Grammar and Linguistics. She serves on the planning committee for TU’s Annual Ellison Lecture and is Co-Principal Investigator for the University’s “Lift as We Climb: The Freshman Common Reading Experience with Transformative Texts” funded by an NEH-Teagle Foundation grant. She was the recipient of a Booker T. Washington Leadership Institute mini-grant for 2021-2022 and was co-director of a two-year NEH grant “Literary Legacies of Macon County and Tuskegee Institute: Zora Neale Hurston, Ralph W. Ellison, and Albert Murray”. Zanice was also guest curator at TU’s Legacy Museum for the “Soul of Zora: A Literary Legacy through Quilts” exhibit that ran from March until September 2019.

She has served as lead scholar for two Alabama Humanities Alliance SUPER Teacher Institutes: “Examining Dyann Robinson’s The Three Wives of Booker T.” and “All Y’all Really From Alabama: Teaching the Poetry of Ashley M. Jones”. In 2017, she received a Fulbright-Hays award to Santiago, Chile, and a Poetry Foundation Fellowship for the Furious Flower Center’s Legacy Seminar on Yusef Komunyakaa at James Madison University.

Zanice is serving a three-year term on the Encyclopedia of Alabama Advisory Council and is a member of the Southern Literary Trail Project/Exhibits committee. She has served on the Alabama Writers Hall of Fame committee (2022 Class) and is on the Harper Lee Award for Alabama’s Distinguished Writer committee (2022). Zanice is an Alabama Folklife Association Cauthen Fellow (2022-2023) and makes her home in Auburn, Alabama.

Jeanie Thompson, Montgomery
Jeanie Thompson, MontgomeryEx Officio (Founding Executive Director)
Jeanie Thompson has published five collections of poetry, The Myth of Water, Poems from the Life of Helen Keller (The University of Alabama Press, 2016), The Seasons Bear Us (River City Publishing, 2009), White for Harvest: New and Selected Poems (River City Publishing, 2001), Witness (Black Belt Press, 1995), and How to Enter
the River (Holy Cow! Press, 1985), and three chapbooks. She co-edited The Remembered Gate: Memoirs by Alabama Writers, (University of Alabama Press, 2002) with Jay Lamar. Witness won a Benjamin Franklin Award from the Publishers Marketing Association in 1996. Her poems, interviews with writers, and critical articles have appeared in Antaeus, Crazyhorse, Ironwood, North American Review, New England Review, PoemMemoirStory (Nelle), Southern Review, The Louisville Review, and numerous anthologies. Jeanie holds the MFA from The University of Alabama, where she was founding editor of the literary journal Black Warrior Review. She also received her BA in English at UA. She has taught at the University of New Orleans, the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts, and the poetry-in-the-schools program in New Orleans and in Alabama. Jeanie has received Individual Artist fellowships from the Louisiana State Arts Council and the Alabama State Council on the Arts and was a Walter Dakin Fellow at the Sewanee Writers Conference 2000. She teaches as an adjunct poetry faculty member in the Spalding University low-residency MFA Writing Program. (photo by Jerry Siegel ©)
Charlotte Pence, Mobile
Charlotte Pence, MobileSecretary
Author of one full-length poetry book, two award-winning chapbooks, a composition handbook, and editor of The Poetics of American Song Lyrics, Dr. Charlotte Pence is the director of the Stokes Center for Creative Writing at the University of South Alabama. Her writing has received awards and fellowships from the
Tennessee Arts Commission, the Redden Fund, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, the Alvin H. Nielson Memorial Fund, the Discovered Voices Award, New Millennium Writing Award, multiple Pushcart nominations and many other honors. Two of her most recent honors include serving as a Fellow at Sewanee Writers’ Conference and being awarded a Patterson Fellowship from Vanderbilt University. Her poetry, hybrid prose, and creative nonfiction have been published in Alaska Quarterly Review, Epoch, Harvard Review, Kenyon Review Online, North American Review, Denver Quarterly, Passages North, Rattle, Tar River Poetry Review, Prairie Schooner, Southern Review, and many other journals.
Philip Shirley, Tuscaloosa
Philip Shirley, TuscaloosaTreasurer
Philip Shirley is an author of both fiction and nonfiction, as well as the CEO of GodwinGroup, the South’s oldest ad agency. Over the past decade he has published a collection of short stories, Oh Don’t You Cry For Me (a finalist for the Jefferson Prize), a social history of baseball titled Sweet Spot: 125 Years of Baseball and
the Louisville Slugger (with Triumph Books of Random House) co-authored with David Magee, and a 2012 novel, The White Lie, released by Mindbridge Press. (Photo by Kyle Newton)
Susie Paul, Montgomery
Susie Paul, MontgomeryHSLAA Chair & Member Representative
Dr. Susie Paul is associate professor, emerita, and Distinguished Teaching Associate in the AUM Department of English and Philosophy and an adjunct instructor at Huntingdon College. She is a retired professor of English, having taught composition, American literature, poetry, and the writing of poetry at AUM
for over 20 years. She is the author and editor of two books and has published many essays and articles. She is also a published poet. Working with the Alabama Humanities Foundation Speakers’ Bureau, she has traveled throughout the state talking about Alabama poets, among other topics, and she has judged the poetry division of the Forum’s high school writers’ contest for several years. Her daughter Amelia Johnson is the college counselor at Indian Springs School and her son Joseph Johnson is a musician, currently lead guitar in the band Blue Yonder.
Donna Estill, Decatur
Donna Estill, Decatur
Dr. Donna Estill is currently Dean of Humanities & Social Sciences at Calhoun Community College. She holds a BA in Journalism with a minor in French from the University of Alabama, an MA in English from the University of Alabama in Huntsville, and an EdD from the University of Alabama. After working as a budget analyst
at the University of Alabama in Huntsville while earning a Master’s degree in English, she taught English at South Arkansas Community College. While working on her doctorate, she worked as an administrator and middle school/high school English, history and PE teacher at the Capitol School in Tuscaloosa and was managing editor for Crystal Growth and Design, an American Chemical Society journal. She then taught English at Alabama Southern Community College (now Coastal Alabama Community College) in Monroeville, also serving as Assistant Director of the Alabama Center for Literary Arts and Humanities Division Chair. She moved to Fort Scott, Kansas, to serve as Dean of Instruction/Chief Academic Officer at Fort Scott Community College before returning to Calhoun Community College. In addition to being an administrator, she teaches as often as possible, has served as the Humanities Advisor for the Alabama Writers’ Symposium, and is an active member of the Alabama Association for Developmental Education. She was chosen as Outstanding Administrator at Calhoun for the 2017-18 academic year and was awarded with a NISOD Excellence Medal.
Ashley M. Jones, Birmingham
Ashley M. Jones, Birmingham
Ashley M. Jones holds an MFA in Poetry from Florida International University, and she is the author of Magic City Gospel and dark / / thing. 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. Her poems and essays appear in or are forthcoming at CNN, The Rumpus, The Oxford American, Origins Journal, The Quarry by Split This Rock, Obsidian, and many others. Jones serves on the boards of the Alabama Writers Cooperative and the Alabama Writers’ Forum. She teaches at the Alabama School of Fine Arts, co-directs PEN Birmingham, and is the founding director of the Magic City Poetry Festival.
James H. “Jimmy” McLemore is an attorney and general counsel with the Alabama Housing Finance Authority in Montgomery. He graduated from the University of Alabama (B.S. School of Commerce, 1979; J.D., School of Law, 1982). Upon graduation, he was commissioned in the
U.S. Army Reserve and served as an Armor Officer in the Army National Guard. He serves on the board of the Alabama Humanities Foundation, the University of Alabama Libraries Leadership Board, Montgomery Rotary Club, the Children’s Center of Montgomery, and the Capstone Leadership Council. McLemore is a life-long parishioner of St. John’s Episcopal Church. He is married to Laura Patrick of Montgomery. They have three sons, James, John Patrick, and Bonner. (Photo of Jimmy McLemore by Mark Dauber)
Sandra Whatley-Washington, Montgomery
Sandra Whatley-Washington, Montgomery
Sandra Whatley Washington, a native of Montgomery, Alabama, graduated from Alabama State University and Auburn University. She was a cooperating teacher for the “Writing Our Stories” Program for 10 years at the Wallace School on the Mt. Meigs Campus. She retired from Alabama Department of Youth Services after
nearly forty years of service for the state of Alabama. She is married to Michael Washington and the mother to Erin, Erica and Christopher.
Jacqueline Allen Trimble began her writing life after learning the word “swiftly” in Mrs. Edna T. Mosley’s first grade class. The word seemed to her the perfect mixture of sound and sense. That night, she went home and pecked out her autobiography on her grandfather’s old portable typewriter. It was one paragraph long and may
have been the most tightly written manuscript she ever produced. A few years later, she discovered Edgar Allen Poe and T.S. Eliot and decided to become a poet. After winning a few contests in high school, she earned gas money in college by charging a dollar a line for customized verse. Most notable was an apocryphal narrative ballad written to commemorate a certain Mr. Tarlow’s receiving a wooden toilet seat from his friends for his birthday. She got one dollar per line. Though her heart belonged to poetry, pragmatism, if one may make such an association in this case, led her to earn an MA and a PhD in English from the University of Alabama. For almost three decades she has taught composition, American literature, African-American literature, women’s literature, creative writing, Southern literature, and critical theory; won numerous teaching awards; and not written very much poetry. However, recent workshops with Marge Piercy on Cape Cod and Billy Collins in Key West have rekindled her passion. Her poem, “American Happiness,” was recently published in The Blue Lake Review, and she is at work on a collection by the same title. For seven years she chaired the Department of Languages and Literature at her undergraduate alma mater, Huntingdon College. She currently chairs the Department of Languages and Literatures at Alabama State University.
Jan White, Andalusia
Jan White, Andalusia
Jan White is a wife, mother, grandmother, and writer. Her articles have been published in Charisma Magazine, Focus on the Family, CBA Marketplace, Christian Retailing, and The Alabama Baptist.

She has worked for three newspapers and written a weekly religion column

for the Andalusia Star-News for twenty-five years and in the Southeast Sun in Enterprise, AL for over ten years.

Jan won the Amy Writing Award in 2007 for her column, “Forgiveness, The Key to Unlocking Hatred.” The award was presented at the Michigan Prayer Breakfast held in Lansing, Michigan.

She has also co-authored two books.

Jan had the honor of participating in the 2008 class of the Centurion Program, founded by Chuck Colson and Breakpoint/Prison Fellowship Ministry.

Jan and her husband, Greg, have lived in Andalusia for 38 years, where she is active as a community volunteer for Sav-A-Life of Covington County, Crossover Ministries, and other religious and civic organizations.

They have one daughter, Kelley, a licensed professional counselor works at LBW Community College’s Student Support Services, who is married to Chase Nolen. Jan thinks her two granddaughters are grand!

Tina Mozelle Braziel, Birmingham
Tina Mozelle Braziel, Birmingham
Tina Mozelle Braziel won the Philip Levine Prize for Poetry for Known by Salt (Anhinga Press). She co-authored Glass Cabin (Pulley Press) with her husband, writer James Braziel. An Alabama Poetry Delegate, she has been awarded a fellowship from the Alabama State Council on the Arts, an artist residency at Hot Springs National Park,
and the first Eco-Poetry Fellowship from the Magic City Poetry Festival. She directs the Ada Long Creative Writing Workshop for high school students at UAB.

Jim Buford, Auburn
Jim Buford, AuburnEmeritus Member
Jim Buford is a management consultant whose published creative work includes essays, short stories, and social history. He is the former Southern Literature columnist for The Montgomery Advertiser.

Buford’s latest creative work is The House Across the Road, and Other Stories

(2010, Mindbridge Press)

(Photo by Yolanda Jackson)

Sue Brannan Walker
Sue Brannan WalkerEmeritus Member
Sue Brannan Walker is a returning board member, having served on the founding executive committee of the Forum from 1992 -1995. Walker was commissioned as Alabama’s Poet Laureate in 2004 by Gov. Bob Riley. She holds an M.A., M.Ed., and Ph.D. from Tulane University. She is known nationally and internationally for her poetry
and critical articles on poets and writers such as James Dickey, Marge Piercy, Flannery O’Connor, and Carson McCullers. As publisher of Negative Capability Press and of the journal Negative Capability, she has published not only such authors as Jimmy Carter, E.O. Wilson, John Updike, William Stafford, Gerald Stern, Jack Coulehan, David Ignatow, Mary Oliver, Pat Schneider, Karl Shapiro, Richard Eberhart, Diane Wakoski, Roald Hoffman, Bernie Seigel, and Rita Dove, but also numerous Alabama poets and writers, providing them a greater audience and some of them their first opportunity to be published. Walker’s poetry, prose, and community service have garnered numerous awards, grants, and fellowships. She has published six volumes of poetry. Walker serves as the chair of the University of South Alabama English Department and director of the Stokes Center for Creative Writing at USA.

(photo by Dennis Holt)

Jay Lamar, Auburn
Jay Lamar, Auburn
Jay Lamar served as the executive director of the Alabama Bicentennial Commission from 2014 through 2020. Before that she was the director of Special Programs for Auburn University Libraries and for the AU Associate Provost for Undergraduate Studies and managing editor of Auburn Speaks, an annual publication of
the Vice President for Research. Before moving to Special Programs, she was director of the Caroline Marshall Draughon Center for the Arts & Humanities, the outreach office of the AU College of Liberal Arts. A native of Alabama, Lamar was co-editor with Jeanie Thompson of The Remembered Gate: Memoirs by Alabama Writers.

Anne Kimzey
Anne KimzeyEx Officio