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Alabama’s Poet Laureate to visit library

MADISON – Jennifer Horne, Alabama’s new Poet Laureate, will share readings from her latest poetry collection and other works at Madison Public Library on March 16.

Horne will present her writing in lecture format during her workshop from 2 to 4 p.m. in the library’s auditoriums 1 and 2. As Alabama Poet Laureate, Horne represents the state in literary events around the country, attends local events and promotes awareness of poetry in this geographical region.

“Of the poems of hers that I have had the pleasure to read, I noticed that she writes about the South in loving, and sometimes lamenting, language,” Madison librarian Michelle Brightwell said.

“The sentiments expressed in Horne’s poetry resonate with my feelings about growing up in the South, and raising my child here … it’s a love/hate relationship sometimes,” Brightwell said. “Despite our differences, I love living in the South, much like how I would a family member who I might be disappointed in or disagree with.”

Horne has two poetry collections, “Bottle Tree” and “The Little Wanderer,” and a book of Southern fiction, “Tell Them to Call You a Wildflower” (UA Press). She has edited numerous books, including “Working the Dirt: An Anthology of Southern Poets.”

As an educator, Jennifer has taught children, university students, at-work writers and aspiring writers. She lives with husband Don Noble  near Tuscaloosa.

Horne’s publisher contacted Madison Public Library to request an auditorium for a poetry reading as the debut event for her new published poetry collection, “Borrowed Light.” “We then spoke with the publisher and asked if they would like to make this a partnered library program with us,” Brightwell said. 

“Jennifer is an accomplished poet, and, having been awarded the honor of Poet Laureate of Alabama, we felt that this would be a great opportunity to offer the community,” Brightwell said. Following the reading, Horne will sign copies, which will be available for purchase. 

The following passage is an excerpt of Horne’s poem, “WPA”:

“Come with me. We’ll start in the chalky loam of the Black Belt and follow the ocean’s path down to the gulf.”

“You bring the beer. I’ll bring the salt-and-vinegar chips and we’ll play hookey together on the first day of spring. I can feel the sand now, gritty and cool on the soles of my feet …”

For more information, call Brightwell at 256-461-0046, email mbrightwell@hmcpl.org or visit hmcpl.org/Madison.

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