Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Days of Glaze: Exhibit, Readings of Andrew Glaze’s Work by Local Poets

Andrew Glaze, a new member of the Alabama Writers Hall of Fame, puts the South in the spotlight in only the way a true southern poet can.

The Birmingham Public Library (BPL) presents an exhibit of photographs and memorabilia of Andrew Glaze, Alabama’s Poet Laureate. The exhibit opens on November 6 and runs through December 31 at the Central Library located at 2100 Park Place.

Further celebrating Glaze’s newest published collection of poetry, local poets will honor Glaze in two readings in November: BPL’s Bards & Brews Open Mic on November 6, 2015, at the Central Library (honorary readings during half-time) and The Nitty Gritty Magic City poetry group on November 8, 2015, at Desert Island Supply Co.

Alabamians can truly claim Glaze as their own. While born in Nashville, Glaze grew up in Birmingham. He attended local Birmingham schools Lakeview and Ramsay.

After graduating from Harvard and completing four years abroad in France with the US Army Air Force, he returned to Birmingham as a court reporter for the Birmingham Post-Herald during the civil rights movement. This inspired his famous poem, “I Am the Jefferson County Courthouse,” (1981) and many others that have made him one of the top southern poets of the 20th century.

In 2013, Andrew Glaze earned the title of Alabama’s eleventh Poet Laureate. In July 2015, he was inducted into the Alabama Writers’ Hall of Fame. Now at the age of 95, he has published a new collection of poetry, Overheard in a Drugstore (NewSouth Books, August 2015). This collection reflects Glaze’s witty, unorthodox sense of the world where the South is always a present force and the human condition something deserving of contemplation.

Considering Glaze's literary success, Alabamians may perhaps think of Glaze as their own Robert Frost. After all, Glaze met Robert Frost multiple times while at Harvard and again at the 1946 Bread Loaf Writers' Conference. The photo below includes the faculty and fellows of the 1946 Bread Writers' Conference, which includes both Robert Frost and Andrew Glaze:

Rear: Robert Frost, Robert Bordner, Graeme Lorimer, Andrew Glaze, Wallace Stegner, Rudolph Kieve, Theodore Morrison, Eugene Burdick, William Sloane.
Front: Carol Warren Burdick, Kay Morrison, Helen Everitt, Mary Stegner.
Photo courtesy of Middlebury College Special Collections and Archives

Photos like these and more in the BPL exhibit will allow patrons a glimpse into the life of Glaze, a life in all ways Alabamian.

Exhibit: November 6-December 31, 2015
Reading: Bards & Brews Open Mic—November 6, 2015
Reading: Nitty Gritty Magic City Poetry Group—November 8, 2015

Andrew Glaze has been highly praised in the New York Times, nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, and honored with awards from Poetry Magazine and the Southeastern Booksellers Association. His first full-length collection, Damned Ugly Children (1966) was named a "Notable Book" by the American Library Association. He is in the Alabama Writers Hall of Fame and is serving as the eleventh Poet Laureate of Alabama.

PUBLICATIONS AND AWARDS (See the complete list, including journals and anthologies, on the Alabama Writers' Forum website here.)


Overheard in a Drugstore, NewSouth Books, 2015
Greatest Hits: 1964-2004, Pudding House Press, 2005
Remembering Thunder: Poems, NewSouth Books, 2002
Someone Will Go on Owing: Selected Poems, 1966-1992, Blackbelt Press, 1998
Reality Street: Poems, St. Andrews Press, 1992
A City, Swamp Press, 1982
I Am the Jefferson County Courthouse and Other Poems, Thunder City Press, 1981
The Trash Dragon of Shensi: Poems, Copper Beech Press, 1978
A Masque of Surgery, Menard Press, 1974
Damned Ugly Children: Poems, Trident Press, 1966
Lines, Illustrated by A. Umana, Editions Heraclita, 1964

Literary Awards:

Alabama Writers Hall of Fame inductee, 2015
Poet Laureate of Alabama, 2013-2017
Bruce Rossley Literary Award, 2000
National Hackney Award in Poetry, Birmingham-Southern College
Best Book of the Year Award, Southeastern Booksellers' Association for Someone Will Go On Owing, 1998
ABA Online Award, 1998
Best Small Press Titles, Library Journal for I Am the Jefferson County Courthouse 1981
Notable Books List, American Library Association for Damned Ugly Children, 1966
Eunice Tietjens Award, Poetry, 1951

RESOURCES Check out these books about Andrew Glaze.

Earth That Sings: On the Poetry of Andrew Glaze

The Remembered Gate: Memoirs by Alabama Writers

Bethany Mitchell

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