Alina Stefanescu- Birmingham, Alabama 2018

 


Ashley M. Jones received an MFA in Poetry from Florida International University (FIU), where she was a John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Fellow. She served as Official Poet for the City of Sunrise, Florida’s Little Free Libraries Initiative from 2013-2015, and her work was recognized in the 2014 Poets and Writers Maureen Egen Writer’s Exchange Contest and the 2015 Academy of American Poets Contest at FIU. She was also a finalist in the 2015 Hub City Press New Southern Voices Contest, the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry First Book Award Contest, and the National Poetry Series. Her poems appear or are forthcoming in many journals and anthologies, including the Academy of American Poets, Tupelo Quarterly, Prelude, Steel Toe Review, Poetry Society of America, and many others. She received a 2015 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award and a 2015 B-Metro Magazine Fusion Award. She was an editor of PANK Magazine. Her debut poetry collection, Magic City Gospel, was published by Hub City Press in January 2017, and it won the silver medal in poetry in the 2017 Independent Publishers Book Awards. Her second book, dark // thing, won the 2018 Lena-Miles Wever Todd Prize for Poetry from Pleiades Press. She currently lives in Birmingham, Alabama, where she is founding director of the Magic City Poetry Festival, 2nd Vice President and Membership Chair of the AWC, co-coordinator of the Nitty Gritty Magic City Reading Series, and a faculty member in the Creative Writing Department of the Alabama School of Fine Arts.


Laura Secord received her MFA from Sierra Nevada College, after over twenty-years as a spoken word artist and producer of community performance events, including 100 Thousand Poets for Change and Voices of Resistance. She has a lifelong commitment to women and the under-represented and has been an activist and health care provider for forty years. A Pushcart nominee, her poems have appeared in the Birmingham Weekly, Arts and Understanding, The Southern Women’s Review, PoemMemoirStory, Passager, Indolent Books, Snapdragon and Burning House Press. She is the co-founder of Birmingham’s Sister City Spoken Word Collective, and an editor of their anthology, Voices of Resistance.


Alina Stefanescu is the Co-Organizer and Founder of 100,000 Poets for Change Birmingham; Organizer for Magic City Poetry Festival; Poetry Editor for Pidgeonholes; Publicity Manager and Board Member for Alabama Writer’s Conclave; President of Alabama State Poetry Society; Organize of Writer’s Resist Tuscaloosa; Member of Sister City Spoken Word Collective; Avid Tree-Hugger; Indivisible Stalagmite; Woman in Pajamas Raising Her Fist and Screaming at Folks Who Drive Too Fast Down the Neighborhood Street.

100 Thousand Poets for Change — Birmingham

 

The Etowah County Detention Center located in Gadsden, AL, currently houses approximately 300 male immigration detainees, pursuant to a contract between Etowah County and U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) to hold immigration detainees in the county jail. Organizations like Detention Watch Network and the Women’s Refugee Commission have exposed the abuses and rampant human rights violations that have occurred inside Etowah, labeling it “among the worst” immigration detention centers in the country (click button below for more information). The detention center has repeatedly proven itself incapable of implementing necessary reforms to protect the basic personal safety of detainees in its care and comply with constitutional and internal ICE standards. Detainees at Etowah experience extremely inadequate medical care and nutrition, physical and verbal abuse, and prolonged detention in violation of Supreme Court precedent. They are kept indoors 24/7 with no access to outdoor recreation; visitation is only by videophone, and like other jails and detention centers, phone prices are exorbitant. The vast majority of detainees come from communities far away from Alabama, and some are longtime U.S. residents with deep family and community ties. Some detainees fear persecution or torture if returned to the countries where they were born; others are stateless or come from countries that lack diplomatic ties with the U.S. Detainees are sent to Etowah to distance them from their families, legal advocates, and support networks. Etowah County charges ICE among the lowest per diem prices in the country, so ICE treats Etowah as a warehouse for longer-term detainees. Regardless of their pasts, none of the men in immigration detention at Etowah are serving time — they are being caged merely to ensure their attendance at their immigration court hearings or because they are subject to a removal order, which they may be actively fighting in the courts. We are proud to announce that the 2018 100 Hundred Thousand Poets for Change Birmingham event will benefit Shut Down Etowah. We are also thrilled to partner with Glass: A Journal of Poetry to publish our featured poets for the event. Poets are encouraged to submit poems that address, envision, and/or urge social change. Academic poets, community poets, performance poets — all poets who live in Alabama (or are willing to drive to Alabama for a day in September) are welcome. While you don’t have to reside in Birmingham to submit, please be advised that this feature is for Alabama residents only, as featured poets will be expected to perform at one of the two events in September. Although we are fundraising for Shut Down Etowah, the theme is not limited to immigrant rights but rather should be construed as a call for poems addressing all forms of economic, social, political, and institutional injustice. Ten selected poets be will featured at either of our two 100 Thousand Poets for Change events in September 2018 in Birmingham, Alabama, and their pieces will be published by Glass: A Journal of Poetry in a special feature. In an effort to raise funds and awareness about Shut Down Etowah, we will use winners’ name and featured poem in our online promotions for the events and for our online fundraising effort. Submit three unpublished poems for consideration to birminghamchange@glass-poetry.com by August 9th. Submissions must be sent to birminghamchange@glass-poetry.com in the following manner: • In a doc, docx, or Google Doc, attach a file that contains your three unpublished poems without any identifying information. Please respect this call for a blind submission process. Your poems should appear on separate, numbered pages. • In the body of the email, please include your name, email address, and a list of the titles of poems you are submitting. • In the interest of time, we prefer that there be no simultaneous submissions. • Please note that if your poem is selected for publication, you must be able to attend one of the two September events as a featured reader: Bham Stands at Relevator Coffee Feature and Open Mic (Thursday, Sept. 27th at 7pm) or 100 Thousand Poets for Change: Birmingham (Saturday, September 29th, DISCO, 3pm). Our mission is to engage with the wider literary community. To do this, we are committed to publishing a variety of new, emerging and established voices. Further, we are committed to inclusion and equity in publishing. We highly encourage submissions from underrepresented voices. Unfortunately, we are unable to pay you for your poems other than through publication. Accepted poems will be published on the Glass website in perpetuity. If your work is accepted, we request First North American serial rights as well as the right to archive your work on our website and to use your work, with credit given to you as the author, for promotional purposes. Otherwise, upon publication, all rights revert back to the author under the condition that you will credit Glass: A Journal of Poetry as the original publisher should your work be reprinted. We are so excited, so grateful, and so ready to rock this world with poetry for change. Warmly, Us
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