Recently I was a guest lecturer for a college class at UAB called “Writing in Birmingham.” The focus of the class, taught by Dr. Jaci Wells, is to learn about the city by writing about it. Dr. Wells is a recent transplant from Purdue University, and it was thought that a good way for her to learn about her new city would be to teach this course. So she is learning right along with the students. When I visited the class, I talked about how I approached writing about Birmingham in my novels and short stories. Since I edit two publications based in Birmingham (this one and the Birmingham Free Press), I also talked about the kind of writing we publish in those venues, and I encouraged students to submit some of the pieces they have been writing.
Billy Field teaches a similar sort of class fifty miles away at the University of Alabama. His students make films about Alabama history, and I thought that since I was thinking about these sorts of things right now, it would be a good time to feature some of those films here at STR.
Sticking with the theme, we also have an excerpt from the new autobiography of Doc Adams, a jazz musician from Birmingham who has played alongside many legends from Duke Ellington to Sun Ra. In addition, we have an excerpt from an upcoming novel by local writer Kerry Madden.
On top of all that, we have some short stories and poetry that have nothing whatsoever to do with Alabama or its history. Because that’s how we roll.
-M. David Hornbuckle