- Jennifer Horne
- Jennifer Horne grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas, and has lived in Alabama since 1986. The author of a book of poems, Bottle Tree (WordTech Publications, 2010), and a poetry chapbook, Miss Betty’s School of Dance (bluestocking press, 1997), she is also the editor of Working the Dirt: An Anthology of Southern Poets (NewSouth Books, 2003) and co-editor, with Wendy Reed, of All Out of Faith: Southern Women on Spirituality (University of Alabama Press, 2006). She has worked as a teacher in elementary, high school, college, international, and prison classrooms, and as a journal, magazine, and book editor, and has received fellowships from the Alabama State Council on the Arts and the Seaside Institute. She holds a BA in the Humanities from Hendrix College, and an MA in English, an MFA in Creative Writing, and an MA in Community Counseling, all from the University of Alabama. She is married to Don Noble, a writer, editor, and literary interviewer.
Monday, April 18, 2011
I always get a kick out of "literary season" in Alabama, which, in my mind, starts with On the Brink in Jacksonville in February and ends with the Alabama Writers Symposium the first weekend in May in Monroeville. It's mostly organized so as not to interfere with that other season in Alabama, the one that takes place in the fall. Last week was a good one: Wendy Reed and I turned in the final manuscript of our new collection of essays, to be titled Circling Faith: Southern Women on Spirituality (UA Press, forthcoming 2012); I had a great visit to Wallace Community College in Dothan, Alabama, where faculty, staff, and students made me feel very welcome as I gave a workshop and reading (thanks to Sally Buchanan for the photo); and, after a scary weather day on Friday, Saturday in Montgomery at the Alabama Book Festival held in Old Town (where we spied this bottle tree outside of Bottle Tree Pottery) was fine in all ways.
(Etymology-nerd note on the origin of the word tornado: it derives from the Spanish tronado, meaning thunder, and tornar, meaning to turn, so a tornado is a kind of turning thunderstorm.)
Thursday, April 7, 2011
I've been reading biographies and autobiographies of poets lately and just finished reading Mark Doty's Firebird. These words struck me, and I wanted to share them for other writers and artists. Doty begins a section near the end of the book with the sentence, "I believe that art saved my life. How is it that making sustains? I had these examples, this gift . . . ." He then recounts the various experiences in his life that were important to him in becoming a writer. He continues: "The gift was a faith in the life of art, or, more precisely, a sense that there was a life which was not mine, but to which I was welcome to join myself. A life which was larger than any single person's, and thus not one to be claimed, but to apprentice oneself to. In the larger, permanent community of makers, you could be someone by being no one, by disappearing into what you made. In that life your hands were turned, temporarily, to what beauty wanted, what spirit--not your spirit, not exactly--desired: to come into being, to be seen."