Archive for March, 2021

NewSouth author, poet Jacqueline Trimble receives National Endowment for the Arts Writing Fellowship

Monday, March 22nd, 2021 by Matthew Byrne

For the winter quarter of 2021, the National Endowment for the Arts awarded Alabama institutions and artists $270,000, supporting the best and brightest creators in the state. NewSouth Books is proud to announce that Jacqueline Trimble, author of American Happiness, received twenty-five thousand of those dollars in support of the furtherance of her work as aTrimble cropped Lois poet. Chosen alongside the University of Alabama at Birmingham, the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, and the city of Tuscaloosa, Trimble’s achievement as an individual is a remarkable one indeed. As she told Alabama State University, where she serves as a professor of English and chair of the Department of Languages and Literature, “The National Endowment for the Arts only bestows this award to poets every other year, which makes it very special and most important to me. While the monetary award is fantastic, the most important thing to me is the level of recognition and encouragement this fellowship gives me as a writer by having a jury of my peers choose my manuscript out of a total of 1,601 in a blind competition. This makes me feel that my long hours of writing poetry are worthwhile … Being named an NEA Fellow is personally awe-inspiring to me.”

Jacqueline Trimble has been a poet and educator for much of her life, working tirelessly to create and share the beauty and art of poetry with students and readers alike. Dr. Jennifer Fremlin, chair of Huntingdon 327-AH front cover 72dpiCollege’s Department of Language and Literature, had this to say about her: “Those lucky enough to have been students or colleagues of Dr. Jackie Trimble know that she is first and foremost a teacher, and her poetry is an extension of that drive to help us all learn to see the world as it is: unvarnished and truthful and painful and beautiful all at the same time.” This NEA fellowship enables Trimble to continue writing full-time without distraction, a gift to us as readers.

American Happiness, her award-winning debut poetry collection, was published by NewSouth in 2016. Alabama Writers Hall of Famer Honorée Fanonne Jeffers wrote this about the collection: “I longed for her kind of poetry, these cut-to-the-flesh poems, this verse that sings the old-time religion of difficult truths with new courage and utter sister-beauty.” To use the language of the pandemic, Trimble’s work is essential, and we should be grateful that she has received this NEA grant that will keep her writing in 2021 and beyond.

More about Trimble’s work and the award can be found from Huntingdon College and Alabama State University.

New Ben Raines release joins books by Brockovich, Thunberg on Booklist list of vital environmental publications

Friday, March 12th, 2021 by Suzanne La Rosa

Envirojournalist Ben Raines has been passionate about the natural world for his entire life, a good bit of which has been spent quietly exploring the Mobile-Tensaw Delta by boat. His new book, Saving America’s Amazon: The Threat to Our Nations Most Biodiverse River System, is the ultimate expression of that mission, as is evidenced in the book’s sweeping discussion about the environmental perils facing the delta and its many glorious companion photographs. The Alabama delta is one of our nation’s most biodiverse ecosystems — it has more species of insects and fish and flora and fauna than Colorado and California combined. Its abundant biodiversity has been recognized by many, including E.O. Wilson, considered the father of the field of biodiversity and the contributor of the foreword to Ben Raines’s book, and now Booklist too, which has named Saving America’s Amazon to its Top 10 Books on the Environment and Sustainability in 2021. Booklist, a publication of the American Library Association, writes that the book is among “the most clarifying and resonant books about environmental issues and sustainability” and that it “tell(s) the elucidating and affecting stories of endangered animals and places…”

Booklist isn’t the only outlet recognizing Saving America’s Amazon as an important new release. WBEZ Chicago’s Reset spoke with Raines about the biodiversity of the delta and how special the area is when compared with other ecosystems around the country. The author’s expertise about the flora and fauna of the Mobile area is on full display in this conversation with Susie An, so nature lovers should delight. Alabama’s top book reviewer Don Noble says that “Ben Raines is on his way to becoming a household name” and writes for Alabama Public Radio that Saving America’s Amazon is “gorgeous and impassioned … jaw-dropping.”  We certainly agree. For Raines, though, it’s all about the Delta. “Coming out in a boat in the delta, you may as well be in the Amazon,” he told Debbie Elliott on NPR’s Weekend Edition. “It’s just so seductive.” Most important of all is its preservation, and Saving America’s Amazon is an important call for us to take its future seriously.