Calhoun Community College English Honors Society Announces Spring Writers Series

February 7, 2019

Download FlyerDecatur, AL – The Theta Beta chapter of Sigma Kappa Delta (SKD), the two-year college English honor society at Calhoun Community College, will host its Spring Writers Series, beginning Monday, February 25, 2019, with visiting author Tina Mozelle Braziel. All events in the series will be held at Calhoun’s Huntsville campus, Multi-Function Room of the Math, Science and Computer Information Systems building, beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Winner of the 2017 Philip Levine Prize for Poetry for her book, Known by Salt (Anhinga Press 2019), Braziel currently serves as director of the Ada Long Creative Writing Workshop at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Her book, Rooted by Thirst, was published in 2016 with Porkbelly Press, and her individual poems have appeared in The Cincinnati Review, Southern Humanities Review, Tampa Review, Appalachian Heritage, PMSpoemmemoirstory (where her work was nominated for a Pushcart Prize) and other journals. In 2018, she was awarded a fellowship for the Alabama State Council for the Arts. In 2017, she served as an artist-in-residence at Hot Springs National Park.

Braziel was awarded an (Masters of Fine Arts) M.F.A. scholarship to the Sewanee Writers’ Conference in 2013. She earned an M.F.A in Poetry from the University of Oregon, an M.A. (Masters of Arts) in Poetry at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and a B.A. (Bachelors of Arts) in Intercultural Studies at the University of Montevallo. She and her husband, novelist James Braziel, live and write in a glass cabin that they are building by hand.

Other writers included in the series are Philip Shirley (April 18, 2019) and Gayle Young (June 11, 2019).

Shirley writes about the South he loves and knows well. He was born and grew up in Alabama and lived in Florida and Texas before moving to Mississippi nearly 30 years ago. While in high school, his father moved the family to Monroeville, officially known as The Literary Capital of Alabama, where he first began a writing career that has garnered more than 50 awards for everything from fiction and poetry to speeches and feature articles.

During the decade he spent researching and writing The Graceland Conspiracy, he often paused to write and publish other work. First was a book of short stories called Oh Don’t You Cry for Me, which was a finalist for the Jefferson Prize. A year later he co-wrote Sweet Spot: 125 Years of Baseball and The Louisville Slugger, a social history of Major League Baseball and its relationship to the Louisville Slugger baseball bat brand. In 2014, Mindbridge Press released Shirley’s first novel, The White Lie. He splits time between a home in Mississippi where he is executive chairman of the South’s oldest advertising agency, a cabin in Paint Rock Valley in North Alabama, and Dauphin Island, Alabama. He is married to the painter Virginia Shirley.

After being a legal assistant for many years, Young retired to pursue the calling she had found when her sixth grade teacher picked her play to be performed by the class: she began her second career as a writer. She has published short pieces in newspapers, anthologies and magazines. Redbirds, Roses, and Ghosts is Young’s first book-length work, a humorous memoir about the challenges of becoming a writer. Her most important role is wife to her husband Larry and Mom and Nana to her children, grandchildren, and dogs, some of whom appear reluctantly in her writings.

Each event in Calhoun’s Writers Series is free and open to public. For more information, contact Christie Burney at 256-713-4826 or at