Read Alabama 2021 season begins in March


The annual Read Alabama! The Next Chapter program's 28th season will begin next month to feature Alabama authors.

Bevill State Community College will host three authors at the college's Jasper campus this year — Amy McDonald, Adam Vines and Rachel Kaufman.

Each Read Alabama session is free to attend and will be held in Mathews Lecture Hall in the Wade Math & Science Building. Due to social distancing protocols required to prevent the spread of COVID-19, only 36 people will be admitted during each session on a first-come basis. Masks will be mandatory.

Each session will begin at 12:15 p.m. and doors will open at 11:30 a.m.    

The sessions will be streamed via Facebook Live and later posted on the Bevill State website.  

Receptions are typically held prior to each Read Alabama session; however, food will not be provided this year due to COVID-19. Those who attend the sessions will be given refreshment gift cards, redeemable at local restaurants.

The first Read Alabama session will be held on Thursday, March 11, in recognition of Women's History Month. Amy McDonald will be the guest author. 

McDonald is a teacher at Shades Valley High School in Birmingham where she teaches U.S. history and Holocaust studies. She is the author of "Determined to Survive: A Story of Survival and One Teacher’s Passion to Bring That Story to Life," which details the life of Holocaust survivor Max Steinmetz, who lives in Birmingham.

Author Adam Vines will lead the second Read Alabama session on Thursday, April 8.

Vines has authored three poetry collections, including "Out of Speech", "The Coal Life", and "Lures", which will be released next year.

He also co-authored two collaborative poetry collections, "According to Discretion" and "Day Kink."

Vines is an associate professor in the English department at UAB and director of the university's creative writing program.

Read Alabama's 2021 season will conclude with author Rachel Kaufman on Thursday, April 22.

Kaufman is a creative writer and recently debuted a fantasy series about the fictional world of Pylertchia. Her first book in the series is titled "Dragon Born and the Foothills of Fire."

She recently told the Daily Mountain Eagle that she plans to release one book each year until the series is completed.

Kaufman is a stay-at-home mother, and she has a bachelor's degree in English.

The Read Alabama program is a partnership between Bevill State Community College, Walker College Foundation, The Chamber of Commerce of Walker County, Walker County Arts Alliance, Jasper Main Street, and The Literacy Council of Walker County.

A press release from Bevill State Community College stated, in part, "Bevill State Community College has been a part of this outstanding program for many years, and we are looking forward to continuing even in these uncertain times. The program is free to the public and provides a rare opportunity for students and community members to meet and spend time with published Alabama authors."