InSpero's Magic City Storytellers offers you the chance to experience some of Birmingham's amazing musicians, storytellers, wordsmiths, and poets. All at the Clubhouse on Highland (thank you, Bob!) with a beautiful spread of wine, beer, charcuterie boards (thanks Gild and Garnish, Christi, Elizabeth and Shelly!) and break-up cookies from Church Street Coffee and Books(thanks, Cal!) at intermission. We've sold out the past few years so get tickets now. Link here! Thanks also to Charlotte Donlon, Corey Nolen, and Charlie Ritch for curating these amazing storytellers.
Here's this year's wonderful line-up:
Gin Phillips is the author of five novels. Her debut novel, The Well and the Mine, was the winner of the 2009 Barnes & Noble Discover Award. Since then her work has been sold in 29 countries. Her latest novel, Fierce Kingdom, was named one of the Best Crime Novels of 2017 by The New York Times, as well as one of the Best Books of the Year by Publishers Weekly, NPR, and Amazon.
Will Stewart has been away from his hometown of Birmingham for years, living in Nashville while earning his stripes as a songwriter, frontman, and lead guitarist. Still, something kept drawing him back home where he'd grown up surrounded by the twang of classic country music and the stomp of rootsy rock & roll. Alabama was a complicated place, its history filled with dark characters and cultural clashes, but it was oddly compelling, too. After a decade away, he rediscovered his muse: the Modern South, whose characters, complexities, open spaces, and strange beauty are all channeled into Stewart's full-length solo debut, County Seat.
Tina Mozelle Braziel, author of Known by Salt (Anhinga Press) and Rooted by Thirst (Porkbelly Press). She's been awarded the Philip Levine Prize for Poetry, an Alabama State Council on the Arts fellowship, and an artist residency at Hot Springs National Park. She directs the Ada Long Creative Writing Workshop for high school students at UAB. She and her husband, novelist James Braziel, live and write in a glass cabin that they are building by hand on Hydrangea Ridge.
Brian Voice Porter Hawkins, poet, writer, actor, community development consultant, visionary and master gardener. Brian is vice-president of We Are Rtists (WAR), an organization that facilitates collaboration between artists and seeks to educate artists in the business of art. He is creative director of Bards & Brews at the Birmingham Public Library and On Stage at the Carver, the longest running poetry open mic in Alabama and co-founders of WordSpeak Literary Entertainment; a non-profit organization that uses writers and actors to enrich the lives of underprivileged children.
As director of "The Color Project Ensley," Brian seeks to transform a neglected part of our community, into a place overflowing with beauty and warmth. The Color Project Ensley addresses the social, mental, and physical health of the people of Ensley with public art, creative placemaking, performance art, and urban planning.
Chelsey Whild is a Birmingham native whose sound and song writing reflect a "woman in afraid to dig into the human condition." She has released two projects, "Fire" and "What I Need." She's also recently curated the Girls Rock Fest to benefit Girls Rock Bham.
Graham Cotten, a Zell fellow in fiction at The University of Michigan’s MFA program, has also attended workshops at Tin House, Sewanee, and the Yiddish Book Center. His short stories have appeared in American Short Fiction and on NPR’s All Things Considered. This summer, his wife and her business partner are opening an independent new bookstore in Birmingham, Thank You Books. He is finishing a novel.
So come to a magical night of song, storytelling, refreshments and beauty Thursday, June 6, 6-9 pm. Limited seating so go ahead and reserve your spot now. Link here for tickets.
We were stirred by Jonathan's discussion of territories vs. hierarchies as it relates to artists and writers. As a writer himself, he encourages creators to push past the tendency to compare and tend to their own journeys as creators.