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Ashley Mace Havird

Ashley Mace Havird

About Artist

Basic Information

  • Artist Statement

    The main source of my creative energy is the natural world. Both my poetry and fiction are rooted in the swamps, tobacco farms, and pine woods of my South Carolina childhood, in the suburban and rural landscapes of northwest Louisiana where I’ve spent most of my adult life, in other countries and islands where I’ve spent time: Greece, Denmark, the Caribbean. I am passionately interested in the relationship between human beings and the environment we are commissioned to protect, yet seem destined to destroy.

    Much of the nature in my poetry tends toward microcosm, often the insect world, which I find fascinating. (One reviewer was amused by my “bestiary of bugs.”) Apart from environmental, other major thematic interests are family history, relationships within families, and social issues. The poems are for the most part lyric, and my novel and novel-in-progress are respectively historic (Lightningstruck) and dystopian (Swimmer).

    My approach to craftsmanship is similar with regard to both genres. I consider myself a poet who writes novels, rather than the other way around. Therefore, my attention in my poems to metaphor, syntax, diction, the power of the image, and on sound textures—the rhythms and music of language—this carries over into my prose. Of course, with the novel, character development and plot are primary, although place in my own work is typically Southern in that it is nearly a character in its own right.
  • Resume

    Caddo Parish Poet Laureate
    715 Elmwood Street
    Shreveport, LA 71104
    (318) 426-2696/


    MA in English, Emphasis in Creative Writing, University of Florida, 1978.
    BA in English, University of South Carolina, 1975.

    Grants, Awards, Fellowships, Residencies
    Poet Laureate of Caddo Parish, 2018-2021.
    Shreveport Regional Arts Council (SRAC) Artist Fellowship in Literature (Poetry), 2018, 2007, 2000 ($2500).
    National Award: Mary Jane Malone Lecture Series, Caddo Magnet High School, Shreveport, October 2017. Both novel and poetry were school-wide reads.
    Chautauqua Institution, NY, Writer’s Residency, July 2017.
    Travel Grants ($1000), Shreveport Regional Arts Council, 2016, 2017.
    Literary Winner, Shreveport Regional Arts Council Critical Mass 4, for novel, Lightningstruck, 2016 ($2000).
    Winner, Ferrol Sams Award for Fiction, for Lightningstruck, 2015.
    Finalist (one of five, 385 entries), Leapfrog Fiction Contest, for novel, An Old Horse Named Troy
    (renamed Lightningstruck), June 2014.
    Steelville Arts Council Writer’s Residency (Poetry), Steelville, Missouri, June 2014.
    X. J. Kennedy Prize for Full Poetry Collection, Texas Review Press, 2013.
    South Carolina Poetry Initiative Chapbook Award, 2008.
    Pushcart Prize Nominee, 2002.
    Louisiana Division of the Arts Fellowship in Literature (Poetry), 2002 ($5000).
    Louisiana Division of the Arts Professional Development Grant in Literature (Poetry), 1999-2000 ($500).
    First Place award, Panacea poetry competition, Shreveport Regional Arts Council, 2004 ($750).

    Books (novel)
    Lightningstruck, 2015 Ferrol Sams Award for Fiction, Mercer University Press, 2016. Historical Novel
    Society Editor’s Choice.

    Books (poems)
    The Garden of the Fugitives, 2013 X. J. Kennedy Prize, Texas Review Press, 2014.
    Sleeping with Animals, Yellow Flag Press, 2013.
    Dirt Eaters, South Carolina Poetry Initiative Prize, Stepping Stones Press, 2009.

    Anthologies (poems)
    “Resurrection: Ivorybill,” Southern Ecology: An Anthology of Literature and the Environment, ed. J. Bruce Fuller, forthcoming from Yellow Flag Press, 2019.
    “The Dogs of Athens,” “Temple of the Olympian Zeus,” “Second Story,” “Last Judgment,” Mediterranean Poetry (online) Oct. 17, 2017.
    “The Harvest,” Nasty Women Poets: An Unapologetic Anthology of Subversive Verse, ed. Grace Bauer and Julie Kane, Lost Horse Press, 2017.
    “At Stonewall” and “Lunar Eclipse,” Hard Lines: Rough South Poetry, ed. Daniel Cross Turner and
    William Wright, U of South Carolina Press, 2016.
    “Migrant Worker,” “Sleeping with Animals,” “Mosaic,” and “Artemis,” Mediterranean Poetry (online)
    Oct. 20, 2015.
    “Dirt Eaters” and “Sister Josephine Tells Your Fortune,” Vision/Verse 2009-2013, An Anthology of Poetry from the Vision/Verse Art and Poetry Exhibits, ed. J. Bruce Fuller and Erica McCreedy,
    Yellow Flag Press, 2013.
    “Dirt Eaters,” “Sideshow,” “Resurrection: Ivorybill,” The Southern Poetry Anthology, Vol. IV: Louisiana,
    ed. William Wright, Texas Review Press, 2011.
    "Mosaic," Knowing Stones: Poems of Exotic Places, ed. Maureen Tolman Flannery, John Gordon Burke,

    • Poems
    “Strays,” Image (forthcoming).
    “Babyland,” Chautauqua Literary Journal (forthcoming).
    “First Year,” The Sewanee Review, 127: 4 (Fall 2018).
    “Perseids,” Fleur de Lit 1:1 (2017).
    “Late for Reading” and “Fifty,” Crab Orchard Review 21: 1-2 (2017).
    “The Gardener,” Southern Humanities Review 50:1-2 (2016).
    “Fixing Junior,” South Carolina Review, 48: 1 (Fall 2015).
    “Artemis,” Lowestoft Chronicle, 22 (Summer 2015).
    “The Lost Boys,” Verse Daily, “Poem for Friday,” Jan. 23, 2015.
    “Migrant Worker,” Cumberland River Review, 4:1 (Spring 2015).
    “Proof,” Cumberland River Review, 3:4 (Winter 2014).
    “Daughter, 14, with Scissors,” Shenandoah (Spring 2014).
    “The Harvest” and “Feeding with the Whale Sharks,” Saranac Review (Fall 2013).
    “Second Story” and “Temple of the Olympian Zeus,” Illuminations (Summer 2013).
    “Thanksgiving,” The Cortland Review, 57 (Oct. 2012).
    “Pollard’s Rock” and “Hurricane, Cayman Brac,” Town Creek Poetry (Spring 2012).
    “The Garden of the Fugitives,” WomenArts Quarterly Journal (Fall 2011).
    “Restitution: Swallowtails,” The Texas Review (Fall/Winter 2011).
    “Resurrection: Ivorybill,” Southern Humanities Review (Fall 2009).
    “Sleeping with Animals,” Tar River Poetry (Spring 2009).
    “The Legend of Petit Jean,” “The Trip,” “Pan’s Shadow,” Yemassee (Spring 2009).
    "Dirt Eaters," Shenandoah (Spring 2007).
    "Daughter," The Chattahoochee Review (Summer 2006).
    "Daphne," Southern Humanities Review (Fall 2006).
    "Cleaning the Garage," New Delta Review (Summer 2006).
    "The Feast of Snails," Calyx: A Journal of Art and Literature by Women (Winter 2006).
    "Ants in August," Southern Poetry Review (Spring 2005).
    "On Cayman Brac," Sow's Ear Poetry Review (Spring 2005).
    "Persephone's Crown," Iris (Fall/Winter 2004).
    "Lunar Eclipse," "Ice Storm," and "1939: His Adoptive Mother," Bayou (2002).
    "Sideshow," The Southern Review (Summer 2002).
    "Yellow Dog," Slant (Summer 2002).
    "Inheritance," Midwest Poetry Review (Spring 2002).
    "Decoration," The Texas Review (Spring/Summer 2000).
    "The Field," The Texas Review (Spring/Summer 1999).
    "At Stonewall," "Housecleaning," and "Family Life, Louisiana," Louisiana English Journal (1999).
    "When Time Stands Still," The Texas Review (Spring/Summer 1997).
    "Rapture," The Christian Century (April 2, 1997).
    "Hand Knit," Hodge Podge Poetry (Summer 1996).
    "Carnival," "Vernix," "Dead Wood," "Lifeguard," and "Swamp," Louisiana English Journal (1996).
    "November Dusk" and "Firefly," The Kerf (May 1996).
    "Jeté," Visions International (1995)
    "Walking in the Woods after Granddaddy's Funeral," The Kerf (May 1995).
    "Wisteria," First Things (March 1995).
    "The Victorious Ones," First Things (Aug./Sept. 1994).
    "Take-off in Atlanta," First Things (June/July 1994).

    • Short Stories
    "At Aunt Charlotte's," The Virginia Quarterly Review (Summer 1987).
    "The Burial Ground," The Virginia Quarterly Review (Spring 1982).
    "Autumn Rains and Forest Fires," Sandlapper: The Magazine of South Carolina (October 1975).

    • Essays
    “Such Houses: A Review of Claudia Emerson’s Final Collections,” Nola Diaspora (2017).
    “Center Post: A Tribute to Smith Kirkpatrick,” The Christendom Review 1:1 (2008).

    Professional Experience, Teaching
    Instructor, Renzi Education and Art Center, 2005 to 2015
    Creative Writing, Language Arts
    Adjunct Instructor, Centenary College of Louisiana, 2007 and 2001
    Advanced Creative Writing, Creative Writing
    Instructor, Centenary College of Louisiana Division of Continuing Education, 1997
    Writing the Short Story
    Instructor, University of Virginia Division of Continuing Education, 1979-1980
    Fiction Writing
    Advanced Fiction Writing
    Southern Women Writers
    Instructor, St. Johns River Community College, 1978
    American Literature II
    Contemporary Literature

    Additional Professional Arts-related Experience and Activities
    Chautauqua Institution, NY: “Excavating Home:” Weeklong Prose Workshop, July 2017
    Louisiana Book Festival, Baton Rouge: 2017, 2016, 2014.
    Lightningstruck Book Tour (readings and workshops in LA, SC, GA, NC, MS, TX, NY) 2016-2017
    “House of Poetry:” Workshops, Armstrong Browing Library, Baylor University, Waco, TX, Apr. 6, 2016 Workshop and Poetry Reading, Steelville Arts Council, June 2014 Board of Directors, Algur Meadows Museum, Chair Program Committee, 2011-present Literacy Volunteers: ESL Tutor Centenary College, 1999-2012
    Numerous State and Regional Readings (poetry and fiction) sponsored by SRAC, the Louisiana Library Association, Yellow Flag Press, the University of South Carolina, Centenary College, Northwestern, Louisiana Tech, Louisiana State University (Shreveport), and Bossier Parish Community College, 2000-present
    Fiction Writing Workshop, Louisiana Library Association Conference, LSUS, March 2008
    Shreveport Regional Arts Council (SRAC) Artspace Exhibition Committee, 2005-2008
    Artspace Faces of Katrina Exhibit, Fall 2006
    Artspace Advisory Board, 2005-2006
    Literary Curator/Workshop Facilitator, Arts in the Edge (SRAC), March 2003
    Highway Haiku Participant, 2003-2005
    Sewanee Writers' Conference (Poetry), July 2002
    Fiction Writing Workshop, First Presbyterian Church, Shreveport, Spring 2002
    Board Member, La JAZDANZ (non-profit professional contemporary dance company), Shreveport, 1996-2000; Board President, 1996-1997
    Writers' Guild of Acadiana Conference (Poetry Workshop Instructor), Lafayette, LA, 1998
    River Cities Writers' Conference (Fiction Workshop Instructor), Shreveport, LA, October 1996
    "Building Literary Bridges" (Poetry Reading/Workshop Instructor), LSU-Alexandria, September 1996
    "Building Literary Bridges" (Poetry Reading/Workshop Instructor), LSU-Eunice, April 1996
    South Central Conference on Christianity and Literature (Poetry Reading), Centenary College of
    Louisiana, Shreveport, LA, 1995
    Fiction Reader, The Virginia Quarterly Review, 1979-1986

Contact Information


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