Centenary’s Red River Poetry Society hosts Caddo Parish Poet Laureate Ashley Mace Havird for virtual reading

SHREVEPORT, LA — Centenary College’s Red River Poetry Society will host Caddo Parish Poet Laureate Ashley Mace Havird for a virtual reading on Friday, March 5, at 6:30 p.m. Havird will read from her new book, Wild Juice, available this month from LSU Press.

The reading is free and open to the public. Participants can access the Zoom event at centenary.edu/havird or via the link in an event on the College’s Facebook page.

Wild Juice, Havird’s fourth poetry collection, is an exploration of loss and change on both a personal and global scale. Tackling subjects such as climate change, the death of a parent, and her own aging, Havird uses imagery from the natural world to capture the beauty and heartbreak of common human experiences.

The poems in Wild Juice speak to a wide audience. As one reviewer observed, “While readers of a certain age will easily identify with the many poems which unflinchingly examine the pathos of aging and the role of time, memory, and narrative in fostering acceptance of our fate and that of our loved ones, younger readers will connect with Havird’s harrowing take on contemporary real world crises—gun violence, climate change, anti-immigration.”

Havird grew up on a farm in South Carolina and frequently draws on its cultural and physical landscape in her writing. She is the author of three previous poetry collections and a novel, Lightningstruck. Her poems and stories have appeared in Shenandoah, Southern Review, and Virginia Quarterly Review, among others.

“Red River Poetry Society looks forward to bringing its first ever poet, Ashley Mace Havird, to ‘campus’ this spring,” said Centenary senior Brian Flynn, vice president of the Poetry Society. “In addition to her poetry, Havird has published a novel, Lightningstruck, which won the Ferrol Sams Award for Fiction. Much of her work is set in South Carolina, where she grew up, and in Louisiana, where she has lived for over thirty years. A longtime friend of Centenary, Havird has promoted poetry and literature in the community. We are delighted to celebrate her latest collection.”

The Red River Poetry Society was founded by Centenary students, two years ago, in an effort to create more spaces for the humanities within Centenary College of Louisiana.


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