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Magic City Gospel is a love song to Birmingham, the Magic City of the South. In traditional forms and free verse poems, 2015 Rona Jaffe Writer's Award-winner Ashley M. Jones takes readers on an historical, geographical, cultural, and personal journey through her life and the life of her home state. From De Soto's "discovery" of Alabama to George Wallace's infamous stance in the schoolhouse door, to the murders of black men like Trayvon Martin and Eric Garner in modern America, Jones weaves personal history with the troubled, triumphant, and complicated history of Birmingham, and of Alabama at large. In this assured debut, you'll find why "gold is laced in Alabama's teeth." In the ghosts and the grits, this collection speaks to Jones' generation and beyond: "Let me wash you in Alabama heat / and tell you who you are." Magic City Gospel is a book of personal, political, and cultural history, whose red dirt stained pages offer a fresh and unvarnished gaze on Birmingham, Alabama, and America.
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