February 18, 2014


Arts and Humanities Speakerís Forum to Feature
Award-Winning Alabama Native Sena Jeter Naslund

New York Times bestselling novelist Sena Jeter Naslund will be the featured author for the Arts and Humanities Speakerís Forum at Northeast Alabama Community College on March 13, 2014, at 10:00 am. Dr. Naslundís presentation will be held in the Tom Bevill Lyceum and is free to the public. A book signing will follow, and copies of Dr. Naslundís books will be available for purchase in the lobby of the Tom Bevill Lyceum. Naslund will also do a reading and book signing in the collegeís library at 6:00 pm on March 13.

Sena Jeter Naslund

Sena Jeter Naslund

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Sena Jeter Naslund was born in Birmingham, Alabama, where she attended Phillips High School and Birmingham Southern College, both of which play an important role in her novel Four Spirits. Dr. Naslund earned her Masterís and Doctorate from the University of Iowa, where she was accepted at the Iowa Writersí Workshop. She served as Kentucky Poet laureate and is the Program Director and co-founder of an innovative brief-residency Master of Fine Arts in Writing program of Spalding University, where students do much of their writing and study in their homes. She has also served as Writer in Residence and Distinguished Teaching Professor at the University of Louisville. In 1976 she founded and edited both the Louisville Review and the Fleur-de-Lis Press. Dr. Naslund also taught at the University of Montana, Indiana University (Bloomington), Vermont College; and the University of Montevallo, where she held the Paschal P. Vacca Chair of Liberal Arts. Dr. Naslund was also selected as Visiting Eminent Scholar at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

Sena Jeter Naslund has written two collections of short stories, Ice Skating at the North Pole and The Disobedience of Water. Her novels include The Animal Way to Love, Sherlock in Love, Ahabís Wife, Four Spirits, Abundance: A Novel of Marie Antoinette, Adam and Eve, and her most recent novel, The Fountain of St. James Court; or, Portrait of the Artist as an Old Woman. Commissioned by the Alabama Shakespeare Festival Theatre, Dr. Naslund coauthored with University of Montevallo instructor, Dr. Elaine Hughes, the stage version of Four Spirits. Other awards Naslund has received are the Harper Lee Award, the Hall-Waters Southern Prize, the Southeastern Library Association Award, and the Alabama Library Association Award. Additionally, she has held grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Kentucky Foundation for Women, the Kentucky Arts Council, and the University of Louisville. Dr. Naslundís Ahabís Wife was a finalist for the United Kingdomís Orange Prize.

Her fourth novel, Four Spirits, published in 2003, is the common read for most of the collegeís English classes and is the story of the turbulent period of the Civil Rights movement in Birmingham. The novel brings together blacks and whites as well as Klan members and Civil Rights protestors, as seen in the strained friendship that forms between white idealistic Stella Silver and black political activist Christine Taylor. It is a story of redemption not only for the people caught up in the violence that defined the 60s but also for a city, torn apart by uncompromising prejudice. The lives of her fictional characters intersect with those of the realóMartin Luther King, Jr., Governor George Wallace, and of course, the Four SpiritsóAddie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, and Cynthia Wesley. In the paperback edition of the novel, Dr. Naslund notes, ďI hope that in its own way, this book will continue to honor the courage of the leaders and participants in the Civil Rights movement and to encourage people to come together and to share ideas about how to move forward.Ē Certainly, this novel has given students at NACC the opportunity to have that conversation.

The 2014 NACC Arts and Humanities Speakerís Forum is sponsored by the English and Fine Arts division and the collegeís English honor society, Sigma Kappa Delta. For more information regarding the Arts and Humanities Speakerís Forum, contact Joan Reeves, NACC Chair English and Fine Arts, at phone ext. 2231 or

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