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Mary Jane Malone Lecture Series

Each year, through the generosity of the Malone Family and the support of the Maecenas Society, CMHS brings a noted author to Caddo Magnet for the Mary Jane Malone Lecture Series. Begun in 1997 to memorialize the life of former student Mary Jane Malone, who had wished to become a writer, the lecture series has hosted nineteen authors. All students attend the lecture held during the school day, and the school hosts an evening lecture that is free of charge and open to the public. Each year, students also have the opportunity to participate in a writing contest with the possibility of meeting the author in a small group session.


Caddo Parish Magnet High School is pleased to announce acclaimed poet and first-time novelist Ashley Mace Havird as our 20th Mary Jane Malone speaker.

Havird grew up on a tobacco farm in South Carolina, and her experiences and sense of place permeate her poetry and prose works. Havird states that her works “owe their beginnings to the landscape of [her] childhood, the farms and swamps and woodlands of the American South.”

Havird’s prose works include short stories, published in The Virginia Quarterly Review and elsewhere, and her first novel, Lightingstruck, winner of the 2015 Ferrol Sams award for fiction from Mercer University Press. Lightningstruck, Havird says, carries her memories of both “the beauty and the ugliness” of a “landscape that no longer exists,” the tobacco farms of the South during the Civil Rights era.

Many of her poems are likewise rooted in the south of her childhood, some “dragging the dust and folklore of the South to Europe and the Caribbean.” Her poems have been published in numerous journals and anthologies, including Shenandoah, Southern Humanities Review, The Southern Review, and The Southern Poetry Anthology: Volume 4, Louisiana. She has also published two chapbooks, Sleeping with Animals (2014) and The Dirt Eaters (2009), which won the 2008 South Carolina Poetry Initiative Prize. Her collection of poems, The Garden of the Fugitives, was the 2013 winner of the X.J. Kennedy Poetry Prize.

Havird lives in Shreveport, LA, with her husband, the poet David Havird, and “their own best dog in the world.”

For more about Ashley Mace Havird and to read samples of her poems and reviews of her work, go to:

Past Mary Jane Malone Lecturers:

Ernest Gaines Miller Williams Tim Gautreaux William Joyce Edward Albee Sylvia Nasar Andrei Codrescu Clyde Edgerton Kevin Brockmeier Jill McCorkle Alan Gratz Michael Sims Mario Livio Garth Stein Lalita Tademy Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni Jamie Ford Sarah Kay M. T. Anderson

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