Ashley Michelle Jones (born August 13, 1990 in Birmingham) is a poet and creative writing instructor at the Alabama School of Fine Arts (ASFA) and the Poet Laureate of Alabama. She was one of six women authors honored with a Rona Jaffe Writer's Foundation Award in 2015.
Jones is one of four children born to Donald Jones, chief of the Midfield Fire & Rescue Service, and his wife, Jennifer. She grew up in Roebuck and attended W. J. Christian School, EPIC Elementary School, and the Alabama School of Fine Arts, graduating in 2008. She then completed a bachelor of arts in English at UAB in 2012 and a master of fine arts in poetry from Florida International University, where she was a John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Fellow, in 2015. Her poems, which often touch on her experience of race in Birmingham and in America, have appeared in numerous periodicals and anthologies.
Jones returned to Birmingham in 2015 to join the faculty of ASFA as a creative writing instructor. A selection of poems from her collection entitled Magic City Gospel, earned her notice by the Rona Jaffe Writer's Foundation. She was presented with that national honor on September 17, 2015. In 2017 her collection dark // thing was selected for the "Lena-Miles Wever Todd Prize for Poetry" given by the University of Central Missouri's Pleiades Press.
In 2020 Jones was awarded a Poetry Fellowship from the Alabama State Council on the Arts, and presented with a 2020 Alabama Author award from the Alabama Library Association. In 2021 she joined the faculty of the Master of Fine Arts program at Converse College in Spartanburg, South Carolina. On August 22 of that year she was selected by the Alabama Writers Cooperative to be the state's first Black Poet Laureate.
- Jones, Ashley M. (2017) Magic City Gospel. Hub City Press. ISBN 9781938235269
- Jones, Ashley M. (2019) dark // thing. Pleiades Press. ISBN 9780807170601
- Jones, Ashley M. (2021) Reparations Now!. Hub City Press. ISBN 9781938235863
- Garrison, Greg (September 2, 2015) "Birmingham writer, UAB grad wins national award, $30,000 prize." The Birmingham News
- "Believe in the Power of Your Voice: An Interview with New Converse MFA Faculty Member Ashley M. Jones" (March 7, 2021) Converse College Low Residency MFA blog
- Chambers, Jesse (March 19, 2021) "‘Giving voice’ to Birmingham writers" Iron City Ink
- Specker, Lawrence (August 22, 2021) "Ashley M. Jones of Birmingham selected as state’s new poet laureate." The Birmingham News
- Pierre, Janae (August 26, 2021) "Alabama Names Ashley M. Jones As Its New Poet Laureate" WBHM.org
- Mzezewa, Tariro (October 21, 2021) "Alabama’s Next Poet Laureate Writes Searingly About Race." The New York Times
- Ashley M. Jones website