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Present Tense Podcast

The Voices of High School Writers: 2018 UAB Ada Long Creative Writing Workshop


In this Pre-Season 2 episode, we hear from the writers of the 2018 Ada Long Creative Writing Workshop.

The Ada Long Creative Writing Workshop is a 3-week workshop that offers a rare opportunity for high school students to learn from published authors. Every day, students will work closely with nationally acclaimed novelists, essayists, and poets, all of whom have extensive teaching experience. The Workshop is sponsored by the UAB English Department. The Workshop is named in honor of Dr. Ada Long, founding director of the UAB Honors Program, Professor of English, and lifelong advocate for community outreach, the value of a liberal education, and the enduring significance of literature.

The workshop is designed for high school students interested in creative writing for personal enrichment, as preparation for university work in creative writing, and as an introduction to creative writing as a career field.

The writers sat down with Anne Markham Bailey to talk about writing, to explore their lives as writers, why they write, what challenges they face, what they are reading and their plans for the future.

Thanks to the students:

Anna Grace Dasher

Ben Lasseter

Donna Aldeeb

David Hester IV

J. Hosier

Surina Prabhu

Hannah Bray

Tiffany Duong

Madison Prim

Y'onna Hale 

Jamiah Stroud

Dahlia Henderson

Elyie Brooke Basselin

Eleanor Roth

Samantha Walker

(Full disclosure, Green Bucket Press produces custom stickers and journals for the Ada Long Creative Writing Workshop, pictured here)

Conversation With Yasmeen Khan, Senior Rare Book Conservator





Hakīm (alternative transcription Hakeem) indicates a "wise man" or "physician", or in general, a practitioner of herbal medicine, especially of Unani and Islamic medicine (via Wikipedia)

Mullah: a Muslim learned in Islamic theology and sacred law.

Naqchbandi: a major Sunni spiritual order of Sufism. It got its name from Baha-ud-Din Naqshband Bukhari and traces its spiritual lineage to the Islamic prophet Muhammad, through Abu Bakr, who his father-in-law , a companion and successor of Muhammad. Some Naqshbandi masters trace their lineage through Ali,[1] his son-in-law and successor, in keeping with most other Sufis.[2][3]

Gaddi Nasheen The Gaddi looks after the shrine and carries out significant rituals

Maulvi (Mawlawi) is an honorific Islamic religious title given to Muslim religious scholars or Ulema preceding their names, similar to the titles MaulanaMullah, or Shaykh. Mawlawi generally means highly qualified Islamic scholar.

Dera Ismail Khan: British Cantonment town in KPK Province of Pakistan

Dera Ismail Khan: British Cantonment town in KPK Province of Pakistan



Rita Feldman's Journey

Rita Feldman.JPG


I was born in the beautiful very modern, though very ancient, 2000 years old city, named Tashkent. It is the capital of Uzbekistan, back then a part of the Soviet Union, now it is an independent country in the Middle Asia. In 1993 my family had to leave our homeland because of the etnic problems that not-native, not-Uzbek people started to face in Uzbekistan. We emigrated to America, and we were recognized as a political refugees. The organizations that helped us to move choose the city of Birmingham Al as a place where we were suppose to build our life almost from the sketch. It was hard,very hard, but eventually we did it, though we are still working on it. 🙂. I have many professions, starting with a chemical engineering, computer programming,  tour guiding, but all my life I was attracted to working with the people, their outer, and inner conditions and states. That's why for my professional life in America I chose to work as a skin care specialist,  massage therapist, and also I do energy healing - I am a Reiki Master, I do Past life regressions, and I facilitate Family Systemic Constellations - powerful therapy that is dealing with a history of people's families, and how it influence our current lives. I have my own business called "Rita’s Touch" since 1998, and this year we are going to celebrate 20 years of it's successful service to the people of Birmingham. 

Rita and her mother Genia

Rita and her mother Genia

Rita and her son Maksim.

Rita and her son Maksim.