Ashley Mace Havird grew up in rural South Carolina and attended the University of South Carolina, where she earned her bachelor's degree, and the University of Florida, where she earned her master's. Her poems and stories have appeared in numerous journals, including Image, Shenandoah, Southern Review, and the Virginia Quarterly Review. Her first full-length collection of poems, The Garden of the Fugitives (2014), won the X. J. Kennedy Prize. Her debut novel, Lightningstruck (2016), won the Ferrol Sams Award.

A new book of her poems, Wild Juice, was published by LSU Press in its Southern Messenger Poets Series on March 3, 2021.

About Wild Juice: Poems

In Wild Juice, the poet and novelist Ashley Mace Havird confronts global and personal change. Her subjects range from the extinction of a prehuman species to the present-day reduction in sea life due to the climate crisis. Closer to home, she confronts the death of her father and her own aging. Running throughout these lyrics of loss is the richness of communal life, a current of hope given substance by the juice of wild grapes that baptizes the poet's chin and that of her elderly father, whose presence haunts the book. Havird's poems move from sea coasts to the rural South to landlocked suburbia, in language characterized by wit, pluck, and ironic candor. Through striking evocations of the natural world, conveyed in a voice steeped in mature human experience, Wild Juice speaks memorably on behalf of a life that embraces us all. "Havird flexes her own distinctive, straight-ahead narrative skill by mixing her soulful sense of connectedness with a musician's ear for the intricacies of speech, its richness, and its idiosyncratic prospects." David Baker, author of Swift: New and Selected Poems

Order from LSU Press or, if you prefer, from Amazon.

About Lightningstruck: A Novel

Winner of the 2015 Ferrol Sams Award for Fiction

In May of 1964, eleven-year-old Etta McDaniel's horse is struck by lightning—dead and gone, she hopes—out of her life "as though he'd never come in the first place, bringing with him one catastrophe after another." But Troy, gruesomely scarred, not only survives but seems to have gained supernatural powers, which Etta sets her mind on harnessing in her search for treasure. She is convinced that a find of the sort her hero Heinrich Schliemann unearthed at ancient Troy will set to rights everything suddenly gone wrong in her life: rivalry and betrayal at home and social unrest reaching even her family's farm. "Full of mystery, tension, and the very real and often turbulent history of rural South Carolina, Lightningstruck is an engrossing and enchanting story." Tim O’Brien, author of The Things They Carried

Order from Mercer University Press or, if you prefer, from Amazon.

About The Garden of the Fugitives

Winner of the 2013 X. J. Kennedy Poetry Prize

"From chinaberry trees and black widows to Pompeii and the Caymans, Ashley Mace Havird's The Garden of the Fugitives explores a storied terrain where secrets are brought to life, characters strive and suffer, history and myth blend, 'hawks razor' and life swarms. . . . Rife with dramas of consequence and memorable images, The Garden of the Fugitives is an accomplished collection of poems which earns its way line by line and accumulates force and delight as it unfolds." R.T. Smith, Final Judge, editor of Shenandoah and author of In the Night Orchard

Order from Texas A&M University Press and the Texas Book Consortium (email for discount code) or, if you prefer, from Amazon.