In Alabama, we’ve been grateful for a long, beautiful spring, a not-too-hot summer and a fall that’s been about as perfect as fall can be in the South, enabling us to see friends and family in safer, outdoor settings. A statewide mask mandate, in place since July, helped further slow the spread of Covid-19. In a state that loves its college football, schools have been able to hold at least some games, making life feel a little more normal to many. People here rally to help each other out in times of crisis, while those fighting to end systemic injustice have persisted in their efforts. One, the environmental health advocate Catherine Coleman Flowers, was recently named a MacArthur Fellow for her work to improve the lives of rural Alabamians.
— Jennifer Horne, poet laureate of Alabama