- Associated Press - Monday, February 8, 2016

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - Andrew Glaze, who began work as a newspaper reporter in Birmingham after World War II and went on to become Alabama’s poet laureate, has died.

The executive director of the Alabama Writers’ Forum, Jeanie Thompson, said Glaze died Sunday at his home in Birmingham. He was 95.

Thompson said Glaze’s daughter confirmed his death, which followed an extended illness.

“Andrew Glaze’s poems were testimonials of our life in the South, including our foibles and our deep differences. As he grew older, his poems often bit deeper but also touched our hearts with true gravity,” Thompson said in a statement. “I am deeply saddened to hear of his passing but so glad I was able to know a poet of such range and conviction.”

Glaze, a Tennessee native, moved to the Birmingham area as a boy. After graduating from Harvard University and serving in the U.S. Army he returned to Birmingham and went to work as a reporter for the old Birmingham Post-Herald.

Glaze relocated to New York and published his first book of poetry, “Damned Ugly Children,” in 1966. Glaze’s epic poem “I am the Jefferson County Courthouse,” published in 1981, was inspired by his work as a reporter covering courts years earlier.

In all, Glaze went on to publish more than a half-dozen other books.

Glaze moved back to Alabama in 2002, and Gov. Robert Bentley tapped him as the state’s 11th poet laureate in November 2012. Glaze was inducted into the Alabama Writer’s Hall of Fame last year with a class that included novelist Harper Lee, author of “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “Go Set a Watchman.”

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