The WNBA-New Orleans is a chapter of the Women’s National Book Association which was founded in 1917 (before women had the right to vote) when women were excluded from national publishing gatherings.  With local chapters around the country, WNBA is an organization of women and men who work with and value books.  WNBA exists to promote reading and to support the role of women in the community of the book.  National WNBA web site: wnba-books.org.

Save the Date

September 29; 6 – 9 PM:

Putting the Banned Back Together

Annual Chapter Recruitment Social and Silent Auction Fundraiser

at the Uptown home of Vice-President Nina Calvo

More info to follow!

 

June 2 Chapter Meeting Highlights

Many thanks to Chapter VP Nina Calvo for hosting us at her lovely home!  Stay tuned for more info on upcoming events and our September fundraiser!

 

 April 23 Chapter Meeting

We had a great time at our Chapter meeting.  Shakespeare’s Sisters (that’s us) came together at The Rink shopping center, the beautiful area right outside Garden District Book Shop, to network, share all things literary and socialize.

                    

WNBA-NOLA Members at the Tennessee Williams/ New Orleans Literary Festival

Many of our members participated in the March 21-25 Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival.
Chapter President and New Orleans intellectual property attorney  Marie Breaux interviewed Peggy L. Fox, Tennessee Williams’ last editor: Literary Discussion A LIFE IN PUBLISHING: TALKING WITH PEGGY L. FOX.
 
Chapter members and (children’s book editor) Catherine Frank and (children’s book author) Madaline Herlong joined the Literary Discussion THE CHANGING LANDSCAPE OF CHILDHOOD. Cheryl McGoey Mathis, Regional Advisor for the Louisiana/Mississippi Chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, moderated. The panel was sponsored by Chapter Member Kathy and Edmund Schrenk.
Chapter members and poets Stacey BalkunGina FerraraBiljana D. Obradović and Melinda Palacio joined other contributors of Nasty Women Poets: An Unapologetic Anthology of Subversive Verse for NASTY WOMEN POETS: UNAPOLOGETIC PERFORMANCES. The anthology’s co-editor Julie Kaneformer Louisiana state poet laureate, moderated.
                
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Chapter members (and Chapter co-founder and Past President) Susan Larson and Kathleen Calhoun Nettleton of Pelican Publishing joined a panel of experts for reactions to 2-minute pitches at PITCH PERFECT: GET YOUR STORY IDEA OUT THERE.  The event was sponsored by Pelican Publishing Company.
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 Chapter Board Member Constance Adler moderated a Literary Discussion ALL KINDS OF MEMOIR with Beth Ann FennellyAnne GislesonRick Bragg and Minrose Gwin
Chapter Member Dr. Nancy Dixon of Dillard University, Executive Editor of NEW ORLEANS AND THE WORLD, 1718-2018, THE TRICENTENNIAL ANTHOLOGY, led a panel of anthology contributors, including Chapter Member (and Chapter co-founder) and independent scholar Freddi Williams Evans for Literary Discussion NEW ORLEANS AND THE WORLD, 1718-2018, THE TRICENTENNIAL ANTHOLOGY—A Tricentennial Discussion. Contributors to the new landmark anthology from the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities discussed the ways New Orleans cemented its reputation as a world capital.
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For more information on the full festival program:  http://tennesseewilliams.net/2018-program-now-here/
                                     

 

January 23 Chapter Meeting Highlights

Members enjoyed a fascinating program on Tulane’s Louisiana Research Collection as a resource for authors on January 23.  The program was presented by Lee Miller, head of the LaRC.

He provided information on how to use archives in literary and historical research, specifically the materials offered at the LaRC.  The collection encompasses almost four linear miles of archival documents, books, maps, and other resources central to the history and culture of Louisiana — from colonial era documents to the LaRC’s renowned Civil War collection, as well as a celebrated Carnival Collection and extensive holdings on Louisiana arts and literature featuring materials from Mark Twain, John Kennedy Toole, and William Faulkner. The LaRC also holds extensive materials on Louisiana politics, women, gender, religion, and New Orleans food culture.

You can find out more about the Louisiana Research Collection at: http://larc.tulane.edu or find the LaRC on social media: Like LaRC on Facebook / Twitter / Blog

         

 

WNBA-NOLA Celebrated NATIONAL READING GROUP MONTH!

On January 13, WNBA-NOLA presented Words & Society: Women Poets Resist with Louisiana’s former state poet laureate Julie Kane and local poets Stacey Balkun, Gina Ferrara, Andrea Panzeca and Carolyn Hembree as moderator.

The program was part of National Reading Group Month, WNBA’s signature event (rescheduled from last October due to weather), and took place at the Mid-City library, 4140 Canal Street, New Orleans. Books were  sold during the event and the authors were available for signings.

National Reading Group Month is an initiative of the Women’s National Book Association (WNBA).  Founded in 1917, WNBA promotes literacy, a love of reading, and women’s roles in the community of the book.

 WNBA-NOLA Holiday Party!

Members and friends celebrated the holidays at our Chapter’s holiday party on Saturday, December 16 at the lovely home of Melinda Palacio and Steve Beisner in New Orleans.
 

November 10 Meeting Highlights: Bluestockings Preferred

Our monthly get-together had a Centennial theme, Bluestockings Preferred, and featured information and experiences from WNBA-NOLA board members who attended the WNBA Centennial Annual Meeting and Celebration in NYC in October.   We also discussed how members can make the most of their National WNBA membership (included in your chapter membership).
Some highlights of the NYC celebrations: our very own Susan Larson moderated the Friday night National Reading Group Month event in NYC; the Little Free Library is the Second Century Prize winner; an item on our Chapter-administered Pinckley Prizes was in the advertising section of the Centennial program and our Centennial Cocktail recipe (The Bluestocking) was featured on the back of the program.  We’ll had refreshments, including a Centennial birthday cake! After all, the WNBA is 100 years old and it was time for us to party.
 
 

 

WNBA-NOLA’s Susan Larson presents Little Free Library Founder Todd Bol with the WNBA Second Century Prize, a $5,000 grant to an organization that supports the power of reading, past, present, and into the future. The Little Free Library (www.littlefreelibrary.org) is a
nonprofit organization that promotes reading for all ages, but especially children, by building free book exchanges.

*******A reminder: Our holiday party is the evening of December 16. Please save the date.

 

 

September 16 Chapter Meeting Kicks Off Our New Season!

Did you miss this meeting!  Current and new members had a great time at the Pearl Wine Co. !  We celebrated our national organization’s 100th birthday (!) and enjoyed a special literary-themed drink called the Bluestocking!  Check the photos to see who wore blue stockings!  Many thanks to Pearl Wine Co. and St. James Cheese Co. for the refreshments.  Be sure to check our calendar for more exciting events coming up in 2017 and 2018.

 

 

PINCKLEY PRIZES FOR CRIME FICTION AWARDED TO 

LOUISE PENNY AND TRUDY NAN BOYCE    

Several hundred avid fans of Louise Penny and Trudy Nan Boyce were on hand to see the authors receive the 2017 Pinckley Prizes for Crime Fiction  September 8 at The Academy of the Sacred Heart/Nims Fine Arts Center, 4301 St. Charles Avenue in New Orleans.   The Prizes were launched in 2012 by the Women’s National Book Association of New Orleans to honor Diana Pinckley, who was a founding member, as well as a civic activist who gave her time and energy to local and national causes.  Note: see Blog page for more info.

 

WNBA-NOLA at Culture Collision!

We had a table at Culture Collision August 30 and shared info on our upcoming events and meetings with several hundred attendees!  Check out info below and on our calendar to see what’s coming up for the rest of 2017 and 2018!

                              

                                  

 

Members enjoyed a great Pinckley Prizes Pop-Up Book Discussion on August 26 at the home of Nina Calvo. We discussed these works of the 2017 prizewinners: A Great Reckoning by Louise Penny and Out of the Blues by Trudy Nan Boyce.  The Pinckley Prizes for Crime Fiction will be awarded on September 8, 6 PM, at The Academy of the Sacred Heart/Nims Fine Arts Center, 4301 St. Charles Avenue in New Orleans. This will be a ticketed event: see Octavia Books for more info.  www.pinckleyprizes.org

 

September 16: Season Kick-off Meeting/ Celebration of National’s Centennial

Kick off our new season and celebrate National’s 100 year anniversary with fellow members and potential new members at Pearl Wine Company at the American Can Company, 3700 Orleans Ave., on Saturday, September 16, from 6 PM to 8 PM.
We will congregate in the bistro/bar area, and we hope that you will bring an interested friend. We have 35 tickets to give away to members on a first-come, first-serve basis, which will give you a sample of a special drink the bartender will concoct especially for us on the theme of ‘bluestocking’ (a term from the 18th century describing a woman of an intellectual or literary bent). Enjoy refreshments from St. James Cheese Company. Blue stockings are optional!  And here’s a novel idea for our chapter meetings going forward: ‘bring a book, take a book’.   
Hope to see you there!    
Please RSVP by Wednesday, September 13to wnbaofnola@gmail.com.

          Image by Susan Ardelie via her blog {link to http://lifetakeslemons.wordpress.com}.

In Memoriam

The Women’s National Book Association of New Orleans mourns the passing of Dianne de las Casas, one of our earliest members, August 21, 2017. Dianne was a prolific author of children’s picture books, known for such works as Cinderellaphant, The Little ‘Read’ Hen, There’s a Dragon in the Library, The Cajun Cornbread Boy, The House that Santa Built, and most recently, Captain Deadeye and the Bully Shark. She was a talented storyteller, gifted with the ability to make her audience join in the fun of her performances. And she was tireless in her efforts to promote children’s books with her work as the founder of Picture Book Month in November. She was not just a New Orleans treasure – she traveled the world. And she always brought that New Orleans spirit with her in her colorful and flamboyant style!

During the chapter’s first year, she gave a fabulous workshop on social media at the Tulane University Bookstore, and we had the pleasure of treats created by her daughter, Kid Chef Eliana Marisol. Our hearts go out to Eliana Marisol, Soleil Lisette, and John Couret.

BOARD & MEMBER RETREAT

On July 16, Board members and chapter members enjoyed a delicious Sunday brunch and a busy afternoon of planning programs and events for the year ahead starting this fall!   Held at the home of President Marie Breaux, the Retreat set the stage for a lively discussion of all things literary and how we can promote reading and support women writers.  There was great food and drink….and there was champagne when all the work was done!  As Marie told attendees, “We have great plans for the coming year.  Even better, you all make the WNBA-NOLA so much fun!”  Member Pam Ebel said, “Thank you for hosting a wonderful and creative day. Your home is a wonderful, eclectic venue that makes creativity flow. I look forward to working with everyone in the future.”

And if you weren’t at the board retreat, we ask that you take a few minutes to read a post at the site’s blog page. It should be of interest to all members as we get ready to plan our upcoming year. http://wnba-nola.org/?p=1085

CHAPTER POTLUCK

The June Social/Networking Potluck Dinner was packed with members, friends and food. They kept coming in waves — and in the case of the food that was a good thing as everything had to be tasted. Incoming president Marie Breaux thanked soon-to-be-Past President Sheila Cork and her husband John, presenting them with WNBA-N.O. travel mugs. Member Susan Larson was given the same as thanks for hosting at her lovely, book-filled home.

LOUISE PENNY AND TRUDY NAN BOYCE WILL RECEIVE PINCKLEY PRIZES FOR CRIME FICTION 

Louise Penny and Trudy Nan Boyce are the recipients of the Pinckley Prizes for Crime Fiction, named to honor the memory of Diana Pinckley, longtime crime fiction columnist for The New Orleans Times-Picayune. The prizes will be presented September 8, 2017 at The Academy of the Sacred Heart/Nims Fine Arts Center, 4301 St. Charles Avenue in New Orleans. This ticketed event is open to the public.  The Prizes were launched in 2012 by the Women’s National Book Association of New Orleans to honor Diana Pinckley, who was a founding member, as well as a civic activist who gave her time and energy to local and national causes.  Note: see Blog page for more info.

An Evening with some Sassy Bookwomen of New Orleans!

Despite a pesky rainstorm on May 30th, members enjoyed a fabulous evening to discuss the Sassy Bookwomen of New Orleans, our inaugural Book Circle held at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation.  The program was facilitated by Freddi Williams Evans. Freddi was recently awarded the title of Humanities Hero by the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities.  Note: see Blog page for more info.

 

An Afternoon with Emily Dickinson

On May 21 several Chapter members viewed A Quiet Passion at the Broad Street Theater and then stayed (in the theater’s roomy bar) for a round-table discussion about the movie and the life of Emily Dickinson facilitated by Chapter Member Constance Adler.

         

Women’s National Book Association Launches Centennial Year with Celebrating Women’s Voices and Book-A-Day Women’s History Month Program for the New Administration

As part of the celebration marking its 100th anniversary, the Women’s National Book Association will send a book a day throughout March to President Trump that the organization believes sheds light on many of the critical issues faced by the country. The books have been taken from a list of the top 100 books in both fiction and nonfiction compiled by the WNBA to reflect, in its estimation, the most influential books written by women.

Noting the absence of other types of non-fiction works, our Chapter Vice-President (and acting President) Marie Breaux contacted National; their response was that she had a wonderful idea.  A second list of non-fiction works was started with our Chapter leading the charge!

The entire list is available at the WNBA Centennial site https://www.wnba-centennial.org/celebrating-women-s-voices as a webpage or PDF.

Highlights of our January 28th meeting

WNBA-New Orleans members enjoyed a special January meeting at the home of member Nina Calvo, Doris Stone Director, Latin American Library, Tulane University.  Nina presented and led the discussion of the work of 17th century Mexican writer Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (New Spain, 1648-1692).  She was the major figure of Spanish American literature of the colonial period (1492-1821) and a towering figure of the Spanish language of any age.

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Here is a message from Nina before the meeting:

Dear WNBA-NOLA friends,
I am very much looking forward to seeing everyone at my house on Saturday, January 28 to discuss the work of 17th century Mexican writer Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (New Spain, 1648-1692).  She is the major figure of Spanish American literature of the colonial period (1492-1821) and a towering figure of the Spanish language of any age.  Did I mention she also happened to be a woman?  
My hope is that everyone walks away with a general sense of who Sor Juana was, what her writing was like, and why she may still be relevant today. I hope you enjoy the readings!     Nina

RSVP to wnbaofnola@gmail.com to receive readings along with Nina’s address, which is in uptown New Orleans.  Refreshments will be provided, as well as the usual convivial discussion and camaraderie.  See you there!

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WNBA’s Fifth Annual Writing Contest:   Be a part of history: The Women’s National Book Association is accepting submissions for its Annual Writing Contest, 9/15/2016 through 2/15/2017. After nearly 100 years celebrating published authors, extraordinary book women and honoring independent bookstores, the WNBA is celebrating emerging writers.  For more information, go to http://www.wnba-books.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/2016_Writing_Contest_Web.pdf

Celebrating the Holidays at our December 9th party!

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Highlights of our Nov. 28 meeting:  

Celebrating Women’s Voices: 100 Books to Read and Talk About.”  We started our planning for the 100th anniversary of the National Women’s Book Association in 2017!   We worked on compiling our chapter’s list of the 100 best books of fiction, poetry, and memoir written by US women, one title per author.  Additionally, our chapter is specifically spearheading a nonfiction list.  See Blog page for more information.

We also had great fun coming up with an idea for a special Centennial Cocktail!  Stay tuned for an update on that!

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Highlights of our Oct. 30 meeting:   We had a great time at our Halloween-themed meeting!  Guest speaker and author Bonnie Noonan presented entertaining and informative information on Women in Science Fiction Films. We all agreed that this should be an October meeting must next year!

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Chapter Vice President Marie Breaux introduced Bonnie Noonan, author of several books about women and science fiction films.

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Bonnie Noonan explains what’s happening in this science fiction film.

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Meeting host Peter Martinat, Nina Calvo and hostess Marie Breaux enjoy some Bloody Mary’s.

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Susan Larson and Constance Adler at the event.

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Dawn Wilson and “Wonder Woman” Melinda Palacio enjoyed the fun.

 

 

 

 

 ** Second line trumpeter image in banner above is used with the permission of Louisiana artist Lorraine Gendron.  More information on Lorraine’s work can be found at www.lorrainepgendron.com