The New Orleans book launch of Chapter Member Melinda Palacio‘s new poetry collection, Bird Forgiveness, is Wednesday, July 25, 6 PM, at Octavia Books.
Chapter Member Chris Smith, Manager of Adult Programming for the Jefferson Parish Library, announces “300 Years of Literature,” the 4th annual Jefferson Parish Library Literary Festival. The literary festival focuses on some of the most prominent authors who have lived in New Orleans and how their books have helped define and shape the city and its culture. It will take place on August 4, starting at 9:30 AM, at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon, Metairie. Chapter Member Susan Larson will provide the keynote address.
The event is free of charge and is open to the public. Books by authors will be available for those who would like to purchase them.
9:30 a.m. – Keynote Address, Susan Larson
Susan Larson, host of WWNO Radio’s The Reading Life, and author of Book Lover’s Guide to New Orleans, will discuss books about the literature of the city and region in the past 300 years.
11 a.m. – Outsiders, Patricia Brady, PhD
Pat Brady, PhD, will discuss literary outsiders who interpreted and popularized New Orleans to the rest of the country, including Lafcadio Hearn and Frances Parkinson Keyes.
12:30 p.m. – Kate Chopin’s Secrets, Emily Toth, PhD
Emily Toth is the world’s authority on the life of Kate Chopin, and her Unveiling Kate Chopin is the definitive biography.
2 p.m. – Ignatius J. Reilly – A Very Lucky Dog, Cynthia Lejeune Nobles
Nobles talks about the fare of Ignatius and his cohorts. Through a narrative and almost 200 recipes, Nobles explores the intersection of food, history and culture found in the Pulitzer Prize winning novel, opening up a new avenue into New Orleans’ culinary traditions.
Chapter Member Chris Smith, Manager of Adult Programming for the Jefferson Parish Library, announces the reading of four local poets, including Chapter Members Anne Babson and Gina Ferrara. They will discuss and read from their works at 7 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 16, at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon, Metairie. The event is free of charge and is open to the public.
Anne Babson, Polite Occasions
Polite Occasions imagines the future is female, that she is a lady, and if the human race is to survive what evangelical Christians call “end times,” it will be because ladies have decided to make unladylike plans. This collection is largely set in a dystopian near-future world where political structures have become authoritarian and many feel spiritually adrift, all while most people pretend not to notice.
Anne Babson’s first collection, The White Trash Pantheon, won the Colby H. Kullman prize from the Southern Writers Southern Writing Conference in Oxford, Mississippi. She has received residency grants from Yaddo and Vermont Studio Center. Her blog about moving south, The Carpetbaggers Journal, has close to 50,000 hits and has been picked up by Y’all Politics and PBS-related websites. She teaches writing and literature at Southeastern Louisiana University. She writes and lives in New Orleans.
Gina Ferrara, Fitting the Sixth Finger
Fitting the Sixth Finger is an homage to the paintings of Marc Chagall. Like so many of Chagall’s mysterious paintings, the poems in this chapbook oscillate between memory and dream, images observed and those only imagined, as they draw readers close with their quiet color and vivid music.
Ferrara was born in New Orleans and received an M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of New Orleans. She works as an educator and lives in New Orleans near Bayou St. John. Her chapbook, The Size of Sparrows, was published by Finishing Line Press. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals including Poetry East, The Briar Cliff Review, and Callaloo. She was awarded a grant from The Elizabeth George Foundation and was recently published in The Poetry Ireland Review. She coordinates Poetry Buffet, the monthly reading series sponsored by the New Orleans Public Library.
Chapter Member and award-winning poet Carolyn Hembree has three poems in The Winter Anthology . Her A Cutter’s Sestina (Prom ’95) — read it here at Contrary — was nominated for the Best of the Net anthology.
Chapter Member Kathy Schrenk‘s middle-grade novel is A Dog Steals Home.
Chapter Member Gina Ferrara‘s latest poetry collection is Fitting the Sixth Finger: Poems Inspired by the Paintings of Marc Chagall.Gina’s book is the focus of the feature The Whole Story in the latest WNBA Bookwoman newsletter. Chapter members Susan Larson and Melinda Palacio talk about and review Gina’s work in the feature. You can also listen to Susan interview Gina here.
from Member Miki Pfeffer: Last year’s Christmas card was fun to create. My book tree is topped with my own Southern Ladies and Suffragists; Julia Ward Howe and Women’s Rights at the 1884 New Orleans World’s Fair.
from Membership Chair Sara Woodard: Every year, I take out these faded holiday books, hand-written and illustrated by my two sons many years ago, and place them under the tree. (Yeah, they really love that!) I also add some local books, like the Cajun Night Before Christmas!
from Secretary Teresa Tumminello Brader: My Dickens Village started small and has grown (too!) big, but it remains centered around the story of A Christmas Carol (other Dickens’ novels are also represented). Though its details may change from year to year, I strive to keep the display as historically and literarily accurate as possible.
from Treasurer Karen Kersting: We observe the Advent tradition in my house with the Autumn/Winter volume of Phyllis Tickle’s “Divine Hours”. This book includes an entire section specifically arranged for the 4 weeks before Christmas. The selections of songs, prayers and quotes provides an opportunity for some reflective quiet in the midst of all the other preparations and celebrations. In the photo is an image of our Advent wreath & the book. It has become an oddly humorous family tradition that I can NEVER seem to find 3 purple candles of either the same size nor all in the exact same shade of purple. One year, I had no choice but to buy 4 white candles and embellish them with the correct-colored ribbon!
Our Members Recommend
A Redbird Christmas by Fannie Flagg
The Alaskan Laundry by Brendan Jones
Hollywood South: Glamour, Gumbo, and Greed by Linda Thurman
Strangers in Their Own Land by Arlie Russell Hochschild
A Man Called Ove and My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry by Fredrik Backman
Fairendale series by R.L. Toalson
The Goldfinch by by Donna Tartt
The Hour of Land: A Personal Topography of America’s National Parks by Terry Tempest Williams
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
The Neapolitan Novels by Elena Ferrante
Anne Boyd Rioux’s Constance Fenimore Woolson: Portrait of a Lady Novelist was reviewed in The New York Times Book Review.
Susan Larson has co-written New Orleans’ Literary Landmark: Hotel Monteleone, detailing its role in several famous authors’ lives and works.
Laura Mullen’s widely reviewed and praised eighth book, Complicated Grief, is a hybrid collection of poetry, prose, memoir and essay.
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