WNBA-NOLA Annual Member Book Launch Party!

Mark Your Calendars and come to our new annual member book party!

Date: Friday, October 20, 2023, 6:30 pm

Place: L’Union Française, 4522 Prytania Street, New Orleans

Congrats to Alison Pelegrin, LA’s Poet Laureate!

The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, along with Gov. John Bel Edwards, is proud to announce Louisiana’s newest Poet Laureate, Alison Pelegrin. Following Mona Lisa Saloy’s successful tenure as Poet Laureate from 2021 through August 13 of this year, Pelegrin will assume the post beginning August 14 and serve for two years.  We are very proud that both Alison and Mona Lisa are WNBA-NOLA members!

“The Poet Laureate acts as Louisiana’s literary ambassador, and Alison’s long record of teaching, sharing, and producing poetry that engages readers makes her a perfect fit as the preeminent poet of our state,” said Governor John Bel Edwards. “Her work is both beautifully crafted and appeals to a broad range of readers, and it will undoubtedly help elevate poetry in the public consciousness.  She has been celebrated both statewide and nationally for good reason. Congratulations to Alison on this well-deserved honor.”

Pelegrin, a Covington resident, is Writer-in-Residence at Southeastern Louisiana University and the author of Our Lady of Bewilderment (LSU Press, 2022), Waterlines (LSU Press, 2016), Hurricane Party (University of Akron Press, 2011), and Big Muddy River of Stars (University of Akron Press, 2007), which was the winner of the 2006 Akron Poetry Prize. Her chapbook Our Lady of the Flood won the Diode 2018 chapbook prize and an Eric Hoffer Award.

Pelegrin is the recipient of a literature fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and an ATLAS Grant from the Louisiana Board of Regents. Her work has appeared in Bennington Review, The Southern Review,  and Ninth Letter, and as printable broadsides at Broadsided.

Exciting Events Planned for Fall 2023!


Thanks to member Gina Ferrara, who has faithfully gathered so many of us at the Latter Library in these latter days for her monthly Poetry Buffet readings, our members are invited to read on Saturday, September 2 online for an all WNBA-NOLA members-in-good-standing reading of the Poetry Buffet on Zoom. If you are interested in reading, please  reply to wnbaofnola@gmail.com to let us know you would like to be included in the list of readers by August 20. Because it’s on Zoom, if you are at the beach for the weekend, and if you can get a Wi-Fi hot spot to work, all you need to do is roll over on your towel and tune in.

Furthermore, Gina and the New Orleans Review Press are going to release some time this Fall The Poetry Buffet Anthology, and this includes many of our members, including our State Poet Laureate Mona Lisa Saloy, new member Alison Pelegrin, former chapter president Andrea Panzeca, bi-costal member and Santa Barbara’s Poet Laureate Melinda Palacio, UNO professor genius of poetry Carolyn Hembree, poetess and pie mistress Nicole M. K. Eiden, brilliant domestic fabulist poet Stacey Balkun, yours truly Anne Babson,  and of course – ‘tis herself – Gina Ferrara. This collection is like a snapshot of the New Orleans poetry scene on Saint Charles Avenue, and it is delightful to see how many of us are in view.


In the second half of October, we will once again be throwing a member launch book party. Please send an email to wnbaofnola@gmail.com and tell us the title and publisher of your book – published between the dates of October 1, 2022 and September 30, 2023 – by September 1 to be included in this event. Last year, we had a book launch and signing that included our brilliant YA novelist Marti Dumas and the veritable doyenne of Southern food and Southern beverages Elizabeth Williams. This year, I believe, given how busy all of you have been, there may be more books to sign.

Join Us for Our Annual Meeting May 19

Friday, May 19, 6:00 PM: Annual Meeting at L’Union Francaise, 4522 Prytania Street, NOLA.  RSVP info soon.

Our speaker will be poet Alison Pelegrin.

Pelegrin is the author of Waterlines (Louisiana State University Press, 2016); Hurricane Party (University of Akron Press, 2012); Big Muddy River of Stars (University of Akron Press, 2007), which received the 2006 Akron Poetry Prize; and The Zydeco Tablets (Word Press, 2002).

About Pelegrin’s poetry, Martha Serpas writes, “Alison Pelegrin is one of the sharpest wits to come out of the Bayou State in a long time. She can conjure Louisiana’s present-tense, unapologetic, tragicomic drama with authenticity.”

Pelegrin is the recipient of a grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. She teaches at Southeastern Louisiana University and lives in Covington, Louisiana.

Born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana, Alison received an MFA from the University of Arkansas.

Women, Whiskey & Wit a BIG Success!

Our March 10 Women, Whiskey & Wit was fantastic!  WNBA-NOLA members and non-members enjoyed a spirited evening of whiskey tastings, snacks, silent auction offerings and great networking!  Attendees also enjoyed touring The Southern Food & Beverage Museum.



Cocktail Party Fundraiser on March 10!

We are having a fundraising Cocktail Party on Friday, March 10, 6 – 8 PM at the Southern Food and Beverage Museum, 1504 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., NOLA.  We are very excited about our theme: Women, Whiskey and Wit.  We’re going to feature the alcohols of women distillers, fancy snacks, plus a silent auction. Get tickets here!

WNBA-NOLA Holiday Get-together Dec. 16

We asked you to save the date of Friday, December 16 for a holiday fundraiser at the Southern Food and Beverage museum.

Due to unforeseen circumstances, our host there, SoFaB’s founder and our vice president, Liz Williams, can’t host us there that evening. Therefore, we are holding a non-fundraising holiday get together from 6 to 8 pm on that same day — Friday, December 16 at (woman-owned) Rosedale Bar and Restaurant at 801 Rosedale Drive in New Orleans. This is a much more casual get-together, with each person purchasing his or her own drink or food. It’s a chance for us to meet and spend time together, no doubt to discuss interesting books as we often do.

We are postponing the fundraiser to Friday, March 10, during Women’s History Month, where Liz should be available to talk to us about cocktail culture in New Orleans, where we anticipate serving the hard liquor distilled by the triumphant lives of women distillers, eating delicious light fare, exploring SOFAB, and holding a silent auction with very cool prizes as a formal fundraiser.

Save the Date! WNBA-NOLA’s Holiday Party!

WNBA-NOLA’s Holiday Party!
Date:  Friday, Dec. 16, 6 – 8 PM
          Southern Food and Beverage Museum, 1504 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., NOLA
Title:  Whiskey, Women and Wit — a holiday cocktail party that might teach you something
Dress: Festive
Come join us for a holiday cocktail party at the Southern Food and Beverage Museum that features the alcohols of women distillers, fancy snacks, and a silent auction while the rest of us make a bit of noise.
Our Vice President, and SOFAB’s President Liz Williams, will talk to us about cocktail culture in New Orleans — a subject about which she knows A LOT — while we sip, nibble, and perhaps giggle.
This is a fundraiser for the Women’s National Book Association, New Orleans chapter, so we are charging admission, which covers the beverages, the food, and SOFAB admission.
We’ll be selling tickets on Eventbrite soon.  In the meantime, please save us the earlier part of the evening on Friday, December 16.  Bring friends, potential future love interests, your auntie from out of town. We will clink glasses, learn a little, then travel out into the night for further fabulous fun.