2020-2021 Report from Outgoing Chapter President Andrea Panzeca

In May 2019, when I became chapter president, none of us could have imagined the turn our lives would take within the year. Until then we toured Antenna’s Paper Machine printshop, celebrated the 2019 Pinckley Prizes for Crime Fiction, celebrated book launches of Jami Attenberg and Margaret Wilkerson-Sexton, hosted a panel on WNBA’s Great Group Reads, had a king cake party, toured Amistad Research Center, and watched and discussed Little Women with Anne Boyd Rioux. A similar screening/discussion of Emma with Miki Pfeffer was scheduled for Saturday, March 14, 2020. It was our first, but not our last, COVID-impacted event.

We pivoted to virtual programming, including a series of open mic nights, an interview with Susan Larson and local author Elizabeth Miki Brina, and a Mardi Gras party with prizes revealed via spinning-wheel-of-names! Not everyone could join us in the virtual realm, and we look forward to safely increasing in-person events as community case counts and public guidance allows. I hope we will continue to offer virtual or hybrid options as well when possible.

Though my time as president did not, could not, turn out as I initially imagined, I am nonetheless grateful for it. I have made and sustained so many friendships through this organization. While I will remain a member and immediate past president, I also look forward to spending more time with my writing, art, and teaching. I encourage those who may be considering becoming more involved in the chapter to do so! I am thankful to so many of you, most especially Sara Woodard, Karen Kersting, and Susan Larson.

Thank you all,

Andrea Panzeca

WNBA-NOLA Welcomes New President!

Anne Babson has been selected President of WNBA-NOLA!

Anne is an author and a scholar who has long celebrated the works of women writers. In New York City, prior to her move South, Anne was the Vice President of Literature for a women’s art collective, Women’s Studio Center, where she won a prize for her foundation of an immigrant women’s writers’ forum and of a feminist literary journal, Vernacular.

Her first poetry collection, The White Trash Pantheon (Vox Press, 2015), won a prize. She is also the author the poetry collections Polite Occasions (Unsolicited Press, 2018) Messiah (Saint Julian Press, 2019), and on press this winter, a collection about the pandemic and the rise of American authoritarianism, The Bunker Book (Unsolicited Press, projected 2022). Her play about gun culture in the South, Reenactment, was published in 2019. The opera for which she wrote the libretto for composer Su Lian-Tan, Lotus Lives, has been performed in New York City, Boston, Montreal, and is set to be released to video next year. Her individual poems have been published in literary journals on five continents and have been anthologized on two continents, most recently in Nasty Women Poets: An Unapologetic Anthology of Subversive Verse.

Anne’s scholarly work focuses on authors writing in French and English. She studied as an undergraduate at Sarah Lawrence College, and she did her graduate studies at The City University of New York and at the University of Mississippi. She teaches writing and literature at Southeastern Louisiana University and French language and literature at L’Union Francaise.