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 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 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.