Sunday, April 8, 2012

Louisiana Poet Laureate Julie Kane celebrates Louisiana Poets

In celebration of National Poetry Month, the State Library of Louisiana’s Center for the Book will present “Just Listen to Yourself: The Louisiana Poet Laureate Presents Louisiana Poets — 2012” from noon to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Seminar Center of the State Library, 701 N. Fourth St. in Baton Rouge. The event will be moderated by Julie Kane, Louisiana Poet Laureate, and include poets Darrell Bourque, Kelly Clayton, Ashley Mace Havird, David Havird, Ava Leavell Haymon, Clemonce Heard, Charles Jolivette, David Middleton, Alison Pelegrin, Michelle Pichon and Gail White. The lunchtime program is free and open to the public. Attendees may bring their lunch and come and go as their schedules allow. The State Library of Louisiana is wheelchair accessible. National Poetry Month is sponsored by the Academy of American Poets, which will celebrate “Poem in Your Pocket Day” on April 26.  For more information, see

New releases           
            Out this week is a book delving into the relationship between Lafayette’s Ron Guidry, who pitched for the New York Yankees and Yogi Berra, the Yankees’ longtime catcher and coach, titled “Driving Mr. Yogi: Yogi Berra, Ron Guidry, and Baseball’s Greatest Gift” by Harvey Araton. The book is an expansion of an article Araton did last year for the New York Times. Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani said of the book, “Like Ron Guidry, one of the greatest gifts in my career was to become Yogi’s friend. He and Ron are unique Americans and in ‘Driving Mr. Yogi’ readers everywhere will come to see just how special their friendship is.”
            If you’re looking for a great guide to New Orleans with hints on how to save, Huey Pablovich has published “Touring New Orleans on a Shoestring Budget.” Pablovich is a New Orleans tour guide so he has the inside story here and the book is filled with “secrets” he has uncovered, plus photos, contact and location information and historical tidbits. There are also places in the book for readers to include their own thoughts and memories. For more information or to purchase a copy, visit
            John P. Klingman, who teaches architecture at Tulane University and holds the Richard Koch Chair of Architecture, has published “New In New Orleans Architecture,” documenting 80 examples of contemporary architecture in the Crescent City from the past 15 years.
            Robert Olmstead, a professor at Ohio Wesleyan University, has published “The Coldest Night,” a combination war novel and love story. The book follows Henry, a young man in 1950 West Virginia, as he falls for a wealthy young woman and runs away with her to New Orleans.
            Bernard Koloski, a professor of English at Mansfield University in Pennsylvania, has been writing about Kate Chopin for more than 30 years. He’s recently edited “Awakenings: The Story of the Kate Chopin Revival.” Chopin was a novelist from the Natchitoches area who caused controversy with her 1899 novel, “The Awakening.” Koloski’s book contains 12 essays by scholars who have studied Chopin, including Thomas Bonner Jr. of Xavier in New Orleans, Lynda S. Boren who teaches in the Louisiana gifted program, Barbara Ewell of Loyola and Emily Toth, who teaches English and women’s studies at LSU.
            Lawrence N. Powell examines the placement of a city within a swamp that later became one of America’s most important ports in “The Accidental City: Improvising New Orleans.”
            Diane Castle will donate part of the Kindle sales of her thriller “Black Oil, Red Blood” to Gulf People Helping People, a Louisiana Environmental Action Network project to help those affected by the BP oil spill. The book is the fictional account of attorney Chloe Taylor and her fight against Big Oil industry giant PetroPlex. You can view a sample chapter at and purchase the book at

Book events
            Suzanne Johnson of New Orleans will sign copies of “Royal Street” at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at Garden District Book Shop in New Orleans. “Royal Street” is a new urban fantasy series set in New Orleans.
            Lafayette’s South Regional Library presents “Clovis Crawfish and Etienne Escargot,” adapted from the book by children's author, Mary Alice Fontenot, at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and 11 a.m. Saturday.
            Ben Sandmel will debut his book, “Ernie K-Doe: The R and B Emperor of New Orleans,” from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Historic New Orleans Collection, 533 Royal St. in New Orleans. The book is the second volume in the Collection’s Louisiana Musicians Biography Series. The first was Harold Battiste’s “Unfinished Blues.” The Historic New Orleans Collection will also present its 13th annual Bill Russell Lecture on Friday titled “Reflections of Bechet, A New Orleans Jazz Original: The Man and the Music” by historian Bruce Raeburn. For more information, visit
Cheré Coen is the author of “Exploring Cajun Country: A Historic Guide to Acadiana” and co-author of “Magic’s in the Bag: Creating Spellbinding Gris Gris Bags and Sachets.” She teaches writing at UL-Lafayette’s Continuing Education. Write her at