Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Festival of Words kickstarts campaign

            Festival of Words, a literary and poetry festival held in St. Landry and surrounding parishes, brings in authors for workshops in public schools, offers public creative writing workshops, author readings and Drive-by Poetry on the streets of Grand Coteau, Sunset and Lafayette.
            I’m on the board of this amazing festival, founded by author and English professor Patrice Melnick, and I’ve watched how a dedicated and enthusiastic few work tirelessly to bring about the annual Festival of Words, to be Nov. 8-10 this year — not to mention its many auxiliary events. The Festival budget is small and was made smaller by state arts budget cuts, so the organization is hosting a Kickstarter campaign, where people pledge support online.
            Please help support this valuable literary endeavor. You can view the video and donate at www.kickstarter.com/projects/909037597/the-festival-of-words?ref=live.

Book news
            LSU School of Education doctoral student Debra Jo Gifford Hailey, a spring 2012 inductee into the LSU chapter of Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society, was awarded a PKP Literacy Grant to support Reading on the River 2013, a family literacy event held in Natchitoches.
            The event has teachers and other professionals use developmentally appropriate teaching methods to engage children and their parents in early literacy activities and help them mimic the methods at home. After participating in the literacy activities, the children select a few age-appropriate books to take home with them, donated from local churches and businesses. At this year’s event, more than 1,000 books were donated to young children.
Library happenings
            The Lafayette Parish Library is looking for bad art for its annual Fall Bad Art Fête, to culminate with a display at the Oct. 13 ArtWalk at the Jefferson Street Branch Library. Create art at home or at the Jefferson Street branch craft table, then submit for display beginning Monday and continuing until noon Friday, Oct. 12, at the Jefferson Street branch. Patrons will be able to vote for their favorite piece during the Oct. 13 ArtWalk from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The winners will receive special prizes.
            The North Regional Library is collecting photos of veterans and current members of the military for its third annual Carencro Veterans Day Celebration. Participants should bring framed (3 x 5 or 5 x 7) photos to the library now through Oct. 31 to be included in the library’s Veterans Day display. The program will take place at 11 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 8, at the Carencro Community Center.
            Louisiana teens are invited to read and vote for their favorite teen book of the 10 Louisiana Teen Readers Choice titles. Teens that read at least two books from the list are invited to vote for their favorite book this fall. For more information or to vote, visit www.state.lib.la.us/ltrc.

Book events
           The 1718 Society, a student-run literary organization made up of Tulane, Loyola and UNO students, will continue their reading series this fall at 7 p.m. on the first Tuesday of every month at the Columns Hotel on St. Charles Avenue in New Orleans. The event will include local authors reading their work while participants enjoy happy hour. Open to the public, the next reading will be by Andy Stallings this Tuesday, Oct. 2. 

            The UL Gaines Center and Creative Writing presents Michael Griffith and UL’s Joe Baumann, 7:30 pm Tuesday, Oct. 2, Ernest J. Gaines Center of the Dupre Library.
           Jennifer Thompson and Ronald Cotton, authors of the best-selling book "Picking Cotton" will speak at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 2, in Howard Auditorium at Louisiana Tech. As part of Tech's First Year Experience program to integrate students into college life, all freshmen have a common reading assignment during their fall quarter. Tech has readopted "This I Believe II," which features Thompson and Cotton. http://www.latech.edu/fye/
            Kresley Cole signs “Poison Princess” at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 3, at Garden District Book Shop in New Orleans. 
           Christina Vella, a professor of history at Tulane University, will discuss two frequently banned books at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 3, at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon, Metairie. This event is free of charge and is open to the public. Registration is not required.
            Teen Poetry Night, with the spoken word group Revolution Theory, begins at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 3, at North Regional Library in Lafayette. The event is appropriate for ages 13–18.
            William J. Cooper discusses and signs “We Have The War Upon Us: The Onset of the Civil War, November 1860-April 1861” at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 4, at Garden District Book Shop in New Orleans.
            Faye Phillips, author of “Baton Rouge Cemeteries,” will speak at noon Wednesday, Oct. 3, as part of the Louisiana State Museum’s Lunchtime Lagniappe series. The event will be at the Capitol Park Museum in downtown Baton Rouge, is free and attendees are encouraged to bring their own lunch.
            Crescent City Book celebrates its 20th anniversary in October and will be hosting authors and artists to read and discuss their new books. Carolyn Hembree will read from her poetry book “Skinny” at 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6, followed by a reception and signing.  

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 chere@louisianabooknews.com.