Monday, January 14, 2013

53 Acadiana women celebrated in new book

             Lafayette-based therapist Fran Clarke developed an eight-month “Heroine’s Journey: A Woman’s Search for Truth” program to help women find their path, from discovering their creative spark to expressing a personal truth. She has published a book based on her work featuring 53 women of Acadiana in “Treasures of the Journey: Awakening Feminine Wisdom, Beauty and Passion.”
            “When I first developed The Heroine’s Journey, I could never have imagined the holiness that I would experience through the unfolding beauty, spirit and power of the women in each circle,” Clarke wrote me. “Most of them had never written or created before participating in this program, but were able to access and express themselves from deep within.”
            “Treasures of the Journey” includes works of poetry, art and photography in 120 full-color pages.
            There will be a book release party from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. today at First Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall, 1130 Johnston St. in Lafayette. A limited number of copies will be available for purchase with additional copies available through Barnes & Noble and

New LSU releases
            LSU Press has published several new titles in the past few weeks, from political interpretation and American history to poetry.
            Ruth Salvaggio, professor of English and American Studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, grew up in the Ninth Ward of New Orleans. After Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, while cleaning out her home, she discovered a book of Sappho’s poetry and worked to save it from the muck and mud. This discovery began a journey for Salvaggio, herself an author of several books of poetry. She writes about New Orleans’ poetry history, its words hailing from its many cultures and neighborhoods, in “Hearing Sappho in New Orleans: The Call of Poetry from Congo Square to the Ninth Ward.”  
            Sally Van Doren has released her second collection of poetry, titled “Possessive,” out this week from LSU Press. Van Doren’s first book, “Sex at Noon Taxes,” received the Walt Whitman Award from the Academy of American Poets. She has taught in the St. Louis Public Schools and curates the Sunday Poetry Series for the St. Louis Poetry Center.
            David Huddle’s latest poetry collection, “Blacksnake at the Family Reunion,” told by a quirky, usually reticent great uncle, is now available from LSU Press. A native of Ivanhoe, Va., Huddle is the author of 17 books of poetry, fiction and essays, and has taught at the University of Vermont, the Bread Loaf School of English, the Rainier Writing Workshop and Hollins University.
            White Southerners loyal to the Republican Party during Reconstruction following the Civil War were often referred to as “scalawags,” labeled Union sympathizers, race traitors and “poor white trash.” Frank J. Wetta, a senior fellow at the Center for History, Politics and Policy at Kean University, seeks to debunk that myth in “The Louisiana Scalawags: Politics, Race and Terrorism during the Civil War and Reconstruction.” Wetta contends that these men were educated, held government positions in antebellum years and looked to form an alliance with the freedmen in a biracial political party, one that eventually failed in Louisiana.

Lafayette Library news
            Iberia Parish Library has kicked off its New Year by opening a Cyber Café featuring coffee, hot tea and water. Visitors may enjoy the café-style setting from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursdays in the Main Library’s large meeting room in New Iberia.
            The Lafayette Public Library is offering a class for children ages 5 to 12 to create a Mardi Gras poster at the following libraries: Jefferson Street Branch (261-5779) 
at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 16; Milton Branch (856-5261)
at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 22; Youngsville Branch (856-9385)
at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 24; and South Regional Library (981-1028)
at 4 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 31. “Take It and Make It Craft” kits will be available, while supplies last, during the week of Jan. 22–28 at the following library locations: Broussard, Butler, Duson, North Regional, Scott and Chenier libraries.
            “Different Approaches: A Photography Exhibit” by Bob Adams, Jo Ann Gary and Karen Hoyt will be on display Jan. 9 through Feb. 27 at Galerie Lafayette in the Jefferson Street Branch, 538 Jefferson St. in downtown Lafayette.
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