Friday, May 10, 2013

'Fresh Table' honors Louisiana produce

             It’s been an exciting spring for Louisiana books with summer titles right around the corner. My pile of great new books is growing by the day. Here’s a snippet to whet your appetite.
            Baton Rouge food writer and Advocate columnist Helana Brigman has published a cookbook with LSU Press honoring Louisiana’s produce in “The Fresh Table: Cooking in Louisiana All Year Round.” In addition to numerous recipes sorted by season that call for fresh Louisiana ingredients, Brigman includes advice on how to stock your pantry, a produce availability chart and a list of Louisiana farmers’ markets.
            C.M. Andrews, retired from the navy and attending school at Southern University in Shreveport, has published a collection of short stories titled “Bayou Charlie’s Tales, Myths And Legends, “an odyssey deep into a land steeped in myth and magic….” Characters include a virgin with a haunted past, a French duke with a jealous wife and vengeful ghosts. Andrews will follow this book with another by the end of summer, and finish the series as a trilogy. For information, visit
            New Orleans novelist O’Neil De Noux has released a new novel starring his NOPD homicide detective John Raven Beau. Titled “City of Secrets,” the book takes place two months “AK — After Karina” when the water has gone down but much of the city is coated in a gray, brown film of silt and dirt. Residents have not all returned but murder has and the killers collide with a man who hunts murderers, innate in one who has the blood of the great plains warriors in his veins.
The book is available in trade paperback or eBook at, or

            Wiley Cash, who obtained his Ph.D. in English from the University of Louisiana-Lafayette and studied under Louisiana author Ernest Gaines, won an Adult Debut Honor Award from the American Booksellers Association’s 2013 Indies Choice Book Awards. The awards are voted on by independent booksellers nationwide. Cash’s debut novel, “A Land More Kind Than Home” has won numerous accolades.

Book news
            The French translation of Shane Bernard’s Cajun history book for kids, “Cajuns and Their Acadian Ancestors: A Young Reader’s History,” is now out by Faustine Hillard (the original English version was released in 2008).  The middle school and high school reader book is available at and Barnes & Noble.

            The Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival is hosting its fourth annual Poetry Contest and accepting submissions from now until Aug. 15. The judge will be Robert Pinsky, the only poet to have been named three times the United States Poet Laureate. The top 10 finalists will receive a panel pass to attend the 2014 festival in New Orleans, and their names will be published on The winner will be announced by Jan. 15, 2014. For information, visit

Upcoming events
            Lafayette writer and artist Kody Chamberlain is offering an intensive workshop “How to Create Comic Books and Graphic Novels” from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 18 at J&R Educational Supplies, 3123 1/2 Johnston St. in Lafayette. The six-hour “walkthrough of the creative process” will include professional level techniques. The price of the workshop is $80. For 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