Monday, October 7, 2013

Festivals Acadiens et Creole honors authors who have published books in French

             Festivals Acadiens et Creole will honor authors this year, those who have published books about Cajun and Creole life and in French. The festival will be Friday through Sunday in Girard Park.
            The authors are:
            Jean Arceneaux, “Le trou dans le mur; Fabliaux cadiens,” “Suite du loup: poèmes, chansons, et autres texts” and “Je suis cadien;”
            William Arceneaux, “Meurtre en Louisiane: L’affaire des frères Blanc;”
            Shane K. Bernard, “Les Cadiens et leurs ancêtres acadiens;”
            Vicky Branton, “Donkey Otie et l’Anniversaire Eternel;”
            Jude R. Chatelain Sr., “Graines de parasol;”
            David Cheramie, “Lait à Mère: interrompu par ‘L’été et février’,” and “Julie Choufleur: ou Les Preuves d’amour;”
            Deborah J. Clifton, “À cette heure, la louve;”
            Kirby Jambon, “L’École Gombo: Poésies” and “Petites Communions: Poèmes, chansons et  jonglements;”
            Warren Perrin, “Une Saga Acadienne;”
            Zachary Richard, “Histoire des Acadiennes et des Acadiens de la Louisiane,” “Conte cajun: L'histoire de Télesphore et ’Tit Edvard (vol. 1),” “Conte cajun: L'histoire de Télesphore et ’Tit Edvard dans le grand Nord (vol. 2),” “Conte cajun: Les aventures de Télesphore et ’Tit Edvard au Vieux pays (vol. 3)” and “Faire récolte;”
            Jacques Royal, “Louisiane-Luisiana-Louisiana,” “1785 Destination Louisiana,” “Marquis de Lafayette” and “1804-1808 Digest of the Civil Laws now in force in the Territory of Orleans;”
            Susan F. Spillman, “Compère Lapin voyageur;” and
            May Rush Gwin Waggoner, “La mer attendra,” “Le Chant de l’arc-en-ciel – Poésies et Proses,” “Une fantaisie collective: Anthologie du drame louisianais cadien” and “Le Plus Beau Païs du Monde.”

Writing Contest
            Writing students from Acadiana may compete for recognition and prizes in the annual Creative Writing Contest, co-sponsored by the Acadiana Writing Project and the Festival of Words. The contest is open to sixth to 12th grade writers and invites submissions of poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction.
            Writings are submitted through teachers, and an entry form is required. The deadline is Oct. 18.
            First, second, and third place winners will receive certificates, publication in an anthology and other gifts, plus winners are invited to read their pieces at a ceremony honoring the writers.
            For more information and to print entry forms, visit

New releases
            Kelby Ouchley of Rocky Branch has a comprehensive book out on alligators titled “American Alligator: Ancient Predator in the Modern World. The book has been published, appropriately, by the University Press of Florida. “It’s a concise, up-to-date account of alligator life history with lots of factoids (biggest, food habits, nesting, etc.),” Ouchley wrote me by email. Ouchley is a naturalist who managed National Wildlife Refuges for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for 30 years. He is also the author of “Flora and Fauna of the Civil War: An Environmental Reference Guide” and “Bayou-Diversity: Nature and People in the Louisiana Bayou Country,” both by LSU Press.
            Mark A. Stevens, a former editor of this publication who divides his time between Lafayette and Johnson City, Tenn., spent the last four years collecting and cataloging photographs about the Clinchfield No. 1 which was, at one time, the oldest operating steam engine in the United States, according to Stevens. He has published “The One & Only: A Pictorial History of the Clinchfield No. 1” with coauthor A.J. “Alf” Peoples. Built in 1882, the engine famously pulled excursion trains throughout seven states in the South between 1968 and 1979, Stevens wrote me by email, and is now housed at the B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore, Md. The book, which is a joint project with the Clinchfield Railroad Museum in Erwin, Tenn., may be ordered through Star Publishing. 
            Jesmyn Ward, who grew up in DeLisle, Miss., has published a memoir titled “Men We Reaped.” In five years Ward lost five young men in her life to drugs, accidents and suicide making the author question why? Ward is a National Book Award winner for “Salvage the Bones,” which follows a hurricane ravaging a Mississippi Coast town. She received her MFA from the University of Michigan and has been a Stegner Fellow at Stanford and a Grisham Visiting Writer in Residence at the University of Mississippi. She is currently an assistant professor of creative writing at the University of South Alabama. “Salvage the Bones” was also a finalist for the NYPL Young Lions Literary Award and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, as well as a nominee for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.
            Michael Harris Smith sets his novel “Rivers” on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, ravaged by storms where a regional line pushes loots and ruffians below the rest of the state and a man named Cohen becomes the reluctant hero for a group of refugees. “... Rivers is the kind of book that lifts you up with its mesmerizing language then pulls you under like a riptide....,” writes The Atlanta Journal Constitution.
            David Armand, who teaches at Southeastern and serves as associate editor for Louisiana Literature Press, has published “Harlow,” a novel following 18-year-old Leslie Somers trudging his way through the dark Louisiana backwoods in search of his father, a man whom he has never met. But when Leslie finally finds Harlow, the man is not what the boy had expected. Armand’s first novel, “The Pugilist's Wife,” won the George Garrett Fiction Prize and was published by Texas Review Press.

Book events
            Tim Parrish will read, discuss and sign his new memoir, "Fear and What Follows: The Violent Education of a Christian Racist" (University Press of Mississippi) and his new novel, "The Jumper" (winner of Texas Review Press's Fiction Prize) at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Picard Center, 200 E Devalcourt St.
        Errol Laborde, New Orleans Carnival historian and editor of New Orleans Magazine, will sign “Mardi Gras: Chronicles of the New Orleans Carnival,” at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Garden District Book Shop, 2727 Prytania St. in New Orleans.
            Local attorney Greg Landry and senior paralegal Priscilla Charles, with non-profit law firm Acadiana Legal Service Corporation, will speak (and answer questions) on “How to Represent Yourself in Court” at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at South Regional Branch Library.
            “Adult Bedtime Stories” With Chuck Palahniuk and special guests Chelsea Cain and Monica Drake begins at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Tipitina’s in New Orleans.
Tickets are $29, and available at Garden District Book Shop and Tipitina’s.  
            Garrison Keillor discusses “O, What Luxury: Verses Lyrical, Vulgar, Pathetic & Profound” from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday at the Jewish Community Center of New Orleans. Tickets are $5 and available at Garden District Book Shop and the Jewish Community Center (JCC). Tickets include a coupon good for $5 off the purchase of Keillor’s book, “O, What Luxury: Verses Lyrical, Vulgar, Pathetic & Profound,” the first poetry collection written by the radio host of “A Prairie Home Companion.”
            Author Camilla Hunt Cole will sign her book “Long Shadows” at 5 p.m. Saturday at The Lab in River Ranch. 
            The Writers’ Guild of Acadiana will host several authors, including yours truly and Danielle Kazemi at the “Meet the Writers’ Guild of Acadiana Authors” from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at J&R Educational Supplies, 3123 Johnston St. Author books will be for sale.
            The Southern Festival of Books will be Friday through Sunday, Oct. 11-13, at War Memorial Plaza in Nashville. This year’s authors include Ace Atkins, Rick Bragg, Wiley Cash, Therese Ann Fowler, Tom Franklin, Ann Hite, Jill McCorkle, Mary Alice Monroe and Susan Rebecca White, among others.

Cheré Coen is the author of “Haunted Lafayette, Louisiana” and “Exploring Cajun Country: A Historic Guide to Acadiana,” both from The History Press, 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