Sunday, October 26, 2014

Louisiana Book Festival this Saturday in Baton Rouge

            I’ll also be in fabulous company when I sign my latest book, “Forest Hill, Louisiana: A Bloom Town History” at 10:45 a.m. Saturday in the State Capitol of Baton Rouge for the annual Louisiana Book Festival. The event brings together a wealth of literary greats, children’s activities, special events, live music and more — and it’s all free. Don’t miss it.
            Here are a few others who will be discussing and signing their books at Saturday’s Louisiana Book Festival:
            Darrell Bourque, author of “Megan’s Guitar and Other Poems from Acadie” and “if you abandon me, comment je vas faire: An Amédé Ardoin Songbook,” served as Louisiana poet laureate from 2007 to 2008 and 2009 to 2011. He is on the boards of the Ernest J. Gaines Center, Festival of Words and NUNU Arts and Culture Collective, and he is a founding member of Narrative 4 of Chicago. He will receive the Louisiana Writer Award at 10 a.m., followed by “A Conversation with Darrell Bourque” at noon.
            Charles M. Blow of Louisiana, the New York Times’ visual op-ed columnist, has written a memoir titled “Fire Shut Up in My Bones,” which travels back to his youth and his examination of race, poverty and the abuse he suffered. Blow is also a CNN commentator, and has appeared on many news stations. He will be speaking at 3 p.m.
            Best-selling author Gary Krist looks at New Orleans at the turn of the 20th century in “Empire of Sin: A Story of Sex, Jazz, Murder, and the Battle for Modern New Orleans,” relaying stories of sin and violence stretching from 1890 to 1920, when reform efforts transformed the city’s more decadent nature. Krist, the award-winning author of “City of Scoundrels” and “The White Cascade,” will appear at 12:15 p.m. at Saturday’s festival and at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Octavia Books in New Orleans.
Ernest Gaines
            The University Press of Mississippi has published two books on the tenuous relationship between oil companies and environmental activists and the media. “Hydrocarbon Hucksters: Lessons from Louisiana on Oil, Politics, and Environmental Justice” by Ernest Zebrowski and Mariah Zebrowski Leach pits the industry’s long-running prosperous presence in Louisiana with the state’s low rank in education, public services and the environmental and asks why the state suffers such ills under great profits. “Oil and Water: Media Lessons from Hurricane Katrina and The Deepwater Horizon Disaster,” by coauthors LSU Dean Andrea Miller, Tulane doctoral candidate Shearon Roberts and Western Kentucky assistant professor Victoria LaPoe, studies the double whammy of Katrina and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and crisis journalism. Miller, also author of “News Evolution or Revolution? The Future of Print Journalism in the Digital Age,” will speak at 10:30 a.m. and Zebrowski will speak at 3:30 p.m. at the Louisiana Book Festival.
            Tulane law professor Olive A. Houck recounts six decades exploring America’s rivers, creeks and swamps in “Downstream Toward Home” by LSU Press. The travelogue leads readers down more than 32 rivers where Houck provides observations that range from footprints of red wolves to an aqueous forest of cypress trees. Houck has received two National Educational Press Association awards for children’s literature and was most recently honored by the Environmental Section of the American Bar Association with its Distinguished Achievement Award. He will be speaking at 3:15 p.m.
            And award-winning, best-selling author Ernest J. Gaines will speak on his works, his life and his career at the festival as well as at 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 2, at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s Moody Hall, Room 103.

Author Dinner
            Rheta Grimsley Johnson, columnist and author of “Poor Man’s Provence: Finding Myself in Cajun Louisiana,” will be the guest author of the Lafayette Public Library’s annual Author Dinner beginning at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Petroleum Club in Lafayette. Johnson has written for several regional newspapers and is a member of the Scripps Howard Newspapers Editorial Hall of Fame. She has lived and worked in the South all of her career and now lives part-time in Henderson. Her books include “Hank Hung the Moon” and “Enchanted Evening Barbie and the Second Coming.” Admission is $25 and includes a social and buffet dinner. Tickets must be purchased by noon Tuesday; call Bobbie at 984-8661. Johnson will sell and sign her books following the presentation.

            This weird combination of letters stands for National Novel Writing Month, which is November for all your hardy souls willing to take on writing a novel within one month. The object is to get writing , to make yourself put words on paper and finish a 50,000-word novel by Nov. 30. If you want to know more, the NaNoWriMo Kickoff Event will be from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the South Regional Library Meeting Room in Lafayette. Refreshments and information on the worldwide writing challenge will be available at this event, plus group write-ins are scheduled throughout Lafayette Parish in November. For information on the library events, call 981-1028. For more information on National Novel Writing Month or to sign up, visit