Monday, February 23, 2015

Louisiana book events this week - Feb. 23-28

Tuesday. Feb. 24 
          The Irvin Mayfield Quintet performs a Tribute to Ernest Gaines at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Angelle Hall on the UL-Lafayette campus. The free concert includes the UL-Lafayette Jazz Combo.
            The Lafayette Public Library System is teaming up with area public schools and other local partners to encourage Lafayette to read and discuss the same book in a program called Lafayette Reads Together. The program focuses on the New York Times bestseller “A Long Walk to Water” by Linda Sue Park, a survivor’s tale inspired by the real story of one of the Lost Boys of Sudan. Park will Skype at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at South Regional Library in Lafayette. For a list of events, visit
            The Writers’ Guild of Acadiana will hold its monthly meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Barnes & Nobles in Lafayette.

Wednesday, Feb. 25
           The Festival of Words Cultural Arts Collective hosts an evening of oral history and poetry at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Grand Coteau House Ballroom in Grand Coteau. The event will feature poet Clemonce Heard from Baton Rouge and siblings Allen Charles, Earline Duplechaine and Rose Marie Perry who will share personal stories. Heard is a poet and typographer from New Orleans (now living in Baton Rouge) who’s cofounder of Brainy Acts Poetry Society (BAPS), an organization of spoken word poets conceived at Northwestern in Natchitoches. During the oral history portion of the program Allen Charles and his sisters will share stories of their father, Alcide Charles, a sharecropper, and their aunt, Marie Louise Charles, who worked as a live-in domestic for the Chatrian family and eventually inherited their house. Both Alcide and Mary Louise Charles spoke Creole French and moved to Grand Coteau during the great flood of 1927. The oral history presentation will be videotaped and placed in the Cajun and Creole Archives at the Center for Louisiana Studies in the “Grand Coteau Voices” collection. The public is invited to bring their own poems, songs or stories for the open mic. Guests are also invited to bring snacks or drinks to share. For more information, call Patrice Melnick at (337) 254-9695 or email
            Thea Tamborella returns to New Orleans after a 10-year absence to find it gripped in fear in Christine Wiltz’s “Glass House,” published by LSU Press in 2001 and this year’s finalist for the One Book, One New Orleans selection. The book’s main character finds the privileged white socialites of her private-school days packing guns to fancy dinner parties and spending their free time in paramilitary patrols. The black gardeners, maids and cooks who work days in the mansions of the elite Garden District return each evening to housing projects wracked by poverty, drugs and gang violence. The city’s haves and have-nots glare at each other across a yawning racial divide as fear turns to hate and an us-against-them mentality. Wiltz is also the author of “The Killing Circle,” “A Diamond Before You Die,” “The Emerald Lizard,” “The Last Madam: A Life in the New Orleans Underworld” and “Shoot the Money.” She will sign copies of “Glass House” at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Maple Street Bookstore in New Orleans.
            Keith Weldon Medley discusses his book, “Black Life in Old New Orleans,” at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon Ave. in Metairie.

Thursday, Feb. 26
            Warren and Mary Perrin, editors of “Acadie Then and Now: A People’s History,” will speak about their new book at noon Thursday at the Rotary Club in the Petroleum Club. For more information, call (337) 233-5832, or email
            Andi Eaton signs “New Orleans Style” at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Louisiana State Capitol in Baton Rouge.
            M.O. Walsh signs and discusses his debut novel “My Sunshine Away” at 6 p.m. Thursday at Garden District Book Shop in New Orleans.
            Carolyn Kolb, a former Times-Picayune reporter and current columnist for New Orleans Magazine, has collected essays that have appeared as “Chronicles of Recent History” in “New Orleans Memories: One Writer’s City.” Kolb will read from and discuss her book at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Nix branch of the New Orleans Public Library.

Louisiana Book News is written by Cheré Coen, the author of “Forest Hill, Louisiana: A Bloom Town History,” Haunted Lafayette, Louisiana” and “ExploringCajun Country: A Historic Guide to Acadiana” and co-author of “Magic’s in the Bag: Creating Spellbinding Gris Gris Bags and Sachets.” Write her at