Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Tom Piazza to receive 2015 Louisiana Writer Award

The State Library of Louisiana through its Louisiana Center for the Book announced that New Orleans resident Tom Piazza is the recipient of the 2015 Louisiana Writer Award, awarded annually to recognize outstanding contributions to Louisiana’s literary and intellectual life.
Tom Piazza is celebrated both as a novelist and as a writer across all aspects of American music. His 12 books include the novels “City of Refuge” and the forthcoming “A Free State,” the post-Katrina manifesto “Why New Orleans Matters,” and “Devil Sent the Rain: Music and Writing in Desperate America,” a collection of his essays and journalism. He was a principal writer for the innovative HBO drama series “Treme” and the winner of a Grammy Award for his liner notes to Martin Scorsese “Presents the Blues: A Musical Journey,” as well as a three-time winner of the ASCAP Deems Taylor Award for Music Writing. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, Bookforum, Oxford American, Columbia Journalism Review and many other periodicals.
Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne and State Librarian Rebecca Hamilton will present Piazza with the 16th Louisiana Writer Award on Oct. 31,  2015, in a ceremony at the beginning of the 2015 Louisiana Book Festival. Piazza will also discuss his work and career with author Michael Tisserand.
            Past recipients of the Louisiana Writer Award include novelists Ernest J. Gaines, James Lee Burke, Christine Wiltz, John Biguenet, Shirley Ann Grau, Elmore Leonard, Tim Gautreaux, Valerie Martin and James Wilcox; children's author William Joyce; historian Carl Brasseaux; scholar Lewis P. Simpson; and poets William Jay Smith, Yusef Komunyakaa and Darrell Bourque.
For more information about the festival and Piazza, visit

Chere Dastugue Coen is the author of "Forest Hill, Louisiana: A Bloom Town History," "Exploring Cajun Country: A Historic Guide to Acadiana" and "Haunted Lafayette, Louisiana" and co-author of "Magic's in the Bag: Creating Spellbinding Gris Gris Bags and Sachets." She also writes Louisiana romances under Cherie Claire, including "A Cajun Dream" and "The Letter." Write her at