Monday, September 14, 2015

C.C. Lockwood spotlights Louisiana Nature Conservancy in gorgeous new book

             The Nature Conservancy of Louisiana protects and maintains more than 285,000 acres within the state, including Cypress Island at Lake Martin, Caddo Bayou Black, Grand Isle, Lake Cocodrie, the Tunica Hills and the Bluebonnet Swamp in Baton Rouge. Now, renowned Louisiana nature photographer C.C. Lockwood celebrates those unique habitats in photos and text in “Louisiana Wild, The Protected and Restored Lands of The Nature Conservancy,” published by LSU Press.
This gorgeous new coffee table book by Lockwood honors and celebrates what makes Louisiana special, plus calls attention to the preservative work of the Conservancy while delighting the senses with his breath-taking artistry. Readers will be amazed at the biodiversity of Louisiana, plus realize there are preserves located throughout the state — more than 60 in 33 parishes, — many of which may only be familiar to birders and nature enthusiasts.
Throughout it all, Lockwood hopes to instill in his readers a love for nature.
“When we come to understand the tremendous value of our emotional connection to everything else on this earth, we can begin to make this a better place for all living things,” he writes in the introduction.
The book contains 220 color images and includes a foreword by Keith Ouchley, executive director of The Nature Conservancy of Louisiana and author of  “Bayou-Diversity: Nature and People in the Louisiana Bayou Country.” Lockwood is also the author of several photography books and is the recipient of the Sierra Club’s Ansel Adams Award for Outstanding Conservation Photography and has been honored as Louisiana Legend by Louisiana Public Broadcasting.
Lockwood will present images from “Louisiana Wild,” accompanied by music and stories, at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Manship Theatre in Baton Rouge. The event is free and open to the public and there will be a book sale and signing following the presentation.
  
New releases
Geri Givens Taylor of Ruston wears a lot of hats — multidisciplinary artist, photographer, actor, playwright, writer and community volunteer. The Louisiana Tech graduate is also an author. Her book, “The Kitchen Dance,” follows Joule Dalton, a successful interior designer whose life is choreographed by her loved ones until a tragedy forces her to learn her own steps. For more information, visit http://www.g2taylor.com/.
Melinda Rose documents the fragile South Louisiana community of Isle de Jean Charles, attached to the mainland by a narrow 2-mile-long road, in her book, “Of the Rising Tide: A Photo Essay of the Vanishing Bayou Community of Isle de Jean Charles.” Chris is one of 40 remaining Islanders, all descendants of the Choctaw- Chitimacha Indian tribes who have called the once-thriving Gulf community home for more than a century. She will discuss and sign copies of her book at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Garden District Book Shop and at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 23, at the Children’s Resource Center Library and 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 30, at the Rosa F. Keller Library and Community Center, all in New Orleans.  


LSU Press has published a biography of LSU football star Billy Cannon. Through conversations with Cannon, author Charles N. deGravelles follows the athlete-turned-reformer from his boyhood in a working-class Baton Rouge neighborhood to his sudden rush of fame as the leading high school running back in the country in “The Rise and Fall (and Redemption) of Billy Cannon.” Cannon was LSU’s only Heisman Trophy winner, leading the Tigers to a national championship in 1958, but was also indicted for counterfeiting and worked as a staff dentist at Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola.
Adam Johnson includes a story about the double devastation of hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005, titled “Hurricane Anonymous,” in his short story collection “Fortune Smiles.” Johnson won a Pulitzer Prize for his novel, “The Orphan Master’s Son” in 2012.
NancyKay Sullivan Wessman’s looks at the heroic efforts of first responders after Hurricane Katrina slammed the Mississippi Coast in a work of creative nonfiction titled “Katrina Mississippi: Voice from Ground Zero,” published by Triton.
            Tom Piazza of New Orleans has published a novel featuring Henry Sims, a fugitive slave and musician, who has escaped to Philadelphia and ends up performing incognito in a minstrel troupe in “A Free State.” Piazza will sign copies of his novel from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Garden District Book Shop in New Orleans.

Book news
Congratulations to Lisa Graley of the UL-Lafayette English staff for winning with Anne Raeff this year's Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction. Graley’s "The Current That Carries" and Raeff’s "The Jungle All Around Us" will be published by University of Georgia Press in the fall of 2016.
Graley coordinates the Interdisciplinary Humanities program at UL and has published short stories in Glimmer Train, The McNeese Review, and Water~Stone Review. Her book of poetry, “Box of Blue Horses” by Gival Press, was nominated for the National Book Award. She has received an Artist Fellowship from the Louisiana Division of the Arts, an ATLAS grant from the Louisiana Board of Regents and in 2010 was also awarded the Dr. Ray Authement Excellence in Teaching Award.

Book events
Lyrically Inclined Poetry Slam and Open Mic, hosted by Poetic Soul, will begin at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Black Café, 518 S. Pierce St. in Lafayette. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the cover charge is $5.
Melinda Rose discuses and signs her book, “Of The Rising Tide: A Photo Essay of the Vanishing Bayou Community of Isle de Jean Charles” at 6 p.m. at Garden District Book Shop of New Orleans.
Warren and Mary Perrin signs copies of “Acadie Then and Now: A People’s History” at 5:45 p.m. Wednesday at the Sliman Theater in New Iberia. For more information, call (337) 233-5832, or email perrin@plddo.com.
            Michael Murphy signs “Fear Dat: New Orleans — A Guide to the Voodoo, Vampires, Graveyards and Ghosts of the Crescent City” at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Octavia Books of New Orleans.
            Pulitzer Prize-winning author David I. Kertzer presents “The Pope and Mussolini” Thursday at the Freedom Pavilion of the World War II Museum in New Orleans. There will be a 5 p.m. reception, following by a 6 p.n. presentation and 7 p.m. book signings.

Cheré Dastugue Coen is the author of “Forest Hill, Louisiana: A Bloom Town History,” “Haunted Lafayette, Louisiana” and “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 also writes Louisiana romances under the pen name of Cherie Claire, “A Cajun Dream” and “The Letter.” Write her at cherecoen@gmail.com.