Saturday, January 23, 2016

Festival of Words hosts evening with Ibrahima Seck; Poet Laureate Julie Kane in Best American Poetry 2016

The Festival of Words Cultural Arts Collective hosts an evening with Ibrahima Seck, academic director of the Whitney Plantation slavery museum, along with Grand Coteau residents Myrtle Senegal Henry and Juanita Henry Miller sharing personal stories beginning at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Chickory’s Coffee & Cafe in Grand Coteau. Originally from Senegal, Seck is a historian and the author of “Bouki Fait Gombo,” which documents the culinary and musical culture that arose from the Whitney Plantation. Seck, who is also a Grand Coteau resident, will draw connections between West African and Louisiana culture. 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. Participants are encouraged to bring their own poems, songs or stories for the open mic. This free, community event is suitable for all ages and is sponsored with support from the UL Center for Louisiana Studies. For more information call Patrice (337) 254-9695 or email

Book news
Former Louisiana Poet Laureate Julie Kane has a poem in Best American Poetry 2016, a book that’s guest edited by Edward Hirsch and forthcoming in September. Her 2013 book, published by White Violet Press, was “Paper Bullets.” Kane is a professor of English at Northwestern State University and winner of the 2014 Excellence in Teaching Award. She was the 2011-2013 Louisiana Poet Laureate.
Rosemary Smith of Lafayette received an honorable mention in general fiction at the New England Book Festival for her “Tiny Bones,” a ghost story about an old house she fell in love with while stationed at Ft. Rucker, Ala., in the 1970s. Her first novel, “No Earthly Boundaries,” received an honorable mention in the South Florida Book Festival last year.  

Book events
Former St. Landry Parish District Attorney Morgan Goudeau III will discuss Louisiana’s 40th governor in a lecture titled “The Life of Huey P. Long: 1928-1935,” at 2 p.m. today at the Alexandre Mouton House/Lafayette Museum. Doors open at 1:30 p.m.
The Jeanerette Museum is hosting a history talk with Paul Darby III, who will lead the discussion on little known facts about NASA missions from the moon walks to the Space Station and Space Shuttle at 6 p.m. Wednesday. Darby is a Jeanerette native and assistant professor at UL’s Electrical and Computer Engineering department. He is the winner of the Silver Snoopy, NASA’s highest award presented to a civilian. The program is free and suitable for adults. For more information, visit
            Kiera Cass reads from and signs her book “The Siren” at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Barnes and Noble, 3721 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie.

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