Sunday, February 26, 2017

Celebrate Carnival with Louisiana guide

Brian J. Costello loves Carnival. Years ago he invited me to experience a New Roads Mardi Gras; Costello is the historian of the Pointe Coupee Parish Library Historic Materials Collection and was 2009 king of the New Roads Lion Mardi Gras. I’m a Carnival connoisseur so I happily accepted and experienced yet another Carnival celebration outside New Orleans, my home town. Costello branches out his Carnival expertise in his latest book, “Carnival in Louisiana: Celebrating Mardi Gras from the French Quarter to the Red River,” published by LSU Press. The book begins with New Orleans, naturally, and then includes sections on Acadiana, Southeast Louisiana and Central and North Louisiana. He tackles traditional parades, satirical parades, the Cajun courir de Mardi Gras, spontaneous street parties, Carnival balls and much more. It’s a comprehensive book that showcases the diversity of our state, its varied culture and traditions showing up in a statewide free party that attracts the world.
           
Make Some Noise!
A group of Baton Rouge high school wanted to make some noise last fall, so they did. “Make Some Noise IV! A Baton Rouge Youth Poetry Anthology” features the poetry, prose and short stories of 75 Zachary High School students. Nearly 100 Zachary High School students submitted their work focused on the flood, the police shootings in Baton Rouge, social awareness, race and relevant personal issues that they face. The anthology is edited by poet and author Terry A. O’Neal and available in print and electronic editions in stores and online at Amazon.com. 

Global South
The keynote speaker of the April 6-8 Deep South in the Global South conference will be Dr. Anouar Majid, author of “We Are All Moors: Ending Centuries of Crusades against Muslims and Other Minorities,” at UL-Lafayette. Majid’s talk will be “Specters of the Global South” and will be held at 8 p.m. April 7 at the Petroleum Club.

Publisher’s Weekly said this of Majid’s book: “Majid draws much-needed comparisons between events leading to atrocities like the Spanish Inquisition and present attitudes and trends, including growing disdain for Muslims in Europe and Hispanics in the U.S. Further, he shows how nations are strengthened by the acceptance and integration of the foreign (as is the trend, following initial xenophobic fits, in the U.S.), while cultural expulsion and/or cleansing hurts people and states (as in Germany’s post-WWII ‘occupation and dismemberment’). With this intriguing historical analysis, Majid sounds a clear warning against the West’s latest slide toward cultural scapegoating.”

The DSGS Conference is an interdisciplinary conference exploring humanity’s interactions with and responses to an increasingly globalized world. Guest speakers include photographer Brooke C. White, Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker and writer Rebecca Snedeker and authors Anthony Wilson, J. Bruce Fuller and John McNally. Early registration to the conference is ongoing until Tuesday by visiting http://dsgsconference.weebly.com/registration.html.

New releases
Eric Wowoh, a Liberian refugee who lived in 11 different refugee camps throughout West Africa and who was educated at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette upon arrival to the United States, has published a book of his experiences, “Return of a Refugee.” Because Wowoh realized the value of education, he returned to Liberia to create a school through his human service non-profit Change Agent Network. The book follows his story, of his trauma and separation from family for 20 years, and how now he still believes in humanity, goodwill and God. For more information on the book and program, visit http://www.canintl.org/.

C.E. Richard has published “Land's End: Field Notes from the End of the World,” with photos by Frank McMains, a collection of essays about Louisiana's coastal erosion. The Faulkner Society of New Orleans selected the book published by McFarland Press as runner-up in the nonfiction book category for the William Faulkner-William Wisdom Prize in Creative Writing. Last year, a portion of the book’s essays and photos were released by the Baton Rouge Area Foundation under the title “Coastal Sketches” to mark the 10th anniversary of Katrina and Rita. For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/cerichard2015/.

Book events
Tubby and Coo’s Mid-City Book Shop of New Orleans honors Dr. Seuss’s Birthday from noon to 2 p.m. Sunday, March 5. There will be free Dr. Seuss goodie bags (while supplies last), games, coloring and storytime. Costumes are encouraged.


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