Author, illustrator, and pioneer in the digital and animation industry William Joyce will be honored as the 2017 Humanist of the Year by the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities. The award is given annually by the state's humanities council as part of its efforts to recognize the individuals and organizations making invaluable contributions to the culture of Louisiana. Joyce will be honored on Thursday at the 2017 LEH Bright Lights Awards Dinner at the Shaw Center for the Arts in Baton Rouge. The event is open to the public, and tickets start at $150.
In 2009, Joyce co-founded Moonbot Studios, a multimedia storytelling company in Shreveport, exploring books, apps, films and video games. The studio's projects have won numerous awards and accolades, including an Oscar for Best Animated Short for “The Fantastic Flying Books of Morris Lessmore,” Annie Award, multiple Webby and Emmy awards and inclusion in the iTunes App Store Hall of Fame. Since beginning his career as children's book author and illustrator, Joyce has nearly 50 books to his credit.
The LEH will also recognize the following writers:
Humanities Books Awards goes to Shane K. Bernard, author of “Teche: A History of Louisiana’s Most Famous Bayou” and “Hard Scrabble to Hallelujah, Volume 1: Legacies of Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana” by Christopher Everette Cenac with Claire Domangue Joller, both published by the University Press of Mississippi.
The Light Up for Literacy Award goes to Richard Louth, a professor of English at Southeastern Louisiana University and founding director of the Southeastern Louisiana Writing Project.
The Lifetime Contribution to the Humanities will be awarded to author, editor and archivist Susan Tucker, who served as Curator of Books and Records at the Newcomb College Center for Research on Women from 1988 to 2015.
Bayou State Book Talk
Historian John Troutman will discuss his new book “Kīkā Kila: How the Hawaiian Steel Guitar Changed the Sound of Modern Music” at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the downtown branch of the Lafayette Public Library, part of the Bayou State Book Talks. Troutman has taught courses in public history, American music history and indigenous studies at UL-Lafayette. He recently accepted a new position as Curator of American Music at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History. His first book, “Indian Blues: American Indians and the Politics of Music, 1879-1934,” won the Western History Association’s biennial 2011 W. Turrentine Jackson Prize for a first book on any aspect of the American West.
The Historic New Orleans Collection, known for its publication of gorgeous coffee table-style history books, has added a new gem to its crown, “Garden Legacy” by preservationists Mary Louise Mossy Christovich and Roulhac Bunkley Toledano. The book offers a survey of more than three centuries of garden design in New Orleans. Both authors will be presenting their latest work at a book release party from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday at The Historic New Orleans Collection, 533 Royal St. in the French Quarter and at 6 p.m. April 18 at Garden District Book Shop, 2727 Prytania St. in New Orleans.
Andrea Brew received her bachelor’s degree from Southern, followed by a master’s in education from Northwestern, and she shares her love of the annual Bayou Classic, where Southern University and Grambling meet in both football and marching band competition, with “’Twas the Night Before Bayou Classic” (Mascot Books). The children’s book, illustrated by Agus Prajogo, follows a Southern University family on the eve of the Bayou Classic, when who should arrive but a Grambling fan. Brew is a Louisiana native and has been working in education for 14 years, most currently as an elementary school librarian.
Releasing this past week was C.S. Harris’s “Where the Dead Lie,” the 12th book in the Sebastian St. Cyr historical mystery series.
The Civil War Book Review will sponsor a lecture at 11 a.m. Monday in Hill Memorial Library on the LSU campus in Baton Rouge. Patrick Hayes will speak about his most recent publication, “The Civil War Diary of Rev. James Sheeran, C.S.s.R.” Irish-born Sheeran was chaplain to the 14th Louisiana Regiment of the Confederacy, one of only a few dozen Catholic chaplains commissioned for the Confederacy and one of only two who kept a journal.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.