The Fifth Annual Festival of Words — featuring author readings, public readings, community and school creative writing workshops, drive-by poetry in the streets and more — will take place Thursday-Saturday, Nov. 8-10, in Grand Coteau, Sunset, Arnaudville and surrounding communities. The event celebrates the written and spoken word and includes well-known authors such as Jarvis DeBerry, Kelly Harris, Randall Kenan, Patrice Melnick, Bonny McDonald, Chancellier “Xero” Skidmore and Louisiana Poet Laureate Julie Kane.
Authors will lead community poetry and fiction writing workshops during the week of the festival and its final day on Saturday. Readings by featured authors and spoken word artists will take place in the community centers of Grand Coteau and Sunset. Readings are free, but donations welcome. The Festival of Words brings authors to the local schools to conduct creative writing workshops in October and November.
Also on Saturday, there will be Drive-by Poetry, live poetry performances from both youth and adults, in area cafes and gift shops of Grand Coteau. There will also be original performances on the outdoor Community Stage, tours of the old St. Peter Claver High School and Christ the King Church in Grand Coteau, oral history sessions and booksignings by local authors at the Book Fair, sponsored by the Writers’ Guild of Acadiana, among other events.
For a complete schedule, visit http://www.festivalofwords.org. For more information, contact Patrice Melnick at (337) 662-1032 or email email@example.com.
The Festival of Words events are supported in part by a grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts, Office of Cultural Development, Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, in cooperation with the Louisiana State Arts Council as administered by the Acadiana Center for the Arts. Additional support comes from the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities and from the St. Landry Parish Tourism Commission. Additional support comes from South Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Ann Reiley Jones, East Feliciana Parish volunteer leader, historic preservationist and chair of Our Courthouse LLC, will share the story of the award-winning historic restoration of the East Feliciana Parish Courthouse at the November Heritage Lecture sponsored by the Foundation for Historical Louisiana at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 8, at the Old Governor’s Mansion, 502 North Blvd.
The title of the presentation, “East Feliciana Parish Courthouse 1840-2012: How a Meltdown Was Corrected,” refers to the devastating water damage that almost destroyed the structure and demanded its massive flooring and foundation rehabilitation.
More than eight years ago and $5 million later, the historic 1840s Greek Revival courthouse, re-opened its doors and was re-dedicated after an extensive architectural restoration. The East Feliciana Parish Courthouse is the oldest functional parish courthouse in Louisiana and among the oldest in the United States. Its restoration has been featured in numerous publications, including the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The courthouse is one of four in Louisiana built before the Civil War that is still in use today.
The lecture is open free to FHL members and $10 for guests. A reception, hosted by Calandro’s Fine Wines and Select Cellars, will begin at 6 p.m. with the lecture at 6:30 p.m.
To register, go to http://www.fhl.org or call Foundation headquarters at (225) 387-2464.
1718 Society, a student-run literary organization made up of Tulane, Loyola, and UNO students, will be continuing their fall reading series at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 6, at the Columns Hotel, 3811 St. Charles Ave. in New Orleans.
On the first Tuesday of every month, students and locals alike meet to listen to local authors read their work and indulge in happy hour. Open to the public, these readings provide an opportunity to experience writers (primarily local poets, but also fiction writers both local and national), while giving students a forum to present their own work to their peers and the community.
Carolyn Hembree is the featured reader for November. She’ll be reading from her most recently published poetry collection, Skinny (paperback, $14.00).
Individual poems have appeared in Colorado Review, DIAGRAM, Gulf Coast, Indiana Review, jubilat, and Witness, among other journals and anthologies.
Her poetry has received three Pushcart Prize nominations, a PEN Writers Grant, a Southern Arts Federation Grant, and a Louisiana Division of the Arts Fellowship Award in Literature. Before completing her MFA, she found employment as a cashier, house cleaner, cosmetics consultant, telecommunicator, actor, receptionist, paralegal, coder and freelance writer. Carolyn grew up in Tennessee and Alabama.
She teaches at the University of New Orleans.
Kulturabende im Deutschen Haus
Kulturabende, a series of cultural offerings on German themes will offer “The Next Kulturabende: Two Lectures by Dr. Andrea Mehrländer” at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 4 (Checkpoint Charlie and Berlin: 23 years after the opening of the Berlin Wall), and 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 6 (The Germans of New Orleans during the Civil War period), at Deutsches Haus, 1023 Ridgewood Drive in Metairie. Food will be served beginning a half hour before the start of each lecture.
Mehrländer is a German historian and author, who is serving as the executive director of the Checkpoint Charlie Foundation in Berlin. Her first talk will be based on her current work in Berlin.
Her second talk will be based on her recent book, The Germans of Charleston, Richmond, and New Orleans During the Civil War Period, 1850 – 1870, in which she examines the attitudes and involvement of the minority German population in business, slavery, and the military.
Information on the Checkpoint Charlie Foundation and copies of Dr. Mehrländer’s book will be available on the nights of the lectures.
Call (504) 522-8014 visit http://www.deutscheshaus.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
EBR Parish Library
Corporal Antonio Carter from the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office will cover basic self-defense techniques, and give some basic tips on staying safe during Self-Defense with Corporal Carter, 6-7:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 5, at the meeting room at Delmont Gardens branch, 3351 Lorraine St., Baton Rouge. Call (225) 354-7050.
- Are you a booklover? Want to be one of the “cool kids”? If the answer is yes, come join the Central branch’s newest book club for kids. At the November meeting, 4 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 8, at Central branch, 11260 Joor Road, the group will discuss its current book and choose the next month’s selection. Light refreshments will be served. Call (225) 262-2660
- Baker Book Club will meet 6:30-7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 6, at Baker branch, 3501 Groom Road. Members will discuss Till You Hear From Me by Pearl Cleage. Call (225) 778-5940.
Livingston Parish Library
Veterans are invited to display a photo of themselves along with an information card showing their name, branch of the military, and length of time served on the wall of honor at Albany-Springfield branch, 26941 La. 43, Hammond. The library will honor the veterans’ careers and lives with this display throughout November. Call (225) 567-1441.
- Livingston Book Club will meet at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 8, at the main branch, 20390 Iowa St. in Livingston. Members will discuss The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.
- Sunny Side Book Club will meet at 10 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 8, at the Watson branch, 6581 Outback Road in Denham Springs. Members will discuss The Last Storyteller by Diane Noble.
- Adult Book Club will meet at 10 a.m. Monday, Nov. 5, at Albany-Springfield branch, 26941 La. 43, Hammond. Members will discuss The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson.
WBR Parish Library
The West Baton Rouge Museum, 845 N. Jefferson Ave. in Port Allen, in collaboration with the West Baton Rouge Parish Library will host a book club to accompany a National Endowment for the Humanities traveling exhibit Our Lives, Our Stories: America’s Greatest Generation that will be on display in the museum’s Whitehead Gallery.
The exhibit explores the life arc of the WWII generation from the 1910s — Civil Rights. The book club will meet 12:30-2:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 7, and again on Friday, Dec. 7, at WBR Museum.
The group, led by moderator, Dr. Paul Paskoff of LSU’s History Department, will read Tom Brokaw’s The Greatest Generation. The first book club meeting will include a tour of the exhibit, distribution of the book, and an introductory discussion. The second meeting will include return of the books, a wrap up discussion, and a screening of the 1946 post war classic film, The Best Years of Our Lives, a portrayal of the life and adjustments WWII veterans faced upon returning home from the war. Light refreshments will be served at each meeting.
Advanced registration is required for anyone interested in taking part in this free program.
To make reservations, contact West Baton Rouge Museum’s Education Curator, Jeannie Luckett at (225) 336-2422 ext. 14 or email email@example.com.
Lafayette Public Library
As part of the Library of Congress, the Veterans History Project of the American Folklife Center collects, preserves and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war veterans so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities of war. Preserving your legacy will be the focus of the Veterans History Project, 10 a.m.-noon Saturday, Nov. 10, at South Regional branch, 6101 Johnston St. in Lafayette.
Veterans and their families are encouraged to collect their artifacts (photos, military documents, medals, uniforms, etc.) in preparation for documenting the history of the veteran’s military service. Instruction will be given on how to compile the veteran’s legacy for genealogy purposes.
Histories will also be recorded.
November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). The world’s largest writing challenge encourages aspiring writers ages 13 and up to write a 50,000 word novel in one month.
Writing workshops with Marthe Reed, director of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s Creative Writing Department, will be held at the South Regional branch, 6101 Johnston St., 1-5 p.m. Sundays, Nov. 4, 11, 18 and 25; 7-8:30 p.m.Tuesdays, Nov. 6, 13 and 27; and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays, Nov. 10, 17 and 24.
For more information on NaNoWriMo, or to sign up, visit http://www.nanowrimo.org.
W. Feliciana Parish Library
Advanced Readers’ Club will meet 6:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 8, at the library, 11865 Ferdinand St. in St. Francisville.
East Baton Rouge Parish Library: http://www.ebrpl.com/.
Livingston Parish Library: http://www.livingston.lib.la.us/.
Ascension Parish Library: http://main.ascension.lib.la.us/.
West Baton Rouge Parish Library: http://www1.youseemore.com/WBatonRouge/default.asp.
Iberville Parish Library: http://www.iberville.lib.la.us/.
West Feliciana Parish Library: http://wfplibrary.org/.
Audubon Regional Library: http://www2.youseemore.com/AUDUBON/.
Lafayette Public Library: http://lafayettepubliclibrary.org/.
St. James Parish Library: http://www.stjames.lib.la.us/.
St. John the Baptist Parish Library: http://www.stjohn.lib.la.us/.
St. Charles Parish Library: http://www.myscpl.org/.
Jefferson Parish Library: http://www.jefferson.lib.la.us/.
New Orleans Public Library: http://nutrias.org/.
St. Bernard Parish Library: http://www.stbernard.lib.la.us/.
St. Tammany Parish Library: http://www.sttammany.lib.la.us/home_flash.html.
Westbank Barnes & Noble, 1601B West Bank Expressway, is hosting a Writers’ Group, 6-8 p.m. Tuesdays. This is a networking and critiquing forum for writers of all skill levels.
Be prepared to read what you are working on, to take constructive criticism and to give it.
Ken Foster, author of I’m a Good Dog, wills sign copies of his book at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 4, at Maple Street Book Shop, 7529 Maple St. in New Orleans.
Ron Thibodeaux, author of Hell or High Water: How Cajun Fortitude Withstood Hurricanes Rita and Ike, will sign copies of his book at 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 4, at Terrebonne Parish Library main branch, 151 Library Drive in Houma.
Ed and Susan Poole, authors of Louisiana Film History, will sign copies of their book 5:30-7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 7, at Garden District Book Shop, 2727 Prytania St. in New Orleans.
Author Tom Varisco, contributor John Biguenet and photographers Will Crocker and Jackson Hill will sign copies of their book, Jackson Squared: The Heart of the Quarter, at 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 8, at Octavia Books, 513 Octavia St. in New Orleans.
Summer Wood, author of Raising Wrecker, will sign copies of her book 5:30-7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9, at Garden District Book Shop, 2727 Prytania St. in New Orleans.
Michael Allen Zell, author of Errata, will sign copies of his book at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9, at McKeown’s Books, 4737 Tchoupitoulas St. in New Orleans.
Eleni Gage, author of Other Waters, will sign copies of her book 1-3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 10, at Garden District Book Shop, 2727 Prytania St. in New Orleans.
Phil Sandusky, author of New Orleans Impressionist Cityscapes, will sign copies of his book at 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 10, at Barnes & Noble Premier Center, 3414 U.S. 190, Suite 10, Mandeville.
Items for Book Events were provided by Festival of Words, the Foundation for Historical Louisiana, 1718 Society, Deutsches Haus, East Baton Rouge Parish Library, Livingston Parish Library, West Baton Rouge Parish Library, West Feliciana Parish Library, Lafayette Public Library and Barnes & Noble.