Book events for March 24-March 30

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Author Silas House to speak at SLU Writing Center March 25

Award-winning writer Silas House, author of the novel Eli the Good, will visit Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond Monday, March 25, as part of the institution’s annual Common Read program.

Sponsored by the Department of English and the Southeastern Writing Center, Common Read provides students and community members the opportunity to read and then meet an important contemporary author.

The author of five books, three plays and a creative non-fiction book, House’s work has appeared on the New York Times bestseller list. In addition, he has been published in numerous journals and magazines, including Newsday, Oxford American, and Louisville Review.

Events that day include student presentations on the author’s work at 9:30 a.m., an 11 a.m. question and answer session with House, and a 7 p.m. public reading, book signing and reception. All events are open to the public and will be held in the Student Union Theatre.

“For almost every semester for five years, we’ve sponsored a Common Read, and each author’s visit has proved a landmark experience for our students,” said Department of English Head David Hanson. “By meeting and talking with an author that they’re studying intensively in class, students gain a rare opportunity to see into the life of writing. We choose our Common Reads based on the high quality of the literature, the likelihood that students will find the themes meaningful, and the authors’ reputation for accessibility and good teaching.”

Published in 2009, Eli the Good centers on a post-Vietnam War 1976 summer when family secrets are revealed that forever change the life of its 10-year-old protagonist. The novel received the first Storylines Prize from the New York Public Library System.

A native of Kentucky, which serves as the setting for his first three novels, House has been nominated for two Pushcart Prizes, has won the Kentucky Novel of the Year, and has been named Appalachian Writer of the Year. He served as writer-in-residence at Eastern Kentucky University and Lincoln Memorial University, where he directed the Mountain Heritage Literary Festival. House serves on the fiction faculty of Spalding University.

Huddle wins PEN Award

David Huddle’s Blacksnake at the Family Reunion, published in 2012 by LSU Press, won the 2013 PEN New England Award in Poetry, recently announced by PEN New England and the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library. The awards celebrate the best works of fiction, poetry and nonfiction by New England authors. Judging for the PEN New England Award in poetry this year was author Charles Martin.

Author of 17 books of poetry, fiction and essays, Huddle has taught at the University of Vermont, the Bread Loaf School of English, the Rainier Writing Workshop and Hollins University.

Previous winners of the PEN New England Awards include Andre Dubus, E.B. White, Susan Cheever, Tracy Kidder, Mary Oliver, Jill Ker Conway, Anita Shreve, Swanee Hunt, Stanley Kunitz, Leo Damrosch, Jennifer Haigh, Louise Glück, Sebastian Junger and Margot Livesey.

PEN New England provides a focal point for New England’s literary community, administers literary awards, sponsors programs celebrating great writing and great writers, and defends free expression. It is one of three regional branches of PEN American Center, which in turn is part of International PEN, the largest worldwide organization of writing professionals.

The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum is a presidential library administered by the National Archives and Records Administration and is supported, in part, by the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, a non-profit organization. The awards will be presented during the PEN/Hemingway Award ceremony from 1 to 2 p.m. Sunday, March 24, at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston. For more information about Blacksnake at the Family Reunion, visit http://www.lsupress.org.

Lunchtime Lagniappe

Lunchtime Lagniappe, a popular weekly series of lectures that explores the rich culture and history of Louisiana, will offer “The Fresh Table: Cooking in Louisiana All Year Round,” at noon Wednesday, March 27, at the Capitol Park Museum downtown. Cook, blogger and The Advocate food columnist Helana Brigman shares techniques and recipes for tasty Louisiana cooking, whatever the season. The program is free and open to the public. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own lunch and may come and go as their schedules require. The Louisiana State Museum Friends will have refreshments available for a small donation. The Capitol Park Museum is located at 660 N. Fourth St. The museum is wheelchair accessible. For more information, visit http://www.crt.state.la.us/museum.

EBR Parish Library

Book clubs:

n Fantasy Book Discussion Group will meet at 7 p.m. Monday, March 25, at the Zachary branch, 1900 Church St. Members will discuss The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien.

  •  Central Book Club will meet at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, March 28, at the Central branch, 11260 Joor Road. Members will discuss The Age of Miracles by Karen Walker.
  •  Science Fiction Book Club will meet at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 26, at the Greenwell Springs branch, 11300 Greenwell Springs Road. Members will discuss Neuromancer by William Gibson.
  •  Books Into Movies Club will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 26, at Jones Creek Regional branch, 6222 Jones Creek Road. Members will discuss Patriot Games by Tom Clancy.
  •  Compassionate Book Club will meet at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 27, at the Main Library, 7711 Goodwood Blvd. Members will discuss The Heart and the Fist by Eric Greitens.
  •  Brown Bag Book Club will meet at noon Wednesday, March 27, at the River Center branch, 120 St. Louis St. Members will discuss The Dressmaker by Kate Alcott.

Livingston Parish Library

Book clubs:

  •  Teen Book Club will meet at 4 p.m. Wednesday, March 27, at Albany-Springfield branch, 26941 La. 43, Hammond. Members will discuss Dairy Queen by Catherine Murdock. For more information, call (225) 567-1441.
  •  South Branch Bookies Book Club will meet at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, March 28, at the South branch, 23477 La. 444 in Livingston. Members will discuss Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka.
  •  Sci Fi Book Club will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 26, at the Main Library, 20390 Iowa St. in Livingston. Members will discuss Dauntless by Thomas Pynchon.

Library links

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.

St. Martin Parish Library: http://www.stmartinparishlibrary.org.

Writers’ group

Barnes & Noble Westbank, 1601B West Bank Expressway in Harvey, is hosting a Writers’ Group 6 p.m.-8 p.m. on 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.

WGA meeting

Writers’ Guild of Acadiana (WGA) will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 26, at Barnes & Noble, 5705 Johnston St. in Lafayette. WGA is an organization made up of local writers, published and unpublished, who meet on the last Tuesday of the month to share and gain knowledge in the craft of writing.

Signings

Sally Newhart, author of The Original Tuxedo Jazz Band, will sign copies of her book 5:30 p.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday, March 26, at Garden District Book Shop, 2727 Prytania St. in New Orleans.

Theron Humphrey, author of Maddie On Things: A Super Serious Project about Dogs and Physics, will sign copies of his book at 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 26, at Octavia Books, 513 Octavia St. in New Orleans. Maddie the coonhound will also be on hand.

Dianne De Las Casas, author of The Little Read, will sign copies of her book at 7 p.m. Friday, March 29, at Barnes & Noble CitiPlace, 2590 CitiPlace Court.

Leslie Helakoski, author of Doggone Feet!, will sign copies of her book at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 30, at Barnes & Noble, 5705 Johnston St., Lafayette.

Dianne de las Casas and her daughter, Kid Chef Eliana, will sign copies of their books 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Saturday, March 30, at Maple Street Book Shop, 7529 Maple St. in New Orleans. Diane de las Casas will be signing her book, The Little Read Hen, while Kid Chef Eliana will be signing Cool Kids Cook Louisiana.

Earl Hampton, author of The Streetcar Guide to New Orleans, will sign copies of his book at 1 p.m. Saturday, March 30, at Barnes & Noble Westbank Centre, 1601B West Bank Expressway, Harvey.

Latoya Easter, author of Can’t Cry, will sign copies of her book 1 p.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, March 30, at Garden District Book Shop, 2727 Prytania St. in New Orleans.

Items for Book Events were provided by SLU Public Information Office, LSU Press, Louisiana State Museum, East Baton Rouge Parish Library, Livingston Parish Library and Barnes & Noble.