Book Events for Feb. 17-23

Poet Maya Angelou to read at LSU event; music series begins at SLU

On Tuesday, Feb. 19, LSU will host “A Night with Maya Angelou” in the LSU Student Union Theater, including a National Pan-Hellenic Council Step Show and performances by the LSU Gospel Choir and student Eric Couto, who won the “Mic with Maya” poetry slam contest sponsored by the LSU Student Activities Board. This event is sponsored by LSU Campus Life and is funded by the Campus Life support fee.

The event will begin at 7:30 p.m., with theater doors opening at 6:15 p.m. Tickets are required, but are free to students, faculty, staff and the general public based on a priority system. All tickets will be general admission seating, so guests are encouraged to arrive early as seating is based on a first-come, first-served basis. At 7:10 p.m., all unclaimed seats will be given to those waiting in the stand-by line.

On the night of the event, there will be no media availability for Angelou, who will be arriving just prior to the event and leaving directly following the event. Filming and photography will be limited to a strict five-minute period at the opening of Angelou’s presentation. At the conclusion of the five-minute period, all video, photography and other recording devices will be prohibited. Credentials and parking permit requests for the event should be requested through Melissa Foley in the LSU Office of Communications & University Relations at mfoley@lsu.edu.

Ticket availability for “A Night with Maya Angelou” is based on a priority system with highest priority given to students from LSU’s main campus including undergraduate, graduate and veterinary medicine students, since the event is paid for with student fees. The LSU Student Union Theater box office is open from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

A native of St. Louis, Mo., Angelou is a writer, poet and African-American activist. She has written five autobiographical novels and many volumes of poetry, including Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water ‘Fore I Die, which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. In 1993, she wrote “On the Pulse of Morning” for the inauguration of President Bill Clinton. She went on to win a Grammy Award for the audio version of that poem. In addition, Angelou made her directorial debut in 1998 with Down in the Delta starring Alfre Woodard, and published a cookbook, Great Food, All Day Long, in 2010.

To view the ticket policy for “A Night with Maya Angelou,” visit http://www.speakers.lsu.edu. For additional questions, contact Campus Life by phone at (225) 578-5160 or by email at campuslife@lsu.edu.

SLU music series

Southeastern Louisiana University’s Sims Memorial Library will host a free, six-week series on the film history of music beginning Tuesday, Feb. 19.

Offered in conjunction with the Tangipahoa Parish Public Library, Hammond Regional Arts Center and 90.9 KSLU radio and titled America’s Music: A Film History of Our Popular Music from Blues to Bluegrass to Broadway, the program is a series featuring documentary film screenings and scholar-led discussions to enlighten audiences about uniquely American musical genres. Styles covered include blues and gospel, Broadway, jazz, bluegrass and country, rock n’ roll, mambo and hip hop.

Southeastern is one of only 50 sites in the nation to host the program, which will run through March 28.

Professor and Head of the Department of History and Political Science William Robison will serve as the project scholar and lead the discussions, following a 30-minute video documentary, scheduled 6:30-8:30 p.m. each Tuesday in Sims Library, room 240, through March 26.

The video and lecture program schedule is as follows:

  •  Feb. 19: Blues and Gospel;
  •  Feb. 26: Broadway and Tin Pan Alley;
  •  March 5: Swing Jazz;
  •  March 12: Bluegrass and Country;
  •  March 19: Rock;
  •  March 26: Hip Hop and Mambo.

Several supplemental programs scheduled during the series and include:

  •  March 7, 2 p.m., Pottle Auditorium: “Recomposition: From Popular Song to BeBop Tunes — includes music by Danny Acosta on guitar and Richard A. Schwartz on saxophone.
  •  March 14, 1 p.m., Sims Library, 3rd floor: “Women and Jazz during World War II” featuring Kimberly Guise, curator at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans, who will talk about women’s roles during the war as it relates to the music of the time.
  •  March 20, 7 p.m., Vonnie Borden Theatre in D Vickers Hall: “What Makes a Hit Song” with Communication Professor Joseph Burns and a panel of musicians.

A complete schedule of the program series can be found at selu.libguides.com/americasmusiccalendar. For more information, call (985) 549-5935 or e-mail Elizabeth.West@southeastern.edu.

Hunter lecture

Louisiana’s fascination with self-taught primitive artist Clementine Hunter is unquestioned. In a new book, Clementine Hunter: Her Life and Art, published by LSU Press, and written by Tom Whitehead and Art Shiver, Hunter’s art and life on Melrose and Little Eva plantations are shared through valuable research and historical writing. Hunter’s work is now famous with works in many national museums, including the Smithsonian.

The two Louisiana authors will present a lecture and sign the book on Thursday, Feb. 21, at the Old Governor’s Mansion, 502 North Blvd. The Foundation for Historical Louisiana-sponsored event is part of its monthly Heritage Lecture Series open to FHL members for free and $10 for guests. The public is invited to attend.

The book took 10 years of research and writing before its September publication by LSU Press. When the authors began their research, Shiver worked at a television station in Shreveport and Whitehead was a journalism professor at Northwestern State University. The book is based on many sources, particularly those of Francois Mignon, who lived 37 years at Melrose and recognized the importance of Hunter and her paintings.

The event begins at 6 p.m. with refreshments sponsored by Calandro’s Fine Cellars and the lecture follows at 6:30 p.m. Poetry reading at Casa Azul

Casa Azul Gifts, 232 Martin Luther King Drive in Grand Coteau, hosts a poetry reading by Erica McCreedy and Nicole Poret followed by an open mic on Thursday, Feb. 21. Events begin at 7 p.m.

McCreedy is a native of Lake Charles, and holds a bachelor’s degree in English from LSU and two master’s degrees in English and Creative Writing from McNeese State University. Her first poetry chapbook is Red Winters, (Yellow Flag Press). She serves as executive director of the Arts & Humanities Council of Southwest Louisiana in Lake Charles.

Poret lives in Pecanierre with her husband Andy, her son Wyatt, and multiple dogs, horses, and lots of trees and wildlife. She has an undergraduate degree and a master’s degree in biology and a full time job as a manager and assistant trainer at a local horse stable. She has published poems in The Southern Review and The Southwestern Review. She was the recipient of the 2001 Vhoories Award for Creative Writing at ULL.

Feel free to bring your own poems for the open mic that follows. This free, community event is appropriate for adults and mature teens. This event is sponsored by The Festival of Words Cultural Arts Collective.

For more information call (337) 662-1032 or email festivalwords@gmail.com.

Film about missionary

Casa Azul Gifts, 232 Martin Luther King Drive in Grand Coteau, will screen the documentary, Xavier; Missionary and Saint, written by Jeff Johnson and narrated by Liam Neeson, at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 19. This is the story of a missionary who died alone on a desolate island within sight of the land of his life’s dream, unaware that he had forever changed the face and the race of Christianity. The group will skype with the writer, Jeff Johnson, for a Q&A after the screening.

This is a free community event open to all. More details are available at (337) 662-1032 or festivalwords@gmail.com

Sama reading

Metta Sama will read her poetry at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 20, at the UNO Sandbar (on Founders Road, across from the Engineering Building, inside the Cove). This event is free and open to the public. Metta Sama’s most recent work, Nocturne Trio, is a poetry web-book, published in 2012. South of Here (as Lydia Melvin) was published by New Issues Press in 2005 and was a finalist for the Yale Younger Poets Series and the Paris Review Book Prize. She teaches in the MFA program at LSU. This event was funded in part by Poets & Writers, Inc. through a grant it has received from Poets & Writers, Inc. New Orleans.

Emerging writers reading

Five emerging writers will read at 7:15 p.m. Monday, Feb. 18, at The Black Widow Salon at Crescent City Books, 230 Chartres St. in New Orleans. No admission charge. All are welcome. Each writer will read for 20 minutes. Michael Jeffrey Lee, Geoff Munsterman, Justin Nobel, Maurice Carlos Ruffin and Kat Stromquist are scheduled to read.

Lee’s debut collection of short stories, Something in My Eye, won the Mary McCarthy Prize in fiction and was recently published by Sarabande Books. He teaches creative writing at NOCCA and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Current projects include a novel and a collection of contemporary folk tales.

Munsterman has two chapbooks, Jaw and Tunnel. He has been published in YAWP, The Double Dealer, Steel Toe Review, and elsewhere. He is the editor-in-chief of Entrepot. He has completed a manuscript of poetry, Because The Stars Shine Through It.

Nobel pens a blog about death and is the author of a book about observing the minutiae of New York City called Standing Still in a Concrete Jungle. His writing has appeared in Tin House, Guernica, Orion, Meatpaper, and his essay “The Last Inuit of Quebec” was published in Best American Travel Writing 2011. His project to mass observe the first inauguration of President Barack Obama brought his theme of minutiae observing to a global level. He’s at work on his next book, a shamanistic travel guide to the South.

Ruffin is a third-year MFA student at the University of New Orleans. He’s also a member of several writing collectives, including the Peauxdunque Writers Alliance and the Melanated Writers of New Orleans. Ruffin’s work has been published in the Apalachee Review, Regarding Arts & Letters, South Carolina Review and the University of New Orleans’s Ellipsis. His short story “The Pie Man” received the University of New Orleans Creative Writing Workshop’s 2011 Ernest Svenson Fiction Award. Ruffin is working on a collection of short stories and a novel.

Stromquist is a third-year MFA student at UNO’s creative writing workshop. Her work has appeared in the literary magazines Crescent City Review, Espresso Ink, Off Channel, Gambling the Aisle, Diverse Voices Quarterly, Mutabilis Press’ Improbable Worlds anthology, and elsewhere. She also works as a freelance journalist.

EBR Parish Library

Handwriting today is almost a lost art form. In honor of the library’s One Book One Community selection, the works of Edgar Allan Poe, Pride-Chaneyville branch, 13600 Pride-Port Hudson Road, will host a workshop on the calligraphy style of handwriting at 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 23. Poe was very interested in handwriting. He wrote several magazine articles in which he analyzed famous people’s handwriting. Supplies will be provided. Call (225) 658-1540.

Do you have a ton of Mardi Gras beads and have no idea what to do with them? Come to the Eden Park branch, 5131 Greenwell Springs Road, at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 19, and learn how to put them to good use to make Mardi Gras art. Call (225) 231-3250.

Martha Gabour Manuel will speak about her new crime thriller, Murder on False River, as well as offer insight on her writing process 1:30 p.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23, at Central branch, 11260 Joor Road.

African-American read-in:

CARVER BRANCH: African American Read-In 4 p.m.-5 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21. Attendees will share poems and stories by African-American authors. Call (225) 389-7460. 720 Terrace St.

DELMONT GARDENS BRANCH: Children are invited to participate by signing up to read a selection of literature by an African-American author, or just come be a part of the audience at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21. Selections can be read individually or as part of a group. Stop by the Children’s Room to select a poem or prose piece from the library’s collection or call (225) 354-7060. 3351 Lorraine St.

JONES CREEK REGIONAL BRANCH: Stop and read at 5 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays during February. Children’s Room staff or guest speakers will read a book or tell a story to the children present. Each book/story will either be by an African-American author or have African-American characters. Call (225) 756-1160. 6222 Jones Creek Road.

RIVER CENTER BRANCH: Selections from prominent African-American authors and poets will be read in celebration of African-American literature at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 19. Call (225) 389-4959. 120 St. Louis St.

Book clubs:

  •  Carver Book Club will meet at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 19, at the Carver branch, 720 Terrace St. Members will discuss Run by Ann Patchett.
  •  Bluebonnet Book Club will meet at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 20, at the Bluebonnet Regional branch, 9200 Bluebonnet Blvd. Members will discuss Sutton by J.R. Moehringer.
  •  JCR Book Club will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 19, at Jones Creek Road Regional branch, 11300 Jones Creek Road. Members will discuss How Green Was My Valley by Richard Llewellyn.
  •  Like it or Not Book Club will meet at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 23, at Pride-Chaneyville branch, 13600 Pride-Chaneyville Road. Members will discuss works by Edgar Allan Poe.
  •  Greenwell Springs Children’s Book Club Read will meet at noon Saturday, Feb. 23, at Greenwell Springs Road Regional branch, 11300 Greenwell Springs Road. Children ages 7-11 will discuss the previous selection, and children are encouraged to bring a visual related to the story to share with the group. For more information, call (225) 274-4460.
  •  Choose Your Own Adventure Book Club will meet at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 23, at Pride-Chaneyville branch, 13600 Pride-Port Hudson Road. Children ages 5 and up will help choose what happens next in the book Choose Your Own Adventure: Lost Dog by R.A. Montgomery. For more information or to register, call (225) 658-1560.

Ascension Parish Library

Thomas J Durant Jr., a native of Mansfield, and Professor of Sociology Emeritus at LSU, will speak at the Main branch, 708 S. Irma Blvd. in Gonzales, about the history of the Charity Hospital System in Louisiana at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 19. Durant is the co-author of the book, A History of the Charity Hospitals of Louisiana: A Study of Poverty, Politics, Public Health, and the Public Interest. Durant will discuss the various forces that helped to shape the Louisiana Charity Hospital System throughout its history. Durant’s books will be for sale and light refreshments will be served. Registration is required. Call (225) 647-3955.

Livingston Parish Library

Genealogy 102: Research on the Internet will be offered at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21, at Albany-Springfield branch, 26941 La. 43, Hammond. This class introduces some vital genealogy sites, including free resources offered by the library. Get tips about how to search for your ancestors online.

Young Writers Club will meet at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 19, at Denham Springs-Walker branch, 8101 U.S. 190 in Denham Springs. The club is open to anyone between the ages of 10 and 17. The goal of the club is to write for both publication and performance. Young writers are encouraged to explore their writing interests and develop their voice and style through collaborative activities.

Journaling Group will meet at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 20, at the Watson branch, 36581 Outback Road in Denham Springs. This group highlights the personal benefits of journaling. New members are welcome. For more information, call the library at (225) 664-3963.

Book clubs:

  •  Eclectic Book Club will meet at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 19, at Denham Springs-Walker branch, 8101 U.S. 190 in Denham Springs. Members will discuss Persuader by Lee Child.
  •  Tween Book Club will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 26, at Albany-Springfield branch, 26941 La. 43, Hammond. Are you a tween who loves to read? Attend the book club meeting this month and discuss Wonder by R.J. Palacio. For ages 8-11 only. Call the library at (225) 567-1441 for more information.

St. Martin Parish Library

Reuse! Repurpose! Mardi Gras Beads with artist Michael Parrish at 5 p.m.Tuesday, Feb. 19, at the St. Martinville branch, 201 Porter St. in St. Martinville, and at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 20, at the Breaux Bridge branch, 102 Courthouse St. in Breaux Bridge. Registration required. Limit 25 persons.

Lafayette Public Library

South Regional Book Club will meet 6:30 p.m.-7:45 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 19, at South Regional branch, 6101 Johnston St. in Lafayette. Members will discuss Maigret and the Man on the Boulevard by Georges Simenon.

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.

Signings

Ruta Sepetys, author of Out of the Easy, will sign copies of her book 5:30 p.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 19, at Garden District Book Shop, 2727 Prytania St. in New Orleans.

Laura Cayouette, author of Know Small Parts: An Actor’s Guide to Turning Minutes into Moments and Moments into a Career, will sign copies of her book 5:30 p.m.-7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 20, at Garden District Book Shop, 2727 Prytania St. in New Orleans.

Cory Doctorow, author of Homeland, will sign copies of his book at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 20, at Octavia Books, 513 Octavia St. in New Orleans.

Margot Berwin, author of Scent of Darkness, will sign copies of her book 5:30 p.m.-7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21, at Garden District Book Shop, 2727 Prytania St. in New Orleans.

Andrei Codrescu, author of So Recently Rent A World, will sign copies of his book at 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 22, at Octavia Books, 513 Octavia St. in New Orleans.

Sharisse Coulter, author of Rock My World, will sign copies of her book 6 p.m.-8 p.m. Friday Feb. 22, at Garden District Book Shop, 2727 Prytania St. in New Orleans.

Items for Book Events were provided by LSU Media Relations, SLU Public Information Office, The Foundation for Historical Louisiana, Casa Azul, UNO, Crescent City Books, East Baton Rouge Parish Library, Ascension Parish Library, Livingston Parish Library, St. Martin Parish Library, Lafayette Public Library and Barnes & Noble.