What a thrill to be appearing at this year’s Louisiana Book Festival in Baton Rouge, one of the warmest and most joyful gatherings of readers and writers in the Gulf South. And what an honor to read alongside such remarkable poets as Anne Babson, Megan Burns, Julie Kane, Dylan Krieger, and Peter Twal — moderated by state Poet Laureate Jack Bedell, it’s sure to be a memorable afternoon. The reading begins at 2.15 on Saturday, November 10, with a signing to follow; full details about the festival (which is free!) are available at http://www.louisianabookfestival.org/index.html.
This Thursday, October 18, is the state arts conference sponsored by the Mississippi Arts Commission, held on the grounds of the capitol building in Jackson. With panels, keynotes, and discussions all day long, this conference is one of the single best ways each year to connect with the work of artists and arts advocates across the Magnolia State. This year is even more special, with the 50th anniversary celebration of MAC, founded in 1968. There may be a few spots left for registration; details are available on the MAC website. Hope to see everyone there!
Pelican Bomb has a longer review of “Changing Course: Reflections on New Orleans Histories” currently on view at NOMA until September 16. I’m grateful to the editors for their insightful questions, and to the curators for their welcome as I made my many visits; if you’re in the area and you haven’t yet seen the show, I can’t recommend it highly enough.
This year’s Mississippi Book Festival is next weekend, August 18, on the grounds of the state capitol in Jackson. Free, open to the public, featuring hundreds of authors and dozens of events, including the protean Jesmyn Ward and Salman Rushdie, this year’s festival promises to be the best yet. If you’re anywhere in the area, brave the humidity, clear off your nightstand, and come ready to revel in a day with thousands of other readers, writers, and book-lovers. Full schedule and panel information available here.
Again, I am stunned to have received a second Literary Arts Fellowship from the Mississippi Arts Commission, this time for poetry. My first, in 2011, came at a time when outside financial assistance was key to my finishing a book; remarkably, this second grant arrives at a similar time, as I’m working towards the first full draft of a new longer work of fiction, and I could not be more grateful.
More information about the MAC fellowship program is on their website; next year grants will be awarded in screenwriting, playwriting, and creative nonfiction.
I am beyond honored to have received one of the 2018 Monroe Fellows Research Grants from the New Orleans Center for the Gulf South at Tulane University, in support of a work of fiction currently underway. This grant will enable me to travel to the region where the book is set twice this year, and enable a deeper understanding and infusion of that landscape into the story. The NOCGS was gracious enough to support the early research for the Hattiesburg book; I’m beyond grateful to their jurors for believing in this current work. More information about NOCGS is on their website.
Pelican Bomb has a short review of the Kaori Maeyama show up at Staple Goods Gallery, on view through July 8.