After the overwhelming success of last year’s forum highlighting the history of the Mardi Gras Indians, Loyola University New Orleans professor of video technology Jim Gabour returns to present “Treme’s Underground Carnival: Baby Dolls and Skeletons.” The presentation highlights the deep subculture of some of Treme’s most renowned Carnival groups.

The event is free, open to the public and will take place at 5 p.m. Monday, Feb. 4, in Nunemaker Auditorium in Monroe Hall. For those unable to attend in person, the forum will available via live streaming on Loyola’s website.

The forum will feature special guests, including filmmaker Royce Osborn of the downtown Skeletons and acclaimed musician Bruce Sunpie Barnes of the Northside Skull and Bones Gang. Also in attendance will be Millisia White, a representative of the New Orleans Society of Dance that is co-producing the Louisiana State Museum exhibit, They Call Me Baby Doll: One Hundred Years of a Masking Tradition and Way of Life, on display in the Presbytere this month.

Gabour and guests, many of whom will be in full Carnival garb, will discuss the past, present and future of the underground tribes and how the skull and bones clubs fit into the neighborhood carnival tradition. They will also pay tribute to the late, legendary Big Chief Al Morris of the Skull and Bones Gang and screen film clips of several tribes, including footage of the tribes parading on Super Sunday 2008 and excerpts from Osborn’s All on Mardi Gras Day.

An award-winning film producer and director, Gabour primarily focuses his work on music and the diversity of cultures. In the late 1970s, he began shooting interviews and footage of the various Mardi Gras tribes and chiefs, famous for their elaborate costumes and Carnival performances.

“These men and women are a deep cultural treasure for the city of New Orleans, and I am grateful for the opportunities I have been allowed to document their lives and art,” Gabour said. “This forum is an opportunity to wake up our students, and the community at large, to what is out there in this town on Mardi Gras morning, and why it is so important.”

During his career, Gabour has earned five Cable ACE Awards, as well as medals at the International Film & Television Festival of New York and the WorldFest Film Festival. Gabour was the featured director of the year at the International Broadcasters Conference in Amsterdam in 2004, 2007 and 2010.

True stories at Casa Azul

At 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 7, Casa Azul Gifts, 232 Martin Luther King Drive in Grand Coteau, hosts an evening of true stories by Sharon Broussard Landry and Willamena Broussard. The evening will also feature a reading by poet Michelle Pichon followed by an open mic.

Landry is director of volunteer services at Lafayette Community Healthcare Clinic. She was born in Grand Coteau and attended George Washington Carver High School in Sunset. She and Broussard will discuss Barriers and Passageways to Black Education in the Grand Coteau area. The presentation will be filmed by John Sharp and retained in The Archives of Cajun and Creole Folklore (ACCF) in the Center for Louisiana Studies. Pichon, of Louisiana Creole heritage, has familial ties to Slidell and Cane River (Isle Brevelle), where she resides. She has had work published in Country Roads Magazine, Louisiana English Journal and Xavier Review. She is a full-time English instructor at NSU.

Feel free to bring your own poems, songs or stories for the Open Mic that follows. This free, community event is appropriate for all ages. This event is sponsored The Festival of Words Cultural Arts Collective in partnership with the UL Center for Louisiana Studies and the Imperial St. Landry Genealogical & Historical Society. Call (337) 662-1032 or email

EBR Parish Library

At 5 p.m. each weekday Monday through Thursday duringFebruary, library patrons at the Jones Creek Regional branch, 6222 Jones Creek Road, can celebrate Black History Month with library staff. Staff and guest speakers will read and tell stories with African-American characters during the African-American Read-In. There will be no reading on Tuesday Feb. 12. The Library is closed for Mardi Gras.

Dom & Ace, a local blues and rock duo, will discussthe history of the blues as it relates to African-American culture 2:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 9, at the Bluebonnet Regional branch, 9200 Bluebonnet Blvd. They will also perform a few numbers and host a Q&A session.

Murder on False River author Martha Manuel will give a presentation about her book and will be available to sign copies 2 p.m.-3:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 9, at the Zachary branch, 1900 Church St.

Book club:

  • ?The Evening Book Club will meet 6:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 5, at the Baker branch, 3501 Groom Road. Members will discuss The Cutting Season by Attica Locke.

Livingston Parish Library

Are you interested in genealogy but have no clue where to start? The Livingston Parish Library is offering classes in genealogy research in February with Head of Adult Services Sarah Colombo. Registration is required for each class. To register or for details, call the branch hosting your preferred class:

Genealogy 101: An Introduction will be offered at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 4, at Denham Springs-Walker branch, 8101 U.S. 190 in Denham Springs, and at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 5, at the Watson branch, 36581 Outback Road in Denham Springs. Learn about the process of starting genealogical research, resources and people that can help you, types of documents you need to collect, and how to keep it all organized.

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

Young Writers Club will meet at 5 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 7, at the Denham Springs-Walker branch, 8101 U.S. 190 in Denham Springs. Young Writers 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 exciting collaborative activities.

Writers Circle will meet at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 7, at Denham Springs-Walker branch, 8101 U.S. 190 in Denham Springs. Are you a writer who is looking for some feedback? Published and unpublished adult writers of fiction or nonfiction for adults, young adults, or children are welcome. The group provides a forum for sharing writing, a venue for learning more about the writing craft and information about publishing and self-publishing.

Book club:

  • ?Adult Book Club will meet at 10 a.m. Monday, Feb. 4, at Albany-Springfield branch, 26941 La. 43, Hammond. Members will discuss State of Wonder by Ann Patchett.

Ascension Parish Library

The Dutchtown branch, 13278 La. 73 in Geismar, will host a viewing of Taking a Seat for Justice: The 1960 Baton Rouge Sit-Ins at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 5. This 60-minute film documents the historic actions of 16 former Southern University students which prompted one of the U.S. Supreme Court’s first decisions on sit-ins in protest of racial discrimination. Taking a Seat for Justice: The 1960 Baton Rouge Sit-Ins was written and produced by Rachel Emanuel and includes audio recordings, video footage and interviews with the sit-in participants and Felton G. Clark, the president of Southern University from 1938-1969.

Emanuel is the director of communications and development support at the Southern University Law Center. Her work has been recognized in state, local, and national competitions. This film is supported in part through grants from the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, the Louisiana Bar Foundation, and the Roothbert Foundation.

A panel discussion will follow the presentation. Coffee and light refreshments will be provided. Call (225) 673-8699 to register or for more information. This program is free and open to the public.

Lafayette Public Library

NRL Teen Poetry Night is 6 p.m.-7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 6, at the North Regional branch, 5101 N. University Ave. in Carencro. For all young poets out there who would like to speak their minds, this night is for you. Come and join the spoken word group Project SOUND for a night filled with reading, writing, and expressing yourself through poetry. This night is for ages 13-18.

Book club:

  • ?SciFi/Fantasy Book Club will meet 6:30 p.m.-7:45 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 5, at South Regional branch, 6101 Johnston St. in Lafayette. Members will discuss Redshirts by John Scalzi.

1718 Society Reading

1718 Society, a student-run literary organization of Tulane, Loyola and UNO students, continues their reading series, meeting the first Tuesday of every month at the Columns Hotel, St. Charles Avenue. Readings start at 7 p.m. Open to the public, 1718’s reading series provides 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. Josip Novakovich reads Tuesday, Feb. 5.

Winter Southern Review available

Light drawings by artist Alison Rossiter grace The Southern Review’s winter 2013 issue, now available for purchase online at and in bookstores. The winter issue features new work by 20 poets, including Deborah Flanagan, Maggie Smith, Kevin Prufer and Pulitzer Prize winner Philip Schultz, whose poem “A Moment” begins with this definition: “A measurement of time / in which dogs live / without regret / or desire to enhance / their reputation / and personal worth.”

Fiction includes a story about suspected infidelity and an origami convention by Katherine Heiny, Karl Taro Greenfeld’s imagining of a bloodthirsty horde tamed by management consultants, two takes on lunch in Manhattan by Peter LaSalle and a story about a little girl on an elephant sanctuary in Thailand by recent Fulbright Fellow Ian Bassingthwaighte.

Aisha Sabatini Sloan’s lyrical essay “The Strong Man and the Clown” takes on race, her family’s Italian ancestry, the movies of Fellini and the story of Pinocchio in an excerpt from her forthcoming collection, “The Fluency of Light: Coming of Age in a Theater of Black and White.” Steven Harvey’s “The Vanishing Point” tells the story of his mother’s life as a nursing student and young wife and mother in Dodge City in the 1940s and 1950s, using her letters and other primary documents to piece together her perspective.

Rossiter’s light drawings of horses reflect a lifelong interest in light-sensitive, gelatin-silver-based photography. Trained at the Banff School of Fine Arts and, most recently, the Sherman Fairchild Photographic Conservation laboratory at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Rossiter lives and works in New Jersey and New York City. Her photography can be found in many major collections, including the Getty Museum and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Founded in 1935 by Robert Penn Warren and Cleanth Brooks, The Southern Review is published four times a year on the campus of LSU.

Library links

East Baton Rouge Parish Library:

Livingston Parish Library:

Ascension Parish Library:

West Baton Rouge Parish Library:

Iberville Parish Library:

West Feliciana Parish Library:

Audubon Regional Library:

Lafayette Public Library:

St. James Parish Library:

St. John the Baptist Parish Library:

St. Charles Parish Library:

Jefferson Parish Library:

New Orleans Public Library:

St. Bernard Parish Library:

St. Tammany Parish Library:

St. Martin Parish Library:

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.


Martha Fitzgerald , author of The Courtship of Two Doctors, will sign copies of her book 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 9, at Catholic Books & Gifts, 6184 Florida Blvd.

Items for Book Events were provided by Loyola University Office of Public Affairs, Casa Azul, East Baton Rouge Parish Public Library, Livingston Parish Library, Ascension Parish Library, Lafayette Public Library, 1718 Society, Southern Review and Barnes & Noble.