Author Mary Ann Sternberg will share insights about the River Road in a lecture sponsored by The Foundation for Historical Louisiana at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 25, at the Old Governor’s Mansion, 502 North Blvd. After 20 years prowling the River Road area, she brings intriguing perspectives of the historical byway as well as new tales about its people and places.

Sternberg will be signing two new books: River Road Rambler, an all new collection of essays/sketches about unique or underappreciated places along the river, and a third edition of Along the River Road: Past and Present on Louisiana’s Historic Byway. The latter is an up-to-date version of the popular compilation for River Road travelers and armchair travelers which continues to be a popular way to explore the history of the area along the Mississippi River between New Orleans and Baton Rouge. Both books are publications of LSU Press.

The event is free to Foundation for Historical Louisiana members and $10 for guests.

Bennett receives honor

James Gordon Bennett of Baton Rouge has been selected as winner of the seventh annual Danahy Fiction Prize by the editors of Tampa Review. He will receive a cash award of $1,000 and his winning short story, “A Family of Interest,” will be published in a forthcoming issue of Tampa Review.

Bennett is the author of two novels, My Father’s Geisha (Delacorte 1990) and The Moon Stops Here (Doubleday 1994). His short fiction has appeared widely in journals including The Colorado Quarterly, The Kansas Quarterly, The Southern Review, The Michigan Quarterly Review, The Antioch Review, The Southern Humanities Review, The Western Humanities Review, Numen: New Southern Writing, The Northwest Review, Quarterly West, The Virginia Quarterly Review, St. Andrews Review, Louisiana Life, and The Gettysburg Review. His stories have been cited in Best American Short Stories and have been selected for Best New Stories from the South and the Pushcart Prize.

Bennett also has written book reviews for the The New York Times Book Review and published feature articles in Vogue and Glamour. He holds degrees from Johns Hopkins University and Stanford University and is a professor of English at LSU.

The Danahy Fiction Prize was established by Paul and Georgia Danahy as an annual award for a previously unpublished work of short fiction judged by the editors of Tampa Review. Previous winners are Douglas Danoff (2007), Kelly Luce (2008), Amina Gautier (2009), Joseph Colonna (2010), Heather Sappenfield (2011), and Mark Krieger (2012).

EBR Parish Library

Authors of both POEtry and PrOEse will assemble to discuss their works and have book signings 2 p.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, April 27, at the Jones Creek Regional Branch. Authors include Simone Higginbotham, Desiree Cart Dugas, Damaris, L.A. Lewis, A.C. Mason, Ronlyn Domingue, Yvette Brunswick, Joseph G. Dorsey, Tonia Askins, Deborah Lynne, Phillip A. Elwood, Shirley McCoy, Van R. Mayhall Jr., David Hollier, Josephine Templeton, Kathy Coon, and HeartLa Representatives. For more information, call (225) 756-1150.

Book clubs:

  • ?Tween and Teen Book Club will meet at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 27, at the Zachary branch, 1900 Church St., to celebrate Shakespeare’s birthday. Members will discuss Gary Schmidt’s Wednesday Wars. Members will have tea and biscuits as they discuss this humorous story. A fast read, Wednesday Wars will make you laugh and sympathize with middle schooler Holling Hoodwood, whose teacher is making him read Shakespeare, even outside of class. For more information or to register, call (225) 658-1870.

The Seekers Book Club will meet at 3 p.m. Sunday, April 21, at Greenwell Springs Road Regional branch, 11300 Greenwell Springs Road. The Seekers is a faith-based women’s book club that meets to share thoughts, insights, and discuss Christian nonfiction and empowerment books, led by evangelist Tammy Dugas. The book club meets the third Sunday of each month. For more information or to register, call (225) 274-4450.

  • ?Books Into Movies Book Club will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 23, at Jones Creek Regional branch, 6222 Jones Creek Road. Members will discuss Emma by Jane Austen.
  • ?Compassionate Book Club will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 23, at the main branch, 7711 Goodwood Blvd. Members will discuss The Art of Happiness by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Howard Cutler.
  • ?Brown Bag Book Club will meet at noon Wednesday, April 24, at the River Center Branch, 120 St. Louis St. Members will discuss The Awakening by Kate Chopin.
  • ?Central Book Club will meet at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, April 25, at the Central branch, 112600 Joor Road. Members will discuss These Is My Words by Nancy Turner.

Livingston Parish Library

Geaux Cajun at the Denham Springs-Walker branch, 8101 U.S. 190 in Denham Springs, at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, April 21. Laissez les bon temps rouler when you join the library in celebrating Cajun lore, music and dance. Join popular Cajun dance group Les Danseurs de la Capitale de Baton Rouge as they share Cajun history and music lore, perform dances, and teach you some new moves. Call the library at (225) 665-8118 for details.

Book clubs:

  • ?Sci Fi Book Club will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 23, at the main branch, 20390 Iowa St. in Livingston. Members will discuss The Starry Rift by Jonathan Strahan.
  • ?South Branch Bookies will meet at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, April 25, at the South branch, 23477 La. 444 in Livingston. Members will discuss Icy Sparks by Gwyn Hyman Rubio.

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.

Bell to read

Elana Bell will read her poetry at 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 24, at the UNO Fine Arts Gallery (on Harwood Drive, across from the Liberal Arts Building). The reading will be followed by a booksigning and wine and cheese reception. This event is free and open to the public. Bell’s first collection of poetry, Eyes, Stones (LSU Press 2012) is the winner of the 2011 Walt Whitman Award from the Academy of American Poets. Bell is the recipient of grants and fellowships from the Jerome Foundation, the Edward Albee Foundation, the AROHO Foundation, the Brooklyn Arts Council, and the Drisha Institute. Her work has recently appeared in Harvard Review, Massachusetts Review, CALYX Journal, and elsewhere. Bell has led creative writing workshops for women in prison, for educators, for high school students in Israel, Palestine and throughout the five boroughs of New York City, as well as for the pioneering peace building and leadership organization, Seeds of Peace. She is the writer-in-residence for the Bronx Academy of Letters and poetry editor for the Jewish Journal. This event was funded in part by Poets & Writers, Inc. through a grant it has received from Poets & Writers, Inc. New Orleans.

Palacio to read

Melinda Palacio, the author of the award-winning Ocotillo Dreams, will discuss her poetry and read from her writings at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 25, at the Jefferson Parish Library East Bank Regional branch, 4747 W. Napoleon Ave. in Metairie. Her presentation is held in conjunction with National Poetry Month. The author talk is free and open to the public. Registration is not required.

Palacio is a 2007 PEN Center USA Emerging Voices Rosenthal Fellow and a 2009 alumnus of the Squaw Valley Community of Writers. Her poetry chapbook, Folsom Lockdown, won Kulupi Press’ Sense of Place cash prize and publication, Spring 2010. Her work has been published in journals and anthologies, including BorderSenses, Buffalo Carp, Black Renaissance Noire, PALABRA: a Magazine of Chicano/Latino Literary Art, Poets and Artists, the Maple Leaf Rag III and IV, La Bloga, Askew Poetry Journal, Latinos in Lotus Land: an Anthology of Contemporary Southern California Literature, Poets of the American West, Strange Cargo, El Tecolote, San Pedro River Review, Pilgrimage Magazine, Quercus Review, Eleven Eleven, the Mas Tequila Review, Hinchas de Poesia, Phati’tude Literary Magazine, 200 New Mexico Poems, the San Diego Poetry Annual, and Southern Poetry Anthology.

Palacio’s first novel, Ocotillo Dreams, (ASU Bilingual Press 2011) is the winner of the Mariposa Award for Best First Book at the 2012 International Latino Book Awards at the Instituto Cervantes in Manhattan and a 2012 PEN Oakland-Josephine Miles award for Excellence in Literature. Latino Stories named her a Top Ten New Latino Author of 2012. She is a 2012 Glimmer Train Finalist and received an Honorable Mention in April’s Family Matter 2012 short story contest. Tia Chucha Press published her full-length poetry book, How Fire Is a Story, Waiting in fall 2012.

Palacio grew up in South Central Los Angeles and now lives in Santa Barbara and New Orleans. She writes a Friday column for La Palacio holds two degrees in Comparative Literature, a B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley and an M.A. from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

For more information call (504) 889-8143 or email

HeartLa meeting

HeartLa, the Baton Rouge Chapter of Romance Writers of America, will hold its monthly meeting 10 a.m.-noon Saturday, April 27, at the East Baton Rouge Parish Library Bluebonnet branch, 9200 Bluebonnet Blvd. Membership is open to writers of all genres. Guests may attend two meetings before joining. This month author Lynn Shurr will discuss “Writing the Historical Novel”.


Judy Conner, author of Southern Fried Divorce: The After Party, will sign copies of her book 3 p.m.-6 p.m. Sunday, April 21, at F&M Patio Bar. 4841 Tchoupitoulas St. in New Orleans.

Jen Sincero, author of You Are A Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living An Awesome Life, will sign copies of her book 5:30 p.m.-7 p.m. Wednesday, April 24, at Garden District Book Shop, 2727 Prytania St. in New Orleans.

Sarah Carr, author of Hope Against Hope: Three Schools, One City, and the Struggle to Educate America’s Children, will sign copies of her book at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 24, at Maple Street Book Shop, 7529 Maple St. in New Orleans.

Wil Tustin, author of Ambushed, will sign copies of his book 6:30 p.m.-8 p.m. Thursday, April 25, at Maple Street Book Shop Healing Center location, 2372 St. Claude Ave. in New Orleans.

Irene Schulz, author of The Snowflake Children of Autism, will sign copies of her book at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 27, at Barnes & Noble Premier Center II, 3414 U.S. 190, Suite 10, Mandeville.

Items for Book Events were provided by The Foundation for Historical Louisiana, Tampa Review, East Baton Rouge Parish Library, Livingston Parish Library, Barnes & Noble, UNO, Jefferson Parish Library and HeartLa.