Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne has announced this year’s recipient of the Louisiana Center for the Book Louisiana Writer Award, acclaimed author James Wilcox. Dardenne and State Librarian Rebecca Hamilton will recognize Wilcox at an award ceremony during the Louisiana Book Festival on Oct. 29.

“After a one-year hiatus, the book festival will return to Capitol Park to celebrate books by authors from Louisiana and the rest of the world,” Dardenne said. “The festival is a perfect time to give the Louisiana Writer Award which honors the best writers from our great state.”

The Louisiana Book Festival is a free, daylong event where authors such as Wilcox will hold workshops to discuss their works and careers. Writing workshops for hopeful authors are available as well as food, entertainment and activities for children.

Wilcox, director of creative writing at LSU, is the author of nine novels, most of which are set in or feature characters from the fictional town of Tula Springs, La. His most famous novel, Modern Baptists, was released in 1983 and has been included in Harold Bloom’s The Western Canon and was listed in the GQ 45th anniversary issue as one of the best works of fiction published in the past 45 years.

“James Wilcox and his enduring and ongoing work, from Modern Baptists to Hunk City, exemplify Louisiana’s rich cultural and literary heritage,” State Librarian Rebecca Hamilton said. “Born in Hammond, James has drawn on his Louisiana experience to create unforgettable residents of his fictional Tula Springs. Though it doesn’t really exist, anyone who lives in Louisiana has been there or knows somebody who lives there.”

Wilcox holds the MacCurdy Distinguished Professorship in the LSU College of Arts and Sciences.

The Louisiana Writer Award is given annually to recognize outstanding contributions to the literary and intellectual life of Louisiana. Past recipients include novelist and short story writer Tim Gautreaux; children’s author William Joyce; poets Yusef Komunyakaa and William Jay Smith; historian Carl A. Brasseaux; novelists James Lee Burke, Ernest J. Gaines, Shirley Ann Grau, Elmore Leonard and Valerie Martin; and scholar Lewis P. Simpson.


Lafayette Public Library

All Lafayette Public library branches will be closed Monday, Sept. 5, for Labor Day.

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

Livingston Parish Library

All branches of the Livingston Parish Library will be closed Monday, Sept. 5, in observance of Labor Day. Normal business hours will resume Tuesday, Sept. 6.

Book clubs:

•Adult Book Club will meet 10:30-noon Thursday, Sept. 8, at the Main branch, 13986 Florida Blvd. in Livingston. Members will discuss To Have and Have Not by Ernest Hemingway.

•Sunny Side Up Inspirational Book Club will meet 10-11 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 8, at Watson branch, 36581 Outback Road in Denham Springs. Members will discuss Beneath a Southern Sky by Deborah Raney.

Ascension Parish Library

All branches of Ascension Parish Library will be closed Monday, Sept. 5, for Labor Day.

Ten years ago, our nation was changed forever by the terrorist attacks on the fateful morning of Sept. 11. As we reflect on that dark day, it is important to discuss the ramifications of the attacks and how they shaped America as we know it today. David Sobek, an associate professor at LSU’s Department of Political Science, will be at the Donaldsonville branch at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept 8, to examine where the U.S. now stands politically in light of the attacks, and how we deal with terrorist issues in the future. Registration is required, so call (225) 473-8052 to reserve your spot today.

Book club:

•Teen Book Club will meet 5:30-6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 6, at the Galvez branch, 40300 La. 42 in Prairieville.

EBR Library

Book clubs:

•The Evening Book Club will meet 6:30-7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 6, at Baker branch meeting room. Members will discuss Having Our Say by Sarah L. Delaney. For more information, call (225) 778-5940.

•JCR Books into Movies Club will meet 7-8 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 6, at Jones Creek Regional branch, 6222 Jones Creek Road. Members will discuss Secretariat: The Making of a Champion by William Nach. For more information, call (225) 756-1180.

Love your librarian

Nominations are now open for the 2011 Carnegie Corporation of New York/New York Times I Love My Librarian Award.

The award invites library users nationwide to recognize the accomplishments of librarians in public, school, college, community college and university libraries for their efforts to improve the lives of people in their community. Nominations are being accepted online at through Sept. 12.

Up to 10 librarians will be selected. Each will receive a $5,000 cash award, a plaque and will be honored at an awards ceremony and reception in New York, hosted by The New York Times, in December.

Over the past three years, 30 librarians from across the country have won the I Love My Librarian Award. Last year, more than 2,000 library users nationwide nominated a librarian. Previous winners were lauded for starting community gardens, helping students with severe disabilities read classic works of literature, for helping non-traditional students learn new technology to get better jobs and more. For more information on previous winners, visit Previous winners are also featured in a digital supplement to American Libraries magazine.

Each nominee must be a librarian with a master’s degree from a program accredited by the ALA in library and information studies or a master’s degree with a specialty in school library media from an educational unit accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education. Nominees must be working in the United States in a public library, a library at an accredited two- or four-year college or university or at an accredited K-12 school.


Chris Buehlman, author of Those Across The River, will sign copies of his book 5:30-7 p.m. Friday Sept. 9, at Garden District Book Shop, 2727 Prytania St. in New Orleans.

Jason Berry, author of Render Unto Rome: The Secret Life of Money in the Catholic Church, will sign copies of his book at 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 9, at Maple Street Books Shop, 7523 Maple St. in New Orleans.

Johnette Downing, author of Why the Crawfish Lives in the Mud, will perform at 11 a.m. Friday, Sept. 9, at Family Friendly Fridays Concert Series, National Jazz Park Visitors Center, 916 N St. Peter St. in New Orleans. Downing will sign copies of her books noon-1 p.m. Friday, Sept. 9, at Tisket A Tasket Book Shop, 910 Decatur St. in New Orleans.

Nayana Currimbhoy, author of Miss Timmins’ School for Girls, will sign copies of her book 1-3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 10, at Garden District Book Shop, 2727 Prytania St. in New Orleans.

Items for Book Events were provided by The State Library of Louisiana, Lafayette Public Library, Livingston Parish Library, Ascension Parish Library, East Baton Rouge Parish Library and the American Library Association.