Reine Dugas, a writer, teacher, editor and travel enthusiast, will lead a session titled “Writing the Memoir” at 7 p.m. on Wednesday at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon Ave., Metairie.
A memoir is a form of creative nonfiction in which an author recounts experiences from his or her life. It is not an autobiography, which tells a life story from the point of view of the writer. A memoir explores the writer’s memory of other people or events. A memoir is focused either in time or place. The autobiography spans a lifetime. The memoir narrows the view.
A powerful memoir consists of highlights that point out an underlying theme. The highlights are linked in a story form, similar to fiction, with an emphasis on why something happened or on a resolution to a problem. Meaning is paramount.
Dugas received a doctoral degree in English from the University of Southern Mississippi and has been teaching literature and creative nonfiction at Southeastern Louisiana University for 15 years. She has published scholarly and creative works in print and online forms and has edited a book of essays on Eudora Welty. Dugas has published memoir and travel essays as well as food articles.
A native New Orleanian, she enjoys exploring the idea of place and how it connects with writing. She likes working with people interested in turning their ideas and memories into words on the page.
SAL’S GENEALOGY SEMINAR: Sal Serio, curator of the American Italian Research Center at the East Bank Regional Library in Metairie, will discuss “Military Research from the Revolutionary War to World War II” at 1 p.m. Wednesday at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon Ave., Metairie. Another session set for June 29 focuses on “How Genealogy Solved a 70-Year-Old WWII Mystery.”
SCI-FI AND FANTASY: The Science Fiction and Fantasy Club meets at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Old Metairie Branch Library, 2350 Metairie Road. The group will discuss the 1968 Japanese movie “Destroy All Monsters.” Scientists (Jun Tazaki, Yoshio Tsuchiya) face Godzilla, Rodan, Mothra and more obscure Japanese monsters sent by she-aliens.
‘FEAR DAT NEW ORLEANS’: Michael Murphy talks about Louisiana cultural history and his two latest works, “Fear Dat New Orleans,” which explores the eccentric and macabre dark corners of the city, and “Eat Dat New Orleans,” which explores local food and traditions. It happens at 7 p.m. Thursday at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon Ave., Metairie. Murphy is a former book publishing professional, serving as a vice president at Random House, publisher of William Morrow and founder of the literary agency Max & Co. On the second day of his first visit to New Orleans in 1983, he knew he was home. He moved to New Orleans in 2009 and says he will never leave.
HOUSING SEMINAR: The Neighborhood Assistance Corp. of America, a nonprofit community advocacy and homeownership organization, will hold a housing seminar at 10 a.m. Saturday at the West Bank Regional Library, 2751 Manhattan Blvd., Harvey. NACA’s goal is to build strong neighborhoods in urban and rural areas nationwide through affordable homeownership. NACA has made homeownership a reality for thousands of working people.
CREATIVE WRITING: Elizabeth Desimone, a local author and teacher, will lead a creative writing seminar at 7 p.m. on Tuesday at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon Ave., Metairie. She will discuss “point of view.” Desimone received her MFA in fiction writing from Oklahoma State University. Her work has appeared in Cricket magazine and on BustedHalo.com. She’s been working on a YA fantasy series for the past five years.
All programs at the library are free and open to the public. For more information about programs at the 15 branches of the Jefferson Parish Library, go to jplibrary.net/ or friend the library’s Facebook page for daily programming updates.