Peter Cooley, poet laureate for the state of Louisiana, will discuss the importance of poetry at 7 p.m. Thursday at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon Ave., Metairie.

Cooley is director of creative writing, professor of English,and senior Mellon professor in the Humanities at Tulane University.

Cooley received a bachelor of arts degree in humanities from Shimer College, Chicago, a master of arts degree in art and literature from the University of Chicago and a doctoral degree in modern letters from the University of Iowa, Iowa City, where he was a student in the Writers’ Workshop and submitted a book of his own poetry as his dissertation.

He taught at the University of Wisconsin–Green Bay before coming to Tulane. He has taught in the MFA programs at Warren Wilson College, Vermont College, Western Michigan University in Prague and the University of New Orleans, in Montpelier and Madrid. He also has taught creative writing workshops in a mental hospital, a prison, preschools, grade schools and high schools and to the elderly, the socially disadvantaged and the illiterate.

Cooley’s nine books of poetry are “The Company of Strangers”; “The Room Where Summer Ends”; “Nightseasons”; “The Van Gogh Notebook”; “The Astonished Hours”; “Sacred Conversations”; “A Place Made of Starlight”; “Divine Margins”; and “Night Bus to the Afterlife.” His poems have appeared in more than 700 magazines, including The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The Paris Review, The Nation, The New Republic and The Southern Review, and in more than 100 anthologies. His work appears in three editions of The Best American Poetry.

MASTER GARDENERS: Amy Graham, horticulture director for Longue Vue Gardens, will be the guest speaker when the Master Gardeners of Greater New Orleans meets at 7 p.m. Monday at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon Ave., Metairie. She will discuss butterflies and moths and how to create a garden that attracts them. As a bonus, she will discuss Shakespearean plants in Louisiana gardens.

‘PROMETHEUS BOUND’: The Great Books Discussion Group at the Old Metairie Branch Library will focus on Aeschylus’ “Prometheus Bound” at 7 p.m. Tuesday. The library is at 2350 Metairie Road. This Greek tragedy is based on the myth of Prometheus, a Titan who defies the gods and gives fire to mankind, acts for which he is subjected to perpetual punishment. The Great Books Foundation is dedicated to helping people learn how to think and share ideas by educating them to become participants in, leaders of and advocates for shared inquiry.

GENEALOGICAL RESEARCH: Sal Serio, curator of the American Italian Research Center at the East Bank Regional Library in Metairie, will discuss “Using Libraries for Research” at 1 p.m. Wednesday at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon Ave., Metairie. The session for May 4 will focus on “Italian Research.”

LISTEN TO HARRY POTTER: Harry Potter audiobooks are now available through One Click Digital. Harry Potter audios and e-books also are in Overdrive. To access these services, go to the library website, click on “digital content” on the left-hand side of the page, then choose One Click Digital or Overdrive. All you need is a valid library card.

All programs at the library are free of charge and are open to the public. For information about programs at the 15 branches of the Jefferson Parish Library, go to or friend the library’s Facebook page for daily programming updates.