Sheryl St. Germain

Louisiana native Sheryl St. Germain will receive the 19th annual Louisiana Writer Award.

The Louisiana Center for the Book in the State Library of Louisiana is recognizing the poet and essayist for her outstanding contribution to Louisiana letters and cultural life.

“We are fortunate to live in a state which produces such rich literary talent,” Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser said in a news release. “We are proud to call Sheryl St. Germain one of our own, and I am excited for the opportunity not only to present this award to her, but to introduce additional Louisiana readers to her impressive body of work.”

“Sheryl’s work is as profoundly beautiful as it is important, even as it faces difficult and complex subject matter,” State Librarian of Louisiana Rebecca Hamilton said. “She joins celebrated past recipients such as Ernest Gaines, Valerie Martin, Elmore Leonard, Yusef Komunyakaa, Tim Gautreaux, and the late Christina Vella, to name only a few."

St. Germain is the author of five books of poetry, including her most recent publication, "The Small Door of Your Death," which chronicles the loss of her only son to heroin addiction, the release also says. She has also published two memoirs, "Swamp Songs: The Making of an Unruly Woman" and "Navigating Disaster: Sixteen Essays of Love and a Poem of Despair." A new collection of essays, "Fifty Miles," is due out in spring 2020.

St. Germain directs the master of fine arts program in creative writing at Chatham University in Pennsylvania, where she also teaches creative nonfiction and poetry.

Nungesser and Hamilton will present St. Germain with the award on Saturday, Nov. 10, at the opening ceremony of the Louisiana Book Festival at the State Capitol.

For more information on St. Germain and her work, visit