Our Picks: 2016 Louisiana Book Festival

We’re ready for a full day on the Capitol Park grounds in Baton Rouge. For the third consecutive year, LCV and the Louisiana Book Festival partnered to produce the festival’s free program. There are way too many great authors to choose from this year, but here are 11 can’t-miss picks for the October 29 celebration. And don’t forget to come by our booth and say hello!


Karen Kingsley and Guy W. Carwile
10 a.m. – State Capitol, House Committee Room 5
Kingsley and Carwile made an invaluable contribution to our understanding of architecture in Louisiana with The Modernist Architecture of Samuel G. and William B. Wiener (LSU Press, 2016), which focuses on Shreveport. Kingsley has written extensively for LCV and the architecture section of KnowLouisiana.org. Her most recent column is this history of open-air theaters in the state.

Stanley Nelson
10 a.m. – State Capitol, Senate Committee Room F
Nelson’s Devil’s-a-Walkin’: Klan Murders along the Mississippi in the 1960s (LSU Press, 2016) is the result of his indefatigable work investing the brutalities that unfolded in Concordia Parish during the Civil Rights Era. Read Kara Tunich Olidge’s review in the new issue of LCV.

Erin Greenwald
10:30 a.m. – Capitol Park Museum, First Floor
A curator at The Historic New Orleans Collection and one of the most vital scholars in the state, Greenwald discusses Marc-Antoine Caillot and the Company of the Indies in Louisiana (THNOC, 2016).

Taylor Brown and Katy Simpson Smith with Kent Wascom
12 p.m. – State Capitol, Senate Chamber
Three great explorers of Southern history. We highly recommend Simpson Smith’s latest novel, Free Men: A Novel (Harper, 2016).

John Kemp
1 p.m. –  State Capitol, House Committee Room 5
Art critic John Kemp is a familiar face at LCV as a longtime contributor and the co-editor of A Unique Slant of Light: the Bicentennial History of Louisiana Art. His new book, Expressions of Place: The Contemporary Louisiana Landscape (University Press of Mississippi, 2016) is the work of a master observer who continues to track the traditions and new trends in the state’s art scene.

Bill Loehfelm
2 p.m. – State Capitol, Senate Committee Room C.
Loehfelm is the man behind Maureen Coughlin, the detective now firmly established in the canon of great New Orleans literary characters. Read our interview with the author of Let the Devil (Sarah Crichton Books, 2016)

Herman Fuselier and Philip Gould
3 p.m. – State Capitol, House Committee Room 5
Fuselier and Gould’s Ghosts of Good Times: South Louisiana Dance Halls Past and Present (UL Press) covers two generations of creativity and two-stepping. Here’s Gould on the ghosts of another good time: his experiences covering Gov. Edwin Edwards’ touring carnival in 1984.

Darrell Bourque and Kelly Guidry with Ann Dobie, moderator
4 p.m. – State Capitol, House Committee Room 5

Every year the Festival seems to top itself in selecting great artwork for the official poster (and the program, produced in partnership with LCV). This year’s featured piece is a collaboration between sculptor Kelly Guidry and poet Darrell Bourque. Read Ann Dobie’s story on the genesis of “Libby.” Oh, and here’s a selection of Bourque’s An Amédé Ardoin Songbook (Yellow Flag Press, 2014).

Alecia P. Long, Timothy Morris and Julia O’Donoghue with Dr. Gary Richards, moderator
3 p.m. – State Capitol, House Committee Room 2
Funded by the LEH’s 2016 Pulitzer Prize Centennial initiative, this conversation on Robert Penn Warren’s legacy features a leading history and two political reporters for The Times-Picayune. Read Nathaniel Rich on Warren in the new issue of LCV.

Zachary Richard, joined by Jean Arceneaux, Kirby Jambon, Brenda Mounier, and French Immersion students from Prairie Elementary (Lafayette), North Lewis Elementary (New Iberia), and Audubon (New Orleans), accompanied by David Torkanowsky on piano.
4 p.m. – Capitol Park Museum, First Floor

Truly a historic occasion. The 2016 LEH Humanist of the Year and The State Library of Louisiana celebrate Randy Haynie’s donation to the library of a copy of Les Cenelles, the first book of poetry ever published by African Americans. Read Michael Martin’s interview with Zachary from our spring 2016 issue.






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