Monday, November 26, 2018

Alabama at the Louisiana Book Festival

On a recent Thursday Dianne and I headed to Baton Rouge to meet up with our son Amos and attend the fifteenth annual Louisiana Book Festival. Amos arrived around lunch time on Friday, and we all took in the festival on Saturday. Amos appeared on a panel that afternoon with two other authors of recent short story collections. 

More details are below. 

On Friday the weather was chilly and raining in Baton Rouge as you can tell from this view of the I-10 bridge. 

We stayed at the Hampton Inn only a short walk from the park and buildings where the festival was held in downtown Baton Rouge. The hotel uses some interesting room number plates. 

Barnes and Noble sponsored the large book and signing tents at the site. Here is Amos' book and to the left the new books by his fellow panelists. More details are below. 

The rain finally ended mid-afternoon on Friday, so we walked to the festival site. Here's a view of the book tent with the Louisiana capitol building in the background.

Many festival events were held in the state library building.

Here's the wall of books by festival authors in the foyer of the state library. Amos' collection of short stories can be seen in the very upper left corner. 

Here's a close up of that upper left corner.

The site of the Louisiana state capitol building and park contains the former Pentagon Barracks military post which was later used as housing for LSU cadets. A portion can be seen here in the foreground, with the capitol in the background and framed by one of the areas neat old trees. 

The substantial program for the festival featured artwork by William Joyce, author and illustrator of various children's books. His work has also appeared on covers of New Yorker magazine and in galleries and museums.  

We went to a couple of panels in the morning before having lunch and heading to the capitol building for Amos' appearance. The first panel was "Writing and Environment: A Multi-Genre Perspective" with environmental historian Jack E. Davis, poets Martha Serpas and Neil Shepard, novelist Kent Wascom and moderator Jack B. Bedell. 

The second panel, "Family-Influenced Fiction" featured two novelists, Nicole Seitz and Spencer Wise; the moderator was Olivia Clare, a poet and fiction writer. 

At this writing information about these authors and their works can be found at the Festival web site.  Both panels were stimulating and gave me several possibilities for future reading. 

The 34-story Art Deco Louisiana state capitol opened in 1932. Legendary politician Huey P. Long was assassinated in the building in 1935 and is buried in the park. Dianne said the building looks like something out of Ghostbusters.

Here Amos and David Langlinais are waiting for the panel to begin. Not pictured is Genaro Ky Ly Smith.

One end of the festival's signing tent opened toward the cooking tent, which was behind me as I took this photo. The festival also included music, various food vendors, an exhibitors tent and many authors and publishers at tables lining the walkway up to the capitol. 

Here are the panel members David Langlinais, Amos Wright, and Genaro Ky Ly Smith in the signing tent. 

After the festival we retired to the Bengal Tap Room and enjoyed a local beer, a Tin Roof Voodoo. 

Amos' book is available here. You can learn more about the book and his other writing at his website

David's book is available here

Genaro's book is available here.

1 comment:

  1. AJ, Thanks for the blast from the (albeit recent) past. Really enjoyed meeting you folks and wish I could've hung out and had a beer or two with you. Thanks for plugging my book. Oh, and you've got a talented son, btw. (Like you didn't already know.)