Louisiana Book Festival, Separate Festival Of Words Upcoming

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana poet laureate Mona Lisa Saloy and jazz-pop singer and songwriter Rickie Lee Jones are among scores of authors being featured over the next three weekends in the statewide Louisiana Book Festival. The separate Acadiana-based Festival of Words will take place during the second of those weekends.

Both festivals are online because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The book festival includes more than 40 programs in which more than 80 authors and presenters will discuss their books. Fifteen of the presentations are for children, tweens, and teens. Programs can be viewed on the Louisiana Book Festival YouTube channel.

The Festival of Words includes workshops led by its three featured authors — Cajun musician Louis Michot, artist and poet Malaika Favorite and essayist and poet Aimee Nezhukumatahil — and dramatic readings of work by those authors.

The book festival runs this Saturday and Sunday, and Friday through Sunday for the following two weekends, Nov. 5-7 and Nov. 12-14. The Festival of Words opens the evening of Nov. 6 and has events all day Nov. 7.

The book festival is free, as are Festival of Words readings. A $10 donation reserves seats for the Festival of Words workshops.

Saloy and the previous state poet laureate, John Warner Smith, will be talking with each other this Saturday during the Louisiana Book Festival. On Sunday, Nov. 7, Saloy will present eight other Louisiana poets.

Jones, whose 17 albums have brought her two Grammy awards, will talk with state librarian Rebecca Hamilton about her memoir “Last Chance Texaco: Chronicles of an American Troubadour” on Friday, Nov. 5.

Journalist, professor, columnist and political analyst Steven V. Roberts will talk about his book about his late wife, political reporter and analyst Cokie Roberts. “Cokie: A Life Well-Lived” describes a private life committed to celebrating and supporting other women as well as her pioneering public career in broadcast journalism.

Other participating authors include 2021 Louisiana Writer Award recipient Fatima Shaik, Tommy Greenwald, whose novel “Game Changer” won the Louisiana Young Readers’ Choice Award winning; David Armand (The Lord’s Acre), Alecia Long (Cruising for Conspirators), Robert Mann (Backrooms and Bayous), and Joshua Prager (The Family Roe).