“After a one-year hiatus, the book festival will return to Capitol Park to celebrate books by authors from Louisiana and the rest of the world,” Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne said. “The festival is a perfect time to give the Louisiana Writer Award which honors the best writers from our great state.”
The Louisiana Book Festival is a free, daylong event where authors such as Wilcox will hold workshops to discuss their works and careers. Writing workshops for hopeful authors are available as well as food, entertainment and activities for children.
Wilcox, director of creative writing at LSU, is the author of nine novels, most of which are set in or feature characters from the fictional town of Tula Springs, La. His most famous novel, Modern Baptists, was released in 1983 and has been included in Harold Bloom’s The Western Canon and was listed in the GQ 45th anniversary issue as one of the best works of fiction published in the past 45 years.
“James Wilcox and his enduring and ongoing work, from Modern Baptists to Hunk City, exemplify Louisiana’s rich cultural and literary heritage,” State Librarian Rebecca Hamilton said. “Born in Hammond, James has drawn on his Louisiana experience to create unforgettable residents of his fictional Tula Springs. Though it doesn’t really exist, anyone who lives in Louisiana has been there or knows somebody who lives there.“
Wilcox’s book reviews have appeared in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times and Elle. His eighth novel, Heavenly Days, was featured on the New York Times Notable Book list. Wilcox currently holds the MacCurdy Distinguished Professorship in the LSU College of Arts and Sciences.
The Louisiana Writer Award is given annually to recognize outstanding contributions to the literary and intellectual life of Louisiana. Past recipients include novelist and short story writer Tim Gautreaux; children’s author William Joyce; poets Yusef Komunyakaa and William Jay Smith; historian Carl A. Brasseaux; novelists James Lee Burke, Ernest J. Gaines, Shirley Ann Grau, Elmore Leonard and Valerie Martin; and scholar Lewis P. Simpson.
For more information about the Louisiana Book Festival, visit www.LouisianaBookFestival.org
– www.crt.la.gov –
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 4, 2011
State Library of Louisiana
Office of the Lieutenant Governor