Wednesday, 21 March 2012 15:16


A Dozen Poets for ‘12

In celebration of National Poetry Month and building upon last year’s successful event, the State Library of Louisiana’s Center for the Book announces its second annual program “Just Listen to Yourself: The Louisiana Poet Laureate Presents Louisiana Poets - 2012.”  The event, moderated by Julie Kane, Louisiana Poet Laureate, will be held Wednesday, April 11, 2012, Noon – 1:30 PM, in the Seminar Center of the State Library, 701 North Fourth Street, Baton Rouge.

The poets invited by Kane to join her in reading a selection from their work include Darrell Bourque, Kelly Clayton, Ashley Mace Havird, David Havird, Ava Leavell Haymon, Clemonce Heard, Charles Jolivette, David Middleton, Alison Pelegrin, Michelle Pichon, and Gail White.

The lunchtime program is free and open to the public. Attendees may bring their lunch and come and go as their schedules allow. The State Library of Louisiana is wheelchair accessible.


Darrell Bourque lives in a bamboo grove in rural St. Landry Parish. A former Louisiana Poet Laureate, university professor, and administrator, he is now a full-time poet with a new book on the way. Megan’s Guitar and Other Poems from Acadie is forthcoming in 2013 from the University of Louisiana Press.

Kelly Clayton is a Louisiana Creole with deep roots in New Orleans, New Roads, Baton Rouge, and Plaquemine. Louisiana’s people, music, and spirit are her muse. Her work has appeared in Future Cycle Poetry, Gloom Cupboard, and The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature. Delacourt Press commissioned a poem as a chapter lead for Do Gentlemen Really Prefer Blondes? by Jena Pincott.

Ashley Mace Havird lives in Shreveport. Her chapbook The Dirt Eaters was published by the South Carolina Poetry Initiative in 2009, and her poems have appeared in journals including The Southern Review, Shenandoah, and The Virginia Quarterly Review. In 2002 she was awarded a Louisiana Division of the Arts Fellowship.

David Havird is a Professor of English at Centenary College in Shreveport. He is the author of Penelope’s Design (2010), which won the 2009 Robert Phillips Poetry Chapbook Prize; and his poems have appeared in Agni, The New Yorker, Poetry, The Sewanee Review, Shenandoah, Southwest Review, and The Yale Review.

Ava Leavell Haymon teaches poetry writing in Baton Rouge and directs a writers’ retreat center in New Mexico. Her most recent book is Why the House Is Made of Gingerbread, from LSU Press. She holds the 2003 Louisiana Literature Prize, the 2010 L. E. Phillabaum Award, and the 2010 Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Award.

Clemonce Heard is a 23-year-old native of New Orleans who is majoring in Graphic Design and minoring in Culinary Arts at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches. He is the founder and President of NSU’s Brainy Acts Poetry Society, a student organization that puts on poetry slams.

Charles Jolivette grew up in San Francisco with deep Louisiana Creole roots. Following a 13-year career as the recording artist Rap4rights, he wrote two novels, Etouffé and Le Midnight Roux. He will release a poetry collection, While the Gumbo Cools, this year.

Julie Kane, the current Louisiana Poet Laureate, lives in Natchitoches and teaches at Northwestern State University. Her last two books are Jazz Funeral (2009), which won the Donald Justice Poetry Prize, and Rhythm & Booze (2003), which won the National Poetry Series. Garrison Keillor has read two of her poems on The Writer’s Almanac.

David Middleton is Professor Emeritus of English at Nicholls State University in Thibodaux. His holds the 2006 Allen Tate Award from The Sewanee Review and the 2006 Louisiana Governor’s Award for Outstanding Professional Artist. The Fiddler of Driskoll Hill: Poems of Louisiana North and South is forthcoming from LSU Press in 2013.

Alison Pelegrin teaches at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond. Her two most recent poetry collections are Hurricane Party (2011) and Big Muddy River of Stars (2011), both from the University of Akron Press. The recipient of an NEA Fellowship in creative writing, she has published poems in Poetry, Ploughshares, and Image.

Michelle Pichon lives in the Cane River community of Isle Brevelle. Her family, with ties to both Cane River and Slidell, is of Creole heritage and has been part of Louisiana since Louisiana’s existence. She strives to give a modern voice to a culture so rich in history.

Gail White writes her poems on the banks of Bayou Teche in Breaux Bridge. She has edited three anthologies and published three books of poetry, the latest being The Accidental Cynic (2009), a winner of the Anita Dorn Memorial Award. Her new chapbook is Sonnets in a Hostile World.




MARCH 21, 2012


Paulita Chartier
State Library of Louisiana
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Jacques Berry
Office of the Lieutenant Governor
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it