The Louisiana Center for the Book was established in the State Library of Louisiana in 1994 for the purpose of stimulating public interest in reading, books and libraries. It is the official state affiliate of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress.
The Center works to accomplish its mission in three ways: by developing, sponsoring and coordinating statewide reading enrichment programs for children; by identifying and nurturing the objectives of Louisiana’s writers, publishers and others involved in the creation and promotion of books; and by encouraging Louisianans to read by presenting or sponsoring public presentations by accomplished authors, thus enabling the public to interact with living authors, particularly at the Louisiana Book Festival and annual programs such as Black History Month, Women’s History Month and National Poetry Month events. (from the website)
Louisiana has been home, by birth or adoption, to numerous literary greats. But among that talent, there’s an under-celebrated cohort: Black women. Due to lack of education and opportunity, their record is fairly brief, but over the past century they have been responsible for a flowering of literature that portrays the Black experience through poetry, fiction, plays, essays and journalism.
The writers profiled here have not gone wholly unrecognized though—far from it. Some have been honored with prestigious awards and have found a readership large enough to put them at the forefront of the national literary scene. Beginning with Alice Ruth Dunbar Nelson—a fiery activist, columnist and storyteller in the late nineteenth century—the work extends to Fatima Shaik, named 2021 Louisiana Writer of the Year. (from the website)
Join ULL Profs Dr. Ann B. Dobie and Dr. Phebe Hayes in this celebration of Louisiana literary talent.