Thursday, Aug 16, 7-8:30 PM

Event! Four Local Poets Talk About Their New Books

Four local poets � Anne Babson, Gina Ferrara, Biljana Obradovic, Valentine Pierce and Cassie Pruyn � will discuss and read from their works at 7 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 16, at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon, Metairie. This event is free of charge and is open to the public. Anne Babson, Polite Occasions Polite Occasions imagines the future is female, that she is a lady, and if the human race Is to survive what evangelical Christians call �end times,� it will be because ladies have decided to make unladylike plans. This collection is largely set in a dystopian near-future world where political structures have become authoritarian and many feel spiritually adrift, all while most people pretend not to notice. Anne Babson�s first collection The White Trash Pantheon won the Colby H. Kullman prize from the Southern Writers Southern Writing Conference in Oxford, Mississippi. She has received residency grants from Yaddo and Vermont Studio Center. Her blog about moving south, The Carpetbaggers Journal, has close to 50,000 hits and has been picked up by Y�all Politics and PBS-related websites. She teaches writing and literature at Southeastern Louisiana University. She writes and lives in New Orleans. Gina Ferrara, Fitting the Sixth Finger Fitting the Sixth Finger is an homage to the paintings of Marc Chagall. Like so many of Chagall�s mysterious paintings, the poems in this chapbook oscillate between memory and dream, images observed and those only imagined, as they draw readers close with their quiet color and vivid music. Ferrara was born in New Orleans and received an M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of New Orleans. She works as an educator and lives in New Orleans near Bayou St. John. Her chapbook, The Size of Sparrows, was published by Finishing Line Press. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals including Poetry East, The Briar Cliff Review, and Callaloo. She was awarded a grant from The Elizabeth George Foundation and was recently published in The Poetry Ireland Review. She coordinates Poetry Buffet, the monthly reading series sponsored by the New Orleans Public Library. Valentine Pierce, Up Decatur: Poems Up Decatur, according to the author, �is the gush to keep faith, hope and stay alive. It is birthed in tribute to the dead, family, friends and for everyday struggle: freedom. The words express experiences of life and of being of New Orleans - the rhyme, rhythm, neighborhoods, senses and people that make the city unique, eccentric and always keeping its roux in your blood.� Pierce is a widely published poet who has performed on a variety of stages from Louisiana universities to California art galleries, Florida book centers to Arizona coffeehouses. She has performed at popular venues such as the Maple Leaf, the Goldmine, DramaRama and the WRBH Writers' Forum in New Orleans, State of the Nation in Jackson, Rhythm and Music Poetry Series in Berkeley, CA, the International Festival of Arts and Ideas in New Haven, CT, and Jump Start in San Antonio, TX. Cassie Pruyn, Lena Cassie Pruyn's Lena asks questions: why we love, why we grieve. She describes it as a lush and unsparing first book that asks readers to understand love--crucially, a first love, an erotic love--in the context not of a love lost but instead of an identity gained: we must consider not only Was she worth it?, but also Who has she made me? Pruyn lets us feel what lovers feel--the magnetism, the physicality, the tenderness, the rage, the wondering. In these poems, the landscape is a character in itself; the past is as tangible as the present. Cassie Pruyn is the author of Bayou St. John: A Brief History and the poetry collection Lena, winner of the Walt McDonald First-Book Prize in Poetry and finalist for the 2017 Audre Lorde Award. Her poems, essays, and reviews have appeared in AGNI Online, The Normal School, 32 Poems, The Los Angeles Review, and many others. Born and raised in Portland, Maine, she holds a BA from Bard College and an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars. For more information regarding this presentation, contact Chris Smith, Manager of Adult Programming for the library, at