Contact us

Louisiana
Center for the Book

Celebrating Readers, Writers and Their Books

If you are looking for Information on author submission criteria, follow this link or email the Louisiana Book Festival Office with questions concerning author submissions.

SEND US EMAIL
TEL: (225) 219 - 9503 Louisiana Center for the Book
701 N. Fourth St.
Baton Rouge, LA 70802
www.LouisianaBookFestival.org

Contact us

Louisiana
Center for the Book

Celebrating Readers, Writers and Their Books

If you are looking for Information on author submission criteria, follow this link or email the Louisiana Book Festival Office with questions concerning author submissions.

SEND US EMAIL
(225) 219 - 9503
Louisiana Center for the Book
701 N. Fourth St.
Baton Rouge, LA 70802

Authors

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Ken Fontenot
Ken  Fontenot picture

Ken Fontenot received an MA in German Language and Literature from the University of Texas at Austin. His novel, For Mr. Raindrinker is set in 1970s New Orleans. His second collection of poems, All My Animals and Stars, won the 1988 Austin Book Award. His translations of contemporary poems from the German have appeared widely. His third book of poems is In a Kingdom of Birds. A native New Orleanian, he lives and works in Austin, Texas.

In a Kingdom of Birds

"Ken Fontenot is one of the most original, moving poets in the world. I have treasured his work for years-his images startle us awake. His wisdom sears."-Naomi Shihab Nye, a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and author of Transfer

"In Fontenot's In a Kingdom of Birds, I find exactly the kind of poems for which I am most grateful: poems self-aware enough to recognize that in all things exist both tragedy and light, but poems not so besotted with that conniving paradox to dwell too solemnly on it for too long. There's exquisite craft in knowing how to navigate those skies. And navigate them, he does, a bird himself in this kingdom of birds. For truly, everything does both fly and sing-the great gray owl, the swan of stretched legs, the panting sparrow, the quickening sparrow, the nighthawk, the black-throated grackle, the foraging doves. As well, the gnat that lands inside the poet's ear, the oscillating fan his grandmother keeps running for decades straight, and the loose, elusive presence of the ghosts of both the living and the dead: the strangely solid phantom forms of friends, relations, lovers, and authors that haunt the walls of this poetic house (to be sure, it is a just, benevolent, knowledge-weary haunting of which I speak). And too: the ghosts of those ghosts. 'Light has everything to do with pain, / and darkness has everything to do / with love,' Fontenot writes. And later, 'the world is bleak, the world is glorious ... You go on filling your jar of hope with yet more hope.' These poems convince me that night is solely purposed for better viewing of the stars, and the stars' own shimmering brightness exists to remind us that an outer darkness sorely looms."-Jill Alexander Essbaum, Winner of the Katharine Bakeless Nason Poetry Prize

 

11:30 AM – 12:30 PM

State Library, Capitol View Room

Discussion

The Louisiana Poet Laureate Presents

 

12:45 PM – 1:30 PM

Barnes & Noble Tent

Book Signing