Jun 16

Confederacy of Dunces included in LOC’s “America Reads”

A Confederacy of Dunces has been included in The Library of Congress’s “America Reads,” an exhibition showcasing 65 books—chosen by the public—that had a profound effect on American life.

“America Reads” Exhibition to Open June 16 (Library of Congress)

Oct 14

The stories behind the songs

Join us tonight, 30 October, from 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM, for a music-themed book festival to kick off the Louisiana Festival of Books. LSU Press authors Barbara Barnes Sims (author of The Next Elvis), John Wirt (author of Huey “Piano” Smith and the Rocking Pneumonia Blues), and Alex Cook (author of Louisiana Saturday Night) will be at Lagniappe Records to sign their books. You’ll get to meet our authors and receive 20% off books and records! This event is free and open to the public.

In the run-up to the Lagniappe signing, our own Alex Cook put together a Spotify playlist for his book. Here it is–enjoy!

A lot of driving went into writing Louisiana Saturday Night, and driving always means music to me. Some of these selections like J. Paul Jr or Joe Falcon were about getting me in the mood for the music I was about to witness at some far-off location. Songs like “Whipping Post” just open up a time-tunnel that can get a weary driver down a lonely highway home in one piece. Most of these were happenstance: the CD my frequent traveling companion Clarke Gernon was into at the moment. One I was into. I’d just seen Calexico play at JazzFest and couldn’t get “Not Even Stevie Nicks…” out of my head for a month.

One selection holds a particular memory: I was on some St. Landry Parish backroad, totally lost, listening to K-BON out of Rayne, La. and the announcer was talking about the time he got to meet Charles Mann at some festival appearance. he brought his grandson up to meet him as well and the pride and admiration in that moment was palpable; it filled the dark car with light. You’d have thought he was talking about meeting Elvis or Muhammad Ali or something. I never really liked the original Dire Staits version of “Walk of Life’ but in Charles Mann’s flattened delivery over an accordion shuffle, “the song about the sweet lovin’ woman/the song about the knife” – the whole of that song came clear and I understood something profound about swamp pop and Louisiana music in general. It is important because it is peculiar in nature and bizarrely extant in the face of the monoculture, but it is special because the people of Louisiana make it special.

Aug 14

Greetings from Tori Gill, Associate Director of Development

Greetings! My name is Tori Gill and I am the newly hired Associate Director of Development for LSU Press and The Southern Review. A month into my tenure, I am enthusiastic about the future of development here! My predecessor did a fantastic job in this role and I look forward to building on her successes.


As we embark on the new fiscal year I am excited about engaging with our current supporters and recruiting additional literary enthusiasts. Over the next couple of months you will be hearing about ways you can participate in our upcoming Annual Fund appeal. Please take a moment to see how you can join us in supporting LSU Press and The Southern Review as your essential gifts help us build our legacy of the best scholarly and creative writing.

I am pleased to announce that this year we plan to launch an exclusive benefit for our closest supporters: a membership card that will include discounts on all LSU Press books and The Southern Review when you buy at our scheduled events. Be on the lookout for a sneak peek at the card and information on how you can get involved.

In the latest edition of Cornerstone, our very own Leslie Green and her parents, Drs. Ed & Linda Green were featured with their generous endowment to honor Leslie’s 10-year work anniversary. The James Dudley Wells Memorial Endowment, named in memory of Leslie’s late older brother, will help support the publication of The Southern Review. Take a look at the article, entitled, “Cover to Cover.”


If you would like to learn more about what you can do to further our mission and help sustain great writing, please give me a call at 225-578-6416 or send me an email at vgill2@lsu.edu. Thank you in advance for your support and friendship!


Apr 14

Randy Harelson wins a Louisiana Cultural Award

Harelson LA Cultural Award

Randy Harelson, co-author of New Roads and Old Rivers, received the Louisiana Cultural Award for Preservation Education at a dinner held on April 22. The Cultural Awards are given each year by the Louisiana State Office of Cultural Developments to recognize individuals and organizations making outstanding contributions to Louisiana’s culture.

Apr 14

Rasmussen Wins the Minnesota Book Award for Poetry

The Minnesota Book Awards, presented annually by the Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library, gave its top honor in poetry to Matt Rasmussen’s debut collection, Black Aperture. Winner of the 2012 Walt Whitman Award of the Academy of American Poets, and shortlisted for the National Book Award, Black Aperture explores the tragedy of a brother’s suicide in a collection that blurs the edge between grief and humor. Destructive and redemptive, Black Aperture opens to the complicated entanglements of mourning: damage and healing, sorrow and laughter, and torment balanced with moments of relief.

Created to increase awareness and readership of Minnesota authors, the Minnesota Book Awards held their 26th annual Book Awards gala earlier this month, with a record 960 guests in attendance and author John Moe as master of ceremonies. A full list of finalists and winners can be found on the website of the Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library.

Nov 13

How do you get to a dance hall in Eunice?

One of the benefits of working for a press, like LSU Press, that publishes regional books is that it makes it very difficult to take for granted the cultural assets that surround us here in Louisiana. When you are charged with making sure each book finds a home—which is a quaint way of defining the ceaseless preoccupations of the marketing and sales department—it is a daily exercise to think through the meaning of a book’s subject, be that culinary, or musical traditions, historic places, a storied byway, a natural resource, or a slice of our literary heritage. The outcome of all that deep contemplation, aside from setting a price, print run, and discount, is always a striking realization of how immensely rich and varied Louisiana’s culture is, and moreover the difficulty inherent in drawing geographic lines around the origin of folklore in Acadiana or pinpointing the birth of a Cajun-French drinking song. In fact, it is the tradition of sharing—of communion—which is responsible for the pleasurable yet dizzying mix of influences that reveal themselves in nearly every regional title we’ve published.

So I am fascinated by the pursuit of accurately capturing a culture that is greater than the sum of its many disparate parts in something as finite as a book. When I get the chance I always ask our authors about this experience: How did you pull together this wonderful narrative or portfolio of images, and get to the heart of the story? How did you get to the truth about a Mardi Gras tradition when some of sources are oral histories that contradict each other? How did you find out about the dance hall in Eunice, Louisiana when there is no website or Facebook page for it? To be honest, these questions are as driven by the need to aim our marketing efforts in the right direction as my own curiosity, but on a broader level it takes into account the challenges of accessibility and very, very, subjective nature of how to define what is local.

None of the responses from these queried authors is the quite the same, but there is always a touch of journalistic integrity, a dogged quest for more information, and most of all an abiding respect for what they are researching–something short of scared but a thousand miles beyond seeing the matter as a commodity. They are, quite fittingly, driven by the desire to share as much as they can and explain it as accurately as possible, rather than forgoing the complexities of a story for the sake of commercialization.

I think it’s that approach, a balance between passion for a subject and a commitment to authenticity that makes our authors and our books so special, even vital. Perhaps it is the intersection of high academic standards and the privilege of being geographically close to so many valuable local resources that puts us in the best position to preserve regional culture and history—as it really is and not how it is most easily consumed.
From our fortunate position, I believe our books are not separate but part of that tradition of cultural communion. In staying true not only to the meaning of the culture that surrounds us, but to the custom of sharing, LSU Press and its titles serve as an extension of the heritage that we disseminate.


The Association of American University Presses (AAUP) is celebrating University Press Week November 10-16. This week started back in the summer of 1978 when President Jimmy Carter proclaimed a University Press Week “in recognition of the impact, both here and abroad, of American university presses on culture and scholarship.”

In the spirit of partnership that pervades the university press community, LSU Press and 36 other presses are uniting for the AAUP’s second annual blog tour during University Press Week. This tour highlights the value of university presses and the contributions they make to scholarship and our society. Individual presses will blog on a different theme each day, including profiles of university press staff members, the future of scholarly communication, subject area spotlights, the importance of regional publishing, and the global reach of university presses.

See a complete University Press Week blog tour schedule at: http://bit.ly/HjQX7n

Oct 13

What is LSU President and Chancellor F. King Alexander reading?

LSU President and Chancellor F. King Alexander

LSU President and Chancellor F. King Alexander

Mike the Tiger: The Roar of LSU
by David G. Baker and W. Sheldon Bivin
156 pages / 10.00 x 10.00 inches / 132 color photos, 68 halftones

Sep 13

Remembering Coach Dietzel: A tribute by MaryKatherine Callaway, LSU Press Director

The first time Paul Dietzel visited us at LSU Press, we were immediately struck by his kindness. Smiling and self-effacing, he introduced himself by saying, “Call me Coach. Everyone does.” When his book was ready to move into production that signature phrase, Call Me Coach, became the title.

Over the next few years, as we published and promoted this book, we also marveled at Coach Dietzel’s boundless energy. Never too busy to speak with a fan, sign their endless collections of memorabilia, or simply listen to their stories, Coach Dietzel epitomized patience and good humor. The first to write a thank-you note to anyone at the Press who helped him, he seemed to truly appreciate everyone’s efforts to make the book as beautiful and readable as he had hoped it would be.

In fall of 2008, to highlight the publication of the book and the anniversary of his legendary success, we suggested hosting an event which became “Call Them Champions! A Conversation with Coach Paul Dietzel and Members of the 1958 National Championship Team.” In addition to Coach, several members of the 1958 champions–Don “Scooter” Purvis, Lynn LeBlanc, and Gus Kinchen–reminisced about Tiger football as Mike Rhodes moderated. Laughing and sharing favorite stories, they all seemed to enjoy the evening as much as Coach did.

The last time I saw Coach, he came to visit the offices this summer, to thank us again for all our hard work on the book and to say how happy he was with how it all turned out. So that will be my abiding memory of Coach: gracious and thoughtful, unpretentious and kind.

We will miss you, Coach.

Jul 13

Anna Journey Examines Personal and Imagined History in Vulgar Remedies

Poet’s Second Collection Available from LSU Press in August 2013

Anna Journey is the author If Birds Gather Your Hair for Nesting, selected by Thomas Lux for the National Poetry Series. Her poems have appeared in The Southern Review, American Poetry Review, The Best American Poetry, and elsewhere. She has received fellowships in poetry from Yaddo and the National Endowment for the Arts.

“I think Anna Journey’s poetry is really magical.”—David Lynch, director of Blue Velvet and creator of Twin Peaks

“Anna Journey, in her new book of poems, Vulgar Remedies, creates an alchemical self whose shimmering limbic/alembic lyrics distill the mysterious terrors of childhood, the dangerous passions of adults, into her own honey-dusk ‘voodun’: protective, purified to gold. Poetry is always a time machine: here we are invisible travelers to a bewitched past, a beautifully occluded future. These poems are erotic, vertiginous, revelatory, their dazzling lyric force reflecting profound hermetic life.”—Carol Muske-Dukes, author of Twin Cities

 “Anna Journey’s second collection of poems is wonderful and brings something precise and wild out of a vivid night, an imagery that finds its own necessary music, like sudden isolated birdsongs at dawn. The multiplying shadows of the mind are made exterior here, surprisingly illustrated with anecdotal thought. And Dante no longer concludes that all lovers are martyrs. I’m so happy to have this work in my life.”—Norman Dubie, author of The Volcano

August 2013

88 pages, 5 1/2 x 8 1/2


Paper $17.95

LSU Press Paperback Original

Jul 13

David Kirby Dramatizes the Artistic Mind in Latest Poetry Collection

Inspired by the carpenter’s biscuit joint—a seamless, undetectable fit between pieces of wood—David Kirby’s latest collection dramatizes the artistic mind as a hidden connection that links the mundane with the remarkable. Even in our most ordinary actions, Kirby shows, there lies a wealth of creative inspiration: “the poem that is written every day if we’re there / to read it.”

Well known for his garrulous and comic musings, Kirby follows a wandering yet calculated path. In “What’s the Plan, Artists?” a girl yawning in a picture gallery leads to meditations on subjects as diverse as musical composition, the less-than-beautiful human figure, and “the simple pleasures / of living.” The Biscuit Joint traverses seemingly random thoughts so methodically that the journey from beginning to end always proves satisfying and surprising.

David Kirby is the author of numerous books, including The House on Boulevard St.: New and Selected Poems, a finalist for the 2007 National Book Award, and Talking about Movies with Jesus, winner of the 2011 L. E. Phillabaum Poetry Prize. The Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor of English at Florida State University, he is a recipient of National Endowment of the Arts and Guggenheim fellowships, among other honors.

“The world that Kirby takes into his imagination and the one that arises from it merge to become a creation like no other, something like the world we inhabit but funnier and more full of wonder and terror.”—Philip Levine

“[Kirby] is a poet who peels away the layers of our skin to show us who we are: our weaknesses, our strengths, and our hilarious obsessions.”—Micah Zevin, New Pages

August 2013

64 pages 6 x 9

Cloth 978-0-8071-5106-8, $50.00

Paper 978-0-8071-5107-5, $16.95