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National Organizations Choose 18th Annual Louisiana Book Festival as Setting for Significant Anniversary Celebrations

The Louisiana Book Festival is honored to have been selected for the tenth anniversary celebrations of two esteemed organizations, Narrative 4 and the National Student Poets Program, on Saturday, October 29, in Baton Rouge.

“It is a privilege to welcome these two organizations to the Louisiana Book Festival to help them celebrate their tenth anniversaries. It truly is a testament to the reputation of quality and excellence the Louisiana Book Festival has built on a national level throughout its existence,” said Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser.

Narrative 4’s co-founder, Colum McCann, winner of the National Book Award for Let the Great World Spin, joins members of N4’s Artists Network for the global launch of N4’s yearlong celebration of its first decade. The program will include a tribute to Louisiana founding member Darrell Bourque, twice the Louisiana Poet Laureate.

The goal of Narrative 4 is to build empathy and community through the power of shared storytelling, enabling young people to learn and lead with curiosity, deep listening, and imagination.

Felice Belle (Viscera, forthcoming), N4 Director of Marketing and Communications, will moderate a program title “We Are The Stories We Tell” featuring Colum McCann (Aperiogon), N4 Artists Network Director and author Ru Freman (Sleeping Alone), Dolen Perkins-Valsez (Take My Hand), and Louisiana members Maurice Carlos Ruffin (The Ones Who Don’t Say They Love You), and Darrell Bourque (migraré)

The program will also include photographer and journalist Elliott Woods, host of Third Squad: After Afghanistan, winner of a 2022 National Edward R. Murrow Award. Louisiana poet Dean Thomas Ellis (Far Flung), an N4 Artist, will be appearing at the festival on a poetry panel hosted by Louisiana Poet Laureate Mona Lisa Saloy, as will Belle; and N4 cofounder Lisa Consiglio will also be in attendance. Other panel participants will be appearing at additional programs discussing their recent work.

The Louisiana Book Festival was also chosen to host the National Student Poets Program (NSPP) celebrating ten years of youth poetry and service. All of the Class of 2022 youth poets chosen to represent the five national geographical regions are gathering at the festival for the first time since their appointment ceremony with First Lady Jill Biden in Washington, D.C., last month. This is the only event at which the cohort of five student poets will appear together during the fall.

The 2022 National Student Poets are Jesse Begay (Southwest), Sante Fe, NM; Winslow Hastie, Jr. (Southeast), North Charleston, SC; Vidhatrie Keetha (Northeast) Bronx, NY; Emily Igwike (Midwest), Milwaukee, WI; and Diane Sun (West), Bellevue, WA. Joining them will be Hannah Jones, National Student Poets Program Manager, Alliance for Young Artists & Writers/Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, and Dennis Nangle, Senior Program Officer, Grants to States, representing the Institute of Museum and Library Services, which provide funding support for NSPP.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers are partnering together to present the National Student Poets Program, the country’s highest honor for youth poets presenting original work. Five outstanding high school poets, whose work exhibits exceptional creativity, dedication to craft, and promise, are selected annually for a year of service as national poetry ambassadors. The Program believes in the power of youth voices to create and sustain meaningful change, and supports them in being heard.

The Louisiana Center for the Book, established in the State Library of Louisiana in 1994 for the purpose of stimulating public interest in reading, books, literacy, and libraries and celebrating Louisiana’s rich literary heritage, is the state affiliate of the Library of Congress Center for the Book.

More information is available at Information about these participants and their appearance times and locations, as well as information about all the other authors and participants to be featured at this year’s festival on Saturday, October 29.