Book signing at LA State Museum on July 7 | Arts & Culture
Eight northwest Louisiana authors will sign copies of their books at the Remember in Shreveport-Bossier When exhibit at the Louisiana State Museum, 3015 Greenwood Rd. The signing is on Saturday, July 7 from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. The exhibit runs until July 28. The phone number is 632-2020 or you can visit www.sos.la.gov/lsem.
Listed below are the biographies of the authors. The are, from top to bottom, left to right: Dorie LaRue, Frances Conley, Sarah Hudson Pierce, Gypsy Damarus Boston, Maxie Billingsly Garrett, whose biography was written by Linda Knox, Love of Home, by Liz Chrysler, and Chance, a novel by Shelley Wise.
Dorie LaRue was educated at Louisiana Tech University, and the University of Southwestern Louisiana, where, in 1986, she obtained her Ph.D. in Creative Writing and American literature while studying with Ernest J. Gaines. She has taught world literature and composition at Grambling State University; and creative writing, advanced composition, and American Literature at LSU in Baton Rouge.
At present she teaches creative writing and composition at LSU in Shreveport. Dorie LaRue has attended the Breadloaf Writers' Conference (1992) where she studied with Linda Pastan and Camille Hykes, and in August, 1993, she attended the Squaw Valley Community of Writers' Conference, where she studied with Ed Barber, Mark Childress, and Al Young. She has published short stories, poetry, book reviews, interviews, and scholarly articles in such journals as the Southern Review, the American Poetry Review, the Massachusetts Review, the Kentucky Poetry Review, the Maryland Poetry Review, the Southern Quarterly, Manoa, the Chattahouchee Review, and others.
She has two books of poetry in print: The Private Frenzy, published by the University of Nebraska Press in 1992, and Seeking The Monsters, published by the New Spirit Press, Kew Gardens, N.Y. in 1993. Dorie LaRue is a recipient of four grants from the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities. She was the poetry editor of the Quarterly Journal of Ideology for three years, and in 2001 published her first novel, Resurrecting Virgil, which won the Omaha Prize for Fiction. In 1993 and 1999, she was awarded the Outstanding Faculty Member in Teaching Award.
She has also been awarded two Shreveport Regional Art Council Fellowships, an LEH teaching institute in autobiography, and a Louisiana Division of the Arts fellowship for poems from her unpublished poetry manuscripts entitled, Nearest of Kin, and Seeing in the Dark.
HOME TO HOLLY GROVE: CHERISHING OUR RICH HERITAGE is a fascinating book which describes in rich detail the history of Holly Grove, one of the oldest surviving Black-oriented, post-slavery Baptist churches in northeast Louisiana between the Mississippi and the Ouachita rivers.
Author Dr. Frances Swayzer Conley began researching and writing this volume as part of the inaugural Swayzer Family Reunion. The work captures the emphasis that Conley’s family has consistently placed on intergenerational learning, beginning with Eldridge King David Swayzer, the ex-slave founder of Holly Grove Colored Baptist Church. Home to Holly Grove encompasses over a decade of extensive study and collaboration. It strikes an ancestral chord that cresendos and compels Holly Grove natives and descendants to thank God for their heritage.
An educator, consultant, and orator, Dr. Conley has taught in several North Louisiana high schools, such courses as English, ACT preparation, Advanced Placement classes, speech and African American and American studies. Most recently, Dr. Conley has accepted an appointment to the Liberal Arts Division at Bossier Parish Community College. She has also written SO WHAT IF AMY CAN’T HEAR — a multicultural children’s book — and the memoir PREZ LIVES! REMEMBERING GRAMBLING’S RALPH WALDO EMERSON JONES.
TURLEY CHILDREN’S HOME STORIES, written by Sarah Hudson Pierce, is a collection of first-person, never-before told accounts from many of the residents as they recall the sometimes harsh and brutal lives they endured living behind its walls.
This 102-page book will tell the stories that have never been told before by the residents of this orphanage. The book reflects on the physical, emotional and sexual abuse that went on at the church-run orphanage, abuse seldom reported because, instinctively, the young victims knew they would be the ones punished rather than the offenders.
Written by Sarah Hudson Pierce
I have been blest to have a few really good friends in my lifetime!
Gypsy Damaris Boston is one of my best!
I got to know Gypsy back in 1987 when I received a note from her after she read some of my writing.
Gypsy has quite a legacy and I want to write a tribute for her because she has touched my life in so many ways.
I must let you know that she broke her hip on March 6, 2012, at the age of ninety-two, while raking her leaves in her front yard in Ida, La. Now Gypsy has had the same surgery that her mom did after a fall while raking leaves at Gypsy's home in Shreveport at the age of one hundred six. Her mother lived with Gypsy until she was one hundred and ten.
Now isn't that a coincidence or what? Maybe it tells us something about genetics!
I love Gypsy! Who wouldn't?
She is a great story teller and author of children's books, one of which was recently translated into Chinese.
She is of course a prolific writer but she got a good start. She now lives in Ida, La. where she grew up. The house where she now lives in was once the old Ida school house. In fact her dining room used to be the classroom for third graders at one end of the room and fourth graders at the other end. On the first day of school she sat by accident in the fourth grade end instead of the third grade end where she belonged. By the time the mistake was caught she was doing so well that she was left in that class to go on to graduate from high school at the age of fifteen!
She doesn't put on airs either! Gypsy is herself.
There's so much to tell!
I want to include everything I can!
She is a survivor!!!
She is an encourager!!
She loves watching others succeed almost as much as herself!
Her children say that she was always telling them stories as children that had a moral. This is the kind of teaching where children learn without realizing they are being taught.
Her son, Frank, writes stories for publication much like his mom.
Gypsy's mother, Hermoine Gypsy Bell Petty, was also a well known artist in the Shreveport area and a gifted piano teacher.
The story does not stop here!
Her legend dates back to Gypsy's fifth removed great grandmother, Mary Draper Ingles, who was captured by the Indians in July, 1755, by a band of Shawnee warriors who raided Draper's Meadow, a pioneer settlement near modern day Blacksburg, Virginia.
Mary saw her own mother killed. Her two young sons were taken away from her and she was taken far into the uncharted American wilderness to a place west of modern day Cincinnati, Ohio.
She eventually escaped with another woman known as the "Dutch Woman." Because she couldn't swim, she had to follow the rivers traveling about 500-600 miles to get back home. It took her about 50 days to get home. When the neighbors found her crawling on the ground they hardly recognized her and picked her up and carried her home where she was reunited with her husband. Note: After 15 years of searching one of her boys was found and brought back from the Indians. She gave birth to five more children. She seldom left the cabin during the rest of her life.
There was also a television movie titled Follow The River that was filmed of her life back in 1994 and I was awed by the character who played Mary! She said so many of the things I've heard Gypsy say like "it's just too pretty a day not to be happy! "
Gypsy has told me this story so many times I almost know it by heart!
Family stories need to be repeated as part of the family legacy or the legends will be lost. Gypsy has been good for me!
Linda Knox, a first time author, paints a telling prose around rare photographs, retelling the fascinating adventures in the life of Maxie Billingsly Garrett — a Delta Kappa Gamma sister, local mentor and an avid adventurer.
The narrative begins, quite naturally, with her humble childhood as an only child, then leads readers through her youth and to the present.
Knox, a native of Emerson, Arkansas, now resides in Haynesville, Louisiana, with her husband Larry. They have one daughter, Shea Kinkade, and two grandchildren, Kassie and Seth.
Linda is a retired school teacher but is still involved in education as a tutor and a school board member.
I Will If You Will, Saith The Lord was written by former Bossier City Mayor George Dement. Featuring an introduction by Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards, the book also contains many previously unseen photographs and untold stories from Dement’s unique storytelling perspective.
This important treasure, which reveals many unique tales of Dement’s interesting childhood and early adulthood.
LOVE OF HOME, written by Liz Chrysler latest publication, is a follow up of Lost Legacy: Weaving an American Tapestry of Conflicting Cultures.
The story of LOVE OF HOME is set near the Rock Chapel at Carmel, a location popular among locals to say their wedding vows. The chief character is developed around the life of Luvenia DeSoto, daughter of Marcel DeSoto II, who was raised at Carmel.
LOVE OF HOME follows the journey of a farmer’s daughter into the life of the oil field, moving with her oil drilling husband each time a rig was brought in and new location was dictated by the company for which he worked.
Luvenia is a direct descendant of Louis Juchereau de St. Denis, who established Natchitoches, the beginning of Louisiana territory. The son of his youngest daughter and her Spanish husband, Manuel DeSoto, brought the first families into the wildwoods of what is now DeSoto Parish. Her mother, Ora Vascoque DeSoto, was a direct descendant of J. P. Lafitte, one of those earliest settlers. Liz is the daughter of Luvenia DeSoto McLemore, and is now proud of the life that established her family in the transient life of the oil field. She will be glad to answer any questions you may have, for she researched the beginning of DeSoto Parish for almost 20 years before writing Lost Legacy.
CHANCE, written by Stacy Wise, is the story of Chance Gaitsway, perhaps the nicest multi-millionaire you will ever meet.
The story begins with Chance racing down the highway on his way to the opening of his new store. He is rich,
successful and powerful and without a care in the world. But an unexpected detour brings him even closer to the heartland of America and the people who keep him wealthy. Soon, through the kindness of those people now struggling in a battered economy, Chance will get the opportunity so few men in his position dare to take — to live among middle America. In doing so, he discovers more about himself than he realized was possible.
“Shelley brings with him a unique narritive that is exciting to read,” said publisher Sarah Hudson Pierce. “His story reflects the common goodness found in small-town America. This is a worthy debut novel.”
Shelley Wise was born in 1951 in Springhill, LA. He attended school in Plain Dealing and is a graduate of LA Tech. He currently works in the oil industry in Kansas as a consultant and is home about one week a month. Wise says he is already planning his followup novel.