[Nonney Oddlokken]

Louisiana Book Festival 2022

09:00 September 15, 2022
By: Steven Foley


On Saturday, October 29 the Louisiana Book Festival returns! This year's festival schedule features a multitude of options for festival guests to enjoy. "The Louisiana Book Festival has been recognized as one of the top literary festivals in the world, and this year will be no different," says Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser.

The 23rd annual Louisiana Writer Award Ceremony will be the start of this year's Louisiana Book Festival. The festival will be celebrating the 75th anniversary of Tennessee Williams' iconic play, "A Streetcar Named Desire." Dr. Gary Richards will be facilitating a session discussing Williams' work. Louisiana Writes contestants will participate in an awards ceremony where student writers are recognized for their entries, a partnership of the Louisiana Center. The WordShops this year will be facilitated by author instructors: Gerard Collins, Emily Nemens, Jericho Brown, and Robert Olen Butler. Saturday, October 29, 2022, the Louisiana Book Festival resumes, in its 18th year. The Louisiana Book Festival is FREE and will be located at the Louisiana State Capitol, State Library of Louisiana, Capitol Park Museum, Capitol Park Event Center, and other surrounding areas. Lastly, various cooking demonstrations will be held along with exhibitor and sponsor booths and tables. Cavalier House Books will have featured books for signings, and for purchase.


Every year the Louisiana Book Festival selects a Louisiana artist to commission the artwork for the fest. Artist Nonney Oddlokken from St. Rose in St. Charles Parish to create her own magic for the festival via her artwork, "Magic In The Bayou Atheneum."

Oddlokken's art is a unique amalgam of stitched thread on paper. "The backgrounds are handmade, stitched paper substrates with stitched imagery and collage elements, then embellished with yards of hand stitched gold thread - the symbol of the life line that ties us all together. The encircled eyes symbolize the enchanted creatures and people that live among us," said Oddlokken. She explained that she uses fables and features native flora and fauna, physical elements, and folk characters such as Feu Follet, Loup Garou, and Voodoo queens.

In this year's featured piece, "the Alligator Queen stands atop a stack of books in the iris-filled bayou with two white alligators, the 'unicorns of the swamps'...She holds open a book that contains all the magic, beauty, knowledge, and dreams that literacy and books can bring into our lives, which the white egrets, black chin hummingbird, and blue heron represent. The cycle of cotton represents life itself."

Oddlokken explains that her art was inspired by her "aunt's daily magical creations, such as baby birds leaving Juicy Fruit gum at the windowsill and a child named Toots who lived in the huge pear tree just outside our screen door."

"Life was filled with magic and wonder. It is with a mixture of my own childhood memories, Catholic references, Cajun folklore, and a sprinkle of New Orleans Voodoo that I've created my series Tiny, Little Fables." And just like the featured artist for this year's Louisiana Book Festival, so too will the festival be filled with magic and wonder for readers and authors of all ages.

For more information, see www.LouisianaBookFestival.org.

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