Jim Davis, director at The Louisiana Center for the Book and Louisiana Book Festival, recently announced the book and author to represent Louisiana in an annual state literary exhibit in Washington D.C. will be Margaret Simon, a teacher from Caneview Elementary. Her new book, “Bayou Song,” will be featured in a national book festival brochure at the national convention in September.
“Each year at the National Book Festival Pavilion of States a brochure is distributed with a list of books for young readers representing the affiliates of the Library of Congress Center for the Book,” Davis said. “Great reads, and great news — this year the book listed for Louisiana will be ‘Bayou Song: Creative Explorations of the South Louisiana Landscape,’ by Margaret Simon.”
The brochure distributed at the book festival has a map of the United States and children go around to get a stamp or sticker — and other fun giveaways — for visiting that state’s table. Louisiana has traditionally been a well visited table because of giveaways like Mardi Gras beads. On the back of the brochure is a list of “52 Great Reads” by authors from each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Simon’s book will be the Louisiana choice.
“My goal (in writing ‘Bayou Song’) is educational. I’d like to have workshops with kids and have one already scheduled,” Simon said.
The interactive book featuring non-fiction text and poetry by Simon was illustrationed by Acadiana artist Anna Cantrell with photography by Henry Cancienne. The youth writer’s workshop will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. July 18 at Paul Schexnayder’s Studio+Gallery, 335 W. St. Peter St. in New Iberia. The cost is $25 which includes the book, or if a students already has a “Bayou Song,” they can come for $5.
Cantrell’s illustrations were first introduced to Simon through A&E Gallery, recently renamed Paul Schexnayder’s Studio+Gallery. She will have an art exhibit during Simon’s signing 3 to 5 p.m. July 15.
Simon started writing poetry as a teenager and now considers it her primary genre.
The book is taking a virtual “blog tour” thanks to other poets in her online blog group. Learn more at Reflectionsontheteche.wordpress.com.