Abbeville Library to Hold RELIC Program – “Encounter In Louisiana: Conflict and Confluence in Literary Currents”


The Head Quarters of the Vermilion Parish Library at 405 East Saint Victor Street in Abbeville will host a six-week series of readings and discussions about the Louisiana literature as a setting for encounter among social and ethnic groups as well as others. The program is entitled “Encounter in Louisiana: Conflict and Confluence in Literary Currents” and it is funded by the Vermilion Parish Library and the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities.

The program is free and open to the public and will be held on Mondays from 6:00 to 8:00 p. m., beginning on February 18 and concluding on March 25 for a total of six sessions. Those interested in attending are encouraged to register in advance at the library. For more information contact Sue Trahan at 337-893-2674.

“Encounter in Louisiana” will be conducted by Dr. Lisa Graley of Louisiana University-Lafayette. The program will use four critically acclaimed novels to acquaint participants with works that illuminate or utilize the experience of encounter among the diverse groups who have inhabited Louisiana for over the generations. Texts to be used are: The Keepers of the House, by Shirley Ann Grau, A Lesson Before Dying, by Ernest Gaines, A Confederacy of Dunces, by John Kennedy Toole, and Tim Gautreaux’s The Clearing.

The sessions are entitled: 1) Situating Ourselves in Louisiana’s Multicultural Heritage; 2) Encounters with the Self; 3) Encounter with the Past; 4) Encountering Change; 5) Encounters with a Comedic Hero; 6) A Romp through New Orleans.

“Given the severity of the cuts in State funding to the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, communities that value and rely on programming such as RELIC face two choices: either doing without, or securing local funding from library budgets, friends groups, civic minded individuals or the business sector to maintain the annual momentum in humanities programs,” observed James Segreto, Director of RELIC Library Programs for the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities. He added, “’Encounter in Louisiana’ affords participants the opportunity to explore Louisiana’s purported role as a gumbo of sorts for diverse people and backgrounds. There exists a vast field of literature by the state’s writers that uses settings, plots and characters to explore how diverse sets of people encounter each other in Louisiana. “

Pre-registration is strongly encouraged because of the limited number of books and expected public response.