Reading from ‘Waterlines’ presented

Tiffany Nesbit

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“Waterlines” author Alison Pelegrin read from the book at HRAC, which was published with the LSU Press. The book centers around Pelegrin’s experiences with local culture and nature, written in the form of poetry.

“Waterlines” author Alison Pelegrin read from the book at HRAC, which was published with the LSU Press. The book centers around Pelegrin’s experiences with local culture and nature, written in the form of poetry.
Tiffany Nesbit/The Lion's Roar

The Hammond community is continuously finding outlets for local artists and authors to share their work with others. Galleries, such as the Hammond Regional Arts Center, is one of the venues that provides a free space for lectures and readings to the public.

On Oct. 18 at 5 p.m., HRAC hosted an hour-long book reading and signing given by Louisiana author, poet and associate professor of the English Department Alison Pelegrin. Pelegrin read from her newest book, entitled “Waterlines: Poems.” Much of her work is very much inspired by being from Louisiana, going through the terrors of Hurricane Katrina and learning how to survive the grief. 

“Waterlines” consists of poems about her experience of spiritual depth in nature and in humanity. Pelegrin shared with the audience some of her poems such as “Birds of ‘Merica,” “Hot Sauce Shrine,” “Blue Balls,” “The Healing Waters of Abita Springs” and  “Communion with the Rebel Flag.”  

In addition to her book “Waterlines,” Pelegrin previously wrote several other published writings such as “Big Muddy River of Stars” and “Hurricane Party.” She also read poems from her Origami Series, “Poem Folded into a Boat” and “Offered to the Bogue Falaya.”

Pelegrin mentioned that she considers some of her poems to be prayer-like and very much based on her life experience. 

“I consider my poems to be ‘my witness’ of events in my life,” said Pelegrin. 

The audience was very pleased to meet and greet with one of their favorite authors. While reading, Pelegrin was able to give her stories a living personality.

“I thought the reading was super fun and that Alison is absolutely amazing,” said Aimee Barrios, an English instructor. “I loved how playfully she read the poems and interacted with the audience. It was great hearing the writings in person by the author. It brought them even more so to life. I hope to read more from Alison very soon and attend more readings. I am very excited for her and her accomplishments.”

The curators of the event were happy with the turnout and wish to continue to find other great local artists and authors to share with the community.

“There was a very positive response from the audience here,” said Tara Bennett, Media Coordinator of HRAC. “Because of our mission, bringing focus through all the arts, we are always open and welcoming to all of our local authors and poets to share their work and look forward to hosting more events like this. We are very happy to give Alison a place to share her hard earned accomplishments and hope to see her again with her next publishings.”

Pelegrin’s upcoming book reading will be held on campus in the University Bookstore on Nov. 15 at 2 p.m. She will be reading more from her new book, answering questions that the audience may have and signing copies of her books.

 

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