Dixon Hearne is the author of several recent books, including Delta Flats: Stories in the Key of Blues and Hope (nominated for the PEN/Faulkner award); From Tickfaw to Shongaloo; and Plantatia: High-toned and Lowdown Stories of the South, which was nominated for the PEN/Hemingway award and won the Creative Spirit Award for best general fiction book. His work has been twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize and appears in magazines Oxford American, Louisiana Literature, and elsewhere.
11 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.
State Library of Louisiana, Capitol View Room
Louisiana Poets, Part I
Noon to 12:45 p.m.
Barnes & Noble Bookselling Tent
1:15 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
State Capitol, Senate Committee Room A
Celebrating Short Stories
2:45 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Barnes & Noble Bookselling Tent
Delta Flats: Stories in the Key of Blues and Hope
From the piney hills of northern Louisiana to the raw and decadent streets of New Orleans, Delta Flats: Stories in the Key of Blues and Hope records the daily lives of its characters with a poetic rhythm that evokes the ebb and flow of life itself. Dixon Hearne is a master at capturing the blue reality of life, moments both large and small that define the hot days and long nights of the deep south. With language as gritty as the blues and as beautiful as a gospel choir, he juxtaposes the downtrodden with the hopeful and the darkness with the light and plays out each story with deft, lyrical descriptions that make the reader want to laugh and sing with joy.
Plainspeak: New & Selected Poems
For many years, I have regarded the literary voice of Dixon Hearne as one of the most distinguished voices of the American South. After reading Plainspeak: New and Selected Poems, however, I quickly realized that his poetic voice is equally effective in capturing the very essence of the American West: its native peoples, flora, fauna, and starkly beautiful landscapes. In this remarkable collection of poetry, Hearne writes of the Apache, Crow, Lakota, Anasazi, Caddo, and the "crying voices" of the Choctaw on the Trail of Tears. He writes of the wind whispering through the skulls of countless buffalo slaughtered almost to extinction. If the vast landscapes of the West could speak, they would do so in a spare, highly skilled, and powerfully evocative voice like Hearne's. — Larry D. Thomas, 2008 Texas Poet Laureate, author of The Circus
It’s truly rare to find a poet equally adept at illuminating both physical and emotional topographies. Poem after poem, Dixon Hearne’s Plainsong: New and Selected Poems unearths truths of human life and of American landscape in a journey from lush Appalachia, through the wetlands of Louisiana, and into the native life of the American west. His lines pop with the rattle of a snake’s tail and flow like tufted clouds across blue skies. Whether describing a bighorn clash or the sadness of a lonely rainfall, Hearne’s is an art driven by passion, clarity, and respect for what makes us human. — Jack B. Bedell, author of Elliptic and Bone-Hollow, True: New & Selected Poems
Plainspeak is vintage Dixon Hearne. He is a landscape painter whose palate is poetry and his subject is Mother Earth from her swamplands and bayous and the majestic Mississippi to the canyons and deserts of her west. His poems reverence the Earth's "ancient seedlings" and the heavens above in their "pastel tiers" but they also explore the "tableau of seasons" where we see how change--natural and human--has influenced her and us along with it. Among the "chards of history" that Hearne uncovers are elegiac reminders of disappearing tribes and roads, deer on "mocassined feet," and skeletal "livestock gaunt and hollow." But above and through it all, Hearne assures us there are places still "haunted with beauty." Emerson and Whitman both would enjoy Hearne's paintings. — Philip C. Kolin, Univ. Distinguished Prof. (Emeritus), University of Southern Mississippi
Dixon Hearne can gaze at a barren southern or southwestern landscape and sense the presence of those who lived there in the past, human and animal spirits alike. In these life-affirming poems, he reminds us of our sacred duty to be "keepers of Mother Earth," not despoilers of it. — Julie Kane, Louisiana Poet Laureate 2011-2013, author of Paper Bullets
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