It won't totally be the usual reading this evening at Casa Azul Gifts, as the Festival of Words Cultural Arts Collective hosts an oral history presentation with Grand Coteau native Joseph “Bay” Brooks.

It will be followed by a reading from a memoir by New Orleans author Constance Adler, and it all begins at 7 p.m.

Brooks owned his own auto repair garage in town for 35 years. He will share stories of friends, family and living in Grand Coteau.

"He's welcome to talk about anything he wants to, but we hope he'll talk a little bit about his childhood,' says Patrice Melnick, executive director of Festival of Words. "It would give people a sense of what this area was like years ago."

The session will be filmed and Melnick says Brooks will be seated at a microphone in the front of the room.

 

"Usually, I'm might ask a question, people from the audience can ask questions if they want to," she says, adding, "we don't actually know what direction it will take."

 

Melnick says the idea behind the oral history nights is to document Grand Coteau's history through its residents.

In addition, for the first time UL Lafayette's Center for Louisiana Studies will film the session with Brooks.

"They took an interest in it because not enough stories are being recorded," she says.

After Brooks, Adler will read from her memoir. She teaches a creative writing workshop and writes a blog, Emily Every Day. Her writing has appeared in Spy Magazine, Utne Reader, Self, Cable Guide, Baltimore Magazine, Philadelphia Magazine, Oxford American, and Gambit, New Orleans’s alternative newsweekly. Constance Adler’s first book My Bayou, is a memoir that takes place in New Orleans.

 Go here for more information.



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