Poets Laureate, award-winning authors scheduled for ALA Annual Conference

Contact: Mary Davis Fournier
Program Director


For Immediate Release
May 2, 2006

Poets Laureate, award-winning authors scheduled for ALA Annual Conference

Gail Godwin, William Henry Lewis, Brenda Marie Osbey, Robert Pinsky, Susan Straight and others read from their works on the LIVE! @ your library Reading Stage

CHICAGO - The American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office will present three Poets Laureate and many award-winning, best-selling authors on the 12th annual LIVE! @ your library Reading Stage at the upcoming ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans, June 22-28.

Authors and poets from across the country will read from their works at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center on Saturday, June 24 and Sunday June 25, from noon to 4 p.m.
This year's LIVE! @ your library Reading Stage features readings by writers who represent the best in current contemporary literature and poetry.
The LIVE! Stage will be located in aisle 200 of the conference center.

The Public Programs Office is delighted to announce readings by three Poets Laureate on the LIVE! Stage during the 2006 Annual Conference.
On Saturday, June 24,
Brenda Marie Osbey, Poet Laureate of Louisiana ("All Saints: New and Collected Poems," LSU Press, 1997), will read from her work at 1:30 p.m.; Poet Laureate of Wyoming,
David Romtvedt ("Some Church," Milkweed Editions, 2005), will take the stage at 3 p.m. on Saturday.

Other authors appearing on the LIVE! Stage on Saturday, June 24, are
Susan Straight, best-selling author of several novels, including "A Million Nightingales" (Pantheon, 2006), at noon;
Tom Piazza, award-winning author of both fiction and nonfiction, including "Why New Orleans Matters" (Regan Books, 2005) at 12:30 p.m.;
Lyn Miller-Lachman, author of the eco-thriller "Dirt Cheap" (Curbstone, 2006) as well as multiple reference books and textbooks, at 1 p.m.;
Mary Gaitskill, author of the recent novel "Veronica" (Pantheon, 2005) and the short story "Secretary," which was the basis for the film of the same name, at 2 p.m.; Bapsi Sidhwa, author of four novels including "Water" (Milkweed Editions, 2006), at 2:30 p.m; and
Dayne Sherman, reference librarian and author of "Welcome to the Fallen Paradise," named Best Crime Novel Debut of the Year by Booklist in 2005 (MacAdam/Cage), at 3:30 p.m.

On Sunday, June 25, two-time United States Poet Laureate
Robert Pinsky ("The Life of David," Schocken, 2005) will kick off Sunday's stage readings at noon.
Other authors will read from their works on June 25, including
Gail Godwin, three-time National Book Award nominee and best-selling author of 12 critically acclaimed novels including "Queen of the Underworld" (Random House, 2006), at 12:30 p.m.;
Gregory Galloway, author of the Alex Award-winning "As Simple as Snow" (Putnam Adult, 2006), at 1 p.m.;
Amanda Boyden, author of the debut novel "Pretty Little Dirty" (Vintage, 2006), at 1:30 p.m.;
Lee Merrill Byrd, author of bilingual children's books as well as several novels, including "Riley's Fire" (Algonquin, 2006), at 2 p.m.;
Bob Greene, journalist and New York Times best-selling author ("And You Know You Should Be Glad," William Morrow, 2006), at 2:30 p.m.;
Abha Dawesar, author and winner of the 2006 ALA's Barbara Gittings Book Award in Literature for her novel "Babyji" (Nan A. Talese, 2006), at 3 p.m.; and
William Henry Lewis, BCALA Fiction Honor Book winner and author of the recent collection "I Got Somebody in Staunton: Stories" (HarperCollins, 2005), at 3:30 p.m.

Admission to the readings on the LIVE! @ your library Reading Stage is free for all conference attendees.
Authors will autograph copies of their books following each reading. For additional information about conference programs sponsored by the Public Programs Office, please visit

The ALA Public Programs Office presents the LIVE! @ your library Reading Stage.
The ALA Public Programs Office has a 15-year track record of developing library programming initiatives, including LIVE! @ your library, the acclaimed reading and discussion series Let's Talk About It!, film discussion programs on humanities themes, traveling exhibitions, and other programs. It recently established the Cultural Communities Fund, an endowment fund created to help all types of libraries across the country bring communities together through cultural programming (
More than 8,000 libraries and at least 10 million individuals have participated in library programming initiatives supported by the Public Programs Office.