LSUA and the College of Liberal Arts are celebrating National Poetry Month by hosting a website called “Verbatim” that promotes writers from Central Louisiana.
Every two days, the site will feature a local writer’s poetry, bio, and photo (if available).
All printed material and photographs on the website are subject to copyright and may not be used without the permission of the writer.
Anyone interested in submitting poems should email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
An Alexandria native, Jerry Honigman moved to Los Angeles in 1977 to pursue a career in music. He formed the band, The Romeos, and by 1979 had secured a recording contract with CBS/Columbia Records. After years of writing and recording, Honigman returned
to Louisiana and earned a law degree in his early forties. A recovering attorney, he continues to write and has had many songs placed in television shows and movies. He is now doing freelance content writing and is currently working on a compilation
of stories about his days in California.
Regarding this particular piece, Honigman says he was living in North Hollywood in ’78 and working on the material for the Romeos’ first album and keeping up with the goings-on back home through the entertainment section of the Advocate and the cultural paper, “Gris Gris.” As he explains, “Everything was Louisiana-centric, bordering on Louisiana cliché. So, one day, I took all the images associated with our wonderful state and sorta turned them on their heads.”
In addition to creating poetry, Alecia Lewis has worked her magic on stage, behind the scenes, and front of house for various local theater groups. She also serves as a board member and front of house coordinator for City Park Players front of house coordinator and is a board member. She is the production administrator for Safety Management International.
Thomas S. Smith, Sr., Ph. D., an independent K-16 educator, grant writer, tutor, and author, retired from a 33-year career in the Avoyelles Parish Public Schools in central Louisiana and 7 years as full-time faculty at Baker College of Auburn Hills (MI). He was a high school teacher of English and social studies; assistant principal at Hessmer High, Riverside Elementary, and Bunkie High; principal at Lafargue High and Bunkie Middle; and district office English/Social Studies Resource Teacher/Grants Coordinator. He served as an adjunct for Northwestern State University, LSU at Alexandria, Central Texas College, Baker College of Clinton Township (MI), MaComb Community College (MI), University of Phoenix (MI), Madonna University (MI), and Baker College of Auburn Hills (MI). Smith holds a BA in Social Studies/English Education from the University of Louisiana at Monroe, a MEd in School Administration from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, a MA in American History from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, and a PhD in education curriculum and instruction from the University of New Orleans. He has presented at Louisiana education state conferences, Michigan education state conferences, regional education conferences. and national education conferences. Smith has self-published eight books—the JUST A PIECE OF RED STRING historical (Civil War) fiction seven-novel series and THE O’SUILLEABHAIN MANUSCRIPTS, a collection of many genres (including poetry). He has two works on Amazon’s Kindle Vella—COSMIC VISITANTS, a novel about space visitors, and THE PARAPROSDOKIAN SHOP, a Lovecraftian and Serling-ish related story collection still in progress.
Chester Mealer has lived in central
Louisiana for over thirty years, originally from California.
Shelley Jinks Johnson is a poet, entrepreneur, and performer from Alexandria, LA. A 2022 Bread Loaf Writer's Conference contributor, her background is in business start-ups and brand building while juggling various creative pursuits. Her work grapples with themes of death, acceptance, self-discovery, and how to find meaning in life after loss. She has discovered that living a life of creativity is the best way of building a life of value rooted in joy and gratitude.
Alexandria, Louisiana native Muse Watson is an established stage actor and veteran screen performer with a host of widely varying characters to his name, ranging from the hook-wielding killer in "I Know What You Did Last Summer" (1997), to the gentle, cat-loving con in the Fox television suspense drama "Prison Break" (2005). From the good ole boy, Hank, in the Julia Roberts drama "Something to Talk About" to the quick to shoot mentor Mike Franks in "NCIS". Fifty five movies and over fifty five episodes of TV and Muse is going strong. His theater credits include Hamlet in "Hamlet", Stanley in "A Streetcar Named Desire", Pale in "Burn This", Cervantes in "Man of La Mancha", and directing "Ain't MisBehavin". Muse also gave an unforgettable performance with Jennifer Love Hewitt as a special guest on Saturday Night Live. Muse and his wife and daughter now divide their time between their home in Berea, Ky. and their "hide-out" in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains.
James Harmon Clinton is the pen name for an elusive public policy wonk practicing a medieval dark art he refers to as "economic development." His poetry is similarly shady despite weak links in the publishing industry allowing his work to slip through sub-surface cracks and into what might be called "print" (or not). He is the father of four sons (not seven as has been rumored in song), a four-time grandfather, and the spouse of a red-headed woman who knows how to get a dirty job done. Touch him for good luck.
A native of Kansas City, KS, Beverly Easterling is a lyricist and poet living in Alexandria, LA with husband, Gray Easterling. Her collaborations with composers Robert J. Powell, Mark Schweizer, Arlen Clarke are favorites at St. James Music Press. Her work is published in Voices Found, the hymnal for Women’s Ministry in the Episcopal Church.
David Atwood is a native New Orleanian, poet, and voice actor living in Alexandria, LA with his wife, writer Christee Gabour Atwood. He earned a Bachelor of Architecture degree from LSU and has worked in radio in Baton Rouge, Atlanta and currently in Alexandria. His first chapbook of poetry “Find Your Way Home” was released in 2010, his second, “Catfish Bones and Cajun Ghosts,” in 2016 and “Instamatic” in 2022. Atwood has also been published in The Louisiana Review, The Raven Review, Delta Poetry Review, Louisiana Literature, The Aquila Review, Belle Journal, Verbatim, MockingHeart Review, and The Stillwater Review.
Mary F. Striegel is a retired art conservation scientist from the National Park Service. Since the age of seven, Mary has written and performed poetry. She was part of the Los Angeles Poetry Ensemble from 1989 to 1995 with Ann Braeff, Ellyn Maybe, Gwynne Garfinkle, and Christa Polkinhorn.
Carolyn Breedlove edited and annotated A Glorious Day: The Journal of a Central Louisiana Governess, 1853-1854. Her poems have appeared in Comstock Review, Wisconsin Review, New Millennium Writings, and Maple Leaf Rag, among others. Finishing Line Press published a chapbook of her poems, Just Following the River. The critic and author David Ulin selected an excerpt from her unpublished novel set in 1970s Los Angeles as “Best in Show: Literary,” in the Shreveport Regional Arts Council’s 2019 Critical Mass competition.