Jeffery Renard Allen, winner of the 2010 Ernest J Gaines Award for Literary Excellence, will give a reading at the University of Louisiana. The event, presented by the university’s Ernest J. Gaines Center, will take place Monday, January 25, at 1:00 pm, in the Louisiana Room of the Edith Garland Dupré Library.

Jeffery Renard Allen, University of Louisiana, 2010 Ernest J Gains Award for Literary Excellence WinnerThe Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence is sponsored by the Baton Rouge Area Foundation and offers $10,000 to the winner. It is designed to inspire and recognize African-American writers of excellence as they work to achieve the literary heights for which Ernest J. Gaines is known. Allen was selected for Holding Pattern, a recent story collection. Among his other works are Rails Under My Back, a novel, and two collections of poetry, Stellar Places and Harbors and Spirits.

Allen received his Ph.D. in Creative Writing at University of Illinois at Chicago, and currently teaches creative writing at Queens College of City University of New York and at the New School. He is also the Executive Director of the Pan African Literary Forum at New School University. This will be Allen’s second visit to Lafayette—he was a featured reader in Significant Voices in 2003, a series of readings and discussions by 20th century African American writers.

This is the first in an ongoing series of literary readings and lectures sponsored by the Ernest J. Gaines Center. According to the center’s director, Marcia Gaudet, the center is also presenting a showing of the documentary "An Obsession of Mine": The Legacy of Ernest J Gaines in Pointe Coupee Parish, the fictional setting of Gaines’ work, in late February. As part of the center’s fundraising campaign, all royalties from the book “This Louisiana Thing That Drives Me”: The Legacy of Ernest J Gaines and the 2010 Ernest J Gaines Center Calendar will go to the center. Information on the Gaines Center is available on its website.

Jeffery Allen’s reading is free and open to the public. The Louisiana Room is located on the third floor of Dupré Library, 400 East St. Mary Boulevard. Parking is available at the UL Parking Garage on St. Mary Boulevard or at the Student Union Parking Lot.

For more information, please contact Marcia Gaudet at or at 337-482-5486.


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