SLU News--La Lit Ghost Stories
Southeastern Louisiana University
Public Information Office
SLU 880, Hammond, LA 70402
Contact: Christina Chapple 46
EDITORS: PLEASE NOTE LOCAL INTEREST
NEW "HAUNTINGS" FROM SLU'S LOUISIANA LITERATURE
HAMMOND -- "New Louisiana Ghost Stories," a special issue of "Louisiana
Literature," the Southeastern Louisiana University English Department's award-winning literary
magazine, brings together talents from throughout the state to invent original tales of ghosts and
The new issue of stories and poems, guest edited by Garic Kenneth Barranger of
Covington, is supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Louisiana
State Arts Council and the Louisiana Division of the Arts.
Comedy and local color animate guest editor Garic Barranger's story "Maggot in the
Works," in which a lawyer finds himself defending the ghost of his erstwhile, mischievous client
"Maggot" Brown. Horror grips the reader of "The Japanese Plum Tree" by New Orleans writer
Patty Friedmann, a tale about the sadistic spirit of a grandmother with a vengeance for seven-
year-old boys. A standing room-only crowd cheered Barranger and Friedmann's stories during
Fanfare 1995, Southeastern's annual October arts festival.
Well-established writers appear alongside new voices. Robert Olen Butler of Lake
Charles revives "A Ghost Story" from his Pulitzer Prize-winning "A Good Scent from a Strange
Mountain." New Orleans writer James Knudsen invents a weird story about a persistently
appearing hearse, "The Stars Go Out." Covington native Robin Beeman's sailor's yarn, "The
Silver Mirror," evokes the timeless quality of a fable.
A new voice from Shreveport, Margaret Waters, contributes her original take on the
traditional plantation ghost story. "Cadeaux" relates the tender relationship between a plantation
GHOST STORIES -- Add One
museum caretaker and the spirit of the plantation owner, whose past resembles the life of famed
writer Kate Chopin. Another newly discovered writer, Barry Lewis, creates a cool "loup-garou"
or werewolf named "Neon Leon," who could only have grown up with Lewis in New Orleans.
Highly respected Canadian writer Yves Theriault strangely blends colonial and
contemporary lives in "Valere and the Big Canoe," especially translated for the special issue by
Veteran poets include John Gery, with his cleverly titled "Giving Up the Ghost"; Jo
LeCoeur, who draws on Voodoo; Elton Glaser, whose poem recounts childhood "Bedtime
Legends Near Esplanade"; and Gina Bergamino of Merrero, who discovers ghosts in
photographs. The late New Orleans poet and teacher Raeburn Miller is represented by his well-
crafted elegiac poetry.
Reviews of other new fiction and poetry on themes of ghosts, death and dying are
contributed by Sue Nichols, Catharine Savage Brosman, Doreen Fowler, W. Kenneth Holditch,
Henry Lacey, and Ann Trousdale.
The cover, designed by J.H. Brown of Hammond, is based on a painting by Grant Smith,
son of former Southeastern president G. Warren Smith.
For subscriptions or single copies, write "Louisiana Literature," SLU 792, Hammond, LA
70402. Single copies are $5, a one-year subscription is $10 for individuals, $12.50 for