Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014

Creative Writing Workshop Hosts Poet and UNO MFA Alumna Gina Ferrara

New collection Carville: Amid Moss and Resurrection Fern focuses on historic town and leprosarium

Poet Gina Ferrara, a University of New Orleans Creative Writing Workshop alumna, recently published a collection of poems about the historic town of Carville.Poet Gina Ferrara, a University of New Orleans Creative Writing Workshop alumna, recently published a collection of poems about the historic town of Carville.

Poet and UNO MFA alumna Gina Ferrara comes to campus next week to read from her new collection, Carville: Amid Moss and Resurrection Fern. 

Ferrara, a 2008 graduate of UNO's Master of Fine Arts program in Creative Writing, is the author of four collections of poetry: The Size of Sparrows (2006), Ethereal Avalanche ( 2009), Amber Porch Light (2013), and Carville: Amid Moss and Resurrection Fern (2014). Her work has also appeared in such journals as Callaloo, Maple Leaf Rag, New Laurel Review and Poetry Ireland Review. In addition to other honors, she has received grants from the Elizabeth George Foundation and the Louisiana Division of the Arts.

A native of New Orleans, Ferrara directs the reading series The Poetry Buffet, at the Milton H. Latter Branch of the New Orleans Public Library in Uptown New Orleans and is a guest artist in UNO's Low Residency MFA Program.

Carville: Amid Moss and Resurrection Fern is Ferrara's moving new sequence of poems recalling the leprosarium opened in 1896 on the site of an abandoned sugar plantation on the banks of the Mississippi River in Carville, La.

Join Us!

Poet and UNO MFA alumna Gina Ferrara comes to campus next week to read from her new collection, Carville: Amid Moss and Resurrection Fern.

Join us at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 5, in the Liberal Arts Building Lounge (Liberal Arts 201) on the UNO Lakefront Campus.

The event is free and open to the public. A book signing will follow.

For more information, contact Research Professor of English and Seraphia D. Leyda Teaching Fellow John Gery at 280-6361 or jgery@uno.edu. 

Called at turns the Louisiana Leper Hospital, or Carville National Leprosarium, the hospital was one of two such hospitals in the nation. The facility purportedly promoted understanding, identification, and humane treatment of leprosy, also known today as Hansen's Disease. According to historians, many patients entered the gates under mandatory quarantine and never left the hospital again. Today, the site, is home to the The National Hansen's Disease Museum, a historical museum that details the history of the hospital and local area.

Poet Peter Cooley writes: "Carville is a tragedy, cathartic for its readers," yet filled with the "power of redemption."

Louisiana-born poet Martha Serpas describes these poems as expressing "the most profound paradoxes of broken body and resurrected spirit."

An unblinking portrait of the isolated conditions at Carville, faced by almost a century by those suffering from what we now call Hansen's Disease, Ferrara's book is nonetheless a testament to the "fluorescent luminosity" and "stoic" beauty of South Louisiana, says Serpas.

After her reading, Ferrara will sign copies of her books.



 

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