This week, I decided to spotlight a local New Orleans poet, Brad Richard, who I met at the Tennessee Williams Festival. His new poetry collection, Motion Studies, published in January 2011, won him the 2010 Washington Prize from The Word Works by impressing the judges with its blend of personal and historical. He read from this collection at the panel I attended at the festival, and he was absolutely fantastic.
Brad Richard is a local New Orleans poet and the chair of the Creative Writing program at Lusher Charter High School. He is also co-director of the New Orleans New Writers Literary Festival, which is a festival for high school writers. He has published one other book of poems, Habitations (2000), and a limited edition chapbook, The Men in the Dark (2004). His work has appeared in journals such as American Letters and Commentary, Bayou, Literary Imagination, The Massachusetts Review, New Orleans Review, Bayou, and others.
Richard won the Poets & Writers, Inc. Writers Exchange competition in 2002, and he is the recipient of fellowships from the Louisiana Division of the Arts and the Surdna Foundation. Matthew Dickman said about Richard, “Here is a poet of exacting lyricism and refreshing voice. Mr. Richard is a healer.”
Richard’s voice is kind and compelling, powerful and vivid. Nicole Cooley says, “Whether writing from the perspective of Thomas Eakins or describing his father’s art studio in the flooded ruins of New Orleans, Richard unflinchingly observes the world. This is a book about vision, about what it truly means to see.”
You may purchase Motion Studies and Richard’s other works at any local bookstore. My favorites are Octavia Books and the Garden District Bookshop.
The Men in the Dark (2004 – Limited Edition)