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At Mama's House

 

Already in its THIRD printing - get your copy today!

Creole West Productions' newest publication At Mama’s House is a collection of poems from a fruitful cache Mary Alice Victorian "Mary V" Jackson has composed over the years. Known as a poetic storyteller to numerous family and friends, she fulfills a childhood dream with this debut book of poetry.

Mary V tells her stories poetically in heartfelt memory of her experiences in a magical place called “The Island” on False River in Ventress, Pointe Coupée Parish. A prolific poet and fluent speaker of the Creole dialect, her poems are inspired by beautiful recollections of her childhood at her Mama’s house. She writes for personal gratification as she recalls her vivid memories in the little modest, three room shotgun house on the Island side of False River. Her poems are uplifting tales about the richness of life when given a strong sense of self surrounded by a family embedded in love. Their family motto was: “Had Nothing, But Had Everything.”

The daughter of hardworking parents who were sharecroppers, Mary V is a graduate of Southern University at Baton Rouge with devoted years of service as an educator in Pointe Coupée Parish. Secretary of Les Creoles de Pointe Coupee, she is also very active in her community and remains devoted to her family and helping children succeed in life. Her personal motto is: “Children First.”

Throughout 2006 Mary V will appear at community events for readings and book signings in Pointe Coupée Parish.

 

Book Release Event

At Mama's House was released on Friday evening March 3rd, at the auditorium of the historic Julien Poydras Center in New Roads, Pointe Coupée Parish, LA. Mary V treated her audience to an unforgettable evening of a slice of Pointe Coupée’s history shared in verse.

The guests arrived to a background of soothing jazz music which filled the auditorium as they were received at the sign-in table by Johnetta Jeanpierre and ushered to their seats by Gail Hurst and student ushers Brittany Battley, Kenneth Davis, Ronald Dixon, and Joshua Martin.

The evening commenced with an introduction by Julie Eshelman-Lee, director of Creole West Productions who delivered a tribute to all the storytellers in Pointe Coupée, past and present, including her elders whose stories about their lives in Pointe Coupée brought her "home". Special gratitude was extended to members of the community including: Joanna Wurtele, Ronald and Kathleen Saizon, all members of Les Creole de Pointe Coupee, Mrs. Olinde S. "Toppy" Haag, Mr. Glenn Morgan, Mr. Bernard Curet, Mr. Ernest J. Gaines, and, Mr. Olinde, Mr. Daryl Patin and members of the Pointe Coupee Historical Society for the renovated Poydras Center that provides a venue to bring the community together with cultural events.

Pointe Coupée’s premiere historian, author and fluent Creole speaker, Brian J. Costello, opened the program with an engaging presentation on the historical background of the Island on False River. Following was a heartfelt presentation by Roosevelt Gremillion on his experiences as a "product of the Island". Special guests included remarkably talented student poets, Kierra Battley, Dennis Brown, and Kirsten Bourgeois who shared a sample of their original poems. Kierra's delivery moved the audience as she opened her recitation in song. Dennis captivated the audience with a poem about pure love, words that he has also composed to music. Reciting two poems, Kirsten poetically shared her feelings regarding life.

The evening's featured speaker - Mary V - was introduced by Brian J. Costello, delivered in both Creole and English. A large number in the audience understood the Creole version and hung on to every word! Mary V immediately received a standing ovation from the nearly filled to capacity auditorium of family, friends, and community members. Her delivery was moving and impassioned as she read from a sample of poems from At Mama's House. Sharing anecdotal stories about each poem, Mary V read verses in both Creole and English.

Two of her educational mentors, Mr. and Mrs. Edward C. Nelson, were in the audience. Mrs. Elaine Nelson was her eleventh grade English teacher who inspired her with poetry. To much surprise, Mary V paid a special honor to Mrs. Nelson when she recited a poem from a poetry booklet she composed in Mrs. Nelson's class, this particular one in tribute to Mrs. Nelson! Friends and family were also acknowledged for their encouragement to Mary V for getting the book started. The evening concluded with Mary V's siblings - Mildred Victorian Duhe, Ernest Victorian, Jr., Roger Victorian, Anthony Victorian, Gregory Victorian, and Sidney Victorian - joining her onstage as the program closed with Shirley Caesar's "Remember Mama " playing in the background. Her brother John Floyd Victorian was unable to attend. The audience complimented the evening with a second standing ovation!!

A generous group stayed to enjoy a variety of refreshments prepared and served by family and friends Zenobia Ashford, Joann Carson, Mary Costello, Michelle Duhe, Paulette Derosin, Susie Gremillion, Lee Audrey Porche, Kathleen Saizon, and Dianne Warr. The refreshments were offered on tables artfully decorated with fresh flowers, candles and other adornments by Mary Costello, who also brought the stage to life with luscious greenery. Betty Meyer added her touch with a podium arrangement.

Special gratitude goes to Mr. Roosevelt Gremillion for providing the sound equipment and public relations on KCLF radio, to Pointe Coupée Tourism and the Pointe Coupée Banner for their efforts in marketing the event, together with numerous community members including some out of town guests for their attendance. Deep appreciation extends to all for making Mary V's debut poetry reading a great success!

 

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