Patrice Melnick’s publications include a poetry chapbook, The City of Hey Baby, and a memoir, Po-boy Contraband: from Diagnosis Back to Life. After earning an MFA from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, she hightailed it to New Orleans then settled in South Louisiana. She founded the Festival of Words in Grand Coteau where she lives with her patient husband Olan. For a day job, Melnick directs the Opelousas Museum.
Streaming November 7
The Louisiana Poet Laureate Presents Louisiana Poets
with Gina Ferrara, David Havird, Rodger Kamenetz, Julie Kane, Dorie LaRue, Cleopatra Mathis, Patrice Melnick, Mona Lisa Saloy, and Martha Serpas
The City of Hey Baby
Patrice Melnick's latest collection is a Dear John letter to her "old lover," New Orleans. Amidst brown scum waterlines and refrigerators taped shut like rancid clams, her post-Katrina speaker recalls the good times of the broken relationship. Many writers have conveyed the sights or tastes of the city, but Melnick excels at capturing its smells, sounds, and sweaty skin-feels. The City of Hey Baby is also the City of Can't Forget You, Baby, this collection makes wonderfully clear. - Julie Kane
In City of Hey Baby, Patrice Melnick captures and celebrates the heart and soul of post-Katrina New Orleans, from the trials, endurance, and rebirth of human spirit to the music and cuisine that flood waters could not destroy. With nuance and detail that only a lover of the city can see, Melnick patiently and artfully stitches patches of images, feelings, and reflections into a patchwork that is uniquely New Orleans and worth cuddling with. - John Warner Smith, State Poet Laureate of Louisiana
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