John Warner Smith


John Warner Smith is a former poet laureate of Louisiana. He has published five collections of poetry, most recently Our Shut Eyes. Smith is a 2020 Poets Laureate Fellow of the Academy of American Poets and is winner of the 2019 Linda Hodge Bromberg Literary Award. A Cave Canem Fellow, Smith earned his MFA in Creative Writing at the University of New Orleans.



1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
State Capitol, House Committee Room 2
Human(un)kind: Addressing Racial and Social Justice through Fiction
Johnnie Bernhard, Susan Cushman, Dolen Perkins-Valdez, and John Warner Smith with Robert Mann

2:15 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Cavalier House Bookselling Tent
Book Signing


For All Those Men: When the KKK Threatened to Take Control of Louisiana

In the summer of 1922, two tragic events occurred in Louisiana, one in the north, the other in the south. Together, the events dramatically changed the state’s racial and political climate. In the south, twenty-six-year-old Emile Hebert, an African American farmer, was indicted for murder and assault, in­cluding the injury of Lafayette Parish Sheriff Felix Latiolais. Two months later in the north, two white men, F. W. Daniel and Thomas Richards, mysteriously disappeared in the plantation village of Mer Rouge. The Ku Klux Klan stood at the center of both events, as did Louisiana Governor John M. Parker. History makes no note of Hebert’s ordeal. Here, the Hebert trial takes center stage.


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