Melinda Palacio



Melinda Palacio lives in Santa Barbara and New Orleans. Her chapbook, Folsom Lockdown, won Kulupi Press’ Sense of Place 2009 award. Her novel, Ocotillo Dreams, received the Mariposa Award and a PEN Oakland-Josephine Miles Award for Excellence in Literature. Her first full-length poetry collection, How Fire Is a Story, Waiting, was a finalist for the Milt Kessler and the Paterson Prize. Her work has been featured on the Academy of American Poets’s Poem-a-Day Program. 

Palacio's Facebook Page



12:15 p.m. to 1 p.m.
Capitol Park Welcome Center, Glass Room
Louisiana Poets I

1:15 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Barnes & Noble Bookselling Tent
Book Signing


Bird Forgiveness

In Bird Forgiveness, the poet reminds us what it means to be an observer who has learned something about herself and her relationship to the world. Melinda Palacio is fearless in her poetics on race, the environment, the precarious nature of birds, love, death, and forgiveness. In Palacio's third collection of poetry, forgiveness begins with a bird and ends in a final flight, life's complete cycle. The poet mourns the strong women who have come before her and honors the ways in which we let go in order to exist within songs of freedom and global sustainability. These poems permit the reader to slow down in gratitude for time on earth. As a contemplation of existence, the poems witness how we navigate our humanity, while leaving some beauty for future generations. Palacio's poetic imagination resides in whimsical and wry tones that are rooted in feminism and in her experiences growing up Mexican-American in South-Central Los Angeles. Bird voices are not lost in Palacio's unflinching free verse; her ecopoetry addresses diversity, love and loss, migration and extinction.


Book-loving volunteers are essential to the Louisiana Book Festival's success. Whether it's escorting authors, guiding visitors, selling refreshments, working with children in the Young Readers Pavilion or other fun and rewarding assignments, the Louisiana Book Festival wants you to join the volunteer team.

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