2019 Festival Great Southern Writer is Rebecca Wells, author of “Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood.” Her featured show will be at 3 p.m., Saturday, April 6 with tickets available now on the website.

Books Along the Teche Literary Festival events are now listed on the website. Join us April 5-7, 2019 in downtown New Iberia.

Great Southern Writer symposium featuring Rebecca Wells, Saturday, April 6, 2019, 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., Sliman Theater, Main Street, downtown New Iberia. Tickets are $15.00


Rebecca Wells, Author

Rebecca Wells, Author

Rebecca Wells is an author, actor and playwright known for her Ya-Ya Sisterhood series of books featuring the members of the Walker family of Thornton, Louisiana. Wells was born and raised in Alexandria, Louisiana, where her family was cotton farmers. Her three Ya-Ya books include “Little Alters Everywhere,” “Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood,” and Ya-Yas in Bloom.”  Wells’ fourth book is “The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder,” which departs from the characters in Wells’ other books.  Wells first book won the Western States Book Award and was a New York Times best-seller. Her second novel, “Divine Secrets,” won the American Booksellers Award and was a number one New York Times best-seller. It was adapted for the 2002 film “Divine Secrets of the the Ya-Ya Sisterhood,” starring Sandra Bullock as Siddalee Walker and Ellen Burstyn as her mother, Vivi. Wells’ third book in the series reached number three on both the New York Times and Publishers Weekly best-seller lists.

Wells’ novel “Divine Secrets” has been translated into 28 languages and has sold more than 6 million copies. It continues to be one of the most beloved novels about women written in the 20th century. The book launched a phenomenon of Ya-Ya clubs worldwide, where women could support each other and have adventures like Vivi and her friends.

A playwright and actor before she began writing fiction, Wells is known for one woman show “Splitting’ Hairs,” and her play “Gloria Duplex,” about an erotic dancer who sees the face of God in a disco ball. Now living in Nashville, Wells performs a one-woman  show at venues across the South, bringing her beloved characters to life with humor and heart.

A graduate of Louisiana State University, Wells studied Tibetan Buddhism and creative writing at the Naropa Institute. She studied acting in New York City and performed off-Broadway. She has been a guest artist, teaching writing and acting at University of Idaho, University of California at Santa Cruz, Washington State University, and Antioch University.

2019 Festival Authors, Poets & Panelists


Wilson family scholars scheduled for ULL Symposium at Books Along the Teche Literary Festival

Anthony and Matthew Wilson will share the podium in New Iberia, Louisiana, at the fourth annual University of Louisiana Lafayette James Lee Burke Academic Symposium on April 6, 2019. The two men, scholars and brothers, will speak on “James Lee Burke and Louisiana Politics,” 12:30-2:30 at the Main Street Library in New Iberia.

The free event, sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts, is part of the Books along the Teche Literary Festival, April 5-7, 2019. Reserve a seat at this free event through the Purchase Tickets portal on this website because space is limited.

Both Anthony and Matthew Wilson bring to their presentations strong credentials as well as their knowledge of Louisiana’s culture, politics and literature.


Anthony Wilson


Anthony Wilson, associate professor of English at LaGrange College, LaGrange, Georgia, has written extensively on southern literature including two books about swamps as they influence literature and culture: Shadow and Shelter: The Swamp in Southern Culture (2006) and Swamp: Nature and Culture (2018). He has written, too, for publications including Oxford Companion to the Literature of the U.S. South and the forthcoming collection New Orleans: A Literary History from Cambridge University Press. He has been a fan of James Lee Burke since high school and has penned articles about him for the Dictionary of Literary Biography and for KnowLouisiana.org.

Matthew Wilson, director of the Center for Faith and Learning and associate professor of political science at Southern Methodist University, Dallas, is also a senior fellow of the John G. Tower Center for Political Studies and of the Italian Institute for International Political Studies.


Matt Wilson

His research focuses on public opinion, elections, representation, and the role of race and religion in politics, both in the United States and abroad. He is the author, co-author, or editor of three books, including Understanding American Politics and Politics and Religion in the United States, and dozens of articles and essays.

Mary Ann Wilson, literary scholar, professor emerita at the University of Lousiana at Lafayette, and mother of Anthony and Matthew will moderate the discussion. At ULL she was  a Fellow of the Center for Louisiana Studies and held the James D. Wilson Endowed Professorship in Southern Studies.

Mary Ann Wilson


After retiring from ULL in May of 2018, she  moved to LaGrange, Georgia, where the town square boasts a statue of the Marquis de Lafayette. She is presently working on a personal essay titled “A Tale of Two Lafayettes,” chronicling the French revolutionary hero’s role in American and southern history

Although the event is free and open to the public, preregistration is encouraged. Visit the festival’s website www.booksalongthetecheliteraryfestival.com and register for the symposium, as well as for other free and ticketed events during the three-day festival.

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Books Into Movies Panel, 10 a.m. to Noon, April 6, 2019 • The Sliman Theater • New Iberia, LA

A Panel Discussion for authors and others who like movies and books.

In 1986, St. Martinville native and Lafayette attorney Allan Durand accidently became a movie producer — with incredible help along the way. Supported by the Sundance Institute, Durand along with director Glen Pitre, composer Michael Doucet and others created the movie, “Belizaire the Cajun.” The historic romance did not come from a book, rather the book followed the production of the film.

“Glamour is hard work. Tax credits don’t go into the producer’s pocket. Everyone in movies isn’t rich,” said Hollywood industry insider Linda Thurman who gained her expertise in the movie industry from the ground up. She performed in theatre productions across the country before finding her niche behind the scenes. A native Mississippian, Linda Thurman was a founding member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Interactive Media Peer Group and cofounder of Emerald Bayou Studios. Her work for HBO Pictures and United Artists greatly inspired the writing of “Hollywood South,” her book about the history of Louisiana in the movies and more.

In 1991, she became managing editor of the Hollywood Creative Directory, initiating and supervising the launch of HCD Online in 1994. Thurman lives in Louisiana, where she has worked tirelessly at promoting the movie industry.

     Dr. Ted Baehr is founder and publisher of MOVIEGUIDE®: The Family Guide to Movies and Entertainment and Chairman of the Christian Film & Television Commission® ministry, as well as a noted critic, educator, lecturer and media pundit. His life’s purpose is to be used of God to redeem the values of the media while educating audiences on how to use discernment in selecting their entertainment. For more than three decades he has been the “go-to-guy” for many movie executives wanting to know how the conservative viewer, moviegoer, will react to a script before it goes into production. He has been known to change the outcome of many projects. His endorsement can mean the difference between success and disappointment.

Together, along with others with professional entertainment industry experience, including the moderator Vicky Branton who is currently Teche Life editor of “The Daily Iberian,” will discuss the challenges and opportunities for authors whose books would make great movies, or already have been made into movies. Reserve a seat to this free event through Eventbrite here on our website, click the Purchase Ticket and reserve a free ticket.


Breakdowns, Poems, Two-Steps & Blues Poetry Event

Poetry and the accordian? In Louisiana it sounds like a toe-tapping Friday evening in Iberia Parish, as Darrell Bourque and Mary Broussard present “Breakdowns, Poems, Two-Steps and Blues” from 4-5:30 p.m., at the Iberia Parish Main Library, 445 Main Street, New Iberia, 70560. Admission is free, as part of the Books Along The Teche Literary Festival.

Darrell Bourque

Presented by poet Bourque and Creole accordionist Broussard, the event combines poetry from Bourque’s book “Where I Waited,” with traditional music. “Where I Waited” tells stories in narrative poems of four iconic Louisiana Creole and Cajun musicians: Amédé Ardoin, Cleoma Falcon, Iry Lejeune, and Goldman Thibodeaux.

Bourque, born and still living in nearby Church Point, is a published poet and retired University of Louisiana at Lafayette English professor. He was Louisiana’s Poet Laureate from 2007 to 2011, and actively promoted the art form throughout the state and beyond. “Being poet laureate gives you opportunities to have conversations with people who would not ordinarily be talking about poetry,” said Bourque, in an interview forLouisiana Cultural Vistas” magazine.

Broussard is a professional Creole-style accordionist, who comes from a musical family that includes her uncles, legendary accordian-player ”Bois Sec” Ardoin and fiddler Carlton Frank.

Mary Ardoin Broussard


Broussard was with the original Magnolia Sisters in the 1970s, has her own band, Creole Sweet La La, and she makes regular guest appearances with her son’s Zydeco group, T-Broussard and the Zydeco Steppers.

Reserve a seat by clicking through the Purchase Tickets button with Eventbrite and selecting a free ticket to this event. Limited seating.