In celebration of LSUP’s 80th anniversary the staff selected 80 of our most memorable titles. Adding to our “Around the Press in 80 Books” blog series, Associate Financial Operations Manager Leslie Green writes about The Strict Economy of Fire.
I have known Ava Leavell Haymon for many years. When I first met her, she was already a notable poet on the ascent. She was always a delight to be around, partly due to the way she constantly analyzed and explored the life around her.
In the early 1990s, Ava had just returned from her trip to Nepal and I remember how very excited she was about it. She had just picked up her slides from the photo shop and was a bit overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of them. Another friend and I immediately volunteered to view the slides with her. For us it was out of a selfish desire to enjoy the scenery and hear the narration but I like to think we may have helped her process things a little, too.
A little over a decade later my career path led me to work at LSU Press. Lo and behold, Ava had just signed a publishing contract with LSU Press for her first book, The Strict Economy of Fire. It was her collection of poems about her experience in Nepal. We were both thrilled for each other. She gave me a framed copy of the photo she wanted for the jacket the week I started work, confident that I would keep it safe and ready for action. It sat on my desk for several months before it was time to start production on that aspect of the book. It was a joy to see that image every day.
And now, nearly a quarter of a century later, the country of Nepal has experienced a shattering natural disaster. The Nepali people know a thing or two about survival. We here in Louisiana are familiar with the loss and difficulty that natural disasters can bring and how human beings can impact the recovery in both positive and negative ways.
Ava will be reading a selection of poems from that collection at an event intended to support relief and rebuilding efforts in Nepal on Thursday June 25 from 5:30pm-7:30pm: A Bridge to Nepal. This event will be located at The Guru @ Circa 1857 on 1857 Government Street, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70806.
Buy this book now for 20% off and get free shipping on all orders over $50, use code 0480FAV at checkout.