Monday, May 20, 2024

Dr. Dana Kress named inaugural executive director of Centenary College of Louisiana Press

by BIZ Magazine

Dr. Dana Kress, longtime professor of French at Centenary, has been named the inaugural executive director of the Centenary College of Louisiana Press. The Centenary Press, founded in 2003, is best known for its heritage language imprint Les Éditions Tintamarre, which is dedicated to preserving and publishing American literature written in languages other than English.

“Dr. Kress is recognized both locally and internationally as a champion for French language instruction and a voice for the French culture in Louisiana,” said Centenary president Dr. Christopher L. Holoman. “He has already grown the French Language Press at Centenary to remarkable levels, and I know will guide the Press to even greater success in the years to come.”

Kress has led Les Éditions Tintamarre since its inception, building its catalogue to include nearly 80 titles that showcase the original literature of the individuals who have contributed to Louisiana’s diverse culture, including French, French-Canadian, German, Spanish, African, and Caribbean peoples.

“Centenary College of Louisiana Press grew from a student publishing project that began in the 1990s,” explained Kress. “As a heritage language press that focuses on American literatures in languages other than English, the Press is unique in the United States, both in its mission to bring forth often unheard voices of American literature and for its role as a teaching press where undergraduates contribute to the publishing process.”

Les Éditions Tintamarre recently released Févi, a poetry collection edited by Jonathan Joseph Mayers and Oliver Mayeaux. Févi is the first book to be published entirely in Louisiana Creole, or kouri-vini, and a recent reading from the collection in Baton Rouge provided an opportunity for attendees to hear kouri-vini spoken aloud. Another notable recent publication from Les Éditions Tintamarre is Jean Arceneaux’s Suite des sens, an epic poem written in Cajun French. A book signing for Suite de sens is being held on Thursday, April 13, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at The Hideaway in Lafayette, Louisiana.

Les Éditions Tintamarre also co-sponsored its first writing contest, the Concours de Contes Merveilleux de la Louisiane, this year. The contest offered eight cash prizes in three divisions (Louisiana students grades 1-9; United States high school and college undergraduates; and an international adult open division) for original contes merveilleux (fairy tales) taking their inspiration from Louisiana Francophone or Creole culture. After a blind judging process conducted by three internationally recognized Louisiana authors, Centenary senior Phoebe Cragon was awarded the inaugural Prix Jean Arceneaux for the best conte merveilleux in the United State undergraduate division. An awards ceremony for the Concours will be held in Lafayette, Louisiana, on April 26.

“Centenary is so fortunate to have Dr. Kress as the Executive Director of the Centenary College of Louisiana Press,” said Dr. Karen Soul, provost and dean of the College at Centenary. “Dr. Kress has been recognized throughout the state of Louisiana, as well as the country of France, for the creation of Les Éditions Tintamarre. He is a visionary, a scholar, an ambassador, and an outstanding educator. His commitment to French language and heritage in our state is unparalleled and I am thankful to work with him.”

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