A look at death, New Orleans style. Shudder under the stars in our historic courtyard as Times-Picayune obituary writer John Pope reads from his acclaimed collection, Getting Off at Elysian Fields. This event also marks the opening of the Mourning Exhibition at the Hermann-Grima House, which explores Creole mourning customs of the 1800s. Pay your respects in the parlor, which will be set for the funeral of Mrs. Grima who died in the home on October 15th, 1850. Legend has it that she likes to see who comes to say goodbye!
About the Speaker: John Pope, 69, is a contributing writer for NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune in New Orleans. Pope earned a bachelor’s degree (cum laude) and a master’s degree from the University of Texas, where he wrote for The Daily Texan, the student newspaper, and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He has held fellowships in public health at the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism at the University of Maryland and at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In April 2005, he was a Hearst Foundation visiting fellow at the University of Texas. Pope, who has worked for The States-Item and The Times-Picayune, won four first prizes from the Press Club of New Orleans, three first prizes from the Louisiana State Medical Society and one from the Louisiana-Mississippi Associated Press Association. He received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Press Club of New Orleans in July 2015. Later that year, he was elected to The Daily Texan Hall of Fame. Pope was part of The Times-Picayune team that won two Pulitzer Prizes, a George Polk Award, a National Headliner Award and the Medill Award for Courage in Journalism for coverage of Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. He has freelanced for The Washington Post, Variety, Reuters and several inflight magazines. He profiled Betty Ford for “American First Ladies: Their Lives and Their Legacy,” a biographical encyclopedia of presidential spouses, and he wrote the afterword for “After: The Silence of the Lower 9th Ward,” John Rosenthal’s book of photographs showing Katrina’s devastation in that part of New Orleans. “Getting Off at Elysian Fields,” an anthology of 123 of Pope’s obituaries and four New Orleans funerals that he covered, was published in October 2015 by the University Press of Mississippi. Pope sits on the board of New Orleans Artists Against Hunger and Homelessness. He is a member of the Southern Foodways Alliance, the Society of Professional Journalists and the Society of Professional Obituary Writers, whose members refer to themselves as Grimmies.
6pm lecture; 7pm wine Courtyard of Hermann-Grima House 820 St. Louis Street
Built in 1831, Hermann Grima House at 820 St. Louis Street is a beautiful example of Federalist and Creole architecture. Gallier House built in 1857 at 1132 Royal Street gives a glimpse into the Victorian lifestyle....