May 20th Speaker: Deborah Burst

Using Photography to Drive Inspiration, Character and Sense of Place

With affection for her home state, award-winning writer and photographer, Deborah Burst travels the jagged coast of Louisiana in search of historic treasures. In her fourth book and second in the Louisiana’s Sacred Places series, Spirits of the Bayou captures the poetic beauty and artistic landscapes of hidden graveyards, sacred temples and shrouded bayous. Packed with more than one hundred photos, it’s a must read for locals and a rare treat for those beyond the state’s borders.

Deborah Burst is a New Orleans native who enjoys writing outdoors at her home in Mandeville. An award winning writer and photographer, she left a corporate career with IBM and returned to Tulane University graduating cum laude in 2003 with a BFA in Media Arts.

In her 12-year career as a freelance writer she has published more than 1,000 articles and twice as many photographs on a local, regional and national level. She has written four books in four years and the last three were self-published. Her next book due out in 2017 will be the third book in the continuing Louisiana’s Sacred Places series.

Press Release

“Literature that creates an authentic sense of place can be difficult to find. A writer who can capture the real spirit of a place is even more rare. Deborah Burst is such a writer, and her Spirits of the Bayou does justice to one of America’s most historic and hauntingly beautiful settings, South Louisiana.” C. E. Richard, author of the book Louisiana, An Illustrated History and the companion documentary Louisiana: A History, produced by Louisiana Public Broadcasting.

Deborah Burst adds another book in her continuing series of Louisiana’s Sacred Places. Her fourth book, Spirits of the Bayou: Sanctuaries, Cemeteries and Hauntings brings to life both the historic and artistic landscapes of New Orleans and coastal towns of South Louisiana.

One by one, each chapter unlocks the doors into ancient houses of worship, probes the eerie shadows of cemeteries and delves deep inside the bayou’s haunted legends. It’s a compelling gallery, a rarity in the literary world with both the magic of her words and the emotional flavor of her photographs.

Fans have called it Burst’s most compelling piece of work with more than 256 pages and 125 photos. The trail begins in New Orleans, then north across Lake Pontchartrain to the hidden gems of St. Tammany Parish. Readers then travel along the back roads and bayous of Houma, Raceland, Franklin and Morgan City.

The last chapters visit the wicked beauty of Louisiana’s swamps and bayous. Meet Rougarou, the Cajun werewolf, Jean Lafitte, a nineteenth century pirate turned patriot, and the illusive swamp monster in the Honey Island Swamp. Closing the book, discover the spiritual world of trees, butterflies and dragonflies.

For the connoisseur, the book deserves a place on the coffee table; for the adventurer, it belongs neatly tucked in a backpack. It’s a must-read for locals and a rare treat for those beyond the state’s borders.

Deborah is well known for her speaking presentations accompanied by an online display of photographs from her book. You may contact Ms. Burst via email to book a signing or speaking engagement.

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About meganbates

Hello! My name’s Megan, and I’m a young writer and graphic designer. I graduated from Loyola University a year ago, and during my time as an undergraduate, I had the privilege to do a study abroad in Ireland. I fell in love with traveling—meeting new people, experiencing different cultures, and finding unique places to inspire my creativity. But like many people, student loans and other life expenses are keeping this post-grad tied at home. (For now, at least!) Luckily for me, my hometown of New Orleans offers a lot of awesome opportunities for staycations. But I also want more obscure adventures, things beyond iconic events and places like Jazz Fest, Mardi Gras, and the French Quarter. If you’re a local like me, you love them, but you’ve done them. So, what else is there? That’s my goal—to seek out fresh or little known places both in and outside New Orleans area.