The hunt for red crawfish is the thing, the raison d'etre, of Acadian spring. Introduced to Louisiana by the swamp dwellers of the Atchafalaya Basin, the crawfish is a regional favorite that has spurred a $210 million industry. Whole families work at the same fisheries, and annual crawfish festivals dominate the social calendar. More importantly, no matter the occasion, folks take their boils seriously: they'll endure line cutters, heat and humidity, mosquitoes and high gas prices to procure crawfish for their families' annual backyard boils or their corporate picnics.
Only in the Bayou State do Louisianans travel door to door on horseback collecting gumbo ingredients for Mardi Gras gatherings. Residents compete in egg pâquer contests to see who can crack their opponent's Easter egg first. Louisiana is a place where frequent collisions with natural disasters can inspire a drink like Pat O'Brien's famous hurricane. And the state's history is filled with colorful figures like Governor Earl K. Long, whose wife committed him to a mental institution--only for him to use his political pull to inspire his own release. Elsewhere these accounts may seem odd or farfetched, but it all happens in Louisiana. Join author Sam Irwin as he details these intriguing Pelican State stories with pithy observations, humorous asides, and droll determinations.
Sam Irwin is the author of the critically acclaimed Louisiana Crawfish: A Succulent History of the Cajun Crustacean. He has been the public relations director for the American Sugar Cane League since 2012. Prior to that, he served as the press secretary of the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry.
Intrigued, aren't you? Read on...it gets better...
He is currently the frontman and trumpet player of the Florida Street Blowhards, a traditional jazz band in Baton Rouge.
Before he discovered the backspace/delete key on his computer and began writing, Sam Irwin was a:
1. history teacher
2. used car salesman
3. grocery store manager
4. crawfish buyer
5. honky-tonk owner(the notorious Corner Bar in Breaux Bridge)
6. plantation home tour guide
8. failed pawnbroker
9. owner of the legendary Paradise Records at the north gates of LSU
10. trumpet player
In addition to Country Roads magazine, his work has appeared in Offbeat, 225, Louisiana Film and Video, The Advocate, Teche News and House and Home.
His fiction has been published by Dead Mule, Tom's Voice, Gulf Coast Writers Anthology, Spillway Review, Long Story Short, Gris Gris Rouge, Country Roads, Cape Fear Crime Festival Chapbook, Murder in the Wind Anthology, Love is in the Wind Anthology and the Nicholls State Jubilee Anthology.
He is available for speaking engagements.