Louisiana Writer

Tulane geography professor Richard Campanella, author of 11 books on the geography, history, architecture and culture of Louisiana, is the recipient of the 2019 Louisiana Writer Award. The award is presented annually by the Louisiana Center for the Book of the State Library of Louisiana.

Campanella was presented the award in November at the Louisiana Book Festival at the State Capitol in recognition of his outstanding contribution to documenting Louisiana’s history, culture and people.

Campanella’s works includes Bienville’s Dilemma: A Historical Geography of New Orleans, described by the New York Review of Books as the “single best history of the city … masterful.” He is also the author of Geographies of New Orleans: Urban Fabrics Before the Storm (University of Louisiana Press, 2006).

Richard Campanella
Richard Campanella, senior professor of practice in the School of Architecture (photo by Paula Burch-Celentano)

His book Bourbon Street: A History, was declared by the New York Review of Books as “absorbing ... persuasive … gleefully subversive. There may be no one better qualified to write such a history than Campanella.”

A native of Brooklyn, New York, Campanella is the only two-time winner of the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities Book of the Year Award. He has also won the Louisiana Literary Award, the Williams Prize, the Malcolm Heard Award for Excellence in Teaching, the Hannah Arendt Prize for Public Scholarship and the Tulane Honors Professor of the Year. In 2016, the Government of France named Campanella as Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques.

Campanella’s next book, The West Bank of Greater New Orleans: A Historical Geography, will be released by Louisiana State University Press in 2020.