SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Four Louisiana State University Shreveport scholars believe books about water can spark meaningful dialogue at an upcoming program sponsored by a local library.

Shreve Memorial Library’s Witness to Change program is a place where participants can gather and discuss topics such as family roots and connections to a place, land loss and dislocation, experiences of flooding, what makes a place a home, hurricanes, risk and relocation, and scarcity and adaptation.

Discussions will begin on Monday, Jan. 23, and continue through Monday, Apr. 24, at the Shreve Memorial Library Broadmoor Branch located at 1212 Captain Shreve Dr. All book discussions are free and open to the public. The meetings will occur at 6:00 p.m. on the last Monday of each month.

The Water Knife

Joshua M. Rea, Ph.D., is the first on the list to lead the discussions. Rea teaches composition and professional writing courses at LSUS. He believes in open, discussion-based classrooms where students can bridge concepts. He also studies rhetorical dynamism and digital rhetoric.

On Jan. 23, Rea will facilitate the discussion of the book The Water Knife, a thrilling, suspense-driven mystery set in the near future.

In the Water Knife, written by Paolo Bacigalupi, the Colorado River has all but run dry. In a place where water is more valuable than gold, a water “cutter” for the Southern Nevada Water Authority investigates a water source in Phoenix. But when he encounters a hard-headed journalist and a young Texas migrant, things take an unexpected turn.

Bayou Farewell

Cheryl H. White, Ph.D., teaches history at LSUS. She is particularly interested in Medieval and early modern Europe, the history of Christianity, local and regional history, historical folklore, and religious relics. White will facilitate the Feb. 27 discussion of the book Bayou Farewell: The Rich Life and Tragic Death of Louisiana’s Cajun Coast, a travel writer’s introduction and farewell to the Louisiana coastline disappearing into the Gulf of Mexico.

Bayou Farewell, written by Mike Tidwell, invites readers on a voyage into the bayou, where they’ll meet fishermen and Native Americans and see the dying trees.

Salvage the Bones

Elisabeth Liebert, Ph.D., is the Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at LSUS. She is also the author of many books on spirituality. Liebert will facilitate the discussion of Jesmyn Ward’s Salvage the Bones on Mar. 27.

Salvage the Bones is a work of fiction about a motherless family in poverty-drenched Mississippi, where the chances of a hurricane hitting one small town are far greater than the chances of having enough food to go around.

Dispatches from the American Shore

Amy Erickson, Ph.D. is a professor in the Biology Department at LSUS. She has studied marine feeding ecology for more than two and a half decades. She has recently been researching methods to control aquatic invasive species. On Apr. 24, Erickson will facilitate the discussion of the book Dispatches from the New American Shore, written by Elizabeth Rush.

Dispatches from the New American Shore shows where rising seas are changing American coastlines. Rush’s book gives a voice to those not often heard, showing that climate change and rising sea levels are real and present dangers.

Witness to Change: Conversations on Coastal Impacts is a part of the BHP-funded project Coastal Impacts: An Integrated Approach for Community Adaptation, Understanding, and Planning, which will assist local communities with building intergenerational coastal literacy through community conversations around books, film, and exhibitions, fostering greater understanding of and support for coastal restoration projects. Witness to Change is also a Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities program.

For more information about Witness to Change at Shreve Memorial Library, please visit