Northwestern State University alumna Denise Lewis Patrick was honored as one of the 2019 Louisiana Public Broadcasting Louisiana Legends during a gala on May 9. Patrick, a 1977 graduate of Northwestern State University, is an author, editor and teacher and a 2014 inductee into the Long Purple Line, NSU’s Alumni Hall of Distinction.
The Louisiana Legends Awards Gala and Auction is an annual event hosted by Friends of Louisiana Public Broadcasting and by Gov. and First Lady Jon Bel Edwards serving as honorary co-chairs. The event honors the best and brightest of Louisiana’s sons and daughters who have distinguished themselves in a variety of disciplines and have brought honor to the state.
Begun in 1990 and now in its 29th year, the Louisiana Legends Gala is a fundraising and public awareness project that draws support and participation from Friends across the state who appreciate the many fine instructional, educational and cultural programs LPB provides.
LPB’s Louisiana Legends series highlights outstanding Louisianans who have distinguished themselves in a variety of disciplines including writing, art, entertainment, politics, public service and athletics. Featuring insightful biographical videos and in-depth interviews with host Beth Courtney, these shows provide intimate glimpses into the lives of the state’s most influential, visionary and successful citizens.
Patrick is a Natchitoches native who earned a degree in journalism at NSU in 1977 and a master’s in creative writing from the University of New Orleans. A long-time resident of the New York City area, she is a freelance writer, editor, instructor and literary consultant who has authored books of poetry, short stories, picture and board books for children, non-fiction biographies, middle grade novels and a young adult novel.
Patrick has written narratives for the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center exhibition, published a review in the New York Times and has written sections for Fodor’s Travel Guides to New York City. She has also worked as an editor for Scholastic, Inc., as well as several other publishing companies and teaches intermediate writing at Nyack College.
After penning two stories for the American Girl Doll series, Patrick was lauded by the African American Academy of Arts and Letters for Children’s Book of the Year, was a runner-up for the Lamplighter Award by the National Christian School Association and had two books listed as Best Books for the Teenager by the New York Public Library. She has served on the advisory board for the Books for Kids Foundation, as a mentor for an afterschool writing club, as a writer’s coach and as an elementary school reading volunteer.
Denise Lewis Patrick, right, was recognized as one a 2019 Louisiana Public Broadcasting Louisiana Legends gala May 9. From left are her brother Kevin M. Lewis, mother Edwina Lewis and Lewis Patrick. All three are NSU alumni.