Odd Words October 6, 2011Posted by Mark Folse in books, New Orleans, Odd Words, Poetry, Toulouse Street.
“What is the nature of the search? you ask. Really it is very simple; at least for a fellow like me. So simple that it is easily overlooked. The search is what anyone would undertake if he were not sunk in the everydayness of his own life.”
– Walker Percy in The Moviegoer
As a man who is trying to crawl out from hum-drum in search of the best book and literary events, let’s start with a group I haven’t encountered before, and get to Walker Percy later.
I’m going to jump ahead a week and call out an event at Tipitina’s on Oct. 13 sponsored by a group calling itself the Peauxdunque Writers Alliance. It’s the first I’ve heard of them in two years of collecting literary listings for New Orleans but they have a fairy impressive line up for their first public show, featuring feature performances by Amanda Boyden, Bill Loehfelm, Gian Smith, Kelly Harris-DeBerry, Mat Johnson and Terri Stoor. There is a $5 cover. Doors at 7, show at 8. The Peauxdunque website says the group was founded in 2007 and have a long mission statement that boils down to: Write or die.
& so to the listings…
& Tonight Octavia Books will host ex-pat Catharine Savage Brosman (currently resident in Houston; our condolences) professor emerita of French at Tulane University reading from and signing her eight collection of poems, UNDER THE PERGOLA. She is the author of numerous books of French literary history and criticism, two volumes of nonfiction prose, and seven collections of poetry, including most recently Range of Light and Breakwater. Thursday Oct. 6.at 6 p.m., Octavia Books.
& Also on tonight (Thursday) 17 Poets! Literary & Performance Series once again brings in the big names, presenting a reading and signing by ANNA RABINOWITZ. Rabinowitz has published four volumes of poetry: Present Tense, The Wanton Sublime: A Florilegium of Whethers and Wonders, Darkling: A Poem, and At the Site of Inside Out. She has written the librettos for The Wanton Sublime, a monodrama with original music by Tarik O’Regan, and Darkling, a multi-media opera with music by Stefan Weisman. Darkling excerpts have been performed in many venues, and a full-length production ran for three weeks Off-Broadway. A semi-staged concert version traveled to Europe. Darkling’s latest incarnations are a CD from Albany Records, and a bi-lingual German-English translation from Luxbooks, Weisbaden, Germany. She is editor and publisher emerita of the nationally distributed literary journal, American Letters & Commentary and is a vice-president of the Poetry Society of America and a director of American Opera Project
& On Friday Maple Street Book Shop (the one on Maple Street) asks: Those Chicken Soup books never really soothed the soul of the yats and dats, did it? Well, Yvonne Perret has the cure for what ails us. She’ll be reading and discussing Yat Wit: Chicken Gumbo for the New Orleans Soul on Thursday, October 6, 2011, 6:00 P.M. A Bunny Matthews cover of Vic and Nattly, match. (I’m waiting for Chicken Soup for the Vegan Soul).
&On Friday, NOMA begins its back-by-popular-demand presentation of William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream in the Bestoff Sculpture Garden. It’s not even listed on the museum web site so I’m afraid it might be sold out in advance again. Sorry if you missed it.(Hey, Gercan, is it just Shakespeare or William Shakespeare? Templeton stole my style book again).
&You might have to console yourself with a visit to the NOMA exhibit Bookmarks: The Artist’s Response to Text, which runs through Nov. 28.
&On Saturday, the New Orleans Haiku Society joins a host of other presenters for the museum’s annual Japan Fest. Earthquake and Japan by Kojin Karatani, a hand-made, limited edition book published by the Walker Percy Center for Writing and Publishing, will also be available for $15. All proceeds from the sale of this book will be donated to the Japan Earthquake Relief Fund.I don’t know what plans my son had for Saturday afternoon, but there’s no way I’m missing Kaminari Taiko (these guys make Karl Palmer look like a piker).
& OK, I usually skip the kiddie stuff but since Maple Street’s story time on Saturday will feature stories about llamas, I get to post a link to this. Miss Maureen reads from 11:30 am – 12:30 pm on Saturday, Oct. 8. Just don’t get me started on Llamas with Hats. Ah, the things you learn from little children. OK, from 16 years olds boys.
& I almost didn’t list this for the same reason I will never darken the doorway of Ruth’s Chris Steak House, the decision of the restaurant chain to move their headquarters out of New Orleans after Katrina. I recommend you join me in boycotting them as well, and steering tourists to the other fine steak houses in town. Still here it is. Just remember that sizzling in butter started a few blocks further up Broad Street .
& On Sunday, Oct. 9 The Pirate Alley Faulkner Society and the he Louisiana State Museum will host a book launch for Randy Fertel’s THE GORILLA MAN AND THE EMPRESS OF STEAK: A New Orleans Family Memoir, at 4:00 p. m. The reception at the Cabildo will feature food, wine, and music in the style of Professor Longhair by jazz musician Armand St Martin. RSVPs can be made by e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
& Also this Sunday Poet Murray Shugars reads from his work followed by an open mic at the Maple Leaf Bar, the longest running poetry series in the South, founded by Everette Maddox. Shugars gave an excellent reading last Saturday at the Milton Latter Memorial Library Poetry Buffett. If you miss him there, don’t miss him here. And I might mention that Sunday is Everette Maddox’s birthday, so if you don’t buy a shot of bar scotch to pour beneath his plaque and read something of his during open mike, well, I don’t want to start throwing around words like “curse” or “geis” lightly but when They stop bothering to send even reject slips and that special birthday poem makes your partner cry (not in a good way) and start packing, don’t say you weren’t warned.
&On Monday Crescent City Books will launch a new monthly literary salon beginning Oct 10, 7-9, featuring Nigerian poet Niyi Osundare & his new book: City Without People. If it’s like last weeks wonderful Lafcadio Hearn event, notice the sign on the locked door telling you to call the store so Micheal can let you in.
& On Tuesday, Oct. 11 Octavia Books will host also host Fertel and THE GORILLA MAN AND THE EMPRESS OF STEAK.
& A week from today Octavia will host a reading and booksigning with New Orleans writer Melinda Palacio celebrating the release of her debut novel, OCOTILO DREAMS. Palacio is an accomplished poet and writer who grew up in South Central Los Angeles and now lives in Santa Barbara and New Orleans, and is a regular visitor to the Maple Leaf poetry readings when she is in town. She holds an M.A. in comparative literature from the University of California, Santa Cruz. A 2007 PEN Center USA Emerging Voices Fellow and a 2009 poetry alumna of the Squaw Valley Community of Writers, she co-edits Ink Byte Magazine, writes a column for online journal La Bloga
& Just down the road a piece on Oct. 14-16, Walker Percy Center for Writing and Publishing at Loyola University will host its first conference, The Moviegoer at 50. Walker Percy’s debut novel, it beat out Joseph Heller’s Catch-22 and Richard Yates’ Revolutionary Road for the 1962 National Book Award. Keynote speaker will be Jay Tolson, considered one of Percy’s most respected biographers and a lively commentator on contemporary culture, politics, society and religion. For a complete list of panels and events and the cost, visit the Center’s website.
Finally, several writing and manuscript contest and announcements.
& Trembling Pillow Press announces the Bob Kaufman Book Prize, with entries open from Sept 15-Nov 15. There is a 25.00 fee and manuscripts will be judged by Bernadette Mayer. The winning manuscript will be published in 2012 by the press. Online submissions are accepted at the press’ newly redesigned website at tremblingpillowpress.com
& 411 NOLA is sponsoring The Poetic Sould contest in concert with the spoken word event WRITE, NOLA! POETRY FESTIVAL. Judge will be Asia Rainey. The contest encourages young poets with the first guideline: The Poetic Soul Contest accepts entries form all writers aged 14 and up regardless of their location, their level of writing experience and whether or not they have published their work in the past. Poems previously published elsewhere are welcome. Poems must be written or performed in English. There is a $5 poem entry fee and winners will be published on 411 NOLA. There are also cash prizes for first and second place, and winners will also receive copy of Rainey’s book SOUL CHANT.
&Bayou Magazine, the biannual journal of the University of New Orleans creative writing program, announces the third annual James Knudsen Editor’s Prize for fiction and the new Kay Murphy Prize for Poetry. Both contests carry a $500 prize and publication in Bayou Magazine. Both have an entry reading fee that includes a years subscription to the journal. Submissions are open Oct. 1 – Dec. 31. Details are on the website.