Odd Words November 10, 2011Posted by Mark Folse in Toulouse Street.
“She’s the real expert on how to put together a winning story”
– Novelist, editor and critic Tom Carson on Words & Music Festival
student story contest winner resident Ruth Marie Landry
Last week ended with a bang and I am well launched out of the cannon and across the mad circus tent of three more days of the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society Words & Music Festival. The bang was not missing hearing UNO professor and composer Victor Atkin’s piano suite based on Faulker’s The Barn Burning, as I crashed and burned myself before it started, but hearing the excerpt from the winner’s story. My own fanboy feelings about Haruki Murakami are pretty well known to regular readers, and to quote myself from yesterday “the Murakami-esque equanimity of the protagonist in confronting her bizarre condition” made the excerpt of Landry’s stories one of the day’s high points.
Odd Words thinks that New Orleans is in the middle of a largely unrecognized literary renaissance (mostly because the local literary community organizes itself into silos of writers who don’t communicate which each other, a barrier Odd Words seeks to break down), and the knowledge that we are producing such talented young writers in the Lusher High School and New Orleans Center for Creative Writing programs means it has not reached it zenith.
I did get to meet some of the Peauxdunque Writer’s Alliance crowd at the last event of Wednesday and a charming bunch they are. You can read their own write up of the end of day reading and social on theri own blog as I’m out of time.
I had best get to the listings, as I got up at 5:30 this morning to get them done so as to have myself firmly planted in a seat at the Monteleone Hotel by 8:30, the festival list is long and it is not all that is going on this week.
& Before I get into this week’s events, I should call out that Stephen King will be at Octavia Books Tuesday, Nov. 22 and I’m sure that’s going to be a packed madhouse. You need to purchase a ticket in advance, which includes a copy of the novel 11/22/63. Only 250 of the first editions available will be signed and you have to buy a ticket to have a chance at one of those, so call or get over to Octavia Books if you want to meet the great man and get a chance at a signed copy.
& This Thursday at 17 Poets! Kristin Sanders reads and signs her new collection from Dancing Girl press along with poet Alison Pelegrin followed by an open mic hosted by Jimmy Ross, who is a better bet for finding an apartment (at least for me) than the NYT Obituaries. Sign up, 7:30, reading begins at 8PM.
& Thursday continues the Words & Music Festival but I already posted listings through today earlier in the week. You can see the full schedule, venues and ticket costs on the web site. Follow along here with Dispatches from the Back, as well as on the Odd Words Facebook page including pictures as the day goes on, and on Twitter, follow Odd_Words.
& Friday at the festival includes: Tailoring Literary Art to the Requirements of Global Village Internet Communication discussing the impact of the Internet and social media on the art of narrative non-fiction with John Biguenet, Andrew Lam, and Eric Liebetrau, Managing Editor and Non-Fiction Editor of Kirkus Reviews — 8:15 a. m. — Hotel Monteleone, Riverview Room; The Impact of the Internet, Good & Bad, on Artists & The General Public with Andrei Codrescu, Ted Mooney, and Chris Ruen — 9:30 a. m. — Hotel Monteleone, Queen Anne Ballroom; The Importance of Our Dreams to Our Lives and Our Creativity with Rodger Kamenetz and Joséphine Sacabo — 10:45 a. m. — Hotel Monteleone, Queen Anne Ballrom; Literature & Lunch (reservations required) will feature The Classic Works of Hemingway & Fitzgerald as Inspiration for Contemporary Fiction with Paula McLain and Tom Carson. Kirk Curnutt, Ph.D., will moderate — 12:30 p. m.— Hotel Monteleone, Riverview Room, Roof; When is a Romance Novel a Guilty Pleasure and When is it Just a Literary Pleasure featuring Michael Signorelli of Harper Collins, Elise Blackwell and Robert Olen Butler, author of the unrepentantly romantic (in a good way) novel A Small Hotel — 2: 30 p. m. — Hotel Monteleone, Queen Anne Ballroom; Celtic Faery Tales and Arabian Entertainments To Get Us Through The Night with Signe Pike and Andrei Codrescu, moderated by Brandi Bowles — 3:45 p. m. — Hotel Monteleone, Queen Anne Ballrom; MEET THE EDITORS & AGENTS with Deborah Grosvernor, owner of the Grosvenor Literary Agency, leading a session including all participating editors and agents — 5:00 p. m. — Hotel Monteleone, Queen Anne Ballroom.
& Friday night’s Festival events end with a black tie gala featuring Armando Valladares, former United States Ambassador to the United Nations for Human Rights, and author of the international bestselling memoir, Against All Hope, which details his 22 years as a prisoner of conscience in Castro’s Cuba. Sadly I haven’t needed a tux since I worked in D.C., and I am pretty sure it is now the tux of someone of a slightly less white-sauce-with-crab-meat-on-everything physique.
& Saturday’s Faulkner Fest starts off with Menage à Trois, the annual session on the important three-way relationship between author, agent, and editor, with novelist Paula McLain, her agent Julie Barer and her editor Susanna Porter, Executive Editor at Random House. — 8:15 a. m. — Hotel Monteleone, Queen Anne ; The Art of the Memoir, Giving It Universality of Appeal introduced by literary agent Howard Yoon, with authors Randy Fertel, Signe Pike, and Oscar Hijuelos– 9:30 a. m. — Hotel Monteleone, Queen Anne Ballroom ; The Old Verities of Story Telling Still Apply as Inspiration for 21st Century Literature led by George Bishop and featuring Pamela Binnings Ewen and Mark Yakich — 11:00 a. m. — Hotel Monteleone, Queen Anne Ballroom ; Literature & Lunch features Punditry in the Global Village with Ken Wells, Roy Blount, Jr., and Lee Papa, a Louisiana native better known to bloggers and their audiences as the Rude Pundit — 12:45 p. m. — Riverview Room, Roof; The Art of Making the Past Come Alive for 21st Century Audiences with Anka Muhlstein, Elise Blackwell, and Andrei Codrescu — 2:45 p.m. — Queen Anne Ballroom ; The New Orleans Sound and Its Caribbean Roots led by New Orleans jazz scholar Bruce Raeburn and featuring Leopoldo Tablante and Bill Cruz — 4:00 p.m. — Hotel Monteleone, Queen Anne Ballroom.
& The Festival’s evening events include: Performance reading from his Pulitzer Prize winning Play by Cuban – American Playwright Nilo Cruz — 6:30 p. m. — Hotel Monteleone, Queen Anne Ballroom; followed by, A Conversation with John Biguenet & Nilo Cruz on writing for the states with John Biguenet and Nilo Cruz. The night cap is Jazz After Hours at the Napoleon House featuring the Cuban-style band AsheSon, led by Javier Olondo.
I’m so tired just from typing all this up I have to stop and get another cup of coffee. And we’re not to Saturday yet.
& Downtown Friday night at the Love Lost Lounge, the No Love Lost Poetry Reading hosted by Joseph Bienvenu kicks of at 5:30 p.m., just in time for the bar’s happy hour and opening time for the excellent Vietnamese kitchen in the back.
& Later Friday New Orleans premiere spoken word event Acoustic Fridays the Red Star Gallery, 2513 Bayou Road, hosted every week by Charlie V-Uptowns Illest MC. $7 cover, $5 with college ID
& Saturday at Garden District Books Laura Lippman will be on hand from 1 – 3 pm to sign her new book The Most Dangerous Thing. A former reporter for the Baltimore Sun, she is best known for writing a series of novels set in Baltimore and featuring Tess Monaghan, a reporter (natch) turned private investigator. Lippman’s works have won the Agatha, Anthony, Edgar, Nero, Gumshoe and Shamus awards. She is also married to some writer guy from Baltimore who gets enough ink in this town already.
& Saturday at Words & Music starts off with Literary Marketing in the Global Village, Using The Resources of the Internet with Shari Stauch, John Oakes, and Lee Papa. Look for Odd Words to have a few “is that a question or a comment” moments here — 8:15 a. m. — Hotel Monteleone, Queen Anne Ballroom; New Designs in Publishing for the Electronic Age with John Oakes, Chris Ruen, and Julie Smith with moderator Random House Executive Editor Will Murphy — 9:30 a. m. — Hotel Monteleone, Riverview Room; The Art of Creating a Sense of Place with Ted Mooney, Robert Hicks, and Moira Crone, moderated by literary agent Dan Conaway of Writers House — 10:45 a. m.— Hotel Monteleone, Riverview Room; The Art of Creating a Sense of Place Literature & Lunch features The Perfect French Omelette: One Made in Winter with White Truffles with Anka Muhlstein and N. M. Kelby. Ms. Muhlstein’s new work, Balzac’s Omelette, is about understanding Honoré de Balzac, through an unusual lens, the narrative threads relating to food in Balzac’s work, moderated by Randy Fertel whose mother founded Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse and who is himself a scholar of French literature. It don’t get more New Orleans than this unless you put some lump crabmeat on it — Noon — Hotel Monteleone, Riverview Room, Roof; and the closing event New Orleans, Mon Amor featuring “sweets and tales about the sweetest city ever created” introduced by Roy Blount, Jr. and featuring Robert Olen Butler, Robert Hicks, Randy Fertel, and James Nolan — 2:15 p. m. — Riverview Room, Roof.
& This Sunday at the Maple Leaf Poet Dennis Formento will read from his work accompanied by musicians Helen Gillet on cello and Dave Capello on drums (with possible special guest Robert Head, founder of NOLA Express newspaper). If you’re not old enough to remember the NOLA Express you have no idea just how groovy this is. Just go with the flow. You’re in the hands of experts.
& On Monday, Crescent City Books continues it’s Black Widow Reading Series, hosting Bill Lavender for the reading and discussion of his brand new book Memory Wing. 7-9 p.m. The event will start promptly at 7:15 pm upstairs. Seating is limited. RSVP’s preferred.
& And of course this and every Monday Kate Smash will lead everyone in a rousing chorus of “Mercedes-Benz” after the Writer’s Block reading on the amphitheater steps across from Jackson Square. 9 .m. No list, no mic, all performers welcome. I wonder if we sing that Janis Joplin song loud enough, we can get Robert Head to come.
OK, I’m just getting this done in the last minutes before I have to leave so I had best jump in the shower, grab a Jetson’s breakfast from the vitamin shelf and another mug of coffee and get going. If I’ve missed anything watch the Facebook page and Twitter for announcements and mea culpeas. See you at Festival and the rest of this week’s events. I’m the old fart in the young man’s hat.