Odd Words September 20, 2012Posted by Mark Folse in books, FYYFF, Gallatin & Toulouse Press, literature, New Orleans, Odd Words, Poetry, publishing, Toulouse Street.
My mind is wandering away from books as I crash through a week’s school work in order to blaze through Season Two of Treme, which is not to say that watching Treme is drifting away from literature. I don’t think the world will ever see another Emile Zola or Upton Sinclair except through the lens of television. The Great Google turns up no recent trace of Salman Rushdie’s announced intent to author and produce a science fiction television series, but I still think David Simon has started something that is not likely to die but flourish in the future.
(Insight into the middle-aged mind: Sit on stoop and think, “Google Rushdie’s project”. Walk inside. Suddenly become unable to remember Rushdie’s name. Google “novelist jihad” and get a list of every novel with Jihad in the title or subject. Google “jihad against novelist” and read all about the recent events in the middle east, including Rushdie’s on television talking about it. Mission accomplished. Go take another whats-the-name-of-that-supplement-again.)
And then there is this:
& so to the listings…
& Tonight at 9 p.m. 17 Poets! features an Open Mic Host Jimmy Ross Birthday Roast with a reading from our celebrity host together with fellow poets Jenna Mae and Chris Toll. Ross is a poet, playwright and fiction writer. He has been long recognized as one of New Orleans’ finest satirists. Ross’ collection If Bricks Were Books was published by Think Tank press in 2003. He has been moderating the 17 Poets! Open Mic since
192007. His next collection is forthcoming from Lavender Ink. We all think we would like to be Jimmy when we grow up, but we’re waiting for Jimmy to get there first. Did I mention this is a Roast? There will be cupcakes. And frivolity. And drinking. And cupcakes.
& Thursday at 6 p.m. Octavia Books hosts T. Geronimo Johnson featuring his riveting debut novel, Hold It ‘Til It Hurts.
Johnson is from New Orleans originally and although he now makes his home in Berkeley, he maintains a strong connection to his hometown – and New Orleans figures prominently in the novel. Hold It ‘Til It Hurts is one of the few literary takes on the war in Afghanistan and the veterans who served there. “The magnificence of Hold It ‘Til It Hurts is not only in the prose and the story but also in the book’s great big beating heart. These complex and compelling characters and the wizardry of Johnson’s storytelling will dazzle and move you from first page to last.” — Anthony Swofford, , author of JARHEAD.
& Also tonight at 6:30 p.m., Vicki Salloum will be signing her novella, A Prayer to Saint Jude, at the Maple Street Book
Empire Shop Healing Center location.
& One more Thursday event: Richard Sexton, Randy Harelson and Brian Costello will be signing New Roads and Old Rivers at 5:30 p.m at Garden District Book Shop. The book captures the natural and cultural vitality of Pointe Coupee Parish, Louisiana, as seen in the stunning photographs of Richard Sexton, with text by Randy Harelson and Brian Costello. Pointe Coupee is one of the oldest settlements in the Mississippi Valley, dating to the 1720s. French for a place cut off, the name refers to the area s three oxbow lakes, separated from the Mississippi over centuries. A peninsula edged by the Mississippi and Atchafalaya rivers, Pointe Coupee remains a land rich in Creole heritage, distinct in geographical beauty, and abounding in historic homes and farms.
“Which,” he asks in his best imitation of the maniacal voice of folk singer Theodore Bikel as the Rance Muhammitz in Frank Zappa’s 200 Motels, “do you choose?”
& Friday night at Octavia at 6 p.m. Stone Barrington is back in Severe Clear, a thrilling new addition to the series by perennial New York Times–bestselling author Stuart Woods—the fiftieth novel of his stellar career. Woods’ long list of titles include the New York Times–bestselling Stone Barrington and Holly Barker series.
& Also on Friday at 6 p.m. The Maple Leaf Book Store Bayou St. John locations kicks off the new The Diane Tapes Reading Series at 6 p.m., the first in a monthly reading series hosted by Ben Kopel and Anne Marie Rooney. Readers will include Ben Pelhan, a Pittsburghist living in New Orleans. He makes poems, screenplays, videos, and combinations of poems, screenplays, and videos. His work is available or forthcoming at OH NO, Spork, Fairy Tale Review, Diagram and YouTube. He likes most rivers, most movies, and most of the people he knows; Lara Glenum, Fullbright Fellow and NEA Translation Fellow, is the author of “The Hounds of No” and “Maximum Gaga”. Lara’s writing pushes the boundaries of gender politics and poetics through the use of the sublime and the grotesque. She is also the co-editor (with Arielle Greenberg) of the anthology Gurlesque, which promotes a re-imagined feminist aesthetic, which blurs the boundaries between femininity, burlesque, and the grotesque; Kristin Sanders is the author of the chapbook “Orthorexia” (dancing girl press). Her writing has appeared in places like Octopus, elimae, Strange Machine, HTMLGIANT, and Airplane Reading. Originally from California, she currently teaches at Loyola University, New Orleans, where she is the associate poetry editor at the New Orleans Review.
& Saturday at Xavier will mark the seventh annual Rising Tide Conference on the Future of New Orleans, with key note speakers including Lawrence Powell, author of The Accidental City: Improvising New Orleans at 9:15 am and Lolis , author of Smokestack Lightning: Adventures in the Heart of Barbecue Country and coproducer and author of the PBS documentary, Faubourg Treme: the Untold Story of Black New Orleans at 2 p.m. Lolis is also a member of the writing team of the HBO series Treme. Tickets are $28 in advance, $38 at the door, $18 students and include lunch and a day-long series of panels on subjects of interest to New Orleans. Octavia Books will be on hand so you can pick yourself up a copy of the author’s works, or maybe a copy of A Howling in the Wires, a collection of essays from the year after The Event including many of the founding members of Rising Tide. You know you always wanted a hard copy of Fuck You You Fucking Fucks by Ashley Morris.
& Sunday at 3 p.m. fiction writer Vicki Salloum visits the Maple Leaf Bar reading series with her novella, A Prayer to St. Jude (Mint Hill Books, 2012) Followed by an open mic.
& On Sunday evening at 7 p.m. Spoken Word New Orleans presents Speak Easy Sundays Poetry at the Club Caribbean 2441 Bayou Road. Cover. Visit their website for updates on other spoken words and visiting artists all around town.
& On Tuesday the 25th the Lunch ‘n’ Lit group will be meeting at the Keller Library Community Center Loft at 12pm with Richard Ford’s Canada. Participants should bring their lunch. If you’re interested in joining a bookclub and you’ve got some daytime availability in your schedule, mark down the fourth Tuesday of the month.
& Susan Larson, the former book editor of the former Times-Picayune newspaper and member of the National Book Critics Circle hosts The Reading Life on WWNO (89.9 FM) on Tuesdays at 1:30 p.m. repeating Sundays at Noon. She features interviews with authors of local and national interest.
& A week from today you should mark your calendar for what sounds like a fascinating book, John Shelton Reed’s Dixie Bohemia: A French Quarter Circle in the 1920′s. In the years following World War I, the New Orleans’s French Quarter attracted artists and writers with its low rents, faded charm, and colorful street life. By the 1920s Jackson Square had become the center of a vibrant if short-lived Bohemia. A young William Faulkner and his roommate William Spratling, an artist who taught at Tulane, were among the “artful and crafty ones of the French Quarter,” as they styled themselves. In Dixie Bohemia Reed introduces Faulkner s circle of friends ranging from the distinguished writer Sherwood Anderson to a gender-bending Mardi Gras costume designer, from Tulane s president to one of its cheerleaders and brings to life the people and places of New Orleans in the jazz age.
& Also next Thursday (more details then) Room 220 presents the first installation of this fall’s LIVE PROSE reading series with T. Geronimo Johnson, Khaled al-Berry, and Lucy Fricke at 7 p.m. at Melvin’s.
& Also down the road (included here so I don’t forget to include it next week), on Oct. 4 the 1718 Reading Series hosted by students in the English departments of Loyola, UNO and Tulane will feature poet Andy Stallings on Oct. 2 at their usual venue, The Columns. I’ve got nothing bad to say about the Goldmine or the Maple Leaf, but there are only certain places you can relish a proper Sazerac with your poetry. Hopefully this does not disqualify me from any future Pirate Shots at You Know Where.