Odd Words May 9, 2013Posted by Mark Folse in books, Indie Book Shops, literature, New Orleans, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, publishing, Toulouse Street.
This week’s featured event is the first public reading of Jimmy Ross’s long-awaited collection Say What! by Lavendar Ink Press. The komusō-locked Crazy Uncle of the New Orleans literary family, who can pull an amazing tale from behind your year like a miraculous piece of favorite candy, will appear at a salon hosted Wednesday, May 15 by poet-hostess Jenna Mae. Ross is a story teller par excelence, Hotei poet, actor, baby-sitter of poor poets’ children and long-standing host of the open mic at 17 Poets! Details of time and place below in the listings.
Tomorrow is the last day for New Orleans students to enter the Latter Memorial Library’s Bad Poetry Contest. Prizes for the best of the worst entries include gift cards to local book stores and a new journal to fill with good poetry. There will be a public reading featuring the winners Thursday, May 16th at 6PM at Latter Library (5120 St. Charles Avenue). Refreshments and snacks will be served!
& Tonight (Thursday, May 9) Garden District Books features Jean Morgan Meaux: In Pursuit of Alaska: An Anthology of Travelers’ Tales 1879-1909 at 5:30 p.m. This collection of Alaskan adventures begins with a newspaper article written by John Muir during his first visit to Alaska in 1879, when the sole U.S. government representative in all the territory’s 586,412 square miles was a lone customs official in Sitka. It closes with accounts of the gold rush and the 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition in Seattle. Jean Meaux has gathered a superb collection of articles and stories that captivated American readers when they were first published and that will continue to entertain us today. The authors range from Charles Hallock (the founder of Forest and Stream, a precursor of Field and Stream) to New York society woman Mary Hitchcock, who traveled with china, silver, and a 2,800 square foot tent. After explorer Henry Allen wore out his boots, he marched barefoot as he continued mapping the Tanana River, and Episcopal Archdeacon Hudson Stuck mushed by dog sled in Arctic winters across a territory encompassing 250,000 miles of the northern interior.
& Join Room 220 for a Happy Hour Salon featuring readings by three exciting and celebrated novelists—Rachel Kushner, Nathaniel Rich, and Zachary Lazar—from 6 – 9 p.m. on Thursday, May 9, at the Press Street HQ (3718 St. Claude Ave.). Kushner, who will be visiting from Los Angeles, and New Orleans-based Rich both have new novels out that have been greeted with great critical acclaim. Lazar, a Tulane professor and author, has recently finished a new novel, and we look forward to (hopefully) hearing an excerpt from it at the event. Maple Street Bookshop will be on hand with the authors’ books for sale.
& Rodger Kamenetz, author of The Jew in The Lotus, will give a talk “What I Learned About Judaism from the Dalai Lama” in honor of the Dalai Lama’s upcoming visit to New Orleans. Event at Temple Sinai Reform Congregation, 6227 Saint Charles Ave, is free and open to the public.
& Tonight 17 Poets! features Chris Champagne and Bryan Spitzfaden . Champagne is a satirical poet, comedian and the author of The YAT Dictionary.
& Octavia Books hosts a startling new version of the children’s classic The Itsy Bitsy Spider by renowned children’s picture book author and illustrator Rebecca Emberley. “Here is a gorgeous retelling by Rebecca and her Caldacott Medal- winning father, Ed Emberley, of the classic tale of a spider climbing up the water-spout. Using their unique collage artwork, the Emberleys’ vision breathes new life and brilliant color into this toddler favorite. This is not your grandmother’s spider!” No indeed it is not. If this were a Miyazaki file I would have that uneasy feeling when the spider on this cover first appeared even though its jeweled body suggested goodness.
& Saturday’s Story Time with Miss Maureen at Garden District Books Uptown will feature Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion at 11:30 a.m.
& The Studio in the Woods will host its annual FORESTival featuring resident artists exhibitions and performance on Saturday from 11:00 am – 5:00 pm, 13401 Patterson Road (essentially the very end of the Algiers River Road). Artist presentations including: Sarah Quintana & Co. singing original compositions from The Delta Demitasse series Sunpie and the Louisiana Sunspots Choreographer Monique Moss will reprise Katrina Cranes Secondline with Nina Nichols‘ giant puppet and the Panorama Duo with Ben Schenck, clarinet, and Boyanna Trayanova, snare drum Adventures in clay with Jane Hill Triple B’s: Berhman Brass Band Tshirts designed by Pippin Frisbie-Calder and silkscreened live with Ben Fox-McCord from Press Street/Antenna Gallery Jewelry for sale by Georgette Fortino Art activities in the Kids’ Creative Corner Tours of the woods with botanist David Baker Food and drink for purchase Tours of the founders’ home with Joe & Lucianne Carmichael
& On Saturday Garden District Book Shop Hosts Jackson Galaxy’s Cat Daddy: What the World’s Most Incorrigible Cat Taught Me About Life, Love, and Coming Clean at 2 p.m. In this book, Galaxy tells the poignant story of his thirteen-year relationship with a petite gray-and-white short-haired cat named Benny, and gives singular advice for living with, caring for, and loving the feline in your home. When Benny arrived in his life, Galaxy was a down-and-out rock musician with not too much more going on than a part-time job at an animal shelter and a drug problem. Benny’s previous owner brought the cat to the shelter in a cardboard box to give him up. Benny had seen better days —- his pelvis had just been shattered by the wheels of a car — and his owner insisted he’d been “unbondable” from day one. Nothing could have been further from the truth. An inspiring account of two broken beings who fixed each other, Cat Daddy is laced throughout with Galaxy’s amazing “Cat Mojo” advice for understanding what cats need most from us humans in order to live happier, healthier lives.
& The Peauxdunque Writers Alliance continues its Sunday Shorts reading series, this week featuring Terri Stoor along with Jeri Hilt! Doors open at the Red Star Galerie (2513 Bayou Road) at 8 p.m., with readings starting at 8:30.
& The new Sunday show from Spoken Word New Orleans is Poetry and Paint Brushes. Spoken Word artists perform as a resident artists paints the crowd and performers. At 6 p.m. at Special Tea, 4337 Banks Street. No longer at the Bayou Road location.
& On the second, fourth, and fifth Sunday of each month, Jenna Mae hosts poets and spoken-word readers at 8:00 p.m. at the Fair Grinds Coffee House on 3133 Ponce de Leon St.
& Monday evening the East Bank Regional Library in Metairie hosts The Fiction Writers’ Group. This is a support group for serious writers of fiction. We do not focus on poetry, essays or nonfiction. Events consist of critique sessions from group members, author talks and writing exercises. Free of charge and open to the public. Registration is not required. 7-9 p.m.
& 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. She features interviews with authors of local and national interest.
& Tuesday at Maple Street Book Shop at The Healing Center Bill Loehfelm will be signing his newest novel, The Devil in Her Way, at our Healing Center shop at 6:30 p.m. When Maureen Coughlin first appeared in The Devil She Knows (2011), the New Orleans Times-Picayune called her “unforgettable” and “the character of the year.” Booklist named The Devil She Knows one of 2011’s ten best thrillers and declared Maureen “as compelling a character as this reviewer expects to see this year.” Now she’s back in Bill Loehfelm’s new thriller, The Devil in Her Way, and her life has changed in more ways than one: She’s starting over in New Orleans as a newly minted member of the police force.
& Every Tuesday at 6 p.m. the Barnes & Noble West Bank hosts Westbank Writers’ Group. Every is welcome, from novices to serious authors. Join us for inspiration, friendly critiques, or just to connect with other local writers.
& Tuesday evening brings Don Paul’s Poetry Ball 5 at the Cafe Istanbul at 8 p.m., featuring Asam Devan Ecclesiastes, Asia Raniey, Daniel Remhold, and special guest Lee Grue, followed by an open mic.
& Garden District will feature the UNO Press edition of Black and White on the Rocks by Rick Barton, the Creative Writing Workshop’s beloved director at 5:30 p.m. Black and White on the Rocks is a captivating tale set in the charming architecture of New Orleans. Michael Barnett drives the turns of this novel through greed ruled corruption, racial prejudice, friendship, and convoluted schemes. Barton has wrapped this story of bribery and redemption within the warmth of a loving marriage, offering sweet reprieve when life reveals its troublesome secrets that boil for release.
Fredrick Barton is the author of the novels The El Cholo Feeling Passes, Courting Pandemonium, Rowing to Sweden, and A House Divided, which won the William Faulkner Prize in fiction.
& Wednesday, May 15 Jenna Mae will host a salon at 7:30 p.m. celebrating the release of Jimmy Ross’ new collection from Lavender Ink: Say What! (http://www.lavenderink.org/content/link-titles/161) The thin, dreadlocked Ross–story teller par excelence, komusō poet, actor, baby-sitter of poor poets’ children and long-standing host of the open mic at 17 Poets! is ter beloved Crazy Uncle of the New Orleans literary family, who can pull an amazing tale from behind your year like a miraculous piece of favorite candy. The evening will feature readings by Megan Burns, Desiree Dallagiacomo, and signing and reading by Jimmy Ross. Art by Jim Tascio and Ozone. Jimmy Ross’ famous baklava and other goodies. BYOB or by donation.
& On Wednesday the NOPL will present An Evening of Codes, Symbols, and Secrets. The #1 international bestselling author Dan Brown will be streamed live and shown at the Algiers Regional Branch at 6:30 p.m. as he speaks about his new novel Inferno plus a range of topics including science, religion, codes, book publishing, movie making, and a few surprise topics. This will be Dan Brown’s only public U.S. appearance. Streamed Live from Lincoln Center.
& Wednesday there is a weekly poetry reading hosted at the Neutral Ground Coffee House at 9 p.m
Next Thursday May 16 at 7 p.m. come support UNO’s Team English in Gambit Weekly’s Adult Spelling Contest at The Rusty Nail, hosted by Gus Kattengul, Gambit sports writer. Competing for student scholarships for the UNO English Department, MA Rich Goode will try and best 19 other spelling bee contestants. Prizes will not only go to the winner of the contest, but also to the speller who brings the most supporters, so it’s important that Team English turns out. Please feel free to invite your friends to this event! $5 cover and 20% of the bar take will go to the winning charities.