Odd Words June 20, 2013Posted by Mark Folse in books, literature, New Orleans, NOLA, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, publishing, reading, Toulouse Street.
Sad news: Maple Street Book Shop is closing its downtown Healing Center and Bayou St. John locations. I didn’t shop there often enough, but I don’t think I have bought a book anywhere else since it opened. I have such a backlog to read, and to paraphrase the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, books will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no books. (If you not a ’70s comix fan, just let the name guide you if you want to know what they were talking about. Hemp makes excellent paper, in civilized countries).I remember when I meekly walked in to my first sales call for my first self-published book and Donna Allen immediately took 10 copies and wrote me a check; no question of consignment. I don’t mean to hold them high above other local indie book sellers but Donna and uptown manager Gladin Scott are people who live to sell books, and are happy to support emerging local artists. The Bayou St. John location was such a great addition to my own neighborhood, they are going to be sorely missed. BSJ manager Matt Carney was always a pleasure to visit with when I stopped in. The shop is going to be sorely missed.
I missed Bloomsday 2012 with what I’m generally referring to as the Boiling Cauldron of Pharmacologically-Enraged Contagin, but organizer Michell Zell reports, “We mostly filled the upstairs dining area at The Irish House with around four dozen people. There was a strong range of readers, including from puppeteer Pandora Gastelum to UNO prof Richard Goodman, and from the insight of relative John Joyce to Dickens Fellowship co-founder Marigny Dupuy. Onward and upward next year.” Zell has grown this event amazingly from the rag tag bunch I managed to pull together in the back of Mick’s Pub three years ago. Next time your downtown, stop into Crescent City Books to say thanks. And, well, it’s a bookstore. You know what to do. I may have to pick up a copy of Finnegan’s Wake as pleasant pennance.
Another notable local event you won’t have to wait a year to attend is Esoterotica. Guided by mistress Aimé SansSavant, this rollicking collection of comedy, stories poetry and the long-running soap opera Model X-Y is one of finest collections of readers and performers you will find at an open microphone in New Orleans, With her core of provocateurs and a parade of willing new comers (“virgin voices”, she called them one night) put on a show at the Allways once a month. (Among the now less virginal voices you will find one Oddball, who bears a strange resemblance to the editor of Odd Words, but appearances can be deceiving.) If you’ve already picked out the same $1,200 technical rain slicker Jim Cantore wears during hurricanes to be buried in to be better prepared for the second circle of hell, you should definitely get down and check them out. You can read more about this group in June’s Antigravity. Their next event is for Pride Day this Friday, “Queer Hearts”! A Benefit for Women with a Vision and an Open Mic!”, and the next regular show is in July. Watch this space. Don’t miss it.
& At 5:30 on Thursday the Garden District Book Shops presents David Berg’s Run, Brother, Run.From a renowned trial lawyer, a searing family memoir of a wild boyhood in Texas that led to the vicious murder of the author’s brother by actor Woody Harrelson’s father. Writing with cold-eyed grief and lacerating humor, Berg shares intimate details about his striving Jewish family that perhaps set Alan on a course for self-destruction, and the wrenching miscarriage of justice when Berg’s murderer went unpunished. Since burying his brother, David has never discussed how he died. But then about three years ago, details from his past crept into his memory and he began to research his family’s legacy and his brother’s death, informed by his expertise as a seasoned attorney. The result is a raw and painful memoir that taps into the darkest human behaviors, a fascinating portrait of an iconic American place, and a true-crime courtroom murder drama—all perfectly calibrated.
& The Booked for Murder Book Club meets at the Norman Mayer Library at 5:30 pm. Club meets every 3rd Thursday of the month. New members are welcomed to join.
& There will be an open mic poetry reading at Flora’s Coffee House hosted by Jimmy Ross at 9 pm Thursday. Jimmys says he hopes to makes this a regular thing through the summer.
& On Friday Esoterotica hosts their annual Pride event “Queer Hearts”! A Benefit for Women with a Vision and an Open Mic! Mlle SanSavant says ” join our provocateurs on the stage to share your original queer-rotic experiences, fantasies, needs, and desires! Whether they are sexual, sensual or downright dirty, we want to hear your voice! So bring it loud and proud because it’s freakin’ Pride, People!” Doors at 7, show at 8 at the Allways Lounge. Donations encouraged.
& On Friday, Spoken Word rules at the Special Tea Coffee House. Doors at 7, show at 8. By admission
& At the Community Book Store on Bayou Road, Chakula will be performing ‘Poems from the Unknown Poet’ at 7 p.m.
& On Saturday at 11:30 am for Story Time with Miss Maureen at Maple Street Uptown she’ll read Miss Maple’s Seeds by Eliza Wheeler!
& Todd-Micheal St. Pierre will be signing his Taste of Treme cookbook at Fluerty Girl, 3117 Magazine Street, starting at 11 a.m. and again Sunday at Fluerty Girl’s Metairie location starting at 1 p.m.
& Sunday at 3 p.m. at the Maple Leaf Bar is the Maple Leaf Reading Series, the oldest continuous reading series in the south, founded by Everette Maddox. In the back patio, weather permitting. Periodic features and an open mic every Sunday.
& The new Sunday show from Spoken Word New Orleans is Poetry and Paint Brushes. Spoken Word artists perform as a resident artist sketches the performers. Doors at 7 pm. and show at 8 pm. at Special Tea, 4337 Banks Street.
& 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.
& On Tuesday at 2 pm the Alvar Library will host Blackout Poetry, a literary craft event for teenagers. Participants will black out words on pages of donated old books to create their own poetry.
& Also on Tuesday the Jefferson Parish Library Writers Group meets at the Westwego library from 7-9 pm.