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Odd Words April 10, 2014

Posted by Mark Folse in books, literature, New Orleans, Odd Words, Poetry, Toulouse Street.
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This coming week in literary New Orleans.

& Thursday at 6 pm the Belle Chase Library hosts native son Geoff Munsterman who will will read from and sign his poetry collection Because the Stars Shine Through It (2013 Lavender Ink). Guests are invited to purchase books from the author before or after the reading, which should begin around 6:30. Cookies and refreshments will be available.

& Also on Thursday at 6 pm Garden District Book Shop hosts Zachary Lazar and I Pity the Poor Immigrant. The stunning new novel by the author of Sway is another “brilliant portrayal of life as a legend” (Margot Livesey). In 1972, the American gangster Meyer Lansky petitions the Israeli government for citizenship. His request is denied, and he is returned to the U.S. to stand trial. He leaves behind a mistress in Tel Aviv, a Holocaust survivor named Gila Konig. In 2009, American journalist Hannah Groff travels to Israel to investigate the killing of an Israeli writer. She soon finds herself inside a web of violence that takes in the American and Israeli Mafias, the Biblical figure of King David, and the modern state of Israel. As she connects the dots between the murdered writer, Lansky, Gila, and her own father, Hannah becomes increasingly obsessed with the dark side of her heritage. Part crime story, part spiritual quest, I Pity the Poor Immigrant is also a novelistic consideration of Jewish identity.

& On Friday at 6 p.m. pm Garden District Book Shop features Frances Mayes’s Under Magnolia. A lyrical and evocative memoir from Frances Mayes, the Bard of Tuscany, about coming of age in the Deep South and the region’s powerful influence on her life. Under Magnolia is a searingly honest, humorous, and moving ode to family and place, and a thoughtful meditation on the ways they define us, or cause us to define ourselves. With acute sensory language, Mayes relishes the sweetness of the South, the smells and tastes at her family table, the fragrance of her hometown trees, and writes an unforgettable story of a girl whose perspicacity and dawning self-knowledge lead her out of the South and into the rest of the world, and then to a profound return

& On Saturday at 11:30 a.m. Maple Street Books presents Story Time with Miss Maureen. This week she’ll read The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes by Marjorie Flack. The country bunny attains the exalted position of Easter Bunny in spite of her responsibilities as the mother of twenty-one children.

& At 1:30 pm Octavia Books at children’s book author Whitney Stewart presents and signs her new picture book, A CATFISH TALE: A Bayou Story of the Fisherman and His Wife. Deep in the bayou, a Cajun fisherman named Jack catches a magic fish that offers to grant wishes in exchange for being set free. Jack doesn’t have a lot of wishes, but his wife Jolie sure does—for a mansion, a paddleboat, fame and fortune! With each wish, all the fish says is “Ah, tooloulou—if that ain’t the easiest thing to do.” But when Jolie wants to be crowned Mardi Gras queen, have things gone too far?

& Saturday evening at 7 pm the journal T E N D E R L O I N presents it’s reading series The Third Weird Thing at Kajun’s on Sat. Claude. This month our 3rd weird thing is the 4th! Four poets for your pleasure: Jennifer Hanks, M.K Brake, Min Kang and Joseph Bienvenu. About the series: Cold Cuts is a poetry reading interested in performance and a performance interested in reading poetry. Each reading will consist of 3 – often on the theme of 2 poets and a 3rd weird thing: the performative. But we encourage all our poets to perform and all our performances to poet. We like to showcase our TENDER LOIN writers, and we like to showcase local artists

& Every Sunday at 3 p.m. The Maple Leaf Reading Series, the oldest continuous reading series in the south, founded by Everette Maddox, features guest poets and an open mic. This Sunday features an open mic.

& Sunday is Slam and Spoken Word Day in New Orleans. WhoDatPoets.com lists five Spoken Word shows on Sunday nights. For phone numbers with more details on all these readings visit WHODATPOETS.COM. (I stopped listing all of the events because one venue’s name forced me to limit this post for readers over 21. Check WHODATEPOETS.COM for all the latest on slam and spoken word in New Orleans.

& Sunday at 7 pm the two-time national champion Slam New Orleans hosts The New $#!% Slam at the Shadowbox Theater. “Bring your new hat, your new date, and most importantly your NEW POEMS as we celebrate all things new. Please bring new poems that have not yet hit the The Shadowbox Theatre (and preferably any) stage.”

& Speak Sunday is hosted every Sunday at 7 pm by Duece the Poet at Therapy, 3001 Tulane Avenue, also featuring live painting of the performers by C.C. Givens.

& Monday the East Bank Regional Library hosts it’s Fiction Writers’ Group featuring Greg Alexander, a local author who lives and works in Metairie, will discuss his new book, The Holy Mark. The Holy Mark is a monologue told from the point of view of a psychologically disturbed Catholic priest who continually rationalizes and justifies his relationships with teenaged boys. It combines the elements of a psychological case study and dysfunctional New Orleans Italian family saga. The Holy Mark is the story of one reluctant priest caught between the cynicism of his own Southern upbringing and the political machinations of the Roman Catholic Church. Gregory Alexander was born and raised in New Orleans. After completing degrees in Psychology and American Literature, he taught English at several Catholic schools in the city. His short stories, including the genesis of The Holy Mark, have appeared in literary magazines across the country. Alexander has been a contributing book reviewer for the New Orleans Times Picayune.

& 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. Watch Odd Words on Facebook and Google+ on Tuesdays for a complete list of her guests and features.

& Tuesday the Latter Memorial Library at 7 pm presents New Orleans Memories: One Writer’s City featuring local author Carolyn Kolb discussing her new book.

& Every Tuesday night get on the list to spit at the longest running spoken word venue in New Orleans at Sweet Lorraine’s Jazz Club hosted by African-American Shakespear. Doors open at 7pm and the Mic pops at 8pm. It is $5 to get in.

& Best-selling author and media personality Sarah Vowell will give a presentation of her work at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, April 16, in the Freeman Auditorium in the Woldenburg Art Center on Tulane University’s campus. Vowell, whose books often present U.S. histories infused with her irreverent comedy, is the author most recently of Unfamiliar Fishes, which the New York Times called “a whiplash study of the Americanization of Hawaii and the events leading to its annexation. Its scintillating cast includes dour missionaries, genital-worshiping heathens, Teddy Roosevelt, incestuous royalty, a nutty Mormon, a much-too-­merry monarch, President Obama, sugar barons, an imprisoned queen and Vowell herself, in a kind of 50th-state variety show.” She is also the author of, among other books, The Wordy Shipmates and Assassination Vacation, she was a contributing editor to This American Life, and she was one of the original contributors to McSweeney’s. (h/t to Room 220, which called this to my attention. It didn’t show up on the Tulane calendar).

& Wednesday at 6 pm Garden District Book Shops presens Justin Go’s The Steady Running of the Hour. Just after graduating college, Tristan Campbell receives a letter delivered by special courier to his apartment in San Francisco. It contains the phone number of a Mr. J.F. Prichard of Twyning & Hooper, Solicitors, in London—and news that could change Tristan’s life forever. In 1924, Prichard explains, an English alpinist named Ashley Walsingham died attempting to summit Mt. Everest, leaving his fortune to his former lover, Imogen Soames-Andersson. But the estate was never claimed. Information has recently surfaced suggesting Tristan may be the rightful heir, but unless he can find documented evidence, the fortune will be divided among charitable beneficiaries in less than two months. In a breathless race from London archives to Somme battlefields to the East fjords of Iceland, Tristan pieces together the story of a forbidden affair set against the tumult of the First World War and the pioneer British expeditions to Mt. Everest. Following his instincts through a maze of frenzied research, Tristan soon becomes obsessed with the tragic lovers, and he crosses paths with a mysterious French girl named Mireille who suggests there is more to his quest than he realizes. Tristan must prove that he is related to Imogen to inherit Ashley’s fortune—but the more he learns about the couple, the stranger his journey becomes.

& Every Wednesday at 8 pm at the Neutral Ground Coffeehouse there is an hour-long open mic poetry night (or fiction night; whatever you want to read really!)

& Also at 8 p.m.every Wednesday the Blood Jet Poetry Series hosted by Megan Burns happens at BJs. Features for the 16th are TBA. Check the daily Odd Words posting for an update.

If you don’t see your event listed here, please be sure to send it to odd.words.nola@gmail.com no later than the Wednesday before the event. Late entries are accepted and added to the blog and so get into the daily post, but getting the in early is appreciated.

Odd Words April 3, 2014

Posted by Mark Folse in books, Indie Book Shops, literature, New Orleans, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, publishing, Toulouse Street.
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This coming week in literary New Orleans. Be sure to check out the National Poetry Month event listing on ToulouseStreet.net or find the link on the Odd Words Page.

& Thursday the Delta Mouth Literary Festival in Baton Rouge kicks off four days of events through the weekend. featuring sixteen readers at various venues. Their website is deltamouthfestival.com and you can keep up with them on their Facebook page.

& Friday at 6 pm Maple Street Books features Michael Grabell (2009), Aran Donovan (2013), and Anne Marie Rooney (2008) reading Friday, April 4th, at 6PM! All have been featured at one point in the Best New Poets annual anthology. Each year, Best New Poets has a guest editor selects 50 poems from nominations made by literary magazines and writing programs, as well as an open internet competition.

& April 5th at 2 pm the U.S. Mint Louisiana State Museum in New Orleans brings Resilient Women, a poetic performance of ancestral power:  with Delia Tomino Nkayama, Troi Bechet, Miki Fugii, Jenna Mae, and Mona Lisa Savory.

& Saturday at 10 am Octavia Books hosts friends of the Child Development Program (CDP) for a special reading/performance by members of the Marsalis Family featuring Delfeayo Marsalis’s new picture book, NO CELL PHONE DAY – followed by a jazz concert by local musicians. And, just mention CDP when you check out and we will donate a portion of your purchases to CDP. NO CELL PHONE DAY is a children’s picture book written by world-renowned NEA Jazz Master and Grammy award-winning producer, Delfeayo Marsalis and illustrated by award-winning Harlem artist, Reginald W. Butler. The book playfully addresses the idea of imposing technology and how it affects our relationships with loved ones. In the book, Delfeayo and his daughter decide to put down their cell phones for a day to explore their hometown of New Orleans!

& Saturday at 1 pm Garden District Book Shop features Jane Scott Hodges’s Linens: For Every Room and Occasion. The book is is the ultimate guide to living and entertaining with fine textiles. Whether your style is classic or modern, casual or formal, crisply pressed or nonchalantly rumpled, linens are uniquely adaptable to the way you live and decorate and the surest way to put a personal stamp on your home.

Saturday at 2 pm bring the National Poetry month instance of the Poetry Buffet at the Latter Memorial Library hosted by poet Gina Ferrara will feature an outstanding collection of poets at 2 pm including: Grace Bauer, Dave Brinks, John Gery, and Julie Kane reading from their work.

& Saturday evening at 6 pm Octavia features Michael Patrick Welch’s NEW ORLEANS: The Underground Guide. Red beans and rice, trad jazz, and second lines are the Big Easy’s calling cards, but beyond where the carriage rides take you is a city brimming with genre-defying music, transnational cuisine, and pockets of wild, artistic locals that challenge preconceived notions of what it means to be New Orleans. With a respectful nod to the traditional and a full embrace of the obscure, New Orleans: The Underground Guide is a resource for discovering the city as it really is — as much brass bands and boas as it is bounce and bicycle tours. From a speakeasy in the Bywater neighborhood to the delightfully sketchy vibe of St. Roch Tavern, lead author Michael Patrick Welch uncovers an unexpected tableau of musicians, venues, and novel ways to pass the bon temps.

& Every Sunday at 3 p.m. The Maple Leaf Reading Series, the oldest continuous reading series in the south, founded by Everette Maddox, features guest poets and an open mic. This Sunday kicks off National Poetry Month with Poets Grace Bauer reading from and signing her new book, Everywhere All At Once, and poet Julie Kane reading from and signing her new book Paper Bullets

& Sunday is Slam and Spoken Word Day in New Orleans. WhoDatPoets.com lists five Spoken Word shows on Sunday nights. For phone numbers with more details on all these readings visit WHODATPOETS.COM. (I stopped listing all of the events because one venue’s name forced me to limit this post for readers over 21. Check WHODATEPOETS.COM for all the latest on slam and spoken word in New Orleans.

& Sunday at 7 pm the two-time national champion Slam New Orleans hosts The New $#!% Slam at the Shadowbox Theater. “Bring your new hat, your new date, and most importantly your NEW POEMS as we celebrate all things new. Please bring new poems that have not yet hit the The Shadowbox Theatre (and preferably any) stage.”

& Speak Sunday is hosted every Sunday at 7 pm by Duece the Poet at Therapy, 3001 Tulane Avenue, also featuring live painting of the performers by C.C. Givens.

& Monday at 5 pm the Creative Writing Workshop returns to the Robert E. Smith Memorial Library on Canal Boulevard.

& Also on Monday the East Bank Regional Library hosts it’s Fiction Writers’ Group – Critique Session. The Fiction Writers’ Group 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.

& 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. Watch Odd Words on Facebook and Google+ on Tuesdays for a complete list of her guests and features.

& The West Bank Fiction Writer’s Group meets Tuesday at 7 pm at the The Edith S. Lawson Library in Westwego/ Writing exercises or discussions of points of fiction and/or critique sessions of members’ submissions. Meets the second Tuesday of every month. Moderator: Gary Bourgeois. Held in the meeting Room.

& Every Tuesday night get on the list to spit at the longest running spoken word venue in New Orleans at Sweet Lorraine’s Jazz Club hosted by African-American Shakespear. Doors open at 7pm and the Mic pops at 8pm. It is $5 to get in.

& On Wednesday at 3 pm Octavia Books Grammy Award winner, musician/actor, and New York Times bestselling author Rick Springfield makes a special visit to Octavia Books in anticipation of his forthcoming novel, MAGNIFICENT VIBRATION. Rick Springfield will sign original lithographs he created for MAGNIFICENT VIBRATION and bookplates for the book which is being released on May 6, 2014. To meet Rick, you must purchase a ticket. Each ticket admits one person and will be exchanged at the event for a signed lithograph and signed bookplate. And you will receive a copy of MAGNIFICENT VIBRATION after publication. Tickets are $45. Why are we here? What is love? Is there a Loch Ness monster? Does God send text messages?” These are the kinds of questions Horatio Cotton, aka Bobby Cotton, asks as he sets off on an uproarious adventure to find his purpose in life. After stealing a mysterious self-help book called Magnificent Vibration: Discover Your True Purpose from a bookstore, Bobby calls the 1-800 number scrawled inside the front cover, only to discover that he has a direct line to God. This launches Bobby on a whimsical quest, serendipitously accompanied by a breathtakingly sexy and exceed­ingly sharp travel companion named Alice. Together the pair sets out to find some combination of spiritual and carnal salvation—and possibly save the planet.

& At 5:30 pm Octavia then hosts George Packer for the paperback release of THE UNWINDING, which won the National Book Award last year. It’s currently nominated for the National Book Critics’ Circle Award as well! James Carville will give the introduction at the event. A riveting examination of a nation in crisis, from one of the finest political journalists of our generation.

& Finally, Octavia ends a busy day at 7 pm with a presentation, tasting, and book signing with writer Dane Huckelbridge featuring new book, BOURBON: A History of the American Spirit. This is popular history with a whiskey-soaked edge––an artful and imaginative biography of our most well–liked and, at times, controversial spirit that is also a witty and entertaining chronicle of the United States itself.

& Every Wednesday at 8 pm at the Neutral Ground Coffeehouse there is an hour-long open mic poetry night (or fiction night; whatever you want to read really!)

Also at 8 p.m.every Wednesday the Blood Jet Poetry Series hosted by Megan Burns happens at BJs. Feature this week are Poets Charles Alexander and Daniel Reinhold.

TWF14: The Law and Order Episode of Who Killed the Essay March 24, 2014

Posted by Mark Folse in books, literature, lyric essay, memoir, New Orleans, NOLA, Odd Words, Toulouse Street.
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“This is the Law and Order episode of Who Killed the Essay,” moderator John Freeman said to open the Tennessee Williams Festival panel “The Return of the Essay.” “Someone killed it. We’re going to find out later from Lennie Briscoe,” the character from the crime drama franchise. Panelists Dani Shapiro, Kiese Laymon and Roxanne Gay promptly put a bullet in the head of Freeman’s metaphor.

“The essay isn’t dead, it never died,” panelist Roxanne Gay shot back. “We have the arrogance in this age of believing that we’re going to be the end of literature when it has been around for millenia. That is always appalling to me. The book is dying. Are you kidding me? People were writing books on rice paper. Calm down. Books aren’t going anywhere, readers aren’t going anywhere. I think things are shifting. The essay from Montaigne to [fellow panelist] Kiese, we’re still doing it. I think we’re in the golden age of the essay. I’ve never read more stunning essays than the ones I read every single day and the art hasn’t been perfected because it can’t be perfected but people are practicing it at such a level. If the essay is dead, then the afterlife is quite wonderful.”

“The internet has done a lot of terrible things, but one of the best things it’s done has democratize this writing thing. It has allowed us to read all these amazing essays,” Laymon said. “I think there was a golden age. I think [James] Baldwin was the golden age. Every day, or every other day, I read an essay on the Internet that actually scares me as a writer. I think those are the best essays, I think s— I can’t do it. I just can’t do it as well as other people can do it. Now we have people not waiting for crusty editors to say: here’s your stamp that says, now you can put it out there. Also it puts out some art that is not so great, but it’s also allowed me to read some of the greatest essays that I have read in my life.”

“I don’t think we can know a golden age that we’re in one,” Dani Shapiro, countered. “I will admit tweeting this morning the title of this panel and saying, I don’t think it’s vanished. I also think it’s worth noting that the word essay means attempt, to attempt to get something right and true and universal and authentic down on the page. That’s like saying human nature is dead.”

Freeman asked his panelists: “If style is a struggle and essay is an attempt, what are you attempting in an essay? What makes you want to put the struggle in that form?”

“There’s an urgency when I’m writing an essay,” Gay explained. “Something has gotten under my skin. One of the first essays that got under my skin. One of the first essays that got my attention was “The Careless Language of Sexual Violence”. It was about a young girl that was raped in Cleveland, Texas. The New York Times wrote a story about the town–poor, poor town–and think of these poor boys but there were like 30 of them. The magnitude of the crime was horrific and the shoddiness of the reporting was also horrific. I went into this fugue state trying to temper my rage with understanding how we got to a place as a culture where we’re worrying about a town instead of this 11 year-old girl. The essays that I love writing the most are where I’m trying to make sense of this crazy world, but also acknowledge the god in this world.”

“Kiese, you [mention] the fact that an essay is going to deal some collateral damage to their family, because the wedge into a topic is not just your experience. It’s everything you grew up with. I wonder if you could talk about writing about your family and those essays and how you weighed what you would actually reveal because the truths you tell are quite difficult.”

“I feel like I’ve been writing about that question in my essays and my fiction. I come from a family in central Mississippi. I was raised by my mother. She was 19 when she had me. I went to graduate school and went to stay with my grandmother [also] in Mississippi. They’re both wonderful, brilliant people but whenever they got around white people their wonder and their brilliance and their thickness shrunk, and I think a lot of time they want me to also shrink my brilliance on the page. In [one] essay I talk about my mother pulling a gun on me when I was 19, partially because she wanted me to act right. I was trying to say in that essay there is a consequence to acting right in this country especially for folks of color…I think we talk about the consequences too often of not acting right, but there is a self consequence for acting right.

“Form is really important for me and I’m pushing back against forms and against my mom and I was trying to push back against my inclination to write predictable punditry. My inclination is to just write the traditional, standard essays that will make people say, ‘that’s a smart African-American man’ as opposed to being a potentially revelatory Black human being.” Later in the panel he added, “I come from a community where sadness, funk, funny happens all the time and I was being encouraged to take the funk and funny out.”

“Dani, you’ve written about your family in two memoirs, and this book Still Writing, it looks like a book about writing but then it’s threaded through with all these tiny memoirs,” Freeman asked Shapiro. “Did you find that to write about writing did you have to write about your family?”

“When it comes to form and when it comes to realism, it feels like in the last ten years of my writing life things have been breaking apart. The more I try to make something whole the more it breaks apart. I think what you just said about realism and the surreality that is at the core of it in some way is so true: the puzzle like structure, my last memoir Devotion was puzzle-like, every essay that I’ve written in the last five years. When I started Still Writing I was writing a blog because my publisher told me I had to write a blog. And I was thinking what can I blog about that’s not going to make me want to stick pins in my eyes every day. What I wanted to write about was how to do this every day. I didn’t want to write another book about craft. I wanted to write about what it takes: the courage, the tenacity, the persistence, the resistance. Then I started getting letters from people says, ‘I really needed this today’ and I thought, people are actually asking me to write a book. How often does that happen?”

“I’m reading this and what is it like to revise your life, the story of your life in public.” Freeman said.

“I think it would be an amazing thing for the same writer to spend an entire writing life writing the same memoir every ten years because it would be a different book every ten years because the relationship between the self and the story is the story. When I wrote Slow Motion [arising from the death of her father] I had feeling that this was the before and after moment. I wasn’t old enough to know that there is more than one before and after moment. It was also my son’s illness fifteen years later, and my mother’s death.

There was an essay in Ploughshares that was called “Plane Crash Theory.” I think it’s my best essay. It began shortly after 9-11, my infant son was dropped down a flight of stairs by a baby sitter and for months and months I couldn’t write a thing. It was all in the shadow of 9-11 and felt like a shadow had flown over our house and was hovering there. I was having coffee with a friend of mine in Brooklyn who’s a writer and I said, ‘I haven’t written a word since Jacob fell down the stairs’ and she said, ‘that’s your first sentence’. I couldn’t tell the whole story because the essay couldn’t contain that he was dropped down the stairs but that a few weeks earlier I had noticed these little movements and he was later diagnosed with this rare seizure disorder. An essay couldn’t contain both of those, so I took all of my anxiety and my fear and my feeling of–writing, what is the point of it–but finding a way to pour all of that into a very disciplined form and tell the whole story emotionally and not tell the whole story, what to leave in and what to leave out, which is such an important part of writing memoir and essay.”

“I think one of my most popular essays to write was the hardest to write,” Gay said in a comment that resonated for me in the post-Katrina room. “It was about The Hunger Games, because I love, love, love the Hunger Games to insanity. I started to think what is it about the Hunger Games that captures me as an adult because they are YA . There is a young woman in the novel Katniss, she has to endure the unendurable over and over again is that it showed PTSD as it is, as something that cannot necessarily be cured but something that you learn to live with, and as something that will shape the decisions you will make.”

Freeman asked the panelists if there was someone, an essayist, who opened a door and what they did. “I would say in a word [Joan] Didion if it was an essayist,” Shapiro said. “Grace Pailey was for me an example of the life of a writer, a life I wanted in some way. When I think of Grace I think of her sentences, I think of her fiction, the distillation, a certain kind of minimalism before there was minimalism. She was tremendously important to me.”

Gay, after citing the encourage of her parents from age four, cited Edith Wharton. “She was doing it when women weren’t encouraged” to write. “She is the master of the elegant sentence.” And Zadie Smith: “she is fierce. She makes me feel like I can do anything with the word.” Laymon also talked about his grandmother’s influence. “My grandmother taught me how to work. She worked at a chicken plant and the way she talked about it, the craft, she made me feel I was beautiful.” His essayist pick was James Baldwin. “The Fire Next Time was the first book that I really, really read. I would tear it apart. Ultimately I think I became the writer I want to be because in The Fire Next Time, someone who was so great could not make space for Black women. You could be so sublime and so great and not make space for this entire group of people you should make space for. Baldwin’s otherworldliness is something I could aspire for, not just because of his prose but because of the gaps in his prose.”

Odd Words March 22, 2014

Posted by Mark Folse in books, Indie Book Shops, New Orleans, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, publishing, Toulouse Street.
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The rest of this week in literary New Orleans now that the Tennessee Williams Festival is {almost} behind us:

Sunday still offers some choice Tennessee Williams Festival events, both at 11:30 am: first is The Return of the Essay, featuring panelists Kiese Laymon, Roxanne Gay and Dani Shapiro in the Royal Ball Room at the Monteleone Hotel. The second is Sing Me A Story, Tell Me A Song: When Writing Demands Melody featuring David Simon, Tom Piazza and Luke Winslow King, at the Palm Court Jazz Cafe. And at 1 pm there is Cultural Vistas’ 25th Anniversary Panel.. Join executive editor David
Johnson in a discussion about documenting Louisiana for the past quarter century, along with contributor and author Sally Asher, longtime music reviewer Ben Sandmel and history columnist Richard Campanella. At the Monteleone Royal Ballroom.

And don’t forget the Stella and Stanley shouting contest at 4:15 pm at Jackson Square.

& This Sunday at Octavia Books hosts renowned cartoonist Michael Fry (co-creator and writer of OVER THE HEDGE) comes to read and sign his two recent ODD SQUAD books: ZERO TOLERANCE and BULLY BAIT — middle-grade illustrated novels for all ages. Michael Fry has been a cartoonist/writer/entrepreneur for over 30 years. In addition to THE ODD SQUAD novels, Fry has created or co/created four international syndicated comic strips, including Over the Hedge, which runs in 150 newspapers worldwide – and it was adapted into the hit animated movie of the same name. Over the Hedge was nominated for Best Comic Strip in 2006 by the National Cartoonist Society Rueben Awards.

& Every Sunday at 3 p.m. The Maple Leaf Reading Series, the oldest continuous reading series in the south, founded by Everette Maddox, features guest poets and an open mic. This Sunday features Thaddaeus Conti and Joseph Bienvenu followed by an open mic.

& Sunday is Slam and Spoken Word Day in New Orleans. WhoDatPoets.com lists five Spoken Word shows on Sunday nights. For phone numbers with more details on all these readings visit WHODATPOETS.COM. (I stopped listing all of the events because one venue’s name forced me to limit this post for readers over 21. Check WHODATEPOETS.COM for all the latest on slam and spoken word in New Orleans.

& Speak Sunday is hosted every Sunday at 7 pm by Duece the Poet at Therapy, 3001 Tulane Avenue, also featuring live painting of the performers by C.C. Givens.

& Monday the Robert E. Smith Library at Harrison Avenue and Canal Boulevard hosts a writing workshop starting at 5:30 p.m. “Do you think in verse that could become poetry? Do you imagine characters, dialogue, and scenes? If so, join the Smith Library’s free Creative Writing Workshop.”

& Also on Monday the East Bank Regional Library hosts it’s Fiction Writers’ Group – Critique Session. The Fiction Writers’ Group 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.

& 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. Watch Odd Words on Facebook and Google+ on Tuesdays for a complete list of her guests and features.

Tuesday at 6 p.m. Octavia Books hosts a presentation and signing with journalists Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes, featuring their new book, HRC: State Secrets and the Rebirth of Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton’s surprising defeat in the 2008 Democratic primary brought her to the nadir of her political career, vanquished by a much younger opponent whose message of change and cutting-edge tech team ran circles around her stodgy campaign. And yet, six years later, she has reemerged as an even more powerful and influential figure, a formidable stateswoman and the presumed front-runner for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, marking one of the great political comebacks in history. The story of Hillary’s phoenixlike rise is at the heart of HRC, a riveting political biography that journeys into the heart of “Hillaryland” to discover a brilliant strategist at work.

& Every Tuesday night get on the list to spit at the longest running spoken word venue in New Orleans at Sweet Lorraine’s Jazz Club hosted by African-American Shakespear. Doors open at 7pm and the Mic pops at 8pm. It is $5 to get in.

& On Wednesday at 6:00 at TEN gallery, 4432 Magazine Street artist Harriet Burbeck will discuss her work on view. Michael Allen Zell will read from his book The Oblivion Atlas and discuss collaborating with photographers Louviere and Vanessa. Burbeck is also soliciting submissions from writers from the show Illustrations From Stories That Haven’t Been Written. Writers are invited to view the work and submit stories inspired by her fabric art to tinylittlehappy@gmail.com. She will post all submissions on her blog, and one story will be selected for publication in the forthcoming new journal Ark of New Orleans.

& Wednesday at 6 p.m. Garden District Book Shop hosts Sally Asher and Hope & New Orleans: A History of Crescent City Street Names. New Orleans is a city of beautiful contradictions, evidenced by its street names. New Orleans crosses with Hope, Pleasure and Duels. Religious couples with Nuns, Market and Race. Music, Arts and Painters are parallel. New Orleans enfolds its denizens in the protection of saints, the artistry of Muses and the bravery of military leaders. The city’s street names are inseparable from its diverse history. They serve as guideposts as well as a narrative that braid its pride, wit and seedier history into a complex web that to this day simultaneously joins and shows the cracks within the city. Learn about Bourbon’s royal lineage, the magnitude of Napoleon’s influence, how Tchoupitoulas’s history is just as long and vexing as its spelling and why mispronouncing such streets as Burgundy, Calliope and Socrates doesn’t mean you are incorrect–it just means you are local!

& Wednesday the Jefferson Parish East Bank Regional Library hosts an Author Event featuring Game Changers: The Legacy of Louisiana Sports, by Marty Mule. Mule, a local author who has written numerous books about Louisiana sports, talks about and signs his latest book.

& Former Louisiana Poet Laureate Darrell Borque will be reading at 8 pm Wednesday at the University of New Orleans in room in LA 197 (the Liberal Arts Lounge). Open to the public.

& Every Wednesday at 8 pm at the Neutral Ground Coffeehouse there is an hour-long open mic poetry night (or fiction night; whatever you want to read really!)

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TWF14: Untangling the skein of memory March 22, 2014

Posted by Mark Folse in books, memoir, New Orleans, Odd Words, Tennessee Williams Festival, Toulouse Street.
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A book on authors who knit was not what I expected when I walked into the panel An Examined Life: The Mysteries of Memoir but as Ann Hood pointed out “knitting is a metaphor for life.” Both her personal obsession with knitting and her novel The Knitting Circle grew out of trying to cope with her own tragic loss of a child. She also authored a memoir about the loss of her daughter Grace, COMFORT: A JOURNEY THROUGH GRIEF but knitting proved to be her best coping mechanism “After my first knitting lesson I realize I got through two-and-a-half hours without crying.” She soon discovered other authors who knit, and decided to pitch her new book Knitting Yarns: Writers on Knitting. She took her editors grunt when she pitched the idea as a yes, and ended up with 27 essays by authors who knit and how it changed their life. When she read her own audio book, she imagined the “fedora-wearing Brooklyn hipster” who was her audio engineer must have thought he had drawn the worst assignment ever, but she said he confessed to crying by the end of the four days by the stories he heard.

An Examined Life covered a lot of ground, some of it at the edge of memoir, but the four authors on the panel–Hood, Blake Bailey, Lila Quintero Weaver and Emily Raboteau–all authored recent books that attempt to reclaim a part of their lives. Bailey’s story of his brother, who fell into drugs and died by suicide, is the closest to true memoir. “Scott was the better brother, the more promising of [us] two before he started to go off the rails. We should have landed in the same place and we didn’t and I decided to write [the book] to figure out why.”

Quintero Weaver’s Dark Room: A Memoir in Black and White, a graphic-novel approach to a tale of growing up a Latin American immigrant in rural Alabama during the civil rights movement is, by her description, as much a book about place: what Odd Words likes to call a geo-memoir. Her father was the town’s only photographer, but the illustrations in the book are all Quintero Weaver’s. Raboteau’s exploration of African-Americans who moved to Israel and Africa looking for a place that felt like home was driven by her own desire to find her identity as a bi-racial child of the 1960s who grew up in New Jersey constantly answering the question “where are you from?” and ends with a return to Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, the town her parents fled after her grandfather was lynched.

Solace and closure, the discovery of one’s real place in life and the world, are the meat of memoir. Only Bailey’s and perhaps Quintero Weaver’s books would be easy to file in the bookstore under memoir, but all drew deep on the author’s desire to understand critical events of their own lives.

Asked by moderator Nancy Dixon how their families’ reacted to their books, Bailey replied, “it was brutal. If you’re the sort of person who frets about what your family will think you’re in the wrong genre.” Quintero Weaver responded about the reaction of the people of the small Alabama town she writes about. No one would tell her exactly why they didn’t like the book but suspects “they want to move on.” Marion was at the center of the Civil Rights movement and the murder of Jimmie Lee Jackson while the Southern Christian Leadership Conference was in town led to the historic march from Selma to Montgomery. She heard second-hand that the president of the Chamber of Commerce said, “we don’t want her book in our town.”

Hood summed up what is required of the memoir author: “You have to write like you’re an orphan.”

Earlier in the day, novelist Justin Torres spoke of his own approach to putting a life’s experiences down into words in his bildungsroman We The Animals,the story of his own gradual “orphaning” from his family. “When I started, I was writing back to my family…I’d been ejected [for coming out queer] and the original motivation was anger.” Torres brief, 125-page tale of three brothers is fictionalized, although after reading it one brother told him of an episode, “I remember that.” “You can’t,” Torres replied. “I made it up.” Later he added, “I did not write my memoir. This is not my life. This is the emotional texture of my life.”

Asked toward the end how his family initially reacted to the book, Torres said “I hurt them. You don’t tell family secrets. I don’t know that I did the right thing but I believe in art.”

Torres’ interview with Festival Programming Director J.R. Ramakrishnan was titled “The Super Sleek Novel” and a great deal of the discussion was about the brevity of the novel and how it achieves its goals in such a short space. When he went to New York, every publisher he met with told him they loved the book, but he needed to write another 100 pages. Novels are supposed to be 250 pages long, he was told over and over again. The last editor he met with also responded positively to the book, and Torres told her, “but you want me to write another hundred pages, right?” but she said no.

The book unfolds as a series of very short chapters, each unveiling one small aspect of the character’s life growing up with his two brothers. “Super compressed, super distilled chapters: that’s what works for me. I could be very poetic and still get to the point…little movements that were so complete and yet captured the world. What I really like about the short form is you are always creating tension and then there is a little climax.” Most of the chapters begin in the first person plural before moving to the first person. “The idea of we is we feel a collective personality as children, [my brothers and I] had this non-verbal way of understanding each other” and as the book progresses the characters gradually lose that, subtly depicting the gradual unraveling of childhood and Torres’ own place in his family.

Asked if he could write with the same passion if he were not writing from his personal experience, Torress said, “I think that what is true is the kind meaning you make out of your experience. We’re all thrown here on this earth and there’s no meaning, it’s chaos. A lot of writers are communicating the way they found meaning in this world. That’s inherently personal You have to find a way to create meaning. I choose to write from personal experience. I choose to keep it close. Also, because I feel [as] a mixed-race, queer, working-class dude, it’s political in a lot of ways. I’m really interested in intersectionality, I’m very interested in the ways i which my various identities are constructed socially…its absolutely possible to due to that in fiction” as well as writing from personal experience.

Torres never names the parents in his book. “They really are archetypes of our ideas of masculinity and femininity. I made a myth out of them to essentialize them….[t]here is a lot of opportunity for projection” in the book, and he says he frequently is told by readers that’s exactly what my experience was like. “There’s such a universal element in the book” a lot of people see their own families and experiences in it. “I hope the book breaks people’s hearts because we need to keep breaking people’s hearts.”

Odd Words March 13, 2014

Posted by Mark Folse in books, Indie Book Shops, literature, New Orleans, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, publishing, Toulouse Street.
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& Interested in learning how to write comics? Think you’ve “got ideas”? Bring them to the new class at BSI Comics, Comic Book Writing 101. On the second and fourth Thursday of every month, the store will host a workshop that will show you how to: Quickly turn an idea into a full script; Write dialogue Collaborate with artists and letterers; Produce and distribute a comic book or graphic novel. You’ll get everything you need to start in a single session. The first event is on March 14th, from 6-10 p.m. (includes a 20 minute break) at BSI Comics in Metairie, at 3030 Severn Ave. Tickets are available at nolacomics.eventbrite.com. The cost for the class is $25.

& Thursday at 6 p.m. Octavia Books hosts a presentation and signing with Richard Campanella celebrating the release of his new book, BOURBON STREET: A History. New Orleans is a city of many storied streets, but only one conjures up as much unbridled passion as it does fervent hatred, simultaneously polarizing the public while drawing millions of visitors a year. A fascinating investigation into the mile-long urban space that is Bourbon Street, Richard Campanella’s comprehensive cultural history spans from the street’s inception during the colonial period through three tu-multuous centuries, arriving at the world-famous entertainment strip of today.

& This Friday at 9pm Cafe Istanbul will have another Artistic Mash Up. All artist are welcome.Many of the artist who have performed at the world famous venue will be in the house. Queen Darrinisha will present a mini drag show, Piano players and vocalist are coming. There will be many more local heroes burning up the stage. Ms Kelly Love Jones will be our featured artist. If you would like to collaborate with her fill free to bring a guitar or bring a song.

& Saturday at 11 a.m. Maple Street Book Shops Whitney Stewart will read and sign her new book, A Catfish Tale. Deep in the bayou, a Cajun fisherman named Jack catches a magic fish that offers to grant wishes in exchange for being set free. Jack doesn’t have a lot of wishes, but his wife Jolie sure does—for a mansion, a paddleboat, fame and fortune. With each wish, all the fish says is “Ah, tooloulou—if that ain’t the easiest thing to do.” But when Jolie wants to be crowned Mardi Gras queen, have things gone too far? Whitney Stewart is an award-winning author of young adult biographies, middle grade novels, and picture books. She has traveled widely in Asia and interviewed such figures as the 14th Dalai Lama, Aung San Suu Kyi, and Sir Edmund Hillary.

& On Saturday at 6 p.m. Octavia Books presents a special evening with author Jan-Philipp Sendker when he comes to read and sign his highly-anticipated new novel, A WELL-TEMPERED HEART, the sequel to his international best-selling novel THE ART OF HEARING HEARTBEATS. Almost ten years have passed since Julia Win came back from Burma, her father’s native country. Though she is a successful Manhattan lawyer, her private life is at a crossroads; her boyfriend has recently left her and she is, despite her wealth, unhappy with her professional life. Julia is lost and exhausted. One day, in the middle of an important business meeting, she hears a stranger’s voice in her head that causes her to leave the office without explanation. In the following days, her crisis only deepens. Not only does the female voice refuse to disappear, but it starts to ask questions Julia has been trying to avoid. Why do you live alone? To whom do you feel close? What do you want in life? Interwoven with Julia’s story is that of a Burmese woman named Nu Nu who finds her world turned upside down when Burma goes to war and calls on her two young sons to be child soldiers. This spirited sequel, like The Art of Hearing Heartbeats, explores the most inspiring and passionate terrain: the human heart

& The new “Underground Guide” to New Orleans is out now from LSU Press! To celebrate we are having a book party a month from March until JazzFest. Each of the book parties will have a theme: Rap, Burlesque, Metal. Michael Patrick Welch, Brian Boyles, and special guests will conduct live interviews with members of the various music communities, followed by some live music and other performances. The first party will be Saturday at 9 p.m. at the Allways featuring burlesque artist Trixie Minx, plus Cherry Brown, Ri Dickulous (sensual sword swallowing) and the Gris Gris Strut (dance troupe). Featuring the music of Lil Current Vocal Club.

& Every Sunday at 3 p.m. The Maple Leaf Reading Series, the oldest continuous reading series in the south, founded by Everette Maddox, features guest poets and an open mic. This Sunday features poet Dave Brinks and Loren Pickford on sax followed by Open Mic.

& Sunday is Slam and Spoken Word Day in New Orleans. WhoDatPoets.com lists five Spoken Word shows on Sunday nights. For phone numbers with more details on all these readings visit WHODATPOETS.COM. (I stopped listing all of the events because one venue’s name forced me to limit this post for readers over 21. Check WHODATEPOETS.COM for all the latest on slam and spoken word in New Orleans.

& Speak Sunday is hosted every Sunday at 7 pm by Duece the Poet at Therapy, 3001 Tulane Avenue, also featuring live painting of the performers by C.C. Givens.

& The New Orleans Haiku Society shares Haiku on the third Monday of every month at the Latter Branch Library, 5120 St. Charles Ave., from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. All are invited to attend. For more information call 596-2625.

& Also on Monday Loyola University hosts a reading and interview with the 2014 Zale-Kimmerling Writer-in-Residence Susan Choi. Susan Choi is the author of four novels. She studied literature at Yale and writing at Cornell and worked as a fact-checker for the New Yorker. Her first novel, The Foreign Student, was a finalist of the Discover Great New Writers Award at Barnes & Noble and won the Asian-American Literary Award for fiction. Her second novel was a work of historical fiction, American Woman, and was selected as a finalist for the 2004 Pulitzer Prize. In 2009, her third novel, A Person of Interest, was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award. Her most recent novel is My Education. Choi has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation. She was selected as the inaugural recipient of the PEN/W.G. Sebald Award in 2010. Currently, Susan resides in Brooklyn, New York with her husband, Pete Wells, and their sons.

& 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. Watch Odd Words on Facebook and Google+ on Tuesdays for a complete list of her guests and features.

& On Tuesday the Great Books Discussion Club meets a the Old Metairie Library from 7-8:30 p.m.

& Every Tuesday night get on the list to spit at the longest running spoken word venue in New Orleans at Sweet Lorraine’s Jazz Club hosted by African-American Shakespear. Doors open at 7pm and the Mic pops at 8pm. It is $5 to get in.

& The English Department is holding its second Third Wednesday event of the semester on for March. The topic this month is “A Look at Internships.” Join UNO student Paige Nulty and UNO alums Missy Wilkinson and Bethany Jones as they discuss their experiences with internships

& Join Big Class and Maple Street Books on Wednesday at 6 p.m. for a celebration of a yet-to-be-titled book of tales by young writers. Since December, the 50 talented storytellers in Renew Cultural Arts Academy’s 3rd-grade, with the help of Big Class’s volunteers, have been writing and workshopping imaginative and compelling fairy tales and folk tales. These tales range in tone from hilarious to terrifying, telling of the redemption of princesses and the downfall of zombies. The young writers will be marking the release of their publication (which also collects their original illustrations), with cupcakes and a reading. Join us for a celebration of stories and their tellers.

& On Wednesday at 6 p.m. Octavia Books features a presentation and signing with Sam Irwin celebrating his new book, LOUISIANA CRAWFISH: A Succulent History of the Cajun Crustacean. The hunt for red crawfish is the thing, the raison d’être, of Acadian spring. Introduced to Louisiana by the swamp dwellers of the Atchafalaya Basin, the crawfish is a regional favorite that has spurred a $210 million industry. Whole families work at the same fisheries, and annual crawfish festivals dominate the social calendar. More importantly, no matter the occasion, folks take their boils seriously: they’ll endure line cutters, heat and humidity, mosquitoes and high gas prices to procure crawfish for their families’ annual backyard boils or their corporate picnics. Join author Sam Irwin as he tells the story—complete with recipes and tall tales—of Louisiana’s favorite crustacean: the crawfish. Sam Irwin is a freelance journalist and writer who lives in Baton Rouge. He is the former editor of the Louisiana Market Bulletin and served as the press secretary for the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry. He received his undergraduate and graduate degrees in history from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in the 1970s. A product of a mixed marriage (his father’s family is from north Louisiana, while his mother’s is from the heart of French-speaking Louisiana), Irwin’s writing showcases the Bayou State. Irwin’s fiction has won several prizes, and his nonfiction work appears regularly in Louisiana newspapers and regional magazines, including Country Roads, The Advocate and House and Home. His writing has also been featured in Louisiana Kitchen and Culture, Louisiana TravelHost, Offbeat, 225, Louisiana Film and Video, Teche News and Louisiana Cookin’.

& Every Wednesday at 8 pm at the Neutral Ground Coffeehouse there is an hour-long open mic poetry night (or fiction night; whatever you want to read really!)

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Odd Words March 6, 2014

Posted by Mark Folse in books, literature, Odd Words, Poetry, Toulouse Street.
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& Thursday at 6 pm Octavia Books hosts a a presentation, food tasting, and booksigning celebrating the release of author and photographer Ann Benoit’s new book, NEW ORLEANS’ BEST ETHNIC RESTAURANTS.Ann Benoit takes you on a culinary tour of the continents without ever leaving New Orleans. Chosen for their excellence in food and history, iconic eateries such as Galatoire’s and Pho Tau Bay transport the reader from local Creole cuisine to spicy Vietnamese creations. Benoit also reveals such treasures as the Mediterranean gem Fatoush. From the classic Southern food of Praline Connection, hop the pond to the flavors of Europe at La Provence, the Irish House, or Taste of Bavaria. Café Abyssinia, Byblos, and Mona’s Café conjure the delicate flavor of African and Middle Eastern cuisine.

& Friday will feature New Orleans’ first International Women’s Day Poetry and Music Celebration at The Jazz Park, 916 N Peters in The French Quarter at 3 p.m. Among the participants are: Melinda Palacio, Terisha Angel Lopez, Delia Tomino Nakayama, Amanda Emily Smith, Clara Masako Fernandez, Juanita Jackson, Milena Martinovic and vocalist Kanako Fuwa.

& Neutrons Protons has been publishing smart humor writing and narrative-driven creative nonfiction for six months now. Now we are publishing our first-ever PRINT edition, so we’re having a party. Come buy the magazine, listen to readings, eat food, enjoy music, and be a literary snob for one enchanted evening. We’ll be at Press Street’s The Reading Room 220, basking in the glow of great writing and beautiful design Friday from 6-9 p.m.

& Poets Peter Cooley, Gina Ferrara, Ava Leavell Haymon and Melinda Palacio read from their work at Saturday’s Poetry Buffet at the Latter Memorial Library from 2-3:30 p.m.

& Saturday from 12-3 Garden District Books hosts a signging by Argyle Wolf-Knapp & Jeremy Labadie of New Orleans Beer: A Hoppy History of Big Easy Brewing. Recently, one drink has been getting more and more attention in New Orleans: beer. The craft brewing revolution of the last 30 or so years has caught hold here, creating what is only the latest chapter in New Orleans’s illustrious love affair with boozy concoctions. From old-school breweries like Jax, Regal and Dixie to craft brewers like Abita, NOLA and Bayou Teche, join authors Jeremy Labadie and Argyle Wolf-Knapp to enjoy the first comprehensive history of brewing in New Orleans—a history 287 years long and as wide as the Mississippi.

& Also Saturday 1-3 at Garden District Book Shop Bonnie Warren and Cheryl Gerber sign New Orleans Historic Homes In this series of profiles, the residents of New Orleans’s notable homes invite readers inside. Dazzling photographs of the interiors and exteriors of the dwellings reveal the most stunning abodes of the city. While the owners have undertaken renovations to include modern amenities, the spirit of the past has not merely been preserved-it has been embraced. Brief profiles of famous inhabitants and fascinating architectural and historical details of these celebrated dwellings complement the gorgeous photographs..

& Every Sunday at 3 p.m. The Maple Leaf Reading Series, the oldest continuous reading series in the south, founded by Everette Maddox, features guest poets and an open mic. This Sunday is an Open Mic.

& Sunday at 7:30 pm Slam New Orleans and the Shadowbox Theater present in honor of Women’s History Month, we present to you the 2014 Women of the Word Poetry Showcase, featuring some of New Orleans’ best Ladies of the Mic. OPEN MIC: We invite anyone who identifies as a woman to spit a poem for the open mic. SHOWCASE: 10 spectacular women from all over the New Orleans spoken word scene show us what they’ve got.FEATURE: Our own FreeQuency aka FreeQ Tha Mighty will take the stage as she prepares for the Women of the World Poetry Slam in Austin, TX March 19th – 22nd!

& Sunday is Slam and Spoken Word Day in New Orleans. WhoDatPoets.com lists five Spoken Word shows on Sunday nights. For phone numbers with more details on all these readings visit WHODATPOETS.COM. (I stopped listing all of the events because one venue’s name forced me to limit this post for readers over 21. Check WHODATEPOETS.COM for all the latest on slam and spoken word in New Orleans.

& Speak Sunday is hosted every Sunday at 7 pm by Duece the Poet at Therapy, 3001 Tulane Avenue, also featuring live painting of the performers by C.C. Givens.

& Monday at 5:30 pm the Smith Branch Library at Canal Boulevard and Harrison Avenue hosts a creative writing workshop.

& 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. Watch Odd Words on Facebook and Google+ on Tuesdays for a complete list of her guests and features.

& Ann Benoit, a cookbook author and food photographer, will host a launch party for her latest book, New Orleans Best Ethnic Restaurants at 7 p.m., on Tuesday at the Eastbank Regional Library, 4747 West Napoleon Avenue, Metairie. This event is free of charge and is open to the public. Registration is not required. New Orleans Best Ethnic Restaurants focuses on Benoit’s top 100 ethnic restaurants in the area. The book features stories, unusual suppliers and ingredients, fairs, festivals, recipes and Benoit’s food photography. Ann Benoit is a commercial food photographer and culinary writer native to New Orleans and author of Broussard’s Restaurant and Courtyard Cookbook and the photographer of Magic in a Shaker by Marvin Allen. She is a member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals, the American Culinary Federation and the James Beard Foundation.

& Tuesday at Garden District Book Shop from 6-7:30 Kim Harrison will be signing The Undead Pool. Supernatural superhero Rachel Morgan must counter a strange magic that could spell civil war for the Hollows in this sexy and bewitching urban fantasy adventure in acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Kim Harrison’s Hollows series.

& Wednesday Fleur de Lit and Pearl Wine Co. present Reading Between the Wines, Wednesday at 7:30 pm at Pearl Wine Co. This month’s theme is Celebrations and the featured authors are: Errol Laborde: Mardi Gras Chronicles; Kit Wohl: New Orleans Celebrations; Stephen Rea: Finn McCool’s Football Club; and, Kim Marie Vaz: The Baby Dolls. You must be 21 to attend this event.

& Also on Wednesday Maple Street Book Shop hosts a signing with Michael Murphy, author of Eat Dat, and Jeremy Labadie & Argyle Wolf-Knapp, authors of New Orleans Beer: A Hoppy History of Big Easy Brewing. Eat Dat New Orleans is a guidebook that celebrates both New Orleans food and its people. It highlights nearly 250 eating spots sno-ball stands and food carts as well as famous restaurants and spins tales of the city’s food lore, such as the controversial history of gumbo and the Shakespearean drama of restaurateur Owen Brennan and his heirs. New Orleans Beer is the first comprehensive history of brewing in New Orleans—a history 287 years long and as wide as the Mississippi— from old-school breweries like Jax, Regal and Dixie to craft brewers like Abita, NOLA and Bayou Teche!

& Chelsey Johnson is the 1718 Society’s featured reader for March Tuesday at 7 pm at The Columns. The 1718 Society is a literary organization comprised of Tulane, Loyola, and UNO students. Their monthly reading series at the Columns Hotel is free and open to the public. It showcases the work of student readers, as well as that of prominent local and national writers.

& Every Tuesday night get on the list to spit at the longest running spoken word venue in New Orleans at Sweet Lorraine’s Jazz Club hosted by African-American Shakespear. Doors open at 7pm and the Mic pops at 8pm. It is $5 to get in.

& Every Wednesday at 8 pm at the Neutral Ground Coffeehouse there is an hour-long open mic poetry night (or fiction night; whatever you want to read really!)

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Odd Words February 28, 2014

Posted by Mark Folse in books, literature, New Orleans, Odd Words, Poetry, Toulouse Street.
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This coming quiet Carnival week in literary New Orleans:

& For the complete list of New Orleans libraries due to carnival, visit the New Orleans Public Library calendar page. In Jefferson Parish the Rosedale Branch will be closed for construction on Saturday. All Jefferson Parish Public Libraries will be closed on Tuesday.

& Saturday at 11:30 it’s Story Time with Miss Maureen at Maple Street Book Shop. This week she’ll read Gaston Goes to Mardi Gras. King Cake will be served

& Every Sunday at 3 p.m. The Maple Leaf Reading Series, the oldest continuous reading series in the south, founded by Everette Maddox, features guest poets and an open mic. This Sunday is a Mardi Gras Open Mic.

& Sunday is Slam and Spoken Word Day in New Orleans. WhoDatPoets.com lists five Spoken Word shows on Sunday nights. For phone numbers with more details on all these readings visit WHODATPOETS.COM. (I stopped listing all of the events because one venue’s name forced me to limit this post for readers over 21. Check WHODATEPOETS.COM for all the latest on slam and spoken word in New Orleans.

& Speak Sunday is hosted every Sunday at 7 pm by Duece the Poet at Therapy, 3001 Tulane Avenue, also featuring live painting of the performers by C.C. Givens.

& Monday at 5:30 pm the Smith Branch Library at Canal Boulevard and Harrison Avenue hosts a creative writing workshop.

& 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. Watch Odd Words on Facebook and Google+ on Tuesdays for a complete list of her guests and features.

& Tuesday at 6 p.m. Garden District Books will host author George Fowler III’s My Cuba Libre: Bringing Fidel Castro to Justice. The book is the very personal story of his lifelong battle to remove the dictator from power and bring democracy to his homeland. Fowler exposes the monstrous actions of the Communist Party of Cuba and makes a firm case for indicting Castro for crimes against humanity. Fowler also provides a first-hand account of events like the Elián González case, the Brothers to the Rescue shoot down, and Cuban embargo negotiations.

& Every Tuesday night get on the list to spit at the longest running spoken word venue in New Orleans at Sweet Lorraine’s Jazz Club hosted by African-American Shakespear. Doors open at 7pm and the Mic pops at 8pm. It is $5 to get in.

& Every Wednesday at 8 pm at the Neutral Ground Coffeehouse there is an hour-long open mic poetry night (or fiction night; whatever you want to read really!)

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Odd Words February 20, 2014

Posted by Mark Folse in books, Indie Book Shops, literature, New Orleans, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, publishing, Toulouse Street.
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This coming week in literary New Orleans:

& Thursday at 4 p.m. Dr. Mary Breen of University College Cork will present a lecture on James Joyce’s Ulysses at the University of New Orleans Earl K. Long Library, Room 407. Earlier in the afternoon, the UNO Creative Writing Workshop will present an information session on the summer Writing Workshop in Cork, Ireland at 12:30 pm in the Education Building, Room 104.

Thursday at 6 pm Maple Street Book Shop features poet Peter Cooley will be reading from and signing his latest collection, Night Bus to the Afterlife. With the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans his initial subject, Cooley meditates on transience and mortality as he moves through the landscape of the Gulf South, the sky and his inner weather reflecting one another. A native of the Midwest, Peter Cooley has lived over half his life in New Orleans, where he is Professor of English at Tulane University.

& At 6 pm Thursday Octavia Books welcomes critically acclaimed and bestselling author Wiley Cash back to Octavia Books when he gives a reading and signs his new novel, THIS DARK ROAD TO MERCY. “This Dark Road to Mercy is a terrific, moving and propulsive novel: Harper Lee by way of Elmore Leonard.” —Jess Walter, New York Times best-selling author of Beautiful Ruins and We Live in Water.

& Friday at 6 pm Octavia Books hosts five amazing YA authors are about to descend on Octavia Books to talk about their books – some of the coolest books of the season. Appearing are Tahereh Mafi, author of IGNITE ME; Kiersten White, author of PERFECT LIES; Sophie Jordan, author of THE UNINVITED; Veronica Rossi, author of THE STILL BLUE; and, Claudia Gray, author of SPELLCASTER and STEADFAST.

& Friday at 8 p.m. Cafe Istanbul hosts another Artistic Mash up. All artists are welcome. Sing a song or blow a horn. Tell a joke or read a poem. Come and check out New Orleans most eclectic variety show where everything goes. There will be a house band if musical back up is needed.

& Saturday at 11:30 it’s Story Time with Miss Maureen at Maple Street Book Shop. This week she’ll read Captain Cat by Inga Moore. A trader who loves cats discovers an island plagued by rats in Inga Moore’s lavishly illustrated tale about the value of treasure and the nature of home.

& Every Sunday at 3 p.m. The Maple Leaf Reading Series, the oldest continuous reading series in the south, founded by Everette Maddox, features guest poets and an open mic. Host Nancy Harris’ email has vanished from my inbox. I’ll update the details on features on ToulouseStreet.net as soon as I can run them down.

& Sunday is Slam and Spoken Word Day in New Orleans. WhoDatPoets.com lists five Spoken Word shows on Sunday nights. For phone numbers with more details on all these readings visit WHODATPOETS.COM. (I stopped listing all of the events because one venue’s name forced me to limit this post for readers over 21. Check WHODATEPOETS.COM for all the latest on slam and spoken word in New Orleans.

& Speak Sunday is hosted every Sunday at 7 pm by Duece the Poet at Therapy, 3001 Tulane Avenue, also featuring live painting of the performers by C.C. Givens.

& Monday at 5:30 pm the Smith Branch Library at Canal Boulevard and Harrison Avenue hosts a creative writing workshop.

& 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. Watch Odd Words on Facebook and Google+ on Tuesdays for a complete list of her guests and features.

& Tuesday at 6 pm Octavia Books hosts Lincoln Paine, author of THE SEA & CIVILIZATION: A Maritime History of the World. A monumental retelling of world history through the lens of maritime enterprise, revealing in breathtaking depth how people first came into contact with one another by ocean and river, lake and stream, and how goods, languages, religions, and entire cultures spread across and along the world’s waterways, bringing together civilizations and defining what makes us most human.

& Tuesday at 7 pm the East Bank Fiction Writers Group meets at the East Jeffereson Regional Library for a critique session.

& Every Tuesday night get on the list to spit at the longest running spoken word venue in New Orleans at Sweet Lorraine’s Jazz Club hosted by African-American Shakespear. Doors open at 7pm and the Mic pops at 8pm. It is $5 to get in.

& Every Wednesday at 8 pm at the Neutral Ground Coffeehouse there is an hour-long open mic poetry night (or fiction night; whatever you want to read really!)

The Jefferson Parish Library website is down this morning. I’ll update the column on ToulouseStreet.net later, and make sure any events make the daily posts.

Next Thursday kicks off the annual American Writing Programs or AWP meeting in Seattle. If you’re going, swipe me some cool bit of swag, preferably a button for the man bag. I’ll try to put together a round up of Louisiana publishers who will be represented at the book show.

Odd Words February 13, 2014

Posted by Mark Folse in books, Indie Book Shops, literature, New Orleans, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, publishing, spoken word, Toulouse Street.
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This coming week in literary New Orleans:

& Thursday at 6 pm Octavia Books Errol Laborde comes to present and sign his beautiful and informative, must-have new book, MARDI GRAS. (Yes, king cake will be served.) This extravagantly illustrated coffee-table book covers such topics as the place of the old-line krewes in the evolution of Mardi Gras, women’s groups, flambeaux, the Carnival foods, and more.

& At 6:30 pm Garden District Books features Sarah Baird signing Kentucky Sweets: Bourbon Balls, Spoonbread & Mile High Pie at out Uptown shop. Illustrator Chase Chauffe will also be present. We’ll have treats from the book, so please join us for refreshments prior to the signing.

& Also on Thursday at 6 pm Garden District Book Shops features Natalie Baszile’s Queen Sugar, a mother-daughter story of reinvention—about an African American woman who unexpectedly inherits a sugarcane farm in Louisiana. Why exactly her late father left her eight hundred acres of prime sugarcane land in Louisiana is as mysterious as it is generous. But for Charley Bordelon, it’s also an opportunity start over: to get away from the smog and sprawl of Los Angeles, and to grow a new life in the coffee-dark soil of the Gulf coast.

& Thursday at 7 pm the East Bank Regional Library hosts a poetry event featuring Gina Ferrara and Jonathan Kline, writers, authors, performers and educators (Ed.’s note: and spouses), who will read from their works and discuss the importance of poetry in a presentation that honors the spirit of Valentine’s Day. This special day is known for couples dining out in special restaurants, the giving of roses and the exchange of cards. It is also connected with poetry. Valentine’s Day is an opportunity for partners to show how much they love their significant others, or to hint at crushes and infatuations. During this presentation, Ferrara and Kline will read from their writings and talk about love and romance and the concept of longing that form a basis for their work.

& Every Thursday at 7 pm the JuJu Bag Cafe hosts the spoken word event Word Connections hosted by John Lacabiere. Call 504-307-9969 to sign up or for more information.

& Friday at Maple Street Books Joel Dinerstein will be talking about cool and signing American Cool, a catalogue for the National Portrait Gallery’s exhibit by that same title. The term “cool” has become such a part of America’s modern lexicon that it seems to have lost its meaning. This stellar collection of photographs from the National Portrait Gallery and from prominent artists, museums, and archives nationwide would argue otherwise. The idea of cool is not only older than we think – it’s also constantly changing, aided by the mediums of portraiture and film. Readers will find unexpected and familiar faces here: Walt Whitman, Frederick Douglass, and Georgia O’Keeffe, as well as James Dean, Bob Dylan, and Chrissie Hynde. In perceptive essays, Joel Dinerstein investigates the evolution of cool from the 1930s to the present while Frank Goodyear explores how the mediums of film and photography have helped define the term.

Saturday at 10 am Garden District Book Shop hosts Brandi Perry’s The Jury. Thomas Urlacher knows his wife wants him dead and so does the rest of the town. So, when he is killed in a mysterious boat explosion, it’s not long before law enforcement points the finger at his young bride. What follows is a sensational trial where Britt Urlacher somehow wins a not-guilty verdict. Within a week, jurors from the trial start dying under unusual circumstances. Has Thomas come back from the dead to exact revenge on those who allowed his killer to go free or is someone else defending Thomas?

& Saturday at 11:30 it’s Story Time with Miss Maureen at Maple Street Book Shop. This week she’ll read Penguin in Peril by Helen Hancocks. Three hungry cats. One little penguin. The odds don’t look good.

& Every Sunday at 3 p.m. The Maple Leaf Reading Series, the oldest continuous reading series in the south, founded by Everette Maddox, features guest poets and an open mic.

& Sunday is Slam and Spoken Word Day in New Orleans. WhoDatPoets.com lists five Spoken Word shows on Sunday nights. For phone numbers with more details on all these readings visit WHODATPOETS.COM. (I stopped listing all of the events because one venue’s name forced me to limit this post for readers over 21. Check WHODATEPOETS.COM for all the latest on slam and spoken word in New Orleans.

& Speak Sunday is hosted every Sunday at 7 pm by Duece the Poet at Therapy, 3001 Tulane Avenue, also featuring live painting of the performers by C.C. Givens.

& Monday at 4 pm at the New Orleans Public Library Main Branch GLBTQ teens & their Allies are invited to join in the book club conversation! We will provide paper and digital copies of a short story the week before; the subsequent discussion will be guided by the themes and issues explored in the reading.

& The New Orleans Haiku Society shares Haiku on the third Monday of every month at the Latter Branch Library, 5120 St. Charles Ave., from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. All are invited to attend. For more information call 596-2625.

& Monday at 7:30 pm the East Jefferson Regional Library Fiction Writers Group meets. Candice Huber, a fixture on the local literary scene and a computer wizard, will make a presentation on how technology can help writers. The Fiction Writers’ Group 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 require

& 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. Watch Odd Words on Facebook and Google+ on Tuesdays for a complete list of her guests and features.

& Tuesday at 6 pm Garden District Books features Michael Murphy with Sara Roahen & Poppy Tooker and Eat Dat: A Guide to the Unique Food Culture of the Crescent City. Eat Dat New Orleans is a guidebook that celebrates both New Orleans’s food and its people. It highlights nearly 250 eating spots—sno-ball stands and food carts as well as famous restaurants—and spins tales of the city’s food lore, such as the controversial history of gumbo and the Shakespearean drama of restaurateur Owen Brennan and his heirs. The books includes a series of appendixes that list restaurants by cuisine, culinary classes and tours, food festivals, and indispensable “best of” lists chosen by an A-list of the city’s food writers and media personalities, including Tom Fitzmorris, Poppy Tooker, Lolis Eric Elie, Ian McNulty, Sara Roahen, Marcelle Bienvenu, Amy C. Sins, and Liz Williams.

& Tuesday at 6 pm Octavia Books hosts a reading and signing with Dawn Ruth celebrating the release of her new novel, THE NIGHT WALKER’S SONG. Jo Nell James thinks her life is on the upswing when she rents an antebellum mansion stocked with valuable antiques in a blighted New Orleans neighborhood. Even though the truth lurks everywhere, in the iconic oaks, her bed and even at the piano in the parlor, she hangs on to that fantasy for far too long. Unknown to her, the former occupants’ long ago tragedies are about to become her own.

& Tuesday at 7 pm the East Bank Fiction Writers Group meets at the East Jeffereson Regional Library for a critique session.

& Every Tuesday night get on the list to spit at the longest running spoken word venue in New Orleans at Sweet Lorraine’s Jazz Club hosted by African-American Shakespear. Doors open at 7pm and the Mic pops at 8pm. It is $5 to get in.

& Wednesday at 2 pm at UNO in LA 236 three writers, Tom Cooper, Kathy Conner, and Michael Cooper, speak about fiction-writing at our first 3rd Wednesday Talk of the semester. The three are part of the same family.

& Wednesday at 6:30 pm the Nix Library on Carrollton Avenue features Members of the MelanNated Writers’ Collective will share poetry, fiction, music and everything in between. While the group is predominantly African-American, it boasts members who have roots in the Philippines, India, and Malaysia. MelaNated Writers are journalists, professors, MFA students, published fictionistas and poets, and even one Pulitzer winner.

Odd Words January 30, 2014

Posted by Mark Folse in books, Indie Book Shops, literature, memoir, New Orleans, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, Toulouse Street.
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This coming week in literary New Orleans:

& Thursday at 6 pm Octavia Books hosts a presentation and signing with John H. Baron featuring his recent book, CONCERT LIFE IN NINETEENTH-CENTURY NEW ORLEANS. During the nineteenth century, New Orleans thrived as the epicenter of classical music in America, outshining New York, Boston, and San Francisco before the Civil War and rivaling them thereafter. While other cities offered few if any operatic productions, New Orleans gained renown for its glorious opera seasons. Resident composers, performers, publishers, teachers, instrument makers, and dealers fed the public’s voracious cultural appetite. Tourists came from across the United States to experience the city’s thriving musical scene. Until now, no study has offered a thorough history of this exciting and momentous era in American musical performance history. John H. Baron’s Concert Life in Nineteenth-Century New Orleans impressively fills that gap.

& Every Thursday at 7 pm the JuJu Bag Cafe hosts the spoken word event Word Connections hosted by John Lacabiere. Call 504-307-9969 to sign up or for more information.

& Friday all New Orleans Public Libraries will be closed for an All Staff Day.

& Saturday at 11:30 it’s Story Time with Miss Maureen at Maple Street Book Shop. This week she’ll read Fog Island by Tomi Ungerer. In this imaginative tale from master storyteller Tomi Ungerer, two young siblings find themselves cast away on mysterious Fog Island. No one has ever returned from the island’s murky shores, but when the children begin to explore, they discover things are not quite as they expected!

& Saturday at 2 pm the Poetry Buffet returns to its home at the Latter Memorial Library, feeaturing poets jonathan Kline, Geoff Munsterman and Mike True reading from their new books.

& Saturday at 2 pm Octavia Books and Kid Chef Eliana celebrate the launch of her third cookbook. Come meet her and learn about the mouth-watering recipes in COOL KIDS COOK: Fresh and Fit. Everyone benefits from healthy menus, and Kid Chef Eliana has created a collection of twenty-six recipes that focus on flavor and fresh ingredients. Her recipes are easy to prepare and kid-friendly. With mouth-watering dishes, including such tasty treats as Vinegar and Sea Salt Kale Chips, Beef and Broccoli Stir-Fry, and Inside-Out Peach Crumble, the whole family will be eating nutritious meals prepared by their very own kids!

& Starting Saturday Chef Jacquy Pfeiffer, co-founder of The French Pastry School and author of the new cookbook, The Art of French Pastry will be visiting New Orleans. He’ll be hosting a demonstration Saturday, at the Ritz, and Sunday he’ll be at Sucre. Maple Street Book Shop will be on-site selling the books. Monday morning at 1 1AM, he’ll lecture and sign at the Maple Street Book Shop, and do a macaron tasting

& Every Sunday at 3 p.m. The Maple Leaf Reading Series, the oldest continuous reading series in the south, founded by Everette Maddox, features guest poets and an open mic. January is a series of open mics.

& Sunday is Slam and Spoken Word Day in New Orleans. WhoDatPoets.com lists five Spoken Word shows on Sunday nights. For phone numbers with more details on all these readings visit WHODATPOETS.COM. (I stopped listing all of the events because one venue’s name forced me to limit this post for readers over 21. Check WHODATEPOETS.COM for all the latest on slam and spoken word in New Orleans.

& Speak Sunday is hosted every Sunday at 7 pm by Duece the Poet at Therapy, 3001 Tulane Avenue, also featuring live painting of the performers by C.C. Givens.

& Monday at 7 pm the East Jefferson Regional Library Fiction Writer’s Group will host guest writer Janet Moulton, the author of The Headless Palm. The chaos of life after Hurricane Katrina places a local attorney and her contractor son at odds with a broken legal system. When they befriend two college students, they agree to help them in the search for a missing cousin. The investigation uncovers horrors worse than anything the storm did. Janet Moulton graduated from the University of Connecticut with bachelor degrees in psychology and English. She obtained her law degree from Tulane University and has lived in various parts of the New Orleans area since 1972. The Fiction Writers’ Group 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.

& 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. Watch Odd Words on Facebook and Google+ on Tuesdays for a complete list of her guests and features.

& Tuesday at 6 pm Octavia Books hosts best selling author Wendy Webb and her new book The Vanishing. Set on the roguishly beautiful Northern shore of Lake Michigan, THE VANISHING begins with a past séance that goes unpardonably wrong—and then leaps forward to today’s most troubling headlines. The widow of a Ponzi-scheming genius who escaped through suicide, Julia Bishop is shocked by an offer so intriguing she cannot refuse: she’s offered the position of companion to a famed gothic novelist who much of the world believes has died. The authoress’s son offers Julia refuge from the cruel media and vicious personal attacks surrounding her husband’s misdeeds—she can vanish into his family’s cloaked estate, just has his mother, Amaris Sinclair, did some decades ago. But when Julia arrives at the aptly named castle-in-the-wilderness, Havenwood, she becomes unsettled: by voices from figures that are not there; by intruders who must mean someone harm; by legends surrounding the estate and the Sinclair family that seem all too true.

& The 1718 Society literary group will host its first first reading of the Spring semester is Tuesday at 7 pm. Shelly Taylor is the featured reader. Shelly Taylor is the author of Black-Eyed Heifer (Tarpaulin Sky Press) and Dirt City Lions (Horse Less Press), as well as two poetry chapbooks, Peaches the Yes-Girl (Portable Press of Yo-Yo Labs) & Land Wide to Get a Hold Lost In (Dancing Girl Press). Born in southern Georgia, she currently resides in New Orleans, where she teaches at Loyola. All readings are free and open to the public. Maple Street Book Shop will be on-site selling books. The 1718 Society is a literary organization of Tulane, Loyola, and UNO students, which holds a monthly reading series at the Columns Hotel, 3811 St. Charles Avenue.

& The Great Books Club meets at the Old Metairie Branch of the Jefferson Parish Library Tuesday at 7 pm. The Great Books Foundation is a nonprofit educational organization whose mission is to advance the critical, reflective thinking and social and civic engagement of readers of all ages through Shared Inquiry discussion of works and ideas of enduring value. Since 1947, the Foundation has helped people throughout the United States and other countries conduct discussion groups in schools, libraries, community centers, and other venues.

& Also on Tuesday the Jefferson Parish Library Teen Book Club will meet in the Lafitte Library. Teens ages 12-18 are invited to join in an exciting discussion of this month’s book, BETWEEN THE LINES by Jodie Picoult. Registration required. Please call 504-689-5097 to register. Held in the adult reading area.

& Every Tuesday night get on the list to spit at the longest running spoken word venue in New Orleans at Sweet Lorraine’s Jazz Club hosted by African-American Shakespear. Doors open at 7pm and the Mic pops at 8pm. It is $5 to get in.

& Wednesday at 6:30 pm Garden District Book Shop features Joshua Field Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus discussing their book Everything That Remains. Twenty-something, suit-clad, and upwardly mobile, Joshua Fields Millburn thought he had everything anyone could ever want. Until he didn’t anymore. Blindsided by the loss of his mother and his marriage in the same month, Millburn started questioning every aspect of the life he had built for himself. Then, he accidentally discovered a lifestyle known as minimalism and everything started to change. That was four years ago. Since, Millburn, now 32, has embraced simplicity. In the pursuit of looking for something more substantial than compulsory consumption and the broken American Dream, he jettisoned most of his material possessions, paid off loads of crippling debt, and walked away from his six-figure career. So, when everything was gone, what was left? Not a how-to book, but a why-to book.

& On Wednesday Esoterotica’s local provocateurs are bringing you a celebration of the all different forms of self-love… and we don’t mean in the Depak Chopra kind of way. 8 pm at the Allways.

Odd Words January 23, 2014

Posted by Mark Folse in books, Indie Book Shops, literature, New Orleans, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, publishing, Toulouse Street.
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This coming week in literary New Orleans:

& Thursday at 5:30 pm the Norman Mayer Library continues its Writing Workshops led by Youths. Upstairs in the teen area. Encouraging creative arts exploration through reading, engaging discussions, and group activities. Youth ages 12-17 are invited! Group limited to 15 participants. Call the branch to reserve your spot: 596-3100.

& Garden District Book Shop will host Fredrick Barton reading form and signing his new novel Courting Pandemonium at 6 pm. Raised by an outspoken single mother, Mac coaches women’s high school basketball in a New Orleans public school. When Mac encourages a star athlete, Barbara Jeanne Bordelon, to play on the boy’s basketball team, he incurs a flurry of public scrutiny that puts him in the path of radical feminists and evangelical Christians. Set in the 1970s to coincide with the Title IX ruling, Courting Pandemonium looks back on the landmark equal rights case with the singular mix of poignancy and absurdist humor, for which Barton is known.

& At 7 pm Thursday the East Bank Jefferson Parish Regional Library hosts an author event featuring Carolyn Kolb whose work provides a look into the heart of her city, New Orleans. She is a former Times-Picayune reporter and current columnist for New Orleans Magazine, where versions of these essays appeared as “Chronicles of Recent History.” Kolb takes her readers on a virtual tour of her favorite people and places. Divided into sections on food, Mardi Gras, literature, and music, these short essays can be read in one gulp or devoured slowly over time.

& Friday at 5 pm is the deadline to register for the New Orleans Public Library’s Black History Month Essay Contest. The theme of the contest is “Blacks and Reconstruction in Louisiana”. Entries must be received by the African American Resource Center by 5:00 pm CST, Friday, January 24, 2014. Sorry I didn’t catch this one earlier.

& Friday at 6 p.m. Jesmyn Ward, whose novel Salvage the Bones won the National Book Award in 2011, will be reading from and signing her most recent book, Men We Reaped, will be reading and signing at the Maple Street Book Shop. In four years, five young men dear to Ward died of various causes, from drug overdose to accident to suicide, but the underlying cause of their deaths was a self-destructive spiral born of hopelessness. Surrounded by so much death and sorrow, Ward closely examined the heartbreakingly relentless deaths of her young relatives and friends growing up in the small town of DeLisle, Mississippi, with few job prospects and little to engage their time and talents other than selling and using drugs and alcohol.

& Saturday at 11:30 it’s Story Time with Miss Maureen at Maple Street Book Shop. This week she’ll be reading Fog Island by Tomi Ungerer. In this imaginative tale from master storyteller Tomi Ungerer, two young siblings find themselves cast away on mysterious Fog Island. No one has ever returned from the island’s murky shores, but when the children begin to explore, they discover things are not quite as they expected!

& This is it! The big night when National Slam Poetry Champions Team Slam New Orleans decide their 2014 team! Expect a no holds barred all out best of the best from beginning to end. The winners will be representing New Orleans in the 2014 National Poetry Slam Championships. Eight poets will compete two rounds for a spot on the reigning back-to-back National Poetry Slam champions, Team SNO. In addition, we will crown our Individual World Poetry Slam and Women of the World Poetry Slam representatives. Your Grand Slam Finalists: A Scribe Called Quess,Desiree Dallagiacomo, Kaycee Filson, FreeQuency, Sam Gordon, Justin Lamb, Akeem Martin, Preach 

& Not a literary event but a sad day. Saturday at 9 pm McKeown’s Books and Difficult Music will host it’s last Difficult Music concert before closing at the end of the month. Stop by and say good-bye to a great bookstore and music venue.

& Every Sunday at 3 p.m. The Maple Leaf Reading Series, the oldest continuous reading series in the south, founded by Everette Maddox, features guest poets and an open mic. January is a series of open mics.

& Sunday is Slam and Spoken Word Day in New Orleans. WhoDatPoets.com lists five Spoken Word shows on Sunday nights. For phone numbers with more details on all these readings visit WHODATPOETS.COM. (I stopped listing all of the events because one venue’s name forced me to limit this post for readers over 21. Check WHODATEPOETS.COM for all the latest on slam and spoken word in New Orleans.

& Monday at 5:30 pm the Robert E. Smith library in Lakeview hosts a Creative Writing Workshop. Do you think in verse that could become poetry? Do you imagine characters, dialogue, and scenes? If so, join the Smith Library’s free Creative Writing Workshop.

& Monday at 7 pm the East Bank Jefferson Parish Fiction Writers Groups will host a critique session at the East Bank Regional Library. The Fiction Writers’ Group 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.

& 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. Watch Odd Words on Facebook and Google+ on Tuesdays for a complete list of her guests and features.

& Tuesday evenings the Old Metairie Library branch Great Books Discussion Group meets at 7 pm. No title is announced for this meeting. Contact the library at 889-8143 for more information.

& Every Tuesday night get on the list to spit at the longest running spoken word venue in New Orleans at Sweet Lorraine’s Jazz Club hosted by African-American Shakespear. Doors open at 7pm and the Mic pops at 8pm. It is $5 to get in.

& Wednesday at 6 p.m. Author Micheal Zell and photographers Louviere + Vanessa will celebrate the launch of their collaboration Oblivion Atlas upstairs at Mimi’s, 2601 Royal Street, featuring projection of images from the book, readings of selected stories by noted actors Michael Martin and Richard Mayer, and more. Copies of The Oblivion Atlas will be available for purchase and signing.

Odd Words January 15, 2014

Posted by Mark Folse in books, Indie Book Shops, literature, memoir, New Orleans, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, publishing, Toulouse Street.
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This coming week in literary New Orleans:

& Thursday at 9 p.m. Bayou Magazine will launch Issue No. 60 of the literary journal at The Saturn, 3067 St. Claude Ave. ” Readers, writers, editors, contributors, music-lovers and party-goers, come join us for [REDACTED], dancing, singing, literature-dispersing, or any subset of these activities! Games will be played, prizes will be won, joy will be spread.”

& Thursday at 5:30 pm the Norman Mayer Library continues its Writing Workshops led by Youths. Upstairs in the teen area. Encouraging creative arts exploration through reading, engaging discussions, and group activities. Youth ages 12-17 are invited! Group limited to 15 participants. Call the branch to reserve your spot: 596-3100.

&  Also on Thursday the East Jefferson Regional Library’s Great Books Discussion Group will take up Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov at 7 pm in the A/V Conference Room – 2nd Floor. Awe and exhilaration–along with heartbreak and mordant wit–abound in Lolita, Nabokov’s most famous and controversial novel, which tells the story of the aging Humbert Humbert’s obsessive, devouring, and doomed passion for the nymphet Dolores Haze. Lolita is also the story of a hypercivilized European colliding with the cheerful barbarism of postwar America. Most of all, it is a meditation on love–love as outrage and hallucination, madness and transformation.

& Saturday at 1 pm Garden District Book Shop features Katie Wainwright’s The Azaleas. Dumped by her lover, no money, no credit, no job, facing eviction…Karla Whitmore hits rock bottom. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, she has reached a dead end, nowhere to turn, no place to go. Then a chance encounter at Café du Monde—Albert Monsant, a suave, sophisticated uptown lawyer, offers Karla a job selling real estate, dangling the prospect of big money under her nose. Suspicious, but lacking options, Karla accepts the challenge. Arriving at The Azaleas, Karla is pitted against a roaming ghost, a good-old-boy network and a past culture that hangs on and won’t let go. She soon realizes that the impediment to a sale is not the real estate, but the owner’s conflicts.

& At 2 pm Saturday the Dickens Fellowship of New Orleans meets to continue their discussion of David Copperfield. They will discuss Chapter XXIX “I Visit Steerforth at his Home, again” through Chapter XXXV “Depression. The Fellowship holds meetings September through May, reading one of the works of Charles Dickens each year. The meetings include book discussions, movie versions of the novel, and lectures by Dickens scholars. This year’s book is DAVID COPPERFIELD. Dues are $20/person (couples $30) payable in September.

& Also at 2 pm Saturday author Victoria Cosner Love will be signing her book Mad Madame Lalaurie: New Orleans’s Most Famous Murderess Revealed at the 1850 House, 523 St. Ann St in the lower Pontalba. What really happened in the Lalaurie home? Who was “Mad Madame Lalaurie,” and what motivated her to commit such ghastly atrocities, if she indeed did? Mad Madame Lalaurie is one of New Orleans’ most infamous villains, even being portrayed by Kathy Bates in the 2013 season of American Horror Story. Historian Victoria Cosner Love and author Lorelei Shannon uncover the truth behind one of New Orleans’s most famous stories and one of America’s most haunted houses.

& Every Sunday at 3 p.m. The Maple Leaf Reading Series, the oldest continuous reading series in the south, founded by Everette Maddox, features guest poets and an open mic. January is a series of open mics.

& Sunday is Slam and Spoken Word Day in New Orleans. WhoDatPoets.com lists five Spoken Word shows on Sunday nights. For phone numbers with more details on all these readings visit WHODATPOETS.COM. (I stopped listing all of the events because one venue’s name forced me to limit this post for readers over 21. Check WHODATEPOETS.COM for all the latest on slam and spoken word in New Orleans.

& Monday, January 20 is Martin Luther King Day and both Jefferson parish and New Orleans public library will be closed. There will be no GLBTQ book club or student’s Creative Writing Workshop this week.

& 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. Watch Odd Words on Facebook and Google+ on Tuesdays for a complete list of her guests and features.

& Tuesday evenings the Old Metairie Library branch Great Books Discussion Group meets at 7 pm. No title is announced for this meeting. Contact the library at 889-8143 for more information.

& Every Tuesday night get on the list to spit at the longest running spoken word venue in New Orleans at Sweet Lorraine’s Jazz Club hosted by African-American Shakespear. Doors open at 7pm and the Mic pops at 8pm. It is $5 to get in.

& Mark Rothko. Horse racing and cockfighting. Exotic New Orleans. On Wednesday the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities celebrates the new issue of Louisiana Cultural Vistas magazine with another publication party featuring several of the issue’s contributors. Doors open at 5:45 at 938 Lafayette Street and the event is open to the public. A $5 donation is suggested. Scheduled to discuss their articles in the Winter 13-14 issue are: Cybele Gontar, who unearths the details of artist Mark Rothko’s time in New Orleans; S. Derby Gisclair, who looks back at the golden age of Big Easy sports, when boxing, horse racing, cockfighting and baseball reigned; and, John Lawrence, who explores the exotic style in local architecture.

Odd Words January 9, 2014

Posted by Mark Folse in books, bookstores, Indie Book Shops, memoir, New Orleans, novel, Poetry, publishing, Toulouse Street, Writing.
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This coming week in literary New Orleans:

& Thursday at 5:30 pm the Norman Mayer Library continues its Writing Workshops led by Youths. Upstairs in the teen area. Encouraging creative arts exploration through reading, engaging discussions, and group activities. Youth ages 12-17 are invited! Group limited to 15 participants. Call the branch to reserve your spot: 596-3100

& This Friday through Saturday The Tennessee Williams Festival presents The New Play Bacchanal, a multi-faceted annual play festival that gathers local artists, playwrights, directors, and the theatre community to exchange ideas, to encourage the development of new work, and nurture local playwrights and support New Orleans’ creative community at large. In short, it’s a two-day play extravaganza for professionals and fans alike. Details are at TennesseeWilliams.net

& Thirteen poets will square off for two-rounds of no holds barred poetry and a chance to advance to the 2014 Team SNO finals at the end of January Friday at 8 pm at the Shadowbox Theater hosted by Charlie UptownzIllestson Vaughn Jr. $7 Admission SEMI-FINALS PERFORMERS: A Scribe Called Quess, Kataalyst Alcindor, Aurora, Beck Cooper, Desiree Dallagiacomo, Jim Dulin, Kaycee Filson, FreeQuency, Sam Gordon, Justin Lamb, Akeem Martin, Preach, and William Brian Sain.

& This Friday at 10 pm the literary libertines of The Poetry Brothel present their latest extravaganza. $10 cover; $5 requested donation for tokens. Doors @ 9:00. Show @ 10:00. Fearures include a guest reading by Geoff Munsterman. Our cast of poets includes: Tabitha “Totty” Quym (Aime’ SansSavant), Mam’zelle Cherie Louve (Anne Delatte), Jack Prince (Chris Shipman,) Alejandro Amoretti (Dean Felch), Jerome d’Amourt (Erik Elshire), Pearl du Mal (Izzy Oneiric), Bi Nary (Jenn Nunes), & Francis Shadfly (Jordan Soyka). Also featuring: Burlesque performances by Lana Turnover and Picolla Tushy; Acrobatics by Out on a Limb (Andrew Zutell & Ashley Fransien Brown); Busking by Aurelea River; Tarot card reading by Jenelle Campion; and, Cyanotype & stilting by Philip Ylannopoulos

& Saturday’s Story Time with Miss Maureen at Maple Street at 11:30 am features Madeline and the Old House in Paris by John Bemelmans Marciano, the grandson of Ludwig Bemelmans, creator of the Madeline books.

& Every Sunday at 3 p.m. The Maple Leaf Reading Series, the oldest continuous reading series in the south, founded by Everette Maddox, features guest poets and an open mic.

& Sunday is Slam and Spoken Word Day in New Orleans. WhoDatPoets.com lists five Spoken Word shows on Sunday nights. For phone numbers with more details on all these readings visit WHODATPOETS.COM. (I stopped listing all of the events because one venue’s name forced me to limit this post for readers over 21. Check WHODATEPOETS.COM for all the latest on slam and spoken word in New Orleans.

&  Monday at 4 pm the Main Branch of the New Orleans Public Library hosts a GLBTQ book club conversation for teens and their alli byes! We will provide paper and digital copies of a short story the week before; the subsequent discussion will be guided by the themes and issues explored in the reading.

& Do you think in verse that could become poetry? Do you imagine characters, dialogue, and scenes? If so, join the New Orleans Public Library Smith branch’s free Creative Writing Workshop. Every other Monday, beginning October 7, 5:30 p.m.

& Octavia Books hosts a presentation and signing with New Orleans writer and artist Dalt Wonk featuring his just released THE RIDDLES OF EXISTENCE.. The Riddles of Existence is an oversized deck of fifty cards, each with a full-colored figure wearing a costume. Beneath the illustration, there is a riddle in verse. The costume is the answer, or hint, to the riddle. This is the game. The illustrations and the verse provide great pleasure, above and beyond, the game. There is also a card with the answers to The Riddles of Existence for those who are stumped.

& Monday at 7 pm the East Jefferson Public Library Diction Writers Group hosts guest author David Armand will discuss his novel, Harlow, as well as his first novel, The Puglilist’s Wife. He teaches at Southeastern Louisiana University, Hammand, where he also serves as assistant editor for Louisiana Literature. The Fiction Writers’ Group 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.

& 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.

& Please join Octavia Books Tuesday at 6 pm for a presentation and booksigning with columnist Charles Krauthammer featuring his #1 New York Times Bestseller, THINGS THAT MATTER: Three Decades of Passions, Pastimes and Politics. Tickets are required. Each ticket admits one person and may be exchanged at the event for one signed edition of THINGS THAT MATTER by Charles Krauthammer. Tickets are the price of one book. As space is limited, we strongly recommend that you purchase your ticket now. You may purchased tickets online by clicking here. Or you may tickets by coming to Octavia Books or calling us during store hours at 504-899-READ (7323). You must pay for your tickets at the time you reserve them. Tickets are the price of one book. From America’s most preeminent conservative columnist-a long awaited collection of his essential, timeless writings that goes beyond the world of politics to offer Charles Krauthammer’s penetrating and surprising reflections on everything from psychology, space exploration, medicine, his family, chess, religion and baseball.

& Every Tuesday night get on the list to spit at the longest running spoken word venue in New Orleans at Sweet Lorraine’s Jazz Club hosted by African-American Shakespear. Doors open at 7pm and the Mic pops at 8pm. It is $5 to get in.

& Tuesday at 7 pm the Jefferson Parish Library West Bank Fiction Writers Group meets at the Westwego branch. Writing exercises or discussions of points of fiction and/or critique sessions of members’ submissions. Meets the second Tuesday of every month. Moderator: Gary Bourgeois. Held in the meeting Room.

& The Louisiana Endowment fokr the Humanities hosts a discussion of Nancy Dixon’s new book N.O. Lit: 200 Years of New Orleans Literature featuring a panel Discussion with Editor Nancy Dixon, Contributor Moira Crone, New Orleans Literature Scholar CW Cannon, and Contributor Fatima Shaik at the LEC center on Lafayette Street.

Odd Words January 2, 2014

Posted by Mark Folse in books, Indie Book Shops, literature, New Orleans, NOLA, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, publishing, Toulouse Street.
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This coming (quiet) week in literary New Orleans:

& Thursday at 5:30 pm the Norman Mayer Library continues its Writing Workshops led by Youths. Upstairs in the teen area. Encouraging creative arts exploration through reading, engaging discussions, and group activities. Youth ages 12-17 are invited! Group limited to 15 participants. Call the branch to reserve your spot: 596-3100

& Saturday’s Story Time with Miss Maureen at Maple Street Book Shops at 11:30 am features Skippyjon Jones by Judy Schachner

& At 2 pm Saturday, the Latter Memorial Library presents the Poetry Buffet hosted by Gina Ferrara. This week features a smorgasboard of New Orleans poets each reading for five minutes.

& Saturday at 4 pm J.M. Redmann signs The Shoal of Time at Faubourg Marigny Art & Books. Michele “Micky” Knight, a New Orleans PI, meets an out-of-town team of investigators who are working a human trafficking case. They want someone local to show them around. It sounds easy, and a woman with smiling green eyes is asking. But it stays easy only if Micky stops asking questions—and she’s never been good at that.

& Every Sunday at 3 p.m. The Maple Leaf Reading Series, the oldest continuous reading series in the south, founded by Everette Maddox, features guest poets and an open mic.

& Sunday is Slam and Spoken Word Day in New Orleans. WhoDatPoets.com lists five Spoken Word shows on Sunday nights. For phone numbers with more details on all these readings visit WHODATPOETS.COM. (I stopped listing all of the events because one venue’s name forced me to limit this post for readers over 21. Check WHODATEPOETS.COM for all the latest on slam and spoken word in New Orleans.

& Monday at 4 pm the Main Branch of the New Orleans Public Library hosts a GLBTQ book club conversation for teens and their allies! We will provide paper and digital copies of a short story the week before; the subsequent discussion will be guided by the themes and issues explored in the reading..

& Do you think in verse that could become poetry? Do you imagine characters, dialogue, and scenes? If so, join the New Orleans Public Library Smith branch’s free Creative Writing Workshop. Every other Monday, beginning October 7, 5:30 – 7 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.

& The Maple Street Book Shop’s First Tuesday Book Club‘s January meeting will be at 5:45PM at7529 Maple Street) They’ll be discussing The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman. Newcomers are always welcome!

& The Southern Food and Beverage Museum and the East Jefferson Public Library host Culinary Legacies, featuring Poppy Tooker at 7 pm in the Jefferson and Napoleon Rooms. One of the most vocal and enthusiastic ambassadors of the food of New Orleans today is native daughter Poppy Tooker. She teaches classes to locals and tourists. She is an author, having produced several cookbooks. She is the host of a local weekly radio show, Louisiana Eats!, and she appears regularly on a local public television program which discusses the culinary cultural happenings of the week.

& Every Tuesday night get on the list to spit at the longest running spoken word venue in New Orleans at Sweet Lorraine’s Jazz Club hosted by African-American Shakespear. Doors open at 7pm and the Mic pops at 8pm. It is $5 to get in.

& Wednesday at 6 pm Octavia Books hosts a reading, presentation and signing with author Michael Allen Zell and artistic collaborators Louviere + Vanessa (L + V) featuring their new book, THE OBLIVION ATLAS. L +V will have in tow some of the actual gold leaf photographs from the book to show and tell. This unique book begins with the simple idea that “motion must be frozen before being recreated as motion.” The multi-medium artwork of L + V is set in motion as influence and inspiration for short stories by Michael Allen Zell, and L + V in turn have created new work to serve as backdrop and counterpoint to the stories.

& Wednesday at 6:30 pm Fleur de Lit presents Reading Between the Wines with local authors discussing and reading from their work and signing their books! The series will take place on the first Wednesday of the month at Pearl Wine Co. in the American Can Company, 3700 Orleans Ave. Must be 21 or older to attend.

Odd Words December 26, 2013

Posted by Mark Folse in books, Indie Book Shops, literature, memoir, novel, Poetry, publishing, Toulouse Street.
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Having missed two weeks of listings due to illness, this 206th edition marks the fourth anniversary of Odd Words. & so it goes. This week in literary New Orleans:

& Saturday’s Story Time with Miss Maureen at Maple Street Book Shops at 11:30 am features Mr. Wuffles by David Wiesner.

& Saturday at 3 pm Garden District Book Shop hosts Linda Baletsa and Operation Mockingbird. This thriller mirrors today’s headlines with its stunning revelations about dark recesses of media manipulation. Miami journalist Matt Connelly returns home from the Middle East eager to resume his once successful writing career. He soon learns that a powerful public relations firm is manufacturing the news and feeding this propaganda to an unsuspecting public. Reporters who don’t go along are being intimidated, tortured — or worse. This firm will stop at nothing to maintain the spin, including murder. Matt Connelly vows to expose the truth as well as the unholy alliance among business, the government and the media but soon finds himself on the run from those determined to silence him

& Every Sunday at 3 p.m. The Maple Leaf Reading Series, the oldest continuous reading series in the south, founded by Everette Maddox, features guest poets and an open mic. This week features Poet Sara Henning reading from and signing her new book from Lavender Ink, A Sweeter Water, followed by an open mic.

& Sunday is Slam and Spoken Word Day in New Orleans. WhoDatPoets.com lists five Spoken Word shows on Sunday nights. For phone numbers with more details on all these readings visit WHODATPOETS.COM. (I stopped listing all of the events because one venue’s name forced me to limit this post for readers over 21. Check WHODATEPOETS.COM for all the latest on slam and spoken word in New Orleans.

& Do you think in verse that could become poetry? Do you imagine characters, dialogue, and scenes? If so, join the New Orleans Public Library Smith branch’s free Creative Writing Workshop. Every other Monday, beginning October 7, 5:30 – 7 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.

& The New Orleans Public Library’s branches close at noon on Tuesday for New Year’s. Jefferson Parish Libraries are closed Tuesday and Wednesday.

& Every Tuesday night get on the list to spit at the longest running spoken word venue in New Orleans at Sweet Lorraine’s Jazz Club hosted by African-American Shakespear. Doors open at 7pm and the Mic pops at 8pm. It is $5 to get in.

Odd Words December 19, 2013

Posted by Mark Folse in books, Indie Book Shops, literature, memoir, New Orleans, NOLA, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, publishing, Toulouse Street.
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The coming week in literary New Orleans:

& Thursday at 6 pm James Beard Award-winning chef John Besh will be signing his new cookbook, Cooking from the Heart: My Favorite Lessons Learned Along the Way, at Maple Street Book Shop. In Cooking from the Heart, Chef Besh shares the lessons he’s learned from his mentors through 140 accessible recipes and cooking lessons. Featuring lush photography, inspiring personal stories, and a rich expanse of culinary knowledge, Cooking from the Heart is the next best thing to having an apprenticeship with Chef Besh! Cooking from the Heart, Chef John Besh’s third cookbook, revisits the locations, lessons, and mentors that shaped his culinary journey

& TEN Gallery (4432 Magazine St> will host a reading at 6:30 pm. The theme is The Surface. Readers will include Richard Goodman, Alison Baker, and Maia Elgin.

& The East Jefferson Regional Library will host a Great Books Discussion Group on A Prayer for Owen Meany, by John Irving Thursday at 7 pm in the A/V Conference Room – 2nd Floor. Otherwise, the library is on a holiday programing break through the end of the year.

& Odd Words isn’t a theater listing, but a production of strikes me as a notable exception. Promethean Theatre Co with Four Humours Theater presents Eugene O’Neil’s A Long Day’s Journey into Night the ARK KLUB Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm through Dec. 21. Tickets and information at fourhumourstheater@gmail.com or 504.948.4167.

& Saturday’s Story Time with Miss Maureen at Maple Street Book Shops at 11:30 am features How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss.

& Saturday at noon Octavia Books hosts Phillip Collier’s Making New Orleans. This book takes you through the ever-evolving history of the Big Easy, owing to the boundless list of past and present locally made products. This volume is an homage to New Orleans’ rich past, bringing to life forgotten foods, coffees, beers, soft drinks, ironwork, furniture, clothing, perfumes, music, money, ships, airplanes, rockets, books, newspapers, and patent medicines. Written by fourteen local writers and historians and featuring over 200 unique New Orleans products, along with vintage advertisements, labels and photographs, this is the perfect book for lovers of all things New Orleans.

& At 2 pm Octavia hosts a signing with author and editor Mary Fitzpatrick and film location manager, producer and scriptwriter Virginia McCollam featuiring the new and final book of the Preservation Resource Center’s trilogy. NEW ORLEANS: Days & Nights in the Dreamy City is an around-the-clock trip to the favorite spots of more than 100 insiders. If you want to see New Orleans as people really live it or if you are fortunate enough to live here and want to travel beyond your own zone, here’s a remarkable diversity of the city’s greatest places according to locals. Celebrities like John Stirratt of WILCO, David Simon of Treme, the Duplass Brothers writing/directing team, crime novelist George Pelecanos and actors Wendell Pierce, Bryan Batt and John Goodman add their favorite spots to places chosen by the powder room attendant at Brennan’s, the Harley-Davidson dealer, the Uptown pediatrician, transplanted nanny, master silversmith, journalist, photographer, developer, and Julia Street drifter

& At 4 pm Saturday Jay Mazza will be signing his new book Not Just Another Thursday Night: Kermit Ruffins and Vaughan’s Lounge at the Louisiana Music Factory.. Mazza attended over 350 of Kermit’s performances. Using notes, recollections, archival news reports and extensive interviews with many of the musicians, he has crafted a detailed history of a special time and a unique venue, which holds an exalted place in the memories of those who were there. The book features photographs by Herman Leonard, David Rae Morris, Cheryl Gerber and others. Mazza is also the author of I Got the Fish in the Head: A Radiators Retrospective, essays on the iconic homegrown rock band the Radiators — the 30-year purveyors of “fishhead music” and Up Front and Center, New Orleans Music at the End of the 20th Century. With this third book, Mazza steps up into the first rank of writers capturing New Orleans’ ever shifting music scene.

& Also at 4 pm Saturday Nadine Blake Gallery, 1036 Royal St., hosts a launch party and signing for The Riddles of Existence Written and Illustrated by Dalt Wonk. Inspired by the costume designs of New Orleans’ century-old Mardi Gras traditions, The Riddles of Existence is a kind of modern reinvention of Tarot Cards. But these cards are not for predicting the future. They are for having fun now. The Riddles of Existence are an oversized deck of fifty cards, each with a full-colored figure wearing a costume. Beneath the illustration, there is a riddle in verse. The costume is the answer, or hint, to the riddle.

& Every Sunday at 3 p.m. The Maple Leaf Reading Series, the oldest continuous reading series in the south, founded by Everette Maddox, features guest poets and an open mic. This week features poet Mike True reads from and signs his new book from Portals Press, Diabolical Seas, followed by an open mic.

& Sunday is Slam and Spoken Word Day in New Orleans. WhoDatPoets.com lists five Spoken Word shows on Sunday nights. For phone numbers with more details on all these readings visit WHODATPOETS.COM. (I stopped listing all of the events because one venue’s name forced me to limit this post for readers over 21. Check WHODATEPOETS.COM for all the latest on slam and spoken word in New Orleans.

& The Main Branch of the New Orleans Public Library hosts GLBTQ teens & their Allies are invited to join in the book club conversation! We will provide paper and digital copies of a short story the week before; the subsequent discussion will be guided by the themes and issues explored in the reading. In the main auditorium at 4:00 p.m. Mondays.

& Do you think in verse that could become poetry? Do you imagine characters, dialogue, and scenes? If so, join the New Orleans Public Library Smith branch’s free Creative Writing Workshop. Every other Monday, beginning October 7, 5:30 – 7 p.m.

& All area libraries will be closed Tuesday, Dec. 24 and Wednesday, Dec. 25.

& 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.

& Every Tuesday night get on the list to spit at the longest running spoken word venue in New Orleans at Sweet Lorraine’s Jazz Club hosted by African-American Shakespear. Doors open at 7pm and the Mic pops at 8pm. It is $5 to get in.

. T

Odd Words December 12, 2013

Posted by Mark Folse in books, Indie Book Shops, literature, New Orleans, NOLA, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, publishing, Toulouse Street.
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The coming week in literary New Orleans:

& Friday at 7 pm as part of Vaughan’s Lounge annual Christmas Party Jay Mazza will be signing his new book Not Just Another Thursday Night: Kermit Ruffins and Vaughan’s Lounge. Mazza attended over 350 of Kermit’s performances. Using notes, recollections, archival news reports and extensive interviews with many of the musicians, he has crafted a detailed history of a special time and a unique venue, which holds an exalted place in the memories of those who were there. The book features photographs by Herman Leonard, David Rae Morris, Cheryl Gerber and others. Mazza is also the author of I Got the Fish in the Head: A Radiators Retrospective, essays on the iconic homegrown rock band the Radiators — the 30-year purveyors of “fishhead music” and Up Front and Center, New Orleans Music at the End of the 20th Century. With this third book, Mazza steps up into the first rank of writers capturing New Orleans’ ever shifting music scene.

& Odd Words isn’t a theater listing, but a production of strikes me as a notable exception. Promethean Theatre Co with Four Humours Theater presents Eugene O’Neil’s A Long Day’s Journey into Night the ARK KLUB Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm through Dec. 21. Tickets and information at fourhumourstheater@gmail.com or 504.948.4167.

& Saturday at 2 pm Octavia Books hosts a signing with Errol Barron featuring his new book, ROMA OSSERVATA, a collection of drawings and watercolors of the historic center of Rome that depicts the monuments, spaces, and details of the city in a highly personal, often humorous, way. Barron is the Richard Koch Professor of Architecture at Tulane University and in that capacity taught in Rome in 2011 and 2012 when he made the drawings that are accompanied by descriptive text in English and Italian. Two essays provide a context for the drawings: one by Professor Romolo Martemucci, Director of the Pantheon Institute, focusing on the essential act of observation and one by Professor Barron, Roma/Nola, considering Rome and its relation to American cities, particularly New Orleans.

Saturday the Haiku Society of America convenes its quarterly meeting with the New Orleans Haiku Society, with a long list of event at the Latter Library, 5120 St. Charles Avenue. 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

• A hands-on “How-to-Haiku” workshop led by Tom Painting
• A reading and book-signing by “Haiku Elvis” (Carlos Colon)
• A presentation on “Haiku and Video Games” by Nicholas Sola
• A musical haiku duet performed by Johnette Downing and Juliet Seer Pazera
• Closing out Issa’s 250th birthday year with a sharing of favorite haiku
• And more!

And on Sunday:

• Haiku walk and Kukai in Audubon Park
• “Haiku Elvis and Friends”: a public reading by conference participants
at the famous Maple Leaf Bar

& Saturday at 11am Garden District Books presents Errol Laborde, John Besh, Rebecca Snedeker, Carolyn Kolb, John Clark, Errol Barron, Julia Reed at the Preservation Resource Center Holiday Boutique at Trinity Episcopal Church in Bishop Polk Hall. Here’s the signing schedule.

  • Saturday
    • 10:00-11:00AM: Errol Laborde signs his book Mardi Gras : Chronicles of the New Orleans Carnival.
    • 11:00-1:00PM: John Besh signs his book Cooking From the Heart: My Favorite Lessons Learned Along the Way.
    • 1:00-2:00PM: Rebecca Snedeker signs her book, Unfathomable City : A New Orleans Atlas.
    • 2:00-3:00PM: Carolyn Kolb signs her book New Orleans Memories : One Writer’s City.
  • Sunday
    • 11:00-12:00PM: John Clark signs his book What the Sleepy Animals Do at the Audubon Zoo.
    • 12:00-1:00PM: Errol Barron signs his book Roma Osservata/Rome Observed.
    • 2:00-3:00PM: Julia Reed signs her book But Mama Always Put Vodka in Her Sangria! : Adventures in Eating, Drinking, and Making Merry.

& Saturday’s Story Time with Miss Maureen at Maple Street Book Shops at 11:30 am features How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss.

& Saturday at the Main Branch of the New Orleans Public Library, celebrate the holidays with games, music, crafts, short films, an artists market, giveaways and prize raffles. 11 am until 4 p.m.

& Saturday night at 7 pm the journal TENDE RLOIN’s presents another ColdCuts reading featuring WHITNEY MACKMAN, ALISON BARKER and RODGER KAMENETZ! Cold Cuts is a poetry reading interested in performance and a performance interested in reading poetry. Each reading will consist of 3 – often on the theme of 2 poets and a 3rd weird thing: the performative. “W encourage all our poets to perform and all our performances to poet. We like to showcase our TENDER LOIN writers, and we like to showcase local artists.”

& Saturday at 8pm PhotoNOLA: A Gallery for Fine Photography hosts a gallery opening and book signing The Oblivion Atlas, a collaboration between acclaimed photo-based artists Louviere + Vanessa and author Michael Allen Zell in a beautifully designed book full of evocative photographs and frozen-image short stories. Oblivion Atlas will also be part of a multi-artist book signing at the Contemporary Arts Center on Sunday.

& Every Sunday at 3 p.m. The Maple Leaf Reading Series, the oldest continuous reading series in the south, founded by Everette Maddox, features guest poets and an open mic. This week features The Haiku Society of America presents Haiku Elvis (Carlos Colon) signing his new book, Haiku Elvis: a Life in 17 Syllables. Also featuring other visiting members of the Haiku Society for their national conference.

& Sunday at 4 pm PhotoNOLA will be hosting a multi-artist book signing feature photographic publications from twelve artists, including:

  • Jane Fulton Alt – >em>The Burn + between fire/smoke
  • William Greiner – Show and Tell
  • Russell Lord – Gordon Parks: The Making of an Argument, the Foreword for Burtysky: Water, and the Foreword for Inventing Reality
    Deborah Luster – Tooth for an Eye
  • Louviere + Vanessa – Oblivion Atlas
  • Tammy Mercure – Twelve Nashville Waffle Houses + Some Long Hotels
  • Multiple Artists – Inventing Reality: New Orleans Visionary Photography
  • Christopher Porché-West – New Orleans: What Can’t Be Lost
  • Jared Ragland – Aggregates
  • Josephine Sacabo – The Nocturnes
  • Clayton Spada and Jacques Garnier – The Great Picture: Making the World’s Largest Photograph
  • Mary Virginia Swanson – Publish Your Photography Book

& Sunday is Slam and Spoken Word Day in New Orleans. WhoDatPoets.com lists five Spoken Word shows on Sunday nights. For phone numbers with more details on all these readings visit WHODATPOETS.COM. (I stopped listing all of the events because one venue’s name forced me to limit this post for readers over 21. Check WHODATEPOETS.COM for all the latest on slam and spoken word in New Orleans.

& The Main Branch of the New Orleans Public Library hosts GLBTQ teens & their Allies are invited to join in the book club conversation! We will provide paper and digital copies of a short story the week before; the subsequent discussion will be guided by the themes and issues explored in the reading. In the main auditorium at 4:00 p.m. Mondays.

& Do you think in verse that could become poetry? Do you imagine characters, dialogue, and scenes? If so, join the New Orleans Public Library Smith branch’s free Creative Writing Workshop. Every other Monday, beginning October 7, 5:30 – 7 p.m.

& On Monday at 6 pm Octavia Books features Dr. Nancy Dixon, Editor of N.O. LIT: 200 Years of New Orleans Literature. This book is the most comprehensive collection of the literature of New Orleans ever. Designed as an introduction for scholars and a pleasure for everyone, this volume will set the standard for years to come. Writers from around the world have long been drawn to New Orleans, but not until N.O. Lit: 200 Years of New Orleans Literature, edited by Nancy Dixon, has their work been collected in a single volume. Dixon has gathered some of the most prominent writers long associated with New Orleans, like Lafcadio Hearn, Tennessee Williams, Truman Capote, and Eudora Welty, but perhaps more fascinating are the ones we can discover for the first time, like the writers of Les Cenelles, French Creoles of color who published the first anthology of African American literature in 1845, or Los Isleños, descendents of the 17th-century Spanish immigrants from the Canary Islands, still a close-knit community today

& Monday the East Bank Fiction Writers Group meets at the Jefferson Parish East Bank Regional Library at 7 p.m.. The Fiction Writers’ Group 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.

& 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.

& Every Tuesday night get on the list to spit at the longest running spoken word venue in New Orleans at Sweet Lorraine’s Jazz Club hosted by African-American Shakespear. Doors open at 7pm and the Mic pops at 8pm. It is $5 to get in.

& Wednesday from 7:30 to 11:00 pm is the Poetry Ball Reunion at Cafe Istanbul in New Orleans. Asali Devan Ecclesiastes and Frederick “Hollywood” Delahoussaye are the featured performers. Many, many more poets and musicians from prior Balls this year are set to perform. The poster that’s attached, with its 15 names, will be updated tomorrow to include Katarina Boudreaux, Exquizito, Louis Maistros, and–we hope–several more. Wednesday is meant to an appreciation of our warm host venue, Cafe Istanbul, of Chuck and Suleyman there, and of the performances we’re already enjoyed at Balls gone by. The Balls have been truly a gas and a privilege to attend. Special thanks to Dave Brinks and Paul Punzo for starting them–oh my goodness, they’re gonna say it–rolling.

Odd Words December 5, 2013

Posted by Mark Folse in books, literature, memoir, New Orleans, NOLA, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, publishing, Toulouse Street.
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The coming week in literary New Orleans:

Don’t forget this weekend is the Pirate’s Alley Faulker Society’s Words & Music festival. See the Odd Words’ special listing post for more details. Room 220 interviews one of the prominent featured participants Horacio Castellanos Moya at Room 220.

& In conjunction with Professor Melissa Harris-Perry’s Fall 2013 course, Hip-Hop and Feminism, Tulane University, in partnership with the Anna Julia Cooper Project, LLC, is hosting a mini-conference on the topic of gender, sexuality and hip-hop. The conference will bring together a small group of scholars, students, artists, and activists for an intensive series of discussions focused on the contemporary challenges and opportunities at the intersection of gender, sexuality and hip-hop. The conference will be held at Tulane University on Thursday, December 5th and Friday December 6th, and will feature a Thursday night keynote delivered by Joan Morgan, author and cultural critic who coined the phrase “hip-hop feminism” with the publication of the bestselling When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost: My Life as a Hip-Hop Feminist. This conference is organized by the Anna Julia Cooper Project. Named in honor of one of the most noted African-American intellectuals in the history of the nation, the Anna Julia Cooper Project is an LLC based in New Orleans that investigates how gender and race intersect to shape women’s politics in the South. Details of the conference can be found at femhiphop.weebly.com/.

& Tonight Maple Street Book Shops hosts Errol Laborde and Peggy Scott Laborde at 6 p.m. for a book discussion 1and holiday dinner. Space is limited, so please reserve your book (hardcover, $35) and seat (no additional cost) by calling (504-866-4916) or emailing (people@maplestreetbookshop.com). Errol will talk about his latest work, Mardi Gras: Chronicles of the New Orleans Carnival. This extravagantly illustrated volume from a well-respected New Orleans expert covers such topics as the place of the old-line krewes in the evolution of Mardi Gras, women’s groups, flambeaux, the Carnival foods, and more

& At Octavia Books Thursday at 6 pm author Rich Cohen, who first visited Octavia Books in 2012 for the release of THE FISH THAT ATE THE WHALE, returns to present and sign his new book, MONSTERS: The 1985 Chicago Bears and the Wild Heart of Football. The gripping account of a once-in-a-lifetime football team and their lone championship season, Cohen breathlessly recounts the thrilling narrative of their championship season. It’s a story filled with outsized characters and unbelievable-but-true anecdotes gleaned from extensive interviews with the players themselves. It’s a story about fathers and sons, love and loyalty, hope and redemption, pain and joy. It’s a story about football, in all its beauty and all its brutality—the uniquely American sport.a

& Odd Words isn’t a theater listing, but a production of Eugene O’Neil’s A Long Day’s Journey into Night strikes me as a notable exception. Promethean Theatre Co with Four Humours Theater presents the play the ARK KLUB Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm starting Friday through Dec. 21. Tickets and information at fourhumourstheater@gmail.com or 504.948.4167.

& Saturday at 9 am join Octavia Books at the Saturday Crescent City Farmers Market for a special signing and recipe tasting with New Orleans’ own James Beard award-winning chef John Besh featuring his new book, COOKING FROM THE HEART: My Favorite Lessons Learned Along the Way. Besh shares the lessons he learned from his mentors through 140 accessible recipes and cooking lessons. Featuring lush photography, inspiring personal stories, and a rich expanse of culinary knowledge, COOKING FROM THE HEART is the next best thing to having an apprenticeship with Chef Besh.

& Saturday’s Story Time with Miss Maureen at Maple Street Book Shops at 11:30 am features How Murray Saved Christmas by Mike Reiss and David Catrow.

& Saturday at 3 pm Garden District Book Shop features Tom Franklin and Beth Ann Fennelly’s The Tilted World. Set against the backdrop of the historic flooding of the Mississippi River, The Tilted World is an extraordinary tale of murder and moonshine, sandbagging and saboteurs, and a man and a woman who find unexpected love, from Tom Franklin, the acclaimed author of the NY Times bestseller Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter, and award-winning poet Beth Ann Fennelly.

& Also on Saturday at Garden District come meet John Currence, author of Pickles, Pigs and Whiskey: Recipes From My Three Favorite Food Groups (and Then Some). In his first cookbook, Currence gives you 130 recipes organized by 10 different techniques, such as Boiling/Simmering, Slathering, Pickling/Canning, Roasting/Braising, Muddling/Stirring, Brining/Smoking, and Baking/Spinning, just to name a few. John’s fun-loving personality rings true throughout the book with his personal stories and history, and his one-of-a-kind recipes. Each recipe has a song pairing with it and the complete list can be downloaded at spotify.com. Over 100 documentary-style color photographs by photographer Angie Mosier complete this stunning look at the South.

& The Poetry Buffet returns to the Latter Memorial Library for it’s monthly reading at 2 pm, featuring Darrell Bourque, Lee Grue and Rodger Kamenetz.

& Saturday evening at 6 pm Octavia Books hosts a special evening with chess Grandmaster Jesse Kraai when he comes to Octavia Books to read and sign his chess novel, LISA. This debut novel by chess GM Jesse Kraai tells the story of a 13-year-old California girl who defies her mother and her school to study chess with Russian master Igor Ivanov. Lisa is an exploration of what it means to get an education in chess, and a meditation on what makes the game so compelling to those who play. As much about art and education as it is about pawns and kings, Lisa tells a story that will resonate with anyone who’s ever set foot in a tournament hall, or has ever pursued beauty and excellence in any arena. Following his reading, Grandmaster Kraai will play blindfolded chess with a top New Orleans chess junior.

& Every Sunday at 3 p.m. The Maple Leaf Reading Series, the oldest continuous reading series in the south, founded by Everette Maddox, features guest poets and an open mic. This week features a group reading by John Gery’s UNO MFA poetry students.

& Sunday is Slam and Spoken Word Day in New Orleans. WhoDatPoets.com lists five Spoken Word shows on Sunday nights. For phone numbers with more details on all these readings visit WHODATPOETS.COM. (I stopped listing all of the events because one venue’s name forced me to limit this post for readers over 21. Check WHODATEPOETS.COM for all the latest on slam and spoken word in New Orleans.

& The Main Branch of the New Orleans Public Library hosts GLBTQ teens & their Allies are invited to join in the book club conversation! We will provide paper and digital copies of a short story the week before; the subsequent discussion will be guided by the themes and issues explored in the reading. In the main auditorium at 4:00 p.m. Mondays.

& Do you think in verse that could become poetry? Do you imagine characters, dialogue, and scenes? If so, join the New Orleans Public Library Smith branch’s free Creative Writing Workshop. Every other Monday, beginning October 7, 5:30 – 7 p.m.

& Monday at 6 pm Octavia books hosts a reading and signing by two novelists: Daniel Chacon’s HOTEL JUAREZ: Stories, Rooms, and Loops and Jonathan Kline’s THE WISDOM OF THE ASHES.

& Monday the East Bank Fiction Writers Group meets at the Jefferson Parish East Bank Regional Library at 7 p.m.. The Fiction Writers’ Group 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.

& Monday at 7 pm Crescent City Books hosts the launch of The Oblivion Atlas, by Michael Allen Zell, whose first novel Errata (also from Lavender Ink) was a Times-Picayune top 10 book of 2012, with book design and illustration by the award-winning Louviere and Vanessa (L+V), who were named in Oxford American’s 2012 “Superstars of Southern Art”, is now available and launches with several events over the holidays and at PhotoNOLA. All events feature a reading by Zell with showings of the artwork by L+V. Please join us at any or all of these events:

& 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 6 p.m. The Ogden Museum of Art hosts a book launch for Inventing Reality: New Orleans Visionary Photography. The collection, published by Luna Press and curated by D. Eric Bookhardt, presents a vision that is both subjective and representative of a broad spectrum of techniques, providing an overview into the creative renaissance that is taking place in the city today. “In photography, this city and the surrounding region have long been a spawning grounds for visionary or magic realist imagery dating to Clarence John Laughlin’s surrealist works of the 1930s,” writes Bookhardt. “Today a coterie of younger emerging artists, often reflecting alternative socio-cultural milieus, have – in concert with their more established peers – expanded this visionary vocabulary.” Bookhardt’s insightful essay details the rich history of photographic arts in New Orleans, and his individual introductions to each photographer’s series provide context for the works of 2013 Guggenheim Fellow Deborah Luster, David Halliday, Josephine Sacabo, and Louviere+Vanessa, among other established and emerging artists

& Every Tuesday night get on the list to spit at the longest running spoken word venue in New Orleans at Sweet Lorraine’s Jazz Club hosted by African-American Shakespear. Doors open at 7pm and the Mic pops at 8pm. It is $5 to get in.

& Wednesday Maple Street Book Shop will feature a reading of Unfathomable City: A New Orleans Atlas with Rebecca Snedeker (the local editor for the book), as well as local contributors Nathaniel Rich, Dana Logsdon, and Joel Dinerstein at our Uptown shop, Wednesday, December 11th at 6PM.

& Wednesday at the Alvar Library at 6:30 pm Poets & Writers, Inc. presents Reflections on Revolutionary Egypt Poet and nonfiction writer Andy Young has been living in Cairo for the last year and will return to Egypt in January. She will read from her poems and essays reflecting on revolutionary Egypt and share some of her photographs of the street art which reflects the state of resistance on the streets of the city.

Odd Words: Words & Music Special December 4, 2013

Posted by Mark Folse in books, literature, memoir, New Orleans, NOLA, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, publishing, Toulouse Street.
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The Words & Music Festival, sponsored by the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society, is officially underway. The theme for this year is “Faith and the Search for Meaning as Inspiration for the Arts.” You can get all the details here: http://www.wordsandmusic.org/Schedule.html. All events except Wednesday evening’s are by admission.  Here are some highlights:

  • Wednesday’s opening event of the Words & Music Festival at 4:00 p.m. at The Presbytere at Jackson Square, Corner St. Ann & Chartres Streets, featuring author Rodger Kamenetz along with Terri Stoor, who won the Society’s gold medal for Best Short Story in 2011 and has been a finalist several times in both the short story and essay categories of the Faulkner – Wisdom Competition; Tad Bartlett, J. Ed Martston, Maurice Ruffin,and Emily Choate, all of whom have placed in the Society’s competition. Caroline Rash, Associate Editor of the Double Dealer will be reading new poetry, and Geoff Munstermann. A Screening of Walker Percy, the documentary film, follows at 6:15 pm.
  • Friday the annual New Orleans, Mon Amour session, after the famous essay by the late National Book Award winner Walker Percy,features a program Thursday which includes a discussion about his work by his distinguished biographer the Rev. Patrick Samway, SJ. We start New Orleans, Mon Amour, 2013 with a book appropriate to this year’s theme: Faith and the Search for Meaning as Inspiration for the Arts.
  • Also on Thursday There will also be session on writing about architecture and food (two beloved New Orleans topics) featuring authors Deborah Burst and Elizabeth M. Williams ; a paper presentation by Dr. Nancy Dixon on Faith in Early New Orleans Literature, examining the role of Catholicism and alternate religions in early New Orleans literature beginning with some of the city’s earliest works up to the 20th century; the keynote talk will be delivered by the Rev. Patrick Samway, S.J., distinguished biographer of National Book Award winner the late Walker Percy; a set of fiction panels featuring authors Christine Sneed, T. Geronimo Johnson and David Armand; a paper presentation The Walker Percy I remember presented by Garic “Nikki” Barranger, an affectionate appreciation of Walker and Bunt Percy will be at the center of Nikki Barranger’s presentation, which deals with the frictions attendant on Walker Percy’s philosophy by one of the founders of the Society and a close friend of the Percys.
  • Literature and Lunch will feature will feature Michael Sartisky, left above, President of The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities and author of A Unique Slant of Light: The Bicentennial History of Louisiana Art, who will discuss the ways the visual arts have been influenced by not only the Gulf light but by the arts, notably music and storytelling, historically in Louisiana. Joséphine Sacabo and Dalt Wonk, who recently created a new press specifically for creating beautiful books devoted to the arts, produced a remarkable book, Nocturnes, feature Joséphine’s images and Dalt’s poetry. The new company, Luna Press, also produced a collector’s limited edition of Dalt’s French Quarter Fables, combining his fables with his illustrations. They will be joined by bestselling poet and non-fiction author Rodger Kamenetz, whose new collection of poetry inspired a stunning collection of abstract expressionist art by his friend, The art images are reproduced in Rodger’s new book of poetry, To Die Next to You.
  • Thursday’s afternoon sessions will feature Shari Stauch, creator of Where Writers Win. Shari has been involved in publishing, marketing and PR for 30 years; LITERARY ROLE MODELS …And the Agents Who Help Them Achieve Their Dreams Against All Odds! featuring author David Menache of New Orleans, introduced by his agent, Brandi Bowles, who worked with David to complete an inspiring memoir and then sold it; 21st Century Publishing Alternatives introduced by Shari Stauch of Where Writers Win and a member of the Faulkner Society’s Advisory Council, will feature April Eberhardt, who owns the April Eberhardt Literary Agency and is expert in alternative options, including successful formats and planning for self-publishing. Ms. Eberhardt will be joined by William Coles, who has been a finalist multiple times in multiple categories of the William Faulkner-William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition.
  • Thursday ends with Music in the Mood of the Season
    The Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society is Co-Sponsoring with the French Quarter Festival and St. Louis Cathedral, the kick-off concert for the annual Christmas concert series at the Cathedral. The concert will feature the fabulously entertaining jazz band,
    Harmonouche, led by French guitarist and harmonica player Rafaël Bas.

WHEW. That’s just Thursday.

  • Friday morning’s events features Faith and Literature: Robert Hicks, author of the New York Times bestseller, The Widow of the South , which will feature Naomi Benaron, Bellwether Prize winner for her novel, Running the Rift, will lead this session, a discussion of how faith or a search for it or even a lack of it can inform your writing. Joining them will be Leslie Lehr, who won the Faulkner Society’s gold medal for Novella in 1998 and whose new novel, What A Mother Knows, is a retelling of the Old Testament story, the Judgement of Solomon; and Pamela Binnings Ewen (at left) nominated for the Christy Award for her work and whose new novel, The Accidental Life, is a compelling story of the consequences of a live birth during an abortion; PAN AMERICAN CONNECTIONS: FICTION Make it Real, Inject Black and Blue Humor
    Steve Striffler, Ph.D., who holds the Doris Stone Chair of Latin American Studies at the University of New Orleans, will set the stage for this session featuring our special Pan American Connections guest of honor, Horacio Castellenos Moya, who is a master of black humor in the face of horror. Castellanos Moya is author of Senselessness and other novels, as well as an impressive body of work as a journalist in both Latin America and the United States. Currently, in exile from his country, El Salvador, he teaches in the MFA Program in Spanish at the University of Iowa. His novel Senselessness is both a study in a revolution gone wrong and the search for meaning in the midst of horror. Daniel Castro, a New Orleans native whose heritage is Cuban and El Salvadoran, is invited to interview Castellanos Moya for this session. Daniel won our 2012 gold medal for his incredibly imaginative novella Inspection.
  • Friday’s Literature and Lunch features Cuba, My Beloved: Writing from the Heart about Tough Political Issues. This session will center on the appeal to readers of literature inspired by passion. Featuring George Fowler (left) author of the new book My Cuba Libre: Bringing Fidel Castro to Justice, and Humberto Fontova, bestselling author of the new book, his fifth, The Longest Romance: The Mainstream Media and Fidel Castro. They will be introduced by Raúl Fonte of the New Orleans Hispanic Heritage Foundation, who is a professional engineer and patent attorney.. Prior to their presentation, Latina poet Melinda Palacio will read a new poem in tribute to the Pulitzer Prize Cuban American novelist Oscar Hijuelos, who passed away while playing tennis on October 12, 2012
  • Friday afternoon brings THE AESTHETICS OF LITERATURE What’s in a Name? A Literary Field Full of Daisies, introduced by novelist George Bishop, author of the new Night of the Comet, this session will be led by Lee Froehlich, the Managing Editor of Playboy Magazine, an excellent writer himself, has spent much of his adult life on the job editing some of the most exciting writers of our time. Beyond that he is a incurable addict of serious literature consumed voraciously in his leisure time. He will lead off this session discussing the importance of selecting memorable names in creating successful characters for fiction, using the Daisies of literature, such as Daisy Miller, as his focus. Joining him will be internationally noted poet Gordon Walmsley, editor of the Copenhagen Review, who has now turned his hand to fiction with his first novel, Daisy, The Alchemical Adventures of a New Orleans Hermaphrodite; and GQ Magazine critic Tom Carson, author of the new novel Daisy Buchanan’s Daughter and other events.
  • Saturday morning brings three master classes that each deserve their own bullet: MASTER CLASS: NARRATIVE NON-FICTION What Works and Why. This session will be led by literary agent Jeff Kleinman, left, of Folio Literary Management, who judged the Narrative Non-Fiction category of the Faulkner – Wisdom Competition this year. The program will begin with a reading by best-selling non-fiction writer Gary Krist, author of City of Scoundrels, The masterfully told story of 12 volatile days in the life of Chicago, when an aviation disaster, a race riot, a crippling transit strike, and a sensational child murder roiled a city already on the brink of collapse. Other featured authors are the men and women he selected to place: Alex Sheshunoff of Ojai,CA, Misplaced Paradise, Winner; Sybil Morial of New Orleans, Witness to Change, Leah Lax of Houston, TX, Uncovered, and the Rev. Patrick Samway, S.J., “I am Properly Back Where I Started From”: Flannery O’Connor to Her Editor Robert Giroux, all runners-up;
  • MASTER CLASS: FICTION What is this Thing Called Novella? Novellas are really hot with publishers right now. Why? Lots of people write what they think are novellas but are really either longish short stories or short novels. So how do you write a real novella. Featuring Lisa Zeidner (left), author of bestselling novels Layover and Love Bomb and founder and director of the MFA program at Rutgers, and Moira Crone, (at right), winner of the Robert Penn Warren Award for her fiction, including her collection What Gets Into Us, former director of the MFA program at LSU, and author of the new novel, The Not Yet. They will explain for writers what a novella is and how to achieve it; and,
  • MASTER CLASS: FICTION The Evil of the World Inspires Quests for Meaning…and…Compelling Literature Featuring Horacio Castellanos Moya, left, born in Honduras and raised in El Salvador, and whose work centers on horrific consequences during revolutions in El Savador and Guatemala. Also featuring Ron Rash, a native of the Carolinas whose work has focused on Appalachia, and Tom Franklin, a native of Alabama who writes in the dark, southern Gothic tradition. Castellanos Moya is author of Senselessness, and 11 other novels, along with short fiction collections. He also has had a dramatic career as a political journalist in countries where it has been dangerous to be political at all. One of Latin America’s most important authors, his work only recently has begun to appear in English translations. His novels are born out out of rage over inhumanity and injustice. Ron Rash, center, a master short fiction writer and poet, as well as a critically acclaimed novelist, is author of the novel Serena, a portrait of evil personified, which has been adapted for a feature film starring Academy Award winning actress Jennifer Lawrence scheduled for release this winter. Like Castellanos Moya, Rash looks around his world and is appalled by the evil he sees and is inspired to capture that evil in his stories and their characters. Tom Franklin, like Rash, is a master of the short story form, and his books have included Poachers, which won the Edgar Award and other honors. Many of his characters are reminiscent of Faulkner’s unattractive family of Snopes and the degenerate Popeye of Sanctuary. Most recently, he co-authored a novel, The Tilted World, with his wife, the renowned poet and essayist, Beth Ann Fennelly. Invited to appear with them is Barnes Carr, selected by Ron Rash as winner of the Faulkner Society’s gold medal for Best Short Story for his dark story, The Needle Man.
  • LITERATURE & LUNCH brings Jesus Christ, Superstar! featuring Reza Aslan, religious studies superstar, author of the international bestselling new book, Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth, as well as his previous bestsellers, No God But God and How To Win A Cosmic War, all works that have been translated in more than a dozen languages.
  • Saturday afternoon offers PAPER PRESENTATION The Moral Implications of the Time-Space Continuum presented by Gregory Freidlander, who will discuss the Einstein Hologram Universe theory of fundamental physics, not from a standpoint of the math but from the standpoint of logic and the moral underpinnings. “In order to understand the theory first I have to convince you that dimension is a function of time and doesn’t exist independently, and I will do that, says Mr. Friedlander! His paper revolves around the concept that that the existence of the universe derives from you, that your individual morality affects the universe, and that you can and should act with as much integrity and courage as your situation allows; THE HOLLY WOOD EXPERIENCE–WORKSHOPS, NTRODUCTION
    Workshop No. 1 feeatures Leslie Lehr a produced screenwriter, who currently is adapting her new novel, What a Mother Knows, for the screen—will introduce and participate in Hollywood Experience; and, Workshop No. 2 brings Writing a Screenplay to Sell on Spec featuring Mark Evan Schwartz, this session will zero in on a dynamic opening and lead characters. In theprofessional world of spec feature film screenwriting, the first ten 15 pages of a screenplay can make it or break it. If the set up through inciting incident and characters don’t immediately captivate, propelling the story and its leading characters forward in a way that compels the reader to keep turning the page, the agent, manager, development exec, and/or producer will pass. The Hollywood theme continues after these workshops with HOLLYWOOD EXPERIENCE PART TWO–Developing Authors: How to Improve Your Chances of Selling your Novel to Hollywood studios, Television, or Major Publishing Houses. Presented by Marilyn Atlas, an award-winning film, television, and stage producer and talent manager of actresses, actors, and authors.

Ready for more?

  • Sunday starts off with the MASTER CLASS: POETRY: This session will be introduced by poet Caroline Rash, a finalist in the 2013 Faulkner — Wisdom Competition and Associate Editor of The Double Dealer and led by the widely published, critically acclaimed poet Beth Ann Fennelly. Appearing with them will be Gail Waldstein, who was selected by Beth Ann for the Faulkner Society’s 2013 Gold Medal for Poetry. Joining them will be Geoff Munsterman, Associate Editor of The Double Dealer, whose new collection, just published by Lavender Ink Press, is: Because the Stars Shine Through It.
  • Sundayu morning also brings: Presentation of a paper Sherwood Anderson’s Search for a New Faith presented by Don De Grazia. De Grazia is author of the novel, American Skin (Scribner/Jonathan Cape) and an Assistant Professor in the Creative Writing Department at Columbia College Chicago. His work has appeared in The Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Reader, New City, TriQuarterly, The Outlaw Bible of American Literature, The Italian American Reader, Rumpus, The Great Lakes Review, Make Magazine, and other publications. He also a screenwriter in the Writers Guild of America (east) and co-founder/co-host of Come Home Chicago, a live event series dedicated to celebrating the Chicago storytelling tradition in all its forms; The Year of Flannery O’ Connor featuring the Rev. Patrick Samway, S.J. and W.Kenneth Holditch, scholar in the literature of the South; and, THE POLITICS OF RELIGION
    What you need to know about State Religions in Modern World, The Study of Other Faiths and How Such Studies Can Point You Back to Your Own Faith and to the Creation of Compelling Literature. This session will feature Reza Aslan, a Muslim who converted to Christianity and then returned to Islam and author of Zealot: the Life & Times of Jesus Of Nazareth, and Rodger Kamenetz (at right), critically acclaimed poet and bestselling non-fiction author of The Jew in the Lotus, a memoir about his studies of Buddhism and meetings with the Dali Llamma.
  • The festival will conclude with Sunday’s Literature and Lunch featuring: The Quests for Meaning of Tennessee Williams and William Faulkner featuring Williams and Faulkner scholar W. Kenneth Holditch, who is co-founder of both the Tennessee Williams Festival and the Faulkner Society.

Odd Words November 29, 2013

Posted by Mark Folse in books, literature, New Orleans, NOLA, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, publishing, Toulouse Street.
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The coming week in literary New Orleans:

Skip ahead with me one week to the Faulkner Society’s Words and Music Festival, which kicks off for the public on Wednesday Dec. 4. Odd Words will have a full listing next Thursday, but here is a taster to whet your appetite.

& This coming Wednesday, Dec. 4 features the 2013 ANNUAL MEETING OF THE WORDS & MUSIC WRITERS ALLIANCE, featuring readings of new work, fiction, poetry, non-fiction, led by bestselling poet and non-fiction author, Rodger Kamenetz, who will start the program with a reading from his new collection of poetry, To Die Next to You. The new book is beautifully illustrated with abstract expressionist paintings by artist Michael Hafftka and slides of the illustrations will be shown during Rodger’s reading. Other authors scheduled to read are members of the Peauxdunque chapter of the Writers Alliance, including Terri Stoor, who won the Society’s gold medal for Best Short Story in 2011 and has been a finalist several times in both the short story and essay categories of the Faulkner – Wisdom Competition; Tad Bartlett, J. Ed Martston, Maurice Ruffin,and Emily Choate, all of whom have placed in the Society’s competition. Caroline Rash, Associate Editor of the Double Dealer will be reading new poetry, and Geoff Munstermann, will be reading from his new Collection of Poetry, just published by Lavendar Ink. Subject matter of readings will be related to the theme of Words & Music, 2013: Faith and the Search for Meaning as Inspiration for the Arts. The event is free and open to the public. 4:00 p.m. at The Presbytere at Jackson Square, Corner St. Ann & Chartres Streets. Following an intermission for refreshments, there will be a 6:15 pm screening of Walker Percy, a new documentary film by Win Riley of New Orleans, who will introduce the film and explain the perils and pleasures writing and producing a literary documentary. Win will take questions after the film. The Faulkner Society will have copies of the documentary for sale at the event and at the Words & Music Book Mart during the remainder of the festival. Next Thursday features almost a dozen events (see below for some details on Thursday). For more information and to start planning the W&MF weekend early, visit the website: http://www.wordsandmusic.org/wordsandmusic.html.

& Also please note that all New Orleans and Jefferson Parish Public Library locations remain closed Friday for the Thanksgiving holiday, reopening Saturday.

& so back to the chronological weekly listings.

& Octavia Books is hosting eight great local authors as guest booksellers on Small Business Saturday, November 30. Each author will be chatting with customers and recommending favorite books and will be happy to talk about and sign their own books as well. Carolyn Kolb begins the first shift at 10:30 a.m., and will be signing her new book, NEW ORLEANS MEMORIES: One Writer’s City. Rebecca Snedeker, whose book UNFATHOMABLE CITY was just released this month, will begin her shift at Noon. George Bishop, author of the novel THE NIGHT OF THE COMET, will arrive at 1:00 p.m., followed by Tom Sancton, SONG FOR MY FATHERS, and Sylvaine Sancton, SOME BIRDS at 2:00 p.m. Lawrence Powell, author of THE ACCIDENTAL CITY, a history of the city from its founding through statehood, will arrive for his shift at 3:00 p.m. Ryan Murphy and Grace Millsaps, author of the new children’s picture book, WHAT THE SLEEPY ANIMALS DO AT THE AUDUBON ZOO, will come at 4:00 p.m.

& Saturday’s Story Time with Miss Maureen at Maple Street Book Shops features Cinders: A Chicken Cinderella by Jan Brett. Jan Brett sets her Cinderella story in a snowy Russian winter where one magical night, Cinders, the most picked upon hen in the flock, becomes the most loved by Prince Cockerel when she arrives at his ball looking so beautiful that even her bossy sisters don’t recognize her.

& Later at 2 pm Ryan Murphy & Grace Millsaps, the authors of What the Sleepy Animals Do At the Audubon Zoo, will be reading and signing their delightful book at Maple Street as well.

& In between, Maple Street hosts M.A. Kirkwood at 11:30 am signing her second and latest book, Claire Ange, which is a young adult novel set in New Orleans. “On the face of it Claire Ange is about an abused girl who rises above her circumstances. Underlying this basic premise is so much more: spiritual insight, the interconnectedness of history past, present and future, and the lives of strangers who intersect, become changed by their encounters, and through these connections move forward to new levels of being. A humorous tone permeates throughout, as Claire and her spirit-observer encounter an array of colorful characters as they make their respective journeys. This, and the rich tapestry for self-discovery for both, makes for an engrossing and memorable read and a top recommendation for a vast readership: basically, anyone looking for a spiritually complex story of evolution and change.” — Midwest Book Review

& Every Sunday at 3 p.m. he Maple Leaf Reading Series, the oldest continuous reading series in the south, founded by Everette Maddox, features guest poets and an open mic. Novelist Deborah Reed Downing will read from and sign her new book, Friends of Chickens, followed by an open mic.

& Sunday is Slam and Spoken Word Day in New Orleans. WhoDatPoets.com lists five Spoken Word shows on Sunday nights. For phone numbers with more details on all these readings visit WHODATPOETS.COM. (I stopped listing all of the events because one venue’s name forced me to limit this post for readers over 21. Check WHODATEPOETS.COM for all the latest on slam and spoken word in New Orleans.

& It’s the last qualifier slam of the year for Team SNO! Sunday, December 1st marks our final show before we finalize the 2014 Team SNO selection process in January with our semi-finals and finals. We'll kick off our December show with a raucous open mic. After, a group of poets will battle it out to secure the last spots in 2014 SNO semi-finals. $5 admission. Free to slam.

& The Main Branch of the New Orleans Public Library hosts GLBTQ teens & their Allies are invited to join in the book club conversation! We will provide paper and digital copies of a short story the week before; the subsequent discussion will be guided by the themes and issues explored in the reading. In the main auditorium at 4:00 p.m. Mondays.

& Do you think in verse that could become poetry? Do you imagine characters, dialogue, and scenes? If so, join the New Orleans Public Library Smith branch’s free Creative Writing Workshop. Every other Monday, beginning October 7, 5:30 – 7 p.m.

& Monday Crescent City Books, 230 Chartres St. hosts the Black Widow Salon at 7 pm, featuring Guests Ratty Scurvics and John Porter talk songwriting. Ratty Scurvics is an artist in several disciplines. As a painter he has exhibited in solo and group shows in New Orleans, Chicago, Austin and Dallas. As a writer he has published works of short fiction and poetry as well as three produced musicals. In the area of theater he has enjoyed an award winning career as a composer and musical director. In the field of music he’s produced forty-two solo records including the scores for eight plays and five musicals. Englishman John Porter is an acclaimed musician and producer. Early on he was part of Bryan Ferry’s fledgling band The Gas Board. John has produced many records, several of them Grammy Nominees and Winners, including by The Smiths, The Go-Go’s, B.B. King, Taj Mahal, John Lee Hooker, R.L. Burnside, Elvis Costello, Jon Cleary, Carlos Santana, and Ratty Scurvics.

& Monday the East Bank Fiction Writers Group meets at the Jefferson Parish East Bank Regional Library at 7 p.m.. The Fiction Writers’ Group 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

& 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.

& At 5:45 pm Tuesday Maple Street Book Shop’sat the First Tuesday Book Club‘s December meeting they’ll be discussing The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman. Newcomers are always welcome!

& Tuesday at 6 pm Octavia Books features a presentation and signing with Matt Sakakeeny featuring his new book, ROLL WITH IT: Brass Bands in the Streets of New Orleans. ROLL WITH IT is a firsthand account of the precarious lives of musicians in the Rebirth, Soul Rebels, and Hot 8 brass bands of New Orleans. These young men are celebrated as cultural icons for upholding the proud traditions of the jazz funeral and the second line parade, yet they remain subject to the perils of poverty, racial marginalization, and urban violence that characterize life for many black Americans. Some achieve a degree of social mobility while many more encounter aggressive policing, exploitative economies, and a political infrastructure that creates insecurities in healthcare, housing, education, and criminal justice. The gripping narrative moves with the band members from back street to backstage, before and after Hurricane Katrina, always in step with the tap of the snare drum, the thud of the bass drum, and the boom of the tuba.

& Robert Stone, who won the National Book Award for his 1974 novel Dog Soldiers, will be reading from Death of the Black-Haired Girl at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, December 3, in the Woldenberg Art Center on Tulane University’s campus. You can catch an interview with Stone at Room 220.

& At 7 pm Tuesday McKeown’s Books & Difficult Music hosts FIVE Writers: Readings from their latest works.

Geoff Munsterman hails from Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana and attended Belle Chasse High School, The New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts | Riverfront, & Kenyon College. His poems have been featured in story|south, YAWP, Margie, among others. His debut collection, Because the Stars Shine Through It came out last month from Lavender Ink in New Orleans. Of it, poet John Kinsella said: “At once wry and matter-of-fact, Munsterman can register pathos and deadly insight into the contradictions of his social environment, his friends, neighbours, family and self.”

Benjamin Morris is a writer and researcher whose work appears in such places as the Oxford American, the Edinburgh Review, and the New Orleans Review. A member of the Mississippi Artist Roster, he is the recipient of a poetry fellowship from the Mississippi Arts Commission and a residency from A Studio in the Woods. His next book, a history of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, is forthcoming from the History Press next year.

Cassie Pruyn has been living and writing in New Orleans since 2010. She is currently studying poetry at the Bennington Writing Seminars in Vermont, working on a project that explores what happens when we travel 3,640 miles across the ocean and land in a vast, “unexplored” wilderness––among other things. She was finalist in the 2013 Indiana Review 1/2K Prize, and third runner-up in the 2013 William Faulkner-William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition, with work forthcoming in The Double Dealer.

Matt Roberts’ work has been published in Isotope, Ninth Letter, Sweet, Ecotone, on NPR’s Morning Edition and elsewhere. His essay, “The Myopia of Scale,” was a Notable selection in Best American Essays 2009, and he is a founding editor of The Normal School literary magazine. He is working on a novel about imaginary birds and the people who drive hundreds of miles to stare at their Crayola-colored plumage through binoculars.

Katy Simpson Smith received her Ph.D. in history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and her MFA in creative writing from the Bennington Writing Seminars. Her first novel, The Story of Land and Sea, will be published next fall by HarperCollins.

& Every Tuesday night get on the list to spit at the longest running spoken word venue in New Orleans at Sweet Lorraine’s Jazz Club hosted by African-American Shakespear. Doors open at 7pm and the Mic pops at 8pm. It is $5 to get in.

& Wednesday Poppy Tooker (Louisiana Eats), Elsa Hahne (The Gravy: In the Kitchen with New Orleans Musicians), and Elizabeth Pearce (The French Quarter Drinking Companion with Allison Alsup & Richard Read) will be signing their books and participating in a Question and Answer session Wednesday, December 4th, at 6PM at Pearl Wine Co., located inside of the American Can Company (3700 Orleans Ave). After the signing, sponsored by Fleur de Lit and Pearl Wine, there will be a Top Chef viewing party. Maple street Book Shop will be on-site selling books! Pearl will offer a selection of wines for $5 a glass, and Indochow will provide a food pop-up with Thai, Vietnamese, and BBQ!

& On Wednesday at 6 pm Garden District Book Shop hosts Margaret Talbot and The Entertainer: Movies, Magic, and My Father’s Twentieth Century. Using the life and career of her father, an early Hollywood actor, New Yorker writer Margaret Talbot tells the thrilling story of the rise of popular culture through a transfixing personal lens. The arc of Lyle Talbot’s career is in fact the story of American entertainment. Born in 1902, Lyle left his home in small-town Nebraska in 1918 to join a traveling carnival. From there he became a magician’s assistant, an actor in a traveling theater troupe, a romantic lead in early talkies, then an actor in major Warner Bros. pictures with stars such as Humphrey Bogart and Carole Lombard. After that, he worked as an actor in cult B movies, and finally as a part of the advent of television, with regular roles on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet and Leave It to Beaver. Ultimately, his career spanned the entire trajectory of the industry.

& Also at 6 pm Christy Jordan, the new doyenne of Southern cooking, visits Octavia Books and presents, signs, and gives sample tastes from her new cookbook, COME HOME TO SUPPER, a heartfelt celebration of family dinners–with an emphasis on easy-to-prepare comfort foods. To Christy, the dinner table is where everyone can talk about what happened that day and share their struggles and triumphs. Conceived and written to reflect the reality of today’s hectic schedules, COME HOME TO SUPPER includes more than 200 deeply satisfying dishes that are budget-minded, kid-friendly, and quick

& Wednesday the Jefferson Parish Library and the Tennessee Williams Festival present Coffee and Conversation featuring Mardi Gras: Chronicles of the New Orleans Carnival at 7 pm. Errol Laborde discusses his latest book. From Twelfth Night to Ash Wednesday, New Orleans is transformed. Queens and fools, demons and dragons reigh over the Crescent City. This vividly photographed book is a lively, comprehensive history of Mardi Gras in New Orleans.

& Don’t forget Thursday’s opening event of the Words & Music Festival at 4:00 p.m. at The Presbytere at Jackson Square, Corner St. Ann & Chartres Streets, featuring author Rodger Kamenetz along with Terri Stoor, who won the Society’s gold medal for Best Short Story in 2011 and has been a finalist several times in both the short story and essay categories of the Faulkner – Wisdom Competition; Tad Bartlett, J. Ed Martston, Maurice Ruffin,and Emily Choate, all of whom have placed in the Society’s competition. Caroline Rash, Associate Editor of the Double Dealer will be reading new poetry, and Geoff Munstermann. A Screening of Walker Percy, the documentary film, follows at 6:15 pm.

Odd Words November 21, 2013

Posted by Mark Folse in Book Stores, books, literature, New Orleans, NOLA, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, publishing, Toulouse Street.
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The coming week in literary New Orleans:

This weekend is Fringe Fest, the city’s festival of avant garde theater. A few of these events deserve a shout-out in Odd Words:

  • Two incredibly talented poets present From Her Mouth Came the Flood: “This be a war, pretty girl..” Two women navigate the world of feminine fear in this gritty, intimate, poetic journey into feminism and womanhood. Taking us from an apartment complex in California to the banks of the Mississippi, Desiree Dallagiacomo and Sasha Banks push the woman’s narrative to the forefront and challenge conventional themes of femininity. Dryades Performance Space, 1232 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd. Wednesday through Sunday at 9 pm. Fringe ticket and button required.
  • In Voce Veritas, the 2013 Spoken Word Event includes heartfelt, inspiring, and hilarious performances by Justin Lamb, Micheal “Quess” Moore, Kaycee Filson, Akeem Martin, Sam Gordon, and Mwende Katwiwa. The line-up includes members of New Orleans’ own infamous Team SNO as well as finalists and champions of events such as The National Poetry Slam and The Southern Fried Regional Poetry Slam. Saturday at 5 pm & 7 pm. Free and open to the public.

  • Bayou Blues- Return of the Queen is an experimental solo-performance based on the true experiences of a young dark skinned girl in New Orleans. This poetic tale flows in movement, music, and monologue as she faces discrimination, a dysfunctional family, and heartbreak. It blends the journey of traditional black theater with refreshing aspects of the future. “ It is a delight to watch such a talented actress using her many skills,” says the DC Theatre Scene. 4 out of 5 stars from DC Metro Theater Arts. Experience Shaina Lynn’s homecoming, Bayou Blues- Return of the Queen. Thursday-Saturday at 7 pm, Sunday at 4 pm. Fringe ticket and button required.
  • Thursday through Sunday poet Lisa Pasold presents The She-Wolf of Spain Street, a story-telling walk along Spain Street…recounting the fantastical tale of Princess Vladimir. Hear how she drank champagne from her Monegasque mother’s tit, went astray in Monte Carlo, was rescued by She-Wolves, and sailed to New Orleans. The rest is lies…especially that rotten rumor about the bananas.
  • New Orleans Poetry Brothel presents Down and Outskirts. “Be seduced by our poetry “whores.” Eruptions of song, burlesque, and private poetry readings tell the disjointed tale of an underground brothel that surfaces after the city closes down Storyville.” Thursday and Sunday at 7 p.m., Friday at 11 p.m. and Saturday at 5 p.m. at the Backyard Ballroom, 3519 St. Claude Ave.
  • Esoterotica, Original Erotic Readings by Local Writers, presents “Pervspectives” as part of the New Orleans Fringe Festival, transforming the AllWays Lounge, 2240 St. Claude Avenue, into a completely immersive, and erotic fetish club experience. Through interaction, performance monologue, poetry and prose, “Pervspectives” brings you the kinky, the sensual, the sometimes hilarious, and the undeniably human experience. Thursday through Saturday at 9 p.m.

& Thursday at 5:30 p.m. the Norman Mayer Library hosts a Writing Workshop Led By Youths. Upstairs in the teen area. Encouraging creative arts exploration through reading, engaging discussions, and group activities. Youth ages 12-17 are invited! Group limited to 15 participants.

& Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. the Juju Bag Cafe, 5363 Franklin Ave., . presents a Spoken Word Showcase, with social hour from 5-7 and open mic starting at 7:30 p.m. Check whodatpoets.com for featured performers.

& Friday night starting at 5 p.m. The Tennessee Williams Festival hosts a literary scavenger hunt through the French Quarter, “Books and Booze.” Everyone knows that the very act of reading and writing is a solitary one. Come out for a night that changes all of that, where trivia and challenges will be the norm as you peruse bookstores and the writing mind alike… Join us as we bring literature and writing to life with an evening that celebrates local bookstores, authors and readers alike! Advanced tickets required.

& Friday at 6 p.m. UNFATHOMABLE CITY BOOK LAUNCH at 6pm at the New Orleans Museum of Art. Joint talk, signing and reception with authors Rebecca Solnit & Rebecca Snedeker

& Saturday morning at 10:30 a.m. Garden District Book Shop presents Todd-Michael St. Pierre’s The Southern Po’Boy Cookbook. Humble and delicious, po’boys are the favorite of local folks in the Big Easy, who snatch them up by the thousands at delis, bars, and corner stores every day. In recent years, gourmet chefs have been getting innovative and raising these popular submarine sandwiches to new heights. The Southern Po’ Boy Cookbook brings the many flavors of these scrumptious treats to the home cook’s kitchen. The first cookbook to focus solely on po’boys, this beautiful, full-color compilation offers all the traditional fillings — roast beef, fried oysters, shrimp, soft-shell crab, catfish, and sausage — and an array of delectable new variations. For a healthier sub, the author offers up turkey breast or Vietnamese banh mi-inspired po’boys. And for the more adventurous, the foot-longs crammed with seafood-stuffed artichoke hearts, French poutine, and alligator will entice anyone.

& At 1 pm Garden District features Errol Barron’s Roma Osservata/ Rome Observed, a collection of drawings and essays that focus on Rome’s historic center. Over 200 drawings illustrate the spaces, monuments, and details of the city and reveal the flavor of living in the center as Professor Barron did on two teaching assignments for the Tulane University School of Architecture Rome Program in 2011 and 2012. Two essays, one by Professor Romolo Martemucci, Director of the Pantheon Institute, and one by Professor Barron, give a lively context for the drawings. Notes on all the drawings are included that explain, often in a humorous way, why the drawings were chosen and what they suggest beyond their well known historical importance.

& Saturday at 1:30 pm Octavia Books presents a storytime reading and signing featuring authors Grace Millsaps & Ryan Murphy, illustratrators John Clark IV & Alyson Kilday, the “krewe” that created this outstanding new children’s picture book, WHAT THE SLEEPY ANIMALS DO AT THE AUDUBON ZOO. Have you ever taken a child to the zoo and had to explain why the animals were not as active as they expected? That’s what happened to Renee’s father when he took his daughter to New Orleans’ Audubon Zoo.

& Room 220 Presents the local launch of Unfathomable City: A New Orleans Atlas, edited by Rebecca Solnit and Rebecca Snedeker, from 4-7 p.m. on Saturday at the All Ways Lounge (2240 St. Claude Ave). Maple Street will be on hand selling the book. Unfathomable City is a collection of essays and corresponding maps whose creation involved more than 50 contributors from New Orleans and beyond working as authors, editors, artists, researchers, cartographers, and performers of miscellaneous duties. This Happy Hour Salon is, in part, an event in their honor, but it’s also free and open to the public. The event will feature readings from the book by Solnit, Evan Casper-Futterman, and Andy Young and Khaled Hegazzi (reading as a duo), as well as presentations by Snedeker and editor-at-large Josh Jelly-Schapiro. It will also involve food, live music, projections of art from the book- and drinking in the afternoon. Despite the day-drinking (and cigarette-smoking that tends to come with it), this will be a kid-friendly event.

& Every Sunday at 3 p.m. he Maple Leaf Reading Series, the oldest continuous reading series in the south, founded by Everette Maddox, features guest poets and an open mic. This week’s reading is cancelled due to a conflict with the Saint’s game.

& Sunday is Slam and Spoken Word Day in New Orleans. WhoDatPoets.com lists five Spoken Word shows on Sunday nights. For phone numbers with more details on all these readings visit WHODATPOETS.COM. (I stopped listing all of the events because one venue’s name forced me to limit this post for readers over 21. Check WHODATEPOETS.COM for all the latest on slam and spoken word in New Orleans.

& The Main Branch of the New Orleans Public Library hosts GLBTQ teens & their Allies are invited to join in the book club conversation! We will provide paper and digital copies of a short story the week before; the subsequent discussion will be guided by the themes and issues explored in the reading. In the main auditorium at 4:00 p.m. Mondays.

& At 6 p.m. on Monday Garden District Book Shop presents Jacinto Lucas Pires with translator Dean Thomas Ellis and The True Actor, the third novel by Portuguese writer, musician, and playwright Jacinto Lucas Pires. The True Actor recounts the story of the grotesque character, down-on-his-luck actor Americo Abril who is confounded by the various roles he plays in real life—weary dad, blocked artist, henpecked husband, miserable lover—and the role he lands in the avant-garde film Being Paul Giamatti. Jacinto Lucas Pires’ The True Actor manages both a postmodern boondoggle and a touching story of identity and love and loss in austerity-era Portuga

& Beginning Monday the Jefferson Parish Public Library hosts a NaNoWriMo session in which writers come to the library and sit down to write their novels as part of National Novel Writing Month. NaNoWriMo is a fun, seat-of-the-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing on November 1. The goal is to write a 50,000-word (approximately 175-page) novel by 11:59:59 PM on November 30. Valuing enthusiasm and perseverance over painstaking craft, NaNoWriMo is a novel-writing program for everyone who has thought fleetingly about writing a novel but has been scared away by the time and effort involved. Wrimos meet throughout the month to offer encouragement, commiseration, and—when the thing is done—a raucous celebration. Participants start the month as auto mechanics, out-of-work actors, and middle school English teachers. They walk away novelists. Free of charge and open to the public.

& Do you think in verse that could become poetry? Do you imagine characters, dialogue, and scenes? If so, join the New Orleans Public Library Smith branch’s free Creative Writing Workshop. Every other Monday, beginning October 7, 5:30 – 7 p.m

& Monday the East Bank Fiction Writers Group meets at the Jefferson Parish East Bank Regional Library at 7 p.m.. The Fiction Writers’ Group 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

& 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 6 pm Octavia Books features Snowden Wright’s PLAY PRETTY BLUES. The mysteries of blues legend Robert Johnson’s life and death long ago became myth. Part researched reconstruction, part vivid imagination, this lyrical novel brings Johnson alive through the voices of his six wives, revealing the husband and son inside the legend.

& Every Tuesday night get on the list to spit at the longest running spoken word venue in New Orleans at Sweet Lorraine’s Jazz Club hosted by African-American Shakespear. Doors open at 7pm and the Mic pops at 8pm. It is $5 to get in.

& The Blood Jet poetry reading series continues at B.J.’s Lounge at 8 p.m. on Wednesday featuring Lafayette poets Clare Martin and Jonathan Penton. MadHat Press Managing Editor, Penton, founded Unlikely Stories in 1998 and has helmed it through its incarnations of Unlikely 2.0, the current Unlikely Stories: Episode IV, and the 2010 anthology Unlikely Stories of the Third Kind, along with Unlikely Books. He served as Assistant Editor for three Big Bridge annuals, served on the editorial board of Mezcla: Art and Writing from the Tumblewords Project and Banned in El Paso, and has webmastered a number of artistic projects. His own poetry chapbooks are Last Chap (Vergin’ Press, 2004), Blood and Salsa and Painting Rust (Unlikely Books, 2006) and Prosthetic Gods (New Sins Press, 2008). Martin’s debut collection of poetry, Eating the Heart First, was published fall 2012 by Press 53 as a Tom Lombardo Selection. Martin’s poetry has appeared in Avatar Review, Blue Fifth Review, Melusine, Poets and Artists and Louisiana Literature, among others. She has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, Dzanc Books’ Best of the Web, for Best New Poets and Sundress Publication’s Best of the Net. Her poems have been included in the anthologies The Red Room: Writings from Press 1, Best of Farmhouse Magazine Vol. 1, Beyond Katrina, and the 2011 Press 53 Spotlight. She is a lifelong resident of Louisiana, a graduate of University of Louisiana at Lafayette, a member of the Festival of Words Cultural Arts Collective and a Teaching Artist through the Acadiana Center for the Arts. Martin founded and directs the Voices Seasonal Reading Series in Lafayette, LA, which features new and established Louisiana and regional writers. Clare is Poetry Editor of MadHat (Mad Hatters’ Review) and Editor of MadHat Lit.

Odd Words November 14, 2013

Posted by Mark Folse in books, literature, New Orleans, NOLA, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, publishing, Toulouse Street.
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The coming week in literary New Orleans:

& Thursday at noon the New Orleans Museum of Art Book Club meets to discuss November’s selection Diane Arbus by Patricia Bosworth. This groundbreaking biography examines the private life behind Arbus’s controversial art. The book deals with Arbus’s pampered Manhattan childhood, her passionate marriage to Allan Arbus, their work together as fashion photographers, the emotional upheaval surrounding the end of their marriage, and the radical, liberating, and ultimately tragic turn Arbus’s art took during the 1960s when she was so richly productive. Bosworth’s engrossing book is a portrait of a woman who drastically altered our sense of what is permissible in photography.

& Thursday at 5:30 p.m. the Norman Mayer Library hosts a Writing Workshop Led By Youths. Upstairs in the teen area. Encouraging creative arts exploration through reading, engaging discussions, and group activities. Youth ages 12-17 are invited! Group limited to 15 participants.

& A 6 pm Maple Street Book Shop celebrates the publication of Nia Terezakis’s extraordinary book, Artful Feast: An Elegant Lifestyle for Dining with a signing. Join us in welcoming Nia. We’ll have champagne and hors d’Oeuvres. Nia Terezakis, M.D. grew up in Montgomery, Alabama, the daughter of Greek immigrant parents. Family recipes and holiday entertaining were important aspects of her Greek heritage

& Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. the Juju Bag Cafe, 5363 Franklin Ave., . presents a Spoken Word Showcase, with social hour from 5-7 and open mic starting at 7:30 p.m. Check whodatpoets.com for featured performers.

& From Nov. 6 through Dec. 20, the J. Edgar and Louise S. Monroe Library will host an exhibit of posters celebrating the 100th anniversary of the publication of Marcel Proust’s “Du Côté de Chez Swann” (“Swann’s Way”), the first volume of “À la Recherche du Temps Perdu” (translated into English as “Remembrance of Things Past”). It can be seen in the Library Living Room on the first floor. A cooperative effort between the library and the Department of Languages and Cultures, the exhibit is part of a series the French Consulate in New Orleans gave to French teachers at Loyola University New Orleans.

& New Orleans’s annual Children’s Book Festival will kick off at the newly renovated Latter Memorial Library Friday night with Twinkle, Twinkle, a night of music inspired by children’s literature by the Greater New Orleans Youth Orchestra at 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. The Festiva will continue Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with free book, activities, free food, story telling, book signings and more.

& Saturday brings the Gold Mic Awards, hosted by WHODATEPOETS.COM. The WHODATPOETS present the Golden Mic Awards & Summit. On Saturday, Nov 16 workshops and forums will be held at Cohen High School. Poets from all over the region will participate. The Youth Chapter will participate as well. Later that evening Spoken Word Artists from all over the region will participate in a Formal Event called The Golden Mic Awards where poets will be awarded by the votes of other poets within the Whodatpoet Community. Workshops will include: Marketing & Branding, Business Management for Full Time Artists, The Art of Slamming, Hosting 101, and How To Structure A Masterpiece. The afternoon session will feature a Town Hall Meeting where all Female Poets will be separated from Male Poets. Both groups will have a keynote motivational Speaker. The groups will come together for a General Assembly and be dismissed in enough time to prepare for the Golden Mic Awards that evening.

The Golden Mic Awards will definitely be a Formal Event. Tuxedos and Gowns will be preferred attire but if you can’t afford tuxedos/gowns then where your most professional attire. No blue jeans, shorts, and streetwear. During the morning workshops, Poets will vote their nominees. A private committee of Non-Poets will tally the votes and the Golden Mics will be presented that night. The Registration for the Golden Mic Award & Summit is $20 per poet and it includes a Continental Breakfast, Registration Packet, and 2 seats for the Golden Mic Awards (poet plus a guest). Registration will begin at 8:30AM at Cohen on Sat. Nov 16.

& This Saturday brings he 12th Annual New Orleans Bookfair + Media Expo is FREE, all-ages, and will be full of independent authors, artists, small presses, local publications and much more! Featuring too many exhibitors to list here (ove r50), visit the web site for full details: http://www.neworleansbookfair.com/exhibitor-list/

& Story Time with Miss Maureen is a weekly feature at Maple Street Books at 11:30 am Saturday. This week I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie by Alison Jackson and Judy Schachner.

& This Saturday at 1 p.m. find out what is it about New Orleans that has always attracted and nourished the creative mind. The answer, according to Eugene Cizek, PhD, F.A.I.A in his introduction to Where Writers Wrote in New Orleans, is the original Creole architecture of the city that maximizes use of light and air, a tropical environment that offers, in his words, “the spirit of time, place and humanity.” Angela Carll includes restaurants, bars and other hangouts known for attracting a literary clientele. She filled the pages with fascinating facts and “secrets” of the hundreds of writers who immersed themselves in the city’s spirit. Read about natives, part-time residents or long term favorite sons from the city’s founding in 1718 to the present.

& Saturday at 1:30 pm Octavia Books hosts a children’s book event with favorite local children’s book author Dianne de Las Cassas and illustrator Holly Stone-Barker launch party for their new book, THE HOUSE THAT SANTA BUILT.

& The 1718 Society, a literary group of Loyola, Tulane and UNO students, is hosting a writing workshop this Sunday at noon at Rue De La Course

& Sunday at 12 p.m. Garden District Book Shop features Janet Wyman Coleman’s Eight Dolphins of Katrina: A True Tale of Survival. This story of the rescue of eight dolphins off the coast of Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina underscores the bonds between dolphins and their trainers, as well as those among dolphins themselves. After a 40-foot tidal wave destroys the dolphin pool at the Marine Life Oceanarium in Gulfport, eight dolphins disappear, presumably washed into the Gulf of Mexico. Via helicopter and boat, the trainers set out to search for the dolphins, who were raised in captivity and thus unaccustomed to feeding or protecting themselves

& Every Sunday at 3 p.m. he Maple Leaf Reading Series, the oldest continuous reading series in the south, founded by Everette Maddox, features guest poets and an open mic. This week’s reading is cancelled due to a conflict with the Saint’s game.

& Sunday is Slam and Spoken Word Day in New Orleans. WhoDatPoets.com lists five Spoken Word shows on Sunday nights. For phone numbers with more details on all these readings visit WHODATPOETS.COM. (I stopped listing all of the events because one venue’s name forced me to limit this post for readers over 21. Check WHODATEPOETS.COM for all the latest on slam and spoken word in New Orleans.

& UNO Press celebrates its resurgence with a catalog release party, announcing its slate of upcoming books. The party will take place at the publisher’s office located in the Liberal Arts Building at the University of New Orleans lakefront campus, LA Rm. 138 from 4:00 to 6:00 pm on Monday, November 18. Light refreshments will be provided. The party also marks the launch of the University of New Orleans Center for the Book, which will run a summer publishing institute and continue to publish books of local interest under the UNO Press imprint. Publisher Abram Himelstein will talk about the newest chapter of the press, including highlights from the Winter 2013/Spring 2014 list.Titles we will celebrate: The Tom Dent Reader edited by Kalamu Ya Salaam; Talk that Music Talk – a book exploring the traditional methods of teaching brass band music by UNO’s Rachel Breunlin and Bruce Sunpie Barnes; How We Do It – the history of Fi Yi Yi in words and pictures as recorded by UNO’s Jeffrey Ehrenrich and the Fi Yi Yi Mandingo Warriors; a book of Clementine Hunter’s early paintings introduced by Richard Gasperi; The Backstretch – an in-depth look at the people who make racing happen at New Orleans’ oldest horse track edited by the Neighborhood Story Project; Bouki Fait Gombo – a history of the slave community of the Whitney Plantation by Ibrahima Seck; Courting Pandemonium – the newest novel from UNO’s Fredrick Barton; and, Contemporary Austrian Studies Vol. 23 edited by Günter Bischof and Ferdinand Karlhofer

& Monday Octavia Books hosts a reading & signing with much-loved New Orleans poet Gina Ferrara featuring her new book, AMBER PORCH LIGHT. The poems in Gina Ferrara’s AMBER PORCH LIGHT occupy equal spheres of beauty and danger. Each holds its share of compressed energy, woven with images and lyricism, examining both the ordinary and the extraordinary, revealing what is possible when luminosity arrives in bursts.

& The Main Branch of the New Orleans Public Library hosts Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning teens & their Allies are invited to join in the book club conversation! We will provide paper and digital copies of a short story the week before; the subsequent discussion will be guided by the themes and issues explored in the reading. In the main auditorium at 4:00 p.m. Mondays.

& Beginning Monday the Jefferson Parish Public Library hosts a NaNoWriMo session in which writers come to the library and sit down to write their novels as part of National Novel Writing Month. NaNoWriMo is a fun, seat-of-the-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing on November 1. The goal is to write a 50,000-word (approximately 175-page) novel by 11:59:59 PM on November 30. Valuing enthusiasm and perseverance over painstaking craft, NaNoWriMo is a novel-writing program for everyone who has thought fleetingly about writing a novel but has been scared away by the time and effort involved. Wrimos meet throughout the month to offer encouragement, commiseration, and—when the thing is done—a raucous celebration. Participants start the month as auto mechanics, out-of-work actors, and middle school English teachers. They walk away novelists. Free of charge and open to the public.

& Do you think in verse that could become poetry? Do you imagine characters, dialogue, and scenes? If so, join the New Orleans Public Library Smith branch’s free Creative Writing Workshop. Every other Monday, beginning October 7, 5:30 – 7 p.m

& Monday the East Bank Fiction Writers Group meets at the Jefferson Parish East Bank Regional Library at 7 p.m.. The Fiction Writers’ Group 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

& 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 John Baron will be signing his book Concert Life in Nineteenth-Century New Orleans, Tuesday at Maple Street Book Shop. Until now, no study has offered a thorough history of this exciting and momentous era in American musical performance history. John H. Baron’s Concert Life in Nineteenth-Century New Orleans impressively fills that gap.

& Tuesday at 6 p.m. Garden District Books hosts Terry Tarnoff’s The Chronicle of Stolen Dreams. Nick Blake has just returned from the battlefields of Europe and is part of a lost generation trying to make its way in postwar America. As he sets out on a journey across the country, the summer of 1947 comes alive in a mind-bending, history-altering romp. Nick witnesses the birth of electric blues in Chicago, encounters the first members of the Beat Generation taking to the road, gets caught up with the original motorcycle gang invading small-town America, and is party to the first sightings of UFOs across the Midwestern skies. Along the way, he encounters a young Muddy Waters, an even younger Jack Kerouac, and a blues-loving, harmonica-playing alien named Jaxson Epsilon, the most unusual character of them all. Jaxson has a secret that is about to change the course of human history as he endeavors to alter the dreams of every man, woman, and child for generations to come.

& Every Tuesday night get on the list to spit at the longest running spoken word venue in New Orleans at Sweet Lorraine’s Jazz Club hosted by African-American Shakespear. Doors open at 7pm and the Mic pops at 8pm. It is $5 to get in.

& Wednesday Nik De Dominic and Michael Tod Edgerton will read their poetry 8 p.m., at the UNO Campus Art Gallery (on Harwood Drive). The reading will be followed by a booksigning and wine and cheese reception. This event, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored in part by a grant from the Willson Center for the Humanities and Arts at the University of Georgia.

& The Blood Jet poetry reading series continues at B.J.’s Lounge at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, featuring poet Joseph Bienvenu will perform with musician Jeff Pagano and guitarist and songwriter Bones.

Odd Words November 7, 2013

Posted by Mark Folse in books, literature, New Orleans, NOLA, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, publishing, Toulouse Street.
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The coming week in literary New Orleans:

& Thursday at 5:30 p.m. the Norman Mayer Library hosts a Writing Workshop Led By Youths. Upstairs in the teen area. Encouraging creative arts exploration through reading, engaging discussions, and group activities. Youth ages 12-17 are invited! Group limited to 15 participants.

& Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. the Juju Bag Cafe, 5363 Franklin Ave., . presents a Spoken Word Showcase, with happy hour from 5-7 and open mic starting at 7:30 p.m. Check whodatpoets.com for featured performers.

& Carolyn Kolb will be reading and signing her book, New Orleans Memories: One Writer’s City, Thursday, November 7th, at 6PM at Maple Street Book Shop. Refreshments will be served. Kolb provides a delightful and detailed look into the heart of her city, New Orleans. She is a former Times-Picayune reporter and current columnist for New Orleans Magazine, where versions of these essays appeared as “Chronicles of Recent History.” Kolb takes her readers, both those who live in New Orleans and those who love it as visitors, on a virtual tour of her favorite people and places.

& LadyFest Poetry Series presents its second performance Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Buffas Back Room. Readers include: Whitney Mackman, Gina Ferrara, Emily Ewings-Tramble, Alexandra Reisner, FreeQuency, Chanel Clarke, Alice Urchin, Laura McKnight, Ayanna Molina-Mills, and M.E. Riley.

& Eminent jazz journalist and critic Stanley Crouch will present his new biography of Charlie “Bird” Parker, Kansas City Lightning: The Rise and Times of Charlie Parker, at 6 p.m. this Friday, Nov. 8, at the Community Book Center (2523 Bayou Road). Crouch’s new biography—the first half of what will become a two-part project—has been roundly praised as a nearly novelistic retelling of Parker’s life, work, and the world in which he ascended to jazz greatness.

& Zella Palmer Cuadra will be discussing the people and recipes featured in her book, New Orleans con Sabor Latino, Friday, November 8th at 6 p.m. at Octavia Books. New Orleans con Sabor Latino is a documentary cookbook that draws on the rich Latino culture and history of New Orleans by focusing on thirteen New Orleanian Latinos from diverse backgrounds. Their stories are compelling and reveal what for too long has been overlooked. The book celebrates the influence of Latino cuisine on the food culture of New Orleans from the eighteenth century to the influx of Latino migration post-Katrina and up to today

&  Also on Friday at 6 p.m. Garden District Books will host Jon Meacham featuring his book Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power. The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of American Lion presents a richly detailed portrait of the third President that considers his early life, roles as a Founding Father and considerable achievements as a master politician.
Meacham lets us see Jefferson’s world as Jefferson himself saw it, and to appreciate how Jefferson found the means to endure and win in the face of rife partisan division, economic uncertainty, and external threat. Drawing on archives in the United States, England, and France, as well as unpublished Jefferson presidential papers, Meacham presents Jefferson as the most successful political leader of the early republic, and perhaps in all of American history. This is a ticketed event. Admission tickets are $5.00, and include a coupon good for $5.00 off the purchase of any Jon Meacham book. Tickets can be purchased in advance at the book shop, over the phone, or at the door.

& Join artist Willie Birch, the Hot 8 Brass Band, and author Matt Sakakeeny to celebrate the launch of Roll With It: Brass Bands in the Streets of New Orleans, starting at 8 p.m. at Sweet Lorraine’s (1931 St. Claude Ave.). Roll With It is a firsthand account, chronicled by Sakakeeny, of the lives of members of the Hot 8, Soul Rebels, and Rebirth Brass Bands that lays out their efforts in art, work, and life in the context of a changing New Orleans and the long tradition in which their music exists. Artist Willie Birch contributed artwork for the cover and throughout

& Friday at 1 p.m. Garden District books also hosts Zella Palmer Cuadra’s New Orleans con Sabor Latino: The History and Passion of Latino Cooking. a documentary cookbook that draws on the rich Latino culture and history of New Orleans by focusing on thirteen New Orleanian Latinos from diverse backgrounds. Their stories are compelling and reveal what for too long has been overlooked. The book celebrates the influence of Latino cuisine on the food culture of New Orleans from the eighteenth century to the influx of Latino migration post-Katrina and up to today.

& The literary journal THERMOS’s editors will all be in New Orleans Nov. 7-9 to host the second annual Poetry Exchange Project Symposium at Tulane University and at other locations in the city, culminating in the Hunter Deely Memorial Reading
featuring Carroll Beauvais, Megan Burns, Carrie Chappell, Peter Cooley, Nik DeDominic, Melissa Dickey, Cassandra Donish, Maia Elgin, Rebecca Morgan Frank, Elizabeth Gross, Michael Jeffrey Lee, Kay Murphy, Brad Richard, Dan Rosenberg, Zach Savich, Shelly Taylor, Jay Thompson, Afton Wilky, and Mark Yakich. A complete list of Friday events can be found here on the THERMOS blog, thermosmag.wordpress.com.

& Join Octavia Books at the Saturday Crescent City Farmers Market at 9 a.m. for a siging with Zella Palmer Cuadra featering her new cookbook, New Orleans con Sabor Latino: The History and Passion of Latino Cooking. Her book is a documentary cookbook that draws on the rich Latino culture and history of New Orleans by focusing on thirteen New Orleanian Latinos from diverse backgrounds. Their stories are compelling and reveal what for too long has been overlooked. The book celebrates the influence of Latino cuisine on the food culture of New Orleans from the eighteenth century to the influx of Latino migration post-Katrina and up to today

& Story Time with Miss Maureen is a weekly feature at Maple Street Books at 11:30 am Saturday.

& Saturday at 1 p.m. Octavia Books hosts a storytime and a signing with Sylvaine Sancton celebrating her debut children’s picture book, Some Birds. With gentle humor and a skilled eye, author/photographer Sylvaine Sancton captures birds of South Louisiana at rest and at play in their natural habitat. Featuring funny and fresh photographs of great blue herons, wood ducks, brown pelicans, black swans, and more, this charming book is for the young and the young at heart. An accessible glossary discusses the habits and habitats of each bird species included in the pages

& Saturday at 4 p.m. Garden District Books presents mystery writer Kay Kendall’s Desolation Row, the tale of the wife of a draft-dodger accused of the murder of a fellow war-resistor in Canada. The Mounties are convinced they have their man, but Austin Starr is not. Once courted by the CIA, and a lover of mystery and espionage novels, Austin launches her own investigation into the murder. When ominous letters warning her to stop her sleuthing turn into death threats, Austin must find the real killer or risk losing everything. Her love—and her life—are on the line.

& Every Sunday at 3 p.m. he Maple Leaf Reading Series, the oldest continuous reading series in the south, founded by Everette Maddox, features guest poets and an open mic. This week features a group reading by contributors to the latest issue of Xavier Review, a special issue featuring persons who teach in the English Dept — poets Bilijana Obradovic, Anya Groner, Hannah Saltmarsh, Ralph Adamo, and others, fiction writers Jay Todd, Bob Skinner, Mark Whitaker, essays by David Lanoue, Nicole Greene, and others.

& Sunday is Slam and Spoken Word Day in New Orleans. WhoDatPoets.com lists five Spoken Word shows on Sunday nights. For phone numbers with more details on all these readings visit WHODATPOETS.COM. (I stopped listing all of the events because one venue’s name forced me to limit this post for readers over 21. Check WHODATEPOETS.COM for all the latest on slam and spoken word in New Orleans.

& The Main Branch of the New Orleans Public Library hosts Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning teens & their Allies are invited to join in the book club conversation! We will provide paper and digital copies of a short story the week before; the subsequent discussion will be guided by the themes and issues explored in the reading. In the main auditorium at 4:00 p.m. Mondays.

& Beginning Monday the Jefferson Parish Public Library hosts a NaNoWriMo session in which writers come to the library and sit down to write their novels as part of National Novel Writing Month. NaNoWriMo is a fun, seat-of-the-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing on November 1. The goal is to write a 50,000-word (approximately 175-page) novel by 11:59:59 PM on November 30. Valuing enthusiasm and perseverance over painstaking craft, NaNoWriMo is a novel-writing program for everyone who has thought fleetingly about writing a novel but has been scared away by the time and effort involved. Wrimos meet throughout the month to offer encouragement, commiseration, and—when the thing is done—a raucous celebration. Participants start the month as auto mechanics, out-of-work actors, and middle school English teachers. They walk away novelists. Free of charge and open to the public.

& Do you think in verse that could become poetry? Do you imagine characters, dialogue, and scenes? If so, join the New Orleans Public Library Smith branch’s free Creative Writing Workshop. Every other Monday, beginning October 7, 5:30 – 7 p.m

& Monday the East Bank Fiction Writers Group meets at the Jefferson Parish East Bank Regional Library at 7 p.m.. The Fiction Writers’ Group 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

& 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 6 p.m. Octavia Books offers an evening with Frank de Caro presenting and signing his new book, STORIES OF OUR LIVES: Memory, History, Narrative, a memoir that explores why all our stories matter. Featuring an array of colorful personal stories from Frank de Caro’s life and years of field research as a folklorist, Stories of Our Lives is part memoir and part exploration of how the stories we tell, listen to, and learn play an integral role in shaping our sense of self.

& Every Tuesday night get on the list to spit at the longest running spoken word venue in New Orleans at Sweet Lorraine’s Jazz Club hosted by African-American Shakespear. Doors open at 7pm and the Mic pops at 8pm. It is $5 to get in.

& Wednesday the Jefferson Parish Library and The Tennessee Williams Festival feature Coffee and Conversation, an author event featuring Poppy Tooker. On her popular radio show of this name, Tooker has captured amazing oral histories about the food of Louisiana. This book brings those words to the page, including interviews with Chef Leah Chase, Randy Fertel of Ruth’s Chris, the Roman Candyman, Creole kosher cook Mildred Cover, and more. Recipes and portraits by local photographer David Spielman garnish this addition to Louisiana food literature.

&&nbspThe Blood Jet poetry reading series resumes at B.J.’s Lounge at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, featuring Josh Wexler, pianist & M. E. Riley, poet.

Odd Words October 31, 2013

Posted by Mark Folse in Book Stores, books, literature, New Orleans, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, publishing, Toulouse Street.
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The coming week in literary New Orleans:

& Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. the Juju Bag Cafe, 5363 Franklin Ave., . presents a Spoken Word Showcase, with happy hour from 5-7 and open mic starting at 7:30 p.m. Check whodatpoets.com for featured performers.

& This Friday The New Orleans Public Library’s African American Resource Center is hosting the 2013 Tom Dent Literary Festival. This annual festival honors Tom Dent who was a poet, essayist, oral historian, cultural activist, and noted figure in the Black Arts movement. This year’s festival features programs for children, teens, and adults. The adult program will be held at Dillard University in the Professional Building Auditorium, 115 from 5:30pm-7:30pm. This program will feature Trenton Thomas, a hip hop violinist, Dr. Mona Lisa Saloy and her students will discuss the life of Tom Dent, and performances by spoken word artists, Asia Rainey, Clarence “Xero” Skidmore, and Chris “One Eyed” Williams. A children’s story hour will feature African folktales and poetry. A one man show featuring aspects of Tom Dent’s life and work will be performed for teens by Chakula cha Jua, Tom Dent’s mentee. Both the children’s and teen programs will be held at the Main Library (219 Loyola Avenue) from 10:30am-11:30am.

& This Friday at 5 p.m. Octavia Books hosts a children’s book event with William Joyce featuring his new picture book, THE MISCHIEVIANS. Where’s my homework? Who took my other sock? What’s that in my belly button? The creators of the #1 New York Times bestselling and Academy Award–winning The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore have found the answers to these and other life mysteries…and no, it’s not your fault!

& Friday at 6 p.m. Garden District Book Shop features Wally Lamb’s new novel We Are Water. We Are Water is a disquieting and ultimately uplifting novel about a marriage, a family, and human resilience in the face of tragedy. After 27 years of marriage and three children, Anna Oh–wife, mother, outsider artist–has fallen in love with Viveca, the wealthy Manhattan art dealer who orchestrated her success. They plan to wed in the Oh family’s hometown of Three Rivers in Connecticut. But the wedding provokes some very mixed reactions and opens a Pandora’s Box of toxic secrets–dark and painful truths that have festered below the surface of the Ohs’ lives. Wally’s opening act will be his son, award-winning slam poet, and New Orleans resident, Justin Lamb. Justin’s group, Team Slam New Orleans, won the 2013 National Poetry Slam for the second year in a row.

& Story Time with Miss Maureen is a weekly feature at Maple Street Books at 11:30 am Saturday.

& The Dickens Fellowship of New Orleans will meet Saturday at 2 p.m. to continue their discussion of this year’s featured book, David Copperfield. The Fellowship meets at Metairie Park Country Day School’s Bright Library. Admission is by annual dues to the Fellowship.

& The Walker Percy Center for Writing and Publishing is pleased to offer a free masterclass fiction workshop by novelist George Bishop, author of Letter to My Daughter and The Night of the Comet. The one-day workshop will be held on Loyola’s campus (room to be announced) on Saturday, November 9, from 1 to 3 p.m. The ten spots will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Please email Kevin Rabalalis (kevinrabalais@hotmail.com) or Jennifer Levasseur (levasseur.jennifer@gmail.com) to sign up.

& Every Sunday at 3 p.m. he Maple Leaf Reading Series, the oldest continuous reading series in the south, founded by Everette Maddox, features guest poets and an open mic. Poet Michael Czarnecki will read from his work, followed by an open mic.

& Sunday is Slam and Spoken Word Day in New Orleans. WhoDatPoets.com lists five Spoken Word shows on Sunday nights. For phone numbers with more details on all these readings visit WHODATPOETS.COM. (I stopped listing all of the events because one venue’s name forced me to limit this post for readers over 21. Check WHODATEPOETS.COM for all the latest on slam and spoken word in New Orleans.

& The Main Branch of the New Orleans Public Library hosts Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning teens & their Allies are invited to join in the book club conversation! We will provide paper and digital copies of a short story the week before; the subsequent discussion will be guided by the themes and issues explored in the reading. In the main auditorium at 4:00 p.m. Mondays.

& Beginning Monday the Jefferson Parish Public Library hosts a NaNoWriMo session in which writers come to the library and sit down to write their novels as part of National Novel Writing Month. NaNoWriMo is a fun, seat-of-the-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing on November 1. The goal is to write a 50,000-word (approximately 175-page) novel by 11:59:59 PM on November 30. Valuing enthusiasm and perseverance over painstaking craft, NaNoWriMo is a novel-writing program for everyone who has thought fleetingly about writing a novel but has been scared away by the time and effort involved. Wrimos meet throughout the month to offer encouragement, commiseration, and—when the thing is done—a raucous celebration. Participants start the month as auto mechanics, out-of-work actors, and middle school English teachers. They walk away novelists. Free of charge and open to the public.

& On Monday Octavia Books hosts a presentation and book signing with sportswriter Marty Mulé featuring his new book, GAME CHANGERS. Louisiana almost defies logic when it comes to sports. Its native sons, daughters, and teams have left stamps on sports all out of proportion for what could be expected of a relatively small southern state. As Marty Mulé, a legend among the state’s sportswriters, shows, Louisiana’s athletic punch far exceeds its weight class. GAME CHANGERS documents the enthralling history of Louisiana’s athletes and more. There’s the memorable match races between Lexington and Lecompe and Black Gold’s Run for the Roses. There’s Heisman Trophy-winner Billy Cannon on his famed punt return; Steve Van Buren rushing for the unheard of total of a thousand yards twice for the Philadelphia Eagles; Tom Dempsey’s jaw-dropping field goal; and the Saints finally marching into the Super Bowl winners’ club. There’s the longest winning streak—218 in a row—for any sport or team outside of the Harlem Globetrotters, set by the Baskin High School girls basketball team

& Monday at 7 p.m. Crescent City Books hosts another Black Widow Salon featuring Guests Rodger Kamenetz & Moira Crone on a life in literature. Kamenetz is an award-winning poet, author and teacher. Just out is his To Die Next To You, a collaboration with artist Michael Hafftka. Of his baker’s dozen of books, the best known is The Jew in the Lotus. The New York Times called it a “revered text.” Walker Percy called Rodger’s memoir Terra Infirma “a haunting memoir, deeply felt, poignant, tragic– funny– powerful, and memorable for the poetic precision of its language.” Crone is a widely published short story writer and novelist. In 2009, she received the Robert Penn Warren Award for Fiction from the Fellowship of Southern Writers for the body of her work. Her publications include current novel, The Not Yet (short listed for the Philip K. Dick Award), What Gets Into Us, Dream State, A Period of Confinement, and The Winnebago Mysteries and Other Stories.

Also at 7 p.m. the Jefferson Parish Library East Bank Regional Branch Writing Group presents an author event featuring William Conescu,author of Kara Was Here. Kara Was Here tells the story of a failed actress whose life and sudden death are only partially understood; her teenage sister, Gwen, who starts taking dangerous steps into Kara’s secret world; Kara’s college friend, Margot, who went from being the football team’s sexy secret weapon to the solitary proprietress of a baked goods business; and Kara’s one-time lover, Brad, who stands with one foot in the past and one foot in an increasingly uncertain future. Free and open to the public. No registration.

& Do you think in verse that could become poetry? Do you imagine characters, dialogue, and scenes? If so, join the New Orleans Public Library Smith branch’s free Creative Writing Workshop. Every other Monday, beginning October 7, 5:30 – 7 p.m

& Monday the East Bank Fiction Writers Group meets at the Jefferson Parish East Bank Regional Library at 7 p.m.. The Fiction Writers’ Group 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

& 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 6 p.m. Octavia Books features a signing featuring UNFATHOMABLE CITY: A New Orleans Atlas with co-author Rebecca Snedeker along with other contributors Eve Abrams, Maurice Ruffin, and Billy Sothern. This book is a brilliant reinvention of the traditional atlas, one that provides a vivid, complex look at the multi-faceted nature of New Orleans, a city replete with contradictions. More than twenty essays assemble a chorus of vibrant voices, including geographers, scholars of sugar and bananas, the city’s remarkable musicians, prison activists, environmentalists, Arab and Native voices, and local experts, as well as the coauthors’ compelling contributions. Featuring 22 full-color two-page-spread maps, Unfathomable City plumbs the depths of this major tourist destination, pivotal scene of American history and culture and, most recently, site of monumental disasters such as Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil spill. The innovative maps’ precision and specificity shift our notions of the Mississippi, the Caribbean, Mardi Gras, jazz, soils and trees, generational roots, and many other subjects, and expand our ideas of how any city is imagined and experienced.

& At 7 p.m. on Tuesday (second Tuesday of every month) the Jefferson Parish Library Fiction Write Group meets in in the meeting Room. at the The Edith S. Lawson Library in Westwego Writing exercises or discussions of points of fiction and/or critique sessions of members’ submissions. Meets the second Tuesday of every month. Moderator: Gary Bourgeois.

Tuesday night at 7 p.m. George Bishop will be the 1718 Society’s featured reader in November. His latest novel is The Night of the Comet. The meeting will take place at the Columns Hotel (3811 St. Charles Ave.), Tuesday, November 5th, at 7PM. He will be preceded by student readers.

& Every Tuesday night get on the list to spit at the longest running spoken word venue in New Orleans at Sweet Lorraine’s Jazz Club hosted by African-American Shakespear. Doors open at 7pm and the Mic pops at 8pm. It is $5 to get in.

& Wednesday at 6 p.m. Octavia Books hosts a reading and signing with William Conescu featuring his new novel, KARA WAS HERE. Brad Mitchell’s life is falling apart. His marriage is in limbo. The woman he thought he would marry, Kara, died from an overdose. An old friend keeps trying to convince him that Kara was actually murdered. And he has started to see double. Literally. When Kara-or, rather, her ghost-returns to Brad, his past and present blur into a fog.

& Wednesday at 7 p.m. Fleur de Lit will kick off their new literary series, Reading Between the Wines, Wednesday, November 6 at 6:00 p.m at Pearl Wine Co. in the American Can Company. The series will take place the first Wednesday of every month at 6:00 p.m. Local authors will be present, reading from and discussing their work. Maple Street Book Shop will be on site selling books. Pearl offers $5 glasses of wine on Wednesdays and a food pop-up! November’s featured authors are: George Bishop (Night of the Comet), David Armand (Harlow), Chuck Hustmyre (The Axman of New Orleans), and Ian McNulty (A Season of Night).

& On Wednesday the first LadyFest Open House Poetry Salon! Wednesday, Nov 6th at 7:30 pm. 1501 Saint Roch Ave. at the corner of N. Robertson. We’ll provide light snacks and wine, or bring your favorite beverage! Hosted by: Megan Burns Featuring: Kaycee Filson, Delia Tomino Nakayama, Amanda Smith, Laura Mattingly, Carrie Chappell, Katarina Boudreaux, and more! A second reading will be held the following Friday at Buffa’s Back Room.

& Press Street Room 220/Antenna Gallery is offering an OPEN STUDIO of after school academic tutoring & creative writing on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays from 3pm-5:30pm. The Gallery is located at 3718 St Claude Ave.

Odd Words October 23, 2013

Posted by Mark Folse in books, literature, New Orleans, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, publishing, Toulouse Street.
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The coming week in literary New Orleans:

&  Meet the state’s new Poet Laureate on Thursday at the Louisiana Humanities Center at 6 p.m. Ava Leavell Haymon gives her inaugural reading as Louisiana’s new state poet laureate at a reception at the Louisiana Humanities Center, 938 Lafayette Street in New Orleans. The event begins at 6pm and is free and open to the public. Haymon replaces Julie Kane, PhD, of Natchitoches, whose term ended in May 2013. Dr. Kane will join us to introduce Ms. Haymon. She is a nationally recognized poet and teacher from Baton Rouge. She presents poetry readings and writing workshops, in Louisiana and nationwide. She has taught poetry writing at LSU and worked for many years as Artist in the Schools in East Baton Rouge Parish. Currently she teaches private classes in Baton Rouge and directs a writers’ retreat center in New Mexico. Her four full-length collections, The Strict Economy of Fire, Kitchen Heat, Why the House is Made of Gingerbread, and, most recently, Eldest Daughter are published by LSU Press. Her third book won the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters prize for poetry in 2010, Women’s Voices for Change selected it as one of the 10 best poetry books of the year, and the Academy of American Poets featured an included poem as Poem of the Day.

&  Xavier University of Louisiana’s Department of English, Read Today, Lead Tomorrow and Poets & Writers invite you to a Poetry Reading by Charles Fort on Thursday at 7 p.m. at the University Center, Room 219. Fort’s books include We Did Not Fear the Father (New and Selected Poems) Red Hen Press 2012, Mrs. Belladonna’s Supper Club Waltz (New and Selected Prose Poems) Backwaters Press, 2013, The Town Clock Burning, Carnegie Mellon University Press, and Frankenstein Was A Negro, Loganhouse Press. Fort’s poems have appeared in journals, periodicals, and anthologies such as The Best American Poetry 2003, The Best American Poetry 2000, Best of Prose Poem International, The Georgia Review, and The American Poetry Review.

& Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. the Juju Bag Cafe, 5363 Franklin Ave., . presents a Spoken Word Showcase, with happy hour from 5-7 and open mic starting at 7:30 p.m. Check whodatpoets.com for featured performers.

&  Friday at 6 p.m. Octavia Books hosts an author presentation and book signing with Bill Ayers featuring his new book, PUBLIC ENEMY. In this sequel to Fugitive Days, Ayers charts his life after the Weather Underground, when he becomes the GOP’s flaunted “domestic terrorist,” a “public enemy.” Labeled a “domestic terrorist” by the McCain campaign in 2008 and used by the radical right in an attempt to castigate Obama for “pallin’ around with terrorists,” Bill Ayers is in fact a dedicated teacher, father, and social justice advocate with a sharp memory and even sharper wit. Public Enemy tells his story from the moment he and his wife, Bernardine Dohrn, emerged from years on the run and rebuilt their lives as public figures, often celebrated for their community work and much hated by the radical right. “The legendary Bill Ayers is at his spellbinding best in Public Enemy—a brilliant, spirited document of a revolutionary life in our not-so-revolutionary age. One of the most compelling, insightful memoirs of the year.” —Junot Díaz, author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

& The New Orleans Poetry Brothel hosts In Vino Veritas: a wine tasting, art auction, burlesque show and poetry at 7 p.m. Friday at the Big Top Gallery, 1638 Clio St. The wine tasting class costs $15 and has limited seating, and begins at 7 p.m followed at 8:30-9:30 by the Art Auction and at 9:30-1:00 Performances & Live Music.

& Story Time with Miss Maureen is a weekly feature at Maple Street Books at 11:30 am Saturday. This week she’ll read Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Axl Scheffler!

&&nbspAt Octavia Books at 1 p.m. Saturday New York Times bestselling Skippyjon Jones author/illustrator Judy Schachner when she gives a storytime reading and signing of BITS AND PIECES, her new picture book, highly recommended for ages 3-5

This Sunday at 1 pm. Garden District Book Shops hosts Anne and Christopher Rice and their new books, respectively, The Wolves of Midwinter and The Heavens Rise. This is a by admission ticket event, with a ticket issued with the advance purchase of either author’s book. In The Wolves of Midwinter the tale of THE WOLF GIFT continues. The novel opens on a cold, gray landscape. It is the beginning of December. Oak fires are burning in the stately flickering hearths of Nideck Point. It is Yuletide. For Reuben Golding, now infused with the wolf gift and under the loving tutelage of the Morphenkinder, this Christmas promises to be like no other . . . as he soon becomes aware that the Morphenkinder, steeped in their own rituals, are also celebrating the Midwinter Yuletide festival deep within Nideck forest. In The Heavens Rise, deep in the swamps outside of New Orleans, Niquette Delongpre and her family uncover a well on their property—a well that has roots all the way down into the soils of the Mississippi River. A well that brings ancient things to the surface—things that should have stayed buried.

& Every Sunday at 3 p.m. he Maple Leaf Reading Series, the oldest continuous reading series in the south, founded by Everette Maddox, features guest poets and an open mic. This week features poet Danny Kerwick reads from his work, followed by an open mic.

& Sunday is Slam and Spoken Word Day in New Orleans. WhoDatPoets.com lists five Spoken Word shows on Sunday nights. For phone numbers with more details on all these readings visit WHODATPOETS.COM. (I stopped listing all of the events because one venue’s name forced me to limit this post for readers over 21. Check WHODATEPOETS.COM for all the latest on slam and spoken word in New Orleans.

&Monday at 6:30 p.m. The Tulane University English Department presents a double reading by prize-winning authors Michael Ondaatje and Linda Spalding, Monday, October 28, at 6:30pm in Woldenberg Art Center’s Freeman Auditorium. The authors will sign books after the reading.

& Monday evening at 6 p.m. Octavia Books presents author John Pritchard featuring his new book, SAILING TO ALLUVIUM. When John Pritchard published the sequel to his underground hit Junior Ray, BookPage stated, “We can only hope that our potty-mouthed philosopher will come back for a third hilarious helping of hell-raising.” Now, Junior Ray returns in SAILING TO ALLUVIUM. Following The Yazoo Blues, which saw the anti-hero as a security guard on a floating casino, the new installment follows Ray as he sets about to solve a murder mystery.

& The Main Branch of the New Orleans Public Library hosts Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning teens & their Allies are invited to join in the book club conversation! We will provide paper and digital copies of a short story the week before; the subsequent discussion will be guided by the themes and issues explored in the reading. n the main auditorium at 4:00 p.m.

& The Rosa F. Keller Library & Community Center presents at 4 p.m. The New Orleans Jazz Institute presents . . . Master Series 2013: Poetry. Edward Petersen’s Jazz Tribute to the Poetry of Kenn Nesbitt, with a Poetry Reading by Kenn Nesbitt and Steve Masakowski’s Jazz Tribute to the Poetry of Ava Leavell Haymon, with a Poetry Reading by Ava Leavell Haymon

& Do you think in verse that could become poetry? Do you imagine characters, dialogue, and scenes? If so, join the New Orleans Public Library Smith branch’s free Creative Writing Workshop. Every other Monday, beginning October 7, 5:30 – 7 p.m

At the Hubbell Library on Monday at 6:30 p.mm. join author Michael Nolden Henderson for a discussion of his book Got Proof! My Genealogical Journey Through the Use of Documentation

& Monday the East Bank Fiction Writers Group meets at the Jefferson Parish East Bank Regional Library at 7 p.m.. The Fiction Writers’ Group 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

& 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.

& Octavia Books hosts Chef John Besh at 6 p.m. and his new cookbook COOKING FROM THE HEART: My Favorite Lessons Learned Along the Way. And for Lagniappe, Chef Besh will treat you to a special tastes from the book: Porcini and potato soup with duck rillettes, herb garnish and Chef Lisa’s bread. Besh shares the lessons he learned from his mentors through 140 accessible recipes and cooking lessons. Featuring lush photography, inspiring personal stories, and a rich expanse of culinary knowledge, Cooking from the Heart is the next best thing to having an apprenticeship with Chef Besh.

& Every Tuesday night get on the list to spit at the longest running spoken word venue in New Orleans at Sweet Lorraine’s Jazz Club hosted by African-American Shakespear. Doors open at 7pm and the Mic pops at 8pm. It is $5 to get in.

&&nbspAt Garden District Books on Wednesday at 6 p.m. meet Monique Moliere Piper presenting her new book Dancing in the Sun: Being the Authentic You, about getting started on the journey to living as we were created to be, our authentic selves. It addresses the ways in which this journey gets constantly interrupted by our habits, beliefs, and conditioning and the struggles in our lives that cloud our views so that we never catch a glimpse of our true selves. This book will show you ways to get on the path to uncovering your heart’s desires, instead of what you have been taught is realistic.

&  Wednesday at 6 p.m. Octavia Books hosts a presentation and signing with Samuel G. Freedman featuring his new book, BREAKING THE LINE: The Season in Black College Football That Transformed the Sport and Changed the Course of Civil Rights. Freedman brings to life the historic saga of the battle for the 1967 black-college championship between Grambling College and Florida A&M. Breaking the Line reaches its climax in a tense, excruciatingly close game between the two teams, recounted with suspense and drama that stands with David Maraniss’ immortal description of the “Ice Bowl” game. As Maraniss showed in When Pride Still Mattered and Clemente how individuals can transform their sports, Freedman chronicles Jake Gaither of A&M and Eddie Robinson of Grambling, and their quarterbacks, Ken Riley and James Harris, as they bring about two historic firsts: the first game to be played in the South between a black and a white school, and the first starting black quarterback in the NFL.

&  Wednesday at 7 p.m. the Jefferson Parish East Bank Regional Library hosts Author Event! The Night of the Comet, by George Bishop. For his 14th birthday, Alan Broussard Jr. receives a telescope from his father, a science teacher at the local high school, who’s anxiously awaiting what he promises will be the astronomical event of the century: the coming of Comet Kohoutek. For Alan Broussard Sr.–frustrated in his job, remote from his family–the comet is a connection to his past and a bridge to his son, with whom he’s eager to share his love for the stars. Bishop worked as an actor for eight years in Los Angeles before traveling overseas as a volunteer English teacher to Czechoslovakia in 1992. He enjoyed the ex-patriot life so much that he stayed on, living and teaching in Turkey, Indonesia, Azerbaijan, India, and Japan. He holds an undergraduate degree from Loyola University in New Orleans, a master of fine arts degree from the University of North Carolina in Wilmington, and a master of arts from the School for International Training in Vermont. His stories and essays have appeared in publications such as The Oxford American, The Third Coast, Press, American Writing, and Vorm (in Dutch). Letter to My Daughter (Ballantine, Spring 2010) is his first published novel.

& On Wednesday the Blood Jet Poetry Series is at BJs in the Bywater (4301 Burgundy) at 8 p.m. This week features New York poets Tracey McTague, Brendan Lorber and Michael Czarnecki.

& Press Street Room 220/Antenna Gallery is offering an OPEN STUDIO of after school academic tutoring & creative writing on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays from 3pm-5:30pm. The Gallery is located at 3718 St Claude Ave.

Odd Words October 17, 2013

Posted by Mark Folse in books, literature, New Orleans, NOLA, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, publishing, Toulouse Street.
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The coming week in literary New Orleans for Oct. 17-23:

The Creative Writing Workshop at the University of New Orleans and WWNO are launching a new collaboration called Storyville, which will bring true stories about New Orleans to listeners of public radio.  The stories will be periodically broadcast  during All Things New Orleans, WWNO’s half-hour radio news magazine which airs Thursdays at 1:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. and are available as podcasts here.

& Thursday at 6 p.m. Octavia Books celebrates the release of former journalist Rebecca Theim’s important new book, HELL AND HIGH WATER: The Battle to Save the Daily New Orleans Times-Picayune, essential reading for anyone interested in New Orleans or the future of journalism in America. Internationally lauded for its heroic role chronicling the death, destruction and public ineptitude during and after 2005′s Hurricane Katrina, The Times-Picayune’s unofficial rallying cry became “We publish come hell and high water.” Despite plummeting circulation and ad revenues after the storm and during the Great Recession, the newspaper remained profitable and boasted the country’s highest readership in a city its size. But New Orleans in 2012 faced “Katrina without the water,” as one veteran reporter described it, when the newspaper’s owner, New York media conglomerate Advance Publications, put the then-175-year-old The Times-Picayune at the center of a risky experiment in American newspaper journalism. It would become a three-day-a-week publication and instead shift focus and resources to its much derided website, making New Orleans the largest U.S. city without a daily newspaper.

& Also on Thursday at 7 p.m. New Orleans Literary & Performance Series presents its second program of the Fall 2013 season: “WHEN BUTTERFLIES DRINK THE TEARS OF THE TURTLE” with big respect to New Orleans Mardi Gras Indian Traditions, Native American Traditions and Poetry & Song! THURSDAY, OCTOBER 17, 7:00PM @ GOLD MINE SALOON, 701 Dauphine Street, New Orleans, French Quarter. This special one-night-only event will feature: BIG CHIEF MONTANA and EYES-SEE QUEEN CHIEF AUSETTUA AMORAMENKUM of WASHITAW NATION, ALFRED UGANDA ROBERTS and ERIC B on percussion, REVEREND GOAT CARSON on buffalo jaw string, KATARINA BOUDREAUX on vocals & keyboard and NEW YORK / SAN FRANCISCO POET ZACK ROGOW.

& Press Street/Antenna Gallery is offering an OPEN STUDIO of after school academic tutoring & creative writing on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays from 3pm-5:30pm. The Gallery is located at 3718 St Claude Ave.

& Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. the Juju Bag Cafe, 5363 Franklin Ave., . presents a Spoken Word Showcase, with happy hour from 5-7 and open mic starting at 7:30 p.m. Check whodatpoets.com for featured performers.

& Friday at 6 p.m. Garden District Books hosts Carolyn Kolb’s New Orleans Memories: One Writers City.  Kolb provides a delightful and detailed look into the heart of her city, New Orleans. She is a formerTimes-Picayune reporter and current columnist for New Orleans Magazine, where versions of these essays appeared as “Chronicles of Recent History.” Kolb takes her readers, both those who live in New Orleans and those who love it as visitors, on a virtual tour of her favorite people and places. Divided into sections on Food, Mardi Gras, Literature, and Music, these short essays can be read in one gulp or devoured slowly over time. Either way, the reader will find a welcome companion and guide in Kolb.

Friday at 7 p.m.  Local author Dean Paschal reading from his new novel, The Frog Surgeon at McKeown’s Books and Difficult Music, 4737 Tchoupitoulas.

& Story Time with Miss Maureen is a weekly feature at Maple Street Books at 11:30 am Saturday. This week author Rob Owen will be reading and signing his book Spyboy, Cheyenne, and 96 Crayons. An eight-year-old boy masks for the first time as Spy Boy in his Mardi Gras Indian tribe. He proudly leads his tribe down crowded New Orleans streets, but when he looks back, he discovers that he is lost and separated from his friends. Follow Spy Boy as his spirit guide, Cheyenne, and his box of ninety-six crayons help him return to his family.

Saturday at 3 p.m. at the Zeitgeist Performance Center Voices of Resistance: Poetry at the New Orleans Anarchist Book Fair will present an  all-star lineup of New Orleans poets explore manifestations of resistance in their creative lives. Featuring: FreeQuency, A Scribe Called Quess? (Team SNO), Delia Tomino Nakayama, Geoff Munsterman, Marla Chirdon, Emmanuel Segura, and a special performance by Jose Torres-Tama. Hosted by Jenna Mae.

& Every Sunday at 3 p.m. he Maple Leaf Reading Series, the oldest continuous reading series in the south, founded by Everette Maddox, features guest poets and an open mic. This Sunday Gina Ferrara reads from and signs her new collection of poems Amber Porch Light.

& Sunday at Garden District Books at 1 p.m. Tom Zigal will read from and sign his new novel  Many Rivers to Cross, The story takes place in the first three days after Hurricane Katrina struck Louisiana and the Gulf Coast in late August 2005. The narrative follows several characters stranded in the flooded city as they struggle to surviveMany Rivers to Cross is the second novel in the New Orleans Trilogy. The first being. The White League.

& Sunday is Slam and Spoken Word Day in New Orleans. WhoDatPoets.com lists five Spoken Word shows on Sunday nights. For phone numbers with more details on all these readings visit WHODATPOETS.COM. (I stopped listing all of the events because one venue’s name forced me to limit this post for readers over 21. Check WHODATEPOETS.COM for all the latest on slam and spoken word in New Orleans.

& Do you think in verse that could become poetry? Do you imagine characters, dialogue, and scenes? If so, join the New Orleans Public Library Smith branch’s free Creative Writing Workshop. Every other Monday, beginning October 7, 5:30 – 7 p.m

& The New Orleans Haiku Society will hold their monthly meeting at the Village Coffee Shop on Ferret at 6 p.m.

Monday Octavia Books hosts the book release celebration of Shane Finkelstein’s debut novel, FINDING GORDON LIPSCHITZ. At his twenty five year high school reunion, Harris Greenberg finds out that his class valedictorian has gone missing. In an attempt to run away from his own problems, Harris embarks on a desperate mission to find him. Enlisting the help of old friends, Gordon Lipschitz is found in the most unlikely place, a shell of his former self. The search becomes a journey of self-discovery for four friends whose lives turned out much differently than any of them expected.

This Monday 6:30 p.m. brings Author’s Night at the Hubbell Branch of the NOPL, featuring Got Proof! My Genealogical Journey Through the Use of Documentation with  author Michael Nolden Henderson for a discussion of his book.

& Monday the East Bank Fiction Writers Group meets at the Jefferson Parish East Bank Regional Library at 7 p.m.. The Fiction Writers’ Group 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

Monday at 8 p.m. , Esoterotica’s local provocateurs are taking a field trip from their regular venue all the way up to the wilds of Riverbend to share some of their most sensual selections at Z’otz on Oak St. You know Z’otz, the finest and funkiest purveyors of rich coffees, savory teas, sumptuous baked goods and so much more to delight your senses. So what better place for our ribald and randy ranks to visit?

& 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.

This Tuesday Join Room 220 as we host the venerable Oxford American for a Happy Hour Salon featuring local contributors to the current issue. The salon will take place from 7 – 10 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 22, at the Saturn Bar (3067 St. Claude Ave.) and will feature readings and live music. Copies of the new issue will be on hand. Come hear: Pia Z. Ehrhardt’s existential spiral spurred by the deaths of two great horned owls in her yard near City Park; Nathan C. Martin’s dispatch from the two weeks he spent selling fireworks from the side of a Mississippi highway; Anne Gisleson’s exploration of the crossroads of writing, yoga, and BDSM in an Arabi strip mall; and, Brian Boyles‘ report on the wolves that stalk Angola Prison’s perimeter fence. PLUS: Michael Patrick Welch and his Lil Current Vocal Club will perform a set of live music. Welch’s profile of the painter constantly at work on the exterior of the Mother-In-Law Lounge appears in the current OA.  Moments not occupied by readings and live music will feature New Orleans’ own DJ Maxmillion spinning 45s from his expansive collection.

Tuesday at 7 p.m. McKeown’s Books and Difficult Music will host a Poetry Reading with Thaddeus Conti, Jason Moore, Haley Rundel and Todd Trulock

4737 Tchoupitoulas

& On the second Tuesday of every month the Jefferson Parish West Bank Library Writers Group meets at the Westwego library from 7-9 p.m. Writing exercises or discussions of points of fiction and/or critique sessions of members’ submissions.

& Every Tuesday night get on the list to spit at the longest running spoken word venue in New Orleans at Sweet Lorraine’s Jazz Club hosted by African-American Shakespear. Doors open at 7pm and the Mic pops at 8pm. It is $5 to get in.

Wednesday at Maple Street Books Kala Ambrose will be signing her book Spirits of New Orleans at Maple Street Book Shop at 6 p.m. Prepare to embark on a unique and enticing journey into the haunted history and magical ceremonies of New Orleans. Prepare to be introduced to supernatural rituals and practices in order to fully understand and embrace the cultural significance of the variety of beliefs, superstitions, legends and lore.

At Octavia Books on Wednesday bestselling author George Pelecanos returns to Octavia Books to give a reading from and sign copies of his new novel, THE DOUBLE. Every man has his dark side…Spero Lucas confronts his own in the most explosive thriller yet from one of America’s best-loved crime writers. Pelecanos is also a core part of David Simon’s writing team. If someone is going to die, look for Pelecanos’ name in the credits. This new Spiro Lucas novel reads like a classic noir thriller, full of action and suspense.

Also on Wednesday the Tennessee Williams Festival Coffee and Conversation series at the Jefferson Parish East Bank Regional Library hosts  The Booklover’s Guide to New Orleans, Susan Larson’s informative response to questions most frequently asked when she served as book editor of the Times-Picayune. Tourists and locals alike want to know what to read, where authors lived, which bookstores to browse, and when literary festivals are scheduled. Now all the answers can be found in this one convenient volume, the only complete directory of New Orleans’s “write life” available.

& On Wednesday the Blood Jet Poetry Series is at BJs in the Bywater (4301 Burgundy) at 8PM. This week features Rodger Kamenetz and poetry/painting collaboration To Die Next To You, and music by Married Women. Kamenetz’s book features two brother artists, both nurtured by the dream world and its imaginal colors and sacred words, who have joined to produce a single work of rare quality. More than a collaboration, this work is a journey into the power of the unconscious depth of word and image, in which master painter and poet present verbal and visual displays of agony and joy, destruction and falling, love and dying. If you haven’t seen this amazing collaboration between Kamenetz and painter Michael Hafftka you really need to get yourself down to BJs to hear Rodger read and get a copy.

Odd Words October 3, 2013

Posted by Mark Folse in books, literature, New Orleans, NOLA, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, publishing, Toulouse Street.
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Roger Kamentz’ new collaborative book of poetry and art To Die Next to You and a delegation from the University of Iowa International Writing Program highlight this week in literary New Orleans.

& On Thursday Oct. 3 Room 220 invites you to Please join in the first installment of our Fall 2013 series of Happy Hour Salons as we host a delegation of esteemed authors and poets from around the world, courtesy of the University of Iowa International Writing Program. The salon takes place from 6 – 9 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 3, at the Press Street HQ (3718 St. Claude Ave.). The readers include:

  • Dmitry Golynko’s poetry has appeared in just a few—but always impressive—places in English, such as Graywolf Press’ anthology New European Poets. His book As It Turns Out was published in English by Brooklyn-based Ugly Duckling Presse. He is the author of four other books of poems, published in his native Russia, where he is a researcher at the Russian Institute of Art History, faculty at the St. Petersburg University of Cinema and TV, and a contributing editor at Moscow Art Magazine. He’ll tell you how to whip it out with a child paraplegic and a Chechen terrorist.
  • Amanda Lee Koe is the fiction editor for Esquire in Singapore and several other publications. She co-edited an anthology of revisited Asian folktales titled Eastern Heathens, co-directed a documentary about older people’s sexuality titled Post-Love, and is co-founder and communications director for the curatorial operation studioKALEIDO. Her first book, Ministry of Moral Panic, will appear later this year.
  • Sridala Swami is a fiction writer, poet, photographer, film editor, teacher, radio producer … you name it. She’s been published all over the world, particularly in her native India, and is the author of the poetry collection A Reluctant Survivor. She is at work on what seems like an innumerable number and variety of projects, including a collection of interviews with contemporary Indian poets. She blogs, occasionally, at The Spaniard in the Works.
  • Dénes Krusovszky is an accomplished poet and translator—the English-language poets he’s rendered into his native Hungarian include John Ashbery, Frank O’Hara, and Simon Armitage—as well as editor of the literary quarterly Ex Symposion and of the JAK World Literature Series, which features contemporary foreign fiction and poetry in Hungarian. He has published three volumes of poetry, the last of which won the József Attila Prize, which is apparently a very big deal.

& Join Deborah Burst, author of HALLOWED HALLS OF NEW ORLEANS: Historic Churches, Cathedrals and Sanctuaries in a toast to the history of New Orleans Churches, featuring Redemption Restaurant. She will share her journey in discovering the mystery of New Orleans Historic Churches followed by a book signing and discussion at Redemption Restaurant–a converted church–at 5:30 p.m.

& On Thursday Octavia Books hosts a reading and signing at 6 p.m. with Kathleen Kent featuring her new novel, THE OUTCASTS set in Reconstruction-era Texas and New Orleans. In her first two bestselling, critically acclaimed novels—The Heretic’s Daughter and The Traitor’s Wife—set in Puritan New England, Kent imagined characters and stories based on her Salem ancestors and established herself as a master of historical fiction. As she did in her first two novels, Kent has drawn on history to tell a captivating tale of a woman fighting to make a life for herself against seemingly insurmountable odds, and an honorable man struggling to do the right thing, no matter what. As guns are drawn and debts are settled, some—both good and evil—will die in pursuit of their dreams, and their vengeance.

& Also Thusrday at 6 p.m. Maple Street Book Shops features a reading at 6 p.m. with authors James Marriott and Mika Minio-Paluello who will be discussing their book, The Oil Road: Journeys from the Caspian Sea to the City of London, now in paperback. From Caspian drilling rigs and Caucasus mountain villages to Mediterranean fishing communities and European capitals, this is a journey through the heart of our oil-obsessed society. Blending travel writing and investigative journalism, it charts a history of violent confrontation between geopolitics, profit and humanity.

& Garden District Book Shop features Allison Alsup, Elizabeth Pearce & Richard Read’s The French Quarter Drinking Companion at 6 p.m. Thursday. Part travelogue, part guidebook, and part exposé, this hip and informative guide will introduce every watering hole of note in the French Quarter. From the seersucker-friendly Carousel Bar at the Hotel Monteleone to the sordid hangouts along the back streets of the Quarter to the iconic and down-to-earth Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop, the authors visit them all, providing a bar-side review of the music, drinks, patrons, and décor.

& Press Street/Antenna Gallery is offering an OPEN STUDIO of after school academic tutoring & creative writing on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays from 3pm-5:30pm. The Gallery is located at 3718 St Claude Ave.

& Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. the Juju Bag Cafe, 5363 Franklin Ave., . presents a Spoken Word Showcase, with happy hour from 5-7 and open mic starting at 7:30 p.m. Check whodatpoets.com for featured performers.

& On Friday David Rich—whose acclaimed debut, Caravan of Thieves, drew comparisons to Elmore Leonard, Robert Ludlum, and John LeCarre—returns with a new crime thriller featuring Lieutenant Rollie Waters, Middle Man. He will be Maple Street Books at at 6PM.

& Story Time with Miss Maureen is a weekly feature at Maple Street Books at 11:30 am Saturday.

& This month’s Poetry Buffet at the Alvar Library features Moose Jackson, Jimmy Ross, and Andrea Young read from their work Saturday at 2 p.m.

& AT 2:30 p.m. the Dickens Fellowship of New Orleans meets at Metairie Park Country Day School’s Bright Library. They will discuss David Copperfield, Chapter VIII “My Holidays, Especially One Happy Afternoon” and Chapter XIV, “My Aunt Makes Up Her Mind About Me.” The New Orleans Branch of the Dickens Fellowship holds meeting September through May, reading one of the works of Charles Dickens each year. The meetings include book discussions, movie versions of the novel, and lectures by Dickens scholars. This year’s book is DAVID COPPERFIELD. Dues are $20/person (couples $30) payable in September.

& Every Sunday at 3 p.m. he Maple Leaf Reading Series, the oldest continuous reading series in the south, founded by Everette Maddox, features guest poets and an open mic.

& Sunday is Slam and Spoken Word Day in New Orleans. WhoDatPoets.com lists five Spoken Word shows on Sunday nights:

  • 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.
  • The Black Star Cafe, 800 Belleville St. in Algiers at 7 p.m.;
  • The Shadowbox Theater at 2400 St.Claude Ave. at 7 p.m.;
  • Espe’s Kitchen, 1743 N Broad St. at 7 p.m.; and,
  • the T******* Wine Lounge, 3001 Tulane Ave., doors at 7 p.m., Admission $5.

For phone numbers with more details on all these readings visit WHODATPOETS.COM.

& Do you think in verse that could become poetry? Do you imagine characters, dialogue, and scenes? If so, join the New Orleans Public Library Smith branch’s free Creative Writing Workshop. Every other Monday, beginning October 7, 5:30 – 7 p.m

& On Monday Octavia Books hosts author John Miliken Thompson’s return to Octavia Books at 6 p.m. when he reads and signs his new Southern gothic novel, LOVE AND LAMENT, based on a figure in the author’s life based on a family diary. A dauntless heroine coming of age at the turn of the twentieth century confronts the hazards of patriarchy and prejudice, and discovers the unexpected opportunities of World War I

& 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 Octavia Books features a reading and signing at 6 p.m. with writer Rodger Kamenetz celebrating the release of his new book of poetry. Each poem in this beautiful book is illustrated by painter Michael Hafftka. TO DIE NEXT TO YOU is a unique event in the literary and artistic world. Two brother artists, both nurtured by the dream world and its imaginal colors and sacred words, have joined to produce a single work of rare quality. More than a collaboration, this work is a journey into the power of the unconscious depth of word and image, in which master painter and poet present verbal and visual displays of agony and joy, destruction and falling, love and dying.

& Tuesday at 6 p.m. Garden District Book Shop presents Errol Laborde and his new book Mardi Gras: Chronicles of the New Orleans Carnival. Even within its loyalty to tradition, Carnival in New Orleans has changed dramatically since the 1980s. Terms such as Lundi Gras, Muses, Krewe d’Etat, and Orpheus are now part of the lexicon, while krewe names such as Venus, Mecca, and Freret survive just in trivia conversations. This extravagantly illustrated volume from a well-respected expert covers such topics as the place of the old-line krewes in the evolution of Mardi Gras, Twelfth Night, women’s groups, the foods of Carnival, and more.

& On Tuesdays the Jefferson Parish Library Writers Group meets at the Westwego library from 7-9 pm.

& Every Tuesday night get on the list to spit at the longest running spoken word venue in New Orleans at Sweet Lorraine’s Jazz Club hosted by African-American Shakespear. Doors open at 7pm and the Mic pops at 8pm. It is $5 to get in.

& Carroll Beauvais and Vincent Cellucci will read their poetry on Wednesday, October 9, at 8 p.m., at the University of New Orleans in Liberal Arts 197. The reading will be followed by a booksigning and reception. This event is free and open to the public. Carroll Beauvais’ poems have appeared in Prairie Schooner, The Collagist, Bateau, and elsewhere. She has been awarded scholarships from Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and Syracuse University’s MFA program, where she was a Creative Writing Fellow and awarded the Hayden Carruth Poetry Prize. She lives in New Orleans with her husband and animals. Vincent A. Cellucci wrote An Easy Place / To Die(City Lit Press, 2011) and edited a recent anthology (Lavender Ink, 2013).

& Wednesday at 6 p.m. at Maple Street Books Deldon McNeely will be signing Becoming: An Introduction To Jung’s Concept of Individuation, published by Fisher King Press, at our Uptown shop, Wednesday, October 9th at 6PM. In Becoming, she unpacks the essential concept of individuation, helping to demystify what that process entails. Both placing it in historical, philosophical context and discussing its contemporary relevance, she helps us appreciate the why and wherefore of doing deep psychological work. McNeely has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Louisiana State University. She studied at the Jung Institute in Zurich and graduated in the U.S. from the Inter-Regional Society of Jungian Analysts

& On Wednesday the Blood Jet Poetry Series is at BJs in the Bywater (4301 Burgundy) at 8PM. This week’s featured readers are local fiction writer Sara Jacobelli and NY poet Daniel Schoonebeck.

& Don’t forget to stop by and visit The Historic New Orleans Collection exhibition exploring the work of 1960s counterculture artists Jon and Louise “Gypsy Lou” Webb. The display, “Alternative Imprints: Jon Webb, Gypsy Lou, and the Hand-Sewn World of the Loujon Press,” will be on view in the Williams Research Center, located at 410 Chartres St., through Saturday, Nov. 16. Gallery hours are Tuesday–Saturday, 9:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m., and admission is free.

James Joyce: 1929 Reading of Anna Livia Plurabelle from Finnegan’s Wake September 30, 2013

Posted by Mark Folse in books, cryptic envelopment, literature, New Orleans, Odd Words, Toulouse Street.
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Well, you know or don’t you kennet or haven’t I told you every telling has a taling and that’s the he and the she of it. Look, look, the dusk is growing! My branches lofty are taking root. And my cold cher’s gone ashley. Fieluhr? Filou! What age is at? It saon is late. ‘Tis endless now senne eye or erewone last saw Waterhouse’s clogh. They took it asunder, I hurd thum sigh. When will they reassemble it? O, my back, my back, my bach! I’d want to go to Aches-les-Pains. Pingpong! There’s the Belle for Sexaloitez! And Concepta de Send-us-pray! Pang! Wring out the clothes! Wring in the dew! Godavari, vert the showers! And grant thaya grace! Aman. Will we spread them here now? Ay, we will. Flip ! Spread on your bank and I’ll spread mine on mine. Flep! It’s what I’m doing. Spread ! It’s churning chill. Der went is rising. I’ll lay a few stones on the hostel sheets. A man and his bride embraced between them. Else I’d have sprinkled and folded them only. And I’ll tie my butcher’s apron here. It’s suety yet. The strollers will pass it by. Six shifts, ten kerchiefs, nine to hold to the fire and this for the code, the convent napkins, twelve, one baby’s shawl. Good mother Jossiph knows, she said. Whose head? Mutter snores? Deataceas! Wharnow are alle her childer, say? In kingdome gone or power to come or gloria be to them farther? Allalivial, allalluvial! Some here, more no more, more again lost alla stranger. I’ve heard tell that same brooch of the Shannons was married into a family in Spain. And all the Dunders de Dunnes in Markland’s Vineland beyond Brendan’s herring pool takes number nine in yangsee’s hats. And one of Biddy’s beads went bobbing till she rounded up lost histereve with a marigold and a cobbler’s candle in a side strain of a main drain of a manzinahurries off Bachelor’s Walk. But all that’s left to the last of the Meaghers in the loup of the years prefixed and between is one kneebuckle and two hooks in the front. Do you tell me. that now? I do in troth. Orara por Orbe and poor Las Animas! Ussa, Ulla, we’re umbas all! Mezha, didn’t you hear it a deluge of times, ufer and ufer, respund to spond? You deed, you deed! I need, I need! It’s that irrawaddyng I’ve stoke in my aars. It all but husheth the lethest zswound. Oronoko ! What’s your trouble? Is that the great Finnleader himself in his joakimono on his statue riding the high horse there forehengist? Father of Otters, it is himself! Yonne there! Isset that? On Fallareen Common? You’re thinking of Astley’s Amphitheayter where the bobby restrained you making sugarstuck pouts to the ghostwhite horse of the Peppers. Throw the cobwebs from your eyes, woman, and spread your washing proper! It’s well I know your sort of slop. Flap! Ireland sober is Ireland stiff Lord help you, Maria, full of grease, the load is with me! Your prayers. I sonht zo! Madammangut! Were you lifting your elbow, tell us, glazy cheeks, in Conway’s Carrigacurra canteen? Was I what, hobbledyhips? Flop! Your rere gait’s creakorheuman bitts your butts disagrees. Amn’t I up since the damp dawn, marthared mary allacook, with Corrigan’s pulse and varicoarse veins, my pramaxle smashed, Alice Jane in decline and my oneeyed mongrel twice run over, soaking and bleaching boiler rags, and sweating cold, a widow like me, for to deck my tennis champion son, the laundryman with the lavandier flannels? You won your limpopo limp fron the husky hussars when Collars and Cuffs was heir to the town and your slur gave the stink to Carlow. Holy Scamander, I sar it again! Near the golden falls. Icis on us! Seints of light! Zezere! Subdue your noise, you hamble creature! What is it but a blackburry growth or the dwyergray ass them four old codgers owns. Are you meanam Tarpey and Lyons and Gregory? I meyne now, thank all, the four of them, and the roar of them, that draves that stray in the mist and old Johnny MacDougal along with them. Is that the Poolbeg flasher beyant, pharphar, or a fireboat coasting nyar the Kishtna or a glow I behold within a hedge or my Garry come back from the Indes? Wait till the honeying of the lune, love! Die eve, little eve, die! We see that wonder in your eye. We’ll meet again, we’ll part once more. The spot I’ll seek if the hour you’ll find. My chart shines high where the blue milk’s upset. Forgivemequick, I’m going! Bubye! And you, pluck your watch, forgetmenot. Your evenlode. So save to jurna’s end! My sights are swimming thicker on me by the shadows to this place. I sow home slowly now by own way, moy-valley way. Towy I too, rathmine.

Ah, but she was the queer old skeowsha anyhow, Anna Livia, trinkettoes! And sure he was the quare old buntz too, Dear Dirty Dumpling, foostherfather of fingalls and dotthergills. Gammer and gaffer we’re all their gangsters. Hadn’t he seven dams to wive him? And every dam had her seven crutches. And every crutch had its seven hues. And each hue had a differing cry. Sudds for me and supper for you and the doctor’s bill for Joe John. Befor! Bifur! He married his markets, cheap by foul, I know, like any Etrurian Catholic Heathen, in their pinky limony creamy birnies and their turkiss indienne mauves. But at milkidmass who was the spouse? Then all that was was fair. Tys Elvenland ! Teems of times and happy returns. The seim anew. Ordovico or viricordo. Anna was, Livia is, Plurabelle’s to be. Northmen’s thing made southfolk’s place but howmulty plurators made eachone in person? Latin me that, my trinity scholard, out of eure sanscreed into oure eryan! Hircus Civis Eblanensis! He had buckgoat paps on him, soft ones for orphans. Ho, Lord ! Twins of his bosom. Lord save us! And ho! Hey? What all men. Hot? His tittering daughters of. Whawk?

Can’t hear with the waters of. The chittering waters of. Flittering bats, fieldmice bawk talk. Ho! Are you not gone ahome? What Thom Malone? Can’t hear with bawk of bats, all thim liffeying waters of. Ho, talk save us ! My foos won’t moos. I feel as old as yonder elm. A tale told of Shaun or Shem? All Livia’s daughtersons. Dark hawks hear us. Night! Night! My ho head halls. I feel as heavy as yonder stone. Tell me of John or Shaun? Who were Shem and Shaun the living sons or daughters of? Night now! Tell me, tell me, tell me, elm! Night night! Telmetale of stem or stone. Beside the rivering waters of, hitherandthithering waters of. Night!

James Joyce

Whoops, nailed the wrong guy–Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. for Banned Books Week September 26, 2013

Posted by Mark Folse in books, literature, New Orleans, Odd Words, Toulouse Street.
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I have been picking examples from the famous obscenity cases, but here is one from the ongoing battle against the banning of books by school boards and others, Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451.

But the Gospels actually taught this: Before you kill somebody, make absolutely sure he isn’t well connected . . . The
flaw in the Christ stories, said the visitor from outer space, was that Christ who didn’t look like much, was actually the son of the Most Powerful Being in the Universe. Readers understood that, so, when they came to the crucifixion, they naturally thought . . .
Oh boy — they sure picked the wrong guy to lynch this time! And that thought had a brother: There are right people to lynch.
People not well connected . . . . The visitor from outer space made a gift to Earth of a new Gospel. In it, Jesus really WAS a
nobody, and a pain in the neck to a lot of people with better connections then he had . . . . So the people amused themselves one day by nailing him to a cross and planting the cross in the ground. There couldn’t possibly be any repercussions, the lynchers thought . . . since the new Gospel hammered home again and again what a nobody Jesus was. And then just before the nobody died . . . . The voice of God came crashing down. He told the people that he was adopting the bum as his son . . . God said this: From this moment on, He will punish horribly anybody who torments a bum who has no connections.’

Odd Words September 26, 2013

Posted by Mark Folse in books, literature, New Orleans, NOLA, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, publishing, Toulouse Street.
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& Thursday at 6 p.m. the UNO English Departments hosts Yeah, You Write!, a reading by undergraduate writers of poetry, fiction and non-fiction featuring Garrett Piglia, Jasmine Angel, Riley Bingham, Ryan Bonfanti, Shaima Washington, Sierz Martinez and William Web at the Sandbar.

& Also tonight at 6 p.m. Garden District Book Shop hosts Ava Leavell Haymon and Eldest Daughter, Poems. “In Eldest Daughter, Ava Leavell Haymon displays her mastery of the craft and engages us with the poetic gifts we have come to expect from her. As in previous collections, she combines the sensory and the spiritual in wild verbal fireworks. Concrete descriptions of a woman’s life in the mid-twentieth-century American South mix with wider concerns about family lies and truths, and culture that supports or forbids clear speech.”

& At 7 p.m. the Jefferson Parish East Bank Regional Library will offer a free screening of the film version of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 in honor of Banned Books Week.

& Press Street/Antenna Gallery is offering an OPEN STUDIO of after school academic tutoring & creative writing on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays from 3pm-5:30pm. The Gallery is located at 3718 St Claude Ave.

& Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. the Juju Bag Cafe, 5363 Franklin Ave., . presents a Spoken Word Showcase, with happy hour from 5-7 and open mic starting at 7:30 p.m. Check whodatpoets.com for featured performers.

& Odd Words usually doesn’t list plays, but how can I resist one written by a book store manager and set in a bookstore? What Do You Say to a Shadow? opens THIS FRIDAY at 7:30 PM, at the Shadowbox Theatre. In this original one-act by local author Michael Allen Zell, an old woman wanders into a French Quarter bookstore right before closing. As she tells her tale, woven with crime, New Orleans history, and books, the bookseller realizes there may be more to this person than meets the eye. Starring Big Easy Award winning actors Mary Pauley and Richard Mayer. Directed by Angela Jo Strohm. Final weekend Sept. 27-29th. 7:30 PM on Fridays. 7 PM on Saturdays and Sundays.

& Friday night Maple Street Book Shop hosts Texas gals and lifelong friends, Johnell Kelley and Robbyn Hill, a.k.a. Joan Rylen, signing their third and latest book, Big Easy Escapade 6-8PM. This is the third in their series of girl-get-aways turned mysteries.

& National Book Award winner Jesmyn Ward comes to Octavia Books Friday night to present and sign her new book, MEN WE REAPED at 6 p.m. In this stirring memoir, Jesmyn Ward contends with the deaths of five young men dear to her, and the still great risk of being a black man in the rural South. In five years, Jesmyn Ward lost five young men in her life—to drugs, accidents, suicide, and the bad luck that can follow people who live in poverty, particularly black men. Dealing with these losses, one after another, made Jesmyn ask the question: Why?

& Saturday at 10:30 a.m. the Main Branch of the New Orleans Public Library hosts Book Talk by Martha Fitzgerald and her book The Courtship of Two Doctors: A 1930 Love Story of Letters, Hope & Healing. Journalist Martha Fitzgerald will discuss her parents, who were two doctors in training, one in New Orleans, and one in Nebraska whose letters describe 1930s New Orleans and pre-antibiotics medicine.

& At 11 a.m. Maple Street books hosts Poppy Tooker signing her book Louisiana Eats 11:30-1PM at our Uptown shop (7529 Maple Street). A native New Orleanian, Poppy Tooker is passionate about food and the people who make it. She hosts the popular weekly radio show Louisiana Eats From which this book originates. From the transcripts of fifteen one-on-one interviews featuring specialists of iconic Louisiana foods, Tooker introduces the reader to the stories behind the everyday foods that make culinary history.

& Story Time with Miss Maureen at Maple Street Books at 11:30 am Saturday will feature Secret Pizza Party by Adam Rubin and Daniel Salmieri. Racoon loves pizza, but someone is always chasing him away from his favorite food with a broom! The solution? A secret pizza party, of course!

& The Algiers Regional Library will host a Banned Books Event Saturday at 2 p.m. All ages are invited to listen and read aloud from books that have been challenged or banned in schools, libraries and communities over the years. Special guest Susan Larson, host of WWNO’s The Reading Life will also share an exerpt from one of her favorite titles.

& Saturday at 3 p.m. the New Orleans event for the global 100,000 Poets for Change will host a reading/event to promote peace, justice and an ecologically sustainable way of life at the Zeitgeist Multi Disciplinary Arts Center Inc, 1618 Oretha C Haley Blvd, from 3-6 p.m. with a start-studded cast of local poets including include Jamie Bernstein, Johnette Downing, Mark Folse, Adelle Gautier, David Lanoue, Nanette Ledet, Delia Tomino Nakayama, Scott Nicholson, Melinda Palacio, Valentine Pierce, Kalamu ya Salaam and Mona Lisa Saloy. (I typed “star studded” before I remembered I was on the list. Really.)

& Sunday afternoon Octavia Books hosts a children’s book double-header. First, at 1 p.m. there is Denise Walter McConduit and THE BOY WHO WOULDN’T READ. In this captivating and hilarious illustrated poem, young readers will learn that a world without words is confusing and downright exhausting! Meet Robbie, who would rather hide under his desk and swing from chandeliers than read. At 2 p.m., it’s Rob Owen’s SPY BOY CHEYENNE, AND NINETY-SIX CRAYONS. This colorful journey demonstrates strength and independence while participating in important cultural and family traditions. An eight-year-old boy masks for the first time as Spy Boy in his Mardi Gras Indian tribe. His dad, Big Chief, and everyone else in the tribe, make suits in almost every color, including Goldenrod and Granny Smith Apple, just like the colors in Spy Boy’s crayon box. Spy Boy proudly leads his tribe down crowded New Orleans streets, but when he looks back, he discovers that he is lost and separated from his tribe. Follow Spy Boy as his spirit guide, Cheyenne, and his box of ninety-six crayons help him return to his family

& New Orleans Banned Book Week celebration at Le Nuit Comedy Theater will feature readings from Banned & Challenged Works by authors including Mark Folse, Lorin Gaudin, Denise W. McConduit, Kay Murphy, and Greg Herren. Also, music by Seva Venet’s Freedom of Jazz Trio! And a special screening of “Within Our Gates,” a film by Oscar Micheaux. I promise this will not be a family friendly event as I will be reading the first stroph of Allen Ginsberg’s “HOWL” including all the naughty bits that landed the book in an obscenity trial.

& At 3 p.m. Sunday, Octavia Books will then feature Carrie Brown and THE LAST FIRST DAY. From the author of The Rope Walk, here is the story of a woman’s life in its twilight, as she looks back on a harrowing childhood and on the unaccountable love and happiness that emerged from it. “Brown has accomplished one of literature’s most difficult feats-to write compellingly, and convincingly, about human happiness. The Last First Day is marvelous.” -Ron Rash, author of Serena and The Cove.

& Every Sunday at 3 p.m. he Maple Leaf Reading Series, the oldest continuous reading series in the south, founded by Everette Maddox, features guest poets and an open mic.

Sunday is Slam and Spoken Word Day in New Orleans:

& WhoDatPoets.com lists five Spoken Word shows on Sunday nights:

  • 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.
  • The Black Star Cafe, 800 Belleville St. in Algiers at 7 p.m.;
  • The Shadowbox Theater at 2400 St.Claude Ave. at 7 p.m.;
  • Espe’s Kitchen, 1743 N Broad St. at 7 p.m.; and,
  • the T******* Wine Lounge, 3001 Tulane Ave., doors at 7 p.m., Admission $5.

For phone numbers with more details on all these readings visit WHODATPOETS.COM.

& Monday’s meeting of the Fiction Writers Group at the East Jefferson Regional Library is cancelled.

& 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 6 p.m. Octavia Books features a presentation and booksigning by John Mosier celebrating the publication of his new book, VERDUN: The Lost History of the Most Important Battle of World War I, 1914-1918. Alongside Waterloo and Gettysburg, the Battle of Verdun during the First World War stands as one history’s greatest clashes. Yet it is also one of the most complex and misunderstood, in a war only imperfectly grasped. In VERDUN, historian John Mosier offers an insightful reassessment of this titanic struggle in time for the 100th anniversary of the war’s commencement in 2014 .

& The 1718 Society’s October Reading will be Tuesday at 7PM at The Columns Hotel. Author and journalist Daniel Brook is the featured reader. His most recent book is A History of Future Cities. In a captivating blend of history and reportage, Daniel Brook travels to a series of major metropolitan hubs that were once themselves instant cities— St. Petersburg, Shanghai, and Mumbai—to watch their “dress rehearsals for the twenty-first century.

& Also on Tuesday at 6 p.m. Garden District Books features Pamela Binnings Ewen’s An Accidental Life. New from lawyer-turned-novelist Pamela Binnings Ewen, An Accidental Life is fiction based on fact: the testimony of registered nurse Jill Stanek before a U.S. Congressional Committee confirming that it was routine for doctors in Chicago’s Christ Hospital to have nurses take infants born alive during abortions down to a “soiled utility room” and leave them to die.

& The East Jefferson hosts an Author Event! In Search of the Spirit World by John Werner Tuesday at 7 p.m. Werner discusses “all phases of the spirit world, particularly the powers of good and evil, heaven and hell, the difference between the spiritual abodes of man and angelic being, and more.” Werner was born a Catholic but he also comes from a family of psychics.

& On Tuesdays the Jefferson Parish Library Writers Group meets at the Westwego library from 7-9 pm.

& Every Tuesday night get on the list to spit at the longest running spoken word venue in New Orleans at Sweet Lorraine’s Jazz Club hosted by African-American Shakespear. Doors open at 7pm and the Mic pops at 8pm. It is $5 to get in.

& On Wednesday the Blood Jet Poetry Series is at BJs in the Bywater (4301 Burgundy) at 8PM. This week’s featured readers are poet/publisher Bill Lavender reading from his new novel Q & Jamie Bernstein reading from his "fictional biography" of James Booker.

& Don’t forget to stop by and visit The Historic New Orleans Collection exhibition exploring the work of 1960s counterculture artists Jon and Louise “Gypsy Lou” Webb. The display, “Alternative Imprints: Jon Webb, Gypsy Lou, and the Hand-Sewn World of the Loujon Press,” will be on view in the Williams Research Center, located at 410 Chartres St., through Saturday, Nov. 16. Gallery hours are Tuesday–Saturday, 9:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m., and admission is free.

Voices indecent by me clarified and transfigur’d: Leaves of Grass 24 for Banned Books Week September 26, 2013

Posted by Mark Folse in books, New Orleans, Odd Words, Poetry, Toulouse Street.
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24
Walt Whitman, a kosmos, of Manhattan the son,
Turbulent, fleshy, sensual, eating, drinking and breeding,
No sentimentalist, no stander above men and women or apart from them,
No more modest than immodest.

Unscrew the locks from the doors!
Unscrew the doors themselves from their jambs!

Whoever degrades another degrades me,
And whatever is done or said returns at last to me.

Through me the afflatus surging and surging, through me the current
and index.

I speak the pass-word primeval, I give the sign of democracy,
By God! I will accept nothing which all cannot have their
counterpart of on the same terms.

Through me many long dumb voices,
Voices of the interminable generations of prisoners and slaves,
Voices of the diseas’d and despairing and of thieves and dwarfs,
Voices of cycles of preparation and accretion,
And of the threads that connect the stars, and of wombs and of the
father-stuff,
And of the rights of them the others are down upon,
Of the deform’d, trivial, flat, foolish, despised,
Fog in the air, beetles rolling balls of dung.

Through me forbidden voices,
Voices of sexes and lusts, voices veil’d and I remove the veil,
Voices indecent by me clarified and transfigur’d.

I do not press my fingers across my mouth,
I keep as delicate around the bowels as around the head and heart,
Copulation is no more rank to me than death is.

I believe in the flesh and the appetites,
Seeing, hearing, feeling, are miracles, and each part and tag of me
is a miracle.

Divine am I inside and out, and I make holy whatever I touch or am
touch’d from,
The scent of these arm-pits aroma finer than prayer,
This head more than churches, bibles, and all the creeds.

If I worship one thing more than another it shall be the spread of
my own body, or any part of it,
Translucent mould of me it shall be you!
Shaded ledges and rests it shall be you!
Firm masculine colter it shall be you!
Whatever goes to the tilth of me it shall be you!
You my rich blood! your milky stream pale strippings of my life!
Breast that presses against other breasts it shall be you!
My brain it shall be your occult convolutions!
Root of wash’d sweet-flag! timorous pond-snipe! nest of guarded
duplicate eggs! it shall be you!
Mix’d tussled hay of head, beard, brawn, it shall be you!
Trickling sap of maple, fibre of manly wheat, it shall be you!
Sun so generous it shall be you!
Vapors lighting and shading my face it shall be you!
You sweaty brooks and dews it shall be you!
Winds whose soft-tickling genitals rub against me it shall be you!
Broad muscular fields, branches of live oak, loving lounger in my
winding paths, it shall be you!
Hands I have taken, face I have kiss’d, mortal I have ever touch’d,
it shall be you.

I dote on myself, there is that lot of me and all so luscious,
Each moment and whatever happens thrills me with joy,
I cannot tell how my ankles bend, nor whence the cause of my faintest wish,
Nor the cause of the friendship I emit, nor the cause of the
friendship I take again.

That I walk up my stoop, I pause to consider if it really be,
A morning-glory at my window satisfies me more than the metaphysics
of books.

To behold the day-break!
The little light fades the immense and diaphanous shadows,
The air tastes good to my palate.

Hefts of the moving world at innocent gambols silently rising
freshly exuding,
Scooting obliquely high and low.

Something I cannot see puts upward libidinous prongs,
Seas of bright juice suffuse heaven.

The earth by the sky staid with, the daily close of their junction,
The heav’d challenge from the east that moment over my head,
The mocking taunt, See then whether you shall be master!

OMG did he just say “vagina”? excerpts from Joyce’s Penelope episode from Ulysses for Banned Books Week September 25, 2013

Posted by Mark Folse in books, New Orleans, NOLA, Odd Words, Toulouse Street.
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Floey made me go to that dry old stick Dr Collins for womens diseases on Pembroke road your vagina he called it I suppose thats how he got all the gilt mirrors and carpets getting round those rich ones off Stephens green running up to him for every little fiddlefaddle her vagina and her cochinchina theyve money of course so theyre all right I wouldnt marry him not if he was the last man in the world besides theres something queer about their children always smelling around those filthy bitches all sides asking me if what I did had an offensive odour what did he want me to do but the one thing gold maybe what a question if I smathered it all over his wrinkly old face for him with all my compriments I suppose hed know then and could you pass it easily pass what I thought he was talking about the rock of Gibraltar the way he put it thats a very nice invention too by the way only I like letting myself down after in the hole as far as I can squeeze and pull the chain then to flush it nice cool pins and needles still theres something in it I suppose I always used to know by Millys when she was a child whether she had worms or not still all the same paying him for that how much is that doctor one guinea please and asking me had I frequent omissions where do those old fellows get all the words they have omissions with his shortsighted eyes on me cocked sideways I wouldnt trust him too far to give me chloroform or God knows what else still I liked him when he sat down to write the thing out frowning so severe his nose intelligent like that you be damned you lying strap O anything no matter who except an idiot he was clever enough to spot that of course that was all thinking of him and his mad crazy letters my Precious one everything connected with your glorious Body everything underlined that comes from it is a thing of beauty and of joy for ever something he got out of some nonsensical book that he had me always at myself 4 and 5 times a day sometimes and I said I hadnt are you sure O yes I said I am quite sure in a way that shut him up

Odd Words September 19, 2013

Posted by Mark Folse in books, literature, New Orleans, Odd Words, Poetry, Toulouse Street.
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& Press Street/Antenna Gallery is offering an OPEN STUDIO of after school academic tutoring & creative writing on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays from 3pm-5:30pm. The Gallery is located at 3718 St Claude Ave.

& Thursday at 4 pm Octavia Books hosts children’s author Michael Buckley, the bestselling and highly entertaining author of The Sisters Grimm and NERDS series. He will talk about and sign both series, including his latest and final The Sisters Grimm, Book Nine – THE COUNCIL OF MIRRORS – and his about-to-be-released NERDS, Book Five – ATTACK OF THE BULLIES.

& Following Buckley, at 5 p.m. Octavia features three YA authors. Lauren Myracle, the #1 most banned author in America, returns to Octavia Books to present and sign THE INFINITE MOMENT OF US. a warm examination of ordinary teens in a contemporary YA novel that celebrates friendship, romance, and the intensity of first love. Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian when they come to Octavia Books to discuss and sign their new joint novel, FIRE WITH FIRE. When sweet revenge turns sour… Book two of a trilogy from New York Times bestselling author Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian.

& Thursday at 6 p.m. Maple Street Book Shops hosts poet Melissa Ginsburg will be at our Uptown location Thursday, September 19th, at 6PM. She will read from her latest collection, Dear Weather Ghost. Irish musician and writer Danny Ellis will also be signing his memoir, The Boy at the Gate.

& Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. the Juju Bag Cafe, 5363 Franklin Ave., . presents a Spoken Word Showcase, with happy hour from 5-7 and open mic starting at 7:30 p.m. Check whodatpoets.com for featured performers.

& Thursday at 8 p.m. The Shadow Box theater presents Picolla Tushy Presents booze, broads and bukowski, An hour long mixture of story telling, signing, and some burlesque honoring one of the most loved and/or hated poets of all time, Charles Bukowski, performed by women who love him, hate him, try to understand him, and enjoy him. It’s not your typical poetry reading for his was not your typical poetry.

& Thursday at the Jefferson Parish East Bank Regional Library the Great Books Club meets to discuss Sinclair Lewis’ Main Street.

& Odd Words usually doesn’t list plays, but how can I resist one written by a book store manager and set in a bookstore? What Do You Say to a Shadow? opens THIS FRIDAY at 7:30 PM, at the Shadowbox Theatre. In this original one-act by local author Michael Allen Zell, an old woman wanders into a French Quarter bookstore right before closing. As she tells her tale, woven with crime, New Orleans history, and books, the bookseller realizes there may be more to this person than meets the eye. Starring Big Easy Award winning actors Mary Pauley and Richard Mayer. Directed by Angela Jo Strohm. September 13-15, 20-22, and 27-29th. 7:30 PM on Fridays. 7 PM on Saturdays and Sundays.

& Poetry & Pink Ribbons continues its annual series of Write to Wellness workshops. Local NOLA writers lead creative writing workshops and wellness exercises for breast cancer patients, survivors, family and friends. Bring your story. Leave inspired. The instructors include Jarvis DeBerry, Alison Perlegrin Kelly Harris, Maurice Ruffin and Kysha Brown Robinson. There will be a reading by participants of their work on Oct. 19.

& Saturday Octavia Books hosts a children’s book double header. Come meet Anna Dewdney, author and illustrator of the bestselling Llama Llama books, while she is visiting Octavia Books to sign her books. This will be an amazing opportunity to purchase signed editions of her new book, Llama Llama and the Bully Goat, as well as some old favorites. Also featured is ]Annie Barrows. Listen to her new Ivy + Bean adventure, IVY + BEAN TAKE THE CASE. Watch out, you diabolical masterminds! There’s a new detective on Pancake Court: Bean! She laughs at danger! She solves even the most mysterious mysteries! What? There aren’t any mysteries? Then Bean and her assistant, Ivy, will make some.

& Poems & Pink Ribbons: Write for Wellness continues its series in which local NOLA writers lead creative writing workshops and wellness exercises for breast cancer patients, survivors, family and friends. Bring your story. Leave inspired. Poetry Writing Workshops continue through Saturdays October 12, 10 a.m. – Noon at the Keller Library and Community Center.

& Saturday at 11:30 am Maple Street Bookshop hosts Andrea Beaty who’ll be reading and signing her latest picture book Rosie Revere, Engineer is a beautifully-illustrated tale of a girl and her dream to become a great engineer, written by the same powerhouse team that brought us Iggy Peck, Architect. It’s currently number 8 on the New York Times Best Seller List.

& Sunday at 2 pm Garden District Book Shop hosts Frederick Starr and Robert Brantley’s Une Belle Maison: The Lombard Plantation House in New Orlean’s Bywater. Described in an 1835 bill of sale as “une belle maison,” the Lombard plantation house is a rare survivor. Built in the early nineteenth century as a West Indian-style residence, it was the focal point of a large plantation that stretched deep into the cypress swamps of what is now New Orleans’s Bywater neighborhood. Featuring the best Norman trussing in North America, it was one of many plantations homes and grand residences that lined the Mississippi downriver from the French Quarter. This is the story of the rise, fall, and eventual resurrection of one of America’s finest extant examples of West Indian Creole architecture and of the entire neighborhood of which it is an anchor.

& Ever Sunday at 3 p.m. he Maple Leaf Reading Series, the oldest continuous reading series in the south, founded by Everette Maddox, features guest poets and an open mic.

Sunday is Slam and Spoken Word Day in New Orleans:

& WhoDatPoets.com lists four Spoken Word shows on Sunday nights:

  • 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.
  • The Black Star Cafe, 800 Belleville St. in Algiers at 7 p.m.;
  • The Shadowbox Theater at 2400 St.Claude Ave. at 7 p.m.;
  • Espe’s Kitchen, 1743 N Broad St. at 7 p.m.; and,
  • the T—–y Wine Lounge, 3001 Tulane Ave., doors at 7 p.m., Admission $5.

For phone numbers with more details on all these readings visit WHODATPOETS.COM. (If I don’t block out the name of the location at 3001 Tulane, Facebook will reject my ad for promoting alcohol. Go figure.)

& Monday at 6 pm Octavia Books features Margaret Wrinkl, whose Wash takes us on an unforgettable journey across continents and through time, from the burgeoning American South to West Africa and deep into the ancestral stories that reside in the soul. WASH introduces a remarkable new voice in American literature. “A masterly literary work . . . Wrinkle’s novel does not allow us to draw easy correlations but invites us to consider the painful inheritance and implications of such a horrendous moment in American history. Rather than disapproving opprobrium and diatribes, this debut occasions celebration. Haunting, tender and superbly measured, Wash is both redemptive and affirming.” —Major Jackson, The New York Times Book Review.

Monday’s Writers Group at the East Jefferson Regional Library will host guest authors Mary Manhein and Chuck Hustmyre. As director of the Forensic Anthropology and Computer Enhancement Services (FACES) Laboratory at Louisiana State University, Manhein unravels mysteries of life and death every day. Manhein, an expert on the human skeleton, assists law enforcement by providing profiles of remains that narrow the identification process when the traditional means used by medical examiners or coroners to conduct autopsies are no longer applicable — simply put, when bones are all that are left to tell the story. She assesses age, sex, race, height, signs of trauma, and time since death, and creates clay facial reconstructions. She is the author of fiction and nonfiction books; her latest mystery is Floating Bodies: The Canal Murders. Chuck Hustmyre is a bestselling author of fiction and nonfiction books and a screenwriter. He wrote the Lionsgate movies “House of the Rising Sun” and “End of the Gun.” Before embarking on a full-time writing career, Hustmyre spent 20 years in law enforcement, specializing in violent crime, drug and fugitive investigations. He was born in Baton Rouge and spent most of his law enforcement career in New Orleans

& 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 4 p.m. Poet-Teacher Delia Tomino Nakayama meets with interested teens and their Parents at poetry workshops initiated especially for teenagers at the Children’s Resource Center of the New Orleans Public Library.

& At the Nix Branch on Tuesday at 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. author Curtis J. Johnson signs Glimpses of Black Life Along Bayou Lafourche. All proceeds will go to the River Road African American Museum in Donaldsonville

& Tuesday at 6 pm Octavia Books hosts a book launch party celebrating the release of HARLOW, the new novel by David Armand, author of The Pugilist’s Wife (winner of the 2010 George Garrett Fiction Prize). David will give a reading and sign copies.vTaking place over the course of three abysmally cold winter days in the late 1980s, HARLOW tells the story of eighteen-year-old Leslie Somers, a boy who trudges his way through the dark Louisiana backwoods in search of his father, a man whom he has never met.

& Also on Tuesday at 6 pm Garden District Book Shop features Stephen Maitland-Lewis’s novel Ambition, the tale of George Tazoli, an ambitious dealer on the trading floor of a prominent California bank embroiled in romantic and boardroom machinations who learns that even wealth has a price.

& The East Jefferson Regional Library hosts an author event on Tuesday featuring Lisa Brown’s Posing as Nuns, Passing for White: The Gouley Sisters. Brown has documented and published a fascinating history of a somewhat eccentric and short lived order of 19th century nuns in New Orleans. It’s a story of three biological sisters, women of color, who established their own religious order, The Sisters of Our Lady of Lourdes, in 1883. Archbishop Napoleon Perché gave them permission to found the community in 1883, but after his death the same year, the Gouley sisters’ racial ambiguity – they apparently lived as white but appeared in church sacramental records as “colored”—and having closed their order to include only blood relatives, kept them an obscure and officially unrecognized entity within the local Catholic Church

& At the Maple Street Book Shop on Tuesday Saul Conrad, from Boston, who is touring in support of his new LP, will be playing at Maple Street Book Shop Tuesday, September 24th, at 7PM. “Conrad writes and sings at the intersection of Jonathan Richman and Daniel Johnston”, says the Boston Globe, while the Utne Reader has quoted the music as “existing on the far fringes of indie folk.” Singer/songwriter Ruby Ross will be opening.

& On Tuesdays the Jefferson Parish Library Writers Group meets at the Westwego library from 7-9 pm. Also, the East Bank Regional Library presents their weekly local author event featuring Sue Campbell’s Conversations in Heaven, The Amazing Journey at 7 p.m.

& Every Tuesday night get on the list to spit at the longest running spoken word venue in New Orleans at Sweet Lorraine’s Jazz Club hosted by African-American Shakespear. Doors open at 7pm and the Mic pops at 8pm. It is $5 to get in.

& On Wednesday at 2 p.m. in University of new Orleans LA 236 at Les White, Lisa Verner, and Neal Walsh discuss the books that changed their lives. We’ll have snacks and cold drinks for your enjoyment! Open to the public.

& Wednesday evening at 6pm celebrate the new issue of Louisiana Cultural Vistas, the LEH’s award-winning quarterly magazine dedicated to the culture and history of our state. This is our sixth publication party at the Louisiana Humanities Center, each of them a festive, salon-style party sponsored by Abita Brewery and Zapp’s Chips. Presenting this time are issue contributors: Rachel Emanuel and AP Turead, Jr., discussing their article on Turead’s experience as the first African-American undergrad at LSU in 1953; Novelist David Armand, who’ll read from his new novel, Harlow, excerpted in the magazine and published this month by Texas A&M University Press; Rich, Tee, and Shirley Marvin, the collectors behind the Noel Rockmore exhibit currently at the Louisiana Art and Science Museum, and the subject of this issue’s cover story.

& On Wednesday the Blood Jet Poetry Series is at BJs in the Bywater (4301 Burgundy) at 8PM.

& Also at 8 pm Wednesday Esoterotica’s sexy literary provocateurs are doing it again… going completely unthemed, and that means anything goes! We’ve been saving some very special work for just this night, and you’re not going to want to miss it. Plus, in case you didn’t know, it’s also Banned Books Week and of course we at Esoterotica love to celebrate our Freedom to Read!

& Don’t forget to stop by and visit The Historic New Orleans Collection exhibition exploring the work of 1960s counterculture artists Jon and Louise “Gypsy Lou” Webb. The display, “Alternative Imprints: Jon Webb, Gypsy Lou, and the Hand-Sewn World of the Loujon Press,” will be on view in the Williams Research Center, located at 410 Chartres St., through Saturday, Nov. 16. Gallery hours are Tuesday–Saturday, 9:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m., and admission is free.

Odd Words September 12, 2013

Posted by Mark Folse in 504, books, literature, New Orleans, NOLA, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, publishing, reading, Toulouse Street.
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This week: The Booklover’s Guide to New Orleans, Poetry & Pink Ribbons and a play within a, um, bookstore.

& Thursday at 6 p.m. Octavia Books hosts the launch of The Booklover’s Guide to New Orleans, Susan Larson’s informative response to questions most frequently asked her as book editor of the Times-Picayune. Tourists and locals alike want to know what to read, where authors lived, which bookstores to browse, and when literary festivals are scheduled. Now all the answers can be found in this one convenient volume, the only complete directory of New Orleans’s “write life” available.. “Larson’s guide includes: a brief history of the fiction writers, poets, journalists, playwrights, historians, critics, essayists, and others who have flirted with the Crescent City’s muse across the years; a tour of both famous and lesser-known sites throughout the literary landscape, including authors’ homes and hangouts; an extensive reading list of favorite New Orleans titles in categories from mysteries to cooking; and a catalog of bookstores, libraries, literary events, and other resources.

& Thursday also features a Book Release party for the newest poetry collection from Trembling Pillow Press, Laura Goldstein’s loaded arc. Laura Goldstein will be reading from her new collection along with SPECIAL GUEST JS MAKKOS, who will also be performing and releasing his newest chapbook. The launch will be at 1501 St. Roch Avenue at 8 p.m. Goldstein has published six chapbooks as well as poetry and essays in the Denver Quarterly, American Letters and Commentary, MAKE Magazine, How2, Jacket2 and other fine publications. Laura holds degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, Temple University and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She teaches Writing and Literature at Loyola University and co-curates the Red Rover Series with Jennifer Karmin. She lives in Chicago with her husband, artist Brett Ian Balogh. loaded arc is her first full-length collection of poetry. JS MAKKOS is the publisher at Language Foundry, a print maker and poet.

& This is a music event but Jonathan Brown, who is also in the M.F.A. program at U.N.O, is the featured performer. He moved from a hip-hop orientation into music and toss in the M.F.A. and I’m putting this in. Also, Liz Hogan, another M.F.A. candidate at U.N.O., will be performing with the band Shiz. At the Allways Lounge, doors at 7, show at 8. Just in case you thought M.F.A. candidates were a staid lot of elbow patches and girls in glasses, come check this out.

& Press Street/Antenna Gallery is offering an OPEN STUDIO of after school academic tutoring & creative writing on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays from 3pm-5:30pm. The Gallery is located at 3718 St Claude Ave.

& Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. the Juju Bag Cafe, 5363 Franklin Ave., . presents a Spoken Word Showcase, with happy hour from 5-7 and open mic starting at 7:30 p.m. Check whodatpoets.com for featured performers.

& Thursday The Power of Poetry: A Workshop For Teens workshop sponsored by the Poets & Writers Inc. and led by Poet-Teacher Delia Tomino Nakayama continues at the NOPL Children’s Resource Center Branch, 913 Napoleon Ave. There are workshops today, Monday, Sept. 16, Wednesday Sept. 18, all from 4-6 p.m.

& On Friday at 1:30 p.m. the Walker Percy Center at Loyola University will host Mark LaFlaur reading from and discussing his book Elysian Fields in the cozy living room of Loyola’s Monroe Library. The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served. Maple Street Book Shop will be onsite selling books. LaFluers quirky and compelling tale of two brothers in New Orleans, one a poet seeking to escape his ailing mother and his brother and flee to San Francisco, received starred reviews from both Kirkus Reviews and Publisher’s Weekly.

& Also on Friday at 7 p.m. Maple Street Book Shops hosts a launch party for the latest copy of the New Orleans Review. The new Fall issue is a set of 8 pieces (fiction, nonfiction, and poetry). A number of NOR editors and writers will read brief excerpts from some of the pieces. Wine and cheese will be served prior to the reading.

& Odd Words usually doesn’t list plays, but how can I resist one written by a book store manager and set in a bookstore? What Do You Say to a Shadow? opens THIS FRIDAY at 7:30 PM, at the Shadowbox Theatre. In this original one-act by local author Michael Allen Zell, an old woman wanders into a French Quarter bookstore right before closing. As she tells her tale, woven with crime, New Orleans history, and books, the bookseller realizes there may be more to this person than meets the eye. Starring Big Easy Award winning actors Mary Pauley and Richard Mayer. Directed by Angela Jo Strohm. September 13-15, 20-22, and 27-29th. 7:30 PM on Fridays. 7 PM on Saturdays and Sundays.

& Starting this Saturday Poetry & Pink Ribbons begins in annual series of Write to Wellness workshops. Local NOLA writers lead creative writing workshops and wellness exercises for breast cancer patients, survivors, family and friends. Bring your story. Leave inspired. The instructors include Jarvis DeBerry, Alison Perlegrin Kelly Harris, Maurice Ruffin and Kysha Brown Robinson. There will be a reading by participants of their work on Oct. 19.

& Saturdays Maple Street Bookshop hosts Story Time with Miss Maureen at 11:30 a.m. This week features The Dark by Lemony Snicket, my favorite children’s author pen name of all time. Laszlo is afraid of the dark. The dark lives in the same house as Laszlo. Mostly, though, the dark stays in the basement and doesn’t come into Lazslo’s room. But one night, it does.

& Saturday night the Tender Loin reading series continues at Kajuns Pub at 7 p.m. featuring JOSEPH MAKKOS, and visiting poets LAURA GOLDSTEIN and DANIELA OLSZEWKA! Cold Cuts is a poetry reading interested in performance and a performance interested in reading poetry. Each reading will consist of 3 – often on the theme of 2 poets and a 3rd weird thing: the performative. But we encourage all our poets to perform and all our performances to poet. We like to showcase our TENDER LOIN writers, and we like to showcase local artists. We also like your butt.

& There will be no Sunday reading at the Maple Leaf Reading Series, the oldest continuous reading series in the south, founded by Everette Maddox, due to the Saints game. Or rather due to the stadium-sized sound system that goes with their giant TV screen. It’s a great place to watch the game if you want to feel like you’re in the Dome. Not so great for poetry readings in the back.

& The Scholastic Writing Awards of Southeast Louisiana will kick off their annual competition this Sunday at the University of New Orleans Alumni Center at 4 p.m. featuring readings and performances by past Scholastic winners and Team Slam New Orleans, along with appearances by John Biguenet and Susan Larson. Students, take this chance to register early for the Write@UNO Weekend Workshops–a limited number of spots are available!

Sunday is Slam and Spoken Word Day in New Orleans:

& WhoDatPoets.com lists four Spoken Word shows on Sunday nights:

  • 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.
  • The Black Star Cafe, 800 Belleville St. in Algiers at 7 p.m.;
  • The Shadowbox Theater at 2400 St.Claude Ave. at 7 p.m.;
  • Espe’s Kitchen, 1743 N Broad St. at 7 p.m.; and,
  • the T—–y Wine Lounge, 3001 Tulane Ave., doors at 7 p.m., Admission $5.

For phone numbers with more details on all these readings visit WHODATPOETS.COM. (If I don’t block out the name of the location at 3001 Tulane, Facebook will reject my ad for promoting alcohol. Go figure.)

& The Haiku Society of New Orleans monthy meeting this Monday will be at the Coffee Shop at 5335 Freret. 6-8pm and dinner across the street at Origami, as the Latter Memorial Library is under constructions. Free and open to all haiku lovers.

& 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 4 p.m. Poet-Teacher Delia Tomino Nakayama meets with interested teens and their Parents at poetry workshops initiated especially for teenagers at the Children’s Resource Center of the New Orleans Public Library.

& On Tuesday at 6 p.m. at The Garden District Bookshop Pat Kogos discusses and signs her book, Priory, Louisiana. In August 2005, Hurricane Katrina enters the Gulf of Mexico, and coastal residents flee the chaos. In the plantation town of Priory, Louisiana, guest rooms of a local inn, The Retreat, become shelter from the storm. Evacuees bond at The Retreat over shared heartache. They watch in disbelief as homes get swept to sea. Loved ones go missing. Passions ignite. No one will escape untouched.Priory, Louisiana is a story about the relentless nature of regret, the puzzling role of God in human suffering, and the opportunity to reinvent yourself after the life you know has washed away.

& Also on Tuesday at 6 p.m. Octavia Books hosts the release event with Poppy Tooker along with photographer David Spielman for <e & m>LOUISIANA EATS! This book gives readers an in-depth, behind the scenes look at Louisiana food producers and personalities interviewed on her popular WWNO (NPR affiliate) radio show of the same name. LOUISIANA EATS! features portrait photographs by David Spielman, revealing faces – some familiar and some, previously unknown who are the subject of each chapter.

& Tuesday at the Allways Lounge at 7 p.m. author Andy Reynolds debuts his novel Spectacle of the Extension. Reading fropm the book on Tuesday will be Sophia Vibra Horodysky and Moose Jackson Jackson will also perform with his band Shock Patina. ” “A young painter armed with a sarcastic tongue and the ability to pull amazing espresso shots, Em has moved across the country to shed her past and lose herself in her artistic process. One night the painting she’s been working on for months comes to life, its presence causing her to question the decisions she’s made and her relationship with reality.”

& On Tuesdays the Jefferson Parish Library Writers Group meets at the Westwego library from 7-9 pm. Also, the East Bank Regional Library presents their weekly local author event featuring Sue Campbell’s Conversations in Heaven, The Amazing Journey at 7 p.m.

& Every Tuesday night get on the list to spit at the longest running spoken word venue in New Orleans at Sweet Lorraine’s Jazz Club hosted by African-American Shakespear. Doors open at 7pm and the Mic pops at 8pm. It is $5 to get in.

& On Wednesday at 2 p.m. in University of new Orleans LA 236 at Les White, Lisa Verner, and Neal Walsh discuss the books that changed their lives. We’ll have snacks and cold drinks for your enjoyment! Open to the public.

& On Wednesday the Blood Jet Poetry Series is at BJs in the Bywater (4301 Burgundy) at 8PM. Featured will be Desireee V. Dallagiacomo, and Thaddeus Conti extemporizing over images from his recently published art book Coloring Book for the Criminally Insane from Gallatin & Toulouse Press. Open mic to follow our features, limited sign up.

& Don’t forget to stop by and visit The Historic New Orleans Collection exhibition exploring the work of 1960s counterculture artists Jon and Louise “Gypsy Lou” Webb. The display, “Alternative Imprints: Jon Webb, Gypsy Lou, and the Hand-Sewn World of the Loujon Press,” will be on view in the Williams Research Center, located at 410 Chartres St., through Saturday, Nov. 16. Gallery hours are Tuesday–Saturday, 9:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m., and admission is free.

Odd Words August 22, 2013

Posted by Mark Folse in books, literature, New Orleans, NOLA, Odd Words, Poetry, Toulouse Street.
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August is winding down and at least one bookstore is back from Maine, or wherever it is fabulously wealthy indie bookstore owners go in August. (Just kidding).

& This Thursday Octavia Books presents James A. Cobb, Jr.’s FLOOD OF LIES. In August 2005, the world looked on in horror as thirty-five residents of St. Rita’s Nursing Home perished beneath the rising waters of Hurricane Katrina. Louisiana’s attorney general immediately targeted the owners of St. Rita’s, Sal and Mabel Mangano, for prosecution. A national media frenzy erupted, labeling the couple as selfish, cold-hearted killers, willing to let beloved parents and grandparents drown—but the reality was much different. Flood of Lies tells the real story of the Manganos: a couple who sacrificed everything to save the lives of their beloved residents. “When an elderly couple are charged with murder in the drowning deaths of thirty-five bed-ridden residents of St. Rita’s Nursing Home, an emotional edge-of-your-seat thriller takes off like a shot! The players: a wily and profane defense lawyer, a ferocious prosecutor, devastated families of the victims, and a ravenous media that brands the defendants ‘Monsters of Hurricane Katrina.’ My advice—block out enough time to read this wonderful book in one sitting.”
—John Berendt, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

& Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. the Juju Bag Cafe, 5363 Franklin Ave., presents a Spoken Word Showcase, with happy hour from 5-7 and open mic starting at 7:30 p.m. Check whodatpoets.com for featured performers.

& Saturdays Maple Street Bookshop hosts Story Time with Miss Maureen at 11:30 a.m.

& Sunday at 1 p.m. Octavia Books hosts storytime and a booksigning with Alex McConduit featuring his latest children’s picture books, THORN IN MY HORN, about a young musician in New Orleans who LOVES to play his horn. His mother, on the other hand, cannot stand to hear the noise! She’s literally a thorn in his horn! This beautiful book includes detailed illustrations by Darrell Rollo that accurately depict the French Quarter, Jackson Square and other iconic places in The Big Easy. THORN IN MY HORN is a rhyming, children’s picture book suitable for ages 3 and up.

& 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. This week poet Valentine Pierce reads from her work, followed by an open mike. In the back patio, weather permitting. Periodic features and an open mic every Sunday.

& WhoDatPoets.com lists four Spoken Word shows on Sunday nights:

  • 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.
  • The Black Star Cafe, 800 Belleville St. in Algiers at 7 p.m.;
  • The Shadowbox Theater at 2400 St.Claude Ave. at 6 p.m.;
  • Espe’s Kitchen, 1743 N Broad St. at 7 p.m.;
  • and,
    <li<the T*e*r*p* Wine Lounge, 3001 Tulane Ave., doors at 9 p.m., Admission $5.

For phone numbers with more details on all these readings visit WHODATPOETS.COM. (If I don’t block out the name of the location at 3001 Tulane, Facebook will reject my ad for promoting alcohol. Go figure.)

& 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 Tuesdays the Jefferson Parish Library Writers Group meets at the Westwego library from 7-9 pm.

& Every Tuesday night get on the list to spit at the longest running spoken word venue in New Orleans at Sweet Lorraine’s Jazz Club hosted by African-American Shakespear. Doors open at 7pm and the Mic pops at 8pm. It is $5 to get in.

& Tuesday at Cafe Istanbul Art Klub of New Orleans hosts Literary Speaking at Cafe Istanbul hosted by Ben Mintz of NOLA Defender and featuring writers Chuck Perkins, Moose Jackson and Ross Peter Nelson. $5 or FREE for Art Klub Members (click “get tickets” to become a member now). Event at 7 p.m. “Open Jelly” microphone follows at $10.

Wednesday at 4 p.m. Octavia Books features a children’s book event: Farmer Brown and all the cows reunite this August as children’s book author Doreen Cronin and illustrator Betsy Lewin are releasing a brand new picture book CLICK, CLACK, BOO! And, they are on their way to Octavia Books to meet you, and read and sign book for you. Farmer Brown does not like Halloween. So he draws the shades, puts on his footy pajamas, and climbs into bed. But do you think the barnyard animals have any respect for a man in footy pajamas? No, they do not. For them, the Halloween party has just begun. And we all know these critters far prefer tricks over treats. 1There are big surprises in store for Farmer Brown! Doreen Cronin is the author of many bestselling picture books, including Thump, Quack, Moo: A Whacky Adventure; Bounce; Wiggle; Duck for President; Giggle, Giggle, Quack; Dooby Dooby Moo; and the Caldecott Honor Book Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type

& This Wednesday in the back room of Buffa’s Bar, poet and artist Thaddeus Conti presents a performance of Felonious Drunk and his Unmentionables reunion tour, a lounge act performance piece. Buffa’s open mic follows and welcomes all performers.

Odd Words August 14, 2013

Posted by Mark Folse in books, literature, New Orleans, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, publishing, spoken word, Toulouse Street.
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Yes, it’s August so there’s not much to list. This week’s featured event is the Esoterotica fundraiser for Storyville Rising! If you’re a hot mess this week and an erotic evening sounds like something you are, um, up for, do check it out. It’s one of the best performance and writing open mics in town.

Also, today is the last day to submit entries in the Tennessee Williams Festival Poetry Contest for 2014. Judge will be former poet laureate Robert Pinsky. Details and guidelines are here: http://con13.tennesseewilliams.net/poetry-contest/

& Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. the Juju Bag Cafe, 5363 Franklin Ave., presents a Spoken Word Showcase, with happy hour from 5-7 and open mic starting at 7:30 p.m. Check whodatpoets.com for featured performers.

& Saturdays Maple Street Bookshop hosts Story Time with Miss Maureen at 11:30 a.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.

& WhoDatPoets.com lists four Spoken Word shows on Sunday nights:

  • 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.
  • The Black Star Cafe, 800 Belleville St. in Algiers at 7 p.m.;
  • The Shadowbox Theater at 2400 St.Claude Ave. at 6 p.m.;
  • Espe’s Kitchen, 1743 N Broad St. at 7 p.m.;
  • and,
    <li<the T*e*r*p* Wine Lounge, 3001 Tulane Ave., doors at 9 p.m., Admission $5.

For phone numbers with more details on all these readings visit WHODATPOETS.COM. (If I don’t block out the name of the location at 3001 Tulane, Facebook will reject my ad for promoting alcohol. Go figure.)

& 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 Tuesdays the Jefferson Parish Library Writers Group meets at the Westwego library from 7-9 pm.

& Every Tuesday night get on the list to spit at the longest running spoken word venue in New Orleans at Sweet Lorraine’s Jazz Club hosted by African-American Shakespear. Doors open at 7pm and the Mic pops at 8pm. It is $5 to get in.

& This Wednesday in the back room of Buffa’s Bar, poet and artist Thaddeus Conti presents a performance of Felonious Drunk and his Unmentionables reunion tour, a lounge act performance piece. Buffa’s open mic follows and welcomes all performers.

& Also Wednesday at 8 pm Esoterotica’s local provocateurs not only bring you ’50 Shades of Esoterotica’ An Evening of All Original Kink and Fetish Erotica… but also, a prelude to and Fundraiser for the upcoming Storyville Rising Erotic Arts Festival! And as such we will have a host of inspired delights for you to indulge in. Storyville Rising! is a multi-sensory experience devoted to erotic arts in all its forms, music, dance, literature and more… For more information about it and all its sensual delights, see the event posting: https://www.facebook.com/events/146813455516596/

Odd Words August 7, 2013

Posted by Mark Folse in books, literature, New Orleans, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, publishing, Toulouse Street.
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Summertime, and the living is queasy. Sun’s so hot, the heat index so high. If you were an author would you want to bring your book tour to New Orleans in August? I didn’t think so. This week is mostly regular, recurring events. Fall however is right around the corner, and that will mean the return of events like the 1718 Reading Series at the Columns Hotel and other reading venues around town. August is the perfect time to grab that fat book you’ve been holding onto unread all this time. Just collapse in the A/C or, if you’re an old-fashioned soul, on the porch under the fan and try to forget the heat. Ice tea helps. Pimm’s Cups help even better.

& Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. the Juju Bag Cafe, 5363 Franklin Ave., presents a Spoken Word Showcase, with happy hour from 5-7 and open mic starting at 7:30 p.m. Check whodatpoets.com for featured performers.

& Every 1st, 2nd, and 4th Friday catch one of the city’s newest spots… TURNT UP FRIDAYS Live In The Treme at Garage Cafe 1532 Dumaine St. New Orleans. Open Mic format with weekly features. Hosted by Blue Orleenz and Sabrina Hayes. $6 to get in

& Saturdays Maple Street Bookshop hosts Story Time with Miss Maureen at 11:30 a.m. This week’s featured book is The Story of Babar the Little Elephant by Jean de Brunhoff. Translated from Jean de Brunhoff’s original French, the adventures of the world’s most popular elephant and his friends have enchanted three generations.

& Saturday Night at 7 p.m. TENDE RLOIN magazine’s choicest reading series”is slitting itself wide open in August!” Come poets and performers and fiction writers and riffraff.

& 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.

& WhoDatPoets.com lists four Spoken Word shows on Sunday nights: 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. There are also open mics at The Black Star Cafe, 800 Belleville St. in Algiers at 7 p.m.; The Shadowbox Theater at 2400 St.Claude Ave. at 6 p.m.; Espe’s Kitchen, 1743 N Broad St. at 7 p.m.; and, the T****** Wine Lounge, 3001 Tulane Ave., doors at 9 p.m., Admission $5. For phone numbers with more details on all these readings visit WHODATPOETS.COM. (If I don’t block out the name of the location at 3001 Tulane, Facebook will reject my ad for promoting alcohol. Go figure.)

& 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 evening at 6 p.m. Octavia Books hosts a book signing and reading with New Orleans author George Bishop featuring his hew novel, NIGHT OF THE COMET. From acclaimed author of Letter to My Daughter George Bishop—hailed by Pat Conroy as a “novelist to keep your eye on”—comes THE NIGHT OF THE COMET. This engrossing coming-of-age tale deftly conveys the hopes and heartaches of adolescence, the unfulfilled dreams that divide a family, and the subtle class distinctions that shape a community, played out against the backdrop of a small southern town in 1973.

& On Tuesdays the Jefferson Parish Library Writers Group meets at the Westwego library from 7-9 pm.

& Every Tuesday night get on the list to spit at the longest running spoken word venue in New Orleans at Sweet Lorraine’s Jazz Club hosted by African-American Shakespear. Doors open at 7pm and the Mic pops at 8pm. It is $5 to get in.

& This Wednesday in the back room of Buffa’s Bar, poet and artist Thaddeus Conti presents a performance of Felonious Drunk and his Unmentionables reunion tour, a lounge act performance piece. Buffa’s open mic follows and welcomes all performers.

Odd Words August 1, 2013

Posted by Mark Folse in books, literature, New Orleans, Odd Words, Poetry, Toulouse Street.
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& Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. the Juju Bag Cafe, 5363 Franklin Ave., presents a Spoken Word Showcase, with happy hour from 5-7 and open mic starting at 7:30 p.m. Check whodatpoets.com for featured performers.

& This Thursday join Octavia Books at 6 p.m. for a presentation and signing with Lolis Eric Elie celebrating the release of his new book, TREME: Stories and Recipes from the Heart of New Orleans. Joining Lolis for the event will notable contributors including: Chef Allison Vines-Rushing, MiLa restaurant; Randy Fertel, author of THE GORILLA MAN AND THE EMPRESS OF STEAK; Chef Paulette Rittenberg; Bartender Marvin Allen, Carousel Bar at The Hotel Monteleone; Poppy Tooker, Host of Louisiana Eats; Chef Mary Sonnier, Kingfish; Chef Jackie Blanchard, Restaurant August. Inspired by David Simon’s award-winning HBO series Treme, this celebration of the culinary spirit of post-Katrina New Orleans features recipes and tributes from the characters, real and fictional, who highlight the Crescent City’s rich foodways.

& Thursday at Maple Street Books at p.m. Bennett Sims will be signing his book A Questionable Shape at our Uptown shop. “A Questionable Shape [published by Two-Dollar Radio] is a novel for those who read in order to wake up to life, not escape it, for those who themselves like to explore the frontiers of the unsayable. I envision the core readership as brilliant and slightly disaffected men and women… fans of Anne Carson, Nicholson Baker, Rivka Galchen, Juan Rulfo, W.G. Sebald, Henry and William James, and gaggles of Russian and German writers. [A Questionable Shape] is more than just a novel. It is literature. It is life.”—The Millions

& Friday night at 7 pm McKeown’s Books and Difficult Music hosts their 1+1+1 poetry reading (in which a poet is selected, who selects a 2nd, who selects a third). Featured at this event are Poet No. 1 Laura Mattingly, Dennis Formento and Mark Folse. Mattingly is the author of the collection The Book of Incorporation. Formento is the author of Looking for an Out Place. Mark Folse is the publisher of Odd Words, New Orleans weekly literary listing.

& Also on Friday at 7 p.m. The Melanated Writers Collective is organizing From Rage 2 Page: A Literary Protest is an open mic/literary protest calling all writers to share their works as they relate to race and the outrage over the killing of Trayvon Martin. There will be 17 slots to pay tribute to the age Trayvon Martin was when he was murdered. Each participant will have 3 minutes max to read/share. First come, first-served basis. The event will be at Indigo: The Joan Mitchell Center, 2275 Bayou Road.

& Saturdays Maple Street Bookshop hosts Story Time with Miss Maureen at 11:30 a.m.

& This month’s Poetry Buffet is relocating to the Rosa F. Keller library, 4300 Broad Street, due to construction at the Latter. Featured will be Megan Burns, Nik De Dominic and Nancy Harris.

& 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.

& WhoDatPoets.com lists four Spoken Word shows on Sunday nights: 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. There are also open mics at The Black Star Cafe, 800 Belleville St. in Algiers at 7 p.m.; The Shadowbox Theater at 2400 St.Claude Ave. at 6 p.m.; Espe’s Kitchen, 1743 N Broad St. at 7 p.m.; and, the T****** Wine Lounge, 3001 Tulane Ave., doors at 9 p.m., Admission $5. For phone numbers with more details on all these readings visit WHODATPOETS.COM. (If I don’t block out the name of the location at 3001 Tulane, Facebook will reject my ad for promoting alcohol. Go figure.)

& 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.

& The First Tuesday Book Club at Maple Street Book Shop will be meeting Tuesday, August 6th, at 5:45PM at our Uptown location, to discuss In the Sanctuary of Outcasts.

& Tuesday at 6 p.m. Octavia Books hosts Nancy Harris and Melinda Palacio sharing poems from their newest collections. In BEAUTY EATING BEAUTY, Harris shows her wit and craft of wordplay. Palacio’s poetry in HOW FIRE IS A STORY, WAITING creates images that are at once heart-breaking and humorous. Come sit, listen, connect with poetry, and bring home signed copies of the work of these fine New Orleans poets.

& Also on Tuesday at 6 p.m. Maple Street Book Shop features James Cobb signing Flood of Lies. “When an elderly couple are charged with murder in the drowning deaths of thirty-five bed-ridden residents of St. Rita’s Nursing Home, an emotional edge-of-your-seat thriller takes off like a shot. The players: a wily and profane defense lawyer, a ferocious prosecutor, devastated families of the victims, and a ravenous media that brands the defendants ‘Monsters of Hurricane Katrina.’ In August 2005, the world looked on in horror as thirty-five residents of St. Rita’s Nursing Home perished beneath the rising waters of Hurricane Katrina. Louisiana’s attorney general immediately targeted the owners of St. Rita’s, Sal and Mabel Mangano, for prosecution. A national media frenzy erupted, labeling the couple as selfish, cold-hearted killers, willing to let beloved parents and grandparents drown, but the reality was much different. Flood of Lies tells the real story of the Manganos: a couple who sacrificed everything to save the lives of their beloved residents

& On Tuesdays the Jefferson Parish Library Writers Group meets at the Westwego library from 7-9 pm.

& Every Tuesday night get on the list to spit at the longest running spoken word venue in New Orleans at Sweet Lorraine’s Jazz Club hosted by African-American Shakespear. This Tuesday you don’t want to miss the New Orleans Slam Team goes head-to-head with Team SNO. Doors open at 7pm and the Mic pops at 8pm. It is $5 to get in.

& This Wednesday in the back room of Buffa’s Bar, poet and artist Thaddeus Conti presents a performance of Felonious Drunk and his Unmentionables reunion tour, a lounge act performance piece.

Odd Words July 25, 2013

Posted by Mark Folse in books, literature, New Orleans, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, publishing, reading, Toulouse Street.
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Lolis Treme BookThis week’s big event is the launch of TREME: Stories and Recipes from the Heart of New Orleans by foodways writer, Treme contributor and writer/co-producer of the film Faubourg Treme: The Untold Story of Black New Orleans. Lolis Eric Elie. He will be at the Crescent City Farmers Market signing his book Saturday.

& Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. the Juju Bag Cafe, 5363 Franklin Ave., presents a Spoken Word Showcase, with happy hour from 5-7 and open mic starting at 7:30 p.m. Check whodatpoets.com for featured performers.

& At 7 p.m. Thursday in the Jefferson Parish East Bank Regional Library, the Great Book Discussion Group meets to discuss Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood.

& Thursday night around 9 p.m. is a poetry meet-up at Fiora’s Coffee Shop and Gallery loosely organized by Jimmy Ross. Mostly we sit around outside in the breeze, visit and occasionally read a poem. Sometimes it happens, and sometimes it doesn’t. If no one shows up, push your coffee cup aside and put that notebook on the table and write!. Come grab a cup of iced tea and join us.

& Thursday at noon the New Orleans Museum of Art Book Club will discuss The $12 Million Stuffed Shark by Don Thompson and Seven Days in the Art World by Sarah Thornton. For more details on the club, contact Sheila Cork at scork@noma.org or (504) 658-4117.

& Every first, second and fourth Friday (that’s this Friday) check out Turnt Up Friday, a spoken word event at the Garage Cafe, 1532 Dumaine St. Doors at 7:30 p.m.

& Join Octavia Books for a special Saturday morning at the Crescent City Farmers Market featuring Lolis Eric Elie signing his much anticipated TREME: Stories and Recipes from the Heart of New Orleans. Inspired by David Simon’s award-winning HBO series Treme, this celebration of the culinary spirit of post-Katrina New Orleans features recipes and tributes from the characters, real and fictional, who highlight the Crescent City’s rich foodways. From chef Janette Desautel’s own Crawfish Ravioli and LaDonna Batiste-Williams’s Smothered Turnip Soup to the city’s finest Sazerac, New Orleans’ cuisine is a mélange of influences from Creole to Vietnamese, at once new and old, genteel and down-home, and, in the words of Toni Bernette, “seasoned with delicious nostalgia.” As visually rich as the series itself, the book includes 100 heritage and contemporary recipes from the city’s heralded restaurants such as Upperline, Bayona, Restaurant August, and Herbsaint, plus original recipes from renowned chefs Eric Ripert, David Chang, and other Treme guest stars.

& Saturday at Maple Street Book Shop Ryan Murphy will be reading and signing What the Sleepy Animals Do at the Audubon Zoo at 11 a.m. No Storytime with Miss Maureen.

& 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.

hives and archeology, the author presents fascinating insights on how residents of this working plantation actually lived

& WhoDatPoets.com lists four Spoken Word shows on Sunday nights: 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. There are also open mics at The Black Star Cafe, 800 Belleville St. in Algiers at 7 p.m.; The Shadowbox Theater at 2400 St.Claude Ave. at 6 p.m.; Espe’s Kitchen, 1743 N Broad St. at 7 p.m.; and, the T****** Wine Lounge, 3001 Tulane Ave., doors at 9 p.m., Admission $5. For phone numbers with more details on all these readings visit WHODATPOETS.COM. (If I don’t block out the name of the location at 3001 Tulane, Facebook will reject my ad for promoting alcohol. Go figure.)

& Monday night The Fiction Writers Group at the East Jefferson Regional Library will host guest author Anita Paul at 7 p.m. A communications specialist, Paul is known as “The Author’s Midwife.” She coaches and mentors corporate professionals and successful entrepreneurs to become published authors. Through her Write Your Life program, she shares strategies for writing, publishing, and marketing a book … and then leveraging it to upsell your expertise. Paul is the author of three books: Take the Mystery Out of Marketing (2002), What Goes Around Comes Around (a novel), and Write Your Life: Create Your Ideal Life And the Book You’ve Been Wanting to Write.

& 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 night at 6 p.m. Garden District Book Shop features Stephen Maitland-Lewis’s Ambition. “Having it all will never be enough for George Tazoli, an ambitious dealer on the trading floor of a prominent California bank. He is hand-picked for a special assignment to sell off bad loans, but not because he is dating the daughter of the bank’s president, rather for his skill at working the market. The promotion sends him to New York, putting a strain on his relationship, but then a scandalous discovery lures him into the gamble of a lifetime.”

& Also Tuesday at 6 pm Maple Street Book Shop hosts Scottish author Zoe Venditozzi will be signing her book <emAnywhere’s Better Than Here. Laurie’s life is going nowhere. She lives with a computer game-obsessed boyfriend and has a meaningless job. The highlight of her week has become finding a new snack food at the supermarket. When Laurie meets an older, mysterious man things veer suddenly out of control, and she needs a plan – fast. For anyone who’s ever got stuck with a hopeless partner and a dead end life – this is not the way to go.

& Also on Tuesday the Jefferson Parish Library Writers Group meets at the Westwego library from 7-9 pm.

& Every Tuesday night get on the list to spit at the longest running spoken word venue in New Orleans at Sweet Lorraine’s Jazz Club hosted by African-American Shakespear. This Tuesday you don’t want to miss the New Orleans Slam Team goes head-to-head with Team SNO. Doors open at 7pm and the Mic pops at 8pm. It is $5 to get in.

Wednesday at 6 p.m. Octavia Books hosts a reading and signing with Bennett Sims featuring his recent novel, A QUESTIONABLE SHAPE, a wise and calculated postmodern zombie novel. “A Questionable Shape is a novel for those who read in order to wake up to life, not escape it, for those who themselves like to explore the frontiers of the unsayable. I envision the core readership as brilliant and slightly disaffected men and women… fans of Anne Carson, Nicholson Baker, Rivka Galchen, Juan Rulfo, W.G. Sebald, Henry and William James, and gaggles of Russian and German writers. [A Questionable Shape] is more than just a novel. It is literature. It is life.”-The Millions. Sims was born and raised in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. His fiction has appeared in A Public Space, Tin House, and Zoetrope: All-Story. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, he currently teaches at the University of Iowa, where he is the Provost Postgraduate Visiting Writer in fiction.

Every Wednesday at Buffa’s in the back room there will be music and poetry hosted by Laura Mattingly from 7-8 p.m. followed by an open mic open to all performers: musicians, poets, comics.

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