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Odd Words August 28, 2014

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

Tonight kicks off The Waves,a new LGBTIQ reading series presenting student voices, local writers, and visiting writers side by side. Our kickoff reading, coinciding with Antenna Gallery’s 2nd Annual True Colors LGBTQ Art Exhibition, will feature an all local line-up: Chanel Clarke, Tyler Gillespie, Elizabeth Gross, Megan Ann Mchugh, Kay Murphy, Brad Richard, Anne Marie Rooney, Elizabeth Lindsey Rogers, Spencer Silverthorne, Madeleine LeCesne and perhaps even more.

About the Readers:

  • Anne Marie Rooney is the author of Spitshine, as well as two chapbooks.
  • Elizabeth Lindsey Rogers was born in a hailstorm, is the author of the poetry collection Chord Box, and lives on a street named Desire.
  • Tyler Gillespie is a pale Floridian whose writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Rolling Stone, Salon, NPR, and PANK, among other places.
  • Madeleine LeCesne is a senior at Lusher School and a writer in the Certificate of Artistry Program, directed by Brad Richard.
  • Elizabeth Gross throws her poems around and recently some have landed in LEVELER, Painted Bride Quarterly, B O D Y, and the upcoming Queer South anthology from Sibling Rivalry Press.
  • Spencer Silverthorne is a MFA candidate in poetry at the University of New Orleans.
  • Chanel Clarke is a graduate of the Michener Center for Writers and has had poems published in Anti-, Flag and Void, Smoking Glue Gun, and Hayden’s Ferry Review.
  • Brad Richard directs the creative writing program at Lusher Charter School, has published three books and two chapbooks, and is working on, among other things, a manuscript titled Reconstructions.
  • Megan Mchugh, who recently completed her MFA at UNO, is a garden teacher with the Edible Schoolyard New Orleans, and also grows/designs flowers at the flower farm and design studio, Pistil and Stamen.
  • Kay Murphy is Professor Emeritus at the University of New Orleans. Her poetry and essays have been published far and wide.

& Thursday at 6 pm check out the weekly Spoken Word event #WordConnections at the Juju Bag Cafe.

& Thursday at 7 pm the East Jefferson Regional Library hosts an Author Event! featuring two new books by Sally Michelle Jackson. In A Darker Side of the Light (The Heilsing Cases) (Volume 1) the central character is a paranormal investigator (a friend refers to him as a con man) who played at investigating his caseload. He admits that he takes cases, does minimal legwork to solve them, and does little more than reassure the client that “everything is all right.” And then one night, he finds himself investigating a real case and it changes his life. In Never Stop Dreaming the main character dreams of one woman night after night – and he doesn’t seem to have control over them. In fact, it seems as if someone else is running the show in his dreams. This is no longer acceptable, so he turns the tables in his search for the woman and he does it in the only way that he knows how – through dreams. Jackson also will discuss Poems from a Transgendered Heart, a collection of poems published in 2011 that serve as attempt to convey the emotional part of a transsexual’s journey of self-discovery and transitioning.

& James Butler, a writer of science fiction and fantasy (especially steampunk), leads a workshop to encourage the creation of these genres by local authors at the East Jefferson Regional Library. Open to all levels. Free of charge and open to the public. No registration.

& Every Thursday evening the New Orleans Poetry Brothel hosts a Poetry Hotline. Call 504-264-1336) from 8-12 pm CST and we’ll to hear an original poem.

& Friday at 6 pm author Michael Pitre’s presents Fives and Twenty-Fives at the Garden District Book Shop. Fives and twenty-fives mark the measure of a marine’s life in the road repair platoon. Dispatched to fill potholes on the highways of Iraq, the platoon works to assure safe passage for citizens and military personnel. Their mission lacks the glory of the infantry, but in a war where every pothole contains a hidden bomb, road repair brings its own danger. Lieutenant Donavan leads the platoon, painfully aware of his shortcomings and isolated by his rank. Doc Pleasant, the medic, joined for opportunity, but finds his pride undone as he watches friends die. And there’s Kateb, known to the Americans as Dodge, an Iraqi interpreter whose love of American culture—from hip-hop to the dog-eared copy of Huck Finn he carries—is matched only by his disdain for what Americans are doing to his country. Returning home, they exchange one set of decisions and repercussions for another, struggling to find a place in a world that no longer knows them.

& Every Friday The Rhyme Syndicate presents a spoken word open mic at Dish on Haynes Boulevard hosted by Hollywood. Doors at 8. Admission $7, $5 will college ID. Music by DJ XXL.

& It’s Story Time with Miss Maureen Saturdays at 11:30am at Maple Street Book Shop. This week features My Teacher is a Monster by Peter Brown. A young boy named Bobby has the worst teacher. She’s loud, she yells, and if you throw paper airplanes, she won’t allow you to enjoy recess. She is a monster! Luckily, Bobby can go to his favorite spot in the park on weekends to play. Until one day… he finds his teacher there! Over the course of one day, Bobby learns that monsters are not always what they seem. Each page is filled with “monstrous” details that will have kids reading the story again and again. Peter Brown takes a universal and timeless theme, and adds his own humorous spin to create another winner of a picture book.

& Saturday at 1 pm Bob Rogers discusses and signs his book The Laced Chameleon at Garden District Book Shop. Mademoiselle Francesca Dumas is a quadroon (one-quarter African American) and concubine of a New Orleans banker, Joachim Buisson. Courted by moneyed white men, she leads a sheltered life of elegant gowns and lavish balls until a bullet shatters her dream world. While awaiting the arrival of the Union Navy among a throng gathered atop a Mississippi River levee April 25, 1862, Francesca’s lover is shot dead by her side. Rain soaked and blood-stained Francesca vows revenge. The grieving Francesca is evicted from Joachim’s house by his family who refuses to honor the lovers’ plaçage (concubinage) contract. Francesca’s life becomes intertwined with a homeless hungry white woman and her children when she shares her last Confederate dollars to buy food for them. Her investigation of the woman’s plight lands her work as a spy for Major General Benjamin Butler’s army occupying New Orleans. As Francesca struggles with her identity to make principled choices between another plaçage arrangement and independence, an acquaintance is murdered and her best friend, Emily, is kidnapped.

& 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.

& All area libraries will be closed for Labor Day on Monday.

& 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 7 pm The East Jefferson Regional Library hosts Three New Authors who have brand new books: Tanisca Wilson, author of “Proclivity”; Cynthia Addison, author of “Mamma Said” and “The Devil Hates Marriages”; and Rhea Mayfield Berkeris, author of “Born Special.” Free of charge and open to the public.

& 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 the Latter Memorial Library A Book Club Named Desire meets. Adults meet to discuss a local classic every fourth Wednesday of the month at 6 pm. For more information, contact Toni at tlmccourt@hotmail.com.

& Wednesday at 7 pm the East Jefferson Regional Library hosts an event in its Culinary Legacies series, an interview with Sam Irwin, author of Louisiana Crawfish: A Succulent History. Sam Irwin is the guest interviewee of this event sponsored by the Southern Food and Beverage museum. 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.

& Wednesday The Maple Street Book Shop will host the launch party for Katy Simpson Smith’s novel, The Story of Land and Sea, at 7pm Sat The Columns Hotel (3811 St. Charles Avenue). Set in a small coastal town in North Carolina during the waning years of the American Revolution, this incandescent debut novel follows three generations of family—fathers and daughters, mother and son, master and slave, characters who yearn for redemption amidst a heady brew of war, kidnapping, slavery, and love.In this elegant, evocative, and haunting debut, Katy Simpson Smith captures the singular love between parent and child, the devastation of love lost, and the lonely paths we travel in the name of renewal.

& 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!).

Odd Words August 21, 2014

Posted by Mark Folse in Book Stores, books, bookstores, Indie Book Shops, literature, New Orleans, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, Toulouse Street.
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This week in literary New Orleans, the libraries are where it’s at:

& Thursday at 6 pm check out the weekly Spoken Word event #WordConnections at the Juju Bag Cafe.

& At 7 pm Prospect New Orleans & NOPL present Keith Calhoun & Chandra McCormick in conversation with Kalamu ya Salaam The artists will share how Kalamu ya Salaam has inspired their practice. All three will discuss their collaborative unpublished work Banana Republic: Black Street Life and Culture in New Orleans at the Keller Branch of the New Orleans Public Library.

& In Jefferson at 7 pm the Great Books Discussion Group meets to discuss The Red Badge of Courage at the East Jefferson Regional Library. This small masterpiece set the pattern for the treatment of war in modern fiction. Amid the nightmarish chaos of a Civil War battle, a young soldier discovers courage, humility, and, perhaps, wisdom. Widely praised for uncanny re-creation of the sights, sounds, and sense of actual combat. An enduring landmark of American fiction.

& Every Thursday evening the New Orleans Poetry Brothel hosts a Poetry Hotline. Call 504-264-1336) from 8-12 pm CST and we’ll to hear an original poem.

& Every Friday The Rhyme Syndicate presents a spoken word open mic at Dish on Haynes Boulevard hosted by Hollywood. Doors at 8. Admission $7, $5 will college ID. Music by DJ XXL.

& Saturday at 2 pm it is Poetry for Teens,Michael Quess? Moore, Sam Gordon, & Mwende Katwiwa, New Orleans slam poets and educators, will present a poetry reading and workshop for teens.

& 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 writer Ed Ruzicka reads from his book, Engines of Belief – Engagement with Modern Art.

Monday the Robert E. Smith Branch of the NOPL offers a writing workshop open to all comers at 5:30 pm.

& 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 a reading and signing celebrating the launch of New Orleans writer Michael Pitre’s FIVES and TWENTY-FIVES, a truly stunning work of art, and a debut novel that Kirkus called “a book in which everything rings so unshakably true. A war novel with a voice all its own, this will stand as one of the definitive renderings of the Iraq experience.” A heart-stopping debut novel about war and its aftermath by an Iraq War veteran—and an essential examination of the United States’ role in the world.

& 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 the Latter Memorial Library A Book Club Named Desire meets. Adults meet to discuss a local classic every fourth Wednesday of the month at 6 pm. For more information, contact Toni at tlmccourt@hotmail.com

& 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!).

Odd Words August 13, 2014

Posted by Mark Folse in Book Stores, books, bookstores, Indie Book Shops, literature, memoir, New Orleans, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, publishing, Toulouse Street.
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Another quiet week in literary New Orleans until we celebrate Charles Bukowski’s birthday Saturday at the Loa Bar starting at 8 pm. Then things might living up just a bit. (Details below). Until then, don’t wake the librarians.

Last spring, Press Street unveiled in a soft opening the new Reading Room 220 on the first floor of our headquarters on St. Claude Avenue. The community space—which hosts events, adult writing workshops, Big Class activities, and more—includes a collection of quality books and periodicals that span subject, format, and genre. Many are from independent publishers and are not readily available in bookstores and libraries around town. As we continue to acquire books and catalog and organize our collection (which will soon be available for your perusal on Goodreads), we will feature some of the noteworthy publications that you can find at the Reading Room 220. Press Street/Room 220 is located at 3718 Saint Claude Avenue. Press Street is open from 12-5 pm Saturday and Sunday. Call for additional hours: 504-298-3161.

& Thursday at 6 pm check out the weekly Spoken Word event #WordConnections at the Juju Bag Cafe.
& Every Thursday evening the New Orleans Poetry Brothel hosts a Poetry Hotline. Call 504-264-1336) from 8-12 pm CST and we’ll to hear an original poem.

& Thursday at 7 pm James Butler, a writer of science fiction and fantasy (especially steampunk), leads a workshop to encourage the creation of these genres by local authors. Open to all levels. Free of charge and open to the public. No registration. Location: Jefferson Parish East Bank Regional Library

& Every Friday The Rhyme Syndicate presents a spoken word open mic at Dish on Haynes Boulevard hosted by Hollywood. Doors at 8. Admission $7, $5 will college ID. Music by DJ XXL.

& George Gurtner will be signing his book, Cast of Characters, Saturday at 11 am – 1 pm at Maple Street Book Shop. Cast of Characters comprises colorful true stories of life in and around the Big Easy. Selected from the column of the same name written for 35 years by George Gurtner in New Orleans Magazine, this collection of unusual people— from creative loners to lovable freaks and many gradations between— is testimony to why New Orleans continues to be the most interesting city in the country. Foreword by Erroll Laborde, photos accompanying most characters by Frank Methe.

& Saturday celebrate Charles Bukowski’s birthday with a special event at Loa Bar located on the corner of Camp and Gravier Streets from 8 – 11 PM. Specials will include ham on rye sandwiches, stiff spirits and a toast at 10 pm. Also salon style poetry readings by celebrity guess and an open mic. There will also be a silent film and music. Special Guests include publisher and book collector Edwin blair, Author jeff weddle, International Gold Medal winner and poet Sarah Gamard, author and journalist Steve Garbarino. Rare first editions from Bukowski’s work from Loujon Press and others will be on display.

& 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.

& The monthly meeting of the New Orleans Haiku Society takes place at the Latter Memorial Library, That cool grey temple/Shaded by green oak trees on/St. Charles Avenue, at 6 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. Watch Odd Words on Facebook and Google+ on Tuesdays for a complete list of her guests and features.

& 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!) 

Odd Words August 7, 2014

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

& Thursday at 6 pm check out the weekly Spoken Word event #WordConnections at the Juju Bag Cafe.

& Every Thursday evening the New Orleans Poetry Brothel hosts a Poetry Hotline. Call 504-264-1336) from 8-12 pm CST and we’ll to hear an original poem.

& Saturday at 1 pm Garden District Book Shop hosts Bob Rogers and his new book The Laced Chameleon. Mademoiselle Francesca Dumas is a quadroon (one-quarter African American) and concubine of a New Orleans banker, Joachim Buisson. Courted by moneyed white men, she leads a sheltered life of elegant gowns and lavish balls until a bullet shatters her dream world. While awaiting the arrival of the Union Navy among a throng gathered atop a Mississippi River levee April 25, 1862, Francesca’s lover is shot dead by her side. Rain soaked and blood-stained Francesca vows revenge.

& Saturday at 7 pm T E N D E R L O I N Magazine returns with Cold Cuts: The Third Weird Thing reading series at Kajun’s Pub featuring opening jam by Jenn & Mel, Andrew Ketcham, Peter Twal and Alec Vanthoumout. 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 is the launch of the Maple Leaf Rag V anthology of poetry, published by Portal’s Press. MLRV is a selection of poems from readers who have been featured or are regular participants in open mike at the reading.

& 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 historian Michael S. Martin presenting and signing his new biography, RUSSELL LONG: A Life in Politics. Russell Long (1918-2003) occupies a unique niche in twentieth-century US history. Born into Louisiana’s most influential political family, and son of perhaps the most famous Louisianian of all time, Long extended the political power generated by other members of his family and attained heights of power unknown to his predecessors, including his faV ither Huey.

& 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!) 

For events at your local library please visit Nutrias.org for the New Orleans Public Library and http://www.jefferson.lib.la.us for Jefferson Parish.

Odd Words July 31, 2014

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

& Thursday at 6 pm check out Team Slam New Orleans at the #wordconnections spoken word event at the Juju Bag Cafe.

& Every Thursday evening the New Orleans Poetry Brothel hosts a Poetry Hotline. Call 504-264-1336) from 8-12 pm CST and we’ll to hear an original poem.

& On Thursday at 5 p.m. Octavia Books culminates their Find Waldo in New Orleans program with fun, games and the drawing of The Grand Prize (and lots of other prizes) for everyone who found Waldo in New Orleans this July. Regardless of your age, you are encouraged to come in costume. The event is being recorded by MSNBC for national broadcast. And if you haven’t found Waldo yet, there is still time – but hurry!!!

& On Friday at 6 p.m. Garden District Book Shops hosts Rolland Golden’s Rolland Golden: Life, Love, and Art in the French Quarter at the Garden District Gallery, 1332 Washington, New Orleans 70130. In the early twentieth century, the French Quarter had become home to a vibrant community of working artists attracted to the atmosphere, architecture, and colorful individuals who populated the scene (and who also became some of its first preservationists). Louisiana native Rolland Golden was one of these artists to live, work, and raise a family in this most storied corner of New Orleans. With 94 black-and-white and 54 color photographs and illustrations, his memoir of that life focuses on the period of 1955 to 1976. Golden, a painter, discusses the particular challenges of making a living from art, and his story becomes a family affair involving his daughters and his beloved wife, Stella.

& Saturday at 11:30 am Maple Street Book Shop hosts Connie Collins Morgan reading and signing The Runaway Beignet. In the heart of New Orleans lived an old baker named Marcel who made the most delicious beignets in the entire city. While his heart is filled with kindness, his home is cold and lonely. To repay some gratitude, a mysterious stranger grants Marcel a wish with his magic bag of sugar in this Louisiana-flavored retelling of a classic tale. Out of the sugared pastry pops the beignet boy with a penchant for trouble, who zips from Canal Street through Jackson Square and the French Market. His hilarious antics, a smattering of French phrases, and New Orleans cultural icons scattered like powdered sugar on the deliciously re-spun story will delight readers of all ages. Illustrator Herb Leonhard brings this little beignet to life with a mischievous grin and a sprinkle of sugar. His images of New Orleans dance across the pages, bringing a true taste of the city to the story. Author Connie Collins Morgan draws upon her memories of life in Louisiana—and her favorite treats—to make this retelling stand apart from the rest with an infectious jazz beat and the sweet aroma of magic sugar in its wake.

&Saturday at 2 p.m. the Latter Memorial Library hosts the monthly Poetry Buffet hosted by Gina Ferrara. This month features poets Asia Rainey, M.e. Riley, and Jordan Soyka .

& 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 T.B.A as of Thursday.

& Join Team Slam New Orleans Sunday evening at 7 p.m at the Shadow Box Theater for their August Open Mic + Slam and help send Team SNO off to the National Poetry Slam in Oakland, CA. $5 Admission. Free to slam.

& 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.

& Later Tuesday Maple Street Book Shop’s The First Tuesday Book Club will meet at 5:45 p.m. Their August selection is Midnight in Peking. Newcomers are always welcome! Winner of the both the Edgar Award for Best Fact Crime and the CWA Non-Fiction Dagger Chronicling an incredible unsolved murder, Midnight in Peking captures the aftermath of the brutal killing of a British schoolgirl in January 1937. The mutilated body of Pamela Werner was found at the base of the Fox Tower, which, according to local superstition, is home to the maliciously seductive fox spirits. As British detective Dennis and Chinese detective Han investigate, the mystery only deepens and, in a city on the verge of invasion, rumor and superstition run rampant. Based on seven years of research by historian and China expert Paul French, this true-crime thriller presents readers with a rare and unique portrait of the last days of colonial Peking.

& 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 night at 6:30 Fleur de Lit and the Pearl Wine Co. present Reading Between the Wines. This month’s featured readers are Sally Asher , Sherry Lee Alexander and Stephanie Grace who will discuss their careers in journalism, how it affects their writing, and shared their interesting stories about New Orleans.

& 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!) 

While I’m still recovering from jet lag, for events at your local library please visit Nutrias.org for the New Orleans Public Library and http://www.jefferson.lib.la.us for Jefferson Parish.

Odd Words June 17, 2014

Posted by Mark Folse in books, bookstores, Indie Book Shops, literature, memoir, New Orleans, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, Toulouse Street.
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& This Thursday Maple Street Book Shop hosts Bonnie Warren and her book New Orleans Historic Homes. New Orleans is world famous for its unique residents and stunning architecture. Those who live in the Crescent City have crafted homes to suit their tastes and needs, creating some of the most beautiful, fascinating structures in the nation. Explore the private homes of renowned neighborhoods, including the Garden District, the French Quarter, Bayou St. John, the Bywater, and the Faubourg Marigny. Warren profiles the residents, their relationships to their homes, and well-known former occupants. Homeowners discuss the histories of their houses, detailing renovations and repairs and expounding upon striking the balance between preserving history and infusing the home with personal style.

& Thursday at 6 pm Octavia Books hosts Alan Furst’s book MIDNIGHT IN EUROPE. The New York Times bestselling author Alan Furst, the “most talented espionage novelist of our generation” (Vince Flynn), now gives us a taut, suspenseful, romantic and richly rendered novel of spies and espionage, in Paris, New York and Madrid, on the eve of World War II.

& Every Thursday evening the New Orleans Poetry Brothel hosts a Poetry Hotline. Call 504-264-1336) from 8-12 pm CST and we’ll to hear an original poem.

& Thursday at 6 pm check out #wordconnections spoken word event at the Juju Bag Cafe.

& Every Thursday evening the New Orleans Poetry Brothel hosts a Poetry Hotline. Call 504-264-1336) from 8-12 pm CST and we’ll to hear an original poem.

& Friday at 6 pm Octavia Books hosts Karen White’s book A LONG TIME GONE. When Vivien Walker left her home in the Mississippi Delta, she swore never to go back, as generations of the women in her family had. But in the spring, nine years to the day since she’d left, that’s exactly what happens—Vivien returns, fleeing from a broken marriage and her lost dreams for children. What she hopes to find is solace with “Bootsie,” her dear grandmother who raised her, a Walker woman with a knack for making everything all right. But instead she finds that her grandmother has died and that her estranged mother is drifting further away from her memories. Now Vivien is forced into the unexpected role of caretaker, challenging her personal quest to find the girl she herself once was

& 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 a Summer Solstice Open Mike.

& On Monday the Jefferson Parish Library continues hosting The Artists’ Way Seminar, a 12-part series of seminars based on the classic book, The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path To Higher Creativity, by American author Julia Cameron, with Mark Bryan. The book was written to help people with artistic creative recovery, which teaches techniques and exercises to assist people in gaining self-confidence in harnessing their creative talents and skills. Correlation and emphasis is used by the author to show a connection between artistic creativity and a spiritual connection. Cherie Cazanavette is the group moderator.

& 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 a presentation and signing with presidential biorgrapher Nigel Hamilton featuring his new book, THE MANTLE OF COMMAND: FDR at War, 1941-1942. In time for the 70th anniversary of D-Day, a close, in-the-room look at how President Roosevelt took masterful command and control of the Second World War, from wresting key decisions away from Churchill and his own generals, to launching the first successful trial landing in North Africa, and beginning to turn the tide away from the Axis.

& 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!)

& Wednesday at 8 pm at the Allways, Esoterotica presents “Tantalizing Travels in Desirous Destination!”, an evening of erotic writings.

N.B. The Blood Jet and Tender Loin reading series are adjourned until the Fall.

I am in Europe in a literary workshop for a month. Please get me your events as early as possible through the end of July so I can keep up Odd Words catch as catch can.

Odd Words June 11, 2014

Posted by Mark Folse in books, bookstores, Indie Book Shops, literature, memoir, New Orleans, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, publishing, Toulouse Street.
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& Thursday at 6 pm Octavia Books features Andre Dubus III’s DIRTY LOVE. In this heartbreakingly beautiful book of disillusioned intimacy and persistent yearning, beloved and celebrated author Andre Dubus III explores the bottomless needs and stubborn weaknesses of people seeking gratification in food and sex, work and love. In these linked novellas in which characters walk out the back door of one story and into the next, love is “dirty”-tangled up with need, power, boredom, ego, fear, and fantasy. Slivered by happiness and discontent, aging and death, but also persistent hope and forgiveness, these beautifully wrought narratives express extraordinary tenderness toward human beings, our vulnerable hearts and bodies, our fulfilling and unfulfilling lives alone and with others.

& Thursday 5:30 pm the Nix Library features Hope and New Orleans: A History of Crescent City Street Names. Author and photographer Sally Asher reads from her new book, a tour of the city’s most colorfully named streets and intersections

& Every Thursday evening the New Orleans Poetry Brothel hosts a Poetry Hotline. Call 504-264-1336) from 8-12 pm CST and we’ll to hear an original poem.

& Thursday at 6 pm check out #wordconnections spoken word event at the Juju Bag Cafe.
& Every Thursday evening the New Orleans Poetry Brothel hosts a Poetry Hotline. Call 504-264-1336) from 8-12 pm CST and we’ll to hear an original poem.

& 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 Fiction writer Louie Crowder reads from and signs his new book, In Irons from Gallatin & Toulouse Press.

& This Monday New Orleans celebrates Bloomsday upstairs at The Irish House, 1432 St. Charles Ave. for Bloomsday, a celebration of James Joyce’s Ulysses, sponsored by Crescent City Books. Come read or just join us and enjoy good food and drink (for purchase) from acclaimed Chef Matt Murphy. All are welcome to read, time permitting, up to 10 minutes max.
Featuring guest readers: Brian Boyles, Pandora Gastelum, Susan Larson, Stephen Rea, Maurice Carlos Ruffin, and members of the New Orleans Poetry Brothel

& On Monday at 6 pm Garden District Books hosts Scott Cowen’s The Inevitable City: The Resurgence of New Orleans and The Future of Urban America, co-written with Betsy Seifer. This is the story of the resurgence and reinvention of one of America’s greatest cities. Ordinary citizens, empowered to actively rescue their own city after politicians and government officials failed them, have succeeded in rebuilding their world. Cowen was at the leading edge of those who articulated, shaped, and implemented a vision of transformative change that has yielded surprising social progress and economic growth: a drowned city identified with the shocking images of devastation and breakdown has transformed itself into a mecca of growth, opportunity, and hope.

& On Monday the Jefferson Parish Library continues hosting The Artists’ Way Seminar, a 12-part series of seminars based on the classic book, The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path To Higher Creativity, by American author Julia Cameron, with Mark Bryan. The book was written to help people with artistic creative recovery, which teaches techniques and exercises to assist people in gaining self-confidence in harnessing their creative talents and skills. Correlation and emphasis is used by the author to show a connection between artistic creativity and a spiritual connection. Cherie Cazanavette is the group moderator.

& 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.

& 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!)

Next Wednesday I will be in transit to Europe. Please get me your events as early as possible starting next week through the end of July.

Odd Words June 4, 2014

Posted by Mark Folse in books, Indie Book Shops, literature, New Orleans, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, publishing, Toulouse Street.
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& Thursday at 6 pm Octavia Books hosts Edward J. Branley presents and signs his new book, NEW ORLEANS JAZZ, including more than 200 vintage images documenting the birth and development of jazz in New Orleans. Branley is the author of several historical books on New Orleans, including New Orleans: The Canal Street Car Line, Brothers of the Sacred Heart in New Orleans, and Maison Blanche Department Stores.

& Thursday at 7 pm the New Orleans Public Library and Prospect New Orleans feature the first P.3 Reads, a conversation between Zarouhie Abdalian and Jerry Ward exploring Brenda Marie Osbey’s All Saints: New and Selected Poems. P.3 Reads, a Prospect New Orleans Public Program, is inspired by Artistic Director Franklin Sirmans’ vision for the at Alvar Branch, 913 Alvar Street. Prospect.3 (P.3). The program takes place monthly in different NOPL branches. Artists who will be featured in the upcoming P.3 Biennial will discuss with members of the New Orleans community the books that have been important in their lives and work.

& Every Thursday evening the New Orleans Poetry Brothel hosts a Poetry Hotline. Call 504-264-1336) from 8-12 pm CST and we’ll to hear an original poem.

& Thursday at 6 pm check out #wordconnections spoken word event at the Juju Bag Cafe.
& Every Thursday evening the New Orleans Poetry Brothel hosts a Poetry Hotline. Call 504-264-1336) from 8-12 pm CST and we’ll to hear an original poem.

& Thursday the Jefferson Parish Library SciFi, Fantasy and Horror Writers’ Circle meets at 7 pm at the Lakeshore Library. James Butler, a writer of science fiction and fantasy (especially steampunk), leads a workshop to encourage the creation of these genres by local authors. Open to all levels. Free of charge and open to the public. No registration.

& Starting Friday catch Pressure Cooker for the Soul new play by Moose Jackson. Jackson also authored Loup Garoup and is a notable local poet. Doors and Pre-show 6:00PM. Show @ 6:45PM Shows 6/6, 7, 8, 2014

& Starting Friday St. Francisville, La. will host the Walker Percy Festival, A Literary Festival Celebrating the Writer and His Works June 6—8. Good food and drink, live music, and a great time talking about books and Southern culture under the live oaks: That’s what the inaugural Walker Percy Weekend has to offer when it celebrates the acclaimed novelist’s life and work in St. Francisville, June 6—8. * Tickets are limited and selling fast. You can get tickets here

& Saturday starting at 4 p.m. author and award-winning playwright Louie Crowder will sign his new novella In Irons from Gallatin & Toulouse Press at Faubourgh Marigny Art & Books, 600 Frenchman Street.

& At 3 pm Saturday in Aclee Fortier Park (Esplanade Avenue at Mystery Street) 100,000 Poets for Change hosts World Word Against Police Brutality. “Poetry vigil for Peace against police brutality stop the killing stop the WAR… Poets are invited to read, recite, sing or spit poems to raise consciousness about police brutality and to change hearts, the only way to achieve justice.”

& Saturday the Latter Memorial Library features the monthly Poetry Buffet hosted by Gina Ferrara. Reading this month are poets Peter Cooley, J Bruce Fuller, and Lee Grue.

& 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 Delia Nakayama reads from her work followed by an open mic

& Sunday is a special evening with Khaled Hosseini – #1 New York Times bestselling author of THE KITE RUNNER – celebrating the paperback release of AND THE MOUNTAINS ECHOED. The author will be interviewed before a live audience by Louisiana Cultural Vistas editor David Johnson. Octavia Books is holding the event at Temple Sinai, 6227 St. Charles Avenue (at Calhoun), New Orleans, LA. Doors open at 4:300PM and the program will start promptly at 5:30. Tickets are required! The cost per ticket is the same as the price of the book. You will get to meet Khaled Hosseini in person while he signs your copy. Call or visit Octavia Books (or their website) to order tickets in advance.

& 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.

& On Monday the Jefferson Parish Library continues hosting The Artists’ Way Seminar, a 12-part series of seminars based on the classic book, The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path To Higher Creativity, by American author Julia Cameron, with Mark Bryan. The book was written to help people with artistic creative recovery, which teaches techniques and exercises to assist people in gaining self-confidence in harnessing their creative talents and skills. Correlation and emphasis is used by the author to show a connection between artistic creativity and a spiritual connection. Cherie Cazanavette is the group moderator

& On Tuesday at 6 pm Garden District Book Shop presents Jeanette Walls’ The Silver Star. It is 1970 in a small town in California. “Bean” Holladay is twelve and her sister, Liz, is fifteen when their artistic mother, Charlotte, takes off to find herself, leaving her girls enough money to last a month or two. When Bean returns from school one day and sees a police car outside the house, she and Liz decide to take the bus to Virginia, where their widowed Uncle Tinsley lives in the decaying mansion that’s been in Charlotte’s family for generations. An impetuous optimist, Bean soon discovers who her father was, and hears stories about why their mother left Virginia in the first place. Money is tight, and the sisters start babysitting and doing office work for Jerry Maddox, foreman of the mill in town, who bullies his workers, his tenants, his children, and his wife. Liz is whip-smart—an inventor of word games, reader of Edgar Allan Poe, nonconformist. But when school starts in the fall, it’s Bean who easily adjusts, and Liz who becomes increasingly withdrawn. And then something happens to Liz in the car with Maddox.

& Tuesday at 6 pm Octavia Books and the Jewish Community Center invite you to a presentation and signing with outgoing Tulane University President Scott Cowen celebrating the launch of his new book, THE INEVITABLE CITY: The Resurgence of New Orleans and the Future of Urban America. This is the story of the resurgence and reinvention of one of America’s greatest cities. Ordinary citizens, empowered to actively rescue their own city after politicians and government officials failed them, have succeeded in rebuilding their world.

& Tuesday at 6:30 bring Author Night at the Hubbell Branch of the New Orleans Public Library, featuring Vietnamese Cuisine in New Orleans by Susan Pfefferle. The East meets the Westbank and more! With recipes by local Vietnamese cooks and world-renowned chefs, this cookbook provides the reader with a detailed offering of Vietnamese cuisine in the New Orleans area. Join us for a discussion and book signing.

& 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.

& Room 220 and The N.O. Loving Festival host NATIVE. HOMELAND. EXILE. featuring five New Orleans writers will explore the theme native, homeland, exile through readings and a Q&A from 6 – 8 p.m. on Wednesday at the Press Street HQ, 3718 St. Claude Ave. Readers include: ADDIE CITCHENS, a Mississippi native and New Orleans-based writer of literary fiction. She has been featured in the Oxford American‘s “Best of the South” edition, in Calloloo journal, and others; JERI HILT is a Louisiana native with roots in New Orleans, Avoyelles Parish, and Shreveport. She writes fiction and teaches literacy in the Lower Ninth Ward; AMBATA KAZI-NANCE is a writer and teacher living in her hometown New Orleans with her husband and son. She writes for Azizah magazine and Grow Mama Grow, a blog for Muslim mothers; and, J.R. RAMAKRISHNAN whose journalism has appeared in Style.com, Harper’s Bazaar, Chicago Tribune, and Grazia, amongst other publications. Her fiction has appeared in [PANK]. She arrived in New Orleans by way of Brooklyn, London, and Kuala Lumpur, her original hometown. She is director of literary programs for the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival. They will provide attendees a concert of voices from women writers of color that unflinchingly captures the coming of age in America’s New South. This event is part of the New Orleans Loving Festival, a multiracial community celebration and film festival that challenges racial discrimination through outreach and education.

& On Wednesday at 6 pm Maple Street Book Shop features the Plume Anthology of Poetry Reading. lume (http://plumepoetry.com/) has become one of the most respected and influential on-line poetry journals. Its contributors are a veritable Who’s Who of contemporary American Poetry. Readers will include Carrie Causey, Peter Cooley, Benjamin Lowenkron, Brad Richard and Christopher Shipman.

& 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!)

Odd Words May 28, 2014

Posted by Mark Folse in art, books, Creative Non-Fiction, Indie Book Shops, literature, memoir, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, publishing, Toulouse Street.
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&Thursday at 5:30 pm Author Deborah Burst will discuss, Hallowed Halls of Greater New Orleans: Churches, Cathedrals & Sanctuaries, herhistory and architecture of churches in the New Orleans area, and their place in the local community at the Nix Library .

&Garden District Book Shop hosts Amy Conner’s The Right Thing Thursday at 6 pm. In her compassionate and lyrical debut novel, Amy Conner explores female friendship, loyalty, and the realities of class and race in a small Southern town. Through chapters alternating between 1963 and 1990, The Right Thing follows two little girls whose lifetime commitment to each other bonds them into adulthood despite their differences: money and the lack of it, the hard realities of class and race in a small Southern town, and how those factors worked to shape their lives. The Right Thing is also a midnight road trip to the New Orleans’ Fairgrounds Race Track, a dog-napping, a one-night stand and an evening spent in the trailer of a transsexual. It’s a southern country lane with potholes, twists and turns on the way to an inevitable yet satisfying ending. It’s a story about one woman’s coming of age at 35, what we owe the people we love and how to navigate compromise and principle.

& Thursday at 6 pm check out #wordconnections spoken word event at the Juju Bag Cafe.
& Every Thursday evening the New Orleans Poetry Brothel hosts a Poetry Hotline. Call 504-264-1336) from 8-12 pm CST and we’ll to hear an original poem.

& The New Orleans Public Library Summer Reading Program Fizz Boom Read kicks off Friday and Satuday with events at branches all across the city. You can get all the details here. Here’s the list: ALGIERS REGIONAL LIBRARY – Noon-2pm – 3014 Holiday Dr. – 596-2641 Science experiments, crafts, and cool snacks. ALVAR LIBRARY – 2pm-3:30p – 913 Alvar St. – 596-2667 Crafts, make-your-own ice cream sundaes, and a Mentos fountain. CHILDREN’S RESOURCE CENTER LIBRARY – 11am-3pm – 913 Napoleon Ave. – 596-2628 Storytimes, crafts, cake and snacks, and a super special science experiment. Children and teens can draw their version of the Summer Reading Program themes, Children’s “Fizz, Boom, Read!” or Teen “Spark a Reaction.” EAST NEW ORLEANS REGIONAL LIBRARY – 10am-4pm – 5641 Read Blvd. – 596-0200 10:am – Noon Sign Up for Summer Reading Program online in the Tech Lab – All ages welcome Noon – 1:30pm Zumba for Teens in the Teen Room – Healthy Snacks 1pm – 2pm Futter-by Butterflies Story Time & Footprint Painting of Butterflies Craft on the Front Lawn—Ages 2-8 2pm – 4pm Serving Cake – All ages welcome HUBBELL LIBRARY – 2pm-4pm – 725 Pelican Ave. – 596-3113 Snacks, crafts, and a Summer Reading Robot building project. ROSA F. KELLER LIBRARY & COMMUNITY CENTER – 10am-2pm – 4300 S. Broad – 596-2660 Crafts, stories, and treats. LATTER LIBRARY – 1pm-3pm – 5120 St. Charles Ave. – 596-2625 Summer reading program sign-up and book giveaways, face painting, yard games, crafts and storytime on demand. MAIN LIBRARY – 1pm-3pm – 219 Loyola Ave. – 596-2588 Loud entertainment by the Noisician Coalition. Crafts, fun snacks, Summer Reading Program Sign-ups, giveaways, and a science experiment. MID-CITY LIBRARY – 1pm-3pm – 3700 Orleans Ave. – 596-2654 Refreshments, experiments, and giveaways. NORMAN MAYER LIBRARY – Noon-2pm – 3001 Gentilly Blvd. – 596-3100 Crafts, treats, and giveaways. Philip Melancon will be singing silly songs and telling silly stories at 1 pm. NIX LIBRARY – 11am-3pm – 1401 S. Carrollton Ave. – 596-2630 Local storyteller Mama Saba. Science experiments, crafts, face painting, chalk art, and the Roman Candy cart. SMITH LIBRARY – 10am-4pm – 6301 Canal Blvd. – 596-263

&Friday at 8 pm author, poet and satirist Chris Champagne presents a stage show about his father, Ed Champagne’s football career. At LSU with Y A Tittle and Steve Van Buren and in the NFL’s LA Rams where he played alongside Norm Van Brocklin, Tom Fears, Bob Waterfield, Tank Younger and others. Multi media-video, photos, audio and a human. At the Mid City Theater. By admission.

& Saturday from 10 am to 1 pm Librarypalooza, two kick-off events for the Jefferson Parish Library’s Summer Reading Program, will occur on Saturday, May 31, at the Eastbank Regional Library, 4747 West Napoleon Blvd, Metairie, and the Jane O’Brien Chatelain Westbank Regional Library, 2751 Manhattan, Harvey. Librarypalooza is free of charge and is open to the public. Registration is not required. Teens have their own event at the East Jefferson Regional Library at 1 pm titled “We Are Sparking a Reaction – Ice Cream Sundae Experiment.” Teens are invited to “experiment” with a variety of toppings at the sundae bar and they will be encouraged to sign up for summer reading. Anyone who signs up during the party will win a free book. The teen center also will have crafts, gaming, a photo booth and more. For full details on all the activities, visit the Jefferson Parish Regional Library calendar of events.

& Garden District Books hosts Greg Iles’s Natchez Burning Saturday at 1 pm . Natchez Burning, the first installment in an epic trilogy that weaves crimes, lies, and secrets past and present into a mesmerizing thriller featuring southern mayor and former prosecutor Penn Cage. Penn’s quest for the truth sends him deep into his father’s past, where a sexually charged secret lies waiting to tear their family apart. More chilling, this long-buried sin is only a single thread in a conspiracy of greed and murder involving the vicious Double Eagles, an offshoot of the KKK controlled by some of the wealthiest and most powerful men in the state. Aided by a dedicated reporter privy to Natchez’s oldest secrets and by his fiancée, Caitlin Masters, Penn uncovers a trail of corruption and brutality that places his family squarely in the Double Eagles’ cross-hairs. With every step costing blood and faith, Penn is forced to confront the most wrenching dilemma of his life: Does a man of honor choose his father or the truth?

& Saturday join Press Street at 6 pm for the FEAST yer eyes Comix/ Illustration Anthology release party and Cirkus Optikus Live Comix Reading! See some of your favorite local comic artists reading live on stage.

& Kenny Harrison will be signing his books Hide and Seek Harry at the Beach and Hide and Seek Harry Around the House Sunday at 11 am at Maple Street Book Shop. Harry likes to play hide-and-seek, but it’s hard to hide a hippo! Little readers will love being in on the joke as they spot the formidable Harry. Kenny Harrison worked for thirty-two years as an award-winning artist for his local newspaper before pursuing his passion: writing and illustrating children’s books. He now works in both traditional and digital techniques. Raised in New York City, he now lives in New Orleans with his wife, two children, and a menagerie of rescue pets.

& Sunday at 1 pm Garden District Book Shop features Nathan Deuel’s Friday Was the Bomb. In 2008, Nathan Deuel, the former editor at Rolling Stone and The Village Voice, and his wife, a National Public Radio foreign correspondent, moved to the deeply Islamic Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to see for themselves what was happening in the Middle East. There they had a daughter, and later, while his wife filed reports from Baghdad and Syria, car bombs erupted and one night a firefight raged outside the family’s apartment in Beirut. Their marriage strained, and they struggled with the decision to stay or go home. At once a meditation on fatherhood, an unusual memoir of a war correspondent’s spouse, and a first-hand account from the front lines of the most historic events of recent days—the Arab Spring, the end of the Iraq war, and the unrest in Syria—Friday Was The Bomb is a searing collection of timely and absorbing essays.

& 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 Danny Kerwick.

& 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 join Slam New Orleans for their second monthly open mic and slam of the new season at the The Shadowbox Theatre. Admission $5

& 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 hosts one of a 12-part series of seminars based on the classic book, The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path To Higher Creativity, by American author Julia Cameron, with Mark Bryan. The book was written to help people with artistic creative recovery, which teaches techniques and exercises to assist people in gaining self-confidence in harnessing their creative talents and skills. Correlation and emphasis is used by the author to show a connection between artistic creativity and a spiritual connection. Cherie Cazanavette is the group moderator. Free of charge and open to the public.

&Tuesday at 2 pm Making the Nix Library features Comics with Happy Presented by Harriet Burbeck Children will explore visual narrative by making small comic books and creating their own visual stories

& On Tuesday at 6 pm, just in time for the opening of the new hurricane season, Nicholas Meis comes to Octavia Books to present and sign the new book he has co-authored, NEW ORLEANS HURRICANES FROM THE START. While hurricanes of various sizes and strengths have impacted the Crescent City since its earliest settlement in 1718, there is little record of the magnitude and regularity of these storms. In this work, authors David F. Bastian and Nicholas J. Meis delve into a wealth of historical documents, journals, newspaper articles, and expert analyses in order to characterize and analyze the storms that have affected our region since the first colonizers set foot on the Mississippi delta in the late seventeenth century. Using letters, personal diaries, official records, newspaper articles, and expert analyses, Bastian and Meis delve into the effects of the monstrous storms that have irreparably impacted south Louisiana, including what went awry during Katrina in 2005. Also examined is the evolution of New Orleans’s protection systems as well as what the city can do to avoid another catastrophe.

& Tuesday at 7 pm the Westbank Fiction Writers’ Group meets 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.

& Wednesday at 6:30 pm Fleur de Lit’s June Reading Between the Wines will feature Greg Herren (Lake Thirteen is his newest), Bill Loehfelm (The Devil in Her Way is his newest), Chris Wiltz (Shoot the Money & The Last Madam are her most recent), Jean Redmann (Ill Will is her newest), N.S. Patrick (Murder of Wednesday’s Children & Jack the Ripper), and Erica Spindler (Justice for Sara). At the American Can Company, 3700 Orleans Ave.

& 8 p.m. every Wednesday the Blood Jet Poetry Series hosted by Megan Burns happens at BJ’s in the Bywater. This week’s features are Brett Evans & Christopher Shipman.

& Wednesday at 8 pm Esoterotica: Original Erotic Readings by Local Writers presents Esoterotica is Unthemed, So Anything Goes-Summer Edition! at the Allways.

& 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!)

& Enrollment is now open for The Loyola Writing Institute summer classes. Register now to get into the class you want. To receive email notification and complete schedules of upcoming classes, email chambers@loyno.edu. The Loyola Writing Institute has been offering writing courses to the New Orleans community since 1993. These eight-week evening non-credit classes are open to all (adults 21 and up), to aspiring writers and writers of all levels. Classes meet uptown on the Loyola University campus. All classes, taught by experienced published writers, are small and supportive. Classes capped at twelve participants. $250.* Deadline for enrollment June 14. Details on the courses on their website: http://www.loyno.edu/wpc/loyola-writing-institute.

& The New Orleans Museum of Art Book Club’s June Selections are Chasing Aphrodite: The Hunt for Antiquities at the World’s Richest Museum by Jason Felch and Ralph Frammolino and/or Stealing Athena: A Novel by Karen Essex. Join the NOMA Book Club! Each month we read art-related fiction and non-fiction, and engage in discussion groups and programs. Book Club members may buy their reading selections at the NOMA Museum Shop at a 20% discount. Call the Shop at (504) 658-4133 for more information.
Looking ahead to a busy next week:

& Peeking ahead, on Sunday, June 8 is a special evening with Khaled Hosseini – #1 New York Times bestselling author of THE KITE RUNNER – celebrating the paperback release of AND THE MOUNTAINS ECHOED. The author will be interviewed before a live audience by Louisiana Cultural Vistas editor David Johnson. Octavia Books is holding the event at Temple Sinai, 6227 St. Charles Avenue (at Calhoun), New Orleans, LA. Doors open at 4:300PM and the program will start promptly at 5:30. Tickets are required! The cost per ticket is the same as the price of the book. You will get to meet Khaled Hosseini in person while he signs your copy. Call or visit Octavia Books (or their website) to order tickets in advance.

& Also looking ahead to the following week there will be a Walker Percy Festival, A Literary Festival Celebrating the Writer and His Works June 6—8 in St. Francisville, Louisiana. Good food and drink, live music, and a great time talking about books and Southern culture under the live oaks: That’s what the inaugural Walker Percy Weekend has to offer when it celebrates the acclaimed novelist’s life and work in St. Francisville, June 6—8. * Tickets are limited and selling fast. You can get tickets here.

& Also in the near future: Ignatius’ Escape from Baton Rouge Tour!Lovers of A Confederacy of Dunces can feast on two exceptional events both guaranteed to deepen their love of the novel and increase their understanding of the author’s life and death. On Saturday, June 7, Ignatius’ Escape from Baton Rouge Bus Tour will retrace the steps of Confederacy protagonist, Igtnatius Reilly’s bus trip back to New Orleans after a disastrous job interview in Baton Rouge. Butterfly Toole biographer Cory MacLauchlin, author of Butterfly in the Typewriter: The Tragic Life of John Kennedy Toole and the Remarkable Story of A Confederacy of Dunces will guide participants through John K Toole’s New Orleans from the Toole Collection at Tulane University Library, to several of Toole’s favorite watering holes in the French Quarter, Toole’s gravesite and finally for a private tour of The Lucky Dog Warehouse and a chance to feast on the iconic Lucky Dog, a Confederacy “character” itself. Along the way, MacLauchlin will regale you with little know facts and tales about Toole, his life and his literary masterpiece. The cost of the Tour is $100 (plus processing fees) per person and includes all transportation, meals, tours and presentations at the JKT Collection and Lucky Dog Warehouse. Seating is limited. Tickets may be purchase from The Manship Theatre Ticket Office. The Ignatius Escape Tour on Saturday will be followed on Sunday, June 8 with a 3 PM Matinee screening of The Omega Point documentary which will include a presentation by filmmaker, Joe Sanford and by Butterfly author, Cory MacLauchlin. There will also be the opportunity to purchase Butterfly in the Typewriter and have it signed by the author. Tickets for The Omega Point are$10 per person and also available at the Manship Theatre Ticket Office.

Odd Words May 21, 2014

Posted by Mark Folse in books, bookstores, Indie Book Shops, literature, memoir, New Orleans, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, publishing, Toulouse Street.
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& Thursday at 6 pm is the one year anniversary of #wordconnections spoken word event at the Juju Bag Cafe, featuring heRO 44 featuring for the first time at #wordconnections. heRO 44 is Roosevelt Wright, III the author of two books, Tenacity, and The Power of Possibility. His third book, Rise Beyond Tolerance, is scheduled for release Summer 2014. He has starred in over 30 stage plays and has written and directed 4 of his own

& Thursday at 6:30 Bayou Magazine hosts a launch party for Issue No. 61 at the Mid-City Yacht Club featuring readings by Bayou Magazine Contributors, including this year’s James Knudsen Prize in Fiction Winner, Michael Gerhard Martin, Issue 60 essayist Juyanne James, Issue 60 poet Thomas Schwank, and Issue 59 James Knudsen Prize in Fiction Winner, Ari Braverman backed up by the musical stylings of The Shiz.

& Thursday at 7 pm James Butler, a writer of science fiction and fantasy (especially steampunk), leads a workshop at the East Jefferson Regional Library to encourage the creation of these genres by local authors. Open to all levels. Free of charge and open to the public. No registration.

& Every Thursday evening the New Orleans Poetry Brothel hosts a Poetry Hotline. Call 504-264-1336) from 8-12 pm CST and we’ll to hear an original poem.

& Friday at 6 pm Octavia Books features a presentation and signing with writer and Tulane University professor Thomas Beller featuring his new biography, J.D SALINGER: The Escape Artist, a spirited, deeply personal inquiry into the near-mythic life and canonical work of Salinger. Three years after his death at ninety-one, J.D. Salinger remains our most mythic writer. The Catcher in the Rye (1951) became an American classic, and he was for a long time the writer for The New Yorker. Franny and Zooey and Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters introduced, by way of the Glass family, a new type in contemporary literature: the introspective, voluble cast of characters whose stage is the Upper East Side of New York. But fame proved a burden, and in 1963 Salinger fled to New Hampshire, spending the next half century in isolation.Beller has followed his subject’s trail, from his Park Avenue childhood to his final refuge, barnstorming across New England to visit various Salinger shrines, interviewing just about everyone alive who ever knew Salinger. The result is a quest biography in the tradition of Geoff Dyer’s Out of Sheer Rage, a book as much about the biographer as about the subject-two vivid, entertaining stories in one.

& Saturday at 1 pm the Garden District Book Shop features Regina Charboneau’s Mississippi Current Cookbook: A Culinary Journey Down America’s Greatest River. Discover the diverse food and culinary traditions from the ten states that border America’s most important river–and the heart of American cuisine–with 200 contemporary recipes for 30 meals and celebrations, and more than 150 stunning 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 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.

& 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.

& All area libraries will be closed Monday for Memorial Day.

& Tuesday at 6 pm the Garden District Book Shop features Barbara Herman’s Scent & Subversion: Decoding a Century of Provocative Perfume. Perfume has been — and continues to be — subversive. By playing with gender conventions, highlighting the ripe smells of the human body, or celebrating queer and louche identities, 20th-century perfume broke free from the assumptions of the prior century, and became a largely unrecognized part of the social and style revolutions of the modern era. In Scent and Subversion, Barbara Herman continues her irreverent, poetic, and often humorous analysis of vintage perfumes and perfume ads that she began on her popular blog YesterdaysPerfume.com. The book features descriptions of over 300 perfumes, starting with Fougère Royale (1882) and ending with Demeter’s Laundromat (2000).

& Tuesday at 7 pm the Edith S. Lawson Library in Westwego hosts The Fiction Writers’ Group, 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.

& 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 Garden District Book Shop features Ronlyn Domingue’s The Chronicle of Secret Riven. One thousand years after a great conflict known as The Mapmaker’s War, a daughter is born to an ambitious historian and a gifted translator. Secret Riven doesn’t speak until her seventh year but can mysteriously communicate with plants and animals. Unsettled by visions and dreams since childhood, she tries to hide her strangeness, especially from her mercurial father and cold mother. Yet gentle, watchful Secret finds acceptance from Prince Nikolas, her best friend, and Old Woman, who lives in the distant woods. When Secret is twelve, her mother receives an arcane manuscript to translate from an anonymous owner. Zavet suffers from nightmares and withdraws into herself. Secret sickens with a fever and awakens able to speak an ancient language, one her mother knows as well. Suddenly, Zavet dies. The manuscript is missing, but a cipher has been left for Secret to find. Years later, Secret becomes a translator’s apprentice for Fewmany, an influential magnate, who has taken an interest in her for reasons she cannot discern. Before Secret learns why, Old Woman confronts Secret with the truth of her destiny—a choice she must make that is tied to an ancient past.

& 8 p.m. every Wednesday the Blood Jet Poetry Series hosted by Megan Burns happens at BJ’s in the Bywater. This week’s features are Gina Abelkop, Anne Marie Rooney, & Magdalena Zurawski.

& 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!)

Odd Words May 14, 2014

Posted by Mark Folse in books, bookstores, Indie Book Shops, literature, memoir, New Orleans, NOLA, Odd Words, Poetry, publishing, Toulouse Street.
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& Thursday at 4 p.m. the Smith Library in New Orleans hosts Kelley Armstrong and Melissa Marr, bestselling authors of both adult and young adult book series, have teamed up and are visiting us for an afternoon to chat about their brand new books and answer questions about your earlier favorites. Signing to follow.

& Thursday at 6:30 pm Garden District Book Shop features Monte Dutton’s The Intangibles. It’s 1968. The winds of change are descending on Fairmont and engulfing the small South Carolina town in a tornadic frenzy. The public schools are finally being completely integrated. Mossy Springs High School is closing and its black students are now attending formerly all-white Fairmont High; the town is rife with racial tension. Several black youths have been arrested for tossing firebombs at a handful of stores. White citizens form a private academy for the purpose of keeping their kids out of the integrated school system. The Ku Klux Klan is growing. This is a story of a high school football team that puts aside its differences, never realizing that, outside its bounds, the world is unraveling. It’s a story about the cultural changes, good and bad, that take place when two societies shift and finally come together. The Intangibles is a story of triumph achieved at considerable cost.

& Porter Shreve will be reading and signing The End of the Book at Maple Street Book Shop Thursday at 6 pm. The End of the Book is the story of an aspiring contemporary novelist who may or may not be writing a sequel to Sherwood Anderson’s classic Winesburg, Ohio. Adam Clary works in Chicago for a famous internet company on a massive project to digitize the world’s books, but secretly he hates his job and wishes to be a writer at a time when the book as physical object and book culture itself have never been more threatened.

& Come meet internationally best-selling author Sarah Pekkanen (The Best of Us, These Girls, Skipping a Beat, and The Opposite of Me) at Octavia Books at 6 pm Thursday when she presents & signs CATCHING AIR, a new novel that once again delivers her “refreshingly introspective, sharply realistic, and tenderly humorous” style (Booklist) and will have readers “flying through the pages” (Hoda Kotb, Today show). It is the story of two couples – a pair of brothers and their wives – who leave everything behind to run a bed and breakfast in bucolic Vermont. But what starts out as an experiment in simpler living turns out to be more complicated than any of them could have imagined, testing the limits of love, family, and the power of forgiveness.

& At the Jefferson Parish East Bank Regional Library hear poet and editor Peter Cooley. He is the author of numerous poetry collections, including Divine Margins (2009), A Place Made of Starlight (2003), and The Astonished Hours (1992). His poems have been widely anthologized in collections such as Best American Poetry (2002) and Poets on Place (2005). Cooley served as poetry editor for the North American Review from 1970 to 2000. He has taught at Tulane University and the University of Wisconsin. He lives in New Orleans. Born and raised in Detroit. He earned a BA at Shimer College, an MA at the University of Chicago, and a PhD at the University of Iowa.

& Every Thursday evening the New Orleans Poetry Brothel hosts a Poetry Hotline. Call 504-264-1336) rom 8-12 pm CST and we’ll to hear an original poem.

& Friday at 2 pm Garden District Book Shop invites you to meet bestselling author and star of Chelsea Lately as she signs her new book Uganda Be Kidding Me. Tickets are $29.43 and will include admittance for 2 adults as well as one copy of Uganda Be Kidding Me. Only copies of Uganda Be Kidding Me purchased from Garden District Book Shop will be signed. This is a signing only. Wherever Chelsea Handler travels, one thing is certain: she always ends up in the land of the ridiculous. Now, in this uproarious collection, she sneaks her sharp wit through airport security and delivers her most absurd and hilarious stories ever. On safari in Africa, it’s anyone’s guess as to what’s more dangerous: the wildlife or Chelsea. But whether she’s fumbling the seduction of a guide by not knowing where tigers live (Asia, duh) or wearing a bathrobe into the bush because her clothes stopped fitting seven margaritas ago, she’s always game for the next misadventure. Complete with answers to the most frequently asked traveler’s questions, hot travel trips, and travel etiquette, none of which should be believed, UGANDA BE KIDDING ME has Chelsea taking on the world, one laugh-out-loud incident at a time. Chelsea Handler is the star of her own late-night talk show on E!, Chelsea Lately, and E!’s comedy series After Lately, as well as the #1 bestselling author of Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang; Are You There, Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea; and My Horizontal Life.

& At 6 pm Friday Garden District hosts Clifton Crais’s History Lessons: A Memoir of Madness, Memory, and the Brain. Born in Louisiana to a soon-to-be absent father and an alcoholic mother—who tried to drown him in a bathtub when he was three—Clifton Crais spent his childhood perched beside his mother on a too-tall bar stool, living with relatives too old or infirmed to care for him, or rambling on his own through New Orleans, a city both haunted and created by memory. Indeed, it is memory—both elusive and essential—that forms the center of Crais’s beautifully rendered memoir, History Lessons. In an effort to restore his own, Crais brings the tools of his formal training as a historian to bear on himself and his family. He interviews his sisters and his mother, revisits childhood homes and pours over documentary evidence: plane tickets, postmarks, court and medical records, crumbling photo albums. Probing family lore, pushing past silences and exhuming long-buried family secrets, he arrives, ultimately, at the deepest reaches of the brain. Crais examines the science of memory and forgetting, from the ways in which experience shapes the developing brain to the mechanisms that cause the chronic childhood amnesia—the most common and least understood form of amnesia—from which he suffers. Part memoir, part narrative science and part historical detective story, History Lessons is a provocative, exquisitely crafted investigation into what it means to be human.

& Show your New Orleans Public Library Card and get FREE entry into the RT Booklovers Convention Giant Book Fair on Saturday, May 17th. Over 700 new and bestselling authors will be signing and selling copies of their latest novels. For more information about the RT Booklovers Convention, and to see a full list of authors attending, visit rtconvention.com

& Julie Lamana will be signing her middle-grade novel, Upside Down in the Middle of Nowhere, Saturday, 11:30-1PM at Maple Street Book Shop. Armani Curtis can think about only one thing: her tenth birthday. All her friends are coming to her party, her mama is making a big cake, and she has a good feeling about a certain wrapped box. Turning ten is a big deal to Armani. It means she’s older, wiser, more responsible. But when Hurricane Katrina hits the Lower Nines of New Orleans, Armani realizes that being ten means being brave, watching loved ones die, and mustering all her strength to help her family weather the storm. A powerful story of courage and survival, Upside Down in the Middle of Nowhere celebrates the miraculous power of hope and love in the face of the unthinkable.

& Saturday at 3 pm the Norman Meyer Library hosts Everything You Wanted to Know About Publishing But Did Not Know Who To Ask! Join us for a conversation with author Kimberla Lawson Roby, Latoya Smith (editor at Grand Central Publishing) and Linda A. Duggins (publicity director at Grand Central Publishing) about the writing process, the industry and being an author in 2014. Q&A and book signing will follow.

& Join Gallatin & Toulouse Press as they launch the novel In Irons by Stonewall Chapbook award-winning local playwright Louie Crowder at the newly renovated Apple Barrel on Frenchman Street.

& Sunday at 11 am Garden District Books features GMA host Robin Roberts’s and her memoir Everybody’s Got Something in which she recounts the incredible journey that’s been her life so far, and the lessons she’s learned along the way. With grace, heart, and humor, she writes about overcoming breast cancer only to learn five years later that she will need a bone marrow transplant to combat a rare blood disorder, the grief and heartbreak she suffered when her mother passed away, her triumphant return to GMA after her medical leave, and the tremendous support and love of her family and friends that saw her through her difficult times.

& Sunday at 1 pm at Octavia Books meet New York Times bestselling authors Melissa Marr and Kelley Armstrong presenting ODIN’S RAVENS. The duo co-authored their debut middle grade series, THE BLACKWELL PAGES. ODIN’S RAVENS is the epic sequel to LOKI’S WOLVES. Perfect for Percy Jackson fans, the series is filled with explosive action, adventure and larger-than-life Norse legends. When thirteen-year-old Matt Thorsen, a modern-day descendant of the Norse god Thor, was chosen to represent Thor in an epic battle to prevent the apocalypse he thought he knew how things would play out. Gather the descendants standing in for gods like Loki and Odin, defeat a giant serpent, and save the world. No problem, right? But the descendants’ journey grinds to a halt when their friend and descendant Baldwin is poisoned and killed and Matt, Fen, and Laurie must travel to the Underworld in the hopes of saving him. But that’s only their first stop on their journey to reunite the challengers, find Thor’s hammer, and stop the apocalypse–a journey filled with enough tooth-and-nail battles and larger-than-life monsters to make Matt a legend in his own right.

& 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 also brings The Revival of Spoken Word at the Regency Reception Hall, 7300 Downman Road. Poets from “back in the day” will be reuniting one more time. This show will feature Peteh Muhammad Haroon Gina Marie Christopher Williams Kenneth Dillon Charles EasyLee Peters Blaque Wido Marcus Page Brandi FlueryTony WilsonTarriona Tank Ball Michael Pellet Erika Murray and many more. Free Food. Hosted by Black Steel( Régan Paul LeCesne) and Spoken Word New Orleans. $5 cover.

& 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 6 pm Master short story writer Ellen Gilchrist, winner of the National Book Award, returns with her first story collection in over eight years at Garden District Book Shop. In Acts of God, she has crafted different scenarios in which people dealing with forces beyond their control somehow manage to survive, persevere, and triumph, even if it is only a triumph of the will. In one way or another, all of these people are fighters and believers, survivors who find the strength to go on when faced with the truth of their mortality, and they are given vivid life in these stories, told with Ellen Gilchrist’s clear-eyed optimism and salty sense of humor.

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

& Monday at 7 pm the East Jefferson Regional Library hosts The Fiction Writers’ Group, 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.

& Tuesday brings the third annual Best vs Worst Slam! Best vs Worst pits Team SNO against Team POO, a team of fake poets played by real life comedians of The New Movement. The concept is simple: Team SNO performs real pieces while Team POO entertains us with outlandish characters and hilarious “poems” in a two-round slam.Don’t miss your chance to check out one of our most fun and unique shows of the year. It all goes down this Tuesday, May 22nd at Press Street on 3718 St. Claude Ave. Doors open at 7 PM.  Show begins at 7:30.  Admission is $5. 

& Tuesday join author Robert Simonson signing his book The Old Fashioned: The Story of the World’s First Classic Cocktail, with Recipes and Lore at the Cane & Table, 1113 Decatur Street. No single cocktail is as iconic, as beloved, or as discussed and fought-over as the Old-Fashioned. Its formula is simple: just whiskey, bitters, sugar, and ice. But how you combine those ingredients—in what proportion, using which brands, and with what kind of garnish—is the subject of much impassioned debate. The Old-Fashioned is the spirited, delightfully unexpected story of this renowned and essential drink: its birth as the ur-cocktail in the nineteenth century, darker days in the throes of Prohibition, re-ascension in the 1950s and 1960s (as portrayed and re-popularized by Don Draper on Mad Men), and renaissance as the star of the contemporary craft cocktail movement. Books will be available on-site from Garden District Book Shop.

& Tuesday at 6 pm Garden District Book Shop hosts Eve O. Schaub’s A Year of No Sugar: A Memoir. It’s Dinnertime. Do You Know Where Your Sugar is Coming From? Most likely everywhere. Sure, it’s in ice cream and cookies, but what scared Eve O. Schaub was the secret world of sugar–hidden in bacon, crackers, salad dressing, pasta sauce, chicken broth, and baby food. With her eyes open by the work of obesity expert Dr. Robert Lustig and others, Eve challenged her husband and two school-age daughters to join her on a quest to eat no added sugar for an entire year. Along the way, Eve uncovered the real costs of our sugar-heavy American diet–including diabetes, obesity, and increased incidences of health problems such as heart disease and cancer. The stories, tips, and recipes she shares throw fresh light on questionable nutritional advice we’ve been following for years and show that it is possible to eat at restaurants and go grocery shopping–with less and even no added sugar.

& 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.

& Also at 8 p.m. every Wednesday the Blood Jet Poetry Series hosted by Megan Burns happens at BJ’s in the Bywater. This week’s features are Gina Ferrara & Izzy Oneiric.

& 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!)

&Wednesday at 7 pm Esoterotica, brings back “Pervspectives” originally part of the New Orleans Fringe Festival 2013, transforming the AllWays, 2240 St. Claude Avenue, into a completely immersive, and erotic fetish club experience. You will see what happens at, during, and inside a fetish event, from the unacquainted newbie to the seasoned player. Through interaction, performance monologue, poetry and prose, “Pervspectives” brings you the kinky, the sensual, the sometimes hilarious, and the undeniably human experience.

Odd Words May 8, 2014

Posted by Mark Folse in books, bookstores, Indie Book Shops, literature, memoir, novel, Odd Words, publishing, Toulouse Street.
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& Jumping out of order for an event Tuesday evening: Octavia Books, Le Petit Theatre, and WWNO host a special evening with New York Times-bestselling author and American radio personality Garrison Keillor featuring THE KEILLOR READER. For the first time, Keillor’s stories, essays, poems, and personal reminiscences have been brought together in a single volume that celebrates and demonstrates the incredible range of his far-reaching talent. The event will take place live at Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre (616 St Peter Street) on Tuesday, May 13, 2014 at 7:30 PM (doors open at 7:00 PM). To attend, you must purchase a ticket. Tickets are required. Each ticket admits one person and will be exchanged at the event for a signed edition of THE KEILLOR READER. (You get to meet Garrison Keillor on stage in person while he signs your book following his reading/performance.)

& Thursday afternoon at 4 pm at the Norman Mayer Library check out Youth Speaks: An Interactive Experience with Monica McKayhan This interactive “talk” will be you asking bestselling teen & tween author Monica McKayhan the questions, about herself, her characters, how she became a writer, what happens in her next book, whatever you want to know.

& Every Thursday evening the New Orleans Poetry Brothel hosts a Poetry Hotline. Call 504-264-1336) rom 8-12 pm CST and we’ll to hear an original poem.

& Friday at 6 m Garden District Book Shop features Corban Addison’s The Garden of Burning Sand. An accomplished young human rights lawyer, Zoe Fleming has made a life for herself in Zambia, far from her estranged father—a business mogul with presidential aspirations—and the devastating betrayals of her past. When a girl with Down syndrome is sexually assaulted in a Lusaka slum, Zoe demands justice. Determined to see the case through, she joins Zambian police officer, Joseph Zabuta, in investigating the rape. Piecing together clues from the victim’s past, they discover a violent connection between the girl— Kuyeya—and a powerful Zambian family that will stop at nothing to bury the truth.

& Friday at 6 pm Octavia Books hosts An Evening with children’s book authors Jeff Kinney (DIARY OF A WIMPY KID) Dav Pilkey (CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS); Jon Scieszka (FRANK EINSTEIN); and Dan Santat (RICKY ROCOTTA’S MIGHTY ROBOT). Each will give a talk about their latest books followed by a booksigning. The event will take place live at Metairie Park Country Day School (300 Park Rd., Metairie, LA 70005) on Friday, May 9, 2014 at 6:00 PM (Doors open 5:30PM). To attend, you must purchase a ticket. Each $10 ticket admits one person and counts toward the purchase of books at the event or toward the pre-purchase of signed Jon Scieszka’s forthcoming FRANK EINSTEIN (Aug. 2014) or Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid #9 (Nov. 2014). Only books purchased at the event will be signed.

& Saturday morning at 10 am Octavia Books invites you to come by and meet author Megan McDonald, creator of the popular and award-winning Judy Moody and Stink series when she drops in to sign copies of favorite titles.

& For Saturday’s Story Time with Miss Maureen at 11:30 am at Maple Street Book Shop features she’ll read Lindbergh: The Tale of a Flying Mouse by Torben Kuhlmann. A story of toil and triumph—inspired by Charles Lindbergh’s solo flight! These are dark times… for a small mouse. A new invention—the mechanical mousetrap—has caused all of the mice but one to flee to America, the land of the free. But with cats guarding the steamships, trans-Atlantic crossings are no longer safe. In the bleakest of places… the one remaining mouse has a brilliant idea. He must learn to fly! Torben Kuhlmann’s stunning illustrations will capture the imagination of readers young and old with the death-defying feats of this courageous and persistent young mouse.

& Then at 11:30 am Octavia features New York Times bestselling middle-grades children’s book author T. A. Barron (THE MERLIN SAGA) when he drops by Octavia Books to sign ATLANTIS RISING, a new fantasy world about the origins of Atlantis, perfect for fans of The Lord of the Rings, Eragon, The Beyonders and Percy Jackson and the Olympians. T. A. Barron will also be signing some other favorite titles including books from the Merlin series, The Hero’s Trail, and others.

& Then at 2 pm Octavia hosts two more children’s authors – Marissa Moss (well-known for her Amelia’s Notebook series) and Marcia Goldman – when they drop by together to sign copies of their latest work. Marissa Moss’ BLOOD DIARIES: Tales of a 6th Grade Vampire continues her tradition of journal-style writing in this funny, yet relatable, story told from the perspective of a middle schooler who just happens to be a vampire. Her books are popular with teachers and children alike. Marissa is a California Book Award winner who has received multiple starred reviews from Kirkus, Booklist and Publisher’s Weekly. Marcia Goldman’s LOLA GOES TO WORK: A 9-5 Therapy Dog is an adorable children’s book that follows Lola, a little terrier with a big job. Children will identify with the feisty Lola as she struggles going to school, passing tests, and finally achieving her Big Dog dream. If Lola can make it in a world of Great Danes and Labradors, so can anybody who’s feeling like a runt! The book even includes a teacher guide for empathy curriculum in back of the book – so it’s a great buy for teachers.

& The burlesque poetry troupe The New Orleans Poetry Brothel hosts a unique scavanger hunt Saturday night. Track down the denizens of the Poetry Brothel across various haunts & dens of iniquity throughout the Marigny! Each poet will offer a riddle or challenge, and the first team to complete the SCAVENGER HUNT will receive a prize (rest assured – there’s punishment for stragglers). Afterwards, all teams are invited to the AllWays. Guest Reader BRETT EVANS (Poet & Founder of ‘Tit Rex) will throttle us with verse, and we’ll thrash to the music of THE CALL GIRLS! Our poetry whores will sell you a private reading in the dank corners of the mosh pit, and, as always, expect anarchic performances from our coterie of acrobats, buskers, and burlesque dancers. Come wearing your finest burlesque, Victorian, or steampunk ensemble and receive a token for a free reading. For full details visit their website.

& Sunday at 11 am Octavia continues its run of children’s authors with children’s picture book illustrator/author Brian Floca drops by Octavia Books to sign copies of his fabulous book LOCOMOTIVE, which recently was awarded the Caldecott Medal.

&Then at 1:30 Octavia finishes its weekend with bestselling and award-winning YA author RUTA SEPETYS featuring her novel, Out of the Easy.vIt’s 1950, and as the French Quarter of New Orleans simmers with secrets, seventeen-year-old Josie Moraine is silently stirring a pot of her own. Known among locals as the daughter of a brothel prostitute, Josie wants more out of life than the Big Easy has to offer. She devises a plan get out, but a mysterious death in the Quarter leaves Josie tangled in an investigation that will challenge her allegiance to her mother, her conscience, and Willie Woodley, the brusque madam on Conti Street.

& 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 California poet Hugh Behm-Steinberg 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.

& 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 at Octavia Paula Freedman presents and signs her debut middle grade children’s novel, MY BASMATI BAT MITZVAH. During the fall leading up to her bat mitzvah, Tara (Hindi for “star”) Feinstein has a lot more than her Torah portion on her mind. Between Hebrew school and study sessions with the rabbi, there doesn’t seem to be enough time to hang out with her best friend Ben-O-who might also be her boyfriend-and her other best friend, Rebecca, who’s getting a little too cozy with the snotty Sheila Rosenberg. Not to mention working on her robotics project with the class clown Ryan Berger, or figuring out what to do with a priceless heirloom sari that she accidentally ruined. Amid all this drama, Tara considers how to balance her Indian and Jewish identities and what it means to have a bat mitzvah while questioning her faith. With the cross-cultural charm of Bend It Like Beckham, this delightful debut novel is a classic coming-of-age

& Monday at 5:30 pm: 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.

& Tuesday at 1 pm Garden District Book Shop features four New Adult Authors: Cora Carmack , Jay Crownover, Sophie Jordan, Nichole Chase , J. Lynn, and Lisa Desrochers sign their books, All Lined Up, Nash, Foreplay, Recklessly Royal, Be With Me, A Little Too Hot, respectively. New Adult fiction is a developing genre of fiction with protagonists in the 18-25 age bracket. For detail on the four author’s and their books, visit the Garden District Book Shop website.

& At 6 pm Tuesday Garden District Book Shop hosts Joseph Boyden’s The Orenda. Christophe has been in the New World only a year when his native guides abandon him to flee their Iroquois pursuers. A Huron warrior and elder named Bird soon takes him prisoner, along with a young Iroquois girl, Snow Falls, whose family he has just killed, and holds them captive in his massive village. Champlain’s Iron People have only recently begun trading with the Huron, who mistrust them as well as this Crow who has now trespassed onto their land; and her people, of course, have become the Huron’s greatest enemy. Putting both to death would resolve the issue, but Bird sees Christophe as a potential envoy to those in New France, and Snow Falls as a replacement for his two daughters who were murdered by the Iroquois. The relationships between these three are reshaped again and again as life comes at them relentlessly: a dangerous trading mission, friendly exchanges with allied tribes, shocking victories and defeats in battle, and sicknesses the likes of which no one has ever witnessed.
The Orenda traces a story of blood and hope, suspicion and trust, hatred and love, that comes to a head when Jesuit and Huron join together against the stupendous wrath of the Iroquois, when everything that any of them has ever known or believed faces nothing less than annihilation. A saga nearly four hundred years old, it is also timeless and eternal.

& 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.

& Wednesdy at 3:30 pm the Smith Librry hots A Talk by Young Adult Author Erin Bowman. Author of the new Young Adult series Taken joins us to talk about her books, her writing process and her journey from graphic designer to published author. She will also read from her new book Frozen, with a Q&A to follow. Snacks provided.

& 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 BJ’s in the Bywater. This week’s features are: Hugh Behm-Steinberg is the author of Shy Green Fields (No Tell Books) and The Opposite of Work (JackLeg Press), as well as two Dusie chapbooks, Sorcery and Good Morning! He teaches writing at California College of the Arts in San Francisco, where he edits the journal Eleven Eleven. Chris Champagne is the author of The New Yat DIctionary from Lavender Ink. James Nolan says of Chris Champagne: “What Dylan Thomas did for Welsh, Chris Champagne does for YAT.” As noted scholar and linguist Dr. Nancy Dixon says, “If you ain’t got this book, how you gonna talk right, Dawlin?” He is also the author of Roach Opera from Portals Press. Kelly McQuain grew up surrounded by the mountains of West Virginia’s Monongahela National Forest. His poetry has appeared in Painted Bride Quarterly, The Pinch, Assaracus, Kin, Mead, Bloom, Chelsea Station, American Writing and the anthologies Poems for the Writing and Rabbit Ears: TV Poems. His fiction has appeared in such journals as Icarus, The James White Review, Kansas Quarterly/Arkansas Review, The Harrington Gay Men’s Fiction Quarterly and in numerous anthologies, including Best American Erotica, Skin & Ink and Men on Men 2000. His book reviews and columns on city life appear in The Philadelphia Inquirer. Recently his poem, “Camping as Boys in the Cow Field”, was selected by Reginald Dwayne Betts as the winner of Redivider’s AWP poetry contest. McQuain works as a professor in Philadelphia.

Odd Words May 1, 2014

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

& Here are the second weekend lineup of book signings in the Southern Bookseller’s Association Book Tent at Jazz Fest:

Thursday

  • Susan Larson, 12-1PM, Booklovers Guide to New Orleans
  • Bill Loehfelm, 2-3PM, The Devil in Her Way
  • Bonnie Warren, 3-4PM, New Orleans Historic Homes
  • Michael Murphy, 4-5PM, Eat Dat New Orleans: A Guide to the Unique Food Culture of the Crescent City

Friday

  • Richard Sexton, 12-1PM, Creole World: : Photographs of New Orleans and the Latin Caribbean Sphere
  • Cornell Landry, 1-2PM, Happy Jazz Fest
  • Diane de las Casas & Kid Chef Eliana, 3-4PM, Cinderellephant & Cool Kids Cook: Fresh and Fit
  • Edward Branley, 4-5PM, New Orleans Jazz

Saturday

  • Rob Owen, 12-1PM, Spy Boy, Cheyenne and Ninety Six Crayons
  • Poppy Tooker, 1-2PM, Louisiana Eats
  • Rebecca Snedeker, 3-4PM, Unfathomable City

Sunday

  • Sally Asher, 12-1PM, Hope & New Orleans
  • Johnette Downing, 2-3PM, How to Dress A Po’Boy

& Saturday at Maple Street Book Shop it’s Story Time with Miss Maureen, who’ll read A Lion in Paris by Beatrice Alemagna. A Lion in Paris is widely regarded as the most accomplished book by multi-award-winning children’s author/illustrator Beatrice Alemagna. It tells the story of a lion who, bored by his rural life in the savanna, seeks excitement and opportunity in the City of Light. Upon arriving in Paris, the lion is disappointed to find that despite his size, people barely pay attention to him, not even when he lets out a ferocious roar on the busy underground Metro.
Revealing the sights and sounds of Paris from Montmartre to the Eiffel Tower, this beautifully illustrated book successfully conveys the experience of being a stranger in a new city and the process of understanding one’s own identity.

& 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 JAZZ FEST OPEN MIC.

& Sunday at 7 pm Slam New Orleans hosts a special event for our May monthly show: “Diasporic Diction: Voices of Color,” a showcase featuring some of New Orleans finest on the mic. The night includes a featured performance by noted poet Kalamu Salaam and a showcase with performances by: Chuck Perkins, Delia Tomino Nakayama, Gian Francisco Smith, Ro Wright (heRO44), Honey Sanaa, Sha’Condria iCon Sibley, Joao J O Amos, Jose Torres-Tama, Kelly Harris DeBerry and SOL Galeano. We will kick off the show with the Voices of Color open mic. $5 admission.

& Sunday at 9pm will be tThe last book party celebrating the release of “New Orleans: the Underground Guide” (LSU Press) and “Famous People I Have Met (Collected Works 1999-2014) is a LIVE HIP-HOP show at Vaughan’s featuring a live interview with Katey Red (who will also “read poetry”), plus live music by MC Know One, Lucky Lou, Missing Persons, MC Intel, and live band MadFro feat. Slangston Huges!

& 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.

& On Monday at 6 pm Garden District Book Shop will feature Ryan Holiday’a The Obstacle is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph. The great Athenian orator Demosthenes was born with a crippling speech impediment and was robbed of his inheritance by cruel guardians. Samuel Zemurray was a poor roadside fruit peddler pitted against the behemoth United Fruit Company. Ulysses S. Grant found himself stuck across the Mississippi river, desperately trying to break into the impenetrable fortress of Vicksburg. These icons and many others throughout history—from John D. Rockefeller to Amelia Earhart to Richard Wright to Steve Jobs—were often placed in nearly impossible situations that turned out to be the platforms for astounding triumphs. They were not exceptionally brilliant, lucky, or gifted. Their success in overcoming extreme obstacles was the result of a timeless set of philosophical principles that great men and women have always followed. Now Ryan Holiday unpacks those lessons and re-frames them for today’s world, building on the wisdom of the ancient Stoics and a rich trove of examples. He shows us how to turn obstacles into advantages, through controlling our perceptions, swift and energetic action, and true force of will.

& Monday at 5:30 pm: 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.

& On Monday Charles Robert Marsh will be reading from and signing Strange Glory: A Life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer at Maple Street Book Shop at 6PM. In the decades since his execution by the Nazis in 1945, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the German pastor, theologian, and anti-Hitler conspirator, has become one of the most widely read and inspiring Christian thinkers of our time. Now, drawing on extensive new research, Strange Glory offers a definitive account, by turns majestic and intimate, of this modern icon.

& At 7 pm the Jefferson Parish Library East Bank Fiction Writers Group will host speaker Chris Smith, who will discuss book promotion. The Jefferson Parish Library hosts roughly 80 authors per year who present their novels to library patrons. Though they have created and managed to publish a work of literature, many authors are unprepared for all of the activities to market their books, and many do not know how to conduct a basic book signing. Other authors may have created a short story, but do not know where to submit. And some authors are so wrapped up in the craft of writing that they never become connected to the local writing community. This event will start with a basic discussion of how to conduct a book signing but the overall goal is to begin the process of compiling a list of resources for local writers. The final product will include festivals, book signing venues, classes, etc.

& Tuesday at 6 pm Octavia Books hosts author Cara Hoffman and her unflinching new novel, BE SAFE I LOVE YOU. Lauren Clay has returned from a tour of duty in Iraq just in time to spend the holidays with her family. Before she enlisted, Lauren, a classically trained singer, and her brother Danny, a bright young boy obsessed with Arctic exploration, made the most of their modest circumstances, escaping into their imaginations and forming an indestructible bond. Joining the army allowed Lauren to continue to provide for her family, but it came at a great cost.

& On Tuesday Afton Wilky is the 1718 Society’s featured reader for May at 7 pm at The Columns Hotel. Afton Wilky is a multi-disciplinary artist—painter, poet, she works with digital media, and is a book artist. She is the author of Clarity Speaks of a Crystal Sea (Flim Forum Press, Feb 2014) and her work is in or forthcoming from journals such as Black Warrior Review, LITMag, Ink Node, EOAGH, textsound, Word for/Word, and Jacket2. She is the Managing Editor of The Volta. 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.

On Tuesday Garden District Book Shop will host Bill Loehfelm and his new novel The Devil in Her Way. Maureen Coughlin’s life has changed in more ways than one. She is starting over in New Orleans as a newly minted member of the police force, but her transition from cocktail waitress to cop hasn’t gone as smoothly as she’d hoped. To her commanding officer’s amusement, Maureen kicks off her final week of field training by taking a punch to the face as a panicked suspect flees an apartment building, leaving behind several guns and a stash of pot. But out on the street, on the fringes of the action, Maureen sees something transpire that leaves her shaken, and she’s sure there’s more to this story than meets the eye. As Maureen embarks on a dangerous hunt for answers, Bill Loehfelm guides us around the Crescent City’s hidden corners and into its darkest outposts. The result is The Devil in Her Way: a propulsive thriller as electrifying as the city itself.

& 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.

& Fleur de Lit’s monthly reading series focuses on music on Wednesday, May 7th, at 6:30pm at he American Can Co. Matt Sakakeeny, author of Roll With It: Brass Bands in the Streets of New Orleans, Sally Newhart, author of The Original Tuxedo Jazz Band, and Joel Dinerstein, author of American Cool, will read.

& Wednesday at 8 pm feeatures Esoterotica’s 2nd Annual “Debaucherous Duets”. This was so incredible last year, and we had so much fun, that the local provocateurs of Esoterotica are doing it again, together, on stage, Wednesday, May 7th. Yes, that’s right, it’s an evening showcasing entirely collaborative and group erotica.

& 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 BJ’s in the Bywater. This week’s features Vincent Cellucci & Benjamin Lowekron.

Also at 8 pm the UNO MFA Poetry Program will host a reading at the Banks Street Bar. Poets from Carolyn Hembree’s poetry class of Spring 2014 who will be reading include: Poets to read:, Kia Groom, Roxy Seay, Christian Coleman, Benjamin Sines, Liz Hogan, Lauren Walter, Jessie Strauss, Maya Lowy, Nordette Adams, M.e. Riley. and Phyllis Dunham.

Odd Words April 24, 2014

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

& Thursday at 6:30 pm The Nix Library on Carrollton Avenue will host a poetry reading by the local literary group Peauxdunque Writers Alliance.

& Thursday night at 6 pm Join Room 220 for a Happy Hour Salon with local authors Zachary Lazar and Daniel Castro from 6-9 p.m. on Thursday, April 24, at the Press Street HQ (3718 St. Claude Ave.). The event will celebrate the release of Lazarar’s s new novel, I Pity the Poor Immigrant. The book is Lazar’s third novel. It uses notorious gangster Meyer Lansky as a pivot point around which mobsters, journalists, and a seedy cast of characters run circles, darting back and forth between past and present, Israel and the United States, fiction and “reality”. Room 220 will feature an interview with Lazar soon about the book, conducted by Engram Wilkinson, but until then you can read profiles in the Times-Picayune and the Los Angeles Times. Publishers Weekly called I Pity the Poor Immigrant “an interesting and challenging novel,” while Kirkus Review said the intricate connections Lazar makes in the book are “complex and artful, though at times bewildering even to discerning readers.” So, bring your thinking caps. Joining Lazar will be Daniel Castro, who was born and raised in New Orleans. Castro is a graduate of NOCCA and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and his work has appeared in the Miami Herald and the Tampa Review. He is the winner of the 2012 Novella Prize from the Faulkner Society, and the 2013 CINTAS fellowship in literature.

& Also at 6 pm Thursday Garden District Book Shop presents Dr. Michael Saag’s Positive: One Doctor’s Personal Encounters With Death, Life, and the US Healthcare System. Positive traces the life of Michael S. Saag, MD, an internationally known expert on the virus that causes AIDS, but the book is more than a memoir: through his story, Dr. Saag also shines a light on the dysfunctional US healthcare system, proposing optimistic yet realistic remedies drawn from his distinguished medical career.

& Thurday the East Jefferson Main Branch Library hosts the Sci-Fi and Fantasy Writers Group at 7 pm. James Butler, a writer of science fiction and fantasy (especially steampunk), leads a workshop to encourage the creation of these genres by local authors. Open to all levels. Free of charge and open to the public. No registration.

& Also on Thursday at 6 p.m., Maple Street Book Shop hosts Sally Asher, who will discuss and sign Hope & New Orleans. 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.

& Friday at noon Tulane University will host a Book Signing and Presentation by Tulane Professor Carolyn her book New Orleans Memories:One Writer’s City.

& And its Jazz Fest, and the Gulf South Booksellers Association will once again host the festival Book Tent. Here’s the first weekend’s lineup:

Friday, April 25th

  • Denise McConduit, 12-1PM, DJ Books
  • Rebecca Sive, 1-2PM, Every Day is Election Day
  • Nancy Dixon, 3-4PM, N. O. Lit
  • Ann Benoit, 4-5PM, New Orleans Best Ethnic Restaurants
  • James Cobb. 5-6PM, Flood of Lies

Saturday, April 26th

  • Dean Alger, 12-1PM, Original Guitar Hero and the Power of Music: The Legendary Lonnie Johnson, Music and Civil Rights
  • Jay Mazza , 1-2PM, Not Just Another Thursday Night: Kermit Ruffins and Vaughan’s Lounge
  • Edward Branley, 2-3PM, New Orleans Jazz
  • Jeremy Labadie and Argyle Wolf-Knapp , 3-4PM, New Orleans Beer
  • Carolyn Kolb, 4-5PM, New Orleans Memories
  • Richard Campanella, 5-6PM, Bourbon Street

Sunďay, April 27th

  • Patrice Kononcheck, 12-1PM, In a While Crocodile: New Orleans Slow Cooker Recipes
  • John Wirt, 1-2PM, Huey “Piano” Smith and the Rocking Pneumonia Blues
  • Rebecca Snedecker, 2-3PM, Unfathomable City
  • Donald Link, 3-4PM, Down South: :Bourbon, Pork, Gulf Shrimp & Second Helpings of Everything
  • Matt Sakakeeny, 4-5PM, Roll With It: Brass Bands in the Streets of New Orleans

& You can call the New Orleans Poetry Brothel every Thursday from 8-midnight for a live poetry reading. 504-264-1336.

&Friday Garden District Book Shop feature Coffee and Cookies with Cokie Roberts: Founding Mothers: Remembering the Ladies at 8:45 AM. Founding Mothers: Remembering the Ladies reveals the incredible accomplishments of the women who orchestrated the American Revolution behind the scenes. Roberts traces the stories of heroic, patriotic women such as Abigail Adams, Martha Washington, Phillis Wheatley, Mercy Otis Warren, Sarah Livingston Jay, and others. Details are gleaned from their letters, private journals, lists, and ledgers. The bravery of these women’s courageous acts contributed to the founding of America and spurred the founding fathers to make this a country that “remembered the ladies.”

& Saturday at the Maple Leaf Book Shop it’s Story Time with Miss Maureen, who’ll read Gorilla by Anthony Browne. Hannah spends all of her time reading gorilla books, watching gorilla TV shows, and drawing gorilla pictures. She has gorillas on her bedside lamp and even on her box of cereal. Hannah loves gorillas and longs to see a real one, but her father is always too busy – or too tired – to take her to the zoo. Then, on the night before her birthday, something extraordinary happens – and Hannah’s wish comes gloriously true.

& 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 JAZZ FEST 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.

& Tuesday at noon the Tulane Univerity book Store wil host a book signing and presentation by Sally Asher of her work Hope & 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. Watch Odd Words on Facebook and Google+ on Tuesdays for a complete list of her guests and features.

& 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 Bill Hillman and Ben Tanzer will be signing their books. Bill Hillman’s book, The Old Neighborhood, is the story of teenager Joe Walsh, the youngest in a large, mixed-race family living in Chicago. After Joe witnesses his older brother commit a gangland murder, his friends and family drag him down into a pit of violence that reaches a bloody impasse when his elder sister begins dating a rival gang member. The Old Neighborhood is both a brutal tale of growing up tough in a mean city, and a beautiful harkening to the heartbreak of youth. Bill Hillmann is an award-winning writer and storyteller from Chicago. His writing has appeared in the Chicago Tribune, Newcity, Salon.com, and has been broadcast on NPR. He’s told stories around the world with his internationally acclaimed storytelling series the Windy City Story Slam. Hillmann is a Union Construction Laborer and a bull-runner in Spain. In the not so distant past, Hillmann was a feared street brawler, gang affiliate, drug dealer, convict, and Chicago Golden Glove Champion.

The essays in Ben Tanzer’s Lost in Space: A Father’s Journey There and Back Again focus on parenting, delving into topics including sleep (or the lack of), discipline, first haircuts, deceased parents and grandparents, illness, and the inherent challenges and humor that coincide with, and are intrinsically tied-into, these stages of life. The essays also recognize the ongoing presence of Tanzer’s own dead father in his life as he seeks to parent without his guidance or advice.

& Wednesday at 7 pm the East Jeffersion Regional Library hosts The Fiction Writers’ Group, 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.

& 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 BJ’s in the Bywater. Featured this week is Sara Jacobelli and Whitney Mackman.

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 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

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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!)

If you’ve read this far on Facebook, please Like and Share the posting to help spread The Word.

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.

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