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Odd Words September 12, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday is Slam and Spoken Word Day in New Orleans:

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

  • The new Sunday show from Spoken Word New Orleans is Poetry and Paint Brushes. Spoken Word artists perform as a resident artist sketches the performers. Doors at 7 pm. and show at 8 pm. at Special Tea, 4337 Banks Street.
  • The Black Star Cafe, 800 Belleville St. in Algiers at 7 p.m.;
  • The Shadowbox Theater at 2400 St.Claude Ave. at 7 p.m.;
  • Espe’s Kitchen, 1743 N Broad St. at 7 p.m.; and,
  • the T—–y Wine Lounge, 3001 Tulane Ave., doors at 7 p.m., Admission $5.

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

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

& Susan Larson, the former book editor of the former Times-Picayune newspaper and member of the National Book Critics Circle hosts The Reading Life on WWNO (89.9 FM) on Tuesdays at 1:30 p.m. She features interviews with authors of local and national interest.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Odd Words August 22, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

& Sunday at 3 p.m. at the Maple Leaf Bar is the Maple Leaf Reading Series, the oldest continuous reading series in the south, founded by Everette Maddox. This week poet Valentine Pierce reads from her work, followed by an open mike. In the back patio, weather permitting. Periodic features and an open mic every Sunday.

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

  • The new Sunday show from Spoken Word New Orleans is Poetry and Paint Brushes. Spoken Word artists perform as a resident artist sketches the performers. Doors at 7 pm. and show at 8 pm. at Special Tea, 4337 Banks Street.
  • The Black Star Cafe, 800 Belleville St. in Algiers at 7 p.m.;
  • The Shadowbox Theater at 2400 St.Claude Ave. at 6 p.m.;
  • Espe’s Kitchen, 1743 N Broad St. at 7 p.m.;
  • and,
    <li<the T*e*r*p* Wine Lounge, 3001 Tulane Ave., doors at 9 p.m., Admission $5.

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

& Susan Larson, the former book editor of the former Times-Picayune newspaper and member of the National Book Critics Circle hosts The Reading Life on WWNO (89.9 FM) on Tuesdays at 1:30 p.m. She features interviews with authors of local and national interest.

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

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

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

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

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

Odd Words August 14, 2013

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

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

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

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

& Sunday at 3 p.m. at the Maple Leaf Bar is the Maple Leaf Reading Series, the oldest continuous reading series in the south, founded by Everette Maddox. In the back patio, weather permitting. Periodic features and an open mic every Sunday.

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

  • The new Sunday show from Spoken Word New Orleans is Poetry and Paint Brushes. Spoken Word artists perform as a resident artist sketches the performers. Doors at 7 pm. and show at 8 pm. at Special Tea, 4337 Banks Street.
  • The Black Star Cafe, 800 Belleville St. in Algiers at 7 p.m.;
  • The Shadowbox Theater at 2400 St.Claude Ave. at 6 p.m.;
  • Espe’s Kitchen, 1743 N Broad St. at 7 p.m.;
  • and,
    <li<the T*e*r*p* Wine Lounge, 3001 Tulane Ave., doors at 9 p.m., Admission $5.

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

& Susan Larson, the former book editor of the former Times-Picayune newspaper and member of the National Book Critics Circle hosts The Reading Life on WWNO (89.9 FM) on Tuesdays at 1:30 p.m. She features interviews with authors of local and national interest.

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

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

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

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

Odd Words August 7, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

& Sunday at 3 p.m. at the Maple Leaf Bar is the Maple Leaf Reading Series, the oldest continuous reading series in the south, founded by Everette Maddox. In the back patio, weather permitting. Periodic features and an open mic every Sunday.

& WhoDatPoets.com lists four Spoken Word shows on Sunday nights: The new Sunday show from Spoken Word New Orleans is Poetry and Paint Brushes. Spoken Word artists perform as a resident artist sketches the performers. Doors at 7 pm. and show at 8 pm. at Special Tea, 4337 Banks Street. There are also open mics at The Black Star Cafe, 800 Belleville St. in Algiers at 7 p.m.; The Shadowbox Theater at 2400 St.Claude Ave. at 6 p.m.; Espe’s Kitchen, 1743 N Broad St. at 7 p.m.; and, the T****** Wine Lounge, 3001 Tulane Ave., doors at 9 p.m., Admission $5. For phone numbers with more details on all these readings visit WHODATPOETS.COM. (If I don’t block out the name of the location at 3001 Tulane, Facebook will reject my ad for promoting alcohol. Go figure.)

& Susan Larson, the former book editor of the former Times-Picayune newspaper and member of the National Book Critics Circle hosts The Reading Life on WWNO (89.9 FM) on Tuesdays at 1:30 p.m. She features interviews with authors of local and national interest.

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

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

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

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

Odd Words August 1, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

& Sunday at 3 p.m. at the Maple Leaf Bar is the Maple Leaf Reading Series, the oldest continuous reading series in the south, founded by Everette Maddox. In the back patio, weather permitting. Periodic features and an open mic every Sunday.

& WhoDatPoets.com lists four Spoken Word shows on Sunday nights: The new Sunday show from Spoken Word New Orleans is Poetry and Paint Brushes. Spoken Word artists perform as a resident artist sketches the performers. Doors at 7 pm. and show at 8 pm. at Special Tea, 4337 Banks Street. There are also open mics at The Black Star Cafe, 800 Belleville St. in Algiers at 7 p.m.; The Shadowbox Theater at 2400 St.Claude Ave. at 6 p.m.; Espe’s Kitchen, 1743 N Broad St. at 7 p.m.; and, the T****** Wine Lounge, 3001 Tulane Ave., doors at 9 p.m., Admission $5. For phone numbers with more details on all these readings visit WHODATPOETS.COM. (If I don’t block out the name of the location at 3001 Tulane, Facebook will reject my ad for promoting alcohol. Go figure.)

& Susan Larson, the former book editor of the former Times-Picayune newspaper and member of the National Book Critics Circle hosts The Reading Life on WWNO (89.9 FM) on Tuesdays at 1:30 p.m. She features interviews with authors of local and national interest.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Odd Words July 25, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

& Sunday at 3 p.m. at the Maple Leaf Bar is the Maple Leaf Reading Series, the oldest continuous reading series in the south, founded by Everette Maddox. In the back patio, weather permitting. Periodic features and an open mic every Sunday.

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

& WhoDatPoets.com lists four Spoken Word shows on Sunday nights: The new Sunday show from Spoken Word New Orleans is Poetry and Paint Brushes. Spoken Word artists perform as a resident artist sketches the performers. Doors at 7 pm. and show at 8 pm. at Special Tea, 4337 Banks Street. There are also open mics at The Black Star Cafe, 800 Belleville St. in Algiers at 7 p.m.; The Shadowbox Theater at 2400 St.Claude Ave. at 6 p.m.; Espe’s Kitchen, 1743 N Broad St. at 7 p.m.; and, the T****** Wine Lounge, 3001 Tulane Ave., doors at 9 p.m., Admission $5. For phone numbers with more details on all these readings visit WHODATPOETS.COM. (If I don’t block out the name of the location at 3001 Tulane, Facebook will reject my ad for promoting alcohol. Go figure.)

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

& Susan Larson, the former book editor of the former Times-Picayune newspaper and member of the National Book Critics Circle hosts The Reading Life on WWNO (89.9 FM) on Tuesdays at 1:30 p.m. She features interviews with authors of local and national interest.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Odd Words July 18, 2013

Posted by Mark Folse in books, New Orleans, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, publishing, Radiators, Toulouse Street.
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& Local mystery novelist Kent Westmoreland will be signing his book Baronne Street at the Monteleone Hotel as part of Tales of the Cocktail from 3-3:30 p.m. Thursday and again at 1 p.m. on Saturday. Bombay Sapphire will be mixing character Burleigh Drummond’s favorite Sapphire cocktail.

& Thursday evening at 6 p.m. Octavia Books hosts a reading & signing with author Matthew Guinn featuring his new Southern Gothic style book, THE RESURRECTIONIST, which delves into the dark, surreal legacy of one slave owned by a South Carolina Medical school. It’s a thrilling narrative based on the true story of Grandson Harris, the “Resurrection Man” of Georgia.

& Thursday at 6 p.m. Garden District Book Shop will host Thalia “Tex” Seggelink and Kim Ritchie “Blaze” Spencer and their book The Thinking Moms’ Revolution. The Thinking Moms’ Revolution (TMR) is a group of twenty-three moms (and one awesome dad) from Montana to Malaysia who all have children with developmental disabilities. Initially collaborating online about therapies, biomedical intervention, alternative medicine, special diets, and doctors on the cutting edge of treatment approaches to an array of chronic and developmental disabilities, such as autism, sensory processing disorders, food allergies, ADHD, asthma, and seizures, they’ve come together into something far more substantial. Suspecting that some of the main causes may be overused medicines, vaccinations, environmental toxins, and processed foods, they began a mission to help reverse the effects. In the process, they became a tight-knit family dedicated to helping their kids shed their diagnoses.

& Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. the Juju Bag Cafe, 5363 Franklin Ave., presents a Spoken Word Showcase, with happy hour from 5-7.

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

& Thursday night around 9 p.m. is a poetry meet-up at Fiora’s Coffee Shop and Gallery loosely organized by Jimmy Ross. Mostly we sit around outside in the breeze, visit and occasionally read a poem. Come grab a cup of iced tea and join us.

& On Saturday Tonja Koob Marking and Jennifer Snape will be signing their book Huey P. Long Bridge at Maple Street Book Shop at 11 a.m. This is their second Arcadia Publishing book, the familiar volumes with sepia covers on local topics. The two civil engineers find inspiration in the historic engineering achievements that made life in south Louisiana possible, and they want to share those accomplishments with the people of Louisiana!

& Sunday at 3 p.m. at the Maple Leaf Bar is the Maple Leaf Reading Series, the oldest continuous reading series in the south, founded by Everette Maddox. This week Poet Laureate Emeritus July Kane visits and reads. In the back patio, weather permitting. Periodic features and an open mic every Sunday.

& At Garden District Book Shop from 4-6 p.m. Sunday Frederick Starr and Robert Brantley present Une Belle Maison: The Lombard Plantation House in New Orlean’s Bywater. This is the story of the rise, fall, and eventual resurrection of one of America’s finest extant examples of West Indian Creole architecture and of the entire neighborhood of which it is an anchor. Through meticulous study of archives and archeology, the author presents fascinating insights on how residents of this working plantation actually lived

& WhoDatPoets.com lists four Spoken Word shows on Sunday nights: The new Sunday show from Spoken Word New Orleans is Poetry and Paint Brushes. Spoken Word artists perform as a resident artist sketches the performers. Doors at 7 pm. and show at 8 pm. at Special Tea, 4337 Banks Street. There are also open mics at The Black Star Cafe, 800 Belleville St. in Algiers at 7 p.m.; The Shadowbox Theater at 2400 St.Claude Ave. at 6 p.m.; Espe’s Kitchen, 1743 N Broad St. at 7 p.m.; and, the Therapy Wine Lounge, 3001 Tulane Ave., doors at 9 p.m., Admission $5. For phone numbers with more details on all these readings visit WHODATPOETS.COM.

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

& Susan Larson, the former book editor of the former Times-Picayune newspaper and member of the National Book Critics Circle hosts The Reading Life on WWNO (89.9 FM) on Tuesdays at 1:30 p.m. She features interviews with authors of local and national interest.

& Octavia Books hosts an afteroon signing at 2 p.m. with noted photographer Richard Sexton and writers Randy Harelson and Brian Costello featuring their book, NEW ROADS AND OLD RIVERS: Louisiana’s Historic Pointe Coupee Parish. New Roads and Old Rivers reveals the natural and cultural vitality of Pointe Coupee Parish, Louisiana, as seen in the stunning photographs of Richard Sexton, with text by Randy Harelson and Brian Costello. Pointe Coupee is one of the oldest settlements in the Mississippi Valley, dating to the 1720s

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

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

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

& This Wednesday Esoterotica presents “Erotica in Action,” an evening of (writing about) favorite sex acts at the Always Lounge, doors at 7 p.m. and show at 8 p.m. By donation.

Odd Words July 4, 2013

Posted by Mark Folse in books, literature, New Orleans, NOLA, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, publishing, Toulouse Street.
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This weekend marks the Community Book Center’s 30th anniversary. This Afro-centric New Orleans institution–part bookstore, part art gallery, part meeting place–invites the entire community to join and celebrate with a full weekend of events, including:

  • Friday, July 5: Musical Interlude with special guest “Jiar” (10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.). “Peace Talks: Ending Monkey Chatter” ith the Rev. Dr. Denise L. Graves (11 am-noon); Creole Cooking Demonstration with Chef D from 1-3 p.m., more music and a discussion of the book Wretched of the Earth by Frantz Fannon, a a Fish Fry, Music and Dancing starting at 4 p.m. (donation: $10).
  • Saturday, July 6: An Education Panel Discussion led by Dr. Adrienne D. Dixon, author of The Handbook of Critical Race Theory in Education (10 am – noon); artist Amy Bryan hosting a children’s workshop (noon – 2 p.m.); reading and signing by Dr. Mona Lisa Saloy, author of Red Beans and Ricely Yours (2-4 p.m.); Reading and signing by Iyanla Vanzant, author of Peace from Broken Pieces (4 p.m.); and finally solo guitarist Renard Boissier sings and plays ( 7 p.m. $10 donation).
  • The weekend closes out Sunday July 7 with a Sunday Jazz Brunch featuring trumpeter Mario Abney (11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Donation of $15 for adults, $5 for children).

& I just visited with Jimmy Ross and he’s pretty sure there won’t be any poets hanging around outside Flora Coffee Shop and Gallery this Thursday what with the fireworks and all. Look for this meeting the following week.

& The New Orleans Public Library Calendar announces that the Hubbell Branch Library will be closed from July 4-9, reopening on July 10. NOPL will be closed system wide on July 4th of course, and the Jefferson Parish library will be closed July 4 and 5. Be sure to check the NOPL’s website for all kinds of events for all ages to numerous to list here. You can find the Jefferson Parish Library’s calendar here.

& On Friday at 6 p.m., Octavia Books hosts author/actress Victoria Rowell — Drucilla on “The Young and the Restless” — returns to Octavia Books to read from and sign her new novel, THE YOUNG AND THE RUTHLESS, another hilarious and shocking send-up of the soap opera world.

& Saturday’s Poetry Buffet at the Latter Memorial Library will feature New Orleans Poets Reading New Orleans Poets at 2 p.m.

& Sunday at 3 p.m. at the Maple Leaf Bar is the Maple Leaf Reading Series, the oldest continuous reading series in the south, founded by Everette Maddox. Poets Billy Bonsach and Julian Stock read this Sunday. In the back patio, weather permitting. Periodic features and an open mic every Sunday.

& The new Sunday show from Spoken Word New Orleans is Poetry and Paint Brushes. Spoken Word artists perform as a resident artist sketches the performers. Doors at 7 pm. and show at 8 pm. at Special Tea, 4337 Banks Street.

& Susan Larson, the former book editor of the former Times-Picayune newspaper and member of the National Book Critics Circle hosts The Reading Life on WWNO (89.9 FM) on Tuesdays at 1:30 p.m. She features interviews with authors of local and national interest.

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

Every Wednesday at Buffa’s in the back room there will be music and poetry hosted by Laura Mattingly from 7-8 p.m. followed by an open mic.

Wednesday at 6 p.m. Octavia Books hosts Peter M. Wolf and his book MY NEW ORLEANS, GONE AWAY: A Memoir of Loss and Renewal. “I adore this book and read it in a kind of dreamy fog, unable to put it down and think of anything else. It strikes just the perfect note for a New Orleans memoir, smart and graceful, with the affectionate heart of a native son and the clear eyes and keen intelligence of a scholar of cities. And it’s a very brave book, coming from a man who’s struggled and taken risks for his passions.” Susan Larson, The Reading Life, WWNO.

Wednesday night Esoterotica is back with Esoterotica Presents “Sexmas in July” Provocateur’s Secret Santa, in which various provocateurs read a piece written about another whose name was drawn from a hat. And I have absolutely no idea what Oddball is going to have to say about Mr. Funky, but I promise: it will be funky. Or vaguely Japanese. Or something. What does Mr. Funky wear under his hakama? This group consistently produces some of the best writing and performance of any semi-open mic event in New Orleans and I highly recommend you check it out. Or, as Jim Morrison asks in the Oliver Stone film The Doors, “Where’s your will be to weird?”

Also on Wednesday the Louisiana Endorsement for the Humanities celebrates the new issue its magazine Louisiana Cultural Vistas with Abita Brewery and Zapp’s Potato Chips and three contributors discussing three compelling topics: Photographer Ralph Burns reviews his portfolio of photos from 1970′s New Orleans; Assistant Warden Cathy Fontenot of Louisiana State Penitentiary talks about the history of the Red Hat Cellblock at Angola; Matt Sakakeeny reviews the evolution of noise regulation in New Orleans. Doors open at 6pm and the party is free to the public. We’ll be live-tweeting at @knowlouisiana, and free Abita and Zapp’s will flow.

Odd Words June 27, 2013

Posted by Mark Folse in books, literature, memoir, New Orleans, NOLA, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, publishing, spoken word, Toulouse Street.
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Featured Event: Ever thought of dating a poet, once of those charasmatic masters of the microphone you swoon to hear speak? Friday night Team Slam New Orleans is hosting a fundraiser for their trip to back to the National Poetry Slam in Boston this August. Team SNO will be hosting a date auction at the Red Star Gallarie from 8-11 p.m. hosted by The Hump Connection featuring D.J. Victoria Vixxen. Team SNO is a two-time winner of the nationals so everyone is encouraged to go out and help them raise that last $1,000 they need to get there. Come play for a date & hear in your very own ear the fierce & tender magic that’s Team SNO.

See you logo here! Sponsorship available. To reach 7,500 self-identified book readers & buyers, contact Mark Folse at odd.words.nola@gmail.comr

See your logo here and on Facebook daily! Sponsorship available. To reach 7,500 self-identified book readers & buyers a week, contact Mark Folse at odd.words.nola@gmail.com.

Some other literary chatter:

Pick up the current issue of the Oxford American to read a feature-length essay by Press Street co-founder Anne Gisleson, “Condolences from Death Row.” The essay, an early draft of which Gisleson read at a Room 220 event in May 2012, uses the author’s receipt of a letter from a death row inmate, who her attorney brother represented, as the jumping-off point to ruminate about their father’s recent death and her own mortality. Gallows humor (that, as we learn through Gisleson’s descriptions of her father, clearly runs in the family) and an urgent sense of longing pervade the essay, which is yet another piece of evidence that one of New Orleans’ best prose writers is getting better before our eyes.

Also check out Micheal Zell of Crescent City Books’ essay on the seminal New Orleans author, historian and folklorist Marcus Christian at Room 220.

Local poet and essayist Rodget Kamanetz has just co-published a book of pomes with illustrations by Michael Hafftka, To Die Next To You. From Amazon.com: “Two brother artists, both nurtured by the dream world and its imaginal colors and sacred words, have joined to produce a single work of rare quality. More that a collaboration this work is a journey into the power of the unconscious depth of word and image, in which master painter and poet present verbal and visual displays of agony and joy, destruction and falling, love and dying.”

Finally, this month’s find on the Intertubes is the Tumblr blog Structure & Style, where Rebecca Hazelwood and Savannah Sipple find marvelous poems and serve them up as a many course meal of poetic wonder. Check it out.

& so to the listings…

& This evening at Maple Street Books Brenda Marie Osbey will be signing her latest poetry collection, All Souls: Collected Poems (forthcoming, 2013); All Saints: New and Selected Poems (LSU Press, 1997), which received the American Book Award; Desperate Circumstance, Dangerous Woman (Story Line Press, 1991); In These Houses (Wesleyan University Press, 1988); and Ceremony for Minneconjoux (Callaloo Poetry Series, 1983; University Press of Virginia, 1985). She is the author also of a series of Kongo-New Orleans libretti, including Sultane au Grand Marais: a New Orleans Opera (Rites & Reason Theatre, December, 2011).

& This Thursday at The International House, 221 Camp Street, welcomes journalist Stephanie Hepburn for a presentation & signing celebrating the launch of her new book, HUMAN TRAFFICKING AROUND THE WORLD: Hidden in Plain Sight. Octavia Books will be selling the books on location and Stephanie will be signing books following her presentation. A complimentary cocktail will be served. From New Orleans to New Guinea. From Baltimore to Bangladesh. From Laos to Los Angeles. Stephanie Hepburn brings uncommon passion and penetrating insights, born of exhaustive investigation, to a topic which needs both.

& This week’s Alvar Arts, held every third Thursday at The Alvar Library from 7 to 9 pm, features Ken Foster discussing his latest book, I’m a Good Dog: Pit Bulls, America’s Most Beautiful (and Misunderstood) Dog. Working in collaboration with book packager Becker & Meyer, photographer Karen Morgan, and Penguin USA, Foster will describe the collaborative process that produced the book, which features nearly 100 full color photos and historic images in addition to Foster’s text

Likely as not you will find a bunch of poets sitting around outside Flora’s Coffee Shop in an informal reading/meeting organized by Jimmy Ross. 8 pm-ish.

& Friday night Team Slam New Orleans is hosting a fundraiser for their trip to back to the National Poetry Slam in Boston this August. Ever thought of dating a poet, once of those charasmatic masters of the microphone you swoon to hear speak? This is your chance. Team SNO will be hosting a date auction at the Red Star Gallarie from 8-11 p.m. hosted by The Hump Connection featuring D.J. Victoria Vixxen. Team SNO is a two-time winner so everyone is encouraged to go out and help them raise that last $1,000 they need to get there. Come play for a date & hear in your very own ear the fierce magic that’s Team SNO. Team members include Akeem Martin, Justin Lamb, Sam Gordon, Kaycee Filson and Quess?. Team SNO came in sixth out of 32 of the best teams of the country in the recent Southern Friend Poetry Slam hosted by Team SNO. Quess? says the SFPL is “a competition that is getting fiercer every year. That was with that new members who just started writing, much less performing just last year. I put EVERYTHING on my team. We’re some of the best slam poets in the world and one of the best teams.”

& Also this Friday Word Connections @ The Juju Bag Cafe Open Mic features Mr. Spoken Word Lionel King. Word Connections aims to be a weekly fix of good times with people you know and soon will know, words being shared, great food being served, drinks and laughter all night with the amazing ambiance provided by The JuJu Bag Cafe’s outdoor patio area. Open mic so all poets (and singers) are welcomed to come sign up and showcase their skills

& Also on Friday night Octavia books hosts author Sheila Heti celebrating the paperback edition of HOW SHOULD A PERSON BE? with a reading and book signing. Hailed as “a breakthrough” (Chris Kraus, Los Angeles Review of Books) for the critically acclaimed Sheila Heti, HOW SHOULD A PERSON BE? is an unabashedly honest and hilarious tour through the unknowable pieces of one woman’s heart and mind. It has ignited conversation and earned Heti comparisons to Joan Didion, Henry Miller, Kathy Acker, and Gustave Flaubert. “Funny…odd, original, and nearly unclassifiable…Unlike any other novel I can think of.” —David Haglund, The New York Times Book Review

& On Saturday at 11:30 am Story Time with Miss Maureen at Maple Street Book Shop will feature Dr. Sues’ The Butter Battle Book.

Also on Saturday, the , the Teen Zone of the Main New Orleans Public Library will be hosting an visit by two Young Adult authors, for teens: e.E. Charlton-Trujillo, author of FAT ANGIE, and Michelle Embree, author of MAN STEALING FOR FAT GIRLS. The authors will read from and discuss their books. 2 pm at the Main Library, 219 Loyola Ave

& Sunday at 3 p.m. at the Maple Leaf Bar is the Maple Leaf Reading Series, the oldest continuous reading series in the south, founded by Everette Maddox. In the back patio, weather permitting. Periodic features and an open mic every Sunday.

& The new Sunday show from Spoken Word New Orleans is Poetry and Paint Brushes. Spoken Word artists perform as a resident artist sketches the performers. Doors at 7 pm. and show at 8 pm. at Special Tea, 4337 Banks Street.

& Susan Larson, the former book editor of the former Times-Picayune newspaper and member of the National Book Critics Circle hosts The Reading Life on WWNO (89.9 FM) on Tuesdays at 1:30 p.m. She features interviews with authors of local and national interest.

& Also on Tuesday, Maple Street Book Shop’s The First Tuesday Book Club will be meeting at 5:45PM at the Uptown location to discuss Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. Pick up your copy today! Newcomers are always welcome. August’s titled will be In the Sanctuary of Outcasts by Neil White.

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

Every Wednesday at Buffa’s in the back room there will be music and poetry from 7-8 p.m. followed by an open mic.

Coming next week: The Community Book Store on Bayou Road celebrates its 30th anniversary with two days of events July 5 and 6

Odd Words June 20, 2013

Posted by Mark Folse in books, literature, New Orleans, NOLA, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, publishing, reading, Toulouse Street.
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Sad news: Maple Street Book Shop is closing its downtown Healing Center and Bayou St. John locations. I didn’t shop there often enough, but I don’t think I have bought a book anywhere else since it opened. I have such a backlog to read, and to paraphrase the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, books will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no books. (If you not a ’70s comix fan, just let the name guide you if you want to know what they were talking about. Hemp makes excellent paper, in civilized countries).I remember when I meekly walked in to my first sales call for my first self-published book and Donna Allen immediately took 10 copies and wrote me a check; no question of consignment. I don’t mean to hold them high above other local indie book sellers but Donna and uptown manager Gladin Scott are people who live to sell books, and are happy to support emerging local artists. The Bayou St. John location was such a great addition to my own neighborhood, they are going to be sorely missed. BSJ manager Matt Carney was always a pleasure to visit with when I stopped in. The shop is going to be sorely missed.

I missed Bloomsday 2012 with what I’m generally referring to as the Boiling Cauldron of Pharmacologically-Enraged Contagin, but organizer Michell Zell reports, “We mostly filled the upstairs dining area at The Irish House with around four dozen people. There was a strong range of readers, including from puppeteer Pandora Gastelum to UNO prof Richard Goodman, and from the insight of relative John Joyce to Dickens Fellowship co-founder Marigny Dupuy. Onward and upward next year.” Zell has grown this event amazingly from the rag tag bunch I managed to pull together in the back of Mick’s Pub three years ago. Next time your downtown, stop into Crescent City Books to say thanks. And, well, it’s a bookstore. You know what to do. I may have to pick up a copy of Finnegan’s Wake as pleasant pennance.

Another notable local event you won’t have to wait a year to attend is Esoterotica. Guided by mistress Aimé SansSavant, this rollicking collection of comedy, stories poetry and the long-running soap opera Model X-Y is one of finest collections of readers and performers you will find at an open microphone in New Orleans, With her core of provocateurs and a parade of willing new comers (“virgin voices”, she called them one night) put on a show at the Allways once a month. (Among the now less virginal voices you will find one Oddball, who bears a strange resemblance to the editor of Odd Words, but appearances can be deceiving.) If you’ve already picked out the same $1,200 technical rain slicker Jim Cantore wears during hurricanes to be buried in to be better prepared for the second circle of hell, you should definitely get down and check them out. You can read more about this group in June’s Antigravity. Their next event is for Pride Day this Friday, “Queer Hearts”! A Benefit for Women with a Vision and an Open Mic!”, and the next regular show is in July. Watch this space. Don’t miss it.

& At 5:30 on Thursday the Garden District Book Shops presents David Berg’s Run, Brother, Run.From a renowned trial lawyer, a searing family memoir of a wild boyhood in Texas that led to the vicious murder of the author’s brother by actor Woody Harrelson’s father. Writing with cold-eyed grief and lacerating humor, Berg shares intimate details about his striving Jewish family that perhaps set Alan on a course for self-destruction, and the wrenching miscarriage of justice when Berg’s murderer went unpunished. Since burying his brother, David has never discussed how he died. But then about three years ago, details from his past crept into his memory and he began to research his family’s legacy and his brother’s death, informed by his expertise as a seasoned attorney. The result is a raw and painful memoir that taps into the darkest human behaviors, a fascinating portrait of an iconic American place, and a true-crime courtroom murder drama—all perfectly calibrated.

& The Booked for Murder Book Club meets at the Norman Mayer Library at 5:30 pm. Club meets every 3rd Thursday of the month. New members are welcomed to join.

& There will be an open mic poetry reading at Flora’s Coffee House hosted by Jimmy Ross at 9 pm Thursday. Jimmys says he hopes to makes this a regular thing through the summer.

& On Friday Esoterotica hosts their annual Pride event “Queer Hearts”! A Benefit for Women with a Vision and an Open Mic! Mlle SanSavant says ” join our provocateurs on the stage to share your original queer-rotic experiences, fantasies, needs, and desires! Whether they are sexual, sensual or downright dirty, we want to hear your voice! So bring it loud and proud because it’s freakin’ Pride, People!” Doors at 7, show at 8 at the Allways Lounge. Donations encouraged.

& On Friday, Spoken Word rules at the Special Tea Coffee House. Doors at 7, show at 8. By admission

& At the Community Book Store on Bayou Road, Chakula will be performing ‘Poems from the Unknown Poet’ at 7 p.m.

& On Saturday at 11:30 am for Story Time with Miss Maureen at Maple Street Uptown she’ll read Miss Maple’s Seeds by Eliza Wheeler!

& Todd-Micheal St. Pierre will be signing his Taste of Treme cookbook at Fluerty Girl, 3117 Magazine Street, starting at 11 a.m. and again Sunday at Fluerty Girl’s Metairie location starting at 1 p.m.

& Sunday at 3 p.m. at the Maple Leaf Bar is the Maple Leaf Reading Series, the oldest continuous reading series in the south, founded by Everette Maddox. In the back patio, weather permitting. Periodic features and an open mic every Sunday.

& The new Sunday show from Spoken Word New Orleans is Poetry and Paint Brushes. Spoken Word artists perform as a resident artist sketches the performers. Doors at 7 pm. and show at 8 pm. at Special Tea, 4337 Banks Street.

& Susan Larson, the former book editor of the former Times-Picayune newspaper and member of the National Book Critics Circle hosts The Reading Life on WWNO (89.9 FM) on Tuesdays at 1:30 p.m. She features interviews with authors of local and national interest.

& On Tuesday at 2 pm the Alvar Library will host Blackout Poetry, a literary craft event for teenagers. Participants will black out words on pages of donated old books to create their own poetry.

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

Odd Words June 13, 2013

Posted by Mark Folse in books, literature, New Orleans, Odd Words, Poetry, Toulouse Street.
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This week’s featured event in Odd Words: Bloomsday NOLA returns to The Irish House Sunday, June 16 at 2 p.m. for Bloomsday, a celebration of James Joyce’s Ulysses, appropriately on Father’s Day. Come read or just join us and enjoy good food and drink. All are welcome to read, up to 10 minutes max. Featuring guest readers: John Joyce, The Brothers Goat (Michael Jeffrey Lee & Christopher Hellwig), Vincent Cellucci, Pandora Gastelum, Herbert Kearney, and Susan Larson.

& Thursday evening Eve Ensler, the author of The Vagina Monologues and impetus behind V-Day and One Billion Rising, returns to New Orleans this week. Ensler will sign her recent memoir In the Body of the World at Ashé Cultural Arts Center at 6 p.m.

& Also on Thursday, a poetry open mic at Flora’s Coffee House on Royal at Franklin at 8 p.m., hosted by Jimmy Ross.

& Starting Friday Author Michelle Embree’s presents “By The Skin of the Words–A Sermon” at the Allways Lounge at 8 p.m. “Embree exposes the links between the deeply private terrors of growing-up with a psychopathic father and the overwhelming terrain of global terrorism. These are stories of survival, sanity, and transformation.” Shows Friday, Saturday and Sunday. By donation.

& On Friday Night Spoken Word New Orleans hosts featured performers and an open mic at Special Tea on Banks St. $5 admission, doors at 7 p.m., show at 8 p.m. Watch Odd Words’ daily updates for features as they are announced.

& Saturday at Maple Street Book Shop Uptown Storytime with Miss Maureen hosts Bring your dad for cookies and a book! In honor of Father’s Day, we’ll read When a Dad says I Love You by Douglas Wood and Jennifer Bell.

& On June 16th The Ashe Cultural Center, at 1712 Oretha C Haley Boulevard, will be hosting the Beasts and Books, a Father’s Day Picnic to benefit the Southern Food and Beverage Culinary Library. The library is a partnership project of The SoFab Museum and The New Orleans Public Library, an effort to preserve the culture of Southern food and drink by consolidating all materials in a central location. The event will be held from 12:30pm to 4pm and will host a Culinary Book Fair featuring vendors of old and new culinary themed books, dance and music performances.

& Also on Sunday Bloomsday NOLA returns to The Irish House Sunday, June 16 at 2 p.m. for Bloomsday, a celebration of James Joyce’s Ulysses, appropriately on Father’s Day. Come read or just join us and enjoy good food and drink. All are welcome to read, up to 10 minutes max. Featuring guest readers: John Joyce, The Brothers Goat (Michael Jeffrey Lee & Christopher Hellwig), Vincent Cellucci, Pandora Gastelum, Herbert Kearney, and Susan Larson.

& Sunday at 3 p.m. at the Maple Leaf Bar is the Maple Leaf Reading Series, the oldest continuous reading series in the south, founded by Everette Maddox. In the back patio, weather permitting. Periodic features and an open mic every Sunday. This Sunday Poets it is a Bloomsday open mic. “Bring your Irish,” says organizer Nancy Harris.

& The new Sunday show from Spoken Word New Orleans is Poetry and Paint Brushes. This week featuring Asia “Preach” Palmer, Will “Duece” Powell and and J. Mickey McKinney and special guest from St. Louis, MO, Louis Conphicltion. Spoken Word artists perform as a resident artist sketches the performers. Doors at 7 pm. and show at 8 pm. at Special Tea, 4337 Banks Street.

& On the second, fourth, and fifth Sunday of each month, Jenna Mae hosts poets and spoken-word readers at 8:00 p.m. at the Fair Grinds Coffee House on 3133 Ponce de Leon St.

& Monday the Jefferson Parish Library Fiction Writers Group hosts a critique session at 7 p.m. at the East Bank Regional Library.

& Also Monday night 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.

& 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.

& Also on Tuesday the M.L.K. Branch Library features ReWrite, a writing workshop led by Zuri McCormick for ages 18 and up at 11 a.m. and the Hubbel Branch hosts Author’s Night with a discussion by Erin Greenwald of A Company Man: The Remarkable French-Atlantic Voyage of a Clerk for the Company of the Indies

& Wednesday, June 19 Garden District Books features Laura Moriarty’s The Chaperone at 6 p.m. The Chaperone is a captivating novel about the woman who chaperoned an irreverent Louise Brooks to New York City in 1922 and the summer that would change them both.

Odd Words June 6, 2013

Posted by Mark Folse in books, bookstores, literature, New Orleans, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, publishing, Toulouse Street.
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& Team Slam New Orleans is hosting and defending their title in the Southern Fried Poetry Slam in venues all over the city, with qualifying rounds and after hours events. Here is the schedule, with more details on their Tumblr.

Thursday

11 -12pm Community Service: Poetry In Motion Care Bears Children Hospital

10-12am Slam Master’s Meeting (TBD)

10-12pm Youth (Y) & Adult (A) Workshops (New Orleans Public Library-Main Branch)

12-1pm Lunch

6-8pm Round 2: Bout 1 (Café Istanbul, The Cathedral, Byrdie’s, Sweet Lorraine’s)

8-10pm Round 2: Bout 2 (Café Istanbul, The Cathedral, Byrdie’s, Sweet Lorraine’s)

Friday

11am-12pm Community Service: Poetry In Motion Care Bears Ochsner Hospital

10-11am Slam Master’s Meeting (TBD)

10-12pm Youth (Y) & Adult (A) Workshops: New Orleans Public Library-Main Branch

12-1pm Lunch

5-6 pm *Black On Black Rhyme Presents The Staccato Slam (Sweet Lorrain’s)

8-10pm Round 3: Bout 1 (Café Istanbul, The Cathedral, Byrdie’s,Sweet Loraine’s)

8-10pm Round 3: Bout 2 (Café Istanbul, The Cathedral, Byrdie’s, Sweet Lorraine’s)

10:30-1am *Slam Masters Slam (Café Istanbul)*

Beauty vs. Brawn (Sweet Loraine’s)*
Inclusive Gauntlet Slam (Venue TBD)*

Saturday

10-12pm Youth Showcase (New Orleans Public Library)

1-3pm City Tour

7:30-10pm Final Slam (Ashe Cultural Arts Center) & Closing Remarks

10:30pm The After Party (Venue TBD)

Sunday

10am-12pm Southern Fried Brunch (Trolley Stop)

12-2pm Farewell Open Mic (Venue TBD)

(*) denotes that event is free to the general public. A ticket to all qualifying events is $20 and finals admission is $25 at the door.

& This Thursday at 8 p.m. the Thursday poetry scene moves to a reading at the open art salon at 1501 St. Roch Ave. features Brad Richard, Chris Tonelli and Megan Burns followed by an open mic. Food and Drink, please feel free to bring something. Richard’s Motion Studies won the 2010 Washington Prize from The Word Works. He is also the author of the collection Habitations (Portals Press, New Orleans, 2000) and the limited edition chapbook The Men in the Dark (Lowlands Press, Stuttgart, Germany, 2004). He is a recipient of fellowships from the Surdna Foundation, the Louisiana Division of the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Humanities, and poetry winner in the Poets & Writers’ 2002 Writers Exchange competition, he is chair of creative writing at Lusher Charter High school in New Orleans.c Tonelli is one of the founding editors of Birds, LLC, an independent poetry press. He also founded and curates the So and So Series and edits the So and So Magazine. He is the author of four chapbooks, most recently No Theater (Brave Men Press) and For People Who Like Gravity and Other People (Rope-A-Dope Press), and his first full-length collection is The Trees Around (Birds, LLC). New work can be found in or is forthcoming from jubilat, Fou, La Fovea, and Leveler. He works at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, where he lives with his wife, Allison, and their two kids, Miles and Vera. Burns edits the poetry magazine, Solid Quarter (solidquarter.blogspot.com). She has two books Memorial + Sight Lines (2008) and Sound and Basin (2013) published by Lavender Ink. She has two recent chapbooks: irrational knowledge (Fell Swoop press, 2012) and a city/ bottle boned (Dancing Girl Press, 2012). Her chapbook Dollbaby is forthcoming from Horseless Press. Her 30 Days of Weezy project is annotated over at Rap Genius.

& Thursday at Garden District Book Shop Kent Wascom and The Blood of Heaven is featured at 6 p.m. “The Blood of Heaven is a remarkable portrait of a young man seizing his place in a violent new world, a moving love story, and a vivid tale of ambition and political machinations that brilliantly captures the energy and wildness of a young America where anything was possible. It is a startling debut.”

& Friday at Garden District Book Shop Walter Culpepper presents The Replacement Son at 6 p.m. “From a thriving 19th-century New Orleans to the city’s devastation in Hurricane Katrina and amidst the harsh realities of England during World War II, The Replacement Son takes readers through vividly depicted locales and eras as Harry pursues his existential quest. With motifs ranging from chivalric adventure to metaphysical mystery, author W.S. Culpepper brings a charming but most unlikely hero and an exotic range of supporting characters to life in a compelling story of sacrifice and discovery.”

& Saturday’s Story Time with Miss Maureen is one of my favorites from when my kids were young: “We’ll eat cookies and read If You Give a Mouse a Cookie written by Laura Joffe Numeroff and illustrated by Felicia Bond.” 11:30 a.m. at Maple Street Book Shop uptown.

& Saturday night Chuck Perkins and Voices of the Big Easy will host an show and open mike/poetry slam at 8pm at Cafe Istanbul. In honor of the poets who are in town for Southern Fried we will have a open mic from 10pm until 11pm and the poetry slam will start afterwards.

& Sunday at 3 p.m. at the Maple Leaf Bar is the Maple Leaf Reading Series, the oldest continuous reading series in the south, founded by Everette Maddox. In the back patio, weather permitting. Periodic features and an open mic every Sunday. This Sunday Poets Sarah Beth Wildflower and Sulla (Charles Morgan) perform their work. Followed by open mic.

& The new Sunday show from Spoken Word New Orleans is Poetry and Paint Brushes. This week featuring Asia “Preach” Palmer, Will “Duece” Powell and and J. Mickey McKinney and special guest from St. Louis, MO, Louis Conphicltion. Spoken Word artists perform as a resident artist sketches the performers. Doors at 7 pm. and show at 8 pm. at Special Tea, 4337 Banks Street.

& On the second, fourth, and fifth Sunday of each month, Jenna Mae hosts poets and spoken-word readers at 8:00 p.m. at the Fair Grinds Coffee House on 3133 Ponce de Leon St.

& On Monday June 10th Andy Cohen visits Garden District Book Shop with his book Most Talkative: Stories from the Front Lines of Pop Culture. “From a young age, Andy Cohen knew one thing: He loved television. Not in the way that most kids do, but in an irrepressible, all-consuming, I-want-to-climb-inside-the-tube kind of way. And climb inside he did. Now presiding over Bravo’s reality TV empire, he started out as an overly talkative pop culture obsessive, devoted to Charlie’s Angels and All My Children and to his mother, who received daily letters from Andy at summer camp, usually reminding her to tape the soaps. Dishy, funny, and full of heart, Most Talkative provides a one-of-a-kind glimpse into the world of television, from a fan who grew up watching the screen and is now inside it, both making shows and hosting his own.”

& Monday the Jefferson Parish Library Fiction Writers Group hosts guest author Wanda Ramirez. In Hurricane Tsunamis, Ramirez shares her experiences in Hurricane Betsy as a child and Hurricane Katrina as an adult. After Katrina, she relocated to Memphis with her brother Sam. She works as an administrative assistant with Avon District 1804 of Louisiana. She also is a clarinetist with the Bartlett Community Band and the River City Concert Band of Memphis. She says she hopes to return to Louisiana to be near family and friends. Ramirez is working on another book titled, Born into Two Lands: Between New Orleans and Puerto Rico. The author says she is “privileged to be culturally endowed with two great lands with many similarities as well as unique differences.”

& Susan Larson, the former book editor of the former Times-Picayune newspaper and member of the National Book Critics Circle hosts The Reading Life on WWNO (89.9 FM) on Tuesdays at 1:30 p.m. She features interviews with authors of local and national interest.

& On Wenesday Maple Street Book Shop’s St. Claude Avenue Book Club will be meeting June 12th at 7PM at Fatoush in the Healing Center to discuss Hope Against Hope. The author, Sarah Carr, will be in attendance for the discussion. Please join us! Newcomers are always welcome.

& Also on Wednesday, The Shakespeare Festival at Tulane University kick’s off their 2013 season with a benefit featuring great food, drink and Elizabethan music with your friends. Get an insider’s look at the final dress rehearsal of The Merry Wives of Windsor. Join the auction for a wonderful weekend at the Windsor Court Hotel. Reception begins at 6:45 pm/ Curtain at 7:30 pm. Champagne, Desserts & Auction at 9:30 pm. at the Lupin Theatre at Tulane University. Single Tickets $100
Couple Tickets $180.

& Also on Wednesday Room 220 hosts a special event as part of the New Orleans Loving Festival—Black Rabbits and White Indians: Racially Controversial Children’s Books—at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, June 12, at the Press Street HQ (3718 St. Claude Ave.). NOTE: Unlike most Room 220 events, this one will start (sort of) on time. It will be immediately followed by another Loving Fest literary event in the same location, beginning at 7 p.m.

& The following event at Room 220 is A Poetic Gathering to celebrate Mixedness and the 46th anniversary of Loving Day featuring performances by local poets Travis Duc Tran, Rosana Cruz, Geryll Robinson and Delia Tomino Nakayama. Sponsored by Poets & Writers Inc. The victory of Mildred Jeter and Richard Loving – in the court case of Loving vs. Virginia – not only won them their freedom to love, but it also granted the same freedom to every interracial couple in every state in America.

Hysteria June 4, 2013

Posted by Mark Folse in Odd Words, Poetry, quotes, Toulouse Street.
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I always thought of T.S. Eliot as a cold British fish, something served at breakfast with the bangers and weak tea. The distraction of “the shaking of her breasts” changed that opinion a little.

Hysteria
BY T. S. ELIOT
As she laughed I was aware of becoming involved in her laughter and being part of it, until her teeth were only accidental stars with a talent for squad-drill. I was drawn in by short gasps, inhaled at each momentary recovery, lost finally in the dark caverns of her throat, bruised by the ripple of unseen muscles. An elderly waiter with trembling hands was hurriedly spreading a pink and white checked cloth over the rusty green iron table, saying: “If the lady and gentleman wish to take their tea in the garden, if the lady and gentleman wish to take their tea in the garden …” I decided that if the shaking of her breasts could be stopped, some of the fragments of the afternoon might be collected, and I concentrated my attention with careful subtlety to this end.
Source: Poems (Alfred A. Knopf, 1920)

Odd Words May 30, 2013

Posted by Mark Folse in books, literature, New Orleans, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, publishing, Toulouse Street.
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Bloomsday, the celebration of James Joyce’s Ulyssses, returns to New Orleans and the Irish House on June 16, organizer Micheal Zell has announced. The entire action of the novel is set on June 16 in Dublin, Ireland, and all across the world fans of Joyce celebrate with a day of readings and other festivities. Come read or just join us and enjoy good food and drink. All are welcome to read, up to 10 minutes max. Featuring guest readers: John Joyce, The Brothers Goat (Michael Jeffrey Lee & Christopher Hellwig), Vincent Cellucci, Pandora Gastelum, Herbert Kearney, and Susan Larson. This year’s celebration will be starting at 2 p.m. instead of breakfast.

On June 5-8 New Orleans, Louisiana will host the 21th Annual Southern Fried Poetry Slam for the first time since Hurricane Katrina. The four-day festival is slated to take place in downtown New Orleans. The Southern Fried Poetry Slam will be expected to attract over two hundred people. The literary competition features preliminary bouts and culminates in the Southern Fried Poetry Slam Finals on Saturday, June 8, 2013. In addition to the commemorative Moon Pies and RC Colas of Southern Fried tradition, this year’s champions will receive over $6500 in cash and various prizes as well as a couple local merchant wears. You can get more details on events and venues on the Facebook page.

& The Thursday night poetry scene continues at Flora’s Coffee Shop with an evening of poetry featuring Chris Carries and Quess? followed by the open mic at 8 p.m. t Flora Gallery and Coffee Shop is located at 2600 Royal St. at the corner of Franklin Ave. Carrier is the author of Mantle and After Dayton and several chapbooks. He earned an MFA from the Program for Poets and Writers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Currently, he divides his time between Lafayette, where he is pursuing a PhD in English (with a concentration in creative writing) at the University of Louisiana, and Clarksville, AR, where he lives with his person Dawn Holder. Michael “Quess?” Moore is a poet, educator, and an actor in that order. His writing and work with youth as a poet led him to the classroom where he most recently spent four years as an English teacher—3 as a middle school teacher at Martin Behrman Charter Elementary and one as a freshman teacher in NOCCA’s Academic Studio. He is a founding member of Team SNO (Slam New Orleans), New Orleans’ first slam poetry team since Katrina, and the only 2 time national championship team the city has ever produced. He’s also a member of VOIC’D (Voices Organized in Creative Dissent), a collective of actors with a focus on social justice, whose last production, “Lockdown,” received critical acclaim and sold out audiences several nights in a row. He has produced a self-titled CD, “A Scribe Called Quess?” and his debut book of poetry, Blind Visionz, can be found at http://www.lulu.com

& Also on Thursday evening the Alvar Branch Library hosts an evening of poetry at 7 p.m. featuring Chris Champagne, Kelly Harris DeBerry, Jonathan Kline, and Valentine Pierce read from their work. Come for the poetry! Stay for the pie! This month features poets Liz Green, Krystal Languell, and Robert Alan Wendeborn: Green grew up in New Jersey and received her MFA from Warren Wilson College. An associate poetry editor at H_NGM_N Books, she works as a mental health counselor in New Orleans. Recent work has appeared in Forklift, Ohio, H_NGM_N, and on Anderbo.com. Languell is treasurer and member of the board of directors for the Belladonna* Collaborative. She also edits the feminist journal Bone Bouquet and teaches writing in NYC. Her first book, Call the Catastrophists, is now available from BlazeVox Books. Wendeborn lives and writes in Portland, OR. His poems and reviews can be found in The Collagist, >kill author, PANK, and other cool places. He blogs for Uncanny Valley, and you can follow him on Twitter @rawbbie.

& This Friday Spoken Word New Orleans hosts a very special show at Special Tea at 8 p.m. call The Retro Mic, dedicated to the “old heads”. Spoken Word New Orleans organizer Lionel King says, “I called up a few of my old poetry friends and we decided to get together and have a lil poetic fun. Already confirmed Hollywood, Shedrick White, Benjamin, Danielle, Erica Murray, Ginger, Butter, Peaches, and a very special guest. This is one of those show you don’t want to miss. Watch the architects show you how they build this scene.” Hosted by Lionel King. Admission $5.

Maple Street Book Shop moves the monthly Diane Tapes reading this Friday to the Maple Street shop at 6 p.m. for featured poets Liz Green, Krystal Languell, and Robert Alan Wendeborn. Green grew up in New Jersey and received her MFA from Warren Wilson College. An associate poetry editor at H_NGM_N Books, she works as a mental health counselor in New Orleans. Recent work has appeared in Forklift, Ohio, H_NGM_N, and on Anderbo.com. Languell is treasurer and member of the board of directors for the Belladonna Collaborative. She also edits the feminist journal Bone Bouquet and teaches writing in NYC. Her first book, Call the Catastrophists, is now available from BlazeVox Books. Wendeborn lives and writes in Portland, OR. His poems and reviews can be found in The Collagist, >kill author, PANK, and other cool places. He blogs for Uncanny Valley, and you can follow him on Twitter @rawbbie

& On Saturday the Latter Memorial Library’s monthly Poetry Buffet changes the menu to feature creative non-fiction read by Constance Adler, Karen Celestan, Bill Lavender, and Patrice Melnick at 2 p.m.

& Storytime with Miss Maureen at Maple Street Uptown features The Chicken Sisters by Laura Numeroff at 11:30 am.

& Saturday the New Orleans Public Library kicks off its Summer Reading Program for children and teenagers with special events at branches all over the city. You can get the details for your local branch on the library schedule on the Nutrias.org website by following this link, and a full listing of programs through the summer here.

& The new Sunday show from Spoken Word New Orleans is Poetry and Paint Brushes. Spoken Word artists perform as a resident artists paints the crowd and performers. At 6 p.m. at Special Tea, 4337 Banks Street. No longer at the Bayou Road location.

& On the second, fourth, and fifth Sunday of each month, Jenna Mae hosts poets and spoken-word readers at 8:00 p.m. at the Fair Grinds Coffee House on 3133 Ponce de Leon St.

& Susan Larson, the former book editor of the former Times-Picayune newspaper and member of the National Book Critics Circle hosts The Reading Life on WWNO (89.9 FM) on Tuesdays at 1:30 p.m. She features interviews with authors of local and national interest.

& Tuesday Octavia Books features a presentation and signing with Claire Manes at 6 p.m. featuring OUT OF THE SHADOW OF LEPROSY: The Carville Letters and Stories of the Landry Family. In 1924 when thirty-two-year-old Edmond Landry kissed his family good-bye and left for the leprosarium in Carville, Louisiana, leprosy, now referred to as Hansen’s Disease, stigmatized and disfigured but did not kill. Those with leprosy were incarcerated in the federal hospital and isolated from family and community. Phones were unavailable, transportation was precarious, and fear was rampant. Edmond entered the hospital (as did his four other siblings), but he did not surrender to his fate. He fought with his pen and his limited energy to stay connected to his family and to improve living conditions for himself and other patients.

& Adrian Van Young and Michael Jeffrey Lee will be at Maple Street Book Shop’s Bayou St. John location Tuesday, May 4th, at 6PM. Adrian Van Young will be signing his newest book, The Man Who Noticed Everything, while Michael Jeffrey Lee will be signing his collection Something in My Eye. has taught writing at Boston College, Boston University and Grub Street Writers, a creative writing non-profit. In fall 2013, he will begin teaching creative writing and composition at Tulane University. He received his B.A. in English from Vassar College, and his MFA in fiction from Columbia University, where he formerly taught as well. In 2008, he was the recipient of a Henfield Foundation Prize and was nominated by Columbia’s faculty for inclusion in the Best New American Voices 2010 Anthology. Lee’s stories are bizarre and smart and stilted, like dystopic fables told by a redneck Samuel Beckett. Outcasts hunker under bridges, or hole up in bars, waiting for the hurricane to hit. Lee’s forests are full of menace too-unseen crowds gather at the tree-line, and bands of petty crooks and marauders bluster their way into suicidal games of one-upmanship. In Something In My Eye, violence and idleness are always in tension, ratcheting up and down with an eerie and effortless force. Diction leaps between registers with the same vertiginous swoops, moving from courtly formality to the funk and texture of a slang that is all the characters’ own. It’s a masterful performance, and Lee’s inventiveness accomplishes that very rare feat-hyper-stylized structure and language that achieve clarity out of turbulence, never allowing technique to obscure what’s most important: a direct address that makes visible all those we’d rather not see.

& The First Tuesday Book Club meets at Maple Street Book Shop’s Uptown location at 5:45 PM the first Tuesday of every month. June’s book is On the Rez by Ian Frazier. Book club books are always 10% off at Maple Street Book Shop. On the Rez is a sharp, unflinching account of the modern-day American Indian experience, especially that of the Oglala Sioux, who now live on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in the plains and badlands of the American West.
& Every Tuesday at 6 p.m. the Barnes & Noble West Bank hosts Westbank Writers’ Group. Every is welcome, from novices to serious authors. Join us for inspiration, friendly critiques, or just to connect with other local writers.

& On Wednesday Esoterotica hosts a new show on “True Confessions” featuring erotic writing at the Allways Lounge, with doors at 7 and show at 8 p.m. A donation is requested. Odd Words visited week before last and this is an electrically charged evening with a good dose of fun (and a drinking game, at least at the last one). Highly recommended for those who think the tongue, ear and brain are among the most important erogenous zones.

& The Jefferson Parish Public Library hosts an Author Event! Wednesday at Jean Morgan Meaux, In Pursuit of Alaska at 7 p.m. in the East Bank Regional Library Jefferson Room. Most Americans wouldn’t recognize their names: Charles Hallock, Caroline Willard, Harry de Windt, Mary Hitchock. Yet, their stories are as integral to the larger story of America as anyone’s, says Jean Morgan Meaux, who has written about these and 23 other “hardy souls” who in the 19th and early 20th century traveled to Alaska to discover and record the last and largest of American frontiers. The book, In Pursuit of Alaska: An Anthology of Travelers’ Tales 1879-1909 is a labor of love for Meaux, who began compiling the first-person accounts from the Alaskan wilderness in the 1980s, when she was a resident of the state

& Bloomsday in New Orleans

& Coming up in June the Louisiana Humanities Center will host “Tuesdays with Earl,” a five-week lunchtime reading series. Participants are invited to bring their lunches for a scholar-led conversation about Earl of Louisiana, the 1961 book by legendary author A.J. Liebling. The one-hour sessions will take place every Tuesday at noon, from June 18 through July 16 at the Louisiana Humanities Center at 938 Lafayette Street. Enrollment is free but limited to 40 people. To sign up, email boyles@leh.org.

Odd Words: Saints and Sinners Festival May 26, 2013

Posted by Mark Folse in books, literature, New Orleans, Odd Words, Toulouse Street.
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Thanks to local poet and writing educator Brad Richard for contributing a write-up of the Saints and Sinners LGBT Literary Festival in New Orleans:

May 25, 2013
The 10th Annual Saints and Sinners Festival, New Orleans

By Brad Richard

My first involvement with the Saints and Sinners Festival (a fundraiser for the NO/AIDS Task Force) was as moderator of the poetry panel in 2004, with, I believe, Jeff Mann, Trebor Healy, and Kay Murphy. I’d been to other writers’ conferences, but never one for LGBT writers—no surprise, as there weren’t many at the time, and they’re still somewhat scarce. Frankly, it wasn’t something I was even certain I wanted to do: I was a writer, I was gay, but was I a “gay writer”? Still I appreciated Paul Willis’ invitation, and I was relieved when he warned me not to get too academic, although that also left me unsure of what to expect. Cutting to the chase: I met great people, I partied, I had some of the best conversations about literature and life that I’ve ever had in any context, my eyes were opened to amazing writing I wouldn’t have otherwise encountered—and, in 2011, I met Bryan Borland, publisher of Sibling Rivalry Press, who would bring out my third book. For all these reasons of literature and community and sheer good fortune, I look forward to this festival with pride and gratitude every year.
This year, I arrived at 10 AM on Saturday to do some low-intensity volunteer work, taking an attendance count at a couple of panels. I sat in on the panel “AIDS Is Still with Us: Telling an Essential Story,” moderated by publisher Jameson Currier, with panelists Andrew Holleran, Trebor Healy, Lewis DeSimone, and Daniel M. Jaffe. The tone was somber and sardonic as the four writers took up Currier’s interesting and important questions, including the provocative, “Do you think AIDS literature has longevity?” The panelists’ answers ended up providing an instructive overview and multi-faceted reflection on the history of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in the US as experienced by gay white men from 80s through the present. More than one panelist remarked that HIV/AIDS as a topic for fiction seemed absent in much contemporary fiction (along with earnest appeals for young people to tell their stories), although current documentaries such as We Were Here, How to Survive a Plague, and United in Anger, all dealing with the story of ACT UP’s crucial activism in the heat of the crisis, show that there’s an interest in that phase of the AIDS pandemic as part of queer history. The panelists grappled with the fact that their experience of AIDS, as men who either came of age in the 80s or were already active in the gay scene, was completely different from that of younger people, many of whom may only see HIV/AIDS as a manageable condition, not the nearly immediate death sentence it was back then. DeSimone mentioned giving a reading recently, which included an AIDS death scene, and being taken to task by an older man for having written that—apparently, as DeSimone speculated, because the man was still dealing with not just AIDS fatigue, but also AIDS fiction fatigue. Holleran, in a parallel comment, discussed the difficult decision, when he was a columnist for Christopher Street in the 80s, to write about a disease people didn’t want to even talk about because it was such a downer. He tried alternating columns about AIDS with humorous ones; but soon, as he said, it was a monolith, “it was eating the culture.” It was impossible to write about anything else.
In the post-panel discussion, several audience members brought up the stories of HIV/AIDS among peoples of color, poor people, women, Haitians, Africans—in short, people who are not gay white men and whose communities have had very different experiences of HIV/AIDS. One man also mentioned the contingent of bisexual men who were part of early HIV/AIDS activism but whose stories were absorbed and lost within a larger narrative about men who identified as gay—a provocative point, since, ironically, gay men’s narrative of HIV/AIDS arguably gained the gay community a measure of sympathy, but at the expense, to some degree, of the real diversity of LGBT experience. As often happens with conference discussions, just as this became most interesting, we had to leave to make room for the next group; still, it was great to hear that conversation and see bridges starting to be built.
Later, I was a participant on this year’s poetry panel, which moderator Che Yeun had delightfully titled “Intro to Bodybuilding.” My co-panelists were Michael Montlack and Kay Murphy. Michael read a couple of poems from his first book, Cool Limbo, including the darkly funny “If Hello Kitty Had a Mouth” and the poignant “On Turning Forty.” He also read a new poem, “A Friend of Farrah,” which juxtaposed two cancer stories, Farrah Fawcett’s and his mother’s. Kay read typically tough, darkly comic poems dealing with addiction and illness, including a villanelle, “Undiagnosed,” about a recent bout of pneumonia; another villanelle, “Drinking”; and “Ode to Your Gall Bladder.” Her mastery of form made the poems real testaments of strength. Nervous as usual, I fumbled my way through introductory mumblings about the narrative body (whatever that is), and read poems from Butcher’s Sugar: “My Sixth Grade Sex Life: Milne Elementary, New Orleans,” “Night Lessons: A Writing Assignment,” and “Elegy in a Men’s Room.” The questions and panel discussion ranged across many topics, including the relation of our bodies to our writing practice, our sense of our bodies as history, and the body as source of pleasure and pain. The audience had tough questions, too, including “Does the fallibility of the body continue to inform your work?” and “Does it get easier dealing with mortality and the fact that your body doesn’t keep doing what you want it to?” Benjamin Morris finally asked if we’d all been thinking about mortality lately; I got a laugh when I said, “Most days!”
I left the festival for a while but returned to the Quarter in the evening for an offsite reading, at Gallery Orange, from Love, Christopher Street, an anthology, edited by Thomas Keith, of essays about LGBT experience in New York City. Many of the readings were funny and poignant (wonderful work from Michele Karlsberg, Fay Jacobs, Val McDermid, Charles Rice-Gonzalez, Shawn Syms, and Felice Picano) and others deeply moving, perhaps most particularly Martin Hyatt’s gripping, lyrical account of coming from rural Louisiana and becoming a writer and drug addict (his big addiction, ultimately: the city itself). “Maybe I’m like my Southern aunts,” said Hyatt: “I will tell you everything. Otherwise, I’ll tell you nothing.” His compelling voice, and the strong sense of the silence in the margins, brought the evening to a powerful close.
To myself from ten years ago, I can say what I already knew: yes, Brad, you are a gay writer—enjoy it! And to anyone who may be intrigued by any of this, whether you identify as LGBT or any other flavor of sexual or cultural identity (or saint or sinner, for that matter), check out next year’s festival! For an internationally known event, it remains a fairly well-kept local secret, and it would be fantastic to see even more local lovers of literature take part.

Jovenes May 24, 2013

Posted by Mark Folse in literature, New Orleans, Odd Words, Poetry, Toulouse Street.
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Young Poets

From Poems and Antipoems by Nicanor Parra, edited & translated by Miller Williams.

Odd Words May 23, 2013

Posted by Mark Folse in books, literature, New Orleans, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, publishing, Toulouse Street.
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This weekend is the annual Saints and Sinners Literary Festival of GLBT lit. Odd Words won’t be going in person for the same reason I won’t offer a list of highlight, because I don’t know much about GLBT lit and who’s who in that world, but the Fest website calls out Dorothy Allison, Ellen Hart, Andrew Holleran, Ayana Mathis, Val McDermid, Felice Picano, and Justin Torres among the highlights. New Orleans own Brad Richard will be on the poetry panel INTRO TO BODYBUILDING, which features four poets discussing how their bodily experiences have informed their craft. I welcome any readers who want to submit a panel write up. Just contact me first to make sure someone else isn’t already sending something in on that speaker or panel. You can get all the festival details and pick your own highlights here at sasfest.org.

Some local publishing news: Lavender Ink Press has just released a spate of books that includes a collection of stories by Jimmy Ross, who has been a fixture on the local literary scene since the Navy accidentally sent him here as punishment, a novel by the amazing story teller Jonathan Kline and a new book of poems by Naropa-graduate and co-founder of 17 Poets! Megan Burns. You can see all of Lavendar’s titles on their website.

One last bit of news before we get to the listings: New Yorker Mark LaFluer, better known to many New Orleanians as the activist behind Levees Not War, received two starred reviews–in Publisher’s Weekly and The Kirkus Review, for his new novel Elysian Fields. If you had any lingering questions about the entire argument about boutique/self/cooperative publishing (or pick you own favorite term for it), this shows that quality work can still make it without a Big House.

& so to the listings, which are a bit thin with Saints & Sinner running this weekend.

& 17 POETS! Literary & Performance Series features poet, playwright & satirist JIMMY ROSS who will give a book signing and reading of his new book So What?! (Lavender Ink 2013). Also on this program, poet / spoken word artist Jonathan Brown gives a special performance. Open Mic follows the featured program, emceed by Jimmy Ross.

John Lacarbiere hosts a new weekly spoken word event Word Connections @ Juju Cafe, 5363 Franklin Avenue. starting at 5 p.m. Lacabriere is the man behind the events Word Connections, Sex Vs. Love, Venus Vs. Mars, For The Love of Poetry, Roof Top Conversations, Poetry on the Beach and promises “a weekly fix of good times with people you know and soon will know, words being shared, great food being served, drinks and laughter all night with the amazing ambiance.”

& Young Adult novelist Claudia Gray visits Octavia Books at 6 p.m with her brand new story, SPELLCASTER. Descended from witches, high school senior Nadia can tell as soon as her family moves to Captive’s Sound that the town is under a dark and powerful spell. Then she meets Mateo, the teenage local whose cursed dreams predict the future, and they must work together to prevent an impending disaster that threatens the entire town.

& Also tonight, Maple Street Book Shop’s Uptown mothership hosts Charles Finch signing the latest book in his Charles Lenox mystery series, A Death in the Small Hours,at 6 p.m.. Finch is a graduate of Yale and Oxford. He is the author of the Charles Lenox mysteries, including The Fleet Street Murders, The September Society, A Stranger in Mayfair, and A Burial at Sea. His first novel, A Beautiful Blue Death, was nominated for an Agatha Award and was named one of Library Journal’s Best Books of 2007, one of only five mystery novels on the list. He lives in Oxford, England.

& Saturday at Maple Street Books Uptown Story Time with Miss Maureen will feature The Chicken Sisters by Laura Numerof.

& The new Sunday show from Spoken Word New Orleans is Poetry and Paint Brushes. Spoken Word artists perform as a resident artists paints the crowd and performers. At 6 p.m. at Special Tea, 4337 Banks Street. No longer at the Bayou Road location.

& On the second, fourth, and fifth Sunday of each month, Jenna Mae hosts poets and spoken-word readers at 8:00 p.m. at the Fair Grinds Coffee House on 3133 Ponce de Leon St.

& All of the regional libraries will be closed Monday for Memorial Day.

& 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 at 6 p.m. the Barnes & Noble West Bank hosts Westbank Writers’ Group. Every is welcome, from novices to serious authors. Join us for inspiration, friendly critiques, or just to connect with other local writers.

& Coming up in June the Louisiana Humanities Center will host “Tuesdays with Earl,” a five-week lunchtime reading series. Participants are invited to bring their lunches for a scholar-led conversation about Earl of Louisiana, the 1961 book by legendary author A.J. Liebling. The one-hour sessions will take place every Tuesday at noon, from June 18 through July 16 at the Louisiana Humanities Center at 938 Lafayette Street. Enrollment is free but limited to 40 people. To sign up, email boyles@leh.org.

Odd Words May 16, 2013

Posted by Mark Folse in books, literature, New Orleans, Odd Words, Poetry, Toulouse Street.
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& Gambit newspaper is hosting an Adult Spelling Bee Thursday May 16 at 7 p.m. at The Rusty Nail, hosted by Gus Kattengul, Gambit sports writer. $5 cover and 20% of the bar take will go to the winning charities. (Go Team English from UNO!).

& 17 Poets! features three readers this evening at 8 p.m.: Mel Coyle, Quo Vadis Breaux, and Asali DeVan followed by the open mic. Gold Mine Saloon, 701 Dauphine St. Coyle is from Chicago and other places where the corn grows. She co-edits the journal TENDE RLOIN and curates ColdCuts, a fabulous reading series in New Orleans. Some say she looks like an elf. The chapbook OPERA TRANS OPERA written with Jenn Marie Nunes is now available through aliceblue. Breaux has published poetry, essays and creative non-fiction in a number of anthologies. She is the Executive Director of the Center for Ethical Living and Social Justice Renewal where she works with volunteers dedicated to recovering New Orleans. She and her husband live in New Orleans. They have four sons. Ecclesiastes is a mother, wife, daughter, educator, event producer, spoken word artist, and community servant. She has presented her brand of “activist poetry” on stages and in classrooms across the country, and is a highly sought speaker on community development issues. In addition to authoring the Essence Empowerment Seminars, she coordinates the Congo Square African Marketplace, has taught spoken word, social justice, and service learning at Tulane University, and co-founded the Akoben Words-In-Action Festival and is Executive Producer of the Tremé 200 Festival.

& Also on Thursday evening at 5:30 p.m. Garden District Book Shop features Jill McCorkle’s new novel Life After Life. McCorkle’s first novel in seventeen years is alive with the daily triumphs and challenges of the residents and staff of Pine Haven Estates, a retirement facility now home to a good many of Fulton, North Carolina’s older citizens.

& Tonight at the East Jefferson Parish Regional Library, author night hosts N. S. Patrick’s <em<The Mysteries of Jack the Ripper. Patrick is a native of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. He attended Albion College and obtained a BA in Business Administration. He served as an officer in the U. S. Navy from 1962 to 1969. He lives in Kenner, Louisiana.

& On Friday, May 17 Garden District presents Nell Dickerson’s Porch Dogs, with the LSPCA with adoptable dogs and a Doggy Kissing Booth. Porch Dogs combines fine-art portraits of man’s best friend with beautiful architectural documentation of the Southern porch. Dickerson fondly recalls childhood nights on the sleeping porch of her grandparents’ Mississippi Delta home the sounds of katydids, cicadas, and tree frogs, the merciful breeze from the overhead fan. But during the heat of the day, the family sought refuge indoors, leaving the dog to his lonely vigil. “I felt like he understood that the porch was the gateway between inside and outside and that it was his duty to keep sentry there in case someone wanted to pass,” she recalls.

& McKoewn’s Books and Difficult Music hosts An Evening of Art and Emerging Writers Saturday hosted by Thaddeus Conti and featuring Jamie Chiarello, Caroline Rash, Adam O’Connor, Jacob Dilson, Kerry Leigh and Jonathan Milan Walters. Drawings by Thaddeus Conti will be displayed in the manner of Tibetan prayer flags. 7 p.m.

& On Saturday Maple Street Book Shop Uptown hosts Science fiction writer Brandon Sanderson, author of A Memory of Light, the final book in Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time series, will be signing (and numbering) his new young adult novel, The Rithmatist, on May 18th from 1 ‘til 3pm at our Uptown shop. The first 50 people in attendance will receive a Rithmatist bag complete with chalk and instructions for making Rithmatist chalkings!

& Celebrate Children’s Book Week with Octavia Books Saturday, May 18 at 11 a.m. when artist/author Alex Beard comes to tell stories from and sign his three wonderful books, CROCODILE’S TEARS, MONKEY SEE, MONKEY DRAW, and THE JUNGLE GRAPEVINE. CROCODILE’S TEARS tells the story of a rhino and a tickbird and the endangered animals they encounter on a journey to discover why crocodile is crying. This funny and cautionary tale has been heralded by Kirkus Review as, “…ecological storytelling at it’s finest!” MONKEY SEE, MONKEY DRAW tells the story of a troop of monkeys and an elephant who learn to paint and draw with their hands and feet in a tale about confronting fears and the discovery of creative expression. THE JUNGLE GRAPEVINE tells the story of eight African animals who learn about the dangers of rumors through an outrageous game of telephone. Octavia Books has been selected as an official event host site for the 94th annual celebration of Children’s Book Week, May 13-19 in 2013! The longest-running national literacy initiative, Children’s Book Week is celebrated yearly in schools, libraries, bookstores, and homes across the country.

& On Saturday the Old Metairie Branch of the Jefferson Parish Library hosts the Greater New Orleans Chapter of LA Poetry Society for a reading workshop from 2-4 p.m. in the meeting room

& Sunday May 19th at 2 p.m. Garden District Book Shops features Peggy Frankland with Susan Tucker and their book Women Pioneers of Louisiana Environmental Movement. This book provides a window into the passion and significance of thirty-eight committed individuals who led a grassroots movement in a socially conservative state. The book is comprised of oral history narratives in which women activists share their motivation, struggles, accomplishments, and hard-won wisdom. Additionally interviews with eight men, all leaders who worked with or against the women, provide more insight into this rich–and also gendered–history.

& Sunday at 8 p.m. at the Collumns Hotel Chris Champagne, author of The Yat Dictionary and a poetic and comedic satirist par excellence hosts his Ray Nagin Going Away Party. ” $15-info 504 330 9117

& The MelaNated Writers Collective hosts the last in their series of Sunday Shorts readings featuring MWC’s Danielle Gilyot and Pdeauxdungue Writers group’s Tad Bartlett. 8 p.m. at the Red Star Gallery on Bayou Road.

& The new Sunday show from Spoken Word New Orleans is Poetry and Paint Brushes. Spoken Word artists perform as a resident artists paints the crowd and performers. At 6 p.m. at Special Tea, 4337 Banks Street. No longer at the Bayou Road location.

& On the second, fourth, and fifth Sunday of each month, Jenna Mae hosts poets and spoken-word readers at 8:00 p.m. at the Fair Grinds Coffee House on 3133 Ponce de Leon St.

& Monday evening the East Bank Regional Library in Metairie hosts The Fiction Writers’ Group with featured guest author Tony Fennelly. This is a support group for serious writers of fiction. We do not focus on poetry, essays or nonfiction. Events consist of critique sessions from group members, author talks and writing exercises. Free of charge and open to the public. Registration is not required. 7-9 p.m.

& The New Orleans Haiku Society holds its monthly meeting at the Latter Memorial Library 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.

& At Cafe Istanbul poet, satirist and author of The Yat Dictionary Chris Champagne will unleash his poetical wit at 8 p.m., no cover but donations accepted. Satirical wit in poetry hasn’t been this much fun since Juvenal and Horace got in that nasty bar fight or, if you find that too obscured: If this were anywhere else than nominal democracy Champagne would be wasting away in a gulag where the leading cause of death would be hysterical laughter.

& Tuesday at Octavia Books at 6 p.m. Bill Loehfelm will be signing his newest novel, The Devil in Her Way, at our Healing Center shop at 6:30 p.m. When Maureen Coughlin first appeared in The Devil She Knows (2011), the New Orleans Times-Picayune called her “unforgettable” and “the character of the year.” Booklist named The Devil She Knows one of 2011’s ten best thrillers and declared Maureen “as compelling a character as this reviewer expects to see this year.” Now she’s back in Bill Loehfelm’s new thriller, The Devil in Her Way, and her life has changed in more ways than one: She’s starting over in New Orleans as a newly minted member of the police force.

& Every Tuesday at 6 p.m. the Barnes & Noble West Bank hosts Westbank Writers’ Group. Every is welcome, from novices to serious authors. Join us for inspiration, friendly critiques, or just to connect with other local writers.

& Starting this Tuesday the New Orleans Public Library Martin Luther King Branch hosts ReWrite: A Writing Workshop. ReWrite is a writing workshop led by Zuri McCormick for ages 18 and up. May 21, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Beginning in June, 1st Friday of each month, 2 – 4 p.m. and 3rd Tuesday of each month, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

& Also from NOPL on Tuesday, the Hubbell Branch in Algiers hosts an author night with Poppy Tooker discusses Mme. Begue’s Recipes of Old New Orleans Creole Cookery at 6 p.m.

& Also on Tuesday the East Jefferson Regional Library hosts an Author Talk! with Ed Branley, Legendary Locals of New Orleans. Branley is a prolific chronicler of historic New Orleans, with prior titles on the history of K&B Drugstore, D.H. Holmes and other New Orleans institutions.

& Wednesday there is a weekly poetry reading hosted at the Neutral Ground Coffee House at 9 p.m

Odd Words May 9, 2013

Posted by Mark Folse in books, Indie Book Shops, literature, New Orleans, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, publishing, Toulouse Street.
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Jimmy Ross CoverThis week’s featured event is the first public reading of Jimmy Ross’s long-awaited collection Say What! by Lavendar Ink Press. The komusō-locked Crazy Uncle of the New Orleans literary family, who can pull an amazing tale from behind your year like a miraculous piece of favorite candy, will appear at a salon hosted Wednesday, May 15 by poet-hostess Jenna Mae. Ross is a story teller par excelence, Hotei poet, actor, baby-sitter of poor poets’ children and long-standing host of the open mic at 17 Poets! Details of time and place below in the listings.

Tomorrow is the last day for New Orleans students to enter the Latter Memorial Library’s Bad Poetry Contest. Prizes for the best of the worst entries include gift cards to local book stores and a new journal to fill with good poetry. There will be a public reading featuring the winners Thursday, May 16th at 6PM at Latter Library (5120 St. Charles Avenue). Refreshments and snacks will be served!

& Tonight (Thursday, May 9) Garden District Books features Jean Morgan Meaux: In Pursuit of Alaska: An Anthology of Travelers’ Tales 1879-1909 at 5:30 p.m. This collection of Alaskan adventures begins with a newspaper article written by John Muir during his first visit to Alaska in 1879, when the sole U.S. government representative in all the territory’s 586,412 square miles was a lone customs official in Sitka. It closes with accounts of the gold rush and the 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition in Seattle. Jean Meaux has gathered a superb collection of articles and stories that captivated American readers when they were first published and that will continue to entertain us today. The authors range from Charles Hallock (the founder of Forest and Stream, a precursor of Field and Stream) to New York society woman Mary Hitchcock, who traveled with china, silver, and a 2,800 square foot tent. After explorer Henry Allen wore out his boots, he marched barefoot as he continued mapping the Tanana River, and Episcopal Archdeacon Hudson Stuck mushed by dog sled in Arctic winters across a territory encompassing 250,000 miles of the northern interior.

& Join Room 220 for a Happy Hour Salon featuring readings by three exciting and celebrated novelists—Rachel Kushner, Nathaniel Rich, and Zachary Lazar—from 6 – 9 p.m. on Thursday, May 9, at the Press Street HQ (3718 St. Claude Ave.). Kushner, who will be visiting from Los Angeles, and New Orleans-based Rich both have new novels out that have been greeted with great critical acclaim. Lazar, a Tulane professor and author, has recently finished a new novel, and we look forward to (hopefully) hearing an excerpt from it at the event. Maple Street Bookshop will be on hand with the authors’ books for sale.

& Rodger Kamenetz, author of The Jew in The Lotus, will give a talk “What I Learned About Judaism from the Dalai Lama” in honor of the Dalai Lama’s upcoming visit to New Orleans. Event at Temple Sinai Reform Congregation, 6227 Saint Charles Ave, is free and open to the public.

& Tonight 17 Poets! features Chris Champagne and Bryan Spitzfaden . Champagne is a satirical poet, comedian and the author of The YAT Dictionary.

Itsy_Bitsy_Spider& Octavia Books hosts a startling new version of the children’s classic The Itsy Bitsy Spider by renowned children’s picture book author and illustrator Rebecca Emberley. “Here is a gorgeous retelling by Rebecca and her Caldacott Medal- winning father, Ed Emberley, of the classic tale of a spider climbing up the water-spout. Using their unique collage artwork, the Emberleys’ vision breathes new life and brilliant color into this toddler favorite. This is not your grandmother’s spider!” No indeed it is not. If this were a Miyazaki file I would have that uneasy feeling when the spider on this cover first appeared even though its jeweled body suggested goodness.

& Saturday’s Story Time with Miss Maureen at Garden District Books Uptown will feature Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion at 11:30 a.m.

& The Studio in the Woods will host its annual FORESTival featuring resident artists exhibitions and performance on Saturday from 11:00 am – 5:00 pm, 13401 Patterson Road (essentially the very end of the Algiers River Road). Artist presentations including: Sarah Quintana & Co. singing original compositions from The Delta Demitasse series Sunpie and the Louisiana Sunspots Choreographer Monique Moss will reprise Katrina Cranes Secondline with Nina Nichols‘ giant puppet and the Panorama Duo with Ben Schenck, clarinet, and Boyanna Trayanova, snare drum Adventures in clay with Jane Hill Triple B’s: Berhman Brass Band Tshirts designed by Pippin Frisbie-Calder and silkscreened live with Ben Fox-McCord from Press Street/Antenna Gallery Jewelry for sale by Georgette Fortino Art activities in the Kids’ Creative Corner Tours of the woods with botanist David Baker Food and drink for purchase Tours of the founders’ home with Joe & Lucianne Carmichael

& On Saturday Garden District Book Shop Hosts Jackson Galaxy’s Cat Daddy: What the World’s Most Incorrigible Cat Taught Me About Life, Love, and Coming Clean at 2 p.m. In this book, Galaxy tells the poignant story of his thirteen-year relationship with a petite gray-and-white short-haired cat named Benny, and gives singular advice for living with, caring for, and loving the feline in your home. When Benny arrived in his life, Galaxy was a down-and-out rock musician with not too much more going on than a part-time job at an animal shelter and a drug problem. Benny’s previous owner brought the cat to the shelter in a cardboard box to give him up. Benny had seen better days —- his pelvis had just been shattered by the wheels of a car — and his owner insisted he’d been “unbondable” from day one. Nothing could have been further from the truth. An inspiring account of two broken beings who fixed each other, Cat Daddy is laced throughout with Galaxy’s amazing “Cat Mojo” advice for understanding what cats need most from us humans in order to live happier, healthier lives.

& The Peauxdunque Writers Alliance continues its Sunday Shorts reading series, this week featuring Terri Stoor along with Jeri Hilt! Doors open at the Red Star Galerie (2513 Bayou Road) at 8 p.m., with readings starting at 8:30.

& The new Sunday show from Spoken Word New Orleans is Poetry and Paint Brushes. Spoken Word artists perform as a resident artists paints the crowd and performers. At 6 p.m. at Special Tea, 4337 Banks Street. No longer at the Bayou Road location.

& On the second, fourth, and fifth Sunday of each month, Jenna Mae hosts poets and spoken-word readers at 8:00 p.m. at the Fair Grinds Coffee House on 3133 Ponce de Leon St.

& Monday evening the East Bank Regional Library in Metairie hosts The Fiction Writers’ Group. This is a support group for serious writers of fiction. We do not focus on poetry, essays or nonfiction. Events consist of critique sessions from group members, author talks and writing exercises. Free of charge and open to the public. Registration is not required. 7-9 p.m.

& Susan Larson, the former book editor of the former Times-Picayune newspaper and member of the National Book Critics Circle hosts The Reading Life on WWNO (89.9 FM) on Tuesdays at 1:30 p.m. She features interviews with authors of local and national interest.

& Tuesday at Maple Street Book Shop at The Healing Center Bill Loehfelm will be signing his newest novel, The Devil in Her Way, at our Healing Center shop at 6:30 p.m. When Maureen Coughlin first appeared in The Devil She Knows (2011), the New Orleans Times-Picayune called her “unforgettable” and “the character of the year.” Booklist named The Devil She Knows one of 2011’s ten best thrillers and declared Maureen “as compelling a character as this reviewer expects to see this year.” Now she’s back in Bill Loehfelm’s new thriller, The Devil in Her Way, and her life has changed in more ways than one: She’s starting over in New Orleans as a newly minted member of the police force.

& Every Tuesday at 6 p.m. the Barnes & Noble West Bank hosts Westbank Writers’ Group. Every is welcome, from novices to serious authors. Join us for inspiration, friendly critiques, or just to connect with other local writers.

& Tuesday evening brings Don Paul’s Poetry Ball 5 at the Cafe Istanbul at 8 p.m., featuring Asam Devan Ecclesiastes, Asia Raniey, Daniel Remhold, and special guest Lee Grue, followed by an open mic.

& Garden District will feature the UNO Press edition of Black and White on the Rocks by Rick Barton, the Creative Writing Workshop’s beloved director at 5:30 p.m. Black and White on the Rocks is a captivating tale set in the charming architecture of New Orleans. Michael Barnett drives the turns of this novel through greed ruled corruption, racial prejudice, friendship, and convoluted schemes. Barton has wrapped this story of bribery and redemption within the warmth of a loving marriage, offering sweet reprieve when life reveals its troublesome secrets that boil for release.

Fredrick Barton is the author of the novels The El Cholo Feeling Passes, Courting Pandemonium, Rowing to Sweden, and A House Divided, which won the William Faulkner Prize in fiction.

& Wednesday, May 15 Jenna Mae will host a salon at 7:30 p.m. celebrating the release of Jimmy Ross’ new collection from Lavender Ink: Say What! (http://www.lavenderink.org/content/link-titles/161) The thin, dreadlocked Ross–story teller par excelence, komusō poet, actor, baby-sitter of poor poets’ children and long-standing host of the open mic at 17 Poets! is ter beloved Crazy Uncle of the New Orleans literary family, who can pull an amazing tale from behind your year like a miraculous piece of favorite candy. The evening will feature readings by Megan Burns, Desiree Dallagiacomo, and signing and reading by Jimmy Ross. Art by Jim Tascio and Ozone. Jimmy Ross’ famous baklava and other goodies. BYOB or by donation.

& On Wednesday the NOPL will present An Evening of Codes, Symbols, and Secrets. The #1 international bestselling author Dan Brown will be streamed live and shown at the Algiers Regional Branch at 6:30 p.m. as he speaks about his new novel Inferno plus a range of topics including science, religion, codes, book publishing, movie making, and a few surprise topics. This will be Dan Brown’s only public U.S. appearance. Streamed Live from Lincoln Center.

& Wednesday there is a weekly poetry reading hosted at the Neutral Ground Coffee House at 9 p.m

Next Thursday May 16 at 7 p.m. come support UNO’s Team English in Gambit Weekly’s Adult Spelling Contest at The Rusty Nail, hosted by Gus Kattengul, Gambit sports writer. Competing for student scholarships for the UNO English Department, MA Rich Goode will try and best 19 other spelling bee contestants. Prizes will not only go to the winner of the contest, but also to the speller who brings the most supporters, so it’s important that Team English turns out. Please feel free to invite your friends to this event! $5 cover and 20% of the bar take will go to the winning charities.

Odd Words May 2, 2013

Posted by Mark Folse in books, literature, New Orleans, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, publishing, reading, signings, Toulouse Street.
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Singer and author Patti Smith’s book signing at the Jazz Fest Book Tent today is cancelled, changed to a one-hour signing appearance at Garden District Book Shop from 2-3 p.m. The notice from The New Orleans Gulf South Booksellers says the event prior to her appearance at the book tent prior to her performance at the festival today was “has been cancelled by Jazz Fest.” Calls to the Festival headquarters were routed to voicemail. Smith was originally scheduled to sign her book about her friendship with Robert Mapplethorpe Just Kids. If you see this before you get to the festival, please don’t complain to the volunteers who staff the book tent, which benefits children’s literacy programs.

Thankfully, with Jazz Fest going full swing and authors all at the Book Tent, this will be a short list. That means I get set up my Blues Tent-front stoop, fill the coffee mug and just start to watch the world go by.

& so onto the other listings…

Local romance author Farrah Rochon is giving away a Kindle to celebrate her birthday and the release of her newest book Delectable Desire. You just have to like her page through this link to enter.

& Here is the rest of Thursday’s line up at the Jazz Fest Book Tent: Ron Thibodeaux, 12-1PM, Uell or High Water: How Cajun Fortitude Withstood Hurricans Rita and Ike; John Swenson, 1-2PM, New Atlantis: Musicians Battle for the Survival of New Orleans; Ben Sandmel, 2-3PM, Ernie K-Doe; Lorin Gaudin, 3-4PM, New Orleans Chef’s Table; Jay Mazza, 5:30-6PM, Up Front and Center.

& Tonight 17 Poets! Literary & Performance Series presents an evening celebrating the works of artists, writers and poets from publications of Trembling Pillow Press; readings by poets John Sinclair, Lee Meitzen Grue, Valentine Pierce, Herbert Kearney, Geoff Munsterman, Bill Lavender, Dave Brinks et al @ Goldmine Saloon (701 Dauphine Street in the French Quarter) at 7:30p.m. Featured program followed directly by Open Mic hosted by Jimmy Ross. There is no way I could squeeze the vitae of this amazing line up into a single column and there is not separate post with all the details. Let’s just say this is a night not to be missed featuring the very best of New Orleans poetry.

& Octavia Books will host a children’s book event at 4:30 p.m. today featuring Tad Hills’ GOOSE NEEDS A HUG and HOW ROCKET LEARNED TO READ.

& Every Thursday the Norman Meyer Branch Library hosts a teen writing workshop led by teens 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 a space.

& Friday evening at 6:30 p.m. Octavia books presents an evening with Augusten Burroughs, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Running With Scissors, to present and sign THIS IS HOW, his groundbreaking book that explores how to survive what you think you can’t. I think this ought to launch some fascinating conversations with Katrina survivors.

& Here is the rest of the Jazz Fest Book Tent author line up:

On Friday: Chris Champagne, 12-1PM, Yat Dictionary; Cornell Landry, 1-2PM, The Adventures of a Mardi Gras Bead Dog; Bill Loehfelm, 3-4PM, Devil in Her Way.

On Saturday: Ken Foster, 1-2PM. I’m A Good Dog; Tom Piazza, 2-3PM, Southern Journey Of Alan Lomax; Keith Spera, 3-4PM, Groove Interrupted; Elianna Casa, 4-5PM, Cool Kids Cook; Diane de Las Casas, 5-6PM, The Little “Read” Hen.

On Sunday: Kevin Bozant, 1-2PM, Quaint Essential New Orleans; David Spielman, 2-3PM, When Not Performing; WWOZ, 4-5PM, That Sounds Good; Earl Hampton, 5-6PM, Streetcar Guide to New Orleans.

And then you can stop and buy a copy of Coloring Book for the Criminally Insane, A Howling in the Wires or Carry Me Home at the Fortin Street Stage, 3000 block of Fortin between the Sauvage and Mystery Street gates. All proceeds from these sales go toward help some folks start a new small press.

& The new Sunday show from Spoken Word New Orleans is Poetry and Paint Brushes. Spoken Word artists perform as a resident artists paints the crowd and performers. At 6 p.m. at Special Tea, 4337 Banks Street. No longer at the Bayou Road location.

& On the second, fourth, and fifth Sunday of each month, Jenna Mae hosts poets and spoken-word readers at 8:00 p.m. at the Fair Grinds Coffee House on 3133 Ponce de Leon St.

& Monday the Black Widows Salon at Crescent City Books welcomes Lawrence Powell and Rich Campanella. The Tulane historian and the geographer, both award winning, will be discussing their work and New Orleans. This is not a lecture but a salon in which attendees are invited to participate. 7-9 p.m. Seating is limited, so we suggest you email books@crescentcitybooks.com to reserve.

& Monday evening the East Bank Regional Library in Metairie hosts The Fiction Writers’ Group. This is a support group for serious writers of fiction. We do not focus on poetry, essays or nonfiction. Events consist of critique sessions from group members, author talks and writing exercises. Free of charge and open to the public. Registration is not required. 7-9 p.m.

& Susan Larson, the former book editor of the former Times-Picayune newspaper and member of the National Book Critics Circle hosts The Reading Life on WWNO (89.9 FM) on Tuesdays at 1:30 p.m. She features interviews with authors of local and national interest.

& Every Tuesday at 6 p.m. the Barnes & Noble West Bank hosts Westbank Writers’ Group. Every is welcome, from novices to serious authors. Join us for inspiration, friendly critiques, or just to connect with other local writers

& On Tuesday at 6:30 pm Octavia hosts a discussion and book signing with Wenonah Hauter featuring her provocative new book, FOODOPOLY: The Battle Over the Future of Food and Farming in America, an exposé of how agribusiness and food corporations are undermining a healthy food system—and how voting with your fork will not solve the problem.

& Wednesday there is a weekly poetry reading hosted at the Neutral Ground Coffee House at 9 p.m.

Th-th-th-that’s all folks. If I make it to Garden District I’ll let you know what the crowds are like and get a snap of Odd Words with Ms. Smith if it kills me.

Odd Words April 25, 2013

Posted by Mark Folse in books, literature, New Orleans, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, publishing, reading, signings, Toulouse Street.
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The Gulf South Booksellers Assocation once again hosts the Jazz Fest Book Tent, so here’s the first weekend’s lineup of visiting writers signing their books. The Book Tent is a project of the New Orleans Gulf South Booksellers Association (NOGSBA). NOGSBA is comprised of the local independent book stores and publishers. NOGSBA has run the book tent for 25+ years, with all proceeds benefiting local children’s literacy. Here’s one impulse purchase you know you’re going to make anyway (well, and that one in the music tent, and probably that metal wall hanging you’re going to wish you’d had shipped by the last set of the day).

Friday:
Phil Sandusky 12-1PM New Orleans: Impressionist Cityscapes
Elsa Hahne 2-3PM The Gravy
Denise McConduit 3-4PM DJ Books

Saturday

Sally Newhart 12-1PM Original Tuxedo Jazz Band
Tom Piazza 1-2PM Southern Journey of Alan Lomax
David Spielman 2-3PM When Not Performing
Poppy Tooker 3-4PM Mme. Begue’s Recipes of Old New Orleans Creole Cookery
Christi Rice & Megan Nolan 4-5PM When The Lights Went Out In The City
Edward Branley 5-6PM Legendary Locals of New Orleans

Sunday
Allison Vines-Rushing & Slade Rushing 12-1PM Southern Comfort Cookbook
Deb Shriver 1-2PM In the Spirit of New Orleans
Johnette Downing 2-3PM How to Dress a Po-Boy
John McCusker 3-4PM Creole Trombone
Neighborhood Story Project 5-6PM Straight Outta Swampton

Next Thursday
Ron Thibodeaux 12-1PM Hell or High Water: How Cajun Fortitude Withstood Hurricanes Rita and Ike
John Swenson 1-2PM New Atlantis: Musicians Battle for the Survival of New Orleans
Ben Sandmel 2-3PM Ernie K-Doe
Lorin Gaudin 3-4PM New Orleans Chef’s Table
Jay Mazza 5:30-6PM Up Front and Center

& Thursday evening the Alvar Library hosts the first in a series of spring poetry readings at 7 p.m. featuring Nik DeDominic, Brett Evans, Gina Ferrara, and Kay Murphy. Thursday is always a busy day for the NOPL, so check out the full calendar of events here.

& 17 Poets! Literary & Performance Series presents two extraordinary poets this Thursday, BILL ZAVATSKY and MICHAEL TOD EDGERTON, at Gold Mine Saloon in New Orleans, 701 Dauphine Street in the French Quarter, on Thursday, April 25 @ 7:30. Open Mic hosted by Jimmy Ross follows the featured program. Born in 1943 in Bridgeport, Connecticut, Zavatsky worked as a pianist from the age of fifteen to twenty-five and studied music at the New School. He holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from Columbia University.With Zack Rogow, he co-translated Earthlight: Poems of André Breton (Sun & Moon Press, 1993), which won the PEN/Book-of-the-Month Club Translation Prize. Zavatsky also co-translated The Poems of A.O. Barnabooth, by Valery Larbaud, with Ron Padgett. He is the author of Where X Marks the Spot (Hanging Loose Press, 2006); For Steve Royal and Other Poems (Coalition of Publishers for Employment, 1985); Theories of Rain and Other Poems (1975). Edgerton’s newest collection from Lavender Ink is Vitreous Hide. His poems have been published in the Boston Review, Chelsea, Denver Quarterly, EOAGH, Five Fingers Review, New American Writing, New Orleans Review, Sonora Review, Word For/Word, and other journals.

& Also this evening Wil Tustin will be signing Ambushed at Maple Street Book Shops’s Healing Center shop at 6:30 p.m. Ambushed is his first novel and is a culmination of over twenty years of research and teaching. It is historical fiction and a first person account of Paul the Apostle’s life.

& The Jefferson Parish East Bank Regional Library will host Poetry Event! An Evening with Melinda Palacio this evening at 7 p.m. Palacio grew up in South Central Los Angeles and now lives in Santa Barbara and New Orleans. She also writes a Friday column for La Bloga.com. She is a 2007 PEN Center USA Emerging Voices Rosenthal Fellow and has published a novel and a book of poetry.

& Saturday’s Story Time with Miss Maureen will feature The Magic Rabbit by Annette LeBlanc Cate for the stroller roller set.

& Saturday the Barnes & Noble in Metairie will hosts Todd-Michael St. Pierre w signing his local cookbook, Taste of Treme, at 1 p.m.

&The Melanated Writers Collective new The Sunday Shorts Reading Series starts this Sunday, April 28, at Red Star Galerie at 2513 Bayou Road. MelaNated Writing Collective member L. Kasimu Harris kicks off the series with his fine new short story work, and the opening session of the series will be capped off by the hypnotic fiction of Sabrina Canfield.) . Doors open at 8, readings start promptly at 8:30, and will include Q&A with the authors following each reading

& Sunday Xavier University presents The Poetic Vision Tour is a national traveling concert tour that features spiritually infused, inspired music. The PVT believes that music as an art form should not merely instruct but should inspire, not merely educate, but express. The Spring Tour of 2013 features a special musical journey through 800 years of spiritual poetic music, from 13th century Morocco & the tradition of Qasidas to the Qawalli music of Mughal India & modern Pakistan, & finally to the folk music of the United States in the 1050s-1970s & urban hip hop from 1980-present. The event is free and open to the public. Doors open at 6:30 in the James and Caroline Duff Banquet Center at Cintas on Xavier’s campus.

& The new Sunday show from Spoken Word New Orleans is Poetry and Paint Brushes. Spoken Word artists perform as a resident artists paints the crowd and performers. At 6 p.m. at Special Tea, 4337 Banks Street. No longer at the Bayou Road location.

& On the second, fourth, and fifth Sunday of each month, Jenna Mae hosts poets and spoken-word readers at 8:00 p.m. at the Fair Grinds Coffee House on 3133 Ponce de Leon St.

& Barnes & Noble in Metairie hosts award-winning actress Diane Ladd for a discussion and signing of her new book, A Bad Afternoon for a Piece of Cake: A Collection of Ten Short Stories Sunday at 2 p.m.

& Monday evening the East Bank Regional Library in Metairie hosts The Fiction Writers’ Group. This is a support group for serious writers of fiction. We do not focus on poetry, essays or nonfiction. Events consist of critique sessions from group members, author talks and writing exercises. Free of charge and open to the public. Registration is not required. 7-9 p.m.

& Susan Larson, the former book editor of the former Times-Picayune newspaper and member of the National Book Critics Circle hosts The Reading Life on WWNO (89.9 FM) on Tuesdays at 1:30 p.m. She features interviews with authors of local and national interest.

& Meet the Authors Tuesday beginning at 5:30 p. m. at the Cabildo, the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society and the Louisiana State Museum join hands to celebrate publication of five new books by New Orleans authors. The event is free and open to the public and, as we are offering free refreshments, we request an advance rsvp to Faulkhouse@aol.com so that we can adequately
prepare. Authors being honored are Debra Shriver, Brenda Marie Osbey, Judy Conner, Sanem Ozdural, and N. S. Patrick.

& This Tuesday Octavia Books hosts the release of New Orleans historian Emily Clark’s new book, ;THE STRANGE HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN QUADROON: Free Women of Color in the Revolutionary Atlantic World at 6 p.m. Clark’s book, drawing on the rich archives of New Orleans, tell a different story. Free women of color with ancestral roots in New Orleans were as likely to marry in the 1820s as white women. And marriage, not concubinage, was the basis of their family structure. In The Strange History of the American Quadroon, Clark investigates how the narrative of the erotic colored mistress became an elaborate literary and commercial trope, persisting as a symbol that long outlived the political and cultural purposes for which it had been created. Untangling myth and memory, she presents a dramatically new and nuanced understanding of the myths and realities of New Orleans’s free women of color

& Every Tuesday at 6 p.m. the Barnes & Noble West Bank hosts Westbank Writers’ Group. Every is welcome, from novices to serious authors. Join us for inspiration, friendly critiques, or just to connect with other local writers

& Wednesday there is a weekly poetry reading hosted at the Neutral Ground Coffee House at 9 p.m.

Odd Words April 11, 2013

Posted by Mark Folse in books, Indie Book Shops, Internet Publishing, literature, New Orleans, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, publishing, reading, Toulouse Street.
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Every Thursday Odd Words provides NOLA’s most comprehensive listing of literary, book and library events. Facebook followers please Like! the Odd Words page and hover over the Liked! button and select receive notifications to make sure you don’t miss daily updates. Also, follow @odd_words on Twitter for daily event reminders.

& The New Orleans Public Library is sponsoring El Día de los Niños/El Día de Los Libros (Children’s Day/Book Day), a month of programs that celebrate children, families, and reading and emphasize the importance of literacy for children of all linguistic and cultural backgrounds. I missed last Tuesday’s event, but the next is today at 10:30 a.m. at the Hubbell Library, a story time for toddlers featuring European stories. A list of all of the events can be found here.

& Thursday from 5:30 to 6:30 pm the Norman Meyer Branch library in Gentilly hosts 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.

& Tonight, April 11 17 Poets! features poet Gina Myers and songwriter Nasimiyu perform April 11, 8PM at the 17 Poets! Literary and Performance Series (www.17poets.com) followed by the open mic. Myers is the author of A Model Year (Coconut Books, 2009), and several chapbooks, including False Spring (Spooky Girlfriend, 2012). Her second full-length book, Hold It Down, will be published by Coconut Books in 2013. New Orleans-based songwriter Nasimiyu wields a colorful and eclectic Indie/Folk/Retro-pop sound, embodying a new, socially conscious movement that is bright and uplifting as the revolutionary generation that inspired it. Captivating audiences with her lyrically charged songs, Nasimiyu has been touted as the “New Age Nina Simone,” by Snarky Puppy’s Mike League and as “2012′s artist to watch,” in Gambit Magazine.

& Also on Thursday Octavia Books hosts a special evening with former Poet Laureate of Louisiana Brenda Marie Osbey who will read from and sign her new collection. This is Osbey’s fifth collection and her first since the publication of ALL SAINTS: New & Selected Poems, a recipient of the 1998 American Book Award. HISTORY AND OTHER POEMS takes as its task nothing less than an examination and mapping of the never-ending evil of the Transatlantic Slave Trade and the still-palpable effects of European and American colonialism some seven centuries after the making of the New World.

& Tonight the Algiers Library continues its month-long, national celebration of poetry established by the Academy of American Poets since 1996. In celebration of National Poetry Month, Algiers Regional will host Pass The Word poetry workshops presented by local authors. This week features Asia Rainey.

& And the Jefferson Parish East Bank Regional Library hosts an Author Event! at 7 pm featuring J.W. Mallard and his book Lines of a Circle. Julia Isbell has been afforded a good life by her parents who give her everything she needs, including love. But when her mother Viola is dying, she reveals one truth about Julia’s identity that will change her life forever—she is not a true Isbell. Who and where are her parents? Mallard has had multiple careers in his lifetime, one that involved the U. S. Marine Corps and the one he holds as a computer programmer. This is his first book.

& Saturday’s Story Time with Miss Maureen will instead feature Johnette Downing singing and signing her latest book, How to Dress a Po’Boy, at Maple Street Book Shop’s Uptown location 11:30 am to 1 pm. There will be snack-sized po’boys, juice boxes, and cookies.

& Saturday at Garden District Books at 1 p.m. Cecily White discusses and signs her book, Prophecy Girl Prophecy Girl is part of a debut series that follows a girl who is the center of a prophecy that states she is destined to kill everyone she loves. Guardians, immortals, demons, a foreboding prophecy, and forbidden love make the series ideal for YA and adult audiences.

& Also on Saturday the new East Near Orleans Regional Library celebrates its first anniversary with a day-long program including presentations on available programs, activities for small children and teens, and a raffle. And cake. Did I mention there will be cake? From 10:30 am to 3 pm at 5641 Read Blvd.

& The Dickens Fellowship of New Orleans meets Saturday at 2 pm at Metairie Park/County Day School’s Bright Library, with guest LSU Professor of English Elsie B. Michie speaking on “Dickens and Desire.”

& Saturday poet Megan Burns will perform at the 1239 Congress 2nd Saturday Art Show. Burns is the publisher at Trembling Pillow Press (tremblingpillowpress.com) and edits the poetry magazine, Solid Quarter (solidquarter.blogspot.com). She has two books Memorial + Sight Lines (2008) and Sound and Basin (2013) published by Lavender Ink. She has two recent chapbooks: irrational knowledge (Fell Swoop press, 2012) and a city/ bottle boned (Dancing Girl Press, 2012). Her chapbook Dollbaby is forthcoming from Horseless Press. She has been making dolls that incorporate poems and performing regularly with them since December, 2012. This is the first time all the dollbabies will be assembled for an art show.

books&food & Books and food: this can’t miss. National Library Week Food Truck Roundup on Monday, April 15 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.t the Main Library in the CBD 219 Loyola Ave. Come eat on Monday with Taceaux Loceaux, La Cocinita, Empanada Intifada, NOLA Girl Food Truck & Catering, LLC, Foodie Call New Orleans Needs More Food Trucks.

& The new Sunday show from Spoken Word New Orleans is Poetry and Paint Brushes. Spoken Word artists perform as a resident artists paints the crowd and performers. At 6 p.m. at Special Tea, 4337 Banks Street. No longer at the Bayou Road location.

& On the second, fourth, and fifth Sunday of each month, Jenna Mae hosts poets and spoken-word readers at 8:00 p.m. at the Fair Grinds Coffee House on 3133 Ponce de Leon St.

& Monday at 5:30 at Garden District Books William Kent Krueger discusses and signs his book, Ordinary Grace.. From “New York Times “bestselling author William Kent Krueger comes a brilliant new novel about a young man, a small town, and murder in the summer of 1961. View the book trailer here.

& Monday is also the weekly meeting of the New Orleans Haiku Society at the Latter Memorial Library, 6 pm to 7:30 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.

& Also on Tuesday the NOPL hosts its next El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day) program at the Children’s Resource Center featuring a story and activities about Ethiopia.

& Wednesday, April 17 The Spring 2013 issue of Louisiana Cultural Vistas celebrates with its contributors and readers at The Louisiana Humanities Center, 938 Lafayette St. This month’s party features artists Louviere + Vanessa, plus author/photographer John McCusker and writer Ellen Blue. Abita beer and Zapp’s chips will be provided. Doors open at 6pm.

& Come celebrate Dorado 2, the newest release from Verna Press at McKeown’s Difficult Music and Books. Poets Joseph Bienvenue, Thaddeus Conti and Gina Ferrara will be reading in the redesigned space of McKeown’s Books at 4737 Tchoupitoulas Street. Verna is a New Orleans press operated by the printer and poet, Peter Anderson. Dorado 2 is the latest ripple in the ongoing stream of excellent letterpress chapbooks and broadsides.

& Also on Wednesday Octavia Books hosts a reading and signing with New York Times bestselling author Stuart Woods when he returns to Octavia Books to present his sensational new Stone Barrington thriller, UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES. Woods is the author of fifty-two novels, including the New York Times–bestselling Stone Barrington and Holly Barker series. He is a native of Georgia and began his writing career in the advertising industry. Chiefs, his debut in 1981, won the Edgar Award.

& Wednesday at the Algiers library El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day) continues with Tastes of the World providing drinks from various countries – Ages 12-17, starting at 4 p.m.

& Wednesday there is a weekly poetry reading hosted at the Neutral Ground Coffee House at 9 p.m.

& Wednesday Maple Street Book Shop’s Downtown Book Club, now called the St. Claude Avenue Book Club, led by Ken Foster, will be meeting at 7 pm at Fatoush in the Healing Center to discuss The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami. Am am a full-on, J-Pop, fan-boy fool for Murakami. Damn I want to do this but another book to (re)read by Wednesday?

ἀπορɛία April 6, 2013

Posted by Mark Folse in cryptic envelopment, Odd Words, Toulouse Street.
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I am thinking of having this word, aporia, tattooed on the back of my neck. As I leave whatever has transacted—an evening of emptying beers and filling ashtrays, the exchange of money and objects most likely books, an unexpected kiss walking to the car—you will be left to wonder as I do if we are merely acting out the roles we believe we have created for ourselves or if something genuine yet invisible, the play within the play, palpable as static electricity, has just occurred. Or will someone, not necessarily ourselves, wake from this dream and forget it all before the coffee is ready?

Originally posted at Alternative Roundezvouz Tango.

Odd Words April 4, 2013

Posted by Mark Folse in books, literature, New Orleans, Odd Words, Poetry, Toulouse Street.
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& Tonight 17 Poets hosts a sneak peek at Bret Evans’ new collection from Trembling Pillow Press: I Love This American Life (a limited number will be on sale and we’ll be taking orders if those sell out). Also poet Mary Elizabeth Perez from Florida followed by the open mic. Evans’ work has been featured in the anthologies The Gertrude Stein Awards in Innovative American Poetry,Another South:Experimental Writing in the South, and Poets for Living Waters.It also appears in the biography Ernie K-Doe: the R & B Emperor of New Orleans. Perez, a native of Tampa, FL and former USF poetry student and a grandmother of twelve, has been haunted by poetry for the last twenty years. She won the USFZbar Award (1995) and Hillsborough County Emerging Artist Award (1996) and also studied at the Iowa Workshop Summer Writers Program (1998).

& Thursday evening at 6 p.m. Garden District Books hosts Nathaniel Rich and his novel. Odds Against Tomorrow. A novel about fear of the future–and the future of fear New York City, the near future: Mitchell Zukor, a gifted young mathematician, is hired by a mysterious new financial consulting firm, FutureWorld. The business operates out of an empty office in the Empire State Building; Mitchell is employee number two. He is asked to calculate worst-case scenarios in the most intricate detail, and his schemes are sold to corporations to indemnify them against any future disasters. This is the cutting edge of corporate irresponsibility, and business is booming. As Mitchell immerses himself in the mathematics of catastrophe–ecological collapse, war games, natural disasters–he becomes obsessed by a culture’s fears. Yet he also loses touch with his last connection to reality: Elsa Bruner, a friend with her own apocalyptic secret, who has started a commune in Maine. Then, just as Mitchell’s predictions reach a nightmarish crescendo, an actual worst-case scenario overtakes Manhattan. Mitchell realizes he is uniquely prepared to profit. But at what cost? At once an all-too-plausible literary thriller, an unexpected love story, and a philosophically searching inquiry into the nature of fear, Nathaniel Rich’s Odds Against Tomorrow poses the ultimate questions of imagination and civilization. The future is not quite what it used to be.

& Thursday at 6 p.m. Octavia Books hosts reading and signing with author Wiley Cash featuring his phenomenal debut novel, A LAND MORE KIND THAN HOME, a mesmerizing literary thriller about the bond between two brothers and the evil they face in a small North Carolina town. Wiley Cash displays a remarkable talent for lyrical, powerfully emotional storytelling. Octavia calls the book “a modern masterwork of Southern fiction, reminiscent of the writings of John Hart (Down River), Tom Franklin (Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter), Ron Rash (Serena), and Pete Dexter (Paris Trout)” and Ernest J. Gaines says “Wiley Cash is a talented and disciplined young writer, and his first novel proves it. I think this could be the beginning of a long, fruitful career.”

& The New Orleans Public Library offers two programs among many others this Thusday: 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM, Writing Workshops Led by Youths – Norman Mayer Branch and 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM, Pass the Word: Poetry Workshop – Algiers Regional Branch. In celebration of National Poetry Month, Algiers Regional will host poetry workshops presented by local authors. This week Asia Raney is featured.

& Friday upstairs at Mimi’s in the Marigny, author Mark LaFlaur hosts a book launch party for this new novel Elysian Fields. A New York writer and editor, LaFlaur is best known in New Orleans for his activism via Levees Not War. His first novel is the tale of young would-be poet is torn between his long-held dream of being a great artist and obligations to his aged, ailing mother and his emotionally volatile brother, the all-demanding Bartholomew. Will someone in his family have to die before he can get to California? And how might that be arranged? Moira Crone calls it “evocative, poignant, complex and well paced . . . full of delights.” He will also give a reading at Garden District Book Shop May 7.

& Friday night at Antenna Gallery Room 220 hosts the season’s second Happy Hour Salon with authors Ottessa Moshfegh and Carlus Henderson from 6 – 8 p.m. on Friday, April 5, at the Press Street HQ (3718 St. Claude Ave.). As always, this event is free and open to the public, and complimentary libations will be on hand (though we strongly encourage donations). Moshfegh, though yet to publish a book, is one of the country’s best young short story writers. David McLendon says her stories “maybe cause a bit of discomfort.” But Moshfegh presents her characters’ pitiful hopelessness so artfully a reader can’t help but be filled with gratitude for the small bits of bliss and victory available in a generally horrendous world. Her fiction has appeared in many of the nation’s best journals (and others that are at least respectable), including the Paris Review, NOON, Guernica, the Columbia Review, Unsaid, Sleepingfish, Fence, and Vice. She has won a slew of fancy awards and lives in Los Angeles. Henderson is a Zell Fellow in the MFA program at the University of Michigan who splits his time between Detroit and New Orleans. He has also won a number of fancy awards, and has been a high school teacher in New Orleans, a cheese salesman in Vermont, and a dockworker along the Eastern seaboard. Moshfegh’s visit is generously supported by grants from the SouthArts Foundation and Poets & Writers.

& Saturday at 11:30 a.m. Story Time with Miss Maureen returns to the Maple Street Book Shop Uptown location with Frog and Toad are Friends by Arnold Lobel.

& Saturday at 1:30 p.m. Garden District Books brings Helana Brigman and. Fresh Table: Cooking in Louisiana All Year Round. Louisiana’s identity is inextricably tied to its famous foods; gumbo, red beans and rice, jambalaya, and étouffée are among the delicious dishes that locals cherish and visitors remember. But Louisiana’s traditional cuisine has undergone a recent revision, incorporating more local ingredients and focusing on healthier cooking styles. In The Fresh Table, locavore and native New Orleanian Helana Brigman shares over one hundred recipes that reflect these changes while taking advantage of the state’s year-round growing season.

& Saturday at the Latter Memorial Library Gina Ferrara hosts the Poetry Buffet at 2 p.m. featuring “Poets Reading Poets” in which local poets read works by their favorite authors.

& Sunday night at 7 p.m. Slam New Orleans hosts a reading on the theme of Team SNO (the 2013 version) has been decided. The Poetry Olympics are in the books. Now it’s time to kick off the new slam season and celebrate a year’s worth of Slam New Orleans shows at the Shadowbox Theatre. The theme of the night is “New $#%&.” Poets, in celebration of National Poetry Month and a brand spanking new slam season, we urge you to let those freshly inked poems out of their college-ruled prisons and spit us some of your new hotness. Team SNO (the 2013 version) has been decided.”

& This Sunday’s reading at the Maple Leaf Poetry Series features poet and mistress of ceremonies at the south’s oldest continuous poetry reading Nancy Harris reading from and signing her new book, Beauty Eating Beauty (Portals Press)

& If you miss LaFlaur’s Friday book lunch, Sunday at 2 p.m. Garden District Books presents LaFlaur and his novel Elysian Fields. “Life in the Weems family of 1999 New Orleans is anything but Elysian in this engrossing Southern Gothic snapshot.”

& The new Sunday show from Spoken Word New Orleans is Poetry and Paint Brushes. Spoken Word artists perform as a resident artists paints the crowd and performers. At 6 p.m. at Special Tea, 4337 Banks Street. No longer at the Bayou Road location.

& On the second, fourth, and fifth Sunday of each month, Jenna Mae hosts poets and spoken-word readers at 8:00 p.m. at the Fair Grinds Coffee House on 3133 Ponce de Leon St.

& Monday at 6:30 p.m. Octavia Books features Pam Houston and CONTENTS MAY HAVE SHIFTED, “a tale so vivid, intricate, and intimate that it puts high-def TV to shame” (Elle). Houston’s latest takes us from one breathtaking precipice to the next as we unravel the story of Pam (a character not unlike the author), a fearless traveler aiming to leave her metaphorical baggage behind as she seeks a comfort zone in the air. She flies around the world, finding reasons to love life in dozens of far-flung places from Alaska to Bhutan

& Tuesday evening at the Columns Hotel Pam Houston will be 1718 Society’s featured reader. 1718 is a student-run literary organization of Tulane, Loyola, and UNO students, hosts their reading series the first Tuesday of every month at the Columns Hotel on St. Charles Avenue. Readings start at 7 p.m. and are open to the public. Houston will be reading from her book Contents May Have Shifted. Pam Houston is the author of two collections of linked short stories, Cowboys Are My Weakness and Waltzing the Cat, the novel, Sight Hound, and a collection of essays called A Little More About Me, all published by W.W. Norton. Her stories have been selected for volumes of Best American Short Stories, The O. Henry Awards, The Pushcart Prize, and Best American Short Stories of the Century. She is the winner of the Western States Book Award, the WILLA award for contemporary fiction, and The Evil Companions Literary Award

& 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.

& Wednesday there is a weekly poetry reading hosted at the Neutral Ground Coffee House at 9 p.m.

& Wednesday also bring another installment of Don Paul’s Poetry Ball at the Cafe Istanbul, starting at 8 p.m. and featuring Chuck Perkins, James Nolan, Megan Burns, and special guest Kalamu ya Salaam. Free admission, cash bar. Open mic following the featured performers.

What Not To Read April 2, 2013

Posted by Mark Folse in books, New Orleans, Odd Words, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street, Writing.
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Dear Maud:

I anxiously opened the latest package from Quarterly with your most recent book selection because it was unexpected, my debit card gone lost on Carnival day and the number the company had no longer valid. I will read the enclosures later today. I know Roxanne Gay’s work through The Rumpus, but first I had to pick up the book. I hefted The Colossus of New York, weighing the “A tour de force” from the Times Book Review between the title and the author’s name. I wasn’t far into the opening, “City Limits” when I laid it down again, worried this book could be The One, except she’s already married. It could be the book of New Orleans I’ve been writing by fits-and-starts, in private and on my blogs, for the last seven years. It is the book I have to write or I’ve run my life all to hell for nothing. And it will have been done already, by another writer for another city.

The jacket copy alone should have been enough to warn me but I had to go ahead and open it, read through the blurbs (Danger, Will Robinson) and into the first chapter and I know New York isn’t the only place one where the initiated live in the memory of what’s gone. I just read Elena Passarello’s Let Me Clear My Throat, the excellent essay on the sportscaster Myron Cope and that piece basically could just as well have been about New Orleans’ own Hap Glaudi and the essay says exactly the same damn thing as “City Limits”. Whether its New York or Pittsburgh or New Orleans the old souls carry that geography of used to be in their heads. It’s not unique to Colson Whitehead or New York. Still, I’m afraid this is the book that would ruin me to write the book I should, afraid it might swallow my own voice like a haunted box or I will find my own plans laid out before me, my ship taken and me left to rot on a waterless rock, that it might leave me feeling incapable of the task, might rob me of the right idea of how to organize my own love letter cum ode and all of the other fine words of the reviewers on the back Whitehead’s.

But I’m going to keep it. I guess I’ll have to pay Quarterly who just dinged me again after trying to bill my old debit card, just when I was about to drop the subscription along with the Rumpus Poetry Book Club because when you are down to rolling your own cigarettes even some necessities have to go. I’m going to wrap this book up in Christmas paper and put it in the box where I keep my measly Christmas things, a drug-store Charlie Brown tree and the Marilyn Monroe skirt-girl ornament that hangs from it, that wicker basket cone with the red berries I wore as a hat to the Brew du Vieux holiday party with a bicycle flasher on top and the doorman wrote “Blinky” on my taster cup and “Sparklie” on my date’s and we took one look at our cups and could have danced all night, and still have begged for more—there I go, off on a tangent again but that is not just me, or a conscious, writerly voice: it is this city. If you are not ADHD when you arrive in New Orleans you will be when you leave because Look a tuba! Our squirrels carry parasols and saxophones and dance at funerals and peek out from the carpet as bits of glitter you still find 40 days after Mardi Gras and you can’t help but stop and look.

So, I’ll put this book in away in that box wrapped in dollar store Santa paper and leave it until then, until I have a manuscript. No, I haven’t been writing much of that sort on the blog lately, those odd bits of New Orleans. I walk down the street and instead of finding those perfect bits of New Orleans—Leopold Bloom crossing Bourbon Street—instead I find myself looking for a good place to put out my cigarette. And I need to snap out of it. I know it’s a curse to say My Book aloud and in public when you don’t have one but I think of it as a geis, a particular sort of Celtic curse the universe lays on you that will either lead to tragedy or triumph and it is all on you to live within its bounds. And when I unwrap this book at the end of the year, I’ll write you again—perhaps privately, this time—and say, ah, Maud, you shouldn’t have. I didn’t even send a card.

Sincerely,

Mark Folse

Doleful Mysteries March 30, 2013

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I prefer the old-fashioned Maundy Thursday to keep Batman and Robin out of it. Good Friday is Golgotha and I was in no mood for skulls, and have yet to find anyone to enlist in my proposed pilgrimage to find nine bar doors in New Orleans from which you can view a church. And then there is that vision of the Stations of the Cross. Yes, He suffered just as we do, and more they said in catechism. I checked the work calendar, the to-do list and the checking account balance and suddenly flashed on myself under Alex DeLarge’s scourge in A Clockwork Orange. Here it is Holy Saturday (Batman!) and I am deep into a purgatory of laundry for the sin of sloth. I am curious to see who might be in Holy Rosary keeping vigil on one of the two days of the year in which the consecrated host is removed from Catholic tabernacle, the sumptuous gold box at the back of the altar. Most people know that one doesn’t put the baby in the crèche until Christmas morning, but I wonder who outside of the Altar Society realize that relic of mystic flesh is taken out on Good Friday. And then what do they do with it?

Santa Claus Eve and Easter Bunny Day are problematic for an apostate like myself who is none the less deeply imprinted with a Catholic upbringing, a near equivalent of the secular Jew: steeped in the culture by a complete indoctrination in guilt and exceptionalism that no therapy could hope to erase. It doesn’t help to notice in your son’s catechism classroom that the colors of the Church calendar are purple, green and gold, to ride on the bus home and watch a Latino woman cross herself at each church passed and be reminded of an old girlfriend, to look at the St. Expedite candle on my bedroom mantle. I could easily complete some of the more gruesome qualifications for excommunication from an institution I abhor but it would make no difference. Fish on Friday still seems as right as red beans on Monday or meatballs on Wednesday even if the last time I had my throat blessed was in grammar school.

What to do on Jelly Bean Sunday? I think I still have the plaid shirt I used to wear to church on Easter Sunday when I was raising my children, as solemnly promised, as Catholics, one that looks like a horrible accident at the Paaz factory but I really have nowhere to go in it. I often buy a new straw hat Holy Week but after vacuuming all of the change out of the couch, I’ve decided to just steam the ones I have back into shape and try to scrub the sweat stains out with some Oxyclean and a toothbrush. Still, when the Goddess Diana Ecclesiastical Calender conspires with the weather to bring us Ishtar Easter at Spring, some observance is required. I will probably do what I usually do come that Sunday in honor of Jesus the Teacher and in contravention of the dictates of Peter’s church. I will listen to Pharoah Sander’s Love is Everywhere, a song that to me is the bell-blessed communion chant of the church of all mankind, and read Wallace Steven’s Sunday Morning.

Odd Words March 28, 2013

Posted by Mark Folse in books, literature, New Orleans, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, publishing, Toulouse Street.
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It’s a short list this week in Odd Words but we’re right in between Tennessee Williams Fest and Easter. Remember a children’s book, chocolate smears and all, will last long after the jellybeans are gone.

& Starting today at 7 p.m. the Alvar Public Library, 913 Alvar St., will launch a reading series on the Fourth Thursday of March, April, and May, featuring a series of local poets reading their original work. This week features Ellen Allen, Delia Tomino Nakayama and Catilin Creek Shroyer.

& Tonight at 17 Poets! at 8 p.m. featured are Katarina Boudreaux and Maurice Carlos Ruffin followed by the open mic. Katarina Boudreaux has been published in Poetry Motel, Oak Bend Review, Texas Poetry Journal and by the Ottawa Valley Writer’s Guild. Maurice Carlos Ruffin is a third-year MFA student at the University of New Orleans. He’s also a member of several writing collectives, including the Peauxdunque Writers Alliance and the Melanated Writers of New Orleans. Maurice’s work has been published in the Apalachee Review, the South Carolina Review and his story “The Pie Man” received the University of New Orleans Creative Writing Workshop’s 2011 Ernest Svenson Fiction Award, and an earlier version was first runner-up in the short story category at the 2010 William Faulkner-Wisdom Competition

& Thursdays the Norman Meyer Branch Library hosts a Writing Workshop lead by youth 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 for details. 596-3100

& Also tonight the Norman Meyer branch hosts a book discussion for The Big Read, sponsored Xavier University of Louisiana, in partnership with New Orleans Public Library. The book selected for The Big Read is A Lesson Before Dying by Louisiana native Ernest Gaines.

& Saturday Maple Leaf Book Shop’s Uptown location will feature the following authors in lieu of Story Time with Miss Maureen. Dianne de las Casas and her daughter, Kid Chef Eliana, will be signing at 11:30-1 p.m. Dianne will be signing her book, The Little Read Hen, while Kid Chef Eliana will be signing Cool Kids Cook Louisiana. About Dianne’s book: The Little Read Hen is a literary spin on a beloved folk tale, perfect for aspiring young writers interested in learning how their own fledgling ideas can hatch into a polished story. Holly Stone-Barker’s vibrant cut-paper illustrations add riotous fun to each page. About Eliana’s book: For kids who want to cook Louisiana-style, Kid Chef Eliana keeps the good times rolling in this kid-friendly cookbook of Louisiana cuisine. For a peek at what Chef Eliana does, watch her make jambalaya and pralines on the Wendy Williams Show!

& Saturday at Garden District Books join Latoya Easter signing her book Can’t Cry at 1 p.m.. “Lela Crimsome is a young, beautiful, independent, successful entertainment lawyer who’s never willing to give an inch of trust to anybody; let alone a man. Quinton Jacobs is a rugged, seductively handsome, blue-collar father with a low self-esteem and a ghetto fabulous baby mama. He’s a loving father, who sacrifices everything for his son; even if it means sabotaging his own life. But, can he truly say he’s the baby’s daddy?”

& Saturday at the Latter Memorial Library Gina Ferrara hosts the Poetry Buffet at 2 p.m. I’ll post a list of readers as soon as I get it.

& This Sunday’s reading at the Maple Leaf Poetry Series is Open Mic at 3:30 pm in the rear courtyard.

& The new Sunday show from Spoken Word New Orleans is Poetry and Paint Brushes. Spoken Word artists perform as a resident artists paints the crowd and performers. At 6 p.m. at Special Tea, 4337 Banks Street. No longer at the Bayou Road location.

& On the second, fourth, and fifth Sunday of each month, Jenna Mae hosts poets and spoken-word readers at 8:00 p.m. at the Fair Grinds Coffee House on 3133 Ponce de Leon St.

& Susan Larson, the former book editor of the former Times-Picayune newspaper and member of the National Book Critics Circle hosts The Reading Life on WWNO (89.9 FM) on Tuesdays at 1:30 p.m. She features interviews with authors of local and national interest.

&Tuesday evening the Maple Street Book Shop’s First Tuesday Book Club will be meeting at 5:45 p.m. at our Uptown location to discuss <en<Paris to the Past: Traveling Through French History by Train by Ina Caro.

& Wednesday there is a weekly poetry reading hosted at Weekly Poetry Reading the Neutral Ground Coffee House at 9 p.m.

Assaying the State of the Essay March 24, 2013

Posted by Mark Folse in books, literature, New Orleans, NOLA, Odd Words, Toulouse Street.
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Sunday’s panel on Creative Non-Fiction at the Tennessee Williams festival spent much time answering Adam Kirch’s infamous (well, to some of us) essay in the New Republic, “The New Essayists, or the Decline of a Form? The essay as reality television.” Novelist and Tulane professor Thomas Beller, the author of a series of personal essays titled How To Be A Man suggested that the readers and writers of the current explosion of personal essays have mixed motivations. Essayists look to be “a legitimate [interior] voice speaking to the outside world” but that too many writers suffer from what Dorothy Parker called “the frankies”, the desire to share beyond their own best interest and that of the reader.” Readers, he said, were often “looking for somebody to make a fool of themselves.”

Panelist John Jeremiah Sullivan was one of Kirsh’s first targets: “A talented writer such as John Jeremiah Sullivan might, fifty years ago, have tried to explore his complicated feelings about the South, and about race and class in America, by writing fiction, following in the footsteps of Walker Percy and Eudora Welty. Instead he produced a book of essays, called Pulphead, on the same themes; and the book was received with the kind of serious attention and critical acclaim that were once reserved for novels.” The Southern Editor of the Paris Review and contributor to GQ, Harper’s Magazine and Oxford American took exception to the idea that essayists, especially those who write for magazines are somehow beneath literary notice. He called it “cultural eugenics’ and a reject of 300 years of English literary history to attack magazine writers or suggest the essay was dead. “Lamb, Hazlitt, de Quincy were all writing for magazines” but are presented now cleaned up and anthologized.

Beller said that too many essays today are predictable. “Too many essays even in the best magazines, from the first two paragraphs you know where they’re going.” He praised Sullivan’s work for its twists and turns. comparing them to early Paul McCartny songs. “They are like three or four songs all strung together.” Panelist Elena Passarello, author of Let Me Clear My Throat and a contributor to Creative Nonfiction, Oxford American and Slate, turned to writing and essays in particular after a career in acting. says she tries to creative performative moments on the page. “The essays that fire on all cylinders show the workings of a human mind, [the author's] or another’s.” Beller, who suggested something similar earlier (see above) said the form also allows writers to take “their eccentricities out into the world,” which lead to a discussion of his own contribution to the New York Times Food section on the peanut butter and pickle sandwich.

Exotic Romancing March 24, 2013

Posted by Mark Folse in books, literature, New Orleans, NOLA, Odd Words, Toulouse Street.
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Is New Orleans truly the most exotic locale in the United States, or just the victim of good press? Panel moderator David Johnson started out the Tennessee Williams Festival panel on Writing New Orleans: The Most “Exotic” Place in America with a famous quote by Williams: “America has only three cities: New York, San Francisco, and New Orleans. Everywhere else is Cleveland.”

Noted geographer and author Richard Campanella was quick to challenge the prevailing notion. Buying into the exoticism “privileges for the picturesque” when the residents of the city do not spend 365 days a year at Carnival or second lines or watching Mardi Gras Indians. He traced the notion of the city’s reputation as the initial collision of newly arrived Americans with the original Creole settlers and the Spanish Administration, and writers of that initial period set the stage for those who would follow and set the exotic tag firmly in place: Grace King, Lafcadio Hearn and Lyle Saxon. “They romanticized it and it was picked up by the city’s industrialized tourist industry.”

Kim Marie Vaz stood up for the city’s exotic reputation. “We generate our own exoticism because our culture is unique,” the author of a recent work on the carnival Baby Dolls asserted. Writer Nathaniel Rich suggested the city preserves its exotic aspects because it is “the most self-referential city in American. It doesn’t care what’s going on outside” which he said was the source of the city’s “wonder and problems.” New Yorker Thomas Beller, now a Tulane professor, said when he first moved to New Orleans he was trying to impose his own internal geography onto the city, and came to recognize the city’s troubled side as “the New York I grew up in the 1970s.” He found the city’s character was created in part by a disposition to holding onto things and investing objects with an emotional value.”

Campanella said much of the current influx of new residents to the city can be traced to its exotic reputation. Beller said the influx of new residents more inclined to progress and preservation “provokes kind of allergic reaction” among many New Orleanians. “They really are upset about the erasure that goes along with that. And I’m a bit more inclined to favor the holding onto things. New Orleans is very good for that.” Asked about the city’s continuing ability to absorb new residents into the existing culture without erasure, Campanella said “it’s not the end of history. It’s the next chapter.” Vaz said the culture would continue to change and grow. “You have a lot of people who are working 365 days a year to preserve the culture.”

Vaz and Campanella traced much of the city’s exotic reputation to early writers like Heard and King, but called out Lyle Saxon of the famous WPA Guide to New Orleans and Robert Talent, author of several books promoting the city’s exotic legend. “My work is a reaction of the exoticism of Talent and Saxon,” Vaz said of her work on the Baby Dolls, an old carnival tradition that grew out of the city’s segregated prostitution district as a marching krewe of Black sex workers. “People are surprised that [much of the culture] came out of intense segregation.” Campanella agreed that academic writers are questioning the past focus on the “exoticism and exceptionalism.”

Thomas Beller is the author of two works of fiction, Seduction Theory and The Sleep-Over Artist, and a collection of personal essays How To Be A Man. Richard Campanella is a geographer with the Tulanue University School of Architecture and the author of six critically acclaimed books, including Bienville’s Dilema: A Historical Geography of New Orleans. Nathaniel Rich is the author of two novels, Odds Against Tomorrow and The Mayor’s Tongue. Kim Marie Vaz is an associate dean and professor at Xavier University and author of The BABY DOLLS: Breaking the Race and Gender Barriers of the New Orleans Mardi Gras Tradition.

The Geography of Pleasure March 23, 2013

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That was the money quote at Friday’s panel on New Orleans in the 1920s: Bohemia, Baby Dolls and Storyville, from panelist Alecia Long, author of The Great Southern Babylon: Sex, Race and Respectability in New Orleans, 1965-1920, along with fellow panelist John Shelton Read’s pun about serious works of non-fiction suffering from colon:itis. Delving as far as an hour and a half allowed into the world of prostitution and the original Baby Dolls–all sex workers who broke the convention against woman masking at the time–it was Read’s somewhat drier but headline fresh description of the birth, brief flowering and decay of New Orleans as a bohemian center to rival Greenwich Village that was headline fresh for Orleanians watching the struggle over gentrification along the river.

Read described the cohort of young artists and writers who came to New Orleans to create in the French Quarter “a vest pocket Greenwich Village [where] living was cheap and the neighbors tolerant. Writers such as Pulitzer Prize-winner Oliver Lafarge, Sherwood Anderson and a young William Faulkner were among those who settled for a spell into the then run-down Quarter, and Anderson entertained visitors including Theodore Dreiser, Alice B. Toklas, Gertrude Stein, and Bertrand Russell. What fascinated about his presentation was his almost anthropological dissection of the rise and fall of Bohemias, from the first artists who arrive in search of local color and cheap living, the Beatnik-like hangers-on and slumming Uptowners who soon follow until the French Quarter in particular was an attraction for “Uptown ladies and tourists” and one writers’ description of the neighborhood at the end of Bohemia’s blossoming would sound familiar to today’s visitors: “stale beer, garbage, drunks and tourists.” The tea shops established by the original Bohemians for their own pleasure became popular with visitors, Le Petite Salon brought book-club ladies from Uptown and Le Petite Theatre was founded the original writers and artist found themselves being pushed out by rising rents and less congenial neighbors. Read details all of this in his book Dixie Bohemia: A French Quarter Circle in the 1920s.

The pre-1920s French Quarter would surprise local residents but not the bohemian settlers of the period. Bourbon Street was a family block filled with working class people, largely Italian, and the remnants of old Creole families. Royal Street was the center of licentiousness, lined with clubs and served as bars, gambling dens and houses of prostitution combined, and even the now staid-Hotel Monteleone serviced the trade that brought to the quarter. New Orleans after the turn of the 19th century was changing, with new high rise buildings going up across Canal Street and a new sense of boosterism sought not only to drive sin out of the quarter, but even threatened to demolish much of it for a new civic center, the only remnant of which is the old Municipal Auditorium. Storyville, Long tells us, was a compromise. There was too much money to be made off of the “below the neck pleasure business”, as much if not more from alcohol sales as from prostitution, and much of that found its way into the pockets of the city and its employees down to the cops lucky enough to draw that beat. Relocating the vice industry into a single district a bit further away from downtown was the solution, although Long reminds us the district stood directly behind the old Krauss and not two blocks from the Maison Blanche department stores, and would have abutted right up to the planned civic center running from Treme Street all the way to Royal.

Storyville finally fell victim to the ultra-conservative war-time Federal government which decreed that no troops could be stationed in a city with a sanctioned red light district. Not that the business went away entirely–”you can make prostitution illegal but you can’t make it unpopular,” Long quotes an unnamed politicians–it simply moved into other parts of town. The famed district met its final end when most of it was demolished for the Iberville Housing Project.

There are vestiges of the old sex workers still alive in New Orleans culture today, thanks to the revival of the traditional of the Baby Dolls by Antoinette K-Doe. The original Baby Dolls according to Kim Marie Vaz, author of “BABY DOLLS”: Breaking the Race and Gender Barriers of the New Orleans Mardi Gras Tradition, the original Baby Dolls were black sex workers of the era who marched with their “sporting gentlemen” (pimps) in contravention of the understanding that women did not mask in the streets, and in stark contrast to the more formal Black carnival krewes that survive today with their elaborate and exclusive balls Invitations to those events were as sought after and hard to get as invitations to Rex in the white community, and the organizations were quite conservative. Today’s Young Men’s Illinois Club emerged as a break away from the original group after the scandal of a married man escorting a young woman not his wife into the ball, much as today’s Krewe d’Etat grew out of a desire to parade among the younger generation of Momus who rejected the old krewe’s decision to refuse to parade rather than integrate.

The original Dolls used none of the props seen today, no baby bottles or suckers. Instead they dressed in the finest clothes they could manage and paraded shamelessly through the streets, drinking and dancing all the way, escorted by their sporting gentlemen often attired as police. The latter is rather funny if you consider the relationship to the sex workers who were the original Dolls to the law. The revival of the Baby Dolls contributes another facet to New Orleans Black carnival of fancy dress balls and Mardi Gras Indians.

All of the panelists books are available in the Festival Book Shop located in the Hotel Monteleone.

Tennessee’s First Flower Blooms at the Allways Lounge Theater March 23, 2013

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While the smart set at the the Tennessee Williams Festival is settling into watch the third part of John Biguenet’s Katrina Trilogy, Mold in a small bar room/theater Off-Off-Royal Street Tennessee Williams’ first produced play–A Battle of Angels–is given a compelling production at the Allways Lounge Theater. The Allways has become the Southern Rep of the St. Claude and Bywater set, and director Glenn Meche’s production keeps up the high standards the theater has set for its small space. The tale which most of the world knows from its much re-written version as Orpheus Descending and the film The Fugitive Kind is still riveting theater in the Circle Repertory revival version presented by the Allways.

From the moment the excellent Nicole Gruter as Beulah Cartwright and Lillian Claire Dodenhoff as Dolly Bland burst gossiping into the mercantile store the audience is swept back in time and up to the Mississippi Delta. A more perfect pair of haughty southern matrons could hardly be wished for. As soon as Diana Shortez sweeps into the room as the flawed and fallen Cassandra Whiteside the hammer is cocked and ready for the volley of familiar Williams themes of sex, death and redemption to follow. Shortez, with her commanding physicality and chameleon abilities is perfectly cast as the the loose-moralled scapegoat and by the last act the play’s one-woman chorus.

At the end of the first act one wishes Eli Grove as snake-skinned Val Xavier had some of the animal magnetism of Shortez, but he brings his best duck-tailed Cool Hand Luke to the table and as the complexities of his character are revealed through the remainder of the play he wins the viewer over with a brooding Kerouacian charm. The strong cast of women delivers the reflection of the character’s reptilian charm in their own performances. He is convincing as the (one part Tennessee) thoughtful drifter with a head full of ideas running from a troubled past. The delight of the night is Veronica Russell as Myra Torrance. Her slow transformation from a bitter shopkeeper with a loveless marriage and a dying husband as reptilian as Xavier’s jacket into the lovelorn victim of Xavier’s charm is at the center of the plot and she carries the spotlight with a quiet but powerful performance. Years seem to melt from her face as she moves backwards in time from pinch-faced shopkeeper to the charmingly coquettish victim of Xavier’s promise of escape.

Rebecca Myers as the deeply religious Vee Talbot wears the character’s convictions well and does a fine job of carrying the difficult task of tying together the almost Old Testament bombastic imagery–from Xavier’s snakeskin jacket to the frightening cane-of-God Doug Mundy wields mostly off-stage–in this tale of temptation and fall set at Easter Week with the wild Whiteside making whoopee up at the town’s Golgotha. The text is freighted with symbolism almost past the Plimsoll mark but Myers and the rest of the supporting cast manage to keep the bowl of apples off the table and give Russell and Grove the space to play out their doomed romance. There is not a weak performance in the ensemble which also includes Barry Bradford as a genuinely threatening Sheriff Talbott and Patrica Raw and Rebecca Rae as the comic spinster sisters. Director Glenn Meche has shaped a fine cast into a compelling night of drama.

The Allways’ small proscenium theater is turned sideways as it was for last year’s The Future is a Fancy Land Place and while you might find yourself rubbing your neck at the end of the night, it gives the actors room to move and the feeling the audience is in a much larger space without the loss of intimacy. While far from the center of the Tennessee Williams weekend at the The Hotel Monteleone, festival goers would do well to find their way down to St. Claude Avenue and the rest of us have until April 6 to see the root of Tennessee’s genius in its first blossom.

Odd Words March 7, 2013

Posted by Mark Folse in books, literature, memoir, New Orleans, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, publishing, Toulouse Street, Writing.
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coverGallatin & Toulouse press returns with a unique and startling coloring book by artist and poet Thaddeus Conti, Coloring Book for the Criminally Insane: Session 0. The book will be available pre-launch this Saturday, March 9 at an art show at the 1239 Congress Gallery of the same address featuring Conti. A formal launch of the book and re-launch of G&T Press, established in 2010 by editors Sam Jasper and Mark Folse with the publication of A Howling in the Wires: Selected Writers from Postdiluvian New Orleans, will be celebrated at the St. Roch Tavern later this month. G&T Press took an unavoidable hiatus after the publication of Howling, but plans to return in 2013 with a focus on works featuring New Orleans and its authors, poets and artists. Facebook users, please visit and “Like” the Gallatin & Toulouse Press page to keep up with events and books.

Local writer Ari Braverman was recently selected as the winner of the 2012 James Knudsen Prize in Fiction, awarded by Bayou Magazine and the University of New Orleans. More details on the Room 220 literary blog.

& so to the listings…

& Tonight, March 7 at 6 p.m. Octavia books hosts Elsa Hahne, author of shop favorite You Are Where You Eat: Stories and Recipes from the Neighborhoods of New Orleans, will be reading and signing her new cookbook, The Gravy: In the Kitchen with New Orleans Musicians, at our Bayou St. John location, Sunday, March 3rd at 2PM. It’s 192 pages, featuring 44 musicians, 45 recipes, and more than 200 color photographs, with an introduction by Dr. John.

& Tonight at 7:30 pm 17 Literary & Performance Series’ at Gold Mine Saloon features Book Signings & featured performances with poets Bernadette Mayer and Phillip Good. Mayer was born in 1945 in Brooklyn, New York. She is the author of numerous books of poetry and prose, including: Ethics of Sleep (Trembling Pillow press, 2011) Poetry State Forest (New Directions, 2008), Scarlet Tanager (2005), Two Haloed Mourners: Poems (1998), Proper Name and Other Stories (1996), The Desires of Mothers to Please Others in Letters (1994), The Bernadette Mayer Reader (1992), Sonnets (1989), Midwinter Day (1982), The Golden Book of Words (1978), and Ceremony Latin (1964). She has a new collection forthcoming from New Directions: The Helens of Troy, NY. Good is a graduate of The School of Visual Arts. He co-edited with Bill Denoyelles, the last of the mimeograph poetry magazines, Blue Smoke. He has given poetry readings all across America and abroad. He now lives in a former shtetl next to the Tsatsawassa and Kinderhook creeks. His book Untitled Writing from a Member of the Blank Generation was released in 2011 by Trembling Pillow Press.

& Nationally renowned poet, author, and actor Roosevelt “Hero 44″ Wright III will be instructing a spoken word course at Special Tea Cafe Thursdays at 6:30. This is a great opportunity to learn from one of the most innovated spoken word artist in the country.

& Friday, March 8 at 4 pm Tulane University will present a lecture featuring Timothy Hampton, University of California-Berkley “Tangled Generation: Dylan, Kerouac, Petrarch and the Poetry of Escape”. Hampton will sketch out an approach to the problem of the “generation” as a category of literary historical understanding. His focus will be Bob Dylan’s 1975 album Blood on the Tracks, which is both a milestone in his career and a complex meditation on the relationship between poetry, politics, and history. It is also the only place in his long career in which Dylan writes songs about the “1960s Generation”–that social group of which he was understood to be the “voice” or spokesman.Prof. Hampton will explore the ways in which Dylan deploys earlier traditions of writing about “generational” experience, from Dante and Petrarch to Rimbaud and Jack Kerouac, as a way of marking a break with his own earlier work.

& This weekend brings the sixth annual Jane Austen Festival in Mandeville, featuring the signature costume contest in which contestants compete in their best Mr. Darcy and Jane Austin threads, along with a Love Letter Writing Contest. Activities will begin Saturday, March 9, at the Mandeville Trailhead Cultural Interpretive Center’s Depot Room at 9 a.m. and continue at at 2:30 pm at the North Star at Girod and Madison streets, three blocks south of the Trailhead. Saturday’s events are free and open to the public. Sunday, March 10 the festival moves to the second floor of The Lakehouse, restaurant, 2025 Lakeshore Drive from noon to 6 pm . Admission is $35 or $25 for students and teachers with picture ID and includes a brunch, finale cake and champagne reception and several events during the afternoon. A complete schedule of activities is on the event’s web site, JaneAustenFestival.org.

& Saturday, March 9 at 11:30 am Miss Maureen will read A Birthday for Frances by Russell and Lillian Hoban at Maple Street Books Uptown’s weekly Story Time with Miss Maureen.

& Saturday, March 9 at 1 p.m. Garden District Books hosts C. S. Harris and his novel What Darkness Brings. “The death of a notorious London diamond merchant draws aristocratic investigator Sebastian St. Cyr and his new wife Hero into a sordid world of greed, desperation, and the occult, when the husband of Sebastian’s former lover Kat Boleyn is accused of the murder.”

& Don’t forget the pre-launch debut of Coloring Book for the Criminally Insane at the 1239 Congress Gallery from 6:30 – 10 p.m. The gallery’s name is it’s address.

& This Sunday’s reading at the Maple Leaf Poetry Series will feature poets Dave Brinks, Rev. Goat Carson and John Sinclair perform their work. 3:30 pm in the rear courtyard.

& The new Sunday show from Spoken Word New Orleans is Poetry and Paint Brushes. Poets perform as a resident artists paints the crowd and performers. At 6 p.m. at Special Tea, 4337 Banks Street. No longer at the Bayou Road location.

& Every Monday, 9 p.m. Writer’s Block, usually held on the amphitheater steps on Decatur Street across from Jackson Square. Check the Facebook page for details.

& 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, March 12 at 5:30 p.m. Garden District Books features Paul Dorrell’s Living the Artist’s Life. “Dorrell opened [the Leopold Gallery in Kansas City, MO] in 1991 and has been advancing artists’ careers on a national level ever since. This is an updated edition of his original book, covering critical subjects that he didn’t before and expanding on others, written in the same honest tone. With clients such as Warner Brothers and H&R Block, Dorrell knows how to land the big deals, as well as how to win the trust of private collectors.”

& Tuesday 6 pm Octavia hosts a reading and book signing with Aimee Agresti featuring her gripping new novel, INFATUATE in which angels in training face evil in New Orleans. From Bourbon Street to St. Louis Number One to the LaLaurie Mansion—our city really serves as an additional character in the book. This sequel to ILLUMINATE has all the hallmarks of a great YA read: romance, action, paranormal elements, and mystery.

& Also on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m., Maple Street Bookstore at the Healing Center hosts Gael Thompson and The Dream of the Turquoise Bee by Dianne Aigaki. Thompson appears on behalf of the author. The book is a mystery set in Tibet revolving around the disappearance of the protagonists husband during the Chinese invasion of Tibet, and her return 30 years later to China hoping to uncovered his murderers.

& Wednesday nights from 7-10 it is Lyrics and Laughs, bridging comedy and poetry by featuring performers from both genres at Special Tea, 4337 Banks St.

If your event doesn’t appear here, please email odd.words.nola@gmail.com. I do my best to scrape the internet for everything of interest, but it helps if you send me your listings direction.

Odd Words February 28, 2013

Posted by Mark Folse in books, literature, memoir, New Orleans, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, publishing, Toulouse Street.
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Any book of journalism with a blurb from David Simon will make Odd Words sit up and take notice, so I want to call out the appearances of reporter Sarah Carr featuring her new book, HOPE AGAINST HOPE, a moving portrait of school reform in New Orleans told through the eyes of a family, a teacher, and a principal. She appears tonight at Garden District Book and next week on Wednesday at Octavia. The appearance at Garden District will be filmed by C-SPAN for BookTV. I have my own strong feelings about the anarcho-centrifugal Balkanization of the New Orleans school system, and can’t wait to read this.

& so to the listings…

& Sarah Carr appears at Garden District Books at 6 p.m. in a reading/discussion that will be filmed by C-SPAN for BookTV. “It’s work like this that makes journalism truly matter, that makes clear that reportage is not merely about fact and argument and theory, but about human lives in the balance. In Hope Against Hope, Sarah Carr has taken an open mind and a careful eye to the delicate, complicated issue of public education and the fading American commitment to equality of opportunity. She does so not by embracing ideological cant or political banter, but by following people through the schools of New Orleans, a city that is trying desperately to reconstitute and better itself after a near-death experience. Don’t embarrass yourself by speaking further on American education without first reading this.” — David Simon, former Baltimore Sun reporter and creator of The Wire and Treme

& 17 Poets! will host visiting poets Barbara Henning and Jamey Jones followed by the open mic. Henning is the author of seven collections of poetry and three novels. Her most recent books are a collection of poetry and prose, Cities & Memory (Chax), a novel, Thirty Miles from Rosebud, and a chapbook, A Slow Process (Monkey Puzzle). A Swift Passage is forthcoming this year from Quale Press. She is also the author/editor of a book of interviews, Looking Up Harryette Mullen (Belladonna), and The Selected Prose of Bobbie Louise Hawkins (Blazevox). Barbara grew up in Detroit and has lived in New York City since 1983, except for a few years in Tucson. She teaches for Naropa University, as well as Long Island University in Brooklyn, where she is Professor Emerita. Jones is from Pensacola, Florida, where he has long been an active proponent of all things poetry. He earned an MFA in Creative Writing from Long Island University in 2010. His most recent chapbooks are the notebook troubled the sleep door (brown boke press, 2008) and Twelve Windows (brown boke press, 2009). His poems have appeared in Yawp, The Mundane Egg, Brooklyn Paramount, The Tsatsawassins, With + Stand, and other various journals.

& Please join Room 220 as we celebrate the release of the newest Press Street publication, We’re Pregnant, with a Happy Hour Salon from 6 – 9 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 28, at the Press Street HQ (3718 St. Claude Ave.). We’re Pregnant is a chapbook of short fiction by Room 220’s esteemed editor, Nathan C. Martin, along with photography by Akasha Rabut, Sophie T. Lvoff, and Grissel Giuliano. The book contains three of Martin’s short stories—which explore in morbid fashion anxieties related to sex, disease, marriage, and childbirth—with images inspired by the stories from each of the photographers. The result is a slim, elegant volume containing three dark couplets of photography and text.

& The Poetry Society of America and Tulane University present 1 THE NEW SALON: READING AND CONVERSATIONS Jericho Brown, with Peter Cooley at 7 p.m. in the Stone Auditorium, Woldenburg Art Center. Brown worked as the speechwriter for the Mayor of New Orleans before receiving his PhD in Creative Writing and Literature from the University of Houston. The recipient of the Whiting Writers Award and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard University, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and the Krakow Poetry Seminar in Poland, Brown is an Assistant Professor at Emory University. His first book, Please (New Issues), won the American Book Award.

& Tonight at Maple Street Book Shop Uptown hosts a reading and signing with Chris Wiltz who will be promoting her new book, Shoot the Money, at 6 p.m. From Mamou to Miami to New Orleans, money and friendship are at the heart of Shoot the Money as it explores women’s desires for big bucks, and they see what money does to those who have it, lose it, pursue it, or steal it. And what happens when they try a little revenge on their rapid chase toward a better life.

& Thursday Octavia Books hosts a presentation and book signing with journalist Daniel Brook celebrating the release of his new book, A HISTORY OF FUTURE CITIES, a pioneering exploration of four cities where East meets West and past becomes future: St. Petersburg, Shanghai, Mumbai, and Dubai. Brook is the author of The Trap and a journalist whose work has appeared in publications including Harper’s, The Nation, and Slate. A New York native, Brook lives in New Orleans

& Also on Thursday night the Black Student Union of Loyola University will be hosting a Spoken Word Showcase on Loyola’s campus in the Audubon Room located on the second floor of the Danna Student Center. The event is free and open to the public. Doors open at 7pm and the show starts at 8pm. The event will feature 3 opening performances from students followed by sets from local poets including Hero 44, John L, Tony Wilson, Indie Writes and Smutdapoet.

& Friday Maple Street Book Shop’s Healing Center location hosts a reading with John McCusker at our Healing Center location, Thursday, February 28th, 6:30-8PM. He’ll be signing his book, Creole Trombone: Kid Ory and the Early Years of Jazz. Edward “Kid” Ory (1886-1973) was a trombonist, composer, recording artist, and early New Orleans jazz band leader. Creole Trombone tells his story from birth on a rural sugar cane plantation in a French-speaking, ethnically mixed family, to his emergence in New Orleans as the city’s hottest band leader. Drawing on oral history and Ory’s unpublished autobiography, “Creole Trombone” is a story that is told in large measure by Ory himself. McCusker is a photographer for The Times-Picayune. He was part of the the team that shared the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for Journalism for covering Hurricane Katrina.

& Friday night Garden District Books hosts Deirdre Gogarty with Darrelyn Saloom and the book My Call to the Ring: A Memoir of a Girl Who Yearns to Box. Although in the late 1980′s boxing is socially frowned upon and illegal for women in Ireland, a young women named Deirdre Gogarty has one dream: to be the first world champion. Unable to fit in at school and in the midst of her parents’ unraveling marriage, she plans her suicide. Death hovers in the back of her mind, but boxing beckons as Gogarty defies the odds and finds a gym and coach who is willing to train her. Her fierce determination leads to underground bouts in Ireland and Britain. But how can a shy, young misfit become a professional boxer in a country that bans women from the sport? Gogarty follows her calling to compete and journeys from the Irish Sea to the Gulf of Mexico, from outcast to center ring, from the depths of depression to the championship fight of her life.

& The first Saturday of the month brings the Poetry Buffet at the Latter Memorial Library at 2 p. hosted by Gina Ferrara. Featured this month are Delia Tomino Nakayama, Melinda Palacio and Genaro Ky Ly Smith.

& Miss Maureen of Maple Street Books Uptown announces that at this week’s Story Time: “We’ll read Henri’s Walk to Paris by Leonore Klein and talk about all the places we could walk to.” 11:30 a.m.

& Octavia Books will be at this Saturday’s Crescent City Farmers Market for a joint booksigning featuring Lorin Gaudin – NEW ORLEANS CHEF’S TABLE – and Elsa Hahne – THE GRAVY: In the Kitchen with New Orleans Musicians. Gaudin’s book explores the culinary traditions in our fair city, amidst the dining evolution taking place, with recipes for the home cook from 50 of the city’s most celebrated restaurants, while Hahne’s digs into the deep connections between New Orleans music and food with forty-four first-person accounts from musicians and more than two hundred photographs.

& Also on Saturday from 1-3 p.m. at the Garden District Book Shop Gayle Nolan discusses and signs her book, What Love Can Do: Recollected Stories of Slavery and Freedom in New Orleans and the Surrounding Area. Arthur Mitchell was born in Irontown, Louisiana, on August 24, 1915. During his early childhood, he moved with his family to the French Quarter of New Orleans. There, he and his siblings sat around a coal or wood stove at night, listening to family stories about the descendents of a beautiful young slave girl from East Central Africa sold in 1810 to a French farmer in the New Orleans area. Later, Mitchell realized that the stories so precious to him needed to be preserved after his death, and he began writing them down in fifteen-minute segments during his work breaks at the Cabildo in New Orleans. His original 150-page, hand-written memoir was lost in 2005 during Hurricane Katrina, when the levee broke just two miles from his house in the lower ninth ward of New Orleans. Fortunately, one copy was preserved by Gayle Nolan, who has edited and prepared the manuscript for publication.

& Also on Saturday the Rising Tide 7.5 presents a forum on creative New Orleans. The afternoon program features a segment beginning at noon by Moira Crone, author of The Not Yet, a post-apocalyptic novel set in the year 2121 on the Isles of Orleans. Part Fantasy, part social commentary, Ms. Crone’s novel will sure to provide plenty of interesting topic of conversation. She’ll talk about the book itself and also about the real world issues that inspired her. This event is free and open to the public and we encourage anyone interested in the future of New Orleans’ creative art scene come by to learn more about how they can help protect and foster it.

& Sunday at Maple Street Books Bayou St. John location Elsa Hahne, author of shop favorite You Are Where You Eat: Stories and Recipes from the Neighborhoods of New Orleans, will be reading and signing her new cookbook, The Gravy: In the Kitchen with New Orleans Musicians, at our Bayou St. John location, Sunday, March 3rd at 2PM. It’s 192 pages, featuring 44 musicians, 45 recipes, and more than 200 color photographs, with an introduction by Dr. John.

& Sunday’s reading at the Maple Leaf Poetry Series is an open mic. Next week, March 10, will feature poets Dave Brinks, Rev. Goat Carson and John Sinclair perform their work.

& Sunday The Shadowbox Theater hosts the Slam Poetry Olympics, in which four teams square off in a test of poetry prowess. Events include timed poems, forms ranging from haiku to limerick, and a few surprises. Hosted by A Scribed Called Quess. 7 p.m. at 2400 St. Claude Ave.

& The new Sunday show from Spoken Word New Orleans is Poetry and Paint Brushes. Poets perform as a resident artists paints the crowd and performers. At 6 p.m. at Special Tea, 4337 Banks Street. No longer at the Bayou Road location.

& Monday, March 4th at 7 p.m. the Black Widow Salon at Crescent City Books welcomes Liz Williams, the founder and director of SOFAB (Southern Food and Beverage Museum) and author of the new New Orleans: A Food Biography; and Sara Roahen, author of the acclaimed Gumbo Tales and former restaurant critic for Gambit Weekly, who has been published in Food & Wine, Oxford American, Wine & Spirits, Gourmet, Tin House, Garden & Gun.

& Monday, March 4 The Tulane School of Architecture Master’s of Preservation Studies program invites you to hear award-winning journalist and urban critic Roberta Brandes Gratz speak on historic preservation and post-Katrina disaster recovery in New Orleans this upcoming Monday, March 4 from 1-2:30 p.m. in Richardson Memorial Hall room 305. Gratz is author of The Battle For Gotham: New York in the Shadow of Robert Moses and Jane Jacobs and two other books, and a regular contributor to online news sites such as Citiwire.

& Also on Monday Garden District Book Shop features Veronica Kavass: Artists in Love: From Picasso & Gilot to Christo & Jeanne-Claude, A Century of Creative and Romantic Partnerships at 5 p.m. For centuries, great artists have been drawn together in friendship and in love. In her gorgeously designed book, curator and writer Veronica Kavass delves into the passionate and creative underpinnings of the art world’s most provocative romances. From Wassily Kandinsky and Gabriele Munter to Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg, Kavass’ intimate and daring text provides a generous glimpse into the inspiring and sometimes tempestuous relationships between celebrated artists throughout the 20th and 21st centuries

& Every Monday, 9 p.m. Writer’s Block, usually held on the amphitheater steps on Decatur Street across from Jackson Square. Check the Facebook page for details.

& 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.

& Maple Street Uptown’s First Tuesday Book Club will bmeet March 5th at 5:45pm to discuss Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann.

& Tuesday evening The 1718 Society, a student-run literary organization of Tulane, Loyola, and UNO students, hosts their reading 7 p.m. featuring curator and writer Veronica Kavass will read in March. She’ll be reading from her book, Artists in Love: From Picasso & Gilet to Christo and Jean-Claude, A Century of Creative and Romantic Partnerships, in which she discusses 29 20th- and 21st-century artist-couples—among them Alfred Stieglitz and Georgia O’Keeffe; Josef and Anni Albers; Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera; and Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg-exploring “the way they, as partners, collaborated, influenced one another, or guarded their art from a lover’s influence, or how they used muse-manipulation to come into their own, or sacrificed their art for the other’s.”

&Octavia Books hosts a presentation and book signing with reporter Sarah Carr featuring her new book, HOPE AGAINST HOPE, a moving portrait of school reform in New Orleans told through the eyes of a family, a teacher, and a principal. .

& Wednesday nights from 7-10 it is Lyrics and Laughs, bridging comedy and poetry by featuring performers from both genres at Special Tea, 4337 Banks St.

Odd Words February 21, 2013

Posted by Mark Folse in books, Indie Book Shops, literature, New Orleans, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, publishing, Toulouse Street.
2 comments

A Lesson Before DyingThe Big Read comes to Xavier University of Louisiana with a busy program in celebration of Ernest J. Gaines’s novel A Lesson Before Dying, beginning with a keynote event Saturday, Feb. 23, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. in the University Center Ballroom. The Big Read is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) designed to restore reading to the center of American culture. Xavier, along with its partner, the New Orleans Public Library, was one of only 78 not-for-profits awarded a grant to host a Big Read project between September 2011 and June 2012. The Big Read in New Orleans focuses on A Lesson Before Dying by Louisiana native Ernest J. Gaines. The Feb. 23 kick-off event will feature an appearance by the author – a Louisiana native – who will be interviewed about his life and his work on stage by Fox 8 News Anchor Nancy Parker. Other events will be hosted at bookstores and other venues around down over the next month.

Also, March is almost upon us and the box office is open for the annual Tennessee Williams Festival. You can view the online schedule here and even make a personal list of events. You can buy your tickets and passes here online.

Bayou Magaine Launch 0221& Bayou Magazine, the literary journal of the University of New Orleans English Department, will launch their latest issue tonight, Feb. 21 at the Allways Lounge at 9:30 pm. with readings and music by the Natural Light All-Stars. This is Issue 58 of this biennial, which is a depressing number for those of us who remember the Ellipsis but an outstanding achievement for the UNO English Department staff and students who make it possible.

Andrei Codrescu

Andrei Codrescu

& Tonight 17 Poets! features the founders of the original Institute for the Imagination Andrei Codrescu and Dave Brinks, reading from their latest work: Codrescu’s So Recently Rent a World and Brink’s The Secret Brain: Selected Poems 1995-2012. When these two share the mike it is like the high-speed collision of elementary particles, a subtle but profound fireworks are certain to ripple through the space-time continuum at The Gold Mine. Open mic to follow hosted by Jimmy Ross, Proud Veteran of the U.S. Navy and other, sundry and interesting things. Codrescu is a towering figure not only in the New Orleans literary landscape but through his adventures in poetry, radio and film he is a cult icon of international stature. Brinks is founder and co-host of 17 Poets whose own most recent book was launched at City Lights Books in San Francisco and in Paris. [Interrupts the listings to read Charles Olson's "The Lordly and Isolate Satyrs".]

& Also on Thursday UNO Press invites you to a reading from two of their authors together for just one night! Come for the reading and stay for a Q&A session and book signing. Featured are MOIRA CRONE, author of The Not Yet, a science fiction novel that takes place in New Orleans in the year 2121. Find out why this fascinating novel was selected as one of the Best Books of 2012 by the influential blog Sans Serif, by NOLA.com as one of the “Top 10 Books of 2012,” and is one of seven Philip K. Dick Award nominees, one of the most prestigious science fiction awards in the nation. MARK STATMAN will read from Black Tulips, his translation of selected poems by José María Hinojosa. Black Tulips, released in October 2012, is swiftly becoming a mainstream in translation and has also been receiving some great press. In December, “Possibly Elegy” was featured as the poem of the day on Poetry Daily (poems.com), and New Pages named the translation a “New & Noteworthy” book of 2012.

& Finally, Garden District Book Shop hosts Margot Berwin and her book Scent of Darkness tonight at 5:30 p.m. “From the best-selling author of Hothouse Flower and the Nine Plants of Desire, a magical, seductive novel about the power of scent–and what happens when a perfume renders a young woman irresistible to everyone around her.”

& Friday, Feb 22. The Maple Street Book Shop Bayou location continues The Diane Tapes reading series featuring Maia Elgin, Melissa Dickey, and Nik De Dominic at 6 p.m.

& Also on Friday at 6 p.m., Garden District features Sharisse Coulte book Rock My World and Lee Coulter’s CD Mr. Positivity. The writer/song-writer duo a husband & wife creative team for the past 9 years, are embarking on a 6 month 55 city tour of the U.S. with their 4 year old son to share their respective passions.

& Miss Maureen says, “We’ll read Mossy by Jan Brett and talk about turtles”! at Saturday’s Story Time with Miss Maureen at Maple Street’s Uptown location at 11:30 a.m.

& A reminder that Saturday is Xavier University of Louisiana’s kick off event for The Big Read, featuring Ernest J. Gaines’s novel A Lesson Before Dying, beginning with an appearance by the author – a Louisiana native – who will be interviewed about his life and his work on stage by Fox 8 News Anchor Nancy Parker, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. in the University Center Ballroom.

& Saturday night from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m., as part of “Crescent City Books After Hours,” the denizens of The New Orleans Poetry Brothel invite you to a clandestine evening of intimate literature. Our poetry whores will be offering private readings in the cloistered, candlelit stacks of Crescent City Books. For a $10 cover, you can take in as many readings as you desire. Our busker will syncopate the atmosphere with sultry violin and light libations will be available. All proceeds will go towards the next Poetry Brothel event, this March.

& Also on Saturday night the Ashe Cultural Center, 1712 Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard, hosts Redd Linen Night, a Visual Arts Fundraiser with a Twist featuring An Extraordinary Night of Art, Music, Poetry and Incredible Performances. 6 – 10 p.m.

& Sunday’s scheduled Southern Fried Divorce After Party, sponsored by Garden District Books, is cancelled due to a fire at the scheduled venue.

Monday, Feb. 25th Octavia books features a reading, presentation and book signing with translator/poet Mark Statman featuring BLACK TULIPS: The Selected Poems of José María Hinojosa.

& The new Sunday show from Spoken Word New Orleans is Poetry and Paint Brushes. Poets perform as a resident artists paints the crowd and performers. At 6 p.m. at Special Tea, 4337 Banks Street. No longer at the Bayou Road location.

& A Studio in the Woods is proud to present a joint poetry reading by Melissa Dickey and former resident Benjamin Morris. On February 25, 2013, at 7 p.m. Morris and Dickey will read from their works and take questions from the audience. A brief book signing will follow the reading. The reading will take place from 7-8pm in the common room of Cudd Hall on Tulane’s campus, located on Gibson Quad.

& Every Monday, 9 p.m. Writer’s Block, usually held on the amphitheater steps on Decatur Street across from Jackson Square. Check the Facebook page for details.

& 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.

Don Paul's Poetry Ball 2-26& Tuesday, Feb. 26 it is time for another Don Paul Poetry Ball at Cafe Istanbul featuring Gina Ferrara, Niyi Osundare, Goeff Munsterman John Sinclair, with music by Katarina Boudreaux and Jonathan Warren. Open mic follows. 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. with cash bar.

& Tuesday evening at 6 p.m. Garden District Book Shop hosts Elsa Hahne’s The Gravy: In the Kitchen with New Orleans Musicians. “Based on the much-loved OffBeat magazine series with the same name, The Gravy—In the Kitchen with New Orleans Musicians will fill your ears and your belly, whether you choose breakfast with Mystikal, or lunch with Irma Thomas and her Macaroni and Cheese, or Creole Squash for supper at Big Al Carson’s house with a side of Antoinette K-Doe’s Cornbread.”

& Wednesday, Feb. 27 Maple Street Book Shop Uptown will host a discussion of Xavier University’s selection for The Big Read, Ernest Gaines’s A Lesson Before Dying at 6 p.m.

& Also on Wednesday The Maple Street Book Shop’s downtown bookclub will be reading Jo Nesbo’s The Snowman for their next meeting at 7PM in the Healing Center.

Odd Words February 14, 2013

Posted by Mark Folse in books, literature, New Orleans, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, publishing, Toulouse Street.
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The Black Widow Salon at Crescent City Books gets some virtual ink from the Times Picayune/NOLA.com, which seems to be making some rudimentary moves toward realizing that people who read newspapers read books. They have a listings editor that pays attention to books, and entertainment writer Chris Waddington has two bookish articles in his NOLA.com homepage (among likelier fare). One of his stories I missed (and so you may have too) was the announcement that the University of New Orleans has hired Abram Himelstein, the New Orleans publisher who led the Neighborhood Story Project to national prominence, as editor-in-chief of UNO Press.

& 17 Poets! celebrates 10 years when it returns tonight, Feb. 14. at 8 p.m. with an anthology reading from Lavender Ink’s new collection, FUCK poems, edited by VIncent Cellucci. Also, John Sinclair will perform his annual post-Mardi Gras show. As always, the open mic awaits and is our main attraction. So join us and read with us http://www.17poets.com, Gold Mine Saloon, 701 Dauphine St.

& Late Addition Friday night Antenna Gallery hosts a Optical Saturday Slide Show: A Performative Comic Book Reading featuring Otto Splotch, Ceazar Meadows, Kira Mardikes & Amelie Ray, and D.G.W. Hedges. 7:30 p.m. at the new Gallery location 3718 St. Claude Ave. between Independence and Pauline Streets.

& Saturday’s Story Time with Miss Maureen at Maple Street Bookshop Uptown this Saturday features Lucky Duckings: A True Rescue Story by Eva Moore, illustrated by Nancy Carpente. 11:30 am.

& Saturday at Maple Street Bookshop Uptown Virginia Barkley will be signing her book Clutterbusting for Busy Women: How to Create a C.A.L.M Life to Have More Time and Energy from 1 – 3 pm. This appear ripe for a literary snob snarky remark, like, um, does she do consulting? No, I am not getting rid of any books.

& Sunday at Garden District Books you are invited to tea with romance authors Julia Quinn, Eloisa James, and Connie Brockway discussing and signing their joint project, The Lady Most Willing: A Novel in Three Parts.

& On Sunday at 3 p.m. the Maple Leaf Poetry Reading Series, the oldest continuous series in the south, will host poets Valentine Pierce and Radamir Luza in the back patio (weather permitting) or the back room.

& The new Sunday show from Spoken Word New Orleans is Poetry and Paint Brushes. At 6 p.m. poets perform as our resident artists paints the crowd and performers. Also at Special Tea, 4337 Banks Street. No longer at the Bayou Road location.

& Monday begins the spring series at the Black Widow Salon at Crescent City Books, with 5 X 20. Five emerging writers, twenty minutes each of reading and discussion w/ Michael Jeffrey Lee, Geoff Munsterman, Justin Nobel, Maurice Carlos Ruffin, and Kat Stromquist. Starts promptly at 7 p.m. upstairs, with refreshments and limited seating.

& Every Monday, 9 p.m. Writer’s Block, usually held on the amphitheater steps on Decatur Street across from Jackson Square. Check the Facebook page for details.

& 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 5:30 pm Garden District Bookshop hosts Ruta Sepetys discussing and signing her book, Out of the Easy. Join us for the conversation between Chris Wiltz, New Orleans author of The Last Madam: A Life in the New Olreans Underworld and Ruta Sepetys.

& Wednesday at Garden DistrictlLocal actress Laura Cayouette, of the Academy Award Nominated film Django Unchained joins us to discuss her recently released first book, Know Small Parts: An Actor’s Guide to Turning Minutes into Moments and Moments into a Career.

& Metta Sama will read her poetry on Wednesday, February 20, at 8 p.m., at the UNO Sandbar (on Founders Road, across from the Engineering Building, inside the Cove). This event is free and open to the public

& Wednesday nights from 7-10 Lyrics and Laughs bridges comedy and poetry featuring performers from both genres at Special Tea, 4337 Banks St.

& This Wednesday, Feb. 20 Octavia Books hosts Cory Doctorow featuring his new book, HOMELAND, the sequel to the New York Times bestselling YA title LITTLE BROTHER. I don’t often post blurbs, but it’s Neil Gaiman. Someone’s decided it’s a YA title but that doesn’t mean this doesn’t make me curious: “A wonderful, important book . . . I’d recommend Little Brother over pretty much any book I’ve read this year” — Neil Gaiman on Little Brother

Odd Words February 7, 2013

Posted by Mark Folse in books, literature, New Orleans, NOLA, Odd Words, Poetry, publishing, Toulouse Street.
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Well, it’s Carnival time and everybody’s having too much fun to get to bookstore events, but here is a short rundown of regularly scheduled events. I have queries out to Spoken Word New Orleans and the Writer’s Block to make sure they are keeping their schedule. Watch the Facebook and Twitter accounts for updates.

As there is not much going on, here’s a list of books you could be reading if you are stranded far away and want something to read that really ought to have a gumbo stain somewhere on the pages:

  • Mystic Pig, by Richard Katrovis, the great undiscovered New Orleans novel that always tops my list.
  • A Confederacy of Dunces, by John Kennedy Toole. Usually this is the top of most lists and for good reason. I’m just a great fan of No. 1
  • Higher Ground, by James Nolan. Yes, it’s a Hurricane Katrina novel but its the one you need to read for comic relief from the rest.
  • Mimi’s First Mardi Gras by Alice Couvillon and Elizabeth Moore. This is the illustrated children’s book I always read to my children over and over from Twelfth Night until Mardi Gras Day when they were living in the far north.
  • New Orleans, Mon Amour by Andrei Codrescu. No one takes you deeper into the spirit world of the city that erupts every Mardi Gras Day than Codrescu.

Just around the corner after Carnival is the annual Tennessee Williams Festival, and the program has just been published and the box office is open for ticket sales. You can get all of the details here on this year’s program. Odd Words will be there again this year covering the best of the fest, and I’ll have some previews of speakers and programs in the weeks to come.

& On Sunday at 3 p.m. the Maple Leaf Poetry Reading Series, the oldest continuous series in the south, will host a Mardi Gras open Mike. Next week, Feb. 17 poets Valentine Pierce and Radamir Luza will be featured

& The new Sunday show from Spoken Word New Orleans is Poetry and Paint Brushes. Poets perform as our resident artists paints the crowd and performers. Also at Special Tea, 4337 Banks Street. No longer at the Bayou Road location..

& Every Monday, 9 p.m. Writer’s Block, usually held on the amphitheater steps on Decatur Street across from Jackson Square. Check the Facebook page for details.

& 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.

& UPDATE: No Wednesday show at Special Tea due to Carnival. Wednesday nights from 7-10 Lyrics and Laughs bridges comedy and poetry featuring performers from both genres at Special Tea, 4337 Banks St.

Odd Words January 23, 2013

Posted by Mark Folse in books, literature, New Orleans, Odd Words, Poetry, publishing, Toulouse Street.
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Here are the literary listings for New Olreans for Jan. 24-30, brought to you weekly on Thursdays by Odd Words on ToulouseStreet.net.

& Thursday, Jan. 25 at 6 p.m. Octavia Books features a presentation and booksigning with New Orleans-based journalist Keith O’Brien featuring his new book, OUTSIDE SHOT: Big Dreams, Hard Times, and One County’s Quest for Basketball Greatness. ““If you have ever wanted a look into the broken but still beating heart of high school sports, into a world where a young man’s future—and a town’s slipping pride–can hang on an in-bounds pass or one more foul, then Keith O’Brien has a book for you.” —Rick Bragg, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of All Over But the Shoutin’.”

& Also on Thursday Garden District Book Shop features Prytania Movie Theater owner, Rene Brunet, and Historian Jack Stewart at ther Uptown location for a discussion and signing of their book There’s One in Your Neighborhood: The Lost Movie Theaters of New Orleans, Thursday, January 24th, at 6 pm. There’s One In Your Neighborhood is an encyclopedic, photo-filled coffee-table book chronicling the history of the city’s neighborhood theaters. Organized by neighborhood — with another section devoted to drive-ins — it includes histories and photographs of more than 100 local theaters collected over the years by Brunet, as well as contributions from local movie experts including Rose Kern, Michael Hurley and A.J. Roquevert. In the process, it offers a fascinatingly detailed snapshot of a bygone era.

& On Saturday, Jan. 26 Octavia Books hosts a children’s book event featuring Favorite local children’t picture book author Cornell Landry (GOODNIGHT NOLA) is returning to Octavia Books just in time to put you in that Mardi Gras spirit with a story time reading and signing of his shinny new book, THE AMAZING ADVENTURE OF MARDI GRAS BEAD DOG, the irresistible tale of a boy, his bead dog, and what ensues.

& Also on Saturday, Storytime with Miss Maureen at Maple Street Books Uptown location features The Other Side of Town by Jon Agee at 11:30 a.m.

¿ I wonder where bead dogs come from? We didn’t make them when I was a kid, and it was one of the first skills my son picked up after moving to New Orleans.

Saturday, Jan. 26 also marks the day 21 years ago I learned you do not tell the cab company your wife is in labor if you expect them to show up. Happy Birthday Ms. Killian Folse (and yes, sweetie, I did scads of research to establish that the patronym Killian is frequently given as a girl’s name in the U.S., if not in Ireland. And patronyms as given names are a well established tradition in the South). Sometimes I still miss reading Good Night, Moon.

& The new Sunday show from Spoken Word New Orleans is  Poetry and Paint Brushes. Poets perform as our resident artists paints the crowd and performers. Also at Special Tea, 4337 Banks Street. No longer at the Bayou Road location.

& Every Monday at 9 p.m. on the amphitheater steps on Decatur Street across from Jackson Square it’s the outdoor open mic Writer’s Block. No rule, no mic, no rules, just right. Bringing cookies is an excellent introduction, and stay for the weekly finale, a rousing sing-a-long of Mercedes-Benz led by organizer Kate Smash.

& Susan Larson, the former book editor of the former Times-Picayune newspaper and member of the National Book Critics Circle hosts The Reading Life on WWNO (89.9 FM) on Tuesdays at 1:30 p.m. She features interviews with authors of local and national interest.

¿ On Tuesday, Jan. 29 at 6 p.m. Garden District Book Shop will host Jen Lancaster and her second novel Here I Go Again. The second novel from the “New York Times”-bestselling author of “If You Were Here” takes readers back to the hair metal 80′s. Bring some ‘tude, an awesome concert t-shirt you can never part with and your BIC lighter.

& On Tuesday, Jan. 29 the Lunch ‘n’ Lit group will be meeting at the Keller Library Community Center Loft at 12 pm (every fourth Tuesday. Participants should bring their lunch. For their January meeting, they’ll be reading The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander and Cornel West, which details the parallel discrimination patterns of Jim Crow Laws and those levied against convicted criminals today. And don’t forget, whatever book club you’re in, book club books are always 10% off at Maple Street Book Shop.

& Wednesday nights from 7-10 Lyrics and Laughs bridges comedy and poetry featurig performers from both genres at Special Tea, 4337 Banks St.

& A week from today on Thursday, Jan 31. Octavia Books hosts a presentation and book signing by Ed Branley celebrating his new book, LEGENDARY LOCALS OF NEW ORLEANS.

Odd Words January 17, 2013

Posted by Mark Folse in books, New Orleans, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, publishing, Toulouse Street.
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& The creative writing programs of New Orleans Center for Creative Arts and Lusher Charter School are honored to present distinguished essayist, novelist, and acclaimed film critic Phillip Lopate as part of the 2013 New Orleans New Writers Literary Festival Thursday, Jan. 17 at 7 p.m. in the Reily Recital Hall at NOCCA, 2800 Chartres Street. Reception to follow. Free and open to the public. Lopate has served as visiting writer for both programs. He considered one of the foremost American essayists and a central figure in the recent revival of interest in memoir writing and is best known for his supple and surprising essays. Lopate is the author of three essay collections, Bachelorhood (Little, Brown & Co., 1981); Against Joie de Vivre(Simon & Schuster, 1989); and Portrait of My Body (Doubleday-Anchor, 1996). A new collection, Portrait Inside My Head, is forthcoming in 2013 (Simon & Schuster). He has also published two novellas in the book entitled Two Marriages (Other Press, 2008); two novels, Confessions of Summer(Doubleday, 1979) and The Rug Merchant (Viking, 1987); three poetry collections, At the End of the Day: Selected Poems (Marsh Hawk Press, 2009), The Eyes Don’t Always Want to Stay Open (Sun Press, 1972), and The Daily Round (Sun Press, 1976); and a memoir of his teaching experiences,Being With Children (Doubleday, 1975). An instructive book, To Show and Tell: the Craft of Literary Nonfiction will be published in 2013 (Simon & Schuster).

& The UNO Creative Writing Workshop and the UNO Fine Arts Department will host a poetry reading on Thursday, January 24, at 7 p.m. at the UNO Fine Arts Campus Gallery. Poet Megan Burns, whose most recent collection is out from Dancing Girl Press, will read from her “Dollbaby poems” and the “Poetic of Nicki Minaj.” Poet Kristin Sanders, whose poetry chapbook Orthorexia is also out from Dancing Girl Press, will read and sing her newest series, “I Learned To Be A Woman From A Nineties Country Song.” A wine and cheese reception and book signing will follow the reading.

& Also tonight Octavia Books hosts a presentation and booksigning with “New Orleans Food Goddess” Lorin Gaudin and photographer Romney Caruso celebrating the launch of their new book, NEW ORLEANS CHEF’S TABLE: Extraordinary Recipes from the French Quarter to the Garden District, with recipes for the home cook from over 50 of the city’s most celebrated restaurants and showcasing 100 beautiful full-color photos.

& Saturday’s Story Time with Miss Maureen at Garden District Book Shop Uptown at 11:30 a.m. features Epossumondas Saves the Day by Coleen Salley.

& Saturday at 5 p.m. Garden District Book Shop’s Bayou St. John location hosts a reading and signing of with author Lauren Belski. Whatever Used to Grow Around Here is a collection of nine short stories that consider the experiences that resonate in the lives of American youth who strive to live meaningfully during times threatening to negate and dissolve.

& Friday evening Brett Evans, Christopher Shipman, Chris Brunt, & Michael Yusko read at the Art Salon on Magazine Friday evening at 6:45.

& Faubourg Marigny Art & Books will be hosting Krewe du Vieux signings Saturday from 1 p.m to 11 p.m. featuring John Swenson’s New Atlantis , Michael Patrick Welch’s Y’all’s Problem and New Orleans: Underground Guide.

& On Sunday, Jan. 17 You are invited to An Afternoon Tea at 1 p.m. at Garden District Books with Romance Authors: Julia Quinn, Eloisa James, and Connie Brockway discussing and signing their book The Lady Most Willing: A Novel in Three Parts co-authored by the trio.

& Maple Street’s Bayou St. John location will be host a discussion and signing with Juliet Linderman, editor of Refugee Hotel, Sunday, Jan. 13 at 5 p.m. Refugee Hotel is a groundbreaking collection of photography and oral histories that documents the experiences of refugees in the United States. Linderman is the River Parishes reporter for The Times-Picayune and NOLA.com. Formerly the editor of a small community newspaper in Brooklyn, she has written for many publications including The New York Times and Village Voice.

& The new Sunday show from Spoken Word New Orleans is  Poetry and Paint Brushes. Poets perform as our resident artists paints the crowd and performers. Also at Special Tea, 4337 Banks Street. No longer at the Bayou Road location.

& Sunday at 5 p.m. at Cafe Istanbul in the Healing Center Michael Tod Edgerton returns to New Orleans to read from his just-released book of poetry, VITREOUS HIDE (Lavender Ink 2013), and from his current, participatory writing and art project, WHAT MOST VIVIDLY, which will be accompanied by a dance performance from special guest Claudia Copeland. As it’s Tod’s birthday, it’ll be a bit of a birthday bash as well, so come celebrate with us at Cafe Istanbul (http://cafeistanbulnola.com/) in the Healing Center!

& This Monday, Jan. 14 is the monthly meeting of the New Orleans Haiku Society at the Milton Latter Memorial Library at 6 p.m.

& Every Monday at 9 p.m. on the amphitheater steps on Decatur Street across from Jackson Square it’s the outdoor open mic Writer’s Block. No rule, no mic, no rules, just right. Bringing cookies is an excellent introduction, and stay for the weekly finale, a rousing sing-a-long of Mercedes-Benz led by organizer Kate Smash.

& Susan Larson, the former book editor of the former Times-Picayune newspaper and member of the National Book Critics Circle hosts The Reading Life on WWNO (89.9 FM) on Tuesdays at 1:30 p.m. She features interviews with authors of local and national interest.

& On Tuesday, Jan. 22 Kim Marie Vaz presents and signs her new book, THE “BABY DOLLS”: Breaking the Race and Gender Barriers of the New Orleans Mardi Gras Tradition at Octavia Books at 6 p.m. One of the first women’s organizations to mask and perform during Mardi Gras, the Million Dollar Baby Dolls redefined the New Orleans carnival tradition.

&Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Garden District Book Shop NOLA Food Goddess Lorin Gaudin with photographer, Romney Caruso discuss and sign their book, New Orleans Chef’s Table: Extraordinary Recipes from the French Quarter to the Garden District. Join Lorin and Romney with a number of local chefs who prepare and serve their tasty treats.

& Wednesday nights from 7-10 Lyrics and Laughs bridges comedy and poetry featurig performers from both genres at Special Tea, 4337 Banks St.

Mark Notes January 14, 2013

Posted by Mark Folse in books, New Orleans, Odd Words, Toulouse Street.
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After a quick read of the Spark Notes to refresh my memory (noting, kiddies, the editorial errors I think they leave in these on purpose) and an hours-long, wide-ranging conversations on Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness to help my son hammer out his paper for AP English, I have arrived at the following summary.

Section I: What is this shit?

Section II: This shit is fucked. This Kurtz guy is crazy.

Section III: This shit is fucked beyond the ability of your bourgeois, home office-minds to comprehend. All you people are crazy.

Odd Words Update January 13, 2013

Posted by Mark Folse in 504, art, literature, Mid-City, New Orleans, NOLA, Odd Words, publishing.
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A correction & an addition: Special Tea at 4337 Banks Street is now the home of Spoken Word New Orleans’ Sunday event. They also host another event on Wednesdays:

& Wednesday nights from 7-10 Lyrics and Laughs bridges comedy and poetry featurig performers from both genres at Special Tea, 4337 Banks St.

& The new Sunday show from Spoken Word New Orleans is  Poetry and Paint Brushes. Poets perform as our resident artists paints the crowd and performers. Also at Special Tea, 4337 Banks Street. No longer at the Bayou Road location.

If you host events be sure to keep odd.words.nola@gmail.com in he loop.

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