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Odd Words April 3, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

& Also on Monday the East Bank Regional Library hosts it’s Fiction Writers’ Group – Critique Session. The Fiction Writers’ Group is a support group for serious writers of fiction. We do not focus on poetry, essays or nonfiction. Events consist of critique sessions from group members, author talks and writing exercises. Free of charge and open to the public. Registration is not required.

& Susan Larson, the former book editor of the former Times-Picayune newspaper and member of the National Book Critics Circle hosts The Reading Life on WWNO (89.9 FM) on Tuesdays at 1:30 p.m. She features interviews with authors of local and national interest. Watch Odd Words on Facebook and Google+ on Tuesdays for a complete list of her guests and features.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Odd Words March 22, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

& Also on Monday the East Bank Regional Library hosts it’s Fiction Writers’ Group – Critique Session. The Fiction Writers’ Group is a support group for serious writers of fiction. We do not focus on poetry, essays or nonfiction. Events consist of critique sessions from group members, author talks and writing exercises. Free of charge and open to the public. Registration is not required.

& Susan Larson, the former book editor of the former Times-Picayune newspaper and member of the National Book Critics Circle hosts The Reading Life on WWNO (89.9 FM) on Tuesdays at 1:30 p.m. She features interviews with authors of local and national interest. Watch Odd Words on Facebook and Google+ on Tuesdays for a complete list of her guests and features.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Odd Words March 13, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

& Susan Larson, the former book editor of the former Times-Picayune newspaper and member of the National Book Critics Circle hosts The Reading Life on WWNO (89.9 FM) on Tuesdays at 1:30 p.m. She features interviews with authors of local and national interest. Watch Odd Words on Facebook and Google+ on Tuesdays for a complete list of her guests and features.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Odd Words February 20, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

& Susan Larson, the former book editor of the former Times-Picayune newspaper and member of the National Book Critics Circle hosts The Reading Life on WWNO (89.9 FM) on Tuesdays at 1:30 p.m. She features interviews with authors of local and national interest. Watch Odd Words on Facebook and Google+ on Tuesdays for a complete list of her guests and features.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Odd Words February 13, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

& Monday at 7:30 pm the East Jefferson Regional Library Fiction Writers Group meets. Candice Huber, a fixture on the local literary scene and a computer wizard, will make a presentation on how technology can help writers. The Fiction Writers’ Group is a support group for serious writers of fiction. We do not focus on poetry, essays or nonfiction. Events consist of critique sessions from group members, author talks and writing exercises. Free of charge and open to the public. Registration is not require

& Susan Larson, the former book editor of the former Times-Picayune newspaper and member of the National Book Critics Circle hosts The Reading Life on WWNO (89.9 FM) on Tuesdays at 1:30 p.m. She features interviews with authors of local and national interest. Watch Odd Words on Facebook and Google+ on Tuesdays for a complete list of her guests and features.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Odd Words January 23, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

& Monday at 7 pm the East Bank Jefferson Parish Fiction Writers Groups will host a critique session at the East Bank Regional Library. The Fiction Writers’ Group is a support group for serious writers of fiction. We do not focus on poetry, essays or nonfiction. Events consist of critique sessions from group members, author talks and writing exercises. Free of charge and open to the public. Registration is not required.

& Susan Larson, the former book editor of the former Times-Picayune newspaper and member of the National Book Critics Circle hosts The Reading Life on WWNO (89.9 FM) on Tuesdays at 1:30 p.m. She features interviews with authors of local and national interest. Watch Odd Words on Facebook and Google+ on Tuesdays for a complete list of her guests and features.

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

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

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

Odd Words January 15, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

& Susan Larson, the former book editor of the former Times-Picayune newspaper and member of the National Book Critics Circle hosts The Reading Life on WWNO (89.9 FM) on Tuesdays at 1:30 p.m. She features interviews with authors of local and national interest. Watch Odd Words on Facebook and Google+ on Tuesdays for a complete list of her guests and features.

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

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

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

Odd Words January 9, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

& Monday at 7 pm the East Jefferson Public Library Diction Writers Group hosts guest author David Armand will discuss his novel, Harlow, as well as his first novel, The Puglilist’s Wife. He teaches at Southeastern Louisiana University, Hammand, where he also serves as assistant editor for Louisiana Literature. The Fiction Writers’ Group is a support group for serious writers of fiction. We do not focus on poetry, essays or nonfiction. Events consist of critique sessions from group members, author talks and writing exercises. Free of charge and open to the public. Registration is not required.

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

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

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

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

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

Odd Words January 2, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Odd Words December 26, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Odd Words December 19, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

. T

Odd Words December 12, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

And on Sunday:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Odd Words December 5, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Odd Words: Words & Music Special December 4, 2013

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

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

WHEW. That’s just Thursday.

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

Ready for more?

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

Odd Words November 29, 2013

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

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

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

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

& so back to the chronological weekly listings.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Odd Words November 21, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Odd Words November 14, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Odd Words November 7, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Odd Words October 31, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Odd Words October 23, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Odd Words October 17, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4737 Tchoupitoulas

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

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

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

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

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

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

Odd Words October 3, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Odd Words September 26, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday is Slam and Spoken Word Day in New Orleans:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 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 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 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.

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 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 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?

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.

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.

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