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That Wound That Never Heals October 21, 2014

Posted by The Typist in A Fiction, cryptic envelopment, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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When the Muse sees death appear she closes the door, or builds a plinth, or displays an urn and writes an epitaph with her waxen hand, but afterwards she returns to tending her laurel in a silence that shivers between two breezes. Beneath the broken arch of the ode, she binds, in funereal harmony, the precise flowers painted by fifteenth century Italians and calls up Lucretius’ faithful cockerel, by whom unforeseen shadows are dispelled.

When the angel sees death appear he flies in slow circles, and with tears of ice and narcissi weaves the elegy we see trembling in the hands of Keats, Villasandino, Herrera, Bécquer, and Juan Ramón Jiménez. But how it horrifies the angel if he feels a spider, however tiny, on his tender rosy foot!

The duende, by contrast, won’t appear if he can’t see the possibility of death, if he doesn’t know he can haunt death’s house, if he’s not certain to shake those branches we all carry, that do not bring, can never bring, consolation.

With idea, sound, gesture, the duende delights in struggling freely with the creator on the edge of the pit. Angel and Muse flee, with violin and compasses, and the duende wounds, and in trying to heal that wound that never heals, lies the strangeness, the inventiveness of a man’s work.

– Garcia-Lorca, Theory and Play Of The Duende</blockquote>

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Le mal du pays October 19, 2014

Posted by The Typist in A Fiction, cryptic envelopment, home, Murder, New Orleans, the dead, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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‘Le mal du pays.’ It’s French. Usually its translated as ‘homesickness’ or ‘melancholy.’ If you put a finer point on it, it’s more like ‘a groundless sadness called forth in a person’s heart by a pastoral landscape.’ It’s a hard expression to translate accurately. — Haruki Murakami, Colorless Tsukiru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgramage

Homesickness. Home sickness. Home. Sickness. “…they are the figures in the frame that make the landscape.” There is nothing pastoral about the Upper Ninth Ward. Taking the shortcut to Poland down Galvez to avoid the no left turn signs, the Musician’s Village is just a few blocks over but you don’t see the pretty stick-and-Tyvek houses. You see the aging wood-frame shotguns sagging with and into the ground, come to a stop at Poland across from a scrap yard filled with rusty anchors.

A man gunned down in the middle of a street in the Lower 9th Ward Friday night has been identified by the Orleans Parish coroner’s office. Malik Braddy, 18, of New Orleans was killed shortly after 10 p.m. in the 1600 block of Lizardi Street.

When I come to post here the dashboard shows statistics for most viewed posts and pages. The leaders are always the list of victims I started several years ago, and have semi-abandoned. (Somehow I have to find time to finish 2013 before 2014 is over). Melvin Labranch III.

Once upon a time downtown in the nine, what it don’t mind dyin’ Sworn to a life of crime, was a youngin’ standing only 5’5, big money on his mind Clothes ain’t wrinkled with his hand on the iron, shot six times Shot six times, ran in from of my mom (dear lord) — Downtown, Kidd Kidd

People come looking for Labranch, the subject of the R&B style hip hop elegy by his cousin, who elsewhere in the song sings “somebody done killed my brother, now I gotta get back/let ‘em know cause a nigga gotta feel that/Sitting shotgun with the shotgun: when you hear the shots come, nigga don’t run.” The song is a hit of sorts, which is I guess what drives the traffic: the celebration of a child “sworn to a life of crime” and someone “riddin on those niggas” looking for revenge.

Guess this is the game we chose to play Crazy how it’s always been the same.

Has it? Has it always been this way when I was growing up on the Lakefront just off Robert E. Lee Boulevard, and the Times-Picayune and States-Item just didn’t bother with dead black me? I don’t think so. There is nothing pastoral about the Upper Ninth Ward, but there is a terrible sadness. There is as I suggested above, a home sickness, the old style proud of the working class–black and white–that was once settled with fists that has metastasized into a violence most Americans only read about in the paper, stories of some far away country, and then only the body count of the American soldiers, not the million and a half Arabs dead for what? Killing random people because they live in the wrong ward of the planet just for revenge. A friend went ballistic on Facebook after attending a memorial for the man everyone in her hood in the upper nine knew as Sappy. She was mostly going after the hipsters in the same bar looking for food but avoiding any contact with the largely black crowd at the memorial, black except for her and her partner. She grew up in San Diego in poverty to match any sad story from the Ninth Ward, but chooses New Orleans. She lives there, running a small business with her partner while both work part time, and make themselves a part of their stretch of St. Claude. What is sad about Sappy is not the hipsters gathered in a tight, white knot at the other end of the bar is that he was a country kid from Mississippi who also chose New Orleans, made a living as a minimum wage worker at Rally’s. When he was gunned down over some stupid argument in the parking lot of Church’s Chicken on St. Claude he asked the woman who drew the gun, “Are you going to shoot me?” She did. Was his tone of voice confrontational, the braggadocio that is part of a life in that part of town, or was he incredulous that some dumb argument could turn so quickly to a gun? I like to imagine the latter, but either way it doesn’t matter. The man born Derrick Christmas is cold in the ground. It was not his first brush with senseless violence. He was the victim of a vicious beatdown in a bathroom with Harrah’s for brushing a man’s shoulder. To chose to live in New Orleans is to chose to live with the body count, to walk back to your car in the relative safety of the Marigny like a soldier on patrol, every sense hyper-alert, suddenly sober as the adrenaline prepares you for the man passing on the street who might be a road side bomb waiting to go off. To chose to live in the Ninth Ward is to put your plastic piece down on the Monopoly block where many go directly to jail, do not pass home and collect $200. No real hope going in, less coming out. And too many do not pass home but go directly to the cemetery. How to live in this city when every morning I go to the blog to grab the day’s Odd Words to post and see my statistics, the numbers next to the list of the dead. Sometimes they leave comments, as I ask, the way people leave plastic flowers, bottles of a favorite rum, a faded picture in the spot where another one fell. I don’t need to open the newspaper to be reminded that I live in a city at war with itself. How to live in this city? When my daughter came back from a semester in Amsterdam there was a seminar they were all required to take on readjustment to one’s home culture. I only had a week of jet lag, and a second week frantically finishing a paper and a manuscript for the courses I took there. It was only then that the culture shock began to sink in. I met an old friend for drinks and after walking back to her house to sit on the patio on Conti Street. When I left, she insisted there was no way I was walking alone through the quarter the nine blocks to Buffa’s, or standing on the corner of Esplanade and Rampart waiting for the last 93 bus to take me home. She shoved money in my hands and walked me up to the corner for a cab. It wasn’t safe, she insisted, to walk nine blocks through my town, although I count myself a street-wise former quarter rat, keep to the well-lit, no-parking side of the street. Too many robberies, and the latest craze, senseless beatdowns. 14786415702_24147f966b_o How many died while I was wandering Europe? I could consult my local newspaper’s helpful online Murders page. Does your hometown newspaper have a Murders page? How to live in this city? Those who know me know I have sworn a blood oath to New Orleans as serious and final as any gang initiation, and yet I find I can’t stop asking this question. I know a woman alone could not walk the dark streets of Rome or Barcelona as I did, but I wandered lost and enchanted in the Barri Gòtic looking for the familiar square that had become my landmark, from which I could easily find my way out of the maze and back to my hostel. Now I am home and am told I dare not walk Burgundy or Dauphine nine blocks to get a burger. “A groundless sadness called forth in a person’s heart by a pastoral landscape.” Were I to look back at my pictures, the view from the castle in the Tyrol of northern Italy, the vistas of Granada from atop the Alhambra, my memories of Lorca’s beloved vega (and that was le mal du pays, but not homesickness but rather the pain of leaving, of going home to the place I love); in those visions it is not a groundless sadness in the pastoral landscape. It is a sadness born not of homesickness but home sickness, a culture shock the two women returning from the castle to San Diego will never know. It is a deep sadness, born of blood, like the Deep Song of the gypsies of southern Spain, the black and terrible angel or familiar demon of Duende that lives deep in the gut, born of love and suffering. Le mal du pays.

Odd Words October 15, 2014

Posted by The Typist in Book Stores, books, Indie Book Shops, literature, memoir, New Orleans, NOLA, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, reading, Toulouse Street.
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wpc-logo-fbThis week in literary New Orleans, sponsored by the Loyola Writing Institute at the Walker Percy Center for Writing and Publishing.

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

& Maple Street Book Shop hosts Tim Duffy with Little Freddie King and Alabama Slim and Duffy’s book We are the Music Makers. The book is the result of twenty years working with roots musicians of the American South. After founding Music Maker in 1994, Tim and wife Denise traveled throughout the South photographing and recording musicians hidden by poverty and geography. The Foundation works to assist these musicians in earning an income from their work, while booking them gigs, sharing their music with the world and also helping to alleviate their poverty by providing artist grants through their sustenance program. After releasing their first book, Portraits and Songs from the Roots of America, in 2002, the Duffys wrote this follow-up to both coincide with the Foundation’s 20th Anniversary and to tell stories that were not featured in the first book. We Are the Music Makers features over 65 photographs taken by Tim Duffy over the past 20 years of artists he has worked with, along with the stories and songs from these musicians. Accompanying the book is a two-disc CD of the same name.

& Also at 6 pm Thursday Michael Ross, author of THE GREAT NEW ORLEANS KIDNAPPING CASE: Race, Law, and Justice in the Reconstruction Era, discusses and signs his book at Octavia Books. In June 1870, the residents of the city of New Orleans were already on edgewhen two African American women kidnapped seventeen-month-old Mollie Digby from in front of her New Orleans home. It was the height of Radical Reconstruction, and the old racial order had been turned upside down: black men now voted, held office, sat on juries, and served as policemen. Nervous white residents, certain that the end of slavery and resulting “Africanization” of the city would bring chaos, pointed to the Digby abduction as proof that no white child was safe. Louisiana’s twenty-eight-year old Reconstruction governor, Henry Clay Warmoth, hoping to use the investigation of the kidnapping to validate his newly integrated police force to the highly suspicious white population of New Orleans, saw to it that the city’s best Afro-Creole detective, John Baptiste Jourdain, was put on the case, and offered a huge reward for the return of Mollie Digby and the capture of her kidnappers. When the Associated Press sent the story out on the wire, newspaper readers around the country began to follow the New Orleans mystery. Eventually, police and prosecutors put two strikingly beautiful Afro-Creole women on trial for the crime, and interest in the case exploded as a tense courtroom drama unfolded.

& Thursday at 6:30 pm the Nix Branch of the New Orleans Public Library features Author Michael Patrick Welch & Friends: An Evening of Words, Music & Video. Michael Patrick Welch is the author of five books, including The Donkey Show and New Orleans: The Underground Guide. Also included are journalist Jules Bently and authors Brian Boyles and Gwendolyn Knapp.

& Thursday at 7 pm the Jefferson Parish East Bank Regional Library hosts its bi-weekly Fiction Writers Group, a support group for serious writers of fiction. The group does not focus on poetry, essays or nonfiction. Events consist of critique sessions from group members, author talks and writing exercises. Free of charge and open to the public. Registration is not required.

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

& Also at 6 Thursday Garden District Books features Literature of Belief with R. B. O’Gorman, Kaye Park Hinkley, and David Beckett.

  • Fatal Rhythm: In the pre-dawn hours of the graveyard shift, the ICU at the Houston Heart Institute is quiet, and quietly patients are dying. Surgery resident Joe Morales dreams of becoming a rich heart doctor. First, he must survive his assignment to an ICU rife with land mines–unexplained patient deaths, rival faculty, fellow resident saboteurs, a cost-slashing administrator, a ruthless insurance executive, a seductive head nurse, a jealous wife, a critically ill son, an overprotective mother, and an orderly distraught over his daughter’s death. To salvage the career he thought he wanted, Joe must determine the cause of the suspicious deaths. In the process, he’s forced to re-examine the ethnic and religious heritage that he had rejected.
  • Birds of a Feather: “The short stories in Birds of a Feather are richly imagined tales full of finely drawn characters who demonstrate how people estranged from faith can bumble through life so distracted by worldly horrors and delights, so full of themselves, that they don’t even notice faint nudges of grace that stir in their souls or recognize subtle emanations of the holy that abound in the world around them.” –The Catholic World Report</liL
  • The Cana Mystery: Ava, an MIT graduate student and expert in ancient languages, is awakened in the middle of the night by a phone call from an old friend, Paul, with a baffling request: Could she fly to Yemen immediately? Hes found something important and needs her help. Pauls subsequent coded e-mail alludes to what he and his boss, Simon Demaj, have found: the lost jars of Cana the very jars that Jesus used at the wedding at Canaand a puzzle to be solved. Are the jars authentic, and is there a prophecy somehow hidden in them? At the same time a shocking global announcement is made: . . . Pope Benedict XVI announced that he will resign for the good of the church . . . Is there a connection?

& Friday at 6 pm at Octavia Books, from award-winning, Los Angeles Times bestselling author Jervey Tervalon comes MONSTER’S CHEF, a highly clever, twisting tale of suspense involving drugs, perverse sex, and poisonous celebrity worship, in which a man trying to rebuild his life becomes entangled in dangerous and deadly circumstances. Once upon a time, Gibson was a successful chef with a popular restaurant and a beautiful loving wife. He was also a drug addict with a habit that nearly destroyed him. Fresh out of rehab, he’s now using his skills to feed his fellow halfway house residents budget gourmet meals—a talent that attracts two shady women who offer him a job cooking for a music superstar named Monster. Though Gibson doesn’t have a good feeling about his seeming good fortune, he needs a job. Arriving on Monster’s compound, Gibson senses that trouble is still on his tail. First, he’s asked to sign a confidentiality agreement. Then he meets the compound’s gardener, who warns him not to go outside at night—and tells him that to stay alive he must see nothing, hear nothing, say nothing.

& On Friday at 6 Garden District Books features Timothy Duffy’s We Are the Music Makers, with live music from Major Handy. Consolation to the lovelorn, courage to the oppressed, warning to the naive or a ticket to the Promised Land, a great song can deliver the wisdom of ages directly to our souls. Deeply personal and implausibly universal, the blues, jazz, gospel and old time music of the American South form a deep aquifer that contemporary musicians all around the world drink from daily. The music is constantly expanding and morphing into country, rock, rap and soul, but trace the origins and you will find yourself standing squarely in the South. In the pages of We are the Music Makers, we present portraits of these artists: fathers and mothers, uncles and aunts, daughters and sons, grandparents and neighbors, who continue to lovingly stir the South’s musical stew and feed American culture. Features over 65 photographs taken by Tim Duffy over twenty years along with stories and songs.
Character sketches and black and white photographs of great American musicians Etta Baker, John Dee Holeman, Jerry Boogie McCain, Taj Mahal, Willie King, Othar Turner, Little Freddie King, The Carolina Chocolate Drops, Ironing Board Sam, and the original guiding light for the Foundations formation, Guitar Gabriel, are shared in the book. The book also highlights other artists nestled deep in southern culture and telling a hidden story of American music. The book also highlights the musicians vital role in Southern culture.

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

& Saturday at 10 am the SOLA Chapter of Romance Writers of America meets at the East Bank Regional Library in Metairie. Monthly business meeting of members, a speaker on literary matters and craft of writing fiction.

& Saturdays at 11:30 am its Story Time with Miss Maureen at Maple Street Book Shop. This week Ryan Adam will read and sign New Orleans Mother Goose. Mother Goose takes a trip down South in this new and hilarious collection of nursery rhymes. A cast of classical characters is reimagined on a streetcar, in the French Quarter, and on the bayous. Come celebrate the fun of the Crescent City with such rhymes as “Peter, Peter Gumbo Mixer,” “Old King Rex,” and “Sing, Song of Parades.” Witty and charming, these jazzy rhymes will delight every Jacques and Gilles. Bright illustrations lovingly depict the sights and sounds of the city. Mardi Gras, music, and food are just some of the topics included with a light touch and a sense of humor. This collection will become a favorite read-aloud for locals and visitors alike.

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

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

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

& At the Maple Leaf Book Shop on Tuesday it’s Addie and Jeremy Martin’s Southeast Louisiana Food: Launch Party. The cuisine of Southeast Louisiana is informed by a unique landscape. Defined by water—Vermillion Bay to the west, marshlands to the east, the Mississippi River to the north and the Gulf Coast to the south—the scenery transitions from verdant swamps to open seas stocked with diverse wildlife. The indigenous Cajun cuisine is a cultural blend three centuries in the making, with traces of American Indian, French, German, Italian and African heritage. To feed themselves and bourgeoning markets, locals built formidable aquaculture empires. Eventually, the area became less isolated, offering more opportunity while threatening traditions. With interviews and family recipes, authors Addie K. and Jeremy Martin present the history behind this enchanting culinary tradition.

& Tuesday at Garden District Books at 6 Wayne Curtis discusses his book The Last Great Walk: The True Story of a 1909 Walk from New York to San Francisco, and Why It Matters Today. In 1909, Edward Payson Weston walked from New York to San Francisco, covering around 40 miles a day and greeted by wildly cheering audiences in every city. The New York Times called it the”first bona-fide walk . . . across the American continent,” and eagerly chronicled a journey in which Weston was beset by fatigue, mosquitoes, vicious headwinds, and brutal heat. He was 70-years-old. Using the framework of Weston’s fascinating and surprising story, journalist Wayne Curtis investigates exactly what we lost when we turned away from foot travel, and what we could potentially regain with America’s new embrace of pedestrianism. From how our brains and legs evolved to accommodate our ancient traveling needs to the way that American cities have been designed to cater to cars and discourage pedestrians, Curtis guides readers through an engaging, intelligent exploration of how something as simple as the way we get from one place to another continues to shape our health, our environment, and even our national identity. Not walking, he argues, may be one of the most radical things humans have ever done.

& Tuesday at 7 pm the East Jefferson Regional Library hosts an Author Event! Zion by Dayne Sherman. Zion is a literary mystery set in the rural South, the story of a war fought over the killing hardwood trees in Baxter Parish, and replacing them with more commercial pine trees. The tale begins in 1964 and ends a decade later, but the Hardin family, faithful members of Little Zion Methodist Church, will carry the scars for life. This 304-page novel is religious from the outset, a book that explores the darkness and light of family relationships. Dayne Sherman is a high school dropout from Natalbany, Louisiana. He worked a variety of jobs as a grocery store clerk, carpenter’s helper, door-to-door rat poison distributor, watermelon salesman, itinerant Baptist preacher, English-as-a-Second-Language teacher in Russia, paid fitness instructor and currently as a full professor of library science. At 18 years of old, he took the GED and earned master degrees from LSU and Southeastern Louisiana University. Sherman’s first novel, Welcome to the Fallen Paradise, was published by MacAdams/Cage in 2004. It was named a Best Debut of the Year by The New Orleans Times Picayune and a Notable Book by Book Sense. Recently, Welcome to the Fallen Paradise was the sole “Louisiana” pick for Booklist’s “Hard-Boiled Gazetteer to Country Noir.” Sherman’s writing has appeared in many literary magazines, and one of his short stories was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Sherman lives in Ponchatoula.

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

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

& At 8 pm Wednesday it is Poetry & Music at BJs’ Blood Jet Series at BJ’s at 8 pm. This week’s features are Vernon Fowlkes & Jordan Soyka. Fowlkes is the author of The Sound of Falling lives in Mobile, Alabama with his wife of 40+ years, Mary. His poems have appeared in various magazines and literary journals across the country, among them The Southern Review, Elk River Review, The Texas Observer, Willow Springs, JAMA, and Birmingham Arts Journal. Soyka grew up in Wisconsin and lives in New Orleans, where he heads the local chapter of The Poetry Brothel. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in GlitterPony, >kill author, Cave Wall, The Quarterly Conversation, La Petite Zine, Horse Less Review, Spork, and the anthology Fuck Poems.

& Wednesday at 6 Garden District Books hosts Susan Morse and The Dog Stays in the Picture. It is November 2009, and after months of mourning the loss of Arrow, their beloved Australian shepherd mutt, the Morse family is finally ready to adopt a new dog. David’s acting jobs keep him away from home for long stretches of time, Eliza is happily situated at college, and the twin boys are wrapped up in their senior year of high school. This time it’s Susan’s turn to pick the dog, and she probably should have thought a little more carefully before falling for a retired racing greyhound. Enter Lilly, who lands like a disoriented neutron bomb in Susan’s comfortable suburban home after living the first three years of her life in the rugged and ruthless world of the racetrack. Instantly lovable but hopelessly inept at domesticity, Lilly turns out to be more than Susan bargained for, throwing all the Morses’ plans for their long-anticipated, footloose empty-nest years into complete disarray. Lilly imprints on Susan instantly, following her “everywhere,” determined not to let her out of sight, threatening mass destruction when left home alone. Despite David’s valiant attempts at camaraderie, Lilly absolutely refuses to trust him–or anyone else, for that matter. And as they soon discover, Lilly, like most greyhounds, finds it nearly impossible to climb stairs. In The Dog Stays in the Picture, Susan Morse chronicles Lilly’s life at home as she moves from bewildered entrant to adored family stalwart–and tells the hilarious and moving story of how an anxious dog and an anxious woman find tranquility together.

& 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!).

He Was A Mess October 8, 2014

Posted by The Typist in cryptic envelopment, New Orleans, Poetry, The Narrative, Toulouse Street.
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Was there a twinkle I missed, drinking too much on the wrong end of town? Some wisdom issuing from your tobacco-scented beard, a joke so blue men were afraid to laugh, busting a gut to hold it in? I like to imagine one of the nights I was working the East Bank and didn’t have to go back to Gretna, and sat at that bar waiting for Marianne to get off from work around the corner, that you were there. I will still reading Stevens and Olson and Berryman, trying to figure out which way was up and you were probably scribbling the very instruction required on a bar napkin.

Yes, I could put my damn pants back on and join what’s left of your old gang at the East Jefferson Parish Regional Library, in some room the carpet runs up the wall like nylon mold and sit in an fluted plastic stackable chair (Panhandle aquamarine? burnt sunset orange?) but what’s the point in that? Did you even know there was a West Esplanade? It’s neither lake nor river but another direction you probably wouldn’t want to go in. And if I don’t write this belated birthday elegy who the hell else is going to do it?

I would recognize you now if you appeared for a moment at the Maple Leaf, the vision I saw one Saturday morning at Jazz Fest: a man of the right height and build, in a tweed jacket in baking May for chrissakes, pipe issuing from his beard like the fasces of poetry. But the time I realized what I saw and turned around again you were gone. I don’t want to know about no doppelganger. Nobody is going to rob me of my ghost.

I hope some folks show up tonight, learn what I’ve learned over the years, hunt down your books like possums and pause, too amazed to shoot.

Rutledge in the Rain

The first poem I ever spoke
into a microphone (not my own,
but well said or so I heard)
in Everette Maddox’s patio
at the umpteenth reading
celebrating the late poet’s
Selected Sad Whimsies,
the moment saved on a page
dimpled by the afternoon’s drizzle.

I owe you one for that, a whole run of ones one after another until it takes both of us arm-in-arm, leaning in to steer the other down the middle of the sidewalks of heaven. I don’t really believe in heaven but a man has to believe in something and I believe I’d like to buy you drink: somewhere, someday. The best I can manage for now is to make it to the Maple Leaf tomorrow after class and beat the cover at the door and buy two glasses of bar scotch, one to pour for you and the other to prove I love the man we’ll call The Speaker in workshop before, because I hate scotch and I’ll toss it back every drop. You were The Speaker, and the singer, and the instigator of the chorus, there’s no doubt about that.

He was a mess, was Everette Maddox, and those of us who tend to the messy side need our own patron saints and your poems are a novena for the messy and the lost. I think instead of tepid coffee in a library I’ll mix another drink and take down the Songbook that found me and read a bit instead, before I prepare for class tomorrow. I don’t have a poem for workshop and if one’s going to come to me before tomorrow night it’s going to come in your voice, with the faint tinkle of ice cubes like a chime in the wind: not a muse or an angel but the deep, deep song of the your blues.

Umpteen.

Odd Words October 8, 2014

Posted by The Typist in Toulouse Street.
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wpc-logo-fbThis week in literary New Orleans, sponsored by the Loyola Writing Institute at the Walker Percy Center for Writing and Publishing.

& At 6 pm Thursday the Rosa Keller Branch of the New Orleans Public Library hosts a Meet the Author/Book Signing with Daniel Peter Moriarty II, A Fine Body of Men: The New Orleans Light Horse Cavalry, 1861-1865. In this thoroughly researched Civil War regimental history, the author tells the story of the New Orleans Light Horse, an independent cavalry troop described by the Daily Picayune as “a fine body of men all splendidly mounted. Moriarty will also appear Saturday from 3-5 pm at the Latter Memorial Library.

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

& Also at 6 pm Octavia Books hosts the launch of Tulane University environmental law professor Oliver A. Houck’s new book, DOWNSTREAM TOWARD HOME: A Book of Rivers. American rivers are among the most diverse and challenging in the world, and for many the excitement and escape they offer develops into a lifelong pursuit. In DOWNSTREAM TOWARD HOME, Oliver A. Houck recounts his six decades exploring America’s waterways,from unnamed creeks and Louisiana swamps to the rivers of western canyons and the Alaskan tundra. This engaging travelogue leads readers down over thirty-two rivers found across the country. Along the way Houck provides quiet observations as he finds footprints of red wolves on a sandbank or paddles through an aqueous forest of cypress trees. Collectively, these moments of adventure and introspection reveal his distinct and extraordinary vision of the national landscape.

& Thursday Garden District Book Shop hosts Barbara Barnes Sims’ The Next Elvis: Searching For Stardom at SUN Records at 6 pm. In the male-dominated workforce of the 1950s, 24-year-old Sims found herself thriving in the demanding roles of publicist and sales promotion coordinator at Sun Records. Sims’ job placed her in the studio with Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, Charlie Rich, Carl Perkins, and other Sun entertainers, as well as the unforgettable Phillips, whose work made the music that defined an era. The Next Elvis chronicles Sims’ career at the studio, a pivotal time at this recording mecca, as she darted from disc jockeys to distributors. Sims not only entertains with personal stories of big personalities, she brings humor to the challenges of a young woman working in a fast and tough industry. Her disarming narrative ranges from descriptions of a disgraced Jerry Lee Lewis to the remarkable impact and tragic fall of DJ Daddy-O Dewey to the frenzied Memphis homecoming of Elvis after his military service. Collectively, these vignettes offer a rare and intimate look at the people, the city, and the studio that permanently shifted the trajectory of rock ‘n’ roll.

& Meanwhile at Maple Street Books Ron Fisher will read excerpts and sign copies of his book, Mid-City Errands, at 6PM, at Maple Street Book Shop. 1950s Mid-City comes to life in Mid-City Errands, a new novel that offers a unique view of New Orleans through the eyes of its seven-year old hero Vonny, whose detective exploits take him through the heart of the old neighborhood. The author grew up with his large family in Mid-City, and New Orleanians will enjoy the references to landmarks like Picou’s and the old Bruno’s Bar.

& Thursday Crescent City Book hosts poets Geoff Munsterman and M’Bilia Meekers reading from their acclaimed first books and also new work. Downstairs at CCB at 7 pm. Munsterman is the author of Because the Stars Shine Through It. Meekers new chapbook is Wish for a Drowned Daughter. “Geoff Munsterman’s poetry is visceral and robust. It gives life to a region of hard-scrabble human richness registered in his supple and often gritty lines. I found myself repeatedly surprised and moved and sometimes even unnerved.”–David H. Lynn, Editor of The Kenyon Review

& Also at 7 pm the East Jefferson Regional Library hosts the bi-weekly SciFi, Fantasy and Horror Writer’s Group. ames Butler, a writer of science fiction and fantasy (especially steampunk), leads a workshop to encourage the creation of these genres by local authors. Open to all levels. Free of charge and open to the public. No registration.
Library: East Bank Regional Library.

& At the same time, the EJ Library hosts The Inevitable City: A Book Discussion with Scott Cowen. Tulane President Emeritus Cowen will be discussing and signing his newly published book, The Inevitable City: The Resurgence of New Orleans and the Future of Urban America. Dr. Cowen will talk about his book and its themes, which include leadership, Hurricane Katrina and the rebirth of Tulane and New Orleans.

& New Orleans Literary and Performance Series presents Poet and Percussionist OMAR PÉREZ Thursday 7:30pm at the Gold Mine, 701 Dauphine Street, followed by open mic hosted JIMMY ROSS. Pérez grew up in Havana, the city where he was born in 1964 and where he lives today. Pérez is the author of four poetry collections: Algo de lo Sagrado (1996), Oíste hablar del gato de pelea? (1999), Canciones y letanías (2002), and Lingua Franca (forthcoming). In 2000, Pérez won the Cuban National Critics’ Prize for the category of the essay in 2000 with his collection La perseverancia de un hombre oscuro. Pérez is a percussionist for dance-theater performances, and his interest in artistic collaboration informs recent writing projects. Pérez’ latest credits include Cuba’s Nicolás Guillén Prize for Poetry for Crítica de la razón puta in late 2009, and early 2010 saw the release of his multilingual book of poems, Lingua Franca (Unión). Recently he began to compose regguetón poems (sound files forthcoming at the PennSound archive) and original poetry in English.

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

& Friday at 5:30 pm Octavia Books features a children’s book event: The authors of WHAT THE SLEEPY ANIMALS DO AT THE AUDUBON ZOO are back with YOU WOULDN’T LIKE ME WITHOUT MY COFFEE. Meet Grace Millsaps, Ryan Murphy, and illustrator Danny Marin on Friday, October 10, 5:30, at their book launch event. Sam and Lou’s parents crave their morning coffee. What happens when they go without it? The brothers are determined to find out. But taking their parents’ coffee isn’t such a great idea.

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

& This weekend Inspired by Walker Percy’s best-known nonfiction book “Lost in the Cosmos: The Last Self-Help Book,” the Walker Percy Center for Writing and Publishing at Loyola University New Orleans will host its second biennial conference, “Still Lost in the Cosmos: Walker Percy and the 21st Century,” Oct. 11-12. Open to the public, the conference offers a variety of panels and performances focused on Percy’s lively and satirical analysis of the modern condition.

The conference begins Oct. 11 at noon in the J. Edgar and Louise S. Monroe Library on Loyola’s main campus and will offer participants an in-depth look at one of the most influential American writers and philosophers of the 20th century. Registration is available online in advance or onsite during the conference.

Paul Elie, senior fellow with the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace & World Affairs, will deliver the keynote address Friday, Oct. 11 at 6 p.m. in the Audubon Room, Danna Student Center, second floor. His work deals primarily with the ways religious ideas are given expression in literature, the arts, music and culture. Walker Percy is one of four 20th century Catholic writers featured in Elie’s book, “The Life You Save May Be Your Own: An American Pilgrimage” (2003).

Actor Tom Key will perform a one-person show based on “Lost in the Cosmos” Saturday, Oct. 12 at 6 p.m. in Nunemaker Auditorium on Loyola’s main campus. For the theater, Key has adapted two Walker Percy books, the National Book Award-winning novel “The Moviegoer” as well as “Lost in the Cosmos.”

& Saturdays at 11:30 am its Story Time with Miss Maureen at Maple Street Book Shop. This week Johnette Downing will be reading and signing her latest book, Macarooned on a Dessert Island, a delightful tale of cake, candy, and sweets, this mouthwatering daydream takes you to a magical island where every bit is edible. Sprinkled with cupcake flowers and lollipop trees, this is a land where happiness grows. Even in the land of desserts, healthy snacks abound—fruits, veggies, and more. Punny images and lighthearted verse encourage children to invent an original world of fantasy, fancy, and fun.

& This Sunday at 3 p.m. The Maple Leaf Reading Series features fiction writer Vicki Salloum reads from and signs her new novel, Faulkner and Friends followed y an open mic. The Maple Leaf is the oldest continuous reading series in the south, founded by Everette Maddox. .

& On Monday a special edition of Reading Between the Wines celebrates the launch of Southeast Louisiana Food: A Seasoned Tradition by Addie K and Jeremy Martin Monday at 6 pm at the Pearl at the American Can Company.

& 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 hosts Joy Wilson and Joy the Baker Homemade Decadence: Irresistibly, Sweet, Salty, Gooey, Sticky, Fluffy, Creamy, Crunchy Treats. Wilson, the beloved blogger behind JoytheBaker.com, has a pretty sweet life. She believes that everything is better with pie. And caramel. And definitely ice cream. In Joy The Baker Homemade Decadence, she pushes the limit with her most boldly delectable recipes.

& 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.

& At 5:30 pm Wednesday the Algiers Regional Library hosts A Gathering of Words poets and writers gathering. No experience needed. Come share your thoughts, stories and ideas and listen to others. This is an open forum for discussion and feedback. Every other month something new and exciting such as workshops, readings, book discussions, and poetry socials. Bring a selection and a friend.

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

& The New OrleansYouth Open Mic is back next Wednesday, October 15th from 6:30-8 PM. The show will be located in Der Rathskeller, the diner/performance space located in the basement of the Lavin-Bernick Center (McAlister Place) at Tulane University.

& Over at Maple Street Books at 6 pm Michael Blumenthal will read and sign his latest collection of stories, The Greatest Jewish-American Lover in Hungarian History. Etan Yogev had had no experience in bed—and hardly any outside of it—and it was not without a strong feeling of awkwardness and insecurity that he had first allowed Daphna Flinker to guide his somewhat ambivalent member into her own body, and his lips against her lips. She enjoyed it—this teacherly role—it had been a very long time since she had been able to practice the art of sexual instruction, and there was something exciting and alluring about this—all that innocence in a single place. A humorous and heartrending portrait of expatriate life, The Greatest Jewish American Lover in Hungarian History draws upon the hazards and confusions that occur when the Old World meets the New. In venues as diverse as Israel, Hungary, Paris, Cambridge, and even Texas, the stories portray life in an increasingly connected and globalized world.

& Also at 6 on Wednesday Octavia Books presents the wondrous and talented, bestselling author Carl Hiassen will be with us on Wednesday, October 15, 6:00 P.M. to read and sign his new YA novel, SKINK–NO SURRENDER. Classic Malley—to avoid being shipped off to boarding school, she takes off with some guy she met online. Poor Richard—he knows his cousin’s in trouble before she does. Wild Skink—he’s a ragged, one-eyed ex-governor of Florida, and enough of a renegade to think he can track Malley down. With Richard riding shotgun, the unlikely pair scour the state, undaunted by blinding storms, crazed pigs, flying bullets, and giant gators.

Wednesday at 7 pm the East Jefferson Regional Library hosts an author event: The South, America, by Rod Davis. On an early Sunday morning walk through the empty streets of the Faubourg Marigny downriver of the French Quarter, maverick journalist and Big Easy transplant Jack Prine discovers the body of a well-dressed black man with a bashed-in skull. Soon Jack is drawn into an emerging web of violence threatening Elle Meridian, the victim’s beautiful, complicated sister, burdened with a past she can barely confess. They begin a dangerous, desperate flight through Alabama, the Delta and back to New Orleans searching and evading button men, goons, racists and family secrets. Deadly ties extend to the Dixie Mafia, priceless stolen art and debased Southern aristocracy. A final, violent showdown in the Arts District of New Orleans uncovers one last nightmarish revelation that may bind Elle, Jack and a mob enforcer named Big Red for years to come — if anyone survives. Friends of the Public Library will be on hand to sell copies of the book for those who would like to purchase it. Free of charge and open to the public.

& At 8 pm Wednesday it is Poetry & Music at BJs’ Blood Jet Series at BJ’s at 8 pm. This week’s feature is TBA at press time.

& 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!).

Happy Smiling People Holding Guns October 5, 2014

Posted by The Typist in cryptic envelopment, New Orleans, Poetry, The Narrative, Toulouse Street.
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There are few cures for emptiness that
don’t leave you full of regret in the morning.

I’m not sure how many days I have left
& responsibilities. Let sleeping bottles lie.

I want to suck nitrous oxide from your vagina
& float away but my libido has gone missing.

We watch Walking Dead instead, a calculated antidote
for the occasional temptation of going postal.

Calculator the number of dead in my email
divided by brass bands. The answer is Err.

Facebook is Happy Shinny People Holding Hands,
the worst song in R.E.M.’s entire catalog.

Walking to the hot, claustrophobic laundry room
on a blue Sunday morning of fall is a fail.

Grocery shopping during the game is not betrayal.
My enthusiasm is universally translucent.

If we both make it to the end of this poem alive
there is still something to discover: tomorrow

never knows if Monday the barrista will shyly
Cheshire smile you into the end of the beginning.

Box Three, Spool Five October 3, 2014

Posted by The Typist in A Fiction, cryptic envelopment, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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How to live in this town when every saxophone is a glittering instrument of pain, its every note a howl of anguish?

I can’t tell you this story, not unless I am prepared to call in the final airstrike: the raging curtain of napalm on Kurtz’ temple over the mournful sound of the Doors.

“Calling PBR Street Gang, Calling PBR Street Gang. This is Almighty. Do you read me? Over.”

[silence].

I have bared my soul here but there are limits. There are other souls I love more than the fitful god they say created them and I will not reveal their secrets, but how to live in this town when every saxophone comes in under what resounds like the final trumpet, wails painfully with the most human voice of any instrument built by man. There are songs I will never be able to listen to again.

I have walked the darkest streets of Barcelona at unreasonable hours and not heard a gunshot. I can manage enough Spanish to scan the headlines that still hang from kiosks in Europe, and no where did I read of the kill count. In Granada I stood in the Huerta de San Vincente and thought of Ezra Pound, and was ashamed. I live in the world Pound warned us of, when you subtract his predictable anti-Semitism, leaving only the banks and the war machine. I live in the world Garcia-Lorca died defying, the machine gun Inquisition with no questions, no promise of redemption through confession.

Suffering is. If I met the Buddha on the road I would kill him. If I happened upon Calvary I would weep at the brutal senselessness of it all. I would become, as in Gaudi’s masterpiece, the faceless person imprinted with suffering, his Veronica. Because suffering is is larger than any individual.

How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I take counsel in my soul
and have sorrow in my heart all the day?
How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?
— Psalm 13, which I have quoted long ago

What do you do when the magic is gone? Once I bled for this city, gave friends up to the soft ground who shared my love and anger. Today I wonder why.

I think it is time to pull out the expensive BBC Collection of Samuel Beckett, to listen to Krapp’s Last Tape.

Box Three, Spool Five: the perfect absurdity of the banana peel, tragedy not comedy, the traps we set for ourselves.

…” clear to me at last that the dark I have always struggled to keep under is in reality”…

Ambulatory at Best October 3, 2014

Posted by The Typist in A Fiction, cryptic envelopment, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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I awoke this morning in in my tub in the remains of an ice bath swaddled in crudely-wrapped bandages, the apparent victim of an involuntary fuckectomy. I had already somewhat anesthetized myself with three pints and three shots in cross-wired celebration of my first paycheck in nine months and learning on the same day that my recruiter’s promised six month contract is in fact tied to a 12 week Statement of Work, and that my manifestly less productive predecessor burned a bunch of those weeks doing not much. There is no clarity on extension. So my new job will last about six weeks, maybe 10, but not six months. Better than Henry Chinaski in Factotum, which is absolutely the wrong book to be reading right now. I just finished Ham on Rye, but I’ve gone from the consolation that someone’s life is much worse than mine to the temptation to crawl into bed with a bottle.

Perhaps somewhere there is a network, a bounty system in which young IT contractors identify productive older contractors and have them taken out of the market to keep rates up by arranging these ambush fuckectomies. Now my ability to fully give a fuck is in an organ cooler passing as some construction worker’s lunch. The man in the truck bed is not a pick-up from the front of Home Depot but a sworn devotee of Santa Muerte. Under his shirt the haloed death’s head is tattooed in prison purple and the dull red of pilfered BIC pens and also underneath there is a submachine pistol. The bloody remains of my fuckectomy are off on its way to whomever doesn’t sufficiently give a fuck, but could afford to pay to steal someone else’s give-a-fuck-ability. Perhaps they are transplanted into burnt-out executives who can afford to have one to regain or even boost their ability to give a fuck, seven by 24 by 365 by the synced clock on the office smart phone, nine nines of ready to roll fuckability.

Odd Words October 1, 2014

Posted by The Typist in Toulouse Street.
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wpc-logo-fbThis week in literary New Orleans, sponsored by the Loyola Writing Institute at the Walker Percy Center for Writing and Publishing.

& The Loyola University Department of Theatre Arts and Dance and director Laura Hope kick off the 2014-2015 season with Samuel Beckett’s tragic comedy Endgame. Endgame will run in the Lower Depths Theatre at Loyola University, 6363 St. Charles Avenue (Corner of Calhoun and St. Charles), continues October 2, 3, 4 at 7:30 pm No Late Entry. Endgame’s opening lines repeat the word “finished,” and the rest of the play hammers away at the idea that beginnings and endings are intertwined, that existence is cyclical. While Hamm and Clov are in the “endgame” of their ancient lives, with death lurking around the corner, they are also stuck in a perpetual loop that never allows final closure. Like no other dramatist before him, Samuel Beckett’s works capture the pathos and ironies of modern life yet still maintain his faith in man’s capacity for compassion and survival no matter how absurd his environment may have become.

& Thursday at 6 pm Garden District Books hosts James Nolan and You Don’t Know Me: New and Selected Stories. In this collection of interrelated short stories, James Nolan swings wide open the courtyard gates of a city fabled both for its good times and bad. With ten new stories plus ten from his acclaimed previous volume, Perpetual Care, he introduces us to a quirky village of universal characters at crisis moments. We meet fatherless boys, Creole spinsters, and lying hustlers, a pregnant teenager, a concert pianist searching for his roots, a crooked homicide detective, a Carnival-parade king hiding in a Dunkin Donuts, a pistol-packing babysitter, and a codger who plots to blow up an overpass. Bookended by two post-Katrina stories, this collection takes us from the secretive hive of the French Quarter to decaying cemeteries, from Gentilly to Uptown to family dramas in the suburbs. With mordant dark humor, James Nolan paints a wry, disturbing but affectionately human portrait of his hometown for those who think they already know New Orleans, and what it means.

& Also on Thursday at 6 pm Louisiana native Ken Wheaton, author of SWEET AS CANE, SALTY AS TEARS, visits with Octavia Books. A freak accident forces a New Yorker to return to Louisiana and confront her Cajun past. There is nothing more dangerous than a spooked rhinoceros. It is just before lunchtime when Huey, the prized black rhino of Broussard, Louisiana, erupts from his enclosure, trampling a zoo employee on his way to a rampage in the Cajun countryside. The incident makes the rounds online as News of the Weird, and Katherine Fontenot is laughing along with the rest of her New York office when she notices the name of the hurt zookeeper: Karen-Anne Castille-her sister. Fifty years old, lonely, and in danger of being laid off, Katherine has spent decades trying to ignore her Louisiana roots. Forced home by Karen-Anne’s accident, she remembers everything about the bayou that she wanted to escape: the heat, the mosquitoes, and the constant, crushing embrace of family. But when forced to confront the ghosts of her past, she discovers that escape might never have been necessary

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

& At 6 pm at the Nix Library on South Carrollton in New Orleans:If you’re a writer who is interested in publishing your own or others’ work, come hear author/publisher Gary Michael Smith discuss the process of small press publishing from start to finish

& Thursday the Fiction Writers Group meets at the East Jefferson Regional Library at 6:30 pm. The Fiction Writers’ Group is a support group for serious writers of fiction. The group does 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

& The Gold Mine Saloon Weekly Poetry Night returns this Thursday at 7:30PM, 701 Dauphine Street (in the French Quarter). Admission is free. Must be 21yrs+. This week features A SCRIBE CALLED QUESS, PAUL CATAFAGO, LEE MEITZEN GRUE and musicians LOREN PICKFORD (sax & flutes), EARLE BROWN (sax), SPIKE PERKINS (bass), SIDNEY SNOW (guitar), ERIC B (d rums), REVEREND GOAT (buffalo harp), LIZ KIMBROUGH (washboard), KATARINA BOUDREAUX (vocals), MORIKEBA KOUYATE (kora). Followed as ever by OPEN MIC hosted by JIMMY ROSS(sign-up begins at 7:30pm). This event is sponsored by NEW ORLEANS INSTITUTE FOR THE IMAGINATION

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

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

& Saturdays at 11:30 am its Story Time with Miss Maureen at Maple Street Book Shop. This week she’ll read Julia’s House for Lost Creatures by Ben Hatke. When Julia and her walking house come to town, she likes everything about her new neighborhood except how quiet it is! So Julia puts a sign up: “Julia’s House for Lost Creatures.” Soon she’s hosting goblins, mermaids, fairies, and even a dragon. Quiet isn’t a problem anymore for Julia…but getting her housemates to behave themselves is! The simple, sweet text of this picture book by New York Times Best-Selling Zita the Spacegirl author/illustrator Ben Hatke is perfectly balanced by his lush, detailed, immersive watercolor illustrations.

& Saturday afternoon brings The Poetry Buffet at the Latter Memorial Library at 2 pm hosted by Gina Ferrara. Poets Nordette Adams, Dennis Formento, Biljana Obradovic, and Nina Ouedraogo read from their work.

& This Sunday at 3 p.m. The Maple Leaf Reading Series features an open mic. f The Maple Leaf is the oldest continuous reading series in the south, founded by Everette Maddox. An open mic follows.

& Monday at 5:30 pm the Robert E. Smith Library on Canal Boulevard presents a writers’ 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 brings Where We’re Going We Don’t Need Roads: Topside Press and Quaint Magazine present Casey Plett and Sybil Lamb at Kajun’s Pub. This fall the best new transgender fiction is going on a road trip! Topside Press authors Casey Plett (author of A Safe Girl To Love) and Sybil Lamb (author of I’ve Got A Time Bomb) will be crisscrossing Canada and the United States. This isn’t just a tour, this is a movement! On Mond see them read along with special guests M.E. Riley, Soleil Ho, Cordelia Nailong, Tela Clark, and Megan Mchugh.

& On Tuesday The 1718 Reading Series hosts two events: First off, at 12:30 we are hosting a meet-and-greet with our featured reader Zachary Lazar in the Manresa Den in Bobet Hall at Loyola. Pizza will be served and Lazar will be available to chat about all things writerly–his new novel, grad school, you name it. Next, as always we have our reading at the Columns Hotel. The reading starts at 7pm and will feature student readers Anna Schulte from Loyola, Alessandro Powell and Carolyn Canulette from Tulane! Zachary Lazar will read from his new novel I Pity the Poor Immigrant and Maple Street Books will host a signing directly after the reading.

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

& Tuesday at 6 pm Keith Weldon Medley presents BLACK LIFE in OLD NEW ORLEANS at Octavia Books. People of African descent have shaped New Orleans from its earliest days into the vibrant city it is today. From the slaves and indentured servants who drained the swamps, erected the buildings, constructed the levees, and dug the canals to the Freedom Riders who fought for racial equality in a segregated South, New Orleans’ history and black history in America are intricately connected. Historian Keith Weldon Medley recounts the rich history of African and African-American cultural influence on one of America’s most-beloved cities. This in-depth account is one of personal significance for the author, who was raised in New Orleans’ Faubourg Marigny and whose family history is tied to the area. Through fifteen self-contained chapters, Medley takes a chronological and focused look at some of New Orleans’ most prominent people and places. Rife with detailed histories of Faubourg Tremé, Congo Square, and many other pivotal locations, Medley’s subjects include the Mardi Gras Indians, the Zulu Parade, and Louis Armstrong and his upbringing in black Storyville. Tales of many other prominent New Orleanians also fill the pages, such as educator and civic leader Fannie C. Williams, founder of the People’s Defense League Ernest Wright, and civil rights attorney A.P. Tureaud.

& Also on Tuesday evening at 6 pm brings Benny Lewis and Fluent in 3 Months: How Anyone at Any Age Can Learn to Speak Any Language from Anywhere in the World to the Garden District Book Shop. Lewis is the creator of http://www.fluentin3months.com, the largest language learning blog in the world. His proven techniques break down language learning myths and replace them with practical “language hacks” that take advantage of the skills we already possess. Fluent in 3 Months provides everything you need to make learning a new language fast, intuitive, and fun.

& Zachary Lazar is 1718’s featured reader for their October Reading at the Columns Hotel at 8 pm. 1718 is a literary society comprised of students from Loyola, Tulane, and UNO. Their monthly readings are free and open to the public, and feature student readers as well as locally and nationally recognized writers. Lazar earned an A.B. degree in Comparative Literature from Brown University (1990) and an M.F.A from the University of Iowa Writer’s Workshop (1993). Lazar published his first novel, Aaron, Approximately, in 1998. His second novel, Sway, was a finalist for the Discover Great New Writers Award at Barnes & Noble and was an Editor’s Choice at the New York Times Book Review. Appropriating such real-life iconic figures as the early Rolling Stones, Charles Manson acolyte Bobby Beausoleil, and the avant-garde filmmaker Kenneth Anger, Sway is a novelistic exploration of the rise and fall of the Sixties counterculture. It was selected as a best book of 2008 by the Los Angeles Times, Publishers Weekly, Newsday, Rolling Stone, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and other publications. In 2009, Lazar published the memoir Evening’s Empire: The Story of My Father’s Murder. It was selected as a Best Book of 2009 by the Chicago Tribune. Lazar’s articles and reviews have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday, BOMB magazine, and elsewhere. His most recent book is I Pity the Poor Immigrant. Zachary Lazar joined Tulane’s faculty in 2011. His honors include a fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation (2009-2010), the Hodder Fellowship at Princeton University (2009-2010), a fellowship from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown (1994-95), and the James Michener-Copernicus Society Award from the University of Iowa (1998). Maple Street Book Shop will be on-site to sell books.

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

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

& Wednesday the East Jefferson Public Library hosts The Legend and Legacy of Everette Maddox. Moderator (and former XRP editor) Thomas Bonner, Jr. explores the legend and legacy of late New Orleans poet Everette Maddox with former Louisiana Poet Laureate Julie Kane, Xavier Review Editor Ralph Adamo, and others. Event starts at 7 pm at the East Bank Regional Library.

& The next Reading Between the Wines will take place Wednesday, October 1st, at 6:30PM at Pearl Wine Co. in the American Can Company (3700 Orleans Ave.). Pearl offers a selection of wines for $5 per glass. The series is free of charge and is open to the public. Registration is not required. Maple Street Book Shop will be on-site selling books. Readers had not been announced at press time.

& At 8 pm Wednesday WHO be reading at the Poetry & Music at BJs’ Blood Jet Series at BJ’s at 8 pm. This week features

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

Odd Words September 24, 2014

Posted by The Typist in Toulouse Street.
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This week in literary New Orleans:

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

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

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

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

& Friday at 8 pm the local Provocateurs of the Esoterotica reading series are releasing the Second Anthology of Original Erotica, Enflame, as well a second CD to accompany the book, at the Allways Loung. And to celebrate the occasion we are having not just a party, not just a show, but both all one, plus a little bit more! And by more we mean performances by a few of our gorgeous, talented, and undeniably inflammatory friends! Like Mistress Kali of Freaksheaux to Geaux, Storyville Rising, and more! As one observer said, “She’ll steal your heart and swallow your soul.” And Liza Rose, the remarkably diverse aerialist who has wowed international audiences with her “aerial works that transcend the usual collection of feats and tricks.”

& Saturdays at 11:30 am its Story Time with Miss Maureen at Maple Street Book Shop. We’ll read Brave Chicken Little by Robert Byrd! Whack! What’s that? Could it be? A piece of the sky! Oh my! Chicken Little and his friends run, run, run to tell the king. Nothing stands in the way except…the sly Foxy Loxy. Surely they have time to stop for lunch with Foxy and his kits. But what happens when Chicken Little and company find themselves on the menu? What this classic story needs is a new ending and a brave hero. And maybe this time, it’s Chicken Little! Cleverly retold and exquisitely illustrated by Robert Byrd, Brave Chicken Little transforms a cautionary fable into a tale of triumph.

& Saturday the New Orleans Public Library continues its celebration of Banned Books Week with a series of events:

  • The Algiers Regional Library will host a reading of excerpts from banned and challenged books throughout history. Refreshments will be served. For adults and teens; children welcome if accompanied by guardian.
  • The Alvar Branch Library will host a Banned Books Week film for teens, Matilda, at 2 pm.
  • The Latter Memorial Branch Library will host a Banned Books Week film for teens, A Wrinkle in Time, at 2 pm.
  • The Hubble Branch Library will host a Banned Books Week film for teens, The Hunger Games, at 2 pm.

&Saturday evening bring `100,000 Poets for Change to New Orleans at the Zeitgeist Theater starting at 3 pm with an all start lineup of spoken word and traditional poets along with singers, musicians, dancers, in an open reading/performance for peace and sustainable living. Fourth annual world-wide event; the 100,000 Poets For Change, New Orleans reading is one of over 500 events to take place that day. Progressive community organizations are welcome to set up tables and distribute literature. ZTE asks $5 donation per person “to keep the lights on.” Come make art a tool for positive social and ecological change. Support Zeitgeist, the only independent cinema in New Orleans to exist without blockbusters and public grants.

& Saturday starting at 6 pm Join local poets as we organize a fundraiser to raise money to cover legal fees for those arrested in Ferguson in the aftermath of the murder of Mike Brown. $5-$10 suggested donation at the door. This event will be a social justice showcase based on experiences in the black community or relating to the death of Mike Brown featuring: Africa Brass, John Lacarbiere III, Caren Green, Gian Francisco Smith, A Scribe Called Quess?, Kataalyst Alcindor, Kalamu ya Salaam, Christine Cfreedom Brown, Akeem Martin, FreeQuency aka FreeQ Tha Mighty , Fiyah Like Ayanna + more including special performances by Baton Rouge poets.

There will also be a silent auction with art donated by: Asia-Vinae Chong Palmer, Freedoms Photography , Brandan Bmike Odums, Patrick Melon, Ayo Scott, Gus Bennett, Soraya Jean-Louis McElroy – Ancestral Alchemy by SJ-LM + more! Music by DJ Rq Away. This event is New Orleans’ response to a national call by Black/Woman/Poet Sasha Banks for Poets of Color from across the nation to come together in Solidarity with those in Ferguson. This, and all other events across the nation, will feature only Poets of Color on the mic.

& This Sunday at 3 p.m. The Maple Leaf Reading Series, features the launch of poet Gina Ferrara’s new book of poems Carville: Amid Moss and Resurrection Fern. Peter Cooley says,” Carville is a tragedy, cathartic for its readers. Read it straight through for redemption.” and another blurb from Martha Serpas says, “These striking poems do not settle on one vehicle for exploring acute embodiment, identity, and transcendence.” The book also features photographs by Liz Garcia. The Maple Leaf is the oldest continuous reading series in the south, founded by Everette Maddox. An open mic follows.

& On Monday at 6 pm Octavia Books will be moderating a Tweetchat discussion for One Book One New Orleans’s selection this year, UNFATHOMABLE CITY: A New Orleans Atlas. We will be adding the authors/contributors in virtual attendance to this site in coming days. You will need to have a Twitter account, and you can either follow the hashtag #obono14 or go to Tweetchat to follow along there. Please come with questions. We hope to have some answers! Thus far, Rebecca Snedeker and Maurice Ruffin have confirmed they will participate

& 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 at 7 pm the East Jefferson Regional Library hosts Poetry Event! Brad Richard Presents . . . Carolyn Hembree. Richard is the chair of the creative writing program at Lusher Charter High School in New Orleans. His poetry collection Motion Studies won the 2010 Washington Prize from The Word Works. His previous book of poems, Habitations, was published by Portals Press in 2000, and since then Lowlands Press brought out his chapbook The Men in the Dark (2004). Richard is the 2002 Winner in the Poets & Writers, Inc., Writers Exchange competition, and his work has appeared in many journals, including American Letters and Commentary, Bayou, Hunger Mountain Review, The Iowa Review, Literary Imagination, Prairie Schooner, The Massachusetts Review, North American Review, Passages North, and Witness. Hembree teaches at the University of New Orleans. Her first poetry collection, Skinny, was published by Kore Press in 2012. She has received three Pushcart Prize nominations for individual poems. Carolyn received a $5000 Fellowship Award in Literature from the Louisiana Division of the Arts. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Colorado Review, Cream City Review, DIAGRAM, Indiana Review, Jubilat, New Orleans Review, Poetry Daily, Puerto del Sol, and The Southern Poetry Anthology, among others journals and anthologies. She has written critical essays for Arkansas Review and the Gale Group. Carolyn serves as Poetry Editor of Bayou.

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

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

& The next Reading Between the Wines will take place Wednesday, October 1st, at 6:30PM at Pearl Wine Co. in the American Can Company (3700 Orleans Ave.). Pearl offers a selection of wines for $5 per glass. The series is free of charge and is open to the public. Registration is not required. Maple Street Book Shop will be on-site selling books. Readers had not been announced at press time.

& At 8 pm Wednesday WHO be reading at the Poetry & Music at BJs’ Blood Jet Series at BJ’s at 8 pm. This week features Kaycee Filson & Dylan Kreiger.

& 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!).

Poetry and Blood September 21, 2014

Posted by The Typist in FYYFF, Louisiana, Mardi Gras Indians, New Orleans, NOLA, postdiluvian, second line, The Narrative, Toulouse Street, We Are Not OK.
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Yes, there is poetry in the ground, as the famous 19th century Creole poet said, and there is blood on the streets. If you look at the sagging shotgun shacks at the edge of the fashionable neighborhoods, the ones with the paint peeling from their gingerbread, and see opportunity and not poverty, you are part of the problem of the new New Orleans exceptionalism.

I am a New Orleans exceptionalist with every chauvinist drop of Gallic blood in my veins, but it is tempered by my nearly 300-year old Cote des Allemans heritage, the practically of finding enough to eat in this city, a problem solved three centuries ago by the arrival of my people who came with no glint of gold in their eye but with strong backs and a willingness to make it work, to feed the foolish Frenchman seeking Spanish riches in a land of mud.

The joy that manifests itself in the brass band on the corner or at the head of a second line, the flavor of every forkful of real New Orleans food seasoned with the cast off bits of the pig, is born out of the ecstatic Black church, the fanciful celebration of slaves dreaming of the land of milk and honey in their weekly escape from the Exodus of the hustle, the daily struggle.

law1The newcomers are as ignorant as my own ancestors, who fell for John Law’s flyers with imaginary palm trees promising tropical indolence and mountains in the background no doubt filed with gold and silver. What the newcomers lack is the experience of the toil of serfdom and a willingness to work hard to build a city. They are not fleeing religious persecution and war but arrive with the uniquely American dream of a quick buck with as little work as possible, with the mark of Wall Street and Silicon Valley stamped on their heads as clearly as the mark of Cain. They come not to build, for all their modern talk of entrepreneurship, but to destroy. They come like the famous swindler and gambler Law to remake an alien land in their own image. They come to a city 300 years old not to build but to destroy.

Orleanians know about entrepreneurship but are more likely to call it the hustle. Grilling pork chop sandwiches in the street without a license or selling ice cups out your window in the summer is entrepreneurship, but it is an entrepreneurship of people looking to make next month’s rent, who have never had enough money in the bank to dream big. There are big dreamers standing on corners selling crack, who are ethically and economically no different from real estate flippers. They see a need and fill it because it’s all about the Benjamins, not the consequences.

The real entrepreneurs are those pushing the pork chop sandwiches, the people who get up in the dark to catch the Michoud bus for the long ride in from the East to a low-paying job. What the newcomers don’t understand is that the people here dream different dreams. They dream of Indian and Second Line suits that will set them back month’s of wages. They dream of a midnight brass band on Saturday night in the club up the street, and a ghetto burger on the break from the back of a pick up truck; not of a vacation in the Caymans. They dream and hope that their eldest child will get the rest out of bed and off to a second-rate school in the dearly bought uniforms of our new exercise in segregation: the charter school. They dream the same dream their parents did at the start of desegregation: a less laborious life, and more time for joy.

New Orleans and much of South Louisiana live by a different standard that the rest of America. They live for the joie de vivre that brings the tourists and the newcomers. A hard way of life has trained them to live not for money but for the joy wherever they can find it. Yes, they dream of nice clothes for church and Saturday night, that tricked out car, that big-ass pickup, the way the generation of the Great Depression dreamed of those things, and when the money is good they will get them. They will dress up and drive that car or truck to a house full of friends where the grill is burning and the drink is flowing and the music a bit too loud. The house may be a small but righteous brick ranch–each a perfect mirror of the post-WWII white Lakeview of my youth before the McMansions builders moved in–or a tumbledown in the city, because so many don’t understand investment. They understand rent. The closest they ever came to investment was the opportunity to buy a Schwegmann’s bond as they stood in line to cash their paycheck and pay the NOPSI bil. The house does not matter. They will go in search of the joy.

The newcomers don’t understand this but they are the joy-killers. Every lease or mortgage they sign at exorbitant rents drives the joy away. They destroy the neighborhood that supported that corner store with the magnificent po-boys at the counter in the back. They will find the corner bar where each generation of musicians learned their trade a noisy nuisance. They will loiter over their free trade coffee, mocking our own chicory as the drink of people who don’t understand coffee although the coffee shop was the center of social and business life in this city centuries ago. They will wax excited when the sketchy store with its square-bottled wine and mouth-watering po-boys turns into some fusion cooking monstrosity.

What will happen when the speculators drive everyone out of the neighborhood at the center of which stands the Indian-practice bar, when some of the newcomers complain of the noise on the street and the odd go-cup abandoned on the hood of their car. When the people who assembled their on Sunday to practice the ancient chants are driven into diaspora, how long will they persist? One hopes they will, just as so many city churches survived a generation or two after their parishioners fled to Metairie, Chalmette or the East. Even if their sacred meeting place of faded bar signs survives, will they bring their children in (sorry, not allowed) or to just stand on the street outside listening and learning? And how long before the NOPD drives by to scatter those children for loitering while Black in the neighborhood of houses their grandparents built?

New Orleans must market its exceptionalism to survive. It brings the tourists, and maintains the remaining jobs in the city. The wealthy men reluctant to admit newcomers to the clubs that were the center of their inner circle drove away the oil men and let the port go to ruin. There are no other jobs. Their narrow-minded stupidity and Southern comfort in the ways of segregation built the city we have today. Is out only choice to mimic them–to try to drive the newcomers and their money away in an effort to preserve our dream, our joy, and yes our exclusivity, our exceptionalism–as they did to preserve their’s? Do we let the newcomers come, and place out hope in the city’s incredible power of assimilation, of Creolization, that our own exceptional melting pot will convert them not into Anglo-Saxon Yankees but blend them into our Pan-Caribbean gumbo?

More importantly, what should we do, what should we expect them to do unless we model it for them and make it a part of that gumbo to care about the dissolution of public education, the generational poverty, the busy Second Line’s worth of bodies that fall each year in a pool of blood? If I knew the answers I would tell you, and I have pondered these questions since the days of the Wet Bank Guide, since that moment a decade ago when we confronted absolute hopelessness and met it with resolution. What should the people who cashed out their IRAs and maxed out their credit cards to rebuild a city with their own sweat and blood say to those arrive with a down payment in hand looking to buy a piece of the dream? That your hustle is nothing unless you understand the roots of the joy you seek to have stamped on your hand Saturday night. That unless you understand this city and are ready to bleed for it, the dream you are buying will ultimately prove as empty as John Law’s promises of three centuries ago.

Odd Words September 18, 2014

Posted by The Typist in Book Stores, books, bookstores, Indie Book Shops, literature, New Orleans, Odd Words, Poetry, Toulouse Street.
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This week in literary New Orleans:

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

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

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

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

& Saturdays at 11:30 am its Story Time with Miss Maureen at Maple Street Book Shop. Wear your best hat! We’ll be reading Happy Birthday Madame Chapeau by Andrea Beaty, pictures by David Roberts. From the bestselling team behind Iggy Peck, Architect and Rosie Revere, Engineer comes this delightful and very stylish story about love, community, and friendship, with some fancy hats thrown in for good measure. Full color.

& Trisha Rezende, MFA, leads a dynamic writing workshop where students will produce, share, and critique texts while learning how to develop character, voice, and style Saturday 10:30 am – noon at the Nix Branch of the New Orleans Public Library.

& Saturday at 3:30 come meet author Lawrence Goldstone when he stops by Octavia Books to sign copies of his latest book, BIRDMEN: The Wright Brothers, Glenn Curtis, and the Battle to Control the Skies. From award-winning writer Lawrence Goldstone comes a gripping narrative of the to-the-death rivalry between the Wright Brothers and Glenn Hammond Curtiss, and a fresh look at a formative era: the astounding and dangerous early days of flight.

& Every Sunday at 3 p.m. The Maple Leaf Reading Series, the oldest continuous reading series in the south, founded by Everette Maddox, features guest poets and an open mic. This Sunday features a long awaited event– a new book from Ralph Adamo. Come by and hear Ralph read, pick up your copy, and enjoy some refreshments on us. Ever is a collection of poems begun at the turn of the 21st century, composed and revised through the beginning of the year 2014. In this, his 7th collection and his first following Waterblind: New & Selected Poems (2002), Ralph writes through wars, hurricanes and endurance of every sort. He writes about becoming a father after age 50 and raising two children in a time of transition and conflict, in forms ranging from tight couplets through prose poetry and various experimental turns. At times painfully lucid, at times opaque, simultaneously personal and universal, Ralph’s poems seek that most elusive goal: truth as far as language can pursue it.

Monday kicks off Banned Books Week with two events:

& At the main branch of the New Orleans Public Library, 219 Loyola Avenue, co-sponsored by the New Orleans Public Library, the Jefferson Parish Public Library, the ACLU of Louisiana, and the New Orleans Gulf South Booksellers Association, the evening promises to inform and entertain attendees with a stellar roster of participating authors and local luminaries.

Schedule to read are the following: Thomas Beller, author of J.D. Salinger: The Escape Artist; Nancy Dixon, author of N.O. Lit: 200 Years of New Orleans Literature; Bill Lavender, author of Q; Constance Adler, author of My Bayou: New Orleans through the Eyes of a Lover; Bill Loehfelm, author of The Devil In Her Way; Rebecca Snedeker, co-author of Unfathomable City: A New Orleans Atlas; Kim Vaz-Deville, author of The ‘Baby Dolls': Breaking the Race and Gender Barriers of the New Orleans Mardi Gras Tradition; Stephanie Grace, New Orleans Advocate columnist; Charles Brown, Library CEO & City Librarian, New Orleans; Nevada Barr, author of Destroyer Angel; Amanda Boyden, author of Babylon Rolling; Maurice Ruffin, attorney and author with the MelaNated Writers Collective.

& Mid-City’s new bookstore Tubby and Coo’s on Monday features: 5:30-6:00 p.m. Open mic – customers read from their favorite banned books and 6:00-6:30 p.m.: Local romance author Farrah Rochon reads from her favorite banned book. On Tuesday 5:30-6:00 p.m.: Open mic – customers read from their favorite banned books and 6:00-7:00 p.m.: Local mystery authors Greg Herren & J.M. Redmann read from their favorite banned books.

& 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.

& Michael Rubin, author of THE COTTONCREST CURSE, visits Octavia Books on Tuesday at 6 pm. The bodies of an elderly colonel and his comely young wife are discovered on the staircase of their stately plantation home, their blood still dripping down the wooden balustrades. Within the sheltered walls of Cottoncrest, Augustine and Rebecca Chastaine have met their deaths under the same shroud of mystery that befell the former owner, who had committed suicide at the end of the Civil War. Locals whisper about the curse of Cottoncrest Plantation, an otherworldly force that has now taken three lives. But Sheriff Raifer Jackson knows that even a specter needs a mortal accomplice, and after investigating the crime scene, he concludes that the apparent murder/suicide is a double homicide, with local peddler Jake Gold as the prime suspect. Michael H. Rubin’s The Cottoncrest Curse takes readers on the bold journey of Jake’s flight within an epic sweep of treachery and family rivalry ranging from the Civil War to the civil rights era, as the impact of the 1893 murders ripples through the twentieth century and violence besets the owners of Cottoncrest into the 1960s.

& At 6 pm Tuesday Peter Abadie presents Green in Judgement Cold in Blood at the Garden District Book Shop. Assassination is the template that binds this work together. Whether it’s the murder of the modern world through a political miscalculation during the Cuban missile crisis or through mistakes made in Indochina, the result would be the same. The individual assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Lee Harvey Oswald, innocent Russian peasants, Ngo Diem of Vietnam, his brother, Nhu, and even the Empress of Hungary, is a replete theme that hovers throughout the novel. The self-immolation by a Buddhist monk and the attempted assassinations of Fidel Castro, his brother Raul, and Che Guevara, adds considerable spice to the murderous stew. Couched behind most scenes are the actions of the four sets of brothers. Whether it’s the Kennedy, the Bundy, the Castro, or the Ngo Dinh brothers, their insatiable desire to rule was paramount in most of their decisions and in two of the four sets, it led to their demise.

& Tuesday at 7 pm the Jefferson Parish Library features Three New Authors at the East Jefferson Regional Library:

  • When the Lights Went Out in the City is the first children’s book for New Orleans native Christi Johnston Rice. With the help of Megan Kay Nolan’s illustrations, the book follows Flambeaux, a power truck, as he drives throughout the Greater New Orleans area during a hurricane power outage. It is an interactive “hide and seek” book with familiar sights, such as City Park, Audubon Zoo, and other local spots both parents and kids will enjoy. Christi Rice is a “born and raised” New Orleanian. She is a graduate of Mount Carmel Academy and she attended Louisiana State University and University of New Orleans. She is the marketing director for the professional organizer Clutter Clearer, LLC. This is her first adventure in writing a children’s book.
  • Hurricane Boy, by Laura Dragon. In this coming-of-age story, Hollis Williams matures in the traumatic events of Hurricane Katrina. Living with his siblings and his grandmother, Hollis’s greatest wish has always been to reconnect with his absent father. Through the turmoil of the storm and the ensuing tests of his determination, Hollis keeps this dream alive. Their home destroyed, Hollis and his younger siblings are taken to a shelter in West Virginia, where he discovers what family means and finds his own inner strength. Laura Dragon is a clinical social worker and a writer on the side. She has been writing for 20 years and Hurricane Boy is her first published novel. She says writing is harder work than she ever realized, but it’s been worth it.
  • This Day, by Kristen Hedgepeth. At 16 pages, This Day is a compact, illustrated volume that shows children why this day can be a better day than the one before. Hedgepeth believes there are many children who need something positive to help them face another day, especially if they have been abused, lost a loved one, are being bullied or having a rough time in todays’ challenging world. The book is dedicated to children affected by domestic abuse. A portion of the proceeds from the book will be donated to this cause. As a reminder, October is fast approaching and is recognized nationally as domestic violence awareness month.

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

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

& At 8 pm Wednesday WHO be reading at the Poetry & Music at BJs’ Blood Jet Series at BJ’s at 8 pm. This week features Laura Theobold & Danielle Buchanan.

& Also on Wednesday come see some of your favorite poets break out of the traditional slam format and perform 1 and 2 minute poems in a multi-round competition 1t the Love Lost Lounge.. We’ll open the show with a brief open mic. Open mic sign up will begin at 7 on the day of the show. Due to high demand and a limited amount of spots, the slam is currently full.

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

Odd Words September 11, 2014

Posted by The Typist in Toulouse Street.
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This week in literary New Orleans:

This weekend Maple Street Book Shop celebrates its 50th anniversary with a weekend chock full of festivities, September 12th & 13th. The 50th Anniversary is a celebration of the shop and our customers, and a fundraiser for local non-profit Big Class. 10% of the weekend’s proceeds wl go to Big Class to support their mission to encourage New Orleans’ young writers! Friday will feature a reception with the authors and local editor of Unfathomable City, compiled by Rebecca Solnit and Rebecca Snedeker. Saturday is Children’s Day, with local children’s authors reading and signing, plus party crafts, games, and treats. Check the dates below for more details.

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

& Also at 6 pm Thursday Garden District Book Shop features Sherry Lee Alexander, with co-authors: Alfred Lawrence Lorenz and Vicki Mayer and The Times-Picayune in a Changing Media World. This book is a study of the 2012-2013 transition of The Times-Picayune of New Orleans from a daily newspaper to a three-day-a-week publication with emphasis on its online presence (Digital First). It is instructive for all concerned with what the transformation might signify for the news profession and the role of the press in the digital age. More than two hundred employees, including half the newsroom, were laid off in one of the poorest U.S. cities with among the lowest literacy rates and percentages of households with Internet access. The decision raised a furor in New Orleans. Beginning with an historical overview of The Times-Picayune, from its 1837 founding through the present, The Times-Picayune in a Changing Media World: The Transformation of an American Newspaper describes the crucial role the dailies played in the 1960 school desegregation crisis, as well as the impact of the switch on print coverage of hard news in the context of media developments, and provides a detailed analysis of specific print editions of The Times-Picayune and its digital formats conducted before and after the switch. This study of the evolution of The Times-Picayune is instructive for all concerned with what the transformation might portend for the news profession and for the traditional role of the press in the digital age.

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

& As part of Maple Street Book Shop’s 50th Anniversary Weekend, Friday at 7 pm the Shop will host a party with the authors and local editor of the 2014 One Book One New Orleans selection, Unfathomable City: A New Orleans Atlas. Like the bestselling Infinite City: A San Francisco Atlas, 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. Snedeker is the local editor of the book. Snedeker is an Emmy Award winning documentary filmmaker and writer whose work supports human rights, creative expression and her native city, New Orleans. Her New Day Films By Invitation Only and Land of Opportunity rupture cliches about life in the South.

& Friday night novelist and playwright Micheal Zell’s second stage production Thin Walls opens for a run through September 28. Tango-playing Charlotte and her Hollywood-bound daughter Julie run an isolated pet cemetery with one simple rule – speaking aloud is forbidden – a rule immediately shaken up by the arrival of new handyman Bram. Two slippery characters, sideshow performers M. Queneau and Miss Elastic, soon arrive, putting a formerly static place in motion. Thin Walls is a comedy influenced by silent film and looks back to step forward. ‘Thin Walls’ is a work heavily inspired by the golden age of silent film, and promises to be unlike anything else on stage this season. Dialogue is primarily conveyed through intertitles projected above the action, with both ambient sound effects and piano music underscoring the play throughout. Occasionally however, the silence and intertitles are disrupted by lines spoken aloud, largely by the series of newcomers that arrive at Charlotte and Julie’s pet cemetery.

& Saturday Maple Street’s celebration continues with in honor of our 50th anniversary, Saturday, September 13th, as we celebrate our youngest customers and friends with a day of children’s events! We’ll have readings, signings, crafts, prizes, and delicious things to eat!

  • 11:30am: Ryan Murphy and Grace Millsaps, the authors of What the Sleepy Animals Do At the Audubon Zoo will read and sign their book and lead an animal mask-making craft.
  • 12:30: We’ll lunch with Big Class, a local non-profit dedicated to cultivating and supporting the voices of New Orleans’ young writers.
  • 1PM: Storyteller Dianne de Las Casas will read her latest picture book Cinderellaphant, which is a new twist on a classic tale, and everyone will get to decorate their very own crown!
  • 2PM: Kid Chef Eliana will talk about her cookbooks, Cool Kids Cook: Louisiana and Cool Kids Cook: Fresh and Fit, and do a cooking demo for us!

& Saturday The Dickens Fellowship of New Orleans meets at Metairie Park Country Day School’s Bright Library from 2-4 pm to discuss BLEAK HOUSE, chapters 1 – 8. It’s the start of a new book and a perfect time for Dicken’s fans to check this group out. New Orleans Branch of the Dickens 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 BLEAK HOUSE. Dues are $25/person (couples $40) payable in September

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

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

& 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 evening Gregory Alexander will be signing and discussing his novel The Holy Mark at the St. John Author Fest from 5-8 pm. The event will take place at the St. John Library main branch, 2920 Hwy. 51 in LaPlace. Alexander will discuss how he turned his short story into a novel and will read from his 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.

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

& Wednesday at 8 pm the provocateurs of Esoterotica present “Eso in Love” at the Allways. “Eso in Love” is kind of exactly what it sounds like, pieces that are about love. The Esoteroticans write a lot about sex and relationships but most often we do not share things that have the deep theme of being ‘in love’ or exploring sex as love. So that is what this show is about: sex as it relates to love, falling in love, exploring and deepening our love of another.

& At 8 pm Wednesday Portland Poet Jen Coleman and New York (formerly Lafayette) Poet Marthe Reedwill be reading at the Poetry & Music at BJs’ Blood Jet Series at BJ’s at 8 pm.

& 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!).

I Just Want To See His Face September 6, 2014

Posted by The Typist in art, cryptic envelopment, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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“I don’t wan’t to walk and talk about Jesus. I just want to see his face.”
— Mick Jagger/Keith Richards

\Dog Goya

Can you see the face, the one with the long beard, and the left hand raised as if watching this scene through some impervious barrier of glass or time? Or is it simply an illusion, the wish to believe that some being is at least disturbed enough by this scene to press their face into it like Jesus into the veil of Veronica? You can see it in some reproductions but not others. It is hard to see here. I can see it in the card on my wall if I turn the desk lamp directly on it. It is not, however, anything holy. Perhaps it is just mad Jehovah reveling in his ability to destroy what he has made. There is no suggestion of redemption. Or perhaps it is simply a disturbance in the pigment, a bit of holy toast for the damned.

Odd Words September 4, 2014

Posted by The Typist in Book Stores, books, Indie Book Shops, library, literature, New Orleans, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, Toulouse Street.
1 comment so far

This week in literary New Orleans:

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

& Thursday at 6 pm Garden District Books hosts New Orleans Under Reconstruction: A Crisis of Planning, with author Carol McMichael Reese with contributors: Elizabeth Mossop, Jeanne Nathan, W. W. Raymond Manning, Bradford Powers, and David Waggonner. When the levees broke in August 2005 as a result of Hurricane Katrina, 80 percent of the city of New Orleans was flooded, with a loss of 134,000 homes and 986 lives. In particular, the devastation hit the vulnerable communities the hardest: the old, the poor and the African-American. The disaster exposed the hideous inequality of the city. In response to the disaster numerous plans, designs and projects were proposed. This bold, challenging and informed book gathers together the variety of responses from politicians, writers, architects and planners and searches for the answers of one of the most important issues of our age: How can we plan for the future, creating a more robust and equal place?

& Also at 6 pm Octavia Books features Katy Simpson Smith and THE STORY OF LAND AND SEA, her debut novel. Drawn to the ocean, ten-year-old Tabitha wanders the marshes of her small coastal village and listens to her father’s stories about his pirate voyages and the mother she never knew. Since the loss of his wife Helen, John has remained land-bound for their daughter, but when Tab contracts yellow fever, he turns to the sea once more. Desperate to save his daughter, he takes her aboard a sloop bound for Bermuda, hoping the salt air will heal her. In this elegant, evocative, and haunting debut, Katy Simpson Smith captures the singular love between parent and child, the devastation of love lost, and the lonely paths we travel in the name of renewal.

& At 7 pm Thursday the East Jefferson Regional Library hosts The Fiction Writers’ Group, a support group for serious writers of fiction. The group does not focus on poetry, essays or nonfiction. Events consist of critique sessions from group members, author talks and writing exercises. Free of charge and open to the public. Registration is not required.

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

& Friday at 6 pm Octavia Books Mark Schapiro presents and signs CARBON SHOCK: A Tale of Risk and Calculus on the Front Lines of the Disrupted Global Economy. Mark Schapiro takes readers on a journey into a world where the same chaotic forces reshaping our natural world are also transforming the economy, playing havoc with corporate calculations, shifting economic and political power, and upending our understanding of the real risks, costs, and possibilities of what lies ahead.CARBON SHOCK evokes a world in which the parameters of our understanding are shifting—on a scale even more monumental than how the digital revolution transformed financial decision-making—toward a slow but steady acknowledgement of the costs and consequences of climate change. It also offers a critical new perspective as global leaders gear up for the next round of climate talks in 2015.

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

& Saturday at 10:30 am Poems & Pink Ribbons: Write to Wellness returns to the Keller Library & Community Center. Local NOLA writers lead creative writing workshops and wellness exercises for breast cancer patients, survivors, family and friends. Workshops continue through Nov. 11, and culminate in a Celebration Reading: December 6, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the Rosa Keller Library & Community Center/

& Saturday at 2 pm its The Poetry Buffet Maple Leaf V Anthology Reading at the Latter Memorial Library, featuring readings by poets included in the anthology. Published by Portals Press, the anthology collects work from readers at the south’s oldest continuous literary reading.

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

& At 7 pm Sunday Team Slam New Orleans hosts their September Open Mic and Slam at The Shadowbox Theatre, one of four more chances to qualify for the 2015 Slam New Orleans Semi-Finals. The show will kick off with an open mic and close it with a one-round open slam. $5 Admission. Free to slam.

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

& Tuesday at Octavia Books On Tuesday, September 9, 6:00 P.M., at 6 pm Morgan Molthrop shows us the connection between Andrew Jackson’s successful New Orleans campaign and the city leaders’ strategies in the wake of Katrina. Meet the author of ANDREW JACKSON’S PLAYBOOK: 15 Strategies for Success! McCall Molthrop examines surprising tactics and innovations that have contributed to the city’s rapid recovery, suggesting that contemporary civic leaders have much in common with U.S. Gen. Andrew Jackson who soundly defeated the “invincible” British Army at the Battle of New Orleans 200 years ago. By interviewing a wide array of notable local sources, Molthrop juxtaposes events from 1815 with those of 2005, demonstrating unconventional attack plans that achieved improbable victories. Success tips are categorized with military terminology, including shoring up defenses, using guerrilla tactics, acting with bravado and never forgetting the prize. Readers can reap valuable life lessons along with a fascinating history lesson.

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

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

& Wednesday at 7 pm the East Jefferson Library features New Orleans Hurricanes from the Start by Nicholas Meis. While hurricanes of various sizes and strengths have impacted the Crescent City since its earliest settlement in 1718, there is little record of the magnitude and regularity of these storms. In this work, authors David F. Bastian and Nicholas J. Meis delve into a wealth of historical documents, journals, newspaper articles, and expert analyses in order to characterize and categorize the storms that have affected South Louisiana. The first recorded hurricane to strike New Orleans was in 1722. With a seven-foot storm surge, high winds, and heavy rain, the storm caused widespread destruction and evoked the same fear and anxiety that modern-day New Orleanians face during a storm. Although today’s advanced technology and engineering are a far cry from the makeshift systems that protected early settlements, even strong defenses sometimes fail. In great detail, Bastian and Meis examine Hurricane Katrina, the devastating 2005 storm, and analyze what went wrong, how it could have been prevented, and what may be in store for the Crescent City. Bastian and Meis have more than 70 years of combined civil-engineering experience. Both authors came to New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. During the rebuilding effort, they began to explore the history of natural disasters in the region. Bastian, a consultant, lives in Annapolis, Maryland. Meis, a technical writer, lives in New Orleans.

& At 8 pm Wednesday poet Ralph Adamo will be reading at the Poetry & Music at BJs’ Blood Jet Series with a new collection out from Lavender Ink followed by music from Tha Neighbors.

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

& Next week Maple Street Book Shop celebrates its 50th anniversary with a weekend whirl of events. Check Odd Words next Thursday for all the details.

Songs of Innocence August 31, 2014

Posted by The Typist in The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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I could not publish until Anya was gone from fear of upsetting my daughter. We put Anya to sleep Aug. 29, very close to what would hvave been her 19th birthday.

My daughter’s cat is clearly dying. She has stopped eating–again–and spends her days laying in her chosen spot on the linoleum just outside the bathroom. She gets up to use the cat box and drink water but that’s it. She has become a bag of skin and bones. Her name is Anastasia: Anya for short. That should give you some idea of her age. I won’t send you off to the imdb database to look up the release date of the Disney film. Suffice it to say the cat is pushing eighteen.

I think I will take this just as hard as my daughter, or my son (who loves the cat). I was the person who gave her the most sustained attention before my separation (she was always a little afraid of my son, who was too young when we adopted her to fully understand the difference between a plush toy and a livinv animal.) As my daughtef grew older she was less and less around the house, and was I believe somewhat allergic fo her cat. Matt persisted in his more tender attentions until she relented and his bed became a favotite place to sleep. I offered her a warm chest to nap on while I lay on the couch. When she came home to me, after a period of adjustment she returned to nudge her head against my book anytime I lay on the couch to read.

What I am afraid of losing is not my animal companion but one of the last cherished icons of innocence. Anya was my daughter’s fifth birthday present. She represents for me both innocence, and those nights I intentionally fell asleep on the couch reading instead of in bed with my ex-, a symptom of the loss of innocence. Innocence, that cherished belief that the world is not out to recycle you to better purposes the minute you stop looking over your shoulder, is one of more difficult pathologies of the romantic. It is usually extinguished early in life, but the romantic carries at least a kernel of it with them indefinitely. Yes, I have my dark side. Consider William Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Experience as a good example of the balance of both in the pathological romantic. Then consider that I can recreate Allen Ginsburg’s recording of “Oh, Rose, Thou Art Sick!” (minus harmonium), note for flat note.

Children exacerbate that pathological extension of innocence into adulthood, particularly in the romantic. One continually sees an expression, a gesture, a turn of phrase that wooshes one back to a more innocent time, before the terrible twos turned into the twenties, before the credit card was over limit again. Even looking last night at the cat’s whiskers called up a memory of how my daughter had cut the whiskers of her favorite stuffed animal–Rugby Tiger–when she was small. I was probably wallowing at that point, stroking the cat beside me in the bed. (Wallowing is another romantic pathology we shall discuss another time).

I don’t want to take up and find innocence dead on the floor, but she does not seem to be suffering and we both take comfort in the time my son and I spend sitting on the floor stroking her. She will even attempt to climb into my lap, although her hindquarters are getting weaker by the day. I feel that innocence is dying all around me, and with it trust and love. There is trust that is earned, and the practical love of adults, and the tangle of obligations taken on for love. I understand that. Unconditional love and trust: those are another matter. I am not the sort to give myself up to a blue or bloody avatar. To do so is to lose too much of one’s humanity. For now, I want to keep Anya with us as long as I can, and tie Pollyanna and Pangloss in a burlap sack with rocks and toss them into a river.

Odd Words August 28, 2014

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

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

About the Readers:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

& Wednesday at 7 pm the East Jefferson Regional Library hosts an event in its Culinary Legacies series, an interview with Sam Irwin, author of Louisiana Crawfish: A Succulent History. Sam Irwin is the guest interviewee of this event sponsored by the Southern Food and Beverage museum. The hunt for red crawfish is the thing, the raison d’être, of Acadian spring. Introduced to Louisiana by the swamp dwellers of the Atchafalaya Basin, the crawfish is a regional favorite that has spurred a $210 million industry. Whole families work at the same fisheries, and annual crawfish festivals dominate the social calendar. More importantly, no matter the occasion, folks take their boils seriously: they’ll endure line cutters, heat and humidity, mosquitoes and high gas prices to procure crawfish for their families’ annual backyard boils or their corporate picnics. Join author Sam Irwin as he tells the story–complete with recipes and tall tales–of Louisiana’s favorite crustacean: the crawfish.

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

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

An Imaginary City August 25, 2014

Posted by The Typist in Fortin Street, New Orleans, Odd Words, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street, Uncategorized, We Are Not OK.
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I live in an imaginary city. Its borders on one side are indistinct, the gradual erosion from solid land through marsh to water. These boundaries shift daily with the tide, and monthly with the moon, and every day grow a little closer, the city a little smaller. On the other sides there are walls built to keep back the sea, to contain the river. These are not ours to command. All we have with certainty is our imaginary city, its rituals of uncertain origin, its people of many colors and languages. They walk and dance on streets that ripple like the water, fracture like ice on a river breaking up in the spring, and crumble from neglect. These are the only streets we have ever known. Only the names are important: Pleasure, Desire, Humanity, Music. The names are part of the dream of the imaginary city. Martin Luther King Boulevard and Jefferson Davis Parkway intersect and end where Earhart Boulevard flies toward the Potemkin America of the imaginary suburbs.

There are in fact many imaginary cities I inhabit, all in the same place. There is the city of the tourists, the ones who buy Carnival beads in August and wear them drinking in the streets. This is a city of imaginative drunkenness and lewdness, mostly confined to a few blocks of one street, where people buy Big Ass Beers and drinks the size of goldfish bowls or shaped like hand grenades, as if they wish to immerse themselves in liquor or explode into outrageous behavior. They holler at women on party balconies to “show their tits.” Some drunkenly comply. They behave, in short, like drunken louts released from all restraint. This is encouraged. Virtually every doorway in these few blocks leads to a bar, the rest to t-shirt and trinket shops where they can buy their beads and shirts only someone completely inebriated would consider wearing. They show these shirts to friends at home, snicker, and put them in a bottom drawer. I occasionally inhabit this city if only for a moment, to cross the street of the endless Carnival, to escape to another imaginary city. A few people I know work there. Some love it. Some hate it. It either is or is not a particular person’s imaginary city. For the visitors, it is the only city.

I can cross Canal Street, the famous divide between two of the largest imaginary cities, to the skyscrapers and renovated 19th century office blocks of Uptown. (Don’t call the skyscraper village Downtown, or you will quickly become lost. Downtown is Another City). This is where the wealthy sit in air-conditioned comfort–over lunches that would cost the waiter a week’s wages–and wonder at the indolence of so many of the people of their imaginary city. They are the God-fearing Protestants from the north who came after the war and built that side of Canal Street into a landscape of mansions and shotgun shacks for their servants. An antique streetcar, long out of manufacturer and kept running entirely with hand built parts, rumbles under great oaks down the avenue. On this avenue the wealthy and those who would be wealthy enact the ritual of Uptown Carnival, in which these people ride atop massive papier-mâché barges tossing imaginary jewels of Chinese plastic to the grateful (if indolent) throngs that line the street. This has been my imaginary city, at times, looking out from the nineteenth floor contemplating what fine restaurant a salesman might take us to. I too have stood where the streetcars run and fought for my share of worthless plastic.

Downtown is not where the business of the city is done. This seems appropriate to an imaginary city. Downtown begins with the blocks of the Old Quarter where drunken tourists reign and slowly gives way to the city downriver. Things run down quickly going toward the sea but that is to be expected. The certainty of the land beneath this imaginary city dissolves with each block further down toward the delta. The clocks on abandoned bank buildings stand forever at some o’clock. Here it is Central River Time. Paint peels more slowly in this imaginary city, and so is left as it is. I can think of a half-dozen facades in this imaginary city with faded advertisements for beers out of style longer than I can remember. The sidewalks here are not fractured by the stately oaks of Uptown but more likely by a weedy camphor or blackberry. People do not call the city to complain. They crush a camphor leaf in their hand and inhale, or stop to pick a handful of berries. They step over the heaves and holes on their way to more important business. There is cooking to be done, music to be sung, cold beer and friends to attend to. I live far in the back of this imaginary city, off the portage that once ran from the Bayou to the River. There was a clerk at a drug store not four block away I had not visited in 20 years who took a long look at my driver’s license, and remarked I looked just like my father (20 years dead). No doubt there are dwindling towns scattered in the rural landscape where such things might happen, but only one imaginary city where it could happen to you today.

The imaginary city is old by the standards of the New World. Only the pyramids of the displaced Natives are older. Yet nothing here is as old as the imaginary city. Over the centuries, fire and flood have erased everything but the names of the streets in the French Quarter, lined with Spanish colonial buildings. Kings, founders, a street called Barracks that explains the curious grid streets of the French Quarter, a fortress built in a conquered land. Elsewhere the streets run perpendicular to the river, slowing pulling away from each other or colliding as the river dictates: new streets appear, others disappear. The cross streets follow the bends of the river or simply begin and disappear in a geometry that defies simple formulae. It is a fractal city, chaotic order out of chaos. You can spend an entire lifetime here and still discover new streets and wonder: was this always here? Or is it simply a symptom of an imaginary city? Were the houses a Carnival façade, something erected for some private entertainment, or has another imaginary city intersected ours like two bubbles colliding?

It would be impossible to live here if it were not an imaginary city.

In the concrete world of rotting sideboards that hides beneath the imaginary city, things can be too awful to imagine. The bloodstained streets are the killing fields of a constant, random war. The newspaper of the imaginary city counts the daily dead and wounded, but it is easier not to take the paper if you wish to live in the imaginary city. You can live in your own imaginary city and cluck and shrug and say: not in my imaginary city. These things don’t happen Uptown. These things don’t happen in the blocky, post-War suburbs of the Lakefront. And how about them Saints? Football season is upon us and in the imaginary city football crosses all boundaries, melds the imaginary cities into one imaginary city, if only for a Sunday afternoon, a Monday morning. Football and Carnival are the pillars of the imaginary city, the many imaginary cities that make up this imaginary city. We imagine ourselves one city.

Behind all this, the uncivil war goes on, cousins killing cousins, neighbors killing neighbors. You can try to ignore it but every now and then, you step outside for a cigarette at night and hear in the distance not the horns of the ships making the tight bend in the river but the crackle of small-arms fire, and then the sirens. In your heart, you pray that a stray bullet has not taken another child. You step back inside, suddenly distracted by a song on the imaginary city’s radio station where they do not play the top hits of an imaginary nation but the music of the imaginary city. You return to the collective imaginary normal until the sound of a snare drum or a trumpet calls for forth a slow spiritual, or vibrant gospel song you know will be played somewhere in this imaginary city to walk and wake those who have just died.

It would be impossible to live here if it were not an imaginary city.

Odd Words August 21, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

& Every Sunday at 3 p.m. The Maple Leaf Reading Series, the oldest continuous reading series in the south, founded by Everette Maddox, features guest poets and an open mic. This Sunday features writer Ed Ruzicka reads from his book, Engines of Belief – Engagement with Modern Art.

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

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

& Tuesday at 6 pm Octavia Books hosts a reading and signing celebrating the launch of New Orleans writer Michael Pitre’s FIVES and TWENTY-FIVES, a truly stunning work of art, and a debut novel that Kirkus called “a book in which everything rings so unshakably true. A war novel with a voice all its own, this will stand as one of the definitive renderings of the Iraq experience.” A heart-stopping debut novel about war and its aftermath by an Iraq War veteran—and an essential examination of the United States’ role in the world.

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

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

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

Death will tremble to take us August 16, 2014

Posted by The Typist in Toulouse Street.
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“We are here to drink beer. We are here to kill war. We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us.”
Charles Bukowski

Odd Words August 13, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

& The monthly meeting of the New Orleans Haiku Society takes place at the Latter Memorial Library, That cool grey temple/Shaded by green oak trees on/St. Charles Avenue, at 6 p.m.

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

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

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

The Famous and The Dead August 12, 2014

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Robin Williams’ death has left me feeling uncomfortably numb. I am still processing Phillip Seymour Hoffman, and trying to reconnect to the bestial realities of life: finding a job, managing my son’s sophomore crisis of identify, managing my own crisis of identity after years of remunerative and soulless work. Williams made me laugh and also made me think. Hoffman made me cry and also made me think. (Synechdoche, N.Y. was just a little too close to home; someone had to tell me it was meant as a dark comedy and not a straight tragedy, with Hoffman as both Lear and fool. I am still not completely convinced).

As the ages of the famous and the dead begin to merge with our own there is a temptation to recoil in horror rather than to run to You Tube and watch Williams in his Mork costume talking to an egg. (Yes, I did this). In New Orleans we treasure our musicians. It is one thing to think “another old and great one gone” and to recall from no very great space of time the last time you saw someone who is also gone. Perhaps I have just buried too many people two young, about one a decade since I was ten, doubling up in the last. There was a great outpouring of grief recently over the loss of local actress and designer Veronica Russell. I did not know her, but saw Glenn Meche’s production of Battle of Angels in which she glowed even when the lights were dimmed. Such natural grace and beauty, such talent: dead at 44.

I don’t watch television as a rule, living off of Netflix. I haven’t seen Williams new sitcom, but perhaps that is the memory of a subdued Elliot Gould out of his element in the sitcom Friends. Some connection broke inside, and I’ve never seen the Ocean’s films. I have not watched a Robin Williams film in probably a decade, maybe longer. He is simply there, inside me somewhere, informing who I am much as do Gould and Donald Sutherland and other actors who represented in my youth the absurd comedy of life. I cannot watch The Priests Monologue in Synechdoche without thinking of Sutherland in Little Murders pronouncing Gould’s wedding “an abandonment of ritual in the search for truth.” Perhaps I am just too dark for much of Williams, but Sutherland’s line could serve as a definition of comedy, a central summation of one of the darkest comedies, perhaps the darkest comedy ever made into film. The best, most curative comedy is not the play upon our own insecurities that struts the stages of comedy clubs and fills the cable network. It steps outside of the expected, takes us out of ourselves into an absurd space where demons fear to tread. People nostalgically reach back for Mork and Mindy, or perhaps Mrs. Doubtfire. I am put in mind of Terry Gilliam’s brilliant The Fisher King, or The Dead Poets Society. The Fisher King is dark for all its comedic moments, but it ends on a note of hope: the Red Knight banished, the two couples united, all’s well that ends well. The oldest trope in the book: older than the camera, older that Shakespeare, Everyman redeemed.

I finally got around to watching Reaching for the Moon last night. I loved it, but was disappointed not to see the flying lanterns of “The Armadillo” rising up the hills of Rio de Janeiro. I understand it would have been a distraction from the film’s eponymous focus on the moon and the lights of the park, of the place of the moon in “Insomnia” and the poem itself in the story. Still, I wanted to see the flying lights: some ascending to heaven, some crashing in catastrophe. I like to remember that those which fail to scale the heavens begin as fire and light, an act of man reaching toward some greater glory, ascending the terrifying stage of night to shed their light.

Odd Words August 7, 2014

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

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

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

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

& Saturday at 7 pm T E N D E R L O I N Magazine returns with Cold Cuts: The Third Weird Thing reading series at Kajun’s Pub featuring opening jam by Jenn & Mel, Andrew Ketcham, Peter Twal and Alec Vanthoumout. Cold Cuts is a poetry reading interested in performance and a performance interested in reading poetry. Each reading will consist of 3 – often on the theme of 2 poets and a 3rd weird thing: the performative. But we encourage all our poets to perform and all our performances to poet. We like to showcase our TENDER LOIN writers, and we like to showcase local artists.

& Every Sunday at 3 p.m. The Maple Leaf Reading Series, the oldest continuous reading series in the south, founded by Everette Maddox, features guest poets and an open mic. This Sunday is the launch of the Maple Leaf Rag V anthology of poetry, published by Portal’s Press. MLRV is a selection of poems from readers who have been featured or are regular participants in open mike at the reading.

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

& Tuesday at 6 pm Octavia Books hosts historian Michael S. Martin presenting and signing his new biography, RUSSELL LONG: A Life in Politics. Russell Long (1918-2003) occupies a unique niche in twentieth-century US history. Born into Louisiana’s most influential political family, and son of perhaps the most famous Louisianian of all time, Long extended the political power generated by other members of his family and attained heights of power unknown to his predecessors, including his faV ither Huey.

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

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

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

Wood and Water: The Working Boats of Venice August 3, 2014

Posted by The Typist in Toulouse Street.
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While everyone else went camera-mad for gondolas, I found myself drawn to the working boats of Venice. To live in a city of canals and narrow streets interrupted by bridges of steps, everything travels by water and courier, men hustling push carts full of the goods a city requires. Look at the bottom of any photo of Venice along the canals and there at the bottom, you will find boats. Here is a picture meant to be of the Doge’s Palace, the domes of the Basilaci di San Marco and the towers of the building that house the museum of Venice, there are boats: a Vaporetto, the ubiquitous mass transit on the left, a yellow tour boat pulling into S. Marco, a water taxi rushing up the middle of the Grand Canal, and one of the polished wooden runabouts of those who can afford 12 Euro to drink a Campari and soda at Harry’s Bar.

Doge's Palace (& Boats)

I was drawn less to the gleaming wood or the bright fiberglass of those who could afford them. Rather, it was the working wood boats that nestled up alongside the quays of the smaller canals that caught my interest. Frequently painted in the bright, Mediterranean colors seen throughout the archipelago city, they serve both as family car and truck do in cities where the streets are of pavement and not water.

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In this series, I watched a working man loading his boat for the day ahead while sitting in the cafe just down from our hotel.

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Any picture of a side canal will be filled with moored boats. The first two are the views up and down Rio Marin, the canal outside our hotel. The others are miscellaneous shots filled with boats. I wasn’t keeping a photo journal so I can’t give the other locations, except to place the last on the island of Burano.

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One nod to the gondola: the boat yard at Squero di San Travaso:

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Fleur de Lis in Ancient Rome August 3, 2014

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What as the fleur de lis to the ancient Romans? Curious to find them in a fountain niche decorated with nymphs. Are they a late addition from the Christian era? Is there meaning more ancient, traceable as some web pages suggest to the three sacred lotus of ancient Egypt? There is no easy answer from The Google, and I have lost my library privileges at UNO, but I will somehow find out.

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Odd Words July 31, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Forward to a Preface July 28, 2014

Posted by The Typist in literature, New Orleans, Toulouse Street.
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One of the benefits of Generalized Anxiety Disorder is the squirrels don’t give a damn about seven hours of jet lag, or yesterday’s epic 25 our travel day. A man wakes up to pee after a certain amount of sleep, the merciless digital clock reads 8:00 and they leap to their wheels: the squeaks of anxiety over things to be done, the horrible cogs begin to turn. It is 15:30 Central European Summer Time, siesta in Spain but those rules no longer apply. I need a driver’s license to replace the one stolen in Madrid. I have classwork over due. I have no idea what my apartment looks like after leaving my 19-year old son alone for 40 days and 40 nights but I imagine there is enough cat hair in the carpet to knit a sweater and streaks of black mold creeping up the wall in the usual spots.

In short I am up, with coffee: not a proper Spanish con leche, two shots of espresso lathed in frothy milk–a concept I could never quiet communicate in Italy; they always thought I wanted a cappuccino and two espresso, cappuccino and doblio technically correct but as functionally wrong as a Starbuck’s grande–but coffee none the less. The first sips of the first drips take me back in memory to the day before yesterday but I am too tired to call up the phrase for a cafe sin leche(cafe solo; the cogs turn but slowly yet).

I am up in part because of the rigors of castle life. It is idyllic as the pictures suggest but I usually awoke in my room in the croft, a barn converted to a dormitory, by seven a.m. with Ezra Pound’s Cantos of the day on my mind. There were endless notes to transcribe from C.F. Terrell’s Companion to the Cantos, the poem itself thick with Greek and Latin and allusions to the classics, medieval Provençal and Italian history, and modern events. Somewhere in my notes the phrase “[William] Burroughs cut-ups & [John] Dos Passos” appear. While there are powerful and lyrical passages of the poet’s own throughout, so much is an artful crib: the “epic poet” (as the professor referred to him, punning on E.P.) translating beautifully if not faithfully or borrowing heavily from Homer, Dante, Cavalcanti and other medieval and classical sources.

In short, it was a lot of work between tramping over the cobblestones in sight of the mountains spotted with precarious vineyards and coffee, between coffee and stepping into the castle proper for class. I am tanned, bested and unsteady but with the exception of one down day in Barcelona between check-out and my night train to Granada, I have been on the squeaky wheel myself most of the last 40 days and 40 nights, a discipline that will hopefully carry me through jet lag and into a poetry manuscript with preface and an outline of a paper before my library privileges expire tomorrow, through cleaning house, getting a new driver’s license and looking for a job.

Un otro cafe, por favor.

Odd Words June 25, 2014

Posted by The Typist in Toulouse Street.
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This week in literary New Orleans coming to you from Dorf Tirol:

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

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

& Friday at 6 pm Garden District Book Shop hosts Book Webb Hubbell and When MenBetrar. Why would Woody Cole, a peaceful, caring man, shoot a US Senator in cold blood on live television? That’s the mystery facing attorney Jack Patterson as he returns to Little Rock, Arkansas, a town he swore he would never step foot in again. Set in a fictionalized version of Webb Hubbell’s home town of Little Rock, Arkansas, readers will be immersed into the steamy world behind the southern BBQ and antebellum facade-a seedy underbelly of secrets and betrayals. Clever readers may recognize the colorful personalities and locales of the Arkansas political scene. Jack is supported by a motley but able crew; loyal assistant Maggie, college-aged daughter Beth, feisty lawyer Micki, and his bodyguard Clovis. Together, Jack and his rag-tag team are in a race against time to discover Woody’s hidden motive. All he has is a series of strange clues, hired thugs gunning for him, and the one man who knows everything isn’t talking. Alliances are tested, buried tensions surface, and painful memories are relived as he tries to clear the name of his old college friend. Jack Patterson will find that even the oldest friendships can be quickly destroyed when men betray.

& Storytime with Miss Maureen Saturday at 11:30am at Maple Street Book Shop feturres Queen Victoria’s Bathing Machine by Gloria Whelan, illustrated by Nancy Carpenter. Poor Queen Victoria She loves to swim, but can’t quite figure out how to get to the water without her devoted subjects glimpsing her swimming suit. (Because, of course, such a sight would compromise her regal dignity.) Fortunately for the water-loving monarch, it’s Prince Albert to the rescue with an invention fit for a queen! This quirky tale about the longest reigning monarch in British history is as fun as it is authentic.

& Saturday at 5 pm Octavia Books host a reading and signing with author Alexandra Duncan featuring her newly released YA novel, Salvage.. The book focuses on a girl who has been explicitly raised on a space merchant ship until she is banished from their ranks, and forced to survive on her own on Earth that is now encompassed by an unstable climate. SALVAGE is a sweeping and harrowing literary science fiction novel. Surprising and thought-provoking, with a feminist twist, its exploration of choice and consequences, rebellion, family, and finding a place for oneself in the world will appeal to fans of Across the Universe, by Beth Revis, and The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood.

& Every Sunday at 3 p.m. The Maple Leaf Reading Series, the oldest continuous reading series in the south, founded by Everette Maddox, features guest poets and an open mic. This Sunday features a Poet Lenore Weiss reads from and signs her new book, Two Places.

& Monday at 6 pm Garden District Book Shop features Lisa Howorth’s Flying Shoes. Mary Byrd Thornton could understand how a reporter couldn’t resist the story: a nine-year-old boy sexually molested and killed on Mother’s Day, 1966. A suspect to whom nothing would stick. A neighborhood riddled with secrets. No one, especially the bungling or complicit authorities, had been able to solve the crime. Now, thirty years later, the reporter’s call will reel a reluctant Mary Byrd from Mississippi back to Virginia where she must confront her family—and, once again, the murder’s irremovable stain, Flying Shoes is a work of fiction, but the murder is based on the still-unsolved case of her stepbrother, a front page story in the Washington Post.

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

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

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

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

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

I am in Europe in a literary workshop for a month. For events at your local library please visit Nutrias.org for the New Orleans Public Library and http://www.jefferson.lib.la.us for Jefferson Parih. Please get me your events as early as possible through the end of July so I can keep up Odd Words catch as catch can.

Planeta sin Soledad: 2 June 20, 2014

Posted by The Typist in The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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1. The guys in the ETA booth (T as in transito, not terrorists) are complete fucking idiots. If you want to find your stop, ask a bus driver in your best high school Spanish.

2. The Pop Art exhibit at the Thyssen-Bornemisza was a comlete waste of 7 Euro. The only worth while thing was a small collage of James Dean and Rimbaud in grey-scale and pink by Ray Johnson. And of course the special exhibit was the only part of the museum that didn’t allow photography.

3. OK, I haven’t been to the Prado but it is going to have to be exceptional to match the breadth and taste of the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza.

4. I pass the Plaza de Toros on my homeward bus, and tomorrow I’ getting off to take pictures. It is a Moorish wonder.

5. As I am off to the Gezuversity to study Ezra Pound, I was amazed to walk into the first room at the Thyssen-Bornemisza and find a small selection of Vorticist paintings. I think the universe was correcting me for suggesting I toss off several thousand and tuition and just stay in Madrid. Still a tempting thought.

Odd Words June 17, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

& Tuesday at 6 pm Octavia books hosts a presentation and signing with presidential biorgrapher Nigel Hamilton featuring his new book, THE MANTLE OF COMMAND: FDR at War, 1941-1942. In time for the 70th anniversary of D-Day, a close, in-the-room look at how President Roosevelt took masterful command and control of the Second World War, from wresting key decisions away from Churchill and his own generals, to launching the first successful trial landing in North Africa, and beginning to turn the tide away from the Axis.

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

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

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

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

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

Why does Facebook hate books? June 11, 2014

Posted by The Typist in Toulouse Street.
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Facebook advertising (without which a post on a page with almost 700 likes reaches < 10 of its fans, found thismpost offensive.

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

If you think this is silly drop a line to info@facebook.com and tell them to stop disapproving posts for silly reasons.

Odd Words June 11, 2014

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

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

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

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

& Every Sunday at 3 p.m. The Maple Leaf Reading Series, the oldest continuous reading series in the south, founded by Everette Maddox, features guest poets and an open mic. This Sunday features Fiction writer Louie Crowder reads from and signs his new book, In Irons from Gallatin & Toulouse Press.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Odd Words June 4, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Odd Words May 28, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday at 7 pm join Slam New Orleans for their second monthly open mic and slam of the new season at the The Shadowbox Theatre. Admission $5

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

& Monday at 7 pm the East Jefferson Regional Library hosts one of a 12-part series of seminars based on the classic book, The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path To Higher Creativity, by American author Julia Cameron, with Mark Bryan. The book was written to help people with artistic creative recovery, which teaches techniques and exercises to assist people in gaining self-confidence in harnessing their creative talents and skills. Correlation and emphasis is used by the author to show a connection between artistic creativity and a spiritual connection. Cherie Cazanavette is the group moderator. Free of charge and open to the public.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Odd Words May 21, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

& Tuesday at 7 pm the Edith S. Lawson Library in Westwego hosts The Fiction Writers’ Group, a support group for serious writers of fiction. We do not focus on poetry, essays or nonfiction. Events consist of critique sessions from group members, author talks and writing exercises. Free of charge and open to the public. Registration is not required.

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

& Wednesday at 6 pm Garden District Book Shop features Ronlyn Domingue’s The Chronicle of Secret Riven. One thousand years after a great conflict known as The Mapmaker’s War, a daughter is born to an ambitious historian and a gifted translator. Secret Riven doesn’t speak until her seventh year but can mysteriously communicate with plants and animals. Unsettled by visions and dreams since childhood, she tries to hide her strangeness, especially from her mercurial father and cold mother. Yet gentle, watchful Secret finds acceptance from Prince Nikolas, her best friend, and Old Woman, who lives in the distant woods. When Secret is twelve, her mother receives an arcane manuscript to translate from an anonymous owner. Zavet suffers from nightmares and withdraws into herself. Secret sickens with a fever and awakens able to speak an ancient language, one her mother knows as well. Suddenly, Zavet dies. The manuscript is missing, but a cipher has been left for Secret to find. Years later, Secret becomes a translator’s apprentice for Fewmany, an influential magnate, who has taken an interest in her for reasons she cannot discern. Before Secret learns why, Old Woman confronts Secret with the truth of her destiny—a choice she must make that is tied to an ancient past.

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

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

57: Done & done May 17, 2014

Posted by The Typist in Toulouse Street.
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It only took 37 years but here I am.

image

Odd Words May 14, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

56: Heaven on 11 May 14, 2014

Posted by The Typist in A Fiction, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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Jimi is fixed on Channel 13. Davis paces behind him muttering, “if they only had a horn. ” “Quiet, Miles. Have a taste of this. Listen. This is what we could have done if we’d only had Time.”

“Time, gentleman. Choir and harp practice in fifteen minutes,” an angel reminds them.

“Fuck you and your white-ass cracker choir,” Miles said. “Tell the Big Man the Spheres are in here.” Miles plugs the Pyle and Polks into the TV and cranks it until the clouds dissolve  and ranks of angels are left fluttring, wondering what exactly is happening.

The Big Man man walks in and plops on the couch next to Jimi. “Pass that shit over here.” Miles and Gabriel play their muted horns, trading licks with the Joel Harrison.

The Big Man takes a hellacious hit, expanding to galatic diameters and lets it out slowly, a celestial tempest. “You know that’s why I brought you here” the Big Man says.”I want them all to tempt the Devil and aim for heaven.”

“Shut up,” Miles says, “and listen.”  

The Fourth Battle of New Orleans May 9, 2014

Posted by The Typist in assholes, Federal Flood, FYYFF, New Orleans, Ninth Ward, NOLA, Rebirth, Recovery, Remember, Toulouse Street, We Are Not OK.
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My father Sidney J. Folse, Jr, A.I.A, was a professional contemporary of the August Perez family, Sr. and Jr. Forty-five years ago my father risked everything to stop construction of the Riverfront Expressway. He was senior vice president of Curtis & Davis, a firm highly dependent on government contracting. (They built, among other landmarks, the Rivergate and the main branch of the New Orleans Public Library). Every arm of big local money and government wanted that expressway built, the very people who controlled his livelihood, that of his employers and every man under him. He did not care. He stepped up, as president of the local A.I.A chapter that was vehemently opposed to its construction. He challenged the head of downtown business association to a debate on WWL-TV, which that gentleman declined. When he tried to drop off my oldest sister’s wedding portrait at the Times-Picayune, he was told “that bitch’s picture will never run in this newspaper.” (It was, thanks to my mother’s intervention with Nell Nolan). Nathaniel Curtis and Arthur Davis could have told my father to back off. They did not. For this the city owes these gentleman a great debt.

I know the unintended consequences of that battle. I drive down Claiborne and see it all the time. Still, imagine where Woldenberg Park and the Moon Walk now stand a six-lane elevated expressway. That is not the issue here. (Imagine, for that matter, the giant framework of a sound-and-light show in Jackson Square in front of the Cathedral. It was planned. The wiring to support it exists today under the flag stones surrounding Jackson Square).

The issue is: where do we draw a line in the sand? New Orleans is undergoing an ugly, greed-fueled transformation I predicted almost ten years ago on my blog Wet Bank Guide. Many things have been proposed since the storm in the name of redevelopment. Sean Cummings’ Elisio Lofts, another high-rise abomination at the foot of Elysian Fields, was stopped. The redevelopment of the old Holy Cross School site with another inappropriately sited high-rise proposed by Perez APC, has just won approval from the New Orleans City Council.

Enough.

I want to walk up to August Perez III and say, “I am the son of Sid Folse, and I am here to fuck with you.” I can’t determine if Perez Jr. is still around. Certainly papa Perez Sr would understand what that meant. I don’t hold my father’s lofty position. No one will consider that I debate Pres on WWL-TV for 30 minutes after the news. It does not matter. I am my father’s son. I gave up much to come home after the storm: my job, my financial security, my marriage. I stood in front of the Mid-City Planning Group after the storm and fought for an endorsement of the Crystal Apartments while some of my neighbors hurled the words “Section 8″ at me with the same vehemence as the mothers who spit on and shouted “nigger” and “monkey” at Leona Tate, Tessie Prevost, Gaile Etienne entering McDonough 19 and Ruby Bridges entering William Frantz.

I won.

I will choose my battles and I will win again. Perez’s abomination combines the worst of the Riverfront Expressway and the Claiborne Expressway. It is an attempt to usurp the historic riverfront in the name of commerce: not an expressway for the convenience of suburban drivers and trucks bound for the (then dying) wharves, but the usurpation of the Ninth Ward for the wealthy in search of a view. The final outcome will impact the 89% Black Lower Ninth Ward as the Claiborne Expressway did the people of Treme. It will destroy the rapidly recovering neighborhood to “save” it, as people rush in to convert its quaint homes into valuable properties leveraged by Perez’s development.

This, I propose, is where we draw the line in the sand. This is where the subjects of the people who have ruled this city since the Civil War from their comfortable Uptown (and now their Warehouse District condos: thanks Lester Kabacoff, father of Pres) should rise up. Except for a brief shining era during the terms of Moon Landrieu and “Dutch” “Little Caeser” Morial, the wealthy have sculpted this community to fit their wants and desires with no regard for the people who once labored on the decrepit wharves and now staff the tourism monster.

Enough.

I will choose my battles and I will win again.

This is where the dollar-eyed dreams of the post-Federal Flood elite come to their end, or the city we all came home to save dies. If this stands, the high-rises will march the length of the park Mr. Cummings helped engineer with recovery dollars to make his property more valuable. This is how redevelopment is done today, how the Anacostia Projects were torn down in D.C., the working class Blacks banished to the counties, in the name of redevelopment. This is how historic Charleston, S.C. became a part-time ghost town after Hurricane Hugo.

Enough.

I have paid in blood and tears for the privilege of coming home. I will pay again and again until the work is done, or I have drawn my last breath.

Mr. Perez, I am the son of Sidney Folse, Jr. A.I.A, and I remember. I am here to fuck with you. I am burning with the spirit of my ancestor.

I will do everything in my power to make you regret this confrontation.

Fuck You You Fucking Fucks.

Correction: This is directed to Angela O’Byrne, who is the new principal of the firm operating under the Perez name. If it’s just a name on the door, my apologies to August III.

This changes nothing.

Odd Words May 8, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

& Every Sunday at 3 p.m. The Maple Leaf
Reading Series, the oldest continuous reading series in the south, founded by Everette Maddox, features guest poets and an open mic. This Sunday features California poet Hugh Behm-Steinberg reads from his work, followed by an open mic.

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

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

& Monday at 5:30 pm at Octavia Paula Freedman presents and signs her debut middle grade children’s novel, MY BASMATI BAT MITZVAH. During the fall leading up to her bat mitzvah, Tara (Hindi for “star”) Feinstein has a lot more than her Torah portion on her mind. Between Hebrew school and study sessions with the rabbi, there doesn’t seem to be enough time to hang out with her best friend Ben-O-who might also be her boyfriend-and her other best friend, Rebecca, who’s getting a little too cozy with the snotty Sheila Rosenberg. Not to mention working on her robotics project with the class clown Ryan Berger, or figuring out what to do with a priceless heirloom sari that she accidentally ruined. Amid all this drama, Tara considers how to balance her Indian and Jewish identities and what it means to have a bat mitzvah while questioning her faith. With the cross-cultural charm of Bend It Like Beckham, this delightful debut novel is a classic coming-of-age

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

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

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

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

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

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

&  Also at 8 p.m. every Wednesday the Blood Jet Poetry Series hosted by Megan Burns happens at BJ’s in the Bywater. This week’s features are: Hugh Behm-Steinberg is the author of Shy Green Fields (No Tell Books) and The Opposite of Work (JackLeg Press), as well as two Dusie chapbooks, Sorcery and Good Morning! He teaches writing at California College of the Arts in San Francisco, where he edits the journal Eleven Eleven. Chris Champagne is the author of The New Yat DIctionary from Lavender Ink. James Nolan says of Chris Champagne: “What Dylan Thomas did for Welsh, Chris Champagne does for YAT.” As noted scholar and linguist Dr. Nancy Dixon says, “If you ain’t got this book, how you gonna talk right, Dawlin?” He is also the author of Roach Opera from Portals Press. Kelly McQuain grew up surrounded by the mountains of West Virginia’s Monongahela National Forest. His poetry has appeared in Painted Bride Quarterly, The Pinch, Assaracus, Kin, Mead, Bloom, Chelsea Station, American Writing and the anthologies Poems for the Writing and Rabbit Ears: TV Poems. His fiction has appeared in such journals as Icarus, The James White Review, Kansas Quarterly/Arkansas Review, The Harrington Gay Men’s Fiction Quarterly and in numerous anthologies, including Best American Erotica, Skin & Ink and Men on Men 2000. His book reviews and columns on city life appear in The Philadelphia Inquirer. Recently his poem, “Camping as Boys in the Cow Field”, was selected by Reginald Dwayne Betts as the winner of Redivider’s AWP poetry contest. McQuain works as a professor in Philadelphia.

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