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Odd Words December 17, 2014

Posted by The Typist in Book Stores, books, bookstores, Indie Book Shops, literature, New Orleans, NOLA, Odd Words, Poetry, Toulouse Street.
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This week in literary New Orleans at least one list is getting shorter. Your’s could get shorter, too; just stop by one of your locally-owned, independent bookstores. Just because B&N is close to Lakeside doesn’t mean you have to shop there.

& Thursday at 5:30 pm Tubby & Coo’s Mid-City Book Shop hosts Mamie Gasperecz, Executive Director of Hermann-Grima + Gallier Historic Houses, presents Luxury, Inequity & Yellow Fever: Living Legacies and the Story of Old New Orleans. The book pairs majestic photographs of the Hermann-Grima and Gallier Historic Houses with captivating historic accounts, offering us a direct connection to the turbulent times of New Orleans’ Golden Age. The new book by acclaimed photographer and author, Kerri McCaffety, features 152 pages of beautiful photographs and intriguing history that reveal intricate details about 19th century New Orleans—a time of wealth, romance, slavery, hurricanes and disease. In addition to the Hermann, Grima and Gallier families, McCaffety explores the lives of many who passed through these noteworthy homes, including slaves, Free People of Color, the ladies of The Woman’s Exchange and those currently keeping the legacy of the houses alive.

& Thursday at 6 pm brings the All People Open Mic Poetry Circle at Playhouse NOLA, 3124 Burgundy Street. 6-7 Mingling, Refreshments (BYOBeverage and food to share if you’d like) and Signing In. 7-10 PM Open Mic Alternating Hosts. No featured readers, No book signings. All People, all the time ! Contact POETRYPROCESS@gmail.com for more information..

& Thursday at 6 pm the Jefferson Parish East Bank Regional Library hosts the Sci-Fi Writing Group. 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

& Thursday at 7:30 the Love Lost Lounge hosts a Performance of Galway Kinnell’s Book of Nightmares, rare performance of Kinnell’s 10 poem cycle and tribute to a great American Poet 1927-2014. For his 1982 Selected Poems he won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry[1] and split the National Book Award for Poetry with Charles Wright.[2] From 1989 to 1993 he was poet laureate for the state of Vermont.

& 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 7 pm Andy Young and Khaled Hegazzi celebrate Andy’s poetry collection, All Night It Is Morning, (Lavender Ink / Diálogos Press), with an evening of wine, Egyptian food and poetry (not necessarily in that order) at Faubourg Wines.

& This Sunday at 3 pm The Maple Leaf Reading Series features an Open Mic.

& At Octavia Books Sunday at 3 pm there will be a a signing with E2 – photographers Elizabeth Kleinveld & Epaul Julien – featuring IN EMPATHY WE TRUST. This unbound boxed book includes twenty of the world’s most iconic art images – such as Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring; Rembrandt’s Jewish Bride; and Whistler’s Mother – remade with a photographer’s twist.

& At 7 pm Sunday oin José Torres-Tam,a for the final performance reading of the year to celebrate his debut book of poetry “Immigrant Dreams & Alien Nightmares” at the cozy Faubourg Marigny Art & Books, at 600 Frenchmen Street.

& Monday at 5 pm Tubby & Coo’s Mid-City Book Shop hosts a listening party for the premier of Neil Gaiman’s Good Omens on BBC Radio We’ll provide some snacks and drinks and listen to the radio old school. While you’re in, if you’re a Neil Gaiman fan, pick up your copy of The Ocean at the End of the Lane so we can win a signing from Neil himself!

& 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.

& Tina Freeman, whose photographers grace the pages of ARTIST SPACES, will be on hand at Octavia Books to sign and/inscribe copies from 1:30-2:30 on Tuesday.

& 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 is Xmas Eve, and I’m guessing none of the regularly scheduled events are going on. The next Odd Words listing will appear on Friday, Dec. 26.

Dec. 13 / Family Portrait December 16, 2014

Posted by The Typist in Toulouse Street.
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Originally posted on nola studiola REDUX:

I’ve shot several weddings, portraits and promotional posters;  head shots, events, second lines and red-carpet openings;  today, though, was the first time anybody ever asked me to shoot a funeral.

Pam Folse and Sandra Bohne, along with their brother Mark Folse, decided they wanted some nice portraits of the entire extended family when everyone was together for the funeral of their mother, Elaine.  A mutual friend got us in touch, and this morning I carried my camera bag up to the St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church in Mid-City.

Quite frankly, I was a little nervous about the prospect of shooting the attendees at a family funeral service.  I don’t even feel comfortable at the weddings of strangers, half the time, let alone the day on which an entire family is mourning the loss of their 91-year old matriarch.   Her three surviving children, though, were generous with their sharing…

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30 Century Man December 11, 2014

Posted by The Typist in A Fiction, cryptic envelopment, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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The video is a complete waste of your time: full of sound and worry, signifying nothing. I created it a few years ago Christmas after spending an entire day watching a House marathon, an activity for me that is not far removed from standing on a ledge throwing pigeons at the fire department while shouting gibberish.

Perhaps it’s not a complete waste of time. Not of mine, at least. Despite any desire to vanish into Africa or the South Pacific, I am not that likely to jump the next freight west to search for the ghost of Charles Bukowski in the sun-shocked underworld that is L.A. Maybe it’s just something I needed to get out of my system, a swollen psychological boil painfully anticipating the sitz bath of annihilation.

If this video speaks to you in some way, it may not be too late to get help. I find the drug stores in New Orleans among the finest in the world. You traverse the liquor aisle to reach the pharmacist.

Odd Words December 10, 2014

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

& Thursday at 6 pm Garden District Book Shop hosts Ron Drez’s The War of 1812: Conflict and Deception: The British Attempt to Seize New Orleans and Nullify the Louisiana Purchase. At the climax of the war-inspired by the defeat of Napoleon in early 1814 and the perceived illegality of the Louisiana Purchase-the British devised a plan to launch a three-pronged attack against the northern, eastern, and southern U.S. borders. Concealing preparations for this strike by engaging in negotiations in Ghent, Britain meanwhile secretly issued orders to seize New Orleans and wrest control of the Mississippi and the lands west of the river. They further instructed British commander General Edward Pakenham not to cease his attack if he heard rumors of a peace treaty. Great Britain even covertly installed government officials within military units with the intention of immediately taking over administrative control once the territory was conquered. According to author Ronald J. Drez, the British strategy and the successful defense of New Orleans through the leadership of General Andrew Jackson affirm the serious implications of this climatic-battle.

& Thursday at 7 pm The Fiction Writer’s Group meets at the East Bank Regional Library of Jefferson Parish. 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.

& 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.

& Freedom Writing for Women of Color is tentatively scheduled for Friday from 7-10 pm at Who Dat Coffee Cafe at the corner of Burgundy and Mandeville in the Marigny. For info on this program, email: poetryprocess@gmail.com.

& Saturday at 11:30 am Maple Street Book Shop features Story Time with Miss Maureen. She’ll read How Murray Saved Christmas by Mike Reiss, illustrated by David Catrow.

& When Santa’s knocked out cold by a Jack-in-the-Boxer’s walloping punch, deli owner Murray Kleiner reluctantly agrees to take his place. The suit doesn’t fit, Murray smells a bit like pickles, and there’s no way he can remember the names of all those reindeer. But with the help of a pushy elf and an eager-to-believe young boy, Murray finds out that even though he’s not big enough to fill Santa’s suit, he’s got more than enough heart to get the job done

& On Saturday from 1-3pm, come out to Exhibit Be for #BlackPoetsSpeakOut, a community poetry reading featuring local Black poets responding to the nationwide assault on Black lives (ExhibitBe will be open from 12pm-4pm). “We are Black poets who will not remain silent while this
nation murders black people. We have a right to be angry.” This event is FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC and one the last times ExhibitBe will be open to the public.

& Also at 1 pm Saturday a T(w)een Writing Workshop will be held the New Orleans Public Library Norman Mayer branch. No matter what kind of writing you do or even if just think you’d like to, join us 2nd Saturdays in the Teen Room to talk about and share (if you want to) your stories, poetry, scripts, or comics.

& Saturday brings ColdCuts presents: CHRISTOPHER SHIPMAN and VINCENT CELLUCCI to Kajun’s Pub at 5:30 pm. About the series: Cold Cuts is a poetry reading interested in performance and a performance interested in reading poetry. Each reading will consist of 3 – often on the theme of 2 poets and a 3rd weird thing: the performative. But we encourage all our poets to perform and all our performances to poet. We like to showcase our TENDER LOIN writers, and we like to showcase local artists.

& Saturday and Sunday at 7 pm brings Wit and Wrath: The Life & Times of Dorothy Parker, a one-woman show by Claudia Baumgarten, directed by Diana Shortez. This literary icone invites you to spend a leisurely hour with her and promises you will be entertained by her her sharp wit and charming manner. At Tasseology, 1228 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd..

& This Sunday at 3 pm The Maple Leaf Reading Series features John Gery’s and Carolyn Hembree’s MFA Creative Writing students at UNO in a group reading.

&Sunday at 5 pm Richard Ford comes to the Garden District Book Shop to read from and sign Let Me Be Frank With You. A brilliant new work that returns Richard Ford to the hallowed territory that sealed his reputation as an American master: the world of Frank Bascombe, and the landscape of his celebrated novels The Sportswriter, the Pulitzer Prize and PEN/Faulkner winning Independence Day, and The Lay of the Land. In his trio of world-acclaimed novels portraying the life of an entire American generation, Richard Ford has imagined one of the most indelible and widely discussed characters in modern literature, Frank Bascombe. Through Bascombe—protean, funny, profane, wise, often inappropriate—we’ve witnessed the aspirations, sorrows, longings, achievements and failings of an American life in the twilight of the twentieth century. Now, in Let Me Be Frank with You, Ford reinvents Bascombe in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. In four richly luminous narratives, Bascombe (and Ford) attempts to reconcile, interpret and console a world undone by calamity. It is a moving and wondrous and extremely funny odyssey through the America we live in at this moment. Ford is here again working with the maturity and brilliance of a writer at the absolute height of his powers.

& 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.

& On Wednesday Esoterotica’s local provocateurs are not only bringing you a holiday show with original erotica to keep your warm through this festive season. We are also hosting an Arts Market with Sensual Art & Sexy Sundries from very talented locals. So join us for a sexy good time, plus a great opportunity to shop local this season and finish up you gift list with some really unique, fun and frisky items. We’ll see you there!

& At 8 pm Wednesday it is the final performance for 2014 of Poetry & Music at BJs’ Blood Jet Series at BJ’s at 8 pm. This Wednesday’s featured readers are Laura Goldstein and Toby Altman. Goldstein has published poetry and essays in the West Wind Review, Denver Quarterly, American Letters and Commentary, Tenderloin, How2, Jacket2 and other fine publications. She has six chapbooks, including phylum from horse less press and let her from dancing girl press. Her first collection of poetry, loaded arc was released by Trembling Pillow Press in 2013 and awesome camera is her second full-length collection. She teaches Writing and Literature at Loyola University and is the co-curator of the Red Rover Series with Jennifer Karmin. Altman lives in Chicago with his dog and friends. He is the author of two chapbooks, Tender Industrial Fabric (Greying Ghost, 2015) and Asides (Furniture Press, 2012). He is writing a verse play called Arcadia, Indiana which is about language, grief, gender violence, homoeroticism, environmental destruction, capital, the subversive fecundity of traditional form and genre, and the weird deadness of the avant-garde.

& 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 December 3, 2014

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

& Moira Crone will be at Maple Street Book Shop December 4th at 6PM to read from and sign her new book, The Ice Garden. Ten-year-old Claire adores her brand-new baby sister, but her mother doesn’t feel the same. Trapped in the suffocating culture of the small-town South in the early 1960s, Claire’s mother tries to cope with her own mental illness and all the expectations placed upon a woman of her class. While Claire’s father remains too dazzled by his beautiful wife to recognize the impending dangers, Claire is left largely on her own to save herself and her baby sister—with mesmerizing and shocking consequences. Moira Crone is the author of five books of fiction, including stories, and novels. She lives in New Orleans. Her works have appeared in dozens of anthologies and over forty magazines and journals

& Thursday at 6 pm Room 220 is pleased to present a Happy Hour Salon with poets Andy Young and Sara Slaughter at the Press Street HQ (3718 St. Claude Ave.). The event will celebrate new publications by both poets, and they will be reading from these works. Andy Young’s debut poetry collection, All Night It Is Morning, cuts across geography, politics, language, and culture. Raised in Appalachia, rooted in New Orleans, and now part of an Egyptian-American family with whom she spent the last two years in Cairo, her poetry presents an outward-looking American perspective that reflects a life with one foot each in Western and Arab cultures. Using the aubade, the traditional form of lovers parting at dawn, to anchor the book, Young employs a wide variety of forms to poetically navigate post-Katrina destruction, the tumult of the Arab Spring, and myriad points—personal and political—in between and beyond. The book’s cover, a graffiti mural by Alaa Awad (now destroyed) that led the way to Tahrir Square, is a work both ancient and modern, urban and agrarian, beautiful and horrible. This captures the spirit of the book, steeped in mourning and hope and a belief in the voice of the people. Sara Slaughter will read from her first chapbook, Upriver, published by Press Street and featuring woodcuts by Layla Ardalan. Slaughter lives in New Orleans where she teaches Creative Writing at Lusher Charter School. Her work has recently appeared in New World Writing, The Cortland Review, and PANK.

& Thursday at 6 pm Garden District Book Shop features Christopher Buehlman and The Lesser Dead. New York City in 1978 is a dirty, dangerous place to live. And die. Joey Peacock knows this as well as anybody—he has spent the last forty years as an adolescent vampire, perfecting the routine he now enjoys: womanizing in punk clubs and discotheques, feeding by night, and sleeping by day with others of his kind in the macabre labyrinth under the city’s sidewalks. The subways are his playground and his highway, shuttling him throughout Manhattan to bleed the unsuspecting in the Sheep Meadow of Central Park or in the backseats of Checker cabs, or even those in their own apartments who are too hypnotized by sitcoms to notice him opening their windows. It’s almost too easy. Until one night he sees them hunting on his beloved subway. The children with the merry eyes. Vampires, like him…or not like him. Whatever they are, whatever their appearance means, the undead in the tunnels of Manhattan are not as safe as they once were.

& Octavia Books hosts Dr. Laura Kelley joins us to discuss and sign THE IRISH in NEW ORLEANS at 6 pm. In this well-researched volume, historian Dr. Laura D. Kelley tells the colorful, amusing and often adventurous history of the Irish in New Orleans. From “Bloody” O’Reilly in the 18th century to the great churches and charitable organizations built by the Irish Famine immigrants in the 19th century to the Irish-dominated politics of the 20th century, as well as Irish dance, music and sports, the author introduces the reader to a hitherto untold story of one of America’s most historical cities. The book also includes essays by Betsy McGovern recalling her involvement in the city’s Irish music scene and Terrence Fitzmorris who discusses wakes and funerary practices of the Irish. The lively and readable text is beautifully illustrated with photographs by Carrie Lee Pierson Schwartz that convey the continuing vibrancy of the Irish community of the Crescent City.

& Also on Thursday at 6 pm Award-winning local author, journalist, and lecturer, George Gurtner, will discuss his most recent book, Cast of Characters, colorful true stories of life in and around the Big Easy, at the Nix Library. The book is titled after Gurtner’s column that he wrote for New Orleans magazine for 35 years. His first book was Historic Churches of Old New Orleans

& Tuesday at 7 pm the East Jefferson Regional Library hosts the SciFi, Fantasy and Horror Writer’s Group. 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.

& Friday night at 5:00 pm Octavia Books hosts a children’s book event. Miss Holly will present the Good Night, Sleep Tight (Safe from Snow) Story Hour featuring The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Anderson.

& 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 marks the fifth anniversary of Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day, a holiday started by author Jenny Milchman in order to instill a love of bookstores in children. We’ll have snacks and a special story time with Miss Maureen at 11:30am. She’ll read Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson & The Book With No Pictures by B.J. Novak. Armed only with an oversized purple crayon, young Harold draws himself a landscape full of wonder and excitement. Full of funny twists and surprises, this joyful story shows just how far your imagination can take you. Harold and the Purple Crayon has delighted readers of all ages for over fifty years. A #1 New York Times bestseller, The Book With No Pictures is an innovative and wildly funny read-aloud by award-winning humorist/actor B.J. Novak. You might think a book with no pictures seems boring and serious. Except… here’s how books work. Everything written on the page has to be said by the person reading it aloud. Even if the words say… BLORK. Or BLUURF. Even if the words are a preposterous song about eating ants for breakfast, or just a list of astonishingly goofy sounds like BLAGGITY BLAGGITY and GLIBBITY GLOBBITY. Cleverly irreverent and irresistibly silly, The Book with No Pictures is one that kids will beg to hear again and again.

& Saturday at 2 pm the Poetry Buffett returns to the Latter Memorial Library. Poets Ralph Adamo, Laura Mullen, and Andrea Young read from their work.

& Sunday at 3 pm Room 220 presents José Torres-Tama Performance Reading / Book Signing for Immigrant Dreams & Alien Nightmares, a debut collection of performance poems & other verse by Torres-Tama.

& This Sunday at 3 pm The Maple Leaf Reading Series features an Open Mic.

& Sunday at 7 pm at the Shadowbox Theater SLAM New Orleans hosts its last open mic and poetry slam of 2014! This will be our final qualifying show before the 2015 semi-finals and finals in January. Poets, there are two qualifications for competing in January’s semi-finals: A. You must compete in at least TWO slams during the 2014 season. B. You must place in the top two (out of poets who have not previously placed in the top two earlier in the year) in at least ONE slam during the 2014 season.

& Monday at 5 pm at the East New Orleans Regional Library New Orleans Spoken Word Artists will present monthly workshops that include poetry writing and performance, with the goal of building community through writing and strengthening students’ written and verbal communication skills.

& 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.

& Dannielle Owens-Reid and Kristin Russo have created a very important resource, THIS IS a BOOK for PARENTS of GAY KIDS. Join the discussion on Tuesday, 7-8 P.M., at the Central St. Matthew United Church of Christ. Written in an accessible Q&A format, here, finally, is the go-to resource for parents hoping to understand and communicate with their gay child. Through their LGBTQ-oriented site, the authors are uniquely experienced to answer parents’ many questions and share insight and guidance on both emotional and practical topics. Filled with real-life experiences from gay kids and parents, this is the book gay kids want their parents to read. Canadian author Vivek Shraya will join the authors AND will give a reading from from his book, GOD LOVES HAIR, a compilation of short stories following a tender, intellectual, and curious child as he navigates complex realms of sexuality, gender, racial politics, religion, and belonging. Octavia Books will be on site with copies of the book.

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

& Tuesday at 7 pm the East Jefferson Regional Library hosts an Author Event! Magic in a Shaker, with Marvin Allen. Marvin J. Allen will discuss his new book, but he’ll also talk about two other subjects: the history of Prohibition; and Christmas cocktails. Allen is the bar manager and bartender at the Hotel Monteleone’s Carousel Bar. Voted New Orleans Magazine’s Bartender of the Year in 2005, Allen has been behind the counter for more than 20 years. A member of the United States Bartenders’ Guild, he is a USBG certified spirits professional. Allen’s emphasis on classic ingredients and fresh tastes have earned him several honors: his Southern Comfortini won second place in the Tales of the Cocktail contest in 2003, and in 2004 his Blushing Southern Belle earned honorable mention in the same competition. Allen also placed in the 2010 42 Below Vodka competition with his Peanut Butter and Jelly Martini. A recipient of the 2010 City Business Culinary Connoisseur award, Allen has been an “adopted native” of New Orleans for more than 25 years.

& 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 Wednesday’s featured readers are Tim Earley and Jessica Comola.

& 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 November 28, 2014

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

All locations of the New Orleans Public Library and Jefferson Parish Library locations are closed Friday.

& Tubby & Coo’s Mid-City Book Shop hosts a Holiday Open House! We’ll be showcasing books, products, and special merchandise available for the holidays. We’ll also be handing out FREE hot chocolate (hopefully, it’s at least cool!), and our holiday gift guide to help with your gift planning. And you can make a wish list! Who doesn’t like walking around, writing down all the great things they want, and handing off to someone else to buy? Create a wish list with your most coveted items, and we’ll keep it in an old school Rolodex so you can send your family and friends by to shop from them. If you stop by, you can also collect coupons and special deals for your holiday shopping needs.

& 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 is Small Business Saturday and multiple local indie bookstores are hosting special events.

  • Maple Street Book Shop have local author signings all day: 11:30AM Ryan Adams, author of New Orleans Mother Goose; 1PM Madeline Herlong, author of Buddy; 2PM Cornell Landry, author of Goodnight NOLA; 3PM Ryan Murphy, author of What the Sleepy Animals Do at the Audubon Zoo; 11AM Andi Eaton, author of New Orleans Style; 12PM Bonnie Warren, author of New Orleans Homes at Christmas; and, 1PM Jim Wade, author of Pitot House.
  • Octavia Books is hosting over a dozen outstanding local authors as guest booksellers on Small Business Saturday, November 29. Each author will be chatting with customers and recommending favorite books and will be happy to talk about and sign their own books as well. Hundreds of independent bookstores across the country will be hosting local authors this November 29, Small Business Saturday, thanks to a movement called Indies First. Launched by noted author Sherman Alexie, Indies First encourages authors to volunteer at their local store, to give back some of the support that independent bookstores have traditionally given to authors.
  • At Tubby and Coo’s anyone who buys a local book or book written by a local author will be entered to win two prize packs including bookmarks, free books, and other surprises! We’ll also be giving away three $25 American Express gift cards in conjunction with Stay Local. As part of the Indies First movement, four local authors have agreed to help out selling books throughout the day: Michael Murphy, author of Eat Dat New Orleans, will be selling books from 10am-12pm; Sally Newhart, author of The Original Tuxedo Jazz Band, will be selling books from 12-2pm; David Armand, recently named to the Gambit’s 40 Under 40 and author of Harlow, will be selling books from 2-4pm; and, George Bishop, author of The Night of the Comet, will be selling books from 4-6pm.

& Author Kil Whol will sell and sign copies of her book New Orleans Classic Creole Recipes at the Hubbell Library in Algiers at 1 pm during Hubbell’s Friends of Hubbell Tree Sale.

& Also on Saturday Walter Isaacson, author of The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created a Digital Revolution will speak and sign books at Newman School Auditorium, 5333 Danneel Street. In his masterly saga, Isaacson begins with Ada Lovelace, Lord Byron’s daughter, who pioneered computer programming in the 1840s. He explores the fascinating personalities that created our current digital revolution, such as Vannevar Bush, Alan Turing, John von Neumann, J.C.R. Licklider, Doug Engelbart, Robert Noyce, Bill Gates, Steve Wozniak, Steve Jobs, Tim Berners-Lee, and Larry Page. This is the story of how their minds worked and what made them so inventive. It’s also a narrative of how their ability to collaborate and master the art of teamwork made them even more creative. Isaacson will speak for 20-30 minutes, followed by a 15-minute question and answer session. He will sign books afterward. Garden District Book Store will be on site to sell the book.

& This Sunday at 3 pm The Maple Leaf Reading Series features an Open Mic.

& New York Times bestselling author Walter Isaacson comes to the uptown Jewish Community Center to present THE INNOVATORS: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Age, Monday at 7:00 PM. Octavia Books will have THE INNOVATORS for sale in the store and at the event where your purchase will help support cultural programs at the JCC. To reserve a signed copy, please call during store hours at 504-899-READ. Walter Isaacson will sign books immediately following the lecture. Isaacson provides a sweeping and scintillating narrative of the inventors, engineers and entrepreneurs who have given the world computers and the Internet. . . . a near-perfect marriage of author and subject . . . an informative and accessible account of the translation of computers, programming, transistors, micro-processors, the Internet, software, PCs, the World Wide Web and search engines from idea into reality. . . . [a] masterful book.”
— San Francisco Chronicle

& 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 6:00 P.M., two New Orleans writers, Mason James Cole and Alex Jennings, will dish about the state of genre literature (horror, SF, crime, magic realism) and discuss how, why, and which authors are blurring the boundaries between those categories at Octavia Books. In addition to the discussion, the authors will read from and sign their own works: Mason James Cole with his novel, BUSTER VOODOO, and Alex Jennings with HERE I COME and OTHER STORIES. Join us for wine, cheese, and lively conversation. ABOUT BUSTER VOODOO: “…bristling with dread and suspense, as well as some of the creepiest scenes you’ll read this side of Stephen King.” – Bryan Smith, author of House of Blood and Strange Ways. ABOUT HERE I COME and OTHER STORIES: Who are we when we are alone? What are ghosts if not memories of the past given voice? Are our bodies and identities warped by the emotions that pass through us? What would it mean for Humanity to have a cosmic parent? Unsolvable by logic or method, such topics are not the business of the scientist. Only the philosopher, the guru, and the fantasist are fit to map these terrains. Consider this volume a guidebook.

& Tuesday at 7 pm Loyola University presents the release of Daniella Zsupan-Jerome’s book Connected Toward Communion: The Church and Social Communication in the Digital Age in the Whitney Presentation Room – St. Thomas Hall. The book explores the ways in which Christians might communicate the Good News of Jesus Christ to all those shaped by digital media. This question addresses the whole church, from the baptized faithful to pastoral ministers and the institutional structures that serve the church locally and globally.

& Also at 7 pm the East Jefferson Regional Library hosts as Author Event! New Orleans Homes at Christmas by Bonnie Warren. Warren and photographer Cheryl Gerber highlight the elaborate decorations, history, public festivities, and exclusive gatherings of yuletide. From réveillon dinners to family repasts, readers can feast on the unique spirit showcased in photographs and profiles of homes in neighborhoods such as the Garden District, English Turn, Esplanade Ridge, the French Quarter, and Uptown. Featured are colorful holiday embellishments from Christmas trees to mantelpieces and attractions, including Jackson Square and City Park.

& 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.

& In honor of the Whitney Plantation Museum opening on December 7, 2014, Octavia Books is honored to host a special presentation and signing featuring Ibrahima Seck, author of BOUKI FAIT GOMBO: A History of the Slave Population of Habitation Haydel (Whitney Plantation) Louisiana, 1750-1860, on Wednesday at 6:00 PM. An exploration of slavery and its impact on southern culture, BOUKI FAIT GOMBO is the first book to map the history of Habitation Haydel. Now known as the Whitney Plantation, the Haydel began operating in 1752 as an indigo producer and went on to become one of the most important sugar plantations in Louisiana. This in-depth study traces the route of African slaves to the German Coast of Louisiana, charts the various owners of the Haydel, and discusses the daily life of slaves on the plantation. Although the book does not shy away from depicting the brutalities of slavery, at its heart are the stories of the robust culinary and musical cultures that grew out of slaves’ desires to reconnect with their home. As Ibrahima Seck says in the book’s introduction, “The history of slavery should not only be the history of deportation and hard labor in the plantations. Beyond these painful memories, we should always dig deep enough to find out how Africans contributed tremendously to the making of Southern Culture and American identity.” The release of this book will coincide with the opening of the Whitney Plantation Museum.

& The Pearl Wine Co. and literary website Fleur de Lit (www.fleurdelit.com) have teamed to present a literary series, Reading Between the Wines on the first Wednesday of the month at Pearl Wine Co., 3700 Orleans Ave., in the American Can Company. The purpose of the series is to promote local authors and the literary community. The special 2014 sendoff event at 6:30 p.m. on December 3, 2014 will focus on culture and food in New Orleans. The event will feature five local authors in two panels: 6:30 – 7:15 p.m.: On New Orleans Style and Culture featuring Andi Eaton, author of New Orleans Style, named the most stylish person in the South by Southern Living Magazine and Ronald Fisher, author of Mid-City Errands. At 7:30 – 8:15 p.m.: On New Orleans Food features Addie K. & Jeremy Martin, co-authors of Southeast Louisiana Food and Michael Murphy, author of Eat Dat New Orleans: A Guide to the Unique Food Culture of the Crescent City. You must be 21 to attend this event.

& At 8 pm Wednesday it is Poetry & Music at BJs’ Blood Jet Series at BJ’s at 8 pm. This Wednesday’s feature is Andy Young Book Release.

& 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!).

Do Horses Named Satan Go to Heaven? November 25, 2014

Posted by The Typist in New Orleans, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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The hospice nurse, a Carmelite nun, asks me if I am Catholic (she asks if my mother is Catholic, as if that were not a rosary around her neck). Apostate, I say. Surely you were raised Catholic she asks. Well enough to know the difference between apostate and lapsed, I reply. She gives my shoulder a wrestler’s squeeze. If her god had caller her to lift and break rocks and she had obeyed, she would have been brilliant, a saint.

Talk to her, she said. I read some Psalms to your mother. I sure she can hear, are her parting words, reminding not to sit there like some adjunct to the oxygen machine but to talk to her. She was unresponsive to my name when I came in. I continue to sit and watch and think, not long after the nun has left, this is how the crucified die. The way she flairs her arms, tries to lift herself a bit off the pillow to suck a little more air into her contracting lungs, much like a typical crucifiction, the men hung by their arms so that they had to lift themselves up to breath. The Romans, out of kindness, boredom or an aversion to overtime, would break their arms if they lingered too long, so that the victim could no longer pull themselves up to catch a breath.

So much for the comforts of Mother Church. (At least one of the sinners was saved. Not a bad percentage).

My mother was wearing the rosary my daughter Killian brought her back from Europe.

Pleural effusion of fluid around her lungs, related to congestive hear failure. Effusion I thought a property of gasses but apparently the pre-meds weren’t paying attention in that part of chemistry. My mother’s lungs are drowning from the outside, the buildup of fluid between the chest cavity and the lungs leaves less and less room for each breath. It can cause chest pains: pleurisy, now there’s a word you probably have used in casual conversation in a long time. We won’t know if the event last Sunday was a heart attack or pleurisy. All she said was it felt like an elephant sitting on her chest. As of Friday she is officially a hospice patient, and so was simply given morphine to dull the pain. I was surprised it came in a little dropper bottle, like something for the ears or eyes. Then I thought: hospice. This means no more trips to the hospitals. No more trying to find an uncollapsed vein to put in one shunt too many.

Ninety-three and the battle over. She survived chemo at 87, including spinal injections. I sat and watch her suffer through that until the technician gave up and called for the Special Man. He looked a bit like Cat Stevens in the 70s, and I told him so. He got her on the second try. If you are giving spinal chemo injections to an 87 year old woman why would you not call for the needle ninja in the first place? She went into remission, and got to ring the bell in the chemo ward at Ochsner. They took another cancer out of her in 2005, after my sister rolled the car in the ditch driving exhausted, trying to reach sanctuary in Kansas. At my mother’s age the E.R. though at CAT scan in order, and they found it. If my sister had not rolled the car, what happens then? God works in mysterious ways, I told the kindly nun-backer after relating that story, as if to apologize for my unrepentant teasing of her.

The regular chugging of the ancient oxygen machine is an hissy, high pitched pneumatic counterpoint to my mother’s irregular struggle to breath, the rattles deep in her throat, her vocalized exhaulations deep as long vowels and sharp as glottal stops.

The suffering on the cross, the physical struggle to breath, not just wheezing and rattling but a pushing up as if toward the surface, began after the nun left. I had been there maybe an hour and a half of mostly just listening to her battle for breath. Sometimes she would open her eyes while pushing out and down with her arms, trying to lift her head. I stood up and put the hand that wasn’t holding hers on her forehead and stroked it. I leaned in and told her, you don’t have to stay and fight. I know it hurts. We love you and will miss you but Sidney (my father) and Paul (my brother) and your father and your Uncle Cy and everyone will be waiting for you.

She loved her Uncle Cy Mathe’ dearly. He was legally a Creole by post-Plessy law but hundreds of rich acres and a plantation home trumped that. He was probably brighter than all the Italian truck farmers and Slavic fisherman settled around the plantations of St. Bernard and Plaquemine. He was riding the boat up from his father’s plantation and saw the woman we very young children ignorantly called Aunt Taunte, a teenager, convalescing in a wheel chair under a parasol on the levee at the foot of Delaronde Street. He was so smitten, he hired a horse when the boat landed at the French Market and rode back to the Ninth Ward to find her.

He built two plantations of his own, Stella for Taunte, and Mary, named after his mother. My mother would go visit Cy and Stella, under strict orders from her father that she was not to go out riding in the front of Cy’s saddle on his huge black stallion, Satan. This was, of course, the favorite part of her visit.

Uncle Cy will have a new horse, I told her, all pure white as an angel. I’m sure they wouldn’t let him bring Satan into heaven.

I’m sure he’ll take your riding, I said.

I had to stop there.

I have to stop here.

Everything eventually stops.

Fires of the Season November 22, 2014

Posted by The Typist in A Fiction, cryptic envelopment, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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Walking out for a forbidden cigarette I take a turn around the lot and notice the neighbor’s overgrown oleanders are in full fall bloom, while the seed pods of the adjacent Chinese lanterns have withered to a color somewhere between grocery bag and old parchment (and just as fragile could I reach them): the same old story–the one the crow knows–of the turning of the wheel. I am so engrossed in my new job I did not notice the odd oaks across the street and just outside my window had turned, but walking to Canseco’s Grocery I did see one of the deciduous cypress dressed in scarlet and yellow,  the color of the fires we light against the cold and dark, the bonfires to guide Papa Noel and the ones once lit on Orleans avenue, dressed in the colors of the diminishing sun.

Having lost the thread of Xianity long ago, I dread the holidays. I miss the orgiastic liquor and fireworks around the bonfire on Orleans, a proper New Year’s display to call back the sun. Run around it three times, close enough for a mild, one-sided sunburn, for good luck in the New Year.  Sadly, two city administrations have thought otherwise, even after we raised the money to get a welding cloth to put under it and agreed the NOPD could fence it off. The fire department was often held up as the scapegoat for the ban, but as a small crowd of us who helped make the last bonfire happen left a meeting with the police and fire chief, a high official of the firefighter’s union pulled us aside and said, “we are with you,” the men of Engine 35 thought lucky to watch over the festivities every year.

It is time to clean up my backyard, which the house painter turned into a white trash tableau of studied neglect. It looks like the still in the garage exploded, but most of my things are in a random pile in the center. I need to scrub the black mold off the chairs and spread the black plastic lawn rug I bought because the landlord’s man is slow to mow. I can flip over the rusting fire pit, give it a quick shot of Rustoleum for Grills and take my chances on the good will of the sparks that flit about like dangerous faeries with a will of their own.  Behind the flames I will light a candle before the Green Man who watches over my little bit of weed-wild meadow..

There are spirits in need of propitiation if my own are not to remain mired in the dark. Yesterday my eldest and dearest sibling turned 69. My mother is now officially on Hospice Care, free to refused her dinner and medications, only oxygen and morphine as required. I went to see her the evening after what gave every indication of a heart attack. She picked a bit at her food because I was there. She tried to take her pills but the orderly forgot to raise the bed and almost chocked her. My sister knows she is not taking her medication or eating but she always puts on a good show for the boys. Or rather, for me.  I am the only one she has left besides grand children. Someday the paper will read, “preceded in death by her loving husband Sidney Joseph and her son Paul Omer.”

Will she fulfill the holiday wishes of the statisticians and hang on until after the holidays? She is a Hilbert bone and sinew, built to last. Still, she will be the chair that is not there when my nephew takes us all out for Thanksgiving. Knowing our family, I am thinking of taking a cab, although Ralph’s on the Park is halfway between P’s house and mine and within staggering distance.. In these circumstances intimations of mortality are inevitable but not to be confused with inclinations. What I post on Facebook after a bit too much rum are not bits of morbidity but a few of the more beautiful expressions of death that I know.

If Coca Cola’s jolly red elf and the hanged god bring no solace, the trees remind me there is always comfort and color in a fire, to warm the hands and backside, and shed an uncertain light on an uncertain world. The firefly fairy sparks call to the things half seen in the flickering, just out of the corner of the eye, that delight in man and his fire, spirits of fire and earth drawn toward light. Perhaps a prayer is in order, starting with the green man who guards my house, that I not burn it or any of the neighbors’down. Or better yet, just sit as the fire burns itself down, leaving winking embers and the scent of the season ascending to the heaven the earthly flames reach for but cannot, the solstice incense that comforts men in the dark.

If this is the corner I’ve painted myself into November 22, 2014

Posted by The Typist in cryptic envelopment, Dancing Bear, Everette Maddox, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Odd, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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…think only this of me

That one more cheap camera
has shattered
against the world’s beauty.

— Everette Maddox

Odd Words November 19, 2014

Posted by The Typist in books, literature, New Orleans, NOLA, Odd Words, Poetry, Toulouse Street.
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“What I really wanted to be was Jim Morrison. However, if I weren’t a writer, I’d be dead.” — Luis Alberto Urea, tomorrow night at Loyola.

This week in literary New Orleans, including the annual Words & Music Festival:

& The annual Faulkner Society Words & Music Festival beings Thursday at 8 am and runs through the weekend. The complete schedule of events is at http://wordsandmusic.org/2014-schedule/. Featured guest author is Luis Alberto Urea (see below at Tulane). A not to be missed event filled with taltented authors.

& Thursday at 6 pm Garden District Books features Jerry Lee Lewis: His Own Story. The greatest Southern storyteller of our time, New York Times bestselling author Rick Bragg, tracks down the greatest rock and roller of all time, Jerry Lee Lewis–and gets his own story, from the source, for the very first time. A monumental figure on the American landscape, Jerry Lee Lewis spent his childhood raising hell in Ferriday, Louisiana, and Natchez, Mississippi; galvanized the world with hit records like Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On and Great Balls of Fire, that gave rock and roll its devil’s edge; caused riots and boycotts with his incendiary performances; nearly scuttled his career by marrying his thirteen-year-old second cousin–his third wife of seven; ran a decades-long marathon of drugs, drinking, and women; nearly met his maker, twice; suffered the deaths of two sons and two wives, and the indignity of an IRS raid that left him with nothing but the broken-down piano he started with; performed with everyone from Elvis Presley to Keith Richards to Bruce Springsteen to Kid Rock–and survived it all to be hailed as “one of the most creative and important figures in American popular culture and a paradigm of the Southern experience.” Jerry Lee Lewis: His Own Story is the Killer’s life as he lived it, and as he shared it over two years with our greatest bard of Southern life: Rick Bragg. Rich with Lewis’s own words, framed by Bragg’s richly atmospheric narrative, this is the last great untold rock-and-roll story, come to life on the page.

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

& Thursday Loyola University at 6pm in conjunction with the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society, Inc. and as an opening event of the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society’s Words & Music 2014 festival features Writer and Poet Luis Alberto Urrea. Writer and Poet Luis Alberto Urrea. Urrea, main speaker of the event, is a prolific and acclaimed writer of poetry, prose and fiction, including the novel Into the Beautiful North, and a member of the Latino Literature Hall of Fame. He uses his dual-culture life experiences to explore greater themes of love, loss and triumph. In The Devil’s Highway he takes us back to the small towns and unpaved cities south of the border, where the poor fall prey to dreams of a better life and sinister promises of smugglers. The Devil’s Highway won the 2004 Lannan Literary Award, the Border Regional Library Association’s Southwest Book Award and was a 2005 finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in nonfiction and for the Pacific Rim Kiriyama Prize. Darrell Bourque, former Poet Laureaute of Louisiana and recipient of the 2014 Louisiana Writer Award will open and close the evening with poems about the forced migration of Acadians from Nova Scotia to South Louisiana. Professor Emeritis of Louisiana at Lafayette Bourque has published nine collections of poetry including Megan’s Guitar and Other Poems from Acadie (UL Press, 2013) and if you abandon me, comment je vas faire: An Amédé Ardoin Songbook (Yellow Flag Press, Lafayette, LA, 2014).

Thursday at 6 pm the Nix Library features An Evening with Author Chere Dastuge Coen. An award-winning journalist, instructor of writing, playwright, and novelist, Chere Dastuge Coen is the author of Forest Hill, Louisiana: A Bloom Town History, Haunted Lafayette, Louisiana, Exploring Cajun Country: A Historic Tour of Acadiana, and co-author of Magic’s in the Bag: Creating Spellbinding Gris Gris Bags and Sachets.

& Thursday at 7 pm brings the UNO’s MFA GOLD ROOM to the talented Maurice Ruffin’s he Pelican Bay Restaurant. This month’s lineup for Gold Room: Andrew Kindinger reading poetry, Kailyn McCord reading fiction, Andrew Kooy reading non- fiction and Carly Blitz reading non-fiction.

& The Jefferson Parish East Bank Regional Library hosts the bi-weekly SciFi, Fantasy and Horror Writer’s Group 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.
Library: East Bank Regional Library

& 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 Literary & Performance Series features Reading & performance by

& 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 6 pm Octavia Books also hosts a special evening with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Rick Bragg to discuss and sign his new book, JERRY LEE LEWIS: His Own Story.

& Saturday at 11:30AM Maple Street Book Shop hosts Story Time with Miss Maureen, this week featuring Kid Sheriff and the Terrible Toads by Lane Smith. Drywater Gulch has a toad problem. Not the hop-down-your-britches, croaking-all-night toad kind of problem. The thievin’, hootin’ and hollerin’, steal-your-gold never-say-thank-you outlaw toad kind of problem. Then hope rides into town. Sheriff Ryan might only be seven years old, and he might not know much about shooting and roping. But he knows a lot about dinosaurs. Yes, dinosaurs. And it turns out that knowing a thing or two about paleontology can come in handy when it comes to hoodwinking and rounding up a few no-good bandits. From Bob Shea and Lane Smith comes this hilarious picture book, Kid Sheriff and the Terrible Toads

& Saturday Garden District Book Shop features Dalt Wonk French Quarter Fables at 1 pm. This series of fables was, in a sense, Dalt Wonk’s love letter to the French Quarter. The animals, flowers and insects are almost all Quarter denizens and they appear in their natural habitat: a frog in his courtyard lily pond, a rat in the stone rip-rap on the Mississippi River levee and a roach in the kitchen of a restaurant. Gradually, the geographic scope of the fables to include far-off lands like the Yukon and exotic animals like Hippos. But Dalt Wonk kept the title French Quarter Fables, since the majority take place there and, in any case, all of them were written there and are no doubt influenced by its singular, suggestive atmosphere. The characters in a fable — those odd, polymorphous beings like love-sick frogs and penny-pinching Afghans —are not just disguised human beings. The animal part of their nature is also real.

& Saturday join Team Slam New Orleans for a FREE night of top notch spoken word poetry. The show will feature new work and old favorites from the likes of A Scribe Called Quess?, Desireé V. Dallagiacomo, Kaycee Filson, FreeQuency aka FreeQ Tha Mighty, Justin Lamb and Akeem Martin. This may be your last chance to see the 2014 Team SNO squad (third place finishers at the 2014 National Poetry Slam) perform as a unit. Saturday, November 22nd ★ Shows at 7 PM & 9 PM ★ The Building at 1427 O.C. Haley Blvd ★ FREE.

& Sunday award-winning children’s author Eric Kimmel, who has published over fifty books, comes to Octavia Books at 2:00 P.M., for a special appearance to read and sign his books, SIMON and the BEAR: A HANUKKAH TALE and HERSHEL and the HANUKKAH GOBLINS (first published twenty-five years ago. The PJ Library, the Jewish Community Center, and the Jewish Day School are all co-sponsoring this event!

& This Sunday at 3 pm The Maple Leaf Reading Series features features an Open Mic.

& This Monday at 6 pm Octavia Books hoa presentation and signing with George Packer for featuring THE UNWINDING, which won the National Book Award last year. James Carville will give the introduction at the event. A riveting examination of a nation in crisis, from one of the finest political journalists of our generation. Our American democracy is beset by a sense of crisis. Seismic economic shifts during a single generation have created a country of winners and losers, leaving the social contract in pieces and setting citizens adrift to find new paths forward. In The Unwinding, George Packer narrates the story of this America over the past three decades with his characteristically sharp eye for detail and gift for weaving together complex narratives.

The Unwinding journeys through the lives of several Americans, including Dean Price, the son of tobacco farmers, and an evangelist for a new economy in the rural South; Tammy Thomas, a factory worker in the Rust Belt trying to survive the collapse of her city; Jeff Connaughton, a Washington insider who oscillates between political idealism and the lure of organized money; and Peter Thiel, a Silicon Valley billionaire who questions the Internet’s significance and possesses a radical vision of the future. The narrative combines these intimate stories with biographical sketches of the era’s leading public figures from Newt Gingrich to Jay-Z, and with collages of headlines, slogans, and songs that capture the flow of events and undercurrents. The Unwinding portrays a superpower in danger of coming apart at the seams, its elites no longer elite, its institutions no longer relevant, its ordinary people left to improvise their own schemes for success and salvation.

& Epidemiologist Sandy Althomsons will discuss her book Inside a Refugee Crisis: My Time in South Sudan Monday at 6PM at Maple Street Book Shop. Comprised of raw, honest stories from her time in South Sudan with Doctors Without Borders Inside a Refugee Crisis intimately expresses the frustration and joys of a medical humanitarian mission in the midst of desperate conditions. Please join us.

Monday at 7 pm the East Jefferson Library hosts The Fiction Writer’s Group. 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.

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

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

& Wednesday at 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 Wednesday’s feature is FEATURE FEATURE FEATURE

& 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!).

Give me November 19, 2014

Posted by The Typist in A Fiction, cryptic envelopment, FYYFF, Moloch, New Orleans, The Narrative, Toulouse Street.
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your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free so that we may burn them.

I have bills to pay and you, Mr. and Mrs. I Love America Look The Flag Is Right There On Our Credit Card, are It. I am Elmer Gantry with a PowerPoint tour of hell and a Visio process map of how to get there.

Hail Moloch.

“If you’re losing your soul and you know it, then you’ve still got a soul left to lose”
― Charles Bukowski

About Silence November 15, 2014

Posted by The Typist in cryptic envelopment, Dancing Bear, New Orleans, Poetry, The Narrative, Toulouse Street.
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From Jack Spicer’s “Imaginary Eligies II.”

The poet builds a castle on the moon
Made of dead skin and glass. Here marvelous machines
Stamp Chinese fortune cookies full of love.
Tarot cards
Make love to other Tarot cars. Here agony
Is just imagination’s sister bitch.
This is the sun-tormented castle which
Reflects the sun. Da dada da.
The castle sings.
Da. I don’t remember what I lost. Dada.
The song. Da. The hippogriffs were singing.
Da dada. The boy. His horns
were wet with song. Dada.
I don’t remember. Da. Forgotten.
Da. Dada. Hell. Old butterface
Who always eats her lovers.

Odd Words November 12, 2014

Posted by The Typist in books, literature, New Orleans, NOLA, Odd Words, Poetry, Toulouse Street.
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This week in literary New Orleans, including the 5th Annual New Orleans Book Festival, brought to you this year not by any of the local, independent books stores but by Barnes & Noble, which does not even have a store in New Orleans. [Old joke from his father’s 1969 campaign for mayor: “Give the Ball to Landrieu” was a slogan, to which his opponent’s answer was “fumble on the play”]. Please join Odd Words in not attending this insult to local businesses and bookstores. FYYFF.

& Thursday at 5 pm at Tubby & Coo’s Mid-City Bookshop: What happens when four women-owned businesses come together? One heck of a party, that’s what! Join Tubby & Coo’s, SOPO, Relax & Heal, & The Wellness Studio for an amazing night of sales, giveaways, and delectable dishes from Nola Girl Food Truck. It’s sure to be the best shindig Mid-City has ever seen, so grab a friend and come mingle. Tubby & Coo’s will have author signings (stay tuned for which authors!), refreshments, and a giveaway of signed copies of Lewis Aleman’s “Cold Streak” and Rob Cerio’s “Dimensional Games.”

& Thursday, Maple Street Book Shop will host an evening of readings with the Creative Writing Class of Lusher School starting at 5:30PM. Students will read from their original work. Lusher’s Creative Writing program is designed to establish a supportive community of writers and to foster the artistic and intellectual growth of each writer in that community. Creative writing is a highly academic arts discipline, requiring strong critical and imaginative skills as well as a mastery of writing techniques. Thus, the curriculum emphasizes both reading and writing, with expectations becoming progressively more challenging within each level of study and from one level to the next.

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

& At 6:30 pm the East Jefferson Public Library hosts its bi-weekly The Fiction Writer’s 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.

& On Thursday at 7:00 P.M. Ari Shavit comes to the Jewish Community Center to present and sign MY PROMISED LAND: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel. An authoritative and deeply personal narrative history of the State of Israel, by one of the most influential journalists writing about the Middle East today. Not since Thomas L. Friedman’s groundbreaking From Beirut to Jerusalem has a book captured the essence and the beating heart of the Middle East as keenly and dynamically as My Promised Land. Facing unprecedented internal and external pressures, Israel today is at a moment of existential crisis. Ari Shavit draws on interviews, historical documents, private diaries, and letters, as well as his own family’s story, illuminating the pivotal moments of the Zionist century to tell a riveting narrative that is larger than the sum of its parts: both personal and national, both deeply human and of profound historical dimension.

& Also on Thurstay at 7 pm the East Jefferson Regional Library hosts an Author Event! The Up Stairs Lounge Arson, by Clayton Delery-Edwards. On June 24, 1973, a fire in a French Quarter gay bar killed 32 people. The disaster stands as the deadliest fire in the city’s history. Though arson was suspected, and though the police identified a likely culprit, no arrest was ever made. Additionally, government and religious leaders who normally would have provided moral leadership at a time of crisis were either silent or were openly disdainful of the dead, most of whom were gay men. Delery-Edwards reviewed hundreds of primary and secondary sources, including contemporary news accounts, interviews with former patrons of the lounge, and the extensive trail of documents left behind by the criminal investigations. The Up Stairs Lounge Arson tells the story of those who patronized the bar, what happened on the day of the fire, what course the investigations took, why an arrest was never made, and what the lasting effects of the fire have been.

& 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 Literary & Performance Series features Reading & performance by NIYI OSUNDARE at 7:30 pm. Please join us in honoring poet, dramatist, critic, essayist, and media columnist NIYI OSUNDARE, 2014 recipient of Nigerian National Order of Merit Award, Nigeria’s highest honor to be awarded. This news was just released on Monday in Nigeria.

& First Lady Cheryl Landrieu presents the 5th Annual New Orleans Book Festival, A Night of Music Under the Stars featuring the Greater New Orleans Youth Orchestra. Bring picnic baskets and blankets for a night of music and magic under the stars. All ages are invited to attend this free event. At the Milton H. Latter Library, 5120 St. Charles Avenue. Brought to you this year not by any of the local, independent books stores but Barnes & Noble, which does not even have a store in New Orleans. [Old joke from his father’s 1969 campaign for mayor: “Give the Ball to Landrieu” was a slogan, to which the answer was “fumble on the play”]. Please join Odd Words in not attending this insult to local businesses and bookstores. For a complete list of events visit nolabookfest.org.

& 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.

& Chef Cal Peternell will join Octavia Books at the Crescent City Farmers Market, Saturday, 8:30-10:30 A.M., to share insight and sign his book, TWELVE RECIPES. In this charmingly written, beautifully photographed and illustrated cookbook, the chef of Alice Waters’s Chez Panisse offers basic techniques and essential recipes that will transform anyone into a confident home cook. When Cal Peternell, the chef at Berkeley’s legendary Chez Panisse, was helping his oldest son pack his things for college and beyond, he naturally set him up with the gear for a new kitchen: a nice skillet, a decent knife, a cutting board, and a colander. He also started writing. Just twelve recipes at first–reminders of foods they’d cooked together and enough to put together some good meals–but what started as a cookbook from a father for his sons has become, luckily for the rest of us, Twelve Recipes a baker’s dozen chapters on how to cook and eat well.

& Saturday at 10 am Octavia Books is hosting the Newcomb Children’s Center Bookfair on Saturday, November 15, 2014, 10-6. On hand we’ll have teacher wishlists that friends and family can purchase for individual classrooms. Also, when friends and family make purchases with special vouchers (found at Newcomb), we’ll donate a percentage of the total sales to the school! (You can use the vouchers from Saturday, November 15 to Friday, November 21. Thee will have freshly signed editions of the great children’s book author William Joyce’s newest book, A BEAN, A STALK, A BOY NAMED JACK. Octavia Books bookseller Veronica will read this book for a short storytime at 11:30. Free and open to the public.

& The 2014 New Orleans Comic and Zine Fest runs Saturday from 11 am to 5 pm at The New Orleans Main Branch Library 219 Loyola Ave. “NOCAZ is an attempt to make a space for self published artists and thinkers to put their work out in the public sphere and be able to reach other people without the constraints and expense of the commercial publishing industry. Zines are a participatory format and we hope bringing multiple perspectives together under one roof can create dialogue and inspire more people to express themselves through print. We would also like to see more of this D.I.Y. spirit in the world of comics and hopefully make space for sharing knowledge and celebrating work that is existing outside of the tired narratives of mainstream comics and pushing the medium to new limits. And all of this happening at the public library? What a dream! We have over 70 writers and artist from New Orleans and from around the country coming to show off there work and hang out. We’ll have numerous workshops about making comics and Zines, a puppet show and activities for the kids, music performances, and free foooood!”

& Tracey Reigel Koch will sign her book Georges The Goose From Toulouse Who Only Ate Couscous at Maple Street Book Shop Saturday,11:30-1PM. Georges (zhorsh or zhorzh) Goose from the town of Toulouse France is so awfully picky he will only eat couscous. Things are not going well for Georges as he grows sluggish and frail. Poor Georges cannot even keep up with a snail! Learn how Georges discovers a valuable lesson about eating healthy!

& This Sunday at 3 p.m. The Maple Leaf Reading Series features features an Open Mic.

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

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

& Ron Chapman will sign and discuss his book, THE BATTLE of NEW ORLEANS: But for a Piece of Wood, on Tuesday at 6:00 P.M. at Octavia Books. The War of 1812, in particular the Battle of New Orleans, was vital to the national and international identity of the fledgling United States of America. It proved to the American people that the United States was a truly independent military power. However, the victory at New Orleans could have gone to the British under Gen. Edward Pakenham. This fascinating examination of the long campaign up the Mississippi River and the final battle details the high stakes of the battle and the true British motivation: to void the Louisiana Purchase and strip the United States of its most valuable port.

& Tuesday at the Alvar Library at 7 pm presents an evening of poetry. Local poets Bobby Toomer, Clemonce Heard, and Valentine Pierce will read and speak their work.

& Andi Eaton will be at Maple Street Book Shop Tuesday to read from and sign copies of New Orleans Style. After more than three hundred years, New Orleans style is not just sartorial but also venerable. A melting pot of cultures gives rise to the diverse fashion influences of French sophistication, Spanish exuberance and deep Creole roots. Classic trends like jazz style, the ebullient irreverence of Mardi Gras’ festive fashion and seersucker’s cool lines are quintessentially New Orleans. The local aesthetic established by the keen eyes at Maison Blanche and D.H. Holmes, master haberdashers at Rubesteins, milliners like Yvonne LaFleur and perfumers Hove Parfumeur formed a foundation on which the city’s rising stars reinvigorate and build a new fashion capital. Join author and designer Andi Eaton and discover the Big Easy’s stylish legacy and a new side of New Orleans.

& 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.

& New OrleansYouth Open Mic is back at it Wednesday 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. This month’s show features none other than the amazing Tarriona “Tank” Ball . This lady needs little introduction at this point. But as a Team SNO alumnus herself, who got her start as a youth poet, the now up and coming star and lead vocalist of the acclaimed Tank and the Bangas is more than glad to grace our stage at this month’s show. While we’ve had as many as 100 plus students and 17 schools in attendance in the past, we’re confident that between Tank’s presence and your youth’s, this month’s show will be the best NOYOM yet!

Editorial Note: Odd Words has problems with the use of the term “white Creole” in the book below. In fact, Odd Words has problems with the term Creole when used exclusively for freemen of black or mixed heritage. I am the descendant of native-born French and German stock fleeing Europe. My oldest American-born ancestor on the Acadian side was born in 1714 in Nova Scotia. We don’t know when Johann Jacob Folse debarked in New Orleans but he must have been on the first boats of German to arrive. He married in 1721 in Lafourche Parish. The North American dialect of French was eradicated from my family when my father’s family moved to New Orleans. The nuns would be him for speaking that “ignorant country French” and the kids would beat hi for being a coon-ass. I am a Creole. If you see to appropriate the term by skin color, you don’t know what you’re talking about. A book that focuses on the work of “white” Creole literature while ignoring the work of free men of color is not a book I am in a hurry to own.

& Wednesday the Tennessee William Festival in partnership with the Jefferson Parish Public Library presents Coffee and Conversation: Richard Campanella, Bourbon Street, A History. New Orleans is a city of many storied streets, but only one conjures up as much unbridled passion as it does fervent hatred, simultaneously polarizing the public while drawing millions of visitors a year. Richard Campanella’s cultural history titled “Bourbon Street” spans the street’s inception during the colonial period through three tumultuous centuries, arriving at the world-famous entertainment strip of today. It interweaves world events from the Louisiana Purchase to World War II to Hurricane Katrina with local and national characters, ranging from presidents to showgirls, to explain how Bourbon Street became an intriguing and singular artifact, uniquely informative of both New Orleans’s history and American society. This event is co-sponsored by the Tennessee Williams Literary Festival.

& Wednesday at 6 pm Garden District Book Shop hosts Rien Fertel and Imagining the Creole City: The Rise of Literary Culture in the Nineteenth-Century New Orleans. In the early years of the nineteenth century, the burgeoning cultural pride of white Creoles in New Orleans intersected with America’s golden age of print, to explosive effect. Imagining the Creole City reveals the profusion of literary out-put-histories and novels, poetry and plays-that white Creoles used to imagine themselves as a unified community of writers and readers.Rien Fertel argues that Charles Gayarré’s English-language histories of Louisiana, which emphasized the state’s dual connection to America and to France, provided the foundation of a white Creole print culture predicated on Louisiana’s exceptionalism. The writings of authors like Grace King, Adrien Rouquette, and Alfred Mercier consciously fostered an image of Louisiana as a particular social space, and of themselves as the true inheritors of its history and culture. In turn, the forging of this white Creole identity created a close-knit community of cosmopolitan Creole elites, who reviewed each other’s books, attended the same salons, crusaded against the popular fiction of George Washington Cable, and worked together to preserve the French language in local and state governmental institutions. Together they reimagined the definition of “Creole” and used it as a marker of status and power.By the end of this group’s era of cultural prominence, Creole exceptionalism had become a cornerstone in the myth of Louisiana in general and of New Orleans in particular. In defining themselves, the authors in the white Creole print community also fashioned a literary identity that resonates even today.

& 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.

& Morgan McCall Molthrop and Tina Freeman will sign their books at Maple Street Book Shop Wednesday, at 6PM. In Andrew Jackson’s Playbook: 15 Strategies for Success , author Morgan McCall Molthrop examines surprising tactics and innovations that have contributed to New Orleans’ rapid recovery post-Katrina, 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. Few artists have the luxury of separate work and living spaces, thus work and life often end up compressed into a singular personal environment. Artist Spaces, New Orleans provides a comprehensive portrait of the city’s artists and their relationship to space. In more than one hundred extraordinary photos taken by Tina Freeman and more than a dozen artist interviews by Morgan Molthrop, Artist Spaces, New Orleans highlights the spaces of New Orleans art luminaries George Dureau, Ron Bechet, Ma-Po, Dawn Dedeaux, Elizabeth Shannon, Willie Birch, Ersy, David Halliday, Robert Tannen, Elenora “Rukiya” Brown, Nicole Charbonnet, Kevin Kline, Amy Weiskopf, Keith Duncan, Josephine Sacabo, Lin Emery, and graffiti artist “Fat Boy.”

&The UNO Creative Writing Workshop will host a reading by artist and poet Mong-Lan on Wednesday at 8 p.m., at the UNO Lakeside Campus, Liberal Arts Building, English Department, Room 201.The reading will be followed by a Q&A, book signing, and brief reception. Mong-Lan, Vietnamese-born multidisciplinary American artist, poet, writer, painter, photographer, musician, singer, dancer and teacher of Argentine tango, left her native Vietnam on the last day of the evacuation of Saigon. Winner of a Pushcart Prize, the Juniper Prize, the Great Lakes Colleges Association’s New Writers Awards for Poetry, and other awards, Mong-Lan’s poetry has been nationally and internationally anthologized to in Best American Poetry and The Pushcart Book of Poetry: Best Poems from 30 Years of the Pushcart Prize. She is the author of eight books and chapbooks which contain her poetry and artwork — the most recent of which is One Thousand Minds Brimming: poems & art.

& At 8 pm Wednesday it is Poetry & Music at BJs’ Blood Jet Series at BJ’s at 8 pm. This Wednesday’s feature is poet Sandra Johnson.

& 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!).

This light, this flame that devours November 6, 2014

Posted by The Typist in Toulouse Street.
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Llagas de amor

Esta luz, este fuego que devora.
Este paisaje gris que me rodea.
Este dolor por una sola idea.
Esta angustia de cielo, mundo y hora.

Este llanto de sangre que decora
lira sin pulso ya, lúbrica tea.
Este peso del mar que me golpea.
Este alacrán que por mi pecho mora.

Son guirnaldas de amor, cama de herido,
donde sin sueño, sueño tu presencia
entre las ruinas de mi pecho hundido.

Y aunque busco la cumbre de prudencia
me da tu corazón valle tendido
con cicuta y pasión de amarga ciencia

Wounds of Love

This light, this flame that devours,
this grey country that surrounds me,
this pain from a sole idea,
this anguish of the sky, earth and hour,

this lament of blood that now adorns
a lyre with no pulse, lubricious torch,
this weight of sea that breaks on me,
this scorpion that lives inside my breast,

are a garland of love, bed of the wounded,
where dreamlessly, I dream of your presence
among the ruins of my sunken breast.

And though I seek the summit of discretion
your heart grants me a valley stretched below,
with hemlock and bitter wisdom’s passion.

- Federico García Lorca

Odd Words November 5, 2014

Posted by The Typist in Biography, books, bookstores, Indie Book Shops, literature, New Orleans, NOLA, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, Toulouse Street.
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This week in literary New Orleans featuring LadyFest and the NOLA Book Fair:

& Thursday at 6 pm Dominic Massa presents New Orleans Radio, with guests: Bob Walker, Keith Rush, Ed Clancy, and “Pal Al” Nassar at Garden District Book Shop. Thursday, November 6th 6-7:30PM From humble beginnings in a physics lab on the campus of Loyola University came the sounds of the first radio station in the lower Mississippi River Valley when WWL Radio signed on in 1922. The little station would grow into a national powerhouse, with its morning Dawnbusters show and nightly broadcasts from the Blue Room of the Roosevelt Hotel. The city’s second oldest station, WSMB, with studios in the Maison Blanche Building, developed its own cast of favorites, including “Nut and Jeff.” Later, in the city known as the birthplace of jazz, radio played a key role in popularizing early rock and roll. Disc jockeys at leading stations WTIX and WNOE helped develop the Crescent City sound, along with local personalities with colorful names like “Poppa Stoppa,” “Jack the Cat,” and “Dr. Daddy-O.” Dominic Massa discusses and signs his book, New Orleans Radio, with guests: Bob Walker, Keith Rush, Ed Clancy, and “Pal Al” Nassar.. This book is avaiable in paperback ($21.99). If you are unable to attend, you must call the book shop to order signed books.

& At Garden District Book Shop on Thursday at 6 pm James Nolan will be reading and signing You Don’t Know M.e 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. 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.

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

& Thursday at 7 pm bring the bi-weekly meeting of the SciFi, Fantasy and Horror Writer’s Group at the East Jefferson Regional 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.
Library: East Bank Regional Library

& Thursday at 8 pm Poet performer DON PAUL and members of ORQUESTA FLEUR present: “Duende, that mysterious force that surges up through the soles up your feet…” Featuring poet performer Don Paul: Poems & songs with bhodran and shakers, and Tangos by members of ORQUESTA FLEUR: Katarina Boudreaux (piano0, Stephanie Reed (accordian), Tom Collins (blues harp), Dancers Nanci Zhang & Casey Mills w/ Grand Finale featuring a full collaboration of all artists, musicians & dancers with OPEN MIC hosted by JIMMY ROSS.

& 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 2 pm WordPlay New Orleans poets and educators Asia Rainey and Christopher Williams presents a celebration of poetic works by Tom Dent through readings of his work and inspired new writings. Community is invited to share poetry and learn more about the legacy of Tom Dent at the Main Auditorium of the New Orleans Main Library, 219 Loyola Avenue. His published works included the book of poetry, Magnolia Street. He was a passionate groomer of other Black writers and worked hard to sustain the Free Southern Theater writing workshop and Congo Square Writers’ Union in his hometown of New Orleans and the Umbra Workshop on the Lower East Side in New York.

& Friday at 5 pm Octavia Books Shop hosts Good Night, Sleep Tight (Fall-ish) Story Hour Children’s Picture Book Event featuring Strega Nona’s Harvest. Miss Holly, one of our best book slingers, will read from a selection of fall-ish books for our second Good Night, Sleep Tight Story Hour.

& Friday at 6 pm Dillard University will host an Author Panel featuring Shelia Goss, Kristina K. Robinson, and Maurice Ruffin discussing Tom Dent’s life, works, and mission. Authors will read a selection from their original works and an audience Q & A about the state of black contemporary fiction, publishing, and the writing process will follow.

& Friday at 6 pm at Garden District Book Shop with her memoir, A Street in a Town Remembered, Carole Shelby Carnes does for Shelby, Mississippi, what Laura Ingalls Wilder did for the Great Plains and what Lucy Maud Montgomery did for Prince Edward Island. Memorializing this small Delta town from its roots through its heyday, Carnes tells the story of remarkable families and one extraordinary place. Carnes captures the spirit of Shelby in her descriptions, both of the famous plantation dances where the Delta elite mingled and of the hard times and indomitable spirit of the laboring sharecroppers. Through her own voice and the voice of her mother, May, readers meet Lizzie, Carole’s brave and funny nurse; Kennedy, the town’s tragic WWI hero; James Chow, the town’s Chinese grocer; and many others. Carole Shelby Carnes discusses and signs her book, A Street In A Town Remembered.

& Friday is the first day of the 2014 Lady Fest Poetry Series at Buffa’s. Hosted By: Megan Burns, the evening features poets FreeQuency, Nancy Dixon, Gina Ferrara, Amanda Smith, Whitney Mackman, Chyana Hall, RK Powers’ Sandra Johnson, Paula Anicete, Izzy Oneiric’ Roxy Seay, Kim Vodicka, Stacy Balkun, Patti DeMatteo, Kesha Star Young’ Sunday Shae Parker, w/ a special dance performance by Miz Reese Johanson.

& 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 1 pm T(w)een Weekend Writing Workshop will be held at the Norman Mayer Library. No matter what kind of writing you do or even if just think you’d like to, join us 2nd Saturdays in the Teen Room to talk about and share (if you want to) your stories, poetry, scripts, or comics.

& At 2 pm Saturday at the Algiers Regional Library Luci Parham will read her book Sacalait Smith, about a young girl who learns the important lessons of self-acceptance and appreciation of where she comes from.

& Sunday starting at 10 am the Zeitgeist Multidisciplinary Art Center hosts the annual New Orleans Bookfair. With a diverse list of authors, publishers, presses and local book-arts collectives this years bookfair will be an exciting all day bookstravaganza. The bookfair will include tablers, panels and performances and is not to be missed. Including tabling and presentations by: AK Press, PM Press, Ben Passmore, Erin Wilson, Alisha Rae, Osa Atoe/Shotgun Seamstress, Deep South Samizdat Books, Crimethinc. Ex-Workers Collective, Community Records, The Southern Letterpress, Lost Tales Publishing, Mamaphiles, The Iron Rail Book Collective, and The New Orleans Review

& This Sunday at 3 p.m. The Maple Leaf Reading Series features features an Open Mic.

& 2014 Lady Fest Poetry Series continues Sunday night at 5 pm at The Silk Road back room (formerly Schiro’s Cafe) 2507 Royal St. Hosted by: Megan Harris and feature Valentine Pierce, Geryll Robinson a.k.a. Dr. G. Love, Lisa Pasold, Constance Adler, Renee Nelson, Desireé V. Dallagiacomo, Emily Ewings, Sara Jacobelli, Alice Urchin, Kailyn McCord, Roselyn Leonard, Jade Hurter, Laura Mattingly and Raina Zelinski.

& Starting this Monday at 5 pm New Orleans Spoken Word Artists will present monthly workshops that include poetry writing and performance, with the goal of building community through writing and strengthening students’ written and verbal communication skills. Second Monday of the Month (beginning November 10), 5 p.m

& On Monday Octavia Books presents W. Bruce Cameron’s THE MIDNIGHT PLAN OF THE REPO MAN. Cameron is the author of A DOG’S PURPOSE and 8 SIMPLE RULES for DATING MY TEENAGE DAUGHTER.. When you pre-order THE MIDNIGHT PLAN of the REPO MAN during October, $4 of the sale will go to Villalobos Rescue Center. Ruddy McCann, former college football star, now Kalkaska, Michigan repo man, has a fairly simple life repossessing cars, hanging out with his dog Jake, and working at the bar his sister inherited from their parents, enjoying the nightly company of friends and all of their colorful patrons. Simple, that is, until he starts hearing a voice in this head.

& Monday at 7:30 pm poet Andy Stallings, who just published his first book To the Heart of the World), will be reading at Tulane University in Stone Auditorium, Art Building, 7:30PM. Reception to follow, 8:30, Faculty Lounge, Newcomb Hall. You can read an interview from his last New Orleans appearance on Room 220.

&On Tuesday the Jefferson Parish Libraries will be closed in observance of Veterans Day.

& Susan Larson, the former book editor of the former Times-Picayune newspaper and member of the National Book Critics Circle hosts The Reading Life on WWNO (89.9 FM) on Tuesdays at 1:30 p.m. She features interviews with authors of local and national interest. 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 with Moira Crone celebrating the launch of her new novel, THE ICE GARDEN. Ten-year-old Claire adores her brand-new baby sister, but her mother doesn’t feel the same. Trapped in the suffocating culture of the small-town South in the early 1960s, Claire’s mother tries to cope with her own mental illness and all the expectations placed upon a woman of her class. While Claire’s father remains too dazzled by his beautiful wife to recognize the impending dangers, Claire is left largely on her own to save herself and her baby sister–with mesmerzing and shocking consequences. Moira Crone won the Robert Penn Warren Award from the Fellowship of Southern Writers in 2009 for the body of her work. She is also a recent finalist for the Phiip K. Dick Award. The author of six books of fiction, she has received fellowships from the NEA, the Bunting Institute of Hardvard/Radcliffe, and the ATLAS program for Louisiana Artists. Her shorter works have appeared in The New Yorker, Oxford American, Southern Review, and more than a dozen anthologies.

& Tuesday at 6 pm Garden District Book Shop features Tina Freeman and Morgan Molthrop’s Artist Spaces, New Orleans. Few artists have the luxury of separate work and living spaces, thus work and life often end up compressed into a singular personal environment. Artist Spaces, New Orleans provides a comprehensive portrait of the city’s artists and their relationship to space. In more than one hundred extraordinary photos taken by Tina Freeman and more than a dozen artist interviews by Morgan Molthrop, Artist Spaces, New Orleans highlights the spaces of New Orleans art luminaries George Dureau, Ron Bechet, Ma-Po, Dawn Dedeaux, Elizabeth Shannon, Willie Birch, Ersy, David Halliday, Robert Tannen, Elenora “Rukiya” Brown, Nicole Charbonnet, Kevin Kline, Amy Weiskopf, Keith Duncan, Josephine Sacabo, Lin Emery, and graffiti artist “Fat Boy.” The interviews and photos provide a perfect complement. While Freeman poetically captures an intensely personal vision of the artists and their spaces, Molthrop unearths what the most accomplished artists in the city have to say about their relationship to that space. What results is an indication that each artist’s style is often reflected in the quality, character, and aesthetic of their living/working environments–a striking illustration of how deeply personal, all-encompassing, and interconnected are life and art.

& Tuesday at 7 pm at the Alvar Library on air personality, painter, and book artist from Kenner, Myrna Leticia Enamorado will read a selection from Growing Flowers By Candlelight In My Hotel Room, one of her hand made artist books — collections of illustrations, completed over a decade.

& Tuesday at 7 pm brings the monthly 1718 Reading at the Columns Hotel, featuring Catherine Lacey, Loyola alumna, read for us next Tuesday, November 11th. Here is a short bio: Catherine Lacey’s work has appeared in The New York Times, Guernica, McSweeney’s Quarterly, The Paris Review Daily, The Atlantic, The Believer, Electric Literature and many others. She was named a New Voice by Granta in 2014 and has earned fellowships from The New York Foundation for the Arts and Columbia University, where she earned an MFA in Nonfiction. She was born in Mississippi. Lacey will be reading from her debut novel Nobody is Ever Missing.

& 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 Wednesday’s feature is poet Ben Lowenkron joins us at Blood Jet this Wednesday night. Lowenkron ‘s home is the river. Born and raised in Virginia by the Potomac, he moved beside the James and the York to attend the College of William and Mary, and now lives with the Mississippi in Louisiana where he received his MFA from LSU and currently teaches at Baton Rouge Community College. His collection, Bone River, was published by Ampersand books.

& 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!).

Mr. Bones October 31, 2014

Posted by The Typist in cryptic envelopment, New Orleans, Poetry, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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These bones
is knit with
blood offerings,
throat slit pig
hung one long night
over the slow fire.

These bones
is bound by
food for crows,
a buzzard’s buffet
& marrow
for the worms.

These bones
come some tomorrow
is all what’s left
unless, unless
I speak these words
& you remember.

Odd Words October 29, 2014

Posted by The Typist in Book Stores, books, Indie Book Shops, Internet Publishing, literature, memoir, New Orleans, New Orleans Cookbooks, NOLA, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, 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.

& Thursday at 6pm Mamie Sterkx Gasperecz, the Executive Director of the Hermann-Grima & Gallier Historic Houses, will speak at Maple Street Book Shop about Kerri McCaffety’s new book, Luxury, Inequity, & Yellow Fever (Herman-Grima & Gallier Historic Houses, $45). Luxury, Inequity & Yellow Fever pairs majestic photographs of the Hermann-Grima and Gallier Historic Houses with captivating historic accounts, offering us a direct connection to the turbulent times of New Orleans’ Golden Age. The new book by acclaimed photographer and New Orleans native, Kerri McCaffety, features 152 pages of beautiful photographs and intriguing history that reveal intricate details about 19th century New Orleans—a time of wealth, romance, slavery, hurricanes and disease. In addition to the Hermann, Grima and Gallier families, McCaffety explores the lives of many who passed through these noteworthy homes, including slaves, Free People of Color, the ladies of The Woman’s Exchange and those currently keeping the legacy of the houses alive.

& Thursday at 7 pm the East Jefferson Regional Public Library hosts its bi-weeky 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.

& Thursday at 8:30pm, at the Gold Mine 701 Dauphine Street NEW ORLEANS LITERARY & PERFORMANCE SERIES presents Sioux Nation Chief Arvol Looking Horse, wife Paula Horne and daughter Poet Cheyenne Hope w/ Loren Pickford on alto sax & flutes, Earle Brown on tenor sax, Nobu Ozaki on bass, Eric B on percussions, Alexey Marti on percussions, Reverend Goat Carson on buffalo jaw harp, Liz Kimbrough on washboard, Katarina Boudreaux (vocals), Nanci Zhang (vocals). followed by OPEN MIC hosted by JIMMY ROSS .(sign-up begins at 7:30pm)

& 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.

& This weekend the city’s newest book shop Tubby & Coo’s celebrates its grand opening Friday, Oct. 31 – Sunday, Nov. 2. Combining books with geeky tchotchkes, Tubby and Coo’s is a one-of-a-kind shop. Come out and meet your favorite Star Wars & Doctor Who characters, build your own airship with Steampunk New Orleans, get books signed by amazing local authors, and more! You can even meet Tubby himself on Sunday, Nov. 2, when he celebrates his 94th birthday at the shop.

& 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 week it’s THROW BACK 90’s Poetry Party!!!! Comes dressed in your best 90’s gear and be ready to have good time. DJ XXL will be spinning 90’s jams all night and we will have prize for the best costume!!!!

& Saturday from 9-10:30 am Anne Byrn, aka “The Cake Mix Doctor,” celebrates the release of her new book, ANNE BRYN SAVES THE DAY! – 125 Guranteed-to-Please, Go-to Recipes to Rescue Any Occasion, at the Saturday Crescent City Farmers Market. Byrn will sign books and do a Halloween-themed demo (we hear pumpkin and chocolate are involved)!

& Saturday brings the 2014 Louisiana Book Festival. The Louisiana Center for the Book in the State Library of Louisiana is proud to present the 11th edition of this free, world-class literary celebration. Come join the fun from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. downtown at the State Library of Louisiana, the State Capitol, the Capitol Park Museum and nearby locations. Whether you’re young or old, just can’t get enough of poetry or love to cook up some great Louisiana dishes, our national award winning event has something for every book lover.The Louisiana Book Festival is your chance to meet exceptional writers while enjoying book-related activities and presentations. Visit http://www.louisianabookfestival.org/ for all the details.

& Saturdays at 11:30 am its Story Time with Miss Maureen at Maple Street Book Shop.

& Saturday starting at 1 pm The New Orleans Institute for the Imagination (NOII) celebrates its grand opening with a celebration of National Bison Day with a “Gathering of the Nations” welcoming the Mardi Gras Indian Chiefs along with Chief Avrol Looking Horse of the Sioux Nation and Chief Dardar of the United Houma Nations, with music, poetry and more. CHIEF ARVOL LOOKING HORSE, 19th generation Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe Bundle of the Lakota, Nakota and Dakota Tribes, CYRILLE NEVILLE, GRAYHAWK PERKINS, DR. JOHN, CHIEF THOMAS DARDAR of United Houma Nation, as well as other distinguished cultural emissaries and educators of the region. There will be an official Greeting and Thanksgiving Ceremony welcoming All Chiefs and members of their respective Nations. This gathering is a family event honoring All Indigenous Peoples with a shared message of Peace, Unity and One Love. This event also marks the first annual National Bison Day to be honored and nationally observed throughout the United States of America on November 1st by a resolution passed recently in the U. S. Congress. Complimentary refreshments & food will be provided for all children. No alcohol allowed on park grounds.

& At Garden District Books Saturday at 1 pm author Kit Wohl features her new book New Orleans Classic Creole Recipes. Fifty straightforward recipes with lush photography provide an authentic taste of Creole cuisine. These are the benchmarks of New Orleans’ city-style dining as opposed to country-style Cajun cooking. Creole cuisine is the delectable, freewheeling legacy of a celebrated, storied city. It is the most refined of America’s regional cooking styles and proves that flavor is our universal language. Recipes have evolved through three centuries of New Orleans cooking, drawn from Spanish and French settlers, settlers from Africa, the Caribbean, Italy, Ireland and Germany. Each cook contributed techniques, seasonings and recipes, modified to make use of New Orleans’ bounty, creating Creole cuisine. The chefs of Galatoire’s, Antoine’s, Arnaud’s, Mr. B’s Bistro, Café Reconcile, Commander’s Palace, and Upperline have provided iconic recipes such as Shrimp Creole, Sausage and Chicken Gumbo, and Pot au Feu, and sides such as Cheese Grits, Fried Green Tomatoes with Shrimp Remoulade, and Crabmeat Ravigote. Sweet endings include classics such as Bananas Foster, Beignets, and Pralines.

& Saturday at 5 pm Octavia Books hosts the final book in Leigh Bardugo’s “Grisha” trilogy, RUIN AND RISING. If you purchase one of the books from her Grisha trilogy, you will receive custom dice and a game Bardugo designed (first come, first served)! Also, Miss Leigh will be reading from her forthcoming book, SIX of CROWS. Sneak peek, fans! Bardugo is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Shadow and Bone and Siege and Storm. She was born in Jerusalem, grew up in Los Angeles, graduated from Yale University, and has worked in advertising, journalism, and most recently makeup and special effects. These days, she lives and writes in Hollywood, where she can occasionally be heard singing with her band.

& There is no Poetry Buffet this Saturday at the Latter Library. It will return next month on the first Saturdday

& Sunday at 1 pm Anne and Christopher Rice present their new books Prince Lestat and The Vines at Garden District Books., Tickets are provided with purchase of Anne and/or Christopher’s new book, Prince Lestat (Book Release date: October 28, 2014) and The Vines (Book Release date: October 21, 2014), respectively, purchased at Garden District Book Shop. You CAN purchase the books and receive a ticket the day of the booksigning.

  • Prince Lestat:The novel opens with the vampire world in crisis…vampires have been proliferating out of control; burnings have commenced all over the world, huge massacres similar to those carried out by Akasha in The Queen of the Damned…Old vampires, roused from slumber in the earth are doing the bidding of a Voice commanding that they indiscriminately burn vampire-mavericks in cities from Paris and Mumbai to Hong Kong, Kyoto, and San Francisco. As the novel moves from present-day New York and the West Coast to ancient Egypt, fourth century Carthage, 14th-century Rome, the Venice of the Renaissance, the worlds and beings of all the Vampire Chronicles-Louis de Pointe du Lac; the eternally young Armand, whose face is that of a Botticelli angel; Mekare and Maharet, Pandora and Flavius; David Talbot, vampire and ultimate fixer from the secret Talamasca; and Marius, the true Child of the Millennia; along with all the other new seductive, supernatural creatures-come together in this large, luxuriant, fiercely ambitious novel to ultimately rise up and seek out who-or what-the Voice is, and to discover the secret of what it desires and why…
  • The Vines: The dark history of Spring House, a beautifully restored plantation mansion on the outskirts of New Orleans, has long been forgotten. But something sinister lurks beneath the soil of the old estate. After heiress and current owner Caitlin Chaisson is witness to her husband’s stunning betrayal at her birthday party, she tries to take her own life in the mansion’s cherished gazebo. Instead, the blood she spills awakens dark forces in the ground below. Chaos ensues and by morning her husband has vanished without a trace and his mistress has gone mad. Nova, daughter to Spring House’s groundskeeper, has always suspected that something malevolent haunts the old place, and in the aftermath of the birthday party she enlists Caitlin’s estranged best friend, Blake, to help her get to the bottom of it. The pair soon realizes that the vengeance enacted by this sinister and otherworldly force comes at a terrible price.

& Sunday at 2 pm Octavia Books features Edward E. Baptist and THE HALF HAS NEVER BEEN TOLD: Slavery and the Making of American Captalism. Told through intimate slave narratives, plantation records, newspapers, and the words of politicians, entrepreneurs, and escaped slaves, THE HALF HAS NEVER BEEN TOLD offers a radical new interpretation of American history. It forces readers to reckon with the violence at the root of American supremacy, but also with the survival and resistance that brought about slavery’s end-and created a culture that sustains America’s deepest dreams of freedom

& This Sunday at 3 p.m. The Maple Leaf Reading Series features features poet Damon Marbut reads from and signs his new book, Human Crutches.

& At 4 pm Sunday Octavia Books hosts Cari Lynn, co-author of MADAM: A Novel of New Orleans. A captivating novel, based on true events, that follows the rise to power of New Orleans’s most infamous whore-turned-madam. New Orleans, 1897. Mary Deubler makes her living as a so-called Alley Whore— until bible-thumping Alderman Sidney Story creates a red-light district, mockingly dubbed “Storyville.” Through gumption, twists of fate, even a touch of voodoo, Mary rises above her hopeless lot to become the notorious Madam Josie Arlington. Filled with fascinating historical details and characters like Jelly Roll Morton, Louie Armstrong, and photographer E. J. Bellocq, Madam is a fabulous romp through the Big Easy that will delight readers of novels like THE OTHER BOLEYN GIRL and nonfiction books such as The Duchess and American Rose.

& Monday at 5:30 Octavia books boasts a A triple-header – three authors on a YA Roadside Tour – is headed our way! Natalie C. Parker, debut author of BEWARE the Wild, and Jule Murphy, debut author of SIDE EFFECTS MAY VARY, along with veteran author Tessa Gratton (THE BLOOD JOURNALS and THE ASGARD SERIES).

  • PARKER grew up in a navy family in which having adventures was as common as reading fairy tales. Though the roots of her family are buried deep in southern Mississippi, she currently lives in Kansas with her partner in a house of monsters. Beware the Wild is her first novel. You can visit her online at http://www.nataliecparker.com.
  • GRATTON has wanted to be a paleontologist or a wizard since she was seven. She was too impatient to hunt dinosaurs, but is still searching for someone to teach her magic. After traveling the world with her military family, she acquired a BA (and the important parts of an MA) in Gender Studies, and then settled down in Kansas with her partner, her cats, and her mutant dog.

  • MURPHY lives in North Texas with her husband who loves her, her dog who adores her, and her cats who tolerate her. When she’s not writing or trying to catch stray animals, Julie can be found in a library smelling old books and manning the reference desk. You can visit Julie at http://www.juliemurphywrites.com.

& 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 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 bestselling author Gary Krist when he presents and signs EMPIRE OF SIN: A Story of Sex, Jazz, Murder, and the Battle for Modern New Orleans, a vibrant and immersive account of New Orleans’s other civil war, at a time when commercialized vice, jazz culture, and endemic crime defined the battlegrounds of the Crescent City. EMPIRE OF SIN re-creates the remarkable story of New Orleans’ thirty-years war against itself, pitting the city’s elite “better half” against its powerful and long-entrenched underworld of vice, perversity, and crime. This early-20th-century battle centers on one man – Tom Anderson, the undisputed czar of the city’s Storyville vice district – who fights desperately to keep his empire intact as it faces onslaughts from all sides. Surrounding him are the stories of flamboyant prostitutes, crusading moral reformers, dissolute jazzmen, ruthless Mafiosi, venal politicians, and one extremely violent serial killer, all battling for primacy in a wild and wicked city unlike any other in the world.

& Tuesday at 6:30 pm its Author Night at Hubbell Library featuring New Orleans Homes at Christmas. Join author Bonnie Warren for a discussion of her new book.

& Tuesday at 7 pm the Jefferson Parish Library hosts the West Bank Fiction Writers Group at 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 and fourth 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 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 Octavia Books at 6 pm Wednesday meet photographer Tina Freeman and author Morgan Molthrop on Tuesday, November 5, 2014, 6:00 P.M. when they present and sign ARTIST SPACES, New Orleans. Few artists have the luxury of separate work and living spaces, thus work and life often end up compressed into a singular personal environment. Artist Spaces, New Orleans provides a comprehensive portrait of the city’s artists and their relationship to space. In 99 extraordinary photos taken by Tina Freeman and 21 artist interviews by Morgan Molthrop, ARTIST SPACES, New Orleans highlights the spaces of New Orleans art luminaries George Dureau, Ron Bechet, Ma-Po, Dawn Dedeaux, Elizabeth Shannon, Willie Birch, Ersy, David Halliday, Robert Tannen, Elenora “Rukiya” Brown, Nicole Charbonnet, Kevin Kline, Amy Weiskopf, Keith Duncan, Josephine Sacabo, Lin Emery, and graffiti artist “Fat Boy.”

& November’s Reading Between the Wines will take place Wednesday at 6:30PM at The Pearl in the American Can Company (3700 Orleans Ave). It is the one year anniversary of the reading series and a selection of previously featured authors will be present to celebrate. Past readers include: George Bishop, David Armand, Chuck Hustmyre, Poppy Tooker, Elsa Hahne, Allison Alsup, Elizabeth Pearce, Richard Read, Lawrence Powell, Emily Clark, Rebecca Snedeker, Randy Fertel, Lisa Marie Brown, Carolyn Kolb, Farrah Rochon, Alice Kemp, Viola Russell (Susan Weaver), Rodger Kamenetz, Gina Ferrara, Errol Laborde, Peggy Scott Laborde, Kim Marie Vaz, Stephen Rea, Kit Wohl, Brad Richard, Melinda Palacio, Nik Richard, Marla Chirdon, Matt Sakakeeny, Joel Dinerstein, Sally Newhart, David Spielman, Bill Loehfelm, Chris Wiltz, Erica Spindler, J.M. (Jean) Redmann, Greg Herren, N.S. Patrick, Sally Asher, Sherry Lee Alexander, Stephanie Grace, Phil Sandusky, Laura Roach Dragon, Mike Schaefer, Lewis Aleman, and Robert Cerio.

& Poet and UNO MFA Alumna GINA FERRARA will be reading from her new collection, Carville: Amid Moss and Resurrection Fern at 8 pm on Wednesday in the Liberal Arts Building Lounge (LA 197) on the UNO Lakefront campus.

& At 8 pm Wednesday it is Poetry & Music at BJs’ Blood Jet Series at BJ’s at 8 pm. This Wednesday features Jenny Sadre Orafai, Vincent Cellucci and Chris Shipman.

Wednesday brings you another oh Oh OH! so sensual installment of Estorotica at the Allways. Esoterotica’s local provocateurs are again going without themes and that means, Anything Goes, So Anything Can Happen! Original Erotica from Your Favorite Local Provocateurs, a Few Sexy Surprises and a Sneak Peek of “Beyond Desire” our show as part of The New Orleans Fringe Festival this year, prepared especially for our regular audiences. *wink* Door at 7, show at 8 as always 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!).

Next Week: Ladyfest! Stay tuned for details on check out the Friday and Saturday night events on their Facebook pages.

Shellhenge October 24, 2014

Posted by The Typist in A Fiction, Fortin Street, New Orleans, NOLA, The Narrative, Toulouse Street.
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A new sign of fall: the sun has crawled from behind One Shell Square’s fifty stories and shines into my eyes when rising as if it were the Stonehenge of Poydras Street. I had not considered before exactly how the shadows fall. I had simply started taking off my sunglasses as I trudged from my lot beneath the Claiborne overpass toward my temporary new job in a low-rise (eight story), mid-century modern building on Perdido Street. Virtually nothing in this city runs precisely east and west, or north and south. Canal Street runs toward the lake and fairly true on a north-westerly course, but the streets on each side are called north on one side and south on the other. My personal bit of Poydras does tend a compass point to the east of Canal, so it is not surprising that I should discover this little astronomical signal of the change of seasons.

Here the air is everything. The cool has come, the humidity has gone down, and the sun can otherwise do as it pleases. It is not an overwhelming fact of life as it is in August, merciless until interrupted by an afternoon thunderstorm, only to return and steam the streets dry. It is not the sun I rarely saw in North Dakota in winter, arriving and departing work in twilight, or the happy orb that looked of four o’clock on June nights when I was trying to put children to bed at eight. The air governs here, the sun simply playing its part to warm the air and the oceans where the big storms are born. In other places I have lived people will take in a deep breath of brisk fall air but are quickly distracted by the turning of trees, and all too soon by signs of frost. Only a few shrubs (one I planted once but cannot name, that grows along a building on Poydras) and the cypress trees turn color. I will have to check a particular stand with their grey bears that hide off Marconi between the stadium and the attractions up towards City Park Avenue. But the air—the cracking open of windows painted to reluctance, leaving open the door to the sounds of nightlife on my street as I sit in front—the air, the cool air is everything.

Odd Words October 22, 2014

Posted by The Typist in Book Stores, books, Creative Non-Fiction, Indie Book Shops, literature, memoir, New Orleans, NOLA, Odd Words, Poetry, 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.

& Mary Monsted will sign her CD Miss Mary’s Musical Gumbo Chants, Stories, and Musical Movement Activities for Young Children at Maple Street Book Shop from 6-8 pm. Miss Mary brings children’s music to your ears with her album, Miss Mary’s Musical Gumbo. This CD provides a resource for Pre-School and Elementary teachers, carpool parents, children, and grandparents. Children are able to listen, play, sing, move, and pretend with the songs, chants, stories, and musical movement activities on the “Musical Gumbo” CD. Lyrics are included for 26 songs lasting 43 minutes. Subject matter contained on the CD covers a broad spectrum of ideas.

& Thursday at 6 pm Octavia Books hosts an evening with New Orleans writer James Nolan when he reads and signs his new interrelated collection of short stories, YOU DON’T KNOW ME. In this collection, 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. But until you turn the addictive pages of these stories, you don’t—not really.

& Thursday at 7 pm the bi-weekly meetings of the SciFi, Fantasy and Horror Writer’s Group meets at the East Jefferson Regional 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.

& 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 Garden District Book Shop features Dylan Landis’s Rainey Royal. Greenwich Village, 1970s: Rainey Royal, fourteen years old, talented, and troubled, lives in a once-elegant, now decaying brownstone with her father, a jazz musician with a cultish personality. Her mother has abandoned the family, and Rainey fends off advances from her father’s best friend while trying desperately to nurture her own creative drives and build a substitute family. She’s a rebel, even a criminal, but she’s also deeply vulnerable, fighting to figure out how to put back in place the boundaries her life has knocked down, and more than that, struggling to learn how to be an artist and a person in a broken world. Rainey Royal is told in 14 narratives of scarred and aching beauty that build into a fiercely powerful novel: the harrowing and ultimately affirming story of a young artist.

& At 7 pm Thursday NEW ORLEANS LITERARY & PERFORMANCE SERIES presents Spoken word artist & singer GAYNIELLE NEVILLE w/ Eric B on percussions and Keenan Shaw on bass at the Goldmine, followed by an open mic. NEVILLE is a longtime singer / songwriter partner of her husband Cyril Neville, Gaynielle Neville’s solo album WOMAN POWER debuted in 2014. As a spoken word aritist, Gaynielle’s powerful voice has served as a central force in the New Orleans community for more than three decades.

& Friday from 5-6 pm wear your Halloween pajamas or a costume and join Octavia Books for its first ever Good Night, Sleep Tight Story Hour. Dr. Jeffrey Sigler, regular winner of the Edgar Allen Poe Reading Contest during his time at UVA, will be our special guest reader. He’ll recite “The Raven,” read from I AM a WITCH’S CAT by Harriet Muncaster, LITTLE BOO by Stephen Wunderli, and EDGAR GETS READY FOR BED by Jennifer Adams.

& Friday at 6 pm Garden District Book Shop hosts Marcus Samuelsson and his book Marcus Off Duty: The Recipes I Cook at Home @ The New SoFAB Museum. In a full-color cookbook with 150 photos, a five-time James Beard Award winner and best-selling author shows how he cooks at home for family and friends via an array of more than 120 recipes, which incorporate flavors from Ethiopian, Swedish, Mexican, Caribbean, Italian and Southern soulfood cuisines. His eclectic, casual food includes dill-spiced salmon; coconut-lime curried chicken; mac, cheese, and greens; chocolate pie spiced with Indian garam masala; and for kids, peanut noodles with slaw. This is an inside glimpse into how one of the world’s top chefs cooks in his home kitchen for those nearest and dearest to him. As the Southern Food and Beverage Museum settles into the new location, we are re-acknowledging the great Mrs. Leah Chase for her contributions to the culinary landscape of New Orleans. Join SoFAB, Dillard University Ray Charles Program, and Garden District Book Shop as we re-dedicate the Leah Chase Louisiana Gallery to honor a New Orleans culinary legend. As part of the ceremony Marcus Samuelsson, renowned chef and author, will speak to the importance of food in his life. Marcus Samuelsson signs his book, Marcus Off Duty: The Recipes I Cook at Home at the NEW Southern Food and Beverage Museum (SoFAB), 1504 Oretha C. Haley Boulevard.

& 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

& Saturdays at 11:30 am its Story Time with Miss Maureen at Maple Street Book Shop.

& Saturday Garden District Book Shop features Bonnie Warren and Cheryl Gerber discuss and sign their book, New Orleans Homes at Christmas from 1-.From reveillon dinners to purple, green, and gold ornaments, the holidays in New Orleans are a savory dish of diverse traditions and local spice that’s all its own. Look inside and enjoy what’s behind the doors of the homes of Archbishop Gregory Aymond, Tom and Gayle Benson, and others. Tour the residences of noted interior designers, including the renowned home of Sue Ellen and Joseph Canizaro. Historic traditions and modern memories live side by side in these lovingly dressed homes. Depicted in these elegant pages are private and public historic dwellings, overflowing with stunning decorations and personal touches. From English Turn to the Garden District, friends and family joyfully gather in homes embellished with garlands and family mementos. In this intimate exploration, hosts discuss their decorative styles, and professional interior designers show off their own personal masterpieces. Historic sites such as the Hermann-Grima House feature the Christmases of yesteryear. Along with beautiful photography, this work presents locals’ favorite holiday recipes and internationally lauded restaurants’ sumptuous offerings, which serve up a taste of a truly New Orleans Christmas.

& Saturday at 2 pm the Louisiana Music Factory, 421 Frenchman Street, hosts Thomas W. Jacobsen book signing:The New Orleans Jazz Scene 1970-2000. In 1966, journalist Charles Suhor wrote that New Orleans jazz was “ready for its new Golden Age.” Thomas W. Jacobsen’s The New Orleans Jazz Scene, 1970–2000 chronicles the resurgence of jazz music in the Crescent City in the years following Suhor’s prophetic claim. Jacobsen, a New Orleans resident and longtime jazz aficionado, offers a wide-ranging history of the New Orleans jazz renaissance in the last three decades of the twentieth century, weaving local musical developments into the larger context of the national jazz scene, Jacobsen vividly evokes the changing face of the New Orleans jazz world at the close of the twentieth century. Drawing from an array of personal experiences and his own exhaustive research, he discusses leading musicians and bands, both traditionalists and modernists, as well as major performance venues and festivals. The city’s musical infrastructure does not go overlooked, as Jacobsen delves into New Orleans’s music business, its jazz media, and the evolution of jazz edu-cation at public schools and universities. With a trove of more than seventy photographs of key players and performances, The New Orleans Jazz Scene, 1970–2000 offers a vibrant and fascinating portrait of the musical genre that defines New Orleans.

& Sunday from 1-3 pm Garden District Book Shop features Sidney Pulitzer’s Repair Washington: Practical Legislation for a Constitutional Convention. Recent polls prove that most Americans are frustrated with our Federal Government. Professional Career Politicians are in gridlock except for spending us into ever deeper debt. Higher taxes, complex regulation, and ever larger government have slowed national growth, and young people cannot find jobs. Constructive change is urgently needed. This book offers perfectly legal legislation consistent with Article V of our Constitution to call of a Constitutional Convention. When 34 states pass the law, the convention will offer amendments to improve how our government functions. Examples are two-term limits, shorter elections, control on political donations, ethics for public servants, budget discipline, tort reform, a press responsible for truth and respect for privacy, tougher law and order, greater freedom of religion, and more. Amendments cannot be ratified unless 38 states, three-quarters of the states, ratify each amendment. Unsound amendments will never be ratified. These changes will return citizen patriots to service in government and restore our freedoms. We will keep a balance between government and free enterprise, and preserve our freedoms of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

& Sunday brings In Search of the Living Dream: A Symposium on Harnessing Our Dreams for Healing, Creativity, and Community, from 2-7 pm at The Old Fire House, 720 Mandeville Street. In Search of the Living Dream is an all-day dream symposium focusing on how to harness our dreams to cultivate healing, creativity, and community. The low-cost community focused event will provide direct, practical information and tools on how to use your dreams to heal yourself as well as your relationships. Later in the afternoon, the talented and dynamic writers Rodger Kamenetz and Moira Crone will lead participants in writing workshops aimed at digging into deep wells of creativity housed in dreams. We’ll end the evening with a dream poetry throwdown featuring New Orleans poets Bill Lavender Laura Mullen, The Poetry Brothel, and more.

Join a dynamic group of dreamwork practitioners working with over 100 dreamers from around North America in a unique method of
Archetypal Dreamwork pioneered in Vermont over the last decade. Rodger Kamenetz, Sue Scavo, Bill St. Cyr, and Kezia Kamenetz have traveled and taught about dreams around the country and the world — to places like Johannesburg, South Africa, Esalen, Kripalu, and Sivananda Yoga Retreat in the Bahamas. This dynamic event will bring you dream teachings in unique and participatory ways. Participants can register for the individual workshops for $10/ea below or pay one price for the entire day. There is an early bird price of $20 all-day if you register below before October 15th, after the 15th and at door, $25. To register go to http://www.dreamitout.com/events-workshops.

& This Sunday at 3 p.m. The Maple Leaf Reading Series features an open mic. The Maple Leaf is the oldest continuous reading series in the south, founded by Everette Maddox. Poet Dennis Formento reads from and signs his new book, Cineplex. Poet Lola Haskins reads from her work (lolahaskins.com).

& 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 two authors: Anny Bloch-Raymond, author of FROM THE BANKS OF THE RHINE TO THE BANKS OF THE MISSISSIPPI: The History of Jewish Immigrants and Their Individual Stories, and Carol Mills-Nichol, author of LOUISIANA’S JEWISH IMMIGRANTS FROM THE BAS-RHIN, ALSACE, FRANCE.

  • With the large-scale immigration of Jews from diaspora communities, the Jewish population of the United States is the second largest in the world. You’ve most definitely heard about the Jewish communities in and near major cities such as New York, Miami, and Los Angeles. But did you know that one-fifth of the Jews who reached the US shores in the 19th and early 20th centuries settled in Louisiana? From France and Germany, they crossed the Atlantic Ocean to become peddlers, small shop-owners or sugar and tobacco traders in small towns along the Mississippi River. Jews they were, but Jews who invented a new and liberal Judaism that interacted with the Christian world which dominates the South. Whites they were, but Whites who had to fight for their civil rights (and their new country) and did not abide by segregation laws. Migrants they were, but migrants who let the good time roll and invented an authentic Creole kosher cuisine.Their history is written all over the South, here on street corners and on gravestones, there on synagogues and museums. But their legacy lives on: Anny Bloch-Raymond explored countless archival boxes and talked to dozens of families before beginning to write FROM THE BANKS OF THE RHINE TO THE BANKS OF THE MISSISSIPPI — a story and a history of Jewish life in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.
  • In this her latest book, Carol Mills-Nichol has written about the French Jewish immigrants from the Bas-Rhin who settled in forty-nine of the sixty-four Louisiana parishes over the course of the last two centuries. She begins by explaining the special pitfalls of Jewish genealogical research, then goes on to show how to use both French and English on-line records in order to unlock the secrets of long-departed ancestors. Mills-Nichol includes four case studies as examples of how to tackle certain genealogical brick walls. While the novice researcher can expect to unlock many secrets from the past, there will also be many frustrations in store for him, many unanswered questions, and some details which may take years to uncover. Patience is the watchword for the competent genealogist. The remainder of the book is devoted to the study of over six hundred Jewish immigrants who left from places in the Bas-Rhin, Alsace, such as Strasbourg, Haguenau, Hoenheim, Harskirchen, Rothbach, Ingwiller, Schirrhoffen, Schliethal, and Oberlauterbach, to name just a few. Some unlucky souls never even completed the journey. They may have died of disease in European ports while awaiting passage, or perished at sea during the arduous voyage. Those lucky enough to arrive did not always settle in New Orleans. Many journeyed still farther inland to big towns such as Shreveport, Baton Rouge, Alexandria, Opelousas, Donaldsonville or smaller villages like Chackbay, Waterloo, Livonia, Mansura, Hohen Solms, Bunkie, Berwick, Big Cane, Bayou Goula, or Pointe-à-la-Hâche. Still others were employed as store keepers on plantations such as Azima, Belmont, Cinclare, Cora, Cote Blanche, Cypress Hall, Live Oak, and Tezcuco. While many of them prospered in Louisiana, others suffered unspeakable tragedies in their adopted homeland. Some were murdered. Others ended their own lives. A frightening number of them succumbed to cholera, typhoid, or yellow fever, many within a few years of their arrival. Whatever their story, the reader cannot help but be caught up in the drama of the existence of these immigrants who risked everything to start anew in Louisiana.

& Tuesday at 6 pm Garden District Book Shops hosts Kevin Fortuna and The Dunning Man: Stories. The six stories in The Dunning Man feature anti-heroes who reject society’s rules. Characters from all walks of life—a rogue hip-hop star, a blackjack dealing mom, a middle-aged drunk plowing through his inheritance, and an empty-nester housewife trying to make peace with the past. They each exist in the here and now, living for what’s possible and what’s left—not what they’ve left behind. Redemption awaits all, but only along the rutted, gut-churning path of honest self-examination. Set in Atlantic City, New Orleans, Washington, D.C., the Hudson Valley and Manhattan, Fortuna’s stories depict the violent clash between society’s expectations and the chaotic arc of individual destiny. These are powerful tales of truth seekers imbued with larger-than-life personalities and the all-consuming need to find something worth seeking.

& Tuesday at 7 pm a Children’s Author Panel – Ryan, Downing and Dartez will be featured at the East Jefferson Regional Library. Three children’s authors with new books will discuss and sign them. The authors are Ryan Adam, New Orleans Mother Goose; Johnette Downing, Macarooned on a Dessert Island; and Cecilia Casrill Dartez, L Is for Louisiana.

& 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 6 pm Garden District Book Shop features Anne Byrn’s Saves the Day! Cookbook. A problem-solver extraordinaire, Anne Byrn knows what every too-busy cook knows. There are a gazillion recipes in the world, but the right recipe, the recipe that always works, the lifesaving recipe for when times are crazy—that’s priceless. Saves the Day! Cookbook presents 125 of these guaranteed tried-and-true recipes for every occasion. Whether they are Anne Byrn’s own family favorites or collected from her network of fans across the country, these go-to recipes include easy appetizers for a party or potluck—Bacon and Cheddar Torte, Stuffed Jalapen~o Peppers Witowski; mains to feed a family or a crowd, from fast-to-fix Shrimp and Cheese Grits to do-ahead, no-fuss Ina’s Sweet- and-Sour Brisket; salads perfect for entertaining the book club, including Grilled Tuna Salade Nicoise and Libby’s Avocado and Pink Grapefruit Salad; sides that please everyone; and desserts that don’t take a week to assemble, like Veronica’s Mocha Cake, Lemon Snow Pudding, Ella’s Easy Peach Pie.

& Room 220 presents Eli Horowitz Wednesday at 7 pm at the Press St. HQ (3718 St. Claude Ave.). He’ll be reading from his latest work, The Silent History. Maple Street Book Shop will be on-site to sell books. It begins as a statistical oddity: a spike in children born with acute speech delays. Physically normal in every way, these children never speak and do not respond to speech; they don’t learn to read, don’t learn to write. As the number of cases grows to an epidemic level, theories spread. Maybe it’s related to a popular antidepressant; maybe it’s environmental. Or maybe these children have special skills all their own. The Silent History unfolds in a series of brief testimonials from parents, teachers, friends, doctors, cult leaders, profiteers, and impostors (everyone except, of course, the children themselves), documenting the growth of the so-called silent community into an elusive, enigmatic force in itself—alluring to some, threatening to others. Both a bold storytelling experiment and a propulsive reading experience, Eli Horowitz, Matthew Derby, and Kevin Moffett’s The Silent History is at once thrilling, timely, and timeless. Eli Horowitz was the managing editor and then publisher of McSweeney’s. He is the co-author of The Clock Without a Face, a treasure-hunt mystery; Everything You Know Is Pong, an illustrated cultural history of Ping-Pong; and The New World, a collaboration with Chris Adrian, forthcoming from FSG.

& At 8 pm Wednesday it is Poetry & Music at BJs’ Blood Jet Series at BJ’s at 8 pm. This Wednesday features for our biggest night of poetry this season. Four visiting poets will take the stage to stir up the haunts: Frank Sherlock, Paige Taggart, Tracey McTague & Dara Wier.

  • Tracey McTague lives up on Battle Hill in Brooklyn, down the street from where she was born and across the room from where her daughter was born. She is the ornithologist consigliere for Lungfull! Magazine by day. By night, she is a root doctor, alchemist and hunter-gatherer.
  • Frank Sherlock is an American poet, and poet laureate of Philadelphia. He was a 2013 Pew Fellow in the Arts. He is the author of OVER HERE (Factory School) and a collaboration with CA Conrad entitled The City Real & Imagined (Factory School). His New Orleans collaboration with Brett Evans is entitled Ready-to-Eat Individual (Lavender Ink). He is a co-founder of PACE (Poet Activist Community Extension and a native Philadelphian.
  • Paige Taggart is a Northern Californian and currently resides in Brooklyn. Want For Lion is her first full-length collection. Her second book Or Replica will be published by Brooklyn Arts Press. She is the author of 5 chapbooks: Last Difficult Gardens (Horse Less Press), DIGITAL MACRAMÉ (Poor Claudia) Polaroid Parade (Greying Ghost) and The Ice Poems (DoubleCross Press), and forthcoming I am Writing To You From Another Country; Translations of Henri Michaux (Greying Ghost Press). She earned her MFA from the New School and was a 2009 NYFA fellow. She works as a full-time jewelry production manager & additionally makes her own jewelry.
  • Dara Wier is the author of nine collections of poetry. She teaches at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. The Harvard Review describes Wier’s poems this way, “many of Weir’s.stanzas draw a reader away from a recognizable world into one in which women waltz with bears, houseflies chat with colonels, and the absence of sound makes a material presence.” Her most recent book is Reverse Rapture (2005), published by Verse Press.
  • & 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!).

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.
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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.

& 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!) 

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