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Odd Words October 29, 2009

Posted by The Typist in Odd Words, Toulouse Street.

It looks like another quiet week for Odd Words but then Halloween is a busy time in New Orleans. Just a few notes on things mostly for the future, some regular events to call out and a couple of blog linkeroos.

§ First lets start with the New Orleans Bookfair on Saturday Nov. 7 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Book sellers, readings and such all over the 500 and 600 blocks of Frenchman Street on Saturday. The featured guest will be John Berendt, author of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, who I saw at last year’s Tennessee Williams Festival (a report from that event here). There is a kick-off party and reading Friday at the Sound Cafe, 2700 Chartres St at the corner of Port from 6-9 p.m. featuring Ethan Brown, author of Shake the Devil Off and Louis Maistros, author of The Sound of Building Coffins.

Here’s a bit of their press release: “Besides boatloads of beautiful books to peruse, ponder & purchase, there will be live music & other entertainment, interactive activities, ‘zines-a-plenty, and readings from authors local and otherwise…The Bookfair is also hosting the TENTH annual outing of BABYLON LEXICON, an exhibition of avant-artists who use the bound book or printed narrative as a medium of artistic expression. This will blow your circuits, folks, and it’s bigger and stranger than ever! Books made of metal, a bowl full of tiny, bite-sized comics, books comprised of squished pastries, books made of pieces of other books, books deconstructed and re-jiggered in ways so creative as to defy press-release copy. You must see it to believe it!”

I’ll be selling Carry Me Home A Journey Back to New Orleans at Cafe’ Negril, and reading at sometime between noon and three at the Apple Barrel Bar. This will be my first year at this event so I can’t tell you much more, but here’s a photostream of last year’s festivities. If you’re reading this I’m sure I’ll see you there at some point.

§ I paid my first visit to Antenna Gallery last week to hear Stephen Elliott’s reading and was wowed looking at the books published by Press Street, “a New Orleans-based non-profit which promotes art and literature in the community through events, publications and arts education” as their web site says. I forgot to get cash and that’s the only reason I didn’t leave with one of each of the titles they have published. Each book is uniquely designed with different textures of paper, cover styles, bindings, etc. They were simply beautiful things that wanted to jump off the shelf into your hands and demand to be read. I’ll be back to clean out of of each off their shelves soon. In addition to the press, they host work space for writers, offer writing workshops all at the Antenna Gallery, an art space in front. Keep an eye on their website for future events, and by all means buy one of their books.

§ Don’t forget that Octavia Books is hosting a Halloween Party themed around Neil Gaimain’s The Graveyard Book Friday starting at 5 p.m. as part of a national contest. Best and biggest party gets a future visit from the author. I’m not sure I can get there but desperately want to do my part to get Gaiman to visit. If you go and get a wee bit drunk and your mask is good, you can claim to be me and I get credit for showing up because it looks like I may not be able to. Unless you manage to burn the place down. Then it was definitely not me.

§ As promised, since it’s a slow week here’s a few regular events.

  • The Maple Leaf Bar Poetry Series meets most Sundays 3ish (but starting later, I find), usually with a featured reader followed by an open mike. This is a charming set of folks I mostly met for the first time two weeks ago (my bad), but the series has been running since it was founded by poet Everette Maddox and is the longest running poetry reading series in the U.S. (or so I’m told).
  • Extraordinary poet, barkeep and editor of the YAWP! Journal Dave Brinks hosts a weekly reading series 17 Poets! Thursday at his Goldmine Saloon, 701 Dauphine St., corner of Dauphine and St. Peter. This event has been featured on NPR and Jim Leher’s PBS show and routinely brings in national talent as featured readers. Check it out.
  • Sweet Lorraine’s hosts a Jazz and Poetry series but I don’t have the schedule. By the time you read this we will have missed the last one but I have host M.C. Shakespeare’s email somewhere and will try to get a schedule and post it here. You may remember Shelton “Shakespeare” Alexandeer for his moving spoken word performance in front of the St. Roch Cemetery in Spike Lee’s When The Levees Broke. I used a line from it as the epigram of my book. (The speech used to be up on YouTube but got pulled by someone for copyright reasons).
  • Open Mic Poetry & Spoken Word – Loren Murrell hosts a weekly poetry and spoken-word night with free food. Free admission. 8:30 p.m. at Yellow Moon Bar, 800 France St., in Bywater (I cribbed this from another site. If you’ve been (or get there before I do), post up some info about it.

I know there are more comprehensive lists of literary events, but if you like the one’s I’m collecting here and want to clue me in to something people might otherwise might miss leave me a note here. See you at a locally owned, independent bookstore soon, I’m sure.


1. Lisa - October 29, 2009

Thank you for this post. As a hermit-like poet, I often find comfort staying at home with my books. However, it’s posts like this that remind me there’s a thriving literary community in Nawlins. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.


2. iheartfailure - November 3, 2009

I wish I would have found this blog sooner – I’ll be at the bookfair with my publisher, Ampersand Books. I’m also one of the readers at The Apple Barrel. Look forward to meeting you.


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