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Odd Words May 6, 2010

Posted by The Typist in books, literature, New Orleans, NOLA, Odd Words, Toulouse Street.

From, Maud Newton, thoughts of poet Phillip Larkin on your day job versus your writing. I mean, it’s not like anyone I know is getting paid to write anything other than journalism. (No problem with journalism. I’ve done my time, and the pay is a good bit better than poetry, but not by much). A day job, Larkin says, “forces you to think about something other than yourself and other than your own poems and I think that’s good for you and for y our poems…and the whole thing releases you from that awful pressure…of having to write something to carry on living…”.

I’ll try to keep those words in mind, although part of me would rather be spending my day among books than herding bad-tempered feral cats, which is about what corporate project management amounts to, be free as I re-shelved the books by rote to think and dream. Then again, based on the experience of one city librarian I know, it’s just as likely my outcome would be to police the computer lab and read to bad-tempered, feral children in a bookmobile in East Jesus. So maybe I should just shut up and finish this before someone important walks past my cube.

§ The Poetry Bomb is coming to New Orleans next weekend. Los Angeles poet S.A. Griffin purchased a hollow training bomb on Craigslist and is traveling the country filling it with poetry. At The Maple Leaf on Sunday at 3ish. Unfortunately for me, it’s Mother’s Day and if I suggest showing up here I may have to claim the Everette Maddox Memorial Bench as my new home, but this looks fascinating.

§ I haven’t watched but half an episode (the last of last season) of the TV series Mad Men, but local-born actor Bryan Batt will be signing She Ain’t Heavy, She’s My Mother, “an achingly funny and deeply moving portrait of his beautiful New Orleanian mother” one blurb reads, at Octavia Bookstore Saturday, May 8 at 6:30 pm. Probably not my thing but always good to give a local boy his props.

§ Sandra Cordray and Denise Danna discuss and sign their book Nursing in the Storm: Voices From Hurricane Katrina at the Garden District Bookstore May 6, 2010, 5:30pm. The book “takes you inside six New Orleans hospitals-cut off from help for days by flooding-where nurses cared for patients around the clock. In this book, nurses from Hurricane Katrina share what they did, how they coped, what they lost, and what they are doing now in a city and health care infrastructure still rebuilding, still in jeopardy” per the publisher.

I know, a lot of people are not ready for another Katrina book, but I tend to agree with Dave Eggers who said at this year’s Tennessee Williams festival that there are a hundred Katrina books waiting to be written. “I think we’re at the very beginning of telling the story of Katrina,” he told the audience. “There is a market beyond New Orleans.” You should not feel obliged to read them all, but this event is too important to think it will go undocumented. I‘ve written mine. Have you written yours?

I’ll try to get back to my Egger’s notes and write him up his remarks (now that I’ve typed up my month-old notes) as the brief feature at the top of Odd Words next week.

§ It’s not too late to to donate to any of the participants in theNeighborhood Story Project Write-A-Thon featuring their own authors and anyone else willing to step up and ask for sponsors. You can donate here to any of the participants here and if you’re reading this blog and this post in particular, I don’t know why you wouldn’t want to.

§ This week at 17 Poet! features novelist and short story writer MOIRA CRONE and poet DAVE BRINKS (Dave’s Birthday Party!) Thursday, 8ish at the Goldmine Saloon on Dauphine in the Quarter. And don’t forget the upcoming birthday celebration for New Orleans-born Bob Kaufman. Come and read something by this original Beat, perhaps the most original of the Beats with all due respect to Ginsburg and Corso. If you don’t know his work, call up the main library and find out if the collection Cranial Guitar is still in cataloging. I mean, it’s been two years. Maybe they should hire me.


1. Paul Harris - May 8, 2010

Egger’s book is #1 on my “to read” list. As a Calif. tourist trapped in the Superdome I know it will be an emotional roller coaster but I can’t wait to dig in.

Paul Harris
Author, “Diary From the Dome, Reflections on Fear and Privilege During Katrina”


2. coldH2Owi - May 12, 2010

I like this. Thanks.


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