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Odd Words September 23, 2010

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

No, I didn’t exactly forget to write a column this week. I just should have written in earlier because last night I was at the first of two Nights Creole Arabesque & Transylvanian-Moldavian Fascination (the first event listed below) listening to talented young writers and their mentor from Romania share imaginative stories based on the model of Sheherezade, the medieval storyteller of 1,001 Arabian Nights. The event also feature a hilarious retelling of a Brer Rabbit story by Bill Lavender and a brilliant and theatrical piece about an Irish sailor in the transatlantic slave trade by Moose Jackson.

It’s not too late to get yourself over to the Goldmine for the second night, so scan the bullet below and read the rest of this later. If I had anything clever to say to top this post it was swallowed in my utter amazement at the talent I saw on display last night. if you need clever, do I really have to read HTMLGiant, The Rumpus and Maud Newton for you every week? (I am sure Ms. Newton regularly crushes under her heel the notion that men don’t make passes at women in glasses, but since this week’s blog reminds us she’s married you could skip it so as not to be heartbroken. Except that he husband interviews William Gibson.)

And so, after my opening paragraph, why are you still here when you should be on your way to the second night of:

§ Two nights of Creole Arabesque & Transylvanian-Moldavian Fascination. Last night featured guest writers & poets Lucian Dan Teodorovici, Bogdan Odagescu, Marius Conkan, Bill Lavender, R. Moose Jackson, James Nolan and DeWitt Brinson. Thursday, September 23, 8:00 p.m. (that’s tonight, as in right now, so go there and read this later) the featured guest writers & poets include Andrei Codrescu, Ruxandra Cesereanu, Corin Braga, Dave Brinks, Jessica Faust-Spitzfaden, and Kip Cairo.

EVENT PROLOGUE: Sheherezade, the medieval storyteller, told stories for 1001 nights in order to save her life from the cruel sultan Sharyar, who married a virgin every night and had her killed the next morning. Only Sheherezade’s stories could stop him from his murderous insanity. The 1001 Nights Storytelling Festival and its participants are out to prove that the 21st century is the new Oral Century. They believe that New Orleans and Transylvania are the places where Sheherezade 2 is going to offer a new model for survival through storytelling. The events will center entirely on the human voice and imagination. The Transylvanians will unveil sequels to the 1001 Nights in English translation, some of them interpreted by New Orleans actors, surprise musicians and dancers, while the New Orleanians will unveil accounts of unmerciful fabulosity.

Also featured in this festival — A meeting of Two-Continent Imaginations: Corin Braga, founder of The Center For Imagination Studies from Cluj, Transylvania, and Confessor Emeritus of Abomination and founder of The New Orleans School for the Imagination Dave Brinks joined by collaborateurs Andrei Codrescu and Bill Lavender.

§ Also part of this cross cultural story slam is a 1001 Nights Story-telling Festival Symposium Friday, Sept. 24 at 2 p.m. at the University of New Orleans in the TRAC Building, Room 103, featuring the ring leader of the Transylvanian Invasion Corin Braga along with New Orleans School for the Imagination ringleaders Dave Binks, Andrei Codrescu and Bill Lavender. A writing workshop on collaborative poetry will precede this event, but there’s no time on the card they handed out so just go early.

§ If this seems to be turning into all 17 Poets! at the Goldmine all the time, well that’s what’s on top of the stack and closest on the calendar. On Saturday night, the Goldmine will be closed to its usual weekend business of dance clubbers and consumers of Flaming Dr. Peppers (don’t ask) in order to feature an evening with poet ANDREI CODRESCU signing & reading from his new book The Poetry Lesson (Princeton) at the Gold Mine Saloon this coming Saturday at 7:00 p.m., September 25, 2010, admission is free.

§ When Dave Eggers told the crowd at his event at this year’s Tennessee Williams festival that there were still 100 Katrina books waiting to be written (like this one, I think he was right. At Garden District Book this Saturday, Sept. 25 at 11:30 am author Jean Redmann will read and sign Water Mark, the lastest installment in her Micky Knight mystery series, this one tied to solve the reasons behind the death of one of the many bodies found in the flooded homes of postdiluvian New Orleans.

§ Following Redmann at Garden District is Nolde Alexius, Judy Kahn, Allen Wier, Jeanne Leiby, Moira Crone, and other contributors discussing and signing their book Best of LSU Fiction. is not only a literary history of Louisiana’s flagship university but also an original presentation of some of the country’s best fiction writers. From Pulitzer Prize–winner Robert Penn Warren to Olympia Vernon, LSU MFA graduate, acclaimed novelist, and winner of the Ernest Gaines Award for Literary Excellence, this vital anthology includes original author biographies that trace the establishment of LSU’s prestigious literary tradition. Contained within are stories, some never before published, by LSU notables James Wilcox, Andrei Codrescu, Walker Percy, Moira Crone, David Madden, John Ed Bradley, Tim Parrish, Rebecca Wells, Olympia Vernon and many more.

§ At the Maple Leaf on Sunday Poet Kay Murphy celebrates her birthday and retirement from UNO with a poetry reading.

§ I don’t normally do children’s books, but Jewell Parker Rhodes’ Ninth Ward sounds like such a gem I am tempted to pick it up. (I have to confess to having picked up some of my children’s books over the years, wanting to revisit A Wrinkle in Time and Treasure Island). Twelve-year-old Lanesha lives in a tight-knit community in New Orleans’ Ninth Ward. She doesn’t have a fancy house like her uptown family or lots of friends like the other kids on her street. But what she does have is Mama Ya-Ya, her fiercely loving caretaker, wise in the ways of the world and able to predict the future. So when Mama Ya-Ya’s visions show a powerful hurricane–Katrina–fast approaching, it’s up to Lanesha to call upon the hope and strength Mama Ya-Ya has given her to help them both survive the storm.

§ I usually don’t mention this but after Jimmy Ross told me the story of his regular dumpster diving behind the Latter Memorial Library, which used to through out its old books, I think we should refer to this as the weekly You Should Thank Jimmy Ross For This Memorial book sale. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Wednesday and Saturday. Latter Library Carriage House, 5120 St. Charles Ave., (Uptown), 596-2625, http://www.nutrias.org. A blogger I read (I think it was NolaNotes, but I could be wrong; I can’t find it searching her blog archives) wrote a lovely piece about a particularly obsessive fellow who is an avid and regular shopper there, and her competition with him for prized volumes. If nothing else, you should go read NOLA Notes to see why she was on the Top 10 list of Best New Orleans blogs in this year’s reader poll.


1. New Orleans Is Sheherezade « Odd Bits of Life in New Orleans - October 3, 2010

[…] …who shared this at The Creole Arabesque & Transylvanian-Moldavian Fascination at 17 Poets! two weeks back, referenced in a prior Odd Words. […]


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