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Odd Words October 20, 2011

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

Correction: If you’re back checking the listing a second time, there is a new correction and post-deadline addition both called out below. Please be sure to send your events to odd.words.nola@gmail.com by the Tuesday before to make sure I include them.

If you’ve clicked the Syllabus page tab at the top of the blog or seen a Facebook post about it, you realize that I’m trying to figure out how to most productively use my time when my job comes to an end this month. I have a fairly generous severance with health benefits so I’m not in a panic, even as we are deep into what the history books will someday call The Great Recession. My primary idea has been to use part of that time between jobs as a writing sabbatical, a sort of roll-you-own MFA or workshop of one, if you will. The plan is: read, analyze, think and write and re-write again. Suggestions on books and structure are welcome. Just post them in the comments of that page.

I can’t afford a real M.F.A. because I never got my B.A. (although I’ve discovered UNO will take me back, all forgiven and let me finish a degree with no minimum hours beyond what I left unfinished, which wasn’t much. More on that another time). And in fact, I wonder if I would want an M.F.A. or even an intensive retreat/workshop (I’ve looked for them, and I’m having a hard time finding something that fits and is affordable). And then I read Inside an MFA: Call and Response over at HTML Giant. Strangely this came just after the flashback of watching Season Five of the Wire, thinking back to my own newspaper days. My job wasn’t anywhere near as high pressure as that of the Baltimore Sun depicted in the series, but it is striking to consider the difference between working as a newspaper reporter and studying for an M.F.A. Perhaps I made the right choice years ago when I left school for the pleasure of being mocked by a slotman for a salary in the high four figures, which is probably about what you can make annually as a result of getting an M.F.A. (on adjustment for inflation used).

& so . . .

& This week New Orleans notables Peggy Scott Laborde and Tom Fitzmorris team up this week to launch their book collaboration LOST RESTAURANTS OF NEW ORLEANS. Featuring reminices about such legendary eateries as Acy’s Pool Hall, Glucks (where Tennessee Williams worked as a waiter), La Louisiane and Kolbs along with recipes from famous spots including Shrimp Toast from Dragon’s Garden, Stuffed Macaroni from Toney’s Pizza & Spaghetti House, Maylie’s Turtle Soup, and Christian’s Oyster Roland. I’m not normally crazy for cookbooks but this one looks like a treat. There’s no question these folks know this material backward, forward, drunk and blindfolded. And if we are talking about original recipes, I can’t imagine a kitchen or a coffee table in New Orleans without this book. Saturday Oct 22 at 6 p.m. at Octavia Books, and Monday, Oct. 25 at 5:30 p.m. at Garden District Books.

& Another signature event I putting in out of order is the Poems & Pink Ribbons: Breast Cancer Celebration Reading Sunday, Oct. 23 at The Healing Center on St. Claude.

& This Thursday, 17 Poets! welcomes back poet Dara Wier along with poets Jen Tynes and Jen Denrow, 7:30 pm, followed by an open mic hosted by the Gorgon of the Fairgrounds, Jimmy Ross. Thursday, Oct. 20, 7:30 pm at the Goldmine Saloon.

& Also on Thursday, poet and now novelist Melinda Palacio will read and sign her debut novel, Octotillo Dreams on Thursday, October 20, 2011, 6:00 P.M. at Maple Street Books Healing Center location. Ocotillo Dreams is an evocative and powerful statement about human life and the conditions of immigrants in the U.S.

& Early Friday night at the Love Lost Lounge, the No Love Lost Poetry Reading hosted by Joseph Bienvenu kicks of at 5:30 p.m., just in time for the bar’s happy hour and opening time for the excellent Vietnamese kitchen in the back.

& Poem Gian “G-Prospect” Smith (he featured in the Treme teaser this year) hosts Pass It On, a spoken work event at the McKenna Museum of African-American Art,2003 Carondolet St. Friday at 9 p.m.

& After Pass It On, it’s time to hop in your car and had to Acoustic Fridays, the weekly spoken word event at the Red Star Gallery, 2513 Bayou Road, hosted every week by Charlie V-Uptowns Illest MC. $7 cover, $5 with college ID. Call 504-982-0922 for more information or to perform, or check out their website.

& Saturday afternoon Maple Street Books uptown location will host S.L. Alexanderto sign Courtroom Carnival: Famous New Orleans Trials. We love our drama in NOLA, and Miss S.L. presents some of outrageous courtroom dramas in this book (out on October 15, 2011). Move over Law & Order; get ready for Awe & Disorder. Saturday, Oct. 22 at 1 p.m

& On Saturday even Maple Street Books (the one on Maple Street) hosts Tulane Political Science Professor Melissa Harris-Perry who will be signing her book, Sister Citizen, which examines the role of Black women in American politics. Saturday, Oct 22. at 6 p.m.

& On Saturday, Dillard scholar and poet Dr. Jerry Ward will read from “The Katrina papers” while artist Herbert Kearney paints out the last tears of the bloody storm from the High relief made of the pieces of his old studio ‘All Mothers are boats’ Hanging at Fatoush Cafe in The Healing Center, 2372 St. Claude. Also reading will be poets Megan Burns, Dave Brinks and Herbert kearney. Musical accompanyment by John Spuzzillo. Saturday, Oct. 22, 6 p.m.

& Late Addition Later Saturday, Oct 22 McKeown Books & Difficult Music features a Poetry Exposition hosted by Thaddeus Conti and featuring Adam O’Conner, Jenna Mae, Laura Mattingly, Joseph Bienvenu, Sandra Grace Johnson, Jonathan Mmilam Walters. Saturday, Tue. Oct 22 at 8 p.m.

& On Tuesday Octavia Books hosts a presentation and signing with award-winning photographer Lori Waselchuk featuring her powerful new book, GRACE BEFORE DYING. She will be accompanied by historian Lawrence Powell who penned the essay contained in the book. Grace Before Dying tells the emotional story of an extraordinary breakthrough that has helped to transform the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola from one of the most dangerous maximum security prisons in the United States into one of the least violent. By allowing volunteer inmates to comfort fellow inmates who are elderly or terminally ill, a new hospice program helps convicts assert and affirm their humanity in an environment designed to isolate and punish. Tuesday, Oct. 25 at 6 p.m.

& – Late Addition On Tuesday, Oct. 25 17 Poets! will host a special Tuesday edition reception and reading for poets en Hofer, Andy Young, and John Pluecker. The event will start with a reception at 7 p.m. with eats and drinks (including, as usual for such events, some Brocatto’s mini-canolli), with the reading at 8 p.m. Locals will know Andy Young as instructor in creative writing at NOCCA and editor of the bilingual English/Arabic literary journal Meena. Her work was recently featured on National Public Radio’s “The World” and published in Best New Poets 2009 (University of Virginia Press), Callaloo, Guernica, and Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia & Beyond (W.W. Norton & Co).

Jen Hofer is a Los Angeles-based poet, translator, interpreter, teacher, knitter, book-maker, public letter-writer, and urban cyclist. Her most recent books are the homemade chapbook Lead & Tether (Dusie Kollektiv, 2011); Ivory Black, a translation of Negro marfil by Myriam Moscona (Les Figues Press, 2011); a series of anti-war-manifesto poems titled one (Palm Press, 2009); sexoPUROsexoVELOZ and Septiembre, a translation from Dolores Dorantes by Dolores Dorantes (Counterpath Press and Kenning Editions, 2008); The Route, a collaboration with Patrick Durgin (Atelos, 2008); and lip wolf, a translation of lobo de labio by Laura Solórzano (Action Books, 2007). Recent poems and translations have appeared in Aufgabe, Mandorla, Or, out of nothing, TRY and with+stand.

John Pluecker is a writer, interpreter, translator and teacher. His work is informed by experimental poetics, radical aesthetics and cross-border cultural production and has appeared in journals and magazines in the U.S. and Mexico, including the Rio Grande Review, Picnic, Third Text, Animal Shelter and Literal. He has published more than five books in translation from the Spanish, including essays by a leading Mexican feminist, short stories from Ciudad Juárez and a police detective novel. There are two chapbooks of his work, Routes into Texas (DIY, 2010) and Undone (Dusie Kollektiv, 2011).

& On Wednesday, delve into the tangled world of the Middle East with James Farwell’s The Pakistan Cauldron: Conspiracy, Assassination & Instability, in which he takes apart the tangled political world of a nation that is a lynch-pin of a politically-charged South Asia. Wednesday, Oct. 20 at 5:30 p.m..

& Also on Wednesday, the Tennessee Williams Festival continues its Coffee & Conversation series at the Jefferson Parish Library, featuring Keith Spera and Jeremy Davenport discussing GROOVE INTERRUPTED: Losss, Renewal and the Music of New Oreans, their account of the role of music, musicianss and other culture workers in the city’s post-Katrina recovery. Wednesday, Oct. 26 at 7 p.m, Community Room of the Jefferson Parish East Bank Regional Library, 4747 West Napoleon Ave.

The Faulkner Society Words & Music Festival is just around the corner in November. Words & Music, 2011 will be of special interest to Latino/Hispanic audiences, as highlights of this year’s program include presentations by Latino Pulitzer Prize winners, novelist Junot Dîaz of Dominican heritage and Cuban-American playwright Nilo Cruz, the first Latino playwright to win the Pulitzer. Keynote speaker will be Cuban-American writer Armando Valladares, former U. S. Ambassador to the United Nations for Human Rights and international bestselling author of the memoir Against all Hope about his 22-year ordeal as a prisoner of conscience in Cuba. As usual, the is a full slate of discussions, master classes and special events such as Literature and Lunch daily, musical performance, &c. Visit the Words and Music site for more details.


1. Glenn Meche - October 20, 2011

Aw, Folse … BA, MFA. Do you really wanna be another cookie on the pan? You’re already a writer, man, go write. You’re a poet, go poe. You want a diploma? I’ll give you one, Scarecrow. Or you can make your own. Okay, a degree might help in the corporate/academic worlds, but it also might cripple your sense of wonder, your righteous outrage, and your own internal book of writing rules. I’m sorry, I shouldn’t be giving you advice. Maybe what I’m trying to say is don’t lose your head, trying to fit your peg in the wrong hole.


Mark Folse - October 20, 2011

You are too kind.l The B.A. is low hanging fruit, and one less obstacle to getting back into the world of work. I get a retraining allowance to pay for it, and it gives me a solid reason to get out of the rat race for a few months. And like any artist, an opportunity to really focus on craft for a while is irresistible. Consider it this way: people you cast or otherwise rely on with day jobs suddenly given an opportunity to work full time in the art, to try and take themselves to the next level. Who among your cohort would not take the opportunity (and I’ll definitely be going to check out T.J. in The Good Negro). I don’t really want an M.F.A., just something like the residency m friend Benjamin is doing at Studio in the Woods, except I will have to provide my own discipline to work, work, work.


Glenn Meche - October 20, 2011

Okay, just don’t lose sight of yourself.


2. Glenn Meche - October 20, 2011

… And say, Hey!” to Tj.


3. Mark Folse - October 20, 2011

Does losing sight of my feet count?


Glenn Meche - October 20, 2011

Nah, I lost sight of those – and a few other things, as well – a long time ago. Just don’t forget to scrub ’em in the shower.


4. Mark Folse - October 20, 2011

Um, shower, right. As soon as I finish this chapter.


5. Susanna - October 20, 2011

It’s not appropriate for me to be giving advice either, but it just seems ironic for you to be sitting in a class that you could be teaching instead. It would be like Glenn taking a class in art photography. Enjoy your sabbattical, I’m sure everything will work out. sp


Mark Folse - October 20, 2011

I probably couldn’t teach my incomplete Science requirement. : )


candice - October 21, 2011

there’s a really fun astronomy class over there if you need a science elective.

i have been on something of a sabbatical myself the last few months, but learning windows system internals instead of writing….


Mark Folse - October 21, 2011

You poor thing. I’ve left my animal books full ot technical jargon far behind me (but I’m holding onto UUCP and Usenet, should The Man decide to shut down the Internet). That’s two recommendations for astronomy and I think it will be my first choice.


6. Laura Ellen Scott - October 20, 2011

Hiya Mark–Mark Y and I actually won’t be at GDB until the 26th (as opposed to yesterday). Will you be there? And can you get Greg P to show up in his black leather kilt?


Mark Folse - October 20, 2011

Yikes. Corrected. I


Mark Folse - October 21, 2011

Greg says he’ll hunt up a kilt if you wear the gorilla mask.


7. MZell - October 20, 2011

For what it’s worth re: Faulkner Fest, I heartily recommend attending anything John Biguenet is part of and nothing involving Michael Murphy.


Mark Folse - October 21, 2011

Thanks for the suggestions. I would welcome any others.


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