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Odd Words November 3, 2011

Posted by The Typist in books, literature, New Orleans, NOLA, Odd Words, Poetry, Toulouse Street.
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Well, good heavens, Miss Flannery: Everywhere I go, I’m asked if I think the universities stifle writers. My opinion is that they don’t stifle enough of them. There’s many a best seller that could have been prevented by a good teacher. ~Flannery O’Connor

I should have saved that quote for the write-up of the Louisiana Book Festival I promise to get right on after I finish this, as it ties in nicely with a discussion in the question and answer section of Roy Blount Jr.’s interview with Louisiana Writer Award winner James Wilcox, but I just saw it and couldn’t resist.

On another note, this is the 100th edition of Odd Words. I was thinking of celebrating this by drinking 100 Pyrate Shots at 17 Poets! tonight and extemporaneously recreating the poem Mystic Pig from the novel of the same title, but I’m not sure that’s such a great idea. I think after the sixth or seventh shot you would get Vogon poetry. Its hard to believe I have been putting together Odd Words for over two years and one hundred entries. Its a lot of work and all I ask is if you stop in here Thursdays to check out the listings, that you help spread the word, send your events to odd.words.nola@gmail.com and make all this work worthwhile.

& Tonight at 7:30 pm 17 Poets! at the historic Goldmine Saloon will feature Nigerian native and UNO Professor Niyi Osundare’s reading and signing of his new book, City Without People (Black Widow Press, 2011). Osundare is a powerful poet and performer, and his book captures the experience of The Federal Flood in language that is vernacular and direct and yet incredibly musical, evocative and cathartic. He is truly a “people’s poet” in the sense much of the rest of the world honors but which America does not. Highly recommended.

& I’m not crazy for the celebrity chef trend, although my son and I once avidly watched Iron Chef every week. While the proliferation of food shows on cable television have taken the celebrity chef far past Julie Child or even Emeril LeGasse into a place I’m not inclined to go (Hey! Let’s watch World’s Deadliest Chef!) John Besh’s MY FAMILY TABLE: A PASSIONATE PLEA FOR HOME COOKING promises a look into his home kitchen, with a focus on eating well in every respect: healthy, fresh and delicious. He is signing with a tasting tonight at Octavia at 6 p.m. If you were wondering what to get me for the holidays and the collected works of C.J. Jung in leather-bound hardback was looking a little pricey, you might consider this.

& If you don’t run into poet and wit and New Orleans original Chris Champagne at 17 Poets! Thursday that’s because he is relaunching the Celebrity Bartender event at Molly’s at the Market on Decatur starting at 7 pm with dollar tacos and Miller Hi-Life’s. Come out and meet the man whose voices the nightmares of Bunny Matthew’s cartoon characters in his satirical performances and poetry in person. At this event Numa unveils his Religion based on Chief Serpas. Timely, unfortunately and Bobby Jindal bingo and GAWD knows what.

& Also tonight, New Orleans novelist James Nolan will read from and sign his book HIGHER GROUND at Garden District Books, starting at 5:30 pm. Described as “a comic noir”, and as “a classic story of individual redemption amid collective destruction” set in a postdiluvian New Orleans, I’ve read a few comparisons to Confederacy of Dunces tossed out. I am very much looking forward to reading this one. Nolan reads and signs again Wednesday, Nov. 9 at 6 p.m. at Octavia Books.

& Friday night kicks off NOLA Bookfair with a book launch party Micheal Patrick Welch’s Y’ALLS PROBLEMS (Dirty Coast) and NEW ORLEANS: THE UNDERGROUND GUIDE VOLUME 2 (University of New Orleans Press) and a whole host of fun I’m not going to retype from the graphic-only notice on the website. You can get all the details here.

&If you missed Chris Champagne at Molly’s don’t miss what he promises will be the last of his satirical NUMA shows on Friday, Nov. 4 upstairs at Bud’s Broiler. $10 bucks cheap, upstairs.

& Downtown 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.

& Later Friday New Orleans premiere spoken word event Acoustic Fridays the Red Star Gallery, 2513 Bayou Road, hosted every week by Charlie V-Uptowns Illest MC. $7 cover, $5 with college ID

& This weekend is Ladyfest in New Orleans, and the full calendar of events is here. The wide range of music, dance, parades, etc. is too much for me to cover, but I’ll call out the poetry book signing at the Maple Leaf Healing Center location 11 am – 2 pm featuring Valentine Pierce, Lee Grue, Omaira Falcon, and Gina Ferrara; and, the poetry reading at Cafe Istanbul in the Healing Center from 1:45 – 6 pm, so you can dip in and out as you like as a respite from ….

&The NOLA Bookfair this weekend. Again, the full schedule is here but the highlights include readings/signing by Bryan Batt from BIG EASY STYLE at Faubourg Marigny Books & Art 11 am – 1 pm, James Nolan with HIGHER GROUND from 3 – 4 pm also at Otis’ FMB&A, Keith Spera and finally GROOVE INTERRUPTED at Snug Harbor 5 – 6 pm; a over a dozen readers at the Maison all day, including featured authors from Chin Music Press, Lavender Ink Press, Press Street Books and special visiting guests Unlikely Stories from Lafayette. And of course, vendor tables everywhere so you can load up with books by all these authors and more.

& As if there were not enough else going on Saturday, Maple Street Books will present two new entries in the American Girl series of ridiculously expensive collectable dolls, each of which comes with a book telling the girl’s story. The hook here is both of these American Girls are from New Orleans and their stories are set 1853 NOLA, at the height of the Yellow Fever outbreak. Cecile and Marie-Grace! join their American Girl book authors Sarah Masters Buckey and Denise Lewis Patrick, a NOLA native, at the flagship store. We will be having a tea party with lemonade, cakes, and sandwiches! Buckey wrote Meet Marie-Grace, Marie-Grace and the Orphans, and Marie-Grace Makes a Difference. Patrick wrote Meet Cecile, Troubles for Cecile, and Cecile’s Gift.

& And for more confusion and frustration than trying to figure out the best day’s Jazz Fest Cubes, Saturday also brings science fiction writer David Brin to the Contralow Con” in Gretna this weekend. If you have to ask what a con is, never mind. If you see someone dressed up as a Vogon Poet, it’s not me. I swear. Brin was also a guest on this week’s The Reading Life and you can catch him via the podcast if you can’t make the science fiction fan convention.

& On Sunday, the thirty-year’s strong Maple Leaf Poetry Series features Poet/fiction writer Jonathan Penton, founder of http://www.unlikelystories.org will be reading with Wendy Taylor Carlisle, Michael Harold, Kristina Marshall, Clare L. Martin and Frankie Metro. These folks will also be at the Bookfair but that’s not excuse not to unwind after Saturday’s frantic literary phantasmagoria with a cold one on the coolest patio in town.

& On Monday, Nov. 9 you can get your Gothic crime/horror fix with John Connolly Signing two new titles, BURNING SOUL and THE INFERNALS, at Garden District Books at 5:30 pm.

&On Tuesdays don’t miss Susan Larson’s The Reading Life show on WWNO-FM at 6:30 pm, and if you do (shame on you) catch the rebroadcast at 12:30 pm Saturdays, and the podcasts here.

& On Tuesday, Nov. 8 The New Orleans Center for Creative Aarts will present poet Toi Derricotte and novelist Patrick Thomas Casey at 7:00 P.M. Toi Derricotte’s latest book is The Undertaker’s Daughter. She is the author of four previous collections of poetry and is the recipient of fellowships from both the National Endowment of the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation. With Cornelius Eady, she founded the Cave Canem Foundation for African American poets. Patrick Thomas Casey is the author of the novel Our Burden’s Light, published by St. Martins. He lives in the Marigny neighborhood of New Orleans with his wife and two children. All this goes down in the Black Box Theatre at NOCCA, 2800 Chartres Street at 7 p.m. Maple Street Books will be on hand to sell the author’s works.

& Just so you don’t forget, James Nolan will read from and sign his book comic noir, postdiluvian novel HIGHER GROUND at Octavia Books at 6 pm Wednesday.

If all this doesn’t have your worn out just reading about it, don’t forget that Faulkner House’s annual Words & Music Festival is next weekend. And you’re missing Casa Azul’s Festival of Words this weekend in Grand Cocteau just north of Lafayette (New Orleans poet Valentine Pierce is among those attending).

Now if I can just get back to typing up those Louisiana Book Fair notes from last weekend for NolaVie.com and the blog without inter-eruptions, and figure out how to lure my 16 year old son out to get himself some culture this weekend. I think a Buffa Burger and books bribe may be required.

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