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Odd Words February 23, 2012

Posted by The Typist in books, literature, New Orleans, NOLA, Odd Words, Poetry, Toulouse Street.
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You know you are the old fart in your Chaucer class when the words “Procol Harum” and “Whiter Shade of Pale” evoke blank stares from the assembled sixteen vestal virgins and their cohort of future high priests in the temple of literature. I have to assume they are graduate trackers. You’d have to be insane to take Chaucer if you’re only in English to go to law school.

(What? Really? It’s “As the Miller told his tale” in the chorus. Oh, just go listen).

It looks like I’m going to be working full-time on Fridays shortly, and what with 17 Poets back in session and a full day of classes Thursday, I don’t know when I’m going to get this column written, but I do know I will probably be eating something or performing some other useful function if I’m going to keep up with all this. Typing on the bus in New Orleans is definitely out of the question.

Enough with the kvetching already and go write up the listings why don’t you?

& I won’t get this out in time for tonight’s Octavia book event (listed last week) but just in time to remind you that tonight 17 Poets hosts a triple header featuring JOHN SINCLAIR, PIERRE JORIS and NICOLE PEYRAFITTE at the Goldmine on Thursday, Feb 23, 7:30pm). If Sinclair is not enough of a don’t miss show on his own, I caught Nicole Peyrafitt at the Goldmine last year and her performance poetry is also a must see. You’ve got an hour to get down there and park, so come back and read the rest of this later.

&Friday McKeown’s Books and Difficult Music will host a reading with author, David Wesley Baldwin. He is the recipient of the 2009 Outstanding Fiction Award from Out Magazine and will be reading from several of his works. Wine/cheese will be served.

& Fridays also brings spokenwordnola.com’s weekly event at the Red Star Gallery on Bayou Road at 9 pm and the No Love Lost Poetry Reading at the Love Lost Lounge at 5:30 pm. Take you pick, or take two for the same price, as NLLP doesn’t charge a cover.

& On Sunday, Feb. 26 the Maple Leaf Reading series features poet and musician Jonathan Warren reads from his work and play his Native American flutes. His music is an ethereal wonder and you have to get a close looks at his flutes, which are amazing works of art themselves. All that and fine poetry, too. And beer or whatever. Well scotch is highly appropriate but not recommended if you have to work Monday.

& Monday of course brings The Writer’s Block to the amphitheater steps across from Jackson Square, unless of course Kate says it’s not. And everyone listens to Kate, except maybe Richard Burton.

& On Tuesday Octavia Books presents a reading and signing with Constance Adler featuring her just released memoir of life along Bayou St. John, MY BAYOU: New Orleans through the Eyes of a Lover. Octavia (or maybe the jacket copy) suggest “a vividly described and intensely personal memoir, My Bayou charts a personal and spiritual transformation along the fabled banks of Bayou Saint John in New Orleans.” This sounds like a book I would love. This sounds like a book I could get around to reading if I started buying Yerba Matte infused energy drinks by the case, but that does’t mean you should miss it. Ms. Adler will also be at Maple Street Books in Faubourg St. John on March 8 but that’s next week’s column.

& Next Thursday Octavia Books features historians Rebecca J. Scott and Jean M. Hébrard presenting and signing their new book, FREEDOM PAPERS: An Atlantic Odyssey in the Age of Emancipation. FREEDOM PAPERS sets the saga of a Senegambia and her descendants against the background of three great anti-racist struggles of the nineteenth century: the Haitian Revolution, the French Revolution of 1848, and the Civil War and Reconstruction in the United States. Senegambia was the primary source of slaves to French (and Spanish) Louisiana, and their homogeneous culture is one of the reasons we have our rich Creole culture. (Show off.) (Yes, I’m taking History of New Orleans.)

& Have I mentioned that Maple Street Bookshop has a First Tuesday Book Club at the Uptown location? I haven’t? Sorry guys. Well, here is the next entry with a discussion date less than two weeks away so if it sounds interesting you had best get over to one of their three locations and get a copy before a week from this Tuesday. the next meeting is March 6 at 6:00 P.M.: Gather with the club to discuss Tea Obrecht*s book, The Tiger’s Wife. ‘Stunning . . . a richly textured and searing novel.’ Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times.

& Just so you don’t think Garden District Books was ransacked by a crowd of drunken Bacchanalians, they will get back into the swing the week of March 6 with Kit Wohl, Suzanne Peron and C.S. Harris, but that’s next week’s column. And an opportunity to discuss the Oxford Comma in the comments section.

I’m afraid I’m missing something hurrying through this, but send me an email at odd.words.nola@gmail.com if I did and you can have your very own “Oops, I screwed up (again)” announcement. Please try to send them to me in advance so we both look smart. I can use every advantage to impress my professors I can possibly muster.

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