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Odd Words March 22, 2012

Posted by The Typist in books, literature, New Orleans, Odd Words, Poetry, Toulouse Street.
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“How to write beautiful and 100% true nonfiction.”

First you take a magic wand. No, wait. First you probably read this review, then decide if you want to read the book. If you ever worked as a journalist in the days when working a microrecorder without a foot pedal (and no, the newspaper wasn’t going to spring for any such fancy thing) required a reliance on notes by people who never learned shorthand, notes that in my case were legible to me for about 72 hours after which they became cuniform gibberish.

Do you something approaching accuracy or something approaching truth? Do you want to be moved or run a ruler down a table of figures? What the hell is truth anyway? Swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth then try to explain under cross-examination why your truth differs from someone else’s truth.

The closet you will come to Truth here are these listings, and once I start inserting my own remarks and not just cutting and pasting from the bookstores web sites or email people send me we have started down the slippery, black-diamond slope. And who says the author is as wonderful as the website or the New York Times or Publisher’s Weekly claims?

I’m afraid if I add another book to that unread pile, it will come crashing down and take out several pedestrians and close the street for the rest of the day, but that doesn’t mean I won’t.

Rant over. Listings begin here.

& Yes, its Tennessee Williams Festival week and I put up the listings through Friday in a separate post. I think I’ll do the same for the weekend listings as well. In fact I may have already done so by the time you read this. (Forget truth. Forget accuracy. We’re fucking with the time-space continuum here and there’s no telling what will happen).

& 17 Poets hosts poet and songwriter Jessica Ruby Radcliffe is the child of an Irish Gypsy and a Spanish aristocrat. She was taught by nuns until the age of 13 , when she hit the road. Her writing has been published in several magazines which she cannot remember because there was no money involved. She has performed throughout the USA and in England, Ireland, Canada, Japan, France, Italy and Hong Kong.She created and presented the performance group BOA Poets for a few years in the 1990′s. Jessica does not read very often and is delighted to be coming to The Goldmine. Thursday, March 22 at 7:30 p.m.

& Also on Thursday, at the Maple Street Books Bayou location Alex V. Cook will perk up your weekend with his book Louisiana Saturday Night: Looking for a Good Time in Louisiana’s Juke Joints, Honky-Tonks, and Dance Halls. A map, a journal, a snapshot of what goes on in the little shacks off main roads, Louisiana Saturday Night provides an indispensable and entertaining companion for those in pursuit of Louisiana*s quirky and varied nightlife. Thursday, march 22 at 6 p.m. at 3141 Ponce de Leon.

& OK, this goes on the TWF list as well, but it’s so damned New Orleans and one of the few events I know I am absolutely not going to miss: on Friday the Festival presents Literary Late Night: Lafcadio Hearn, a choreographed evening of readings, music, and dance, the People Say Project, Cafe Instanbul at the Healing Center. $15. (Yes I posted “horeographed” in the TFW list. Stop snickering. You probably laugh when you see a Hotard bus in front of you. What is this, 6th grade?)

& Oh, and the Friday routines: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 Saturday, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation will host “Between Heaven and Earth: Soothing the Troubled Soul With the Arts of our Ancestors” Two of the world’s top experts on African and African-American culture will speak on art as a healing force in a Jazz & Heritage Foundation symposium on March 24 at the Joy Theater.“Between Heaven and Earth: Soothing the Troubled Soul With the Arts of our Ancestors” will explore the origin of art as a spiritual release from Earthly pain – and its continuing expression in modern culture. Starting at 10 a.m. at the Joy Theater. Lots more detail here.

& This is rich, as in if you go to this you will eat only celery the following day and no, Bloody Mary’s don’t count. Join us at the Royal Sonesta Hotel kickoff of the 4th Annual New Orleans Roadfood Festival for an unforgettable evening that includes food (of course), live music, libations, and books (naturally). Featured authors include:

* Lynne Rossetto Kasper and her producer Sally Swift signing The Splendid Table’s HOW TO EAT WEEKENDS: New Recipes, Stories & Opinions from Public Radio’s Award-Winning Food Show and HOW TO EAT SUPPER: Recipes, Stories, and Opinions from Public Radio’s Award-Winning Food Show;

* Jane Stern and Michael Stern signing ROADFOOD: The Coast-to-Coast Guide to 800 of the Best Barbecue Joints, Lobster Shacks, Ice Cream Parlors, Highway Diners, and Much, Much More;

* Poppy Tooker signing THE CRESCENT CITY FARMERS MARKET COOKBOOK. Books will be available from Octavia Books onsite at the event.

To purchase event tickets ahead and for additonal details on the evening, see go here. Or you can support the station that brings you Susan Larson’s The Reading Life and make a generous pledge to WWNO local public radio here. In the Grand Ballroom of the Royal Sonesta, Friday March 23 at 6 pm

And yes I’m sensing a bit of a competition here between Octavia at the Sonesta and Garden District at the Monteleone.

Octavia will also host the participants over the weekend at Roadfood Street Festival in the French Market.

Saturday, March 24th
1:00 PM – Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Sally Swift
3:00 PM – Jane and Michael Stern
3:00 PM – Poppy Tooker

Sunday, March 25th
3:00 PM – Jane and Michael Stern

& Sunday in the patio of the Maple Leaf Bar the Maple Leaf Poetry Series hosts at open mike, starting at 3ish or as soon as everyone gets their drink. Bar scotch available at reasonable rates.

& On Monday, Garden District hosts Cory MacLauchlin and Butterfly in the Typewriter: The Tragic Life of John Kennedy Toole and the Remarkable Story of A Confederacy of Dunces. The saga of John Kennedy Toole is one of the greatest stories of American literary history. After writing A Confederacy of Dunces, Toole corresponded with Robert Gottlieb of Simon & Schuster for two years. Exhausted from Gottlieb’s suggested revisions, Toole declared the publication of the manuscript hopeless and stored it in a box. Years later he suffered a mental breakdown, took a two-month journey across the United States, and finally committed suicide on an inconspicuous road outside of Biloxi.

Following the funeral, Toole’s mother discovered the manuscript. After many rejections, she cornered Walker Percy, who found it a brilliant novel and spearheaded its publication. In 1981, twelve years after the author’s death, A Confederacy of Dunces won the Pulitzer Prize. In Butterfly in the Typewriter, Cory MacLauchlin draws on scores of new interviews with friends, family, and colleagues as well as full access to the extensive Toole archive at Tulane University, capturing his upbringing in New Orleans, his years in New York City, his frenzy of writing in Puerto Rico, his return to his beloved city, and his descent into paranoia and depression. Monday, March 26 at 5:30 p.m.

& Mondays at 9 p.m. The Writers Block meets on the steps/amphitheater on Decatur across from Jackson Square. Readings and all other performers welcome.

Even if you’re not crazy about the TWF there is so much going on this weekend you have no excuse not to get out and buy a book at your favorite local, independent bookstore. Yes, I see that tiny little spot on your bookshelf where one book is leaning just ever so slightly. You better fill that spot before that one tipping book pushes that entire shelf onto the floor.

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