Odd Words February 21, 2013Posted by The Typist in books, Indie Book Shops, literature, New Orleans, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, publishing, Toulouse Street.
The Big Read comes to Xavier University of Louisiana with a busy program in celebration of Ernest J. Gaines’s novel A Lesson Before Dying, beginning with a keynote event Saturday, Feb. 23, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. in the University Center Ballroom. The Big Read is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) designed to restore reading to the center of American culture. Xavier, along with its partner, the New Orleans Public Library, was one of only 78 not-for-profits awarded a grant to host a Big Read project between September 2011 and June 2012. The Big Read in New Orleans focuses on A Lesson Before Dying by Louisiana native Ernest J. Gaines. The Feb. 23 kick-off event will feature an appearance by the author – a Louisiana native – who will be interviewed about his life and his work on stage by Fox 8 News Anchor Nancy Parker. Other events will be hosted at bookstores and other venues around down over the next month.
Also, March is almost upon us and the box office is open for the annual Tennessee Williams Festival. You can view the online schedule here and even make a personal list of events. You can buy your tickets and passes here online.
& Bayou Magazine, the literary journal of the University of New Orleans English Department, will launch their latest issue tonight, Feb. 21 at the Allways Lounge at 9:30 pm. with readings and music by the Natural Light All-Stars. This is Issue 58 of this biennial, which is a depressing number for those of us who remember the Ellipsis but an outstanding achievement for the UNO English Department staff and students who make it possible.& Tonight 17 Poets! features the founders of the original Institute for the Imagination Andrei Codrescu and Dave Brinks, reading from their latest work: Codrescu’s So Recently Rent a World and Brink’s The Secret Brain: Selected Poems 1995-2012. When these two share the mike it is like the high-speed collision of elementary particles, a subtle but profound fireworks are certain to ripple through the space-time continuum at The Gold Mine. Open mic to follow hosted by Jimmy Ross, Proud Veteran of the U.S. Navy and other, sundry and interesting things. Codrescu is a towering figure not only in the New Orleans literary landscape but through his adventures in poetry, radio and film he is a cult icon of international stature. Brinks is founder and co-host of 17 Poets whose own most recent book was launched at City Lights Books in San Francisco and in Paris. [Interrupts the listings to read Charles Olson’s “The Lordly and Isolate Satyrs“.]
& Also on Thursday UNO Press invites you to a reading from two of their authors together for just one night! Come for the reading and stay for a Q&A session and book signing. Featured are MOIRA CRONE, author of The Not Yet, a science fiction novel that takes place in New Orleans in the year 2121. Find out why this fascinating novel was selected as one of the Best Books of 2012 by the influential blog Sans Serif, by NOLA.com as one of the “Top 10 Books of 2012,” and is one of seven Philip K. Dick Award nominees, one of the most prestigious science fiction awards in the nation. MARK STATMAN will read from Black Tulips, his translation of selected poems by José María Hinojosa. Black Tulips, released in October 2012, is swiftly becoming a mainstream in translation and has also been receiving some great press. In December, “Possibly Elegy” was featured as the poem of the day on Poetry Daily (poems.com), and New Pages named the translation a “New & Noteworthy” book of 2012.
& Finally, Garden District Book Shop hosts Margot Berwin and her book Scent of Darkness tonight at 5:30 p.m. “From the best-selling author of Hothouse Flower and the Nine Plants of Desire, a magical, seductive novel about the power of scent–and what happens when a perfume renders a young woman irresistible to everyone around her.”
& Friday, Feb 22. The Maple Street Book Shop Bayou location continues The Diane Tapes reading series featuring Maia Elgin, Melissa Dickey, and Nik De Dominic at 6 p.m.
& Also on Friday at 6 p.m., Garden District features Sharisse Coulte book Rock My World and Lee Coulter’s CD Mr. Positivity. The writer/song-writer duo a husband & wife creative team for the past 9 years, are embarking on a 6 month 55 city tour of the U.S. with their 4 year old son to share their respective passions.
& Miss Maureen says, “We’ll read Mossy by Jan Brett and talk about turtles”! at Saturday’s Story Time with Miss Maureen at Maple Street’s Uptown location at 11:30 a.m.
& A reminder that Saturday is Xavier University of Louisiana’s kick off event for The Big Read, featuring Ernest J. Gaines’s novel A Lesson Before Dying, beginning with an appearance by the author – a Louisiana native – who will be interviewed about his life and his work on stage by Fox 8 News Anchor Nancy Parker, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. in the University Center Ballroom.
& Saturday night from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m., as part of “Crescent City Books After Hours,” the denizens of The New Orleans Poetry Brothel invite you to a clandestine evening of intimate literature. Our poetry whores will be offering private readings in the cloistered, candlelit stacks of Crescent City Books. For a $10 cover, you can take in as many readings as you desire. Our busker will syncopate the atmosphere with sultry violin and light libations will be available. All proceeds will go towards the next Poetry Brothel event, this March.
& Also on Saturday night the Ashe Cultural Center, 1712 Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard, hosts Redd Linen Night, a Visual Arts Fundraiser with a Twist featuring An Extraordinary Night of Art, Music, Poetry and Incredible Performances. 6 – 10 p.m.
& Sunday’s scheduled Southern Fried Divorce After Party, sponsored by Garden District Books, is cancelled due to a fire at the scheduled venue.
Monday, Feb. 25th Octavia books features a reading, presentation and book signing with translator/poet Mark Statman featuring BLACK TULIPS: The Selected Poems of José María Hinojosa.
& The new Sunday show from Spoken Word New Orleans is Poetry and Paint Brushes. Poets perform as a resident artists paints the crowd and performers. At 6 p.m. at Special Tea, 4337 Banks Street. No longer at the Bayou Road location.
& A Studio in the Woods is proud to present a joint poetry reading by Melissa Dickey and former resident Benjamin Morris. On February 25, 2013, at 7 p.m. Morris and Dickey will read from their works and take questions from the audience. A brief book signing will follow the reading. The reading will take place from 7-8pm in the common room of Cudd Hall on Tulane’s campus, located on Gibson Quad.
& Every Monday, 9 p.m. Writer’s Block, usually held on the amphitheater steps on Decatur Street across from Jackson Square. Check the Facebook page for details.
& Susan Larson, the former book editor of the former Times-Picayune newspaper and member of the National Book Critics Circle hosts The Reading Life on WWNO (89.9 FM) on Tuesdays at 1:30 p.m. She features interviews with authors of local and national interest.
& Tuesday, Feb. 26 it is time for another Don Paul Poetry Ball at Cafe Istanbul featuring Gina Ferrara, Niyi Osundare, Goeff Munsterman John Sinclair, with music by Katarina Boudreaux and Jonathan Warren. Open mic follows. 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. with cash bar.
& Tuesday evening at 6 p.m. Garden District Book Shop hosts Elsa Hahne’s The Gravy: In the Kitchen with New Orleans Musicians. “Based on the much-loved OffBeat magazine series with the same name, The Gravy—In the Kitchen with New Orleans Musicians will fill your ears and your belly, whether you choose breakfast with Mystikal, or lunch with Irma Thomas and her Macaroni and Cheese, or Creole Squash for supper at Big Al Carson’s house with a side of Antoinette K-Doe’s Cornbread.”
& Wednesday, Feb. 27 Maple Street Book Shop Uptown will host a discussion of Xavier University’s selection for The Big Read, Ernest Gaines’s A Lesson Before Dying at 6 p.m.
& Also on Wednesday The Maple Street Book Shop’s downtown bookclub will be reading Jo Nesbo’s The Snowman for their next meeting at 7PM in the Healing Center.