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Odd Words April 25, 2013

Posted by The Typist in books, literature, New Orleans, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, publishing, reading, signings, Toulouse Street.
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The Gulf South Booksellers Assocation once again hosts the Jazz Fest Book Tent, so here’s the first weekend’s lineup of visiting writers signing their books. The Book Tent is a project of the New Orleans Gulf South Booksellers Association (NOGSBA). NOGSBA is comprised of the local independent book stores and publishers. NOGSBA has run the book tent for 25+ years, with all proceeds benefiting local children’s literacy. Here’s one impulse purchase you know you’re going to make anyway (well, and that one in the music tent, and probably that metal wall hanging you’re going to wish you’d had shipped by the last set of the day).

Phil Sandusky 12-1PM New Orleans: Impressionist Cityscapes
Elsa Hahne 2-3PM The Gravy
Denise McConduit 3-4PM DJ Books


Sally Newhart 12-1PM Original Tuxedo Jazz Band
Tom Piazza 1-2PM Southern Journey of Alan Lomax
David Spielman 2-3PM When Not Performing
Poppy Tooker 3-4PM Mme. Begue’s Recipes of Old New Orleans Creole Cookery
Christi Rice & Megan Nolan 4-5PM When The Lights Went Out In The City
Edward Branley 5-6PM Legendary Locals of New Orleans

Allison Vines-Rushing & Slade Rushing 12-1PM Southern Comfort Cookbook
Deb Shriver 1-2PM In the Spirit of New Orleans
Johnette Downing 2-3PM How to Dress a Po-Boy
John McCusker 3-4PM Creole Trombone
Neighborhood Story Project 5-6PM Straight Outta Swampton

Next Thursday
Ron Thibodeaux 12-1PM Hell or High Water: How Cajun Fortitude Withstood Hurricanes Rita and Ike
John Swenson 1-2PM New Atlantis: Musicians Battle for the Survival of New Orleans
Ben Sandmel 2-3PM Ernie K-Doe
Lorin Gaudin 3-4PM New Orleans Chef’s Table
Jay Mazza 5:30-6PM Up Front and Center

& Thursday evening the Alvar Library hosts the first in a series of spring poetry readings at 7 p.m. featuring Nik DeDominic, Brett Evans, Gina Ferrara, and Kay Murphy. Thursday is always a busy day for the NOPL, so check out the full calendar of events here.

& 17 Poets! Literary & Performance Series presents two extraordinary poets this Thursday, BILL ZAVATSKY and MICHAEL TOD EDGERTON, at Gold Mine Saloon in New Orleans, 701 Dauphine Street in the French Quarter, on Thursday, April 25 @ 7:30. Open Mic hosted by Jimmy Ross follows the featured program. Born in 1943 in Bridgeport, Connecticut, Zavatsky worked as a pianist from the age of fifteen to twenty-five and studied music at the New School. He holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from Columbia University.With Zack Rogow, he co-translated Earthlight: Poems of André Breton (Sun & Moon Press, 1993), which won the PEN/Book-of-the-Month Club Translation Prize. Zavatsky also co-translated The Poems of A.O. Barnabooth, by Valery Larbaud, with Ron Padgett. He is the author of Where X Marks the Spot (Hanging Loose Press, 2006); For Steve Royal and Other Poems (Coalition of Publishers for Employment, 1985); Theories of Rain and Other Poems (1975). Edgerton’s newest collection from Lavender Ink is Vitreous Hide. His poems have been published in the Boston Review, Chelsea, Denver Quarterly, EOAGH, Five Fingers Review, New American Writing, New Orleans Review, Sonora Review, Word For/Word, and other journals.

& Also this evening Wil Tustin will be signing Ambushed at Maple Street Book Shops’s Healing Center shop at 6:30 p.m. Ambushed is his first novel and is a culmination of over twenty years of research and teaching. It is historical fiction and a first person account of Paul the Apostle’s life.

& The Jefferson Parish East Bank Regional Library will host Poetry Event! An Evening with Melinda Palacio this evening at 7 p.m. Palacio grew up in South Central Los Angeles and now lives in Santa Barbara and New Orleans. She also writes a Friday column for La Bloga.com. She is a 2007 PEN Center USA Emerging Voices Rosenthal Fellow and has published a novel and a book of poetry.

& Saturday’s Story Time with Miss Maureen will feature The Magic Rabbit by Annette LeBlanc Cate for the stroller roller set.

& Saturday the Barnes & Noble in Metairie will hosts Todd-Michael St. Pierre w signing his local cookbook, Taste of Treme, at 1 p.m.

&The Melanated Writers Collective new The Sunday Shorts Reading Series starts this Sunday, April 28, at Red Star Galerie at 2513 Bayou Road. MelaNated Writing Collective member L. Kasimu Harris kicks off the series with his fine new short story work, and the opening session of the series will be capped off by the hypnotic fiction of Sabrina Canfield.) . Doors open at 8, readings start promptly at 8:30, and will include Q&A with the authors following each reading

& Sunday Xavier University presents The Poetic Vision Tour is a national traveling concert tour that features spiritually infused, inspired music. The PVT believes that music as an art form should not merely instruct but should inspire, not merely educate, but express. The Spring Tour of 2013 features a special musical journey through 800 years of spiritual poetic music, from 13th century Morocco & the tradition of Qasidas to the Qawalli music of Mughal India & modern Pakistan, & finally to the folk music of the United States in the 1050s-1970s & urban hip hop from 1980-present. The event is free and open to the public. Doors open at 6:30 in the James and Caroline Duff Banquet Center at Cintas on Xavier’s campus.

& The new Sunday show from Spoken Word New Orleans is Poetry and Paint Brushes. Spoken Word artists 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.

& On the second, fourth, and fifth Sunday of each month, Jenna Mae hosts poets and spoken-word readers at 8:00 p.m. at the Fair Grinds Coffee House on 3133 Ponce de Leon St.

& Barnes & Noble in Metairie hosts award-winning actress Diane Ladd for a discussion and signing of her new book, A Bad Afternoon for a Piece of Cake: A Collection of Ten Short Stories Sunday at 2 p.m.

& Monday evening the East Bank Regional Library in Metairie hosts The Fiction Writers’ Group. This is a support group for serious writers of fiction. We do not focus on poetry, essays or nonfiction. Events consist of critique sessions from group members, author talks and writing exercises. Free of charge and open to the public. Registration is not required. 7-9 p.m.

& 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.

& Meet the Authors Tuesday beginning at 5:30 p. m. at the Cabildo, the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society and the Louisiana State Museum join hands to celebrate publication of five new books by New Orleans authors. The event is free and open to the public and, as we are offering free refreshments, we request an advance rsvp to Faulkhouse@aol.com so that we can adequately
prepare. Authors being honored are Debra Shriver, Brenda Marie Osbey, Judy Conner, Sanem Ozdural, and N. S. Patrick.

& This Tuesday Octavia Books hosts the release of New Orleans historian Emily Clark’s new book, ;THE STRANGE HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN QUADROON: Free Women of Color in the Revolutionary Atlantic World at 6 p.m. Clark’s book, drawing on the rich archives of New Orleans, tell a different story. Free women of color with ancestral roots in New Orleans were as likely to marry in the 1820s as white women. And marriage, not concubinage, was the basis of their family structure. In The Strange History of the American Quadroon, Clark investigates how the narrative of the erotic colored mistress became an elaborate literary and commercial trope, persisting as a symbol that long outlived the political and cultural purposes for which it had been created. Untangling myth and memory, she presents a dramatically new and nuanced understanding of the myths and realities of New Orleans’s free women of color

& Every Tuesday at 6 p.m. the Barnes & Noble West Bank hosts Westbank Writers’ Group. Every is welcome, from novices to serious authors. Join us for inspiration, friendly critiques, or just to connect with other local writers

& Wednesday there is a weekly poetry reading hosted at the Neutral Ground Coffee House at 9 p.m.

Odd Words April 18, 2013

Posted by The Typist in Toulouse Street.

World Book Night, the international program of free book distribution to encourage people to read, is next Tuesday, April 23 and Odd Words is again a participant. The problem is, I haven’t figured out the where and how yet. Odd Word’s title is The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros. Goodreads says “Told in a series of vignettes stunning for their eloquence, this memoir (?) is Sandra Cisneros’s greatly admired story of a young girl’s growing up in the Latino section of Chicago.” And I haven’t read it yet. I’m going to pluck one off the top of the box when I get it Thursday night. If all else fails me, I’ll put my table up on Frenchman Street just outside the Apple Barrel again, which worked well last year.

Today is Bob Kaufman‘s birthday. Go check some poems on PoetryFoundation.org. (Poets.org lists no poems.)

& so to this listings…

& Thursday is a busy day for The New Orleans Public Library. You can view the full week’s events here:

  • NOPL continues its El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day) program with a story time for toddlers featuring Asia at the Hubbell Branch, 10:30-11:30 a.m. This program is a celebration every day of children, families, and reading that culminates yearly on April 30. The celebration emphasizes the importance of literacy for children of all linguistic and cultural backgrounds.
  • NOPL also hosts Create Black Out Poetry at the Latter Branch at 4 p.m. This is a teen poetry/craft celebrating National Poetry Month. We will be reading poetry, making poetry, listening to music, light refreshments and giveaways.
  • At 5:30 pm the Norman Mayer Branch of NOPL hosts Writing Workshops Led by Youths upstairs in the teen area. Encouraging creative arts exploration through reading, engaging discussions, and group activities. Youth ages 12-17 are invited! Group limited to 15 participants.
  • At 6:30 p.m. NOPL’s Algiers Branch continues its series Pass the Word Poetry Workshop. “Stand Up, Look Up, Speak Up: How to Present Your Work in Public” presented by Valentine Pierce. Sponsored by Poets & Writers, Inc.

Tonight at 6 p.m. Octavia Books hosts a presentation and booksigning with Mary Ann Sternberg celebrating the release of her new book, RIVER ROAD RAMBLER: A Curious Traveler along Louisiana’ s Historic Byway, and the the new edition of her much celebrated ALONG THE RIVER ROAD: Past and Present on Louisiana’s Historic Byway. Sternberg has spent over two decades exploring this historic corridor, uncovering its intriguing and often – under-appreciated places. In River Road Rambler, she presents fifteen sketches about sites along this scenic route. From familiar stops, such as the National Hansen’s Disease Center Museum at Carville and the perique tobacco area of St. James Parish to lesser – known attractions such as Our Lady of Lourdes grotto in the town of Convent and the Colonial Sugars Historic District,

& Thursay at 7:30 p.m. 17 Poets! is in temporary quarters at 828 Lesseps St. in the Bywater this Thursday due to sewage and water construction in the building. Featured are y Kelly Davio, Kit Robinson and Freddi Evans followed by the open mic. Davio is Managing Editor of The Los Angeles Review, Associate Editor of Fifth Wednesday Journal, and a reviewer for Women’s Review of Books. She is a Pushcart nominee whose work has been honored in Best New Poets. Robinson is the author of The Messianic Trees: Selected Poems, 1976–2003 (Adventures in Poetry, 2009), Train I Ride (BookThug, 2009), The Crave (Atelos, 2002) and 16 other books of poetry. Williams Evans is an alumna of Tougaloo College, Tougaloo, Mississippi where, as a music major, she began studying traditional African music on a study-travel to the University of Ghana at Accra. Evans is the award-winning author of three historically-based children’s books: A Bus of Our Own (2001), The Battle of New Orleans: the Drummer’s Story (2005), and Hush Harbor:Praying in Secret (2008). Evans latest book, Congo Square: African Roots in New Orleans, received the 2012 Humanities Book of the Year Award from the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities.

& Tonight at 9 p.m. at the Shadowbox Theater there will be a whole “Lot o’ Shakespeare”!, the New Orleans Premiere of Tim Mooney’s hit one-man show. One monologue from every Shakespeare play performed entirely at random based on the spin of a Bingo cage! Prizes! Prizes! Prizes! This will be Mooney’s first ever New Orleans appearance… (Not counting the Cat’s Meow!) Four performances, Thurs, 4/18-Sun, 4/21.

& Friday at 5:30 p.m. Rod Dreher discusses and signs her book, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming at the Garden District Book Shop. The Little Way of Ruthie Leming follows Rod Dreher, a Philadelphia journalist, back to his hometown of St. Francisville, Louisiana (pop. 1,700) in the wake of his younger sister Ruthie’s death. When she was diagnosed at age 40 with a virulent form of cancer in 2010, Dreher was moved by the way the community he had left behind rallied around his dying sister, a schoolteacher. He was also struck by the grace and courage with which his sister dealt with the disease that eventually took her life. In Louisiana for Ruthie’s funeral in the fall of 2011, Dreher began to wonder whether the ordinary life Ruthie led in their country town was in fact a path of hidden grandeur, even spiritual greatness, concealed within the modest life of a mother and teacher.

Friday night at 6 p.m. Maple Street Book Shop Bayou St. John presents the next installment of The Diane Tapes features [Field][White][Burns] reading from their work. Jared White was born in Boston and lives in Brooklyn. He is the author of the chapbook YELLOWCAKE, published as part of the Narwhal anthology from Cannibal Books in 2009. His recent poems have appeared in Sink Review, Esque, Coconut, Harp & Altar, We Are So Happy To Know Something, and in audiovisual format on the Flying Object web site. He is the co-owner of Berl’s Brooklyn Poetry Shop and the co-curator of Yardmeter Editions. Farrah Field is the author of Rising(Four Way Books, 2009) and the chapbook Parents (Immaculate Disciples Press, 2011). Her poems and essays have appeared in many publications including Sixth Finch, Ploughshares, Harp & Altar, Lit, Typo, La Petite Zine, and Drunken Boat. Two of her poems were selected by Kevin Young for The Best American Poetry 2011. Megan Burns edits the poetry magazine, Solid Quarter. Her book Memorial + Sight Lines was published in 2008 by Lavender Ink. She has four chapbooks, Frida Kahlo: I am the poem and Framing a Song (Trembling Pillow Press),irrational knowledge (Fell Swoop press) and a city/ bottle boned (Dancing Girl Press).

& Saturday morning for Story Time at Maple Street Book Shop’s Uptown location Miss Maureen will read The Steadfast Tin Soldier by Hans Christian Andersen, retold by Cynthia Rylant, and illustrated by Jen Corace. 11:30 am.

& Saturday at Garden District Book Shop at 1 p.m. Kerry Dunn discusses and signs his book, Joe Peace. Twenty years ago, Joe Peace was an ace homicide investigator for the Austin Police Department, until his penchant for cocaine and a disastrous affair with his partner Cassie buries him at the bottom of the APD’s burnout brigade. When the psychotic founder of the most powerful drug cartel convinces Joe the cash is greener on the other side of the fence, Joe becomes a player in the drug scene, buys a mansion, and collects beautiful coeds like butterflies, but the party ends when new details of Cassie’s death surface, opening wounds long scarred over.

Saturday at Maple Street Book Shop’s Bayou St. John location Christopher Schaberg, Assistant Professor of Contemporary Literature and Critical Theory at Loyola, will be reading and signing his book, The Textual Life of Airports at 6 p.m. . This is a book about airport stories. It is about common narratives of airports that circulate in everyday life, and about the secret stories of airports—the strange or hidden narratives that do not always fit into standard ideas of these in-between places. Tales of near disaster, endless delays, dramatic weather shifts, a lost bag that suddenly appears-such stories are familiar accounts of a place that seems to thrive on and recycle its own mythologies. You can read an interview with Schaberg at Press Street’s Room 220 blog.

& Sunday from 3-6 p.m. Garden District Book Shop hosts Judy Conner discussing and signing her book, Southern Fried Divorce: The After Party. The shop’s website mentions “free booze and nabs” and I’m not certain what nabs are at a divorce celebration party. No mention if they’ll put the plywood on the pool table for dancing. Her new books brings more true stories of outrageous everyday life in the Big Easy from Judy Conner’s, author of the much-loved bestseller Southern Fried Divorce (which actor John Goodman called “more fun than a box of glue-huffing monkeys on St. Peter and Bourbon”). I might just have to stop by for a nab but watch out for glue-huffing monkeys.

& The new Sunday show from Spoken Word New Orleans is Poetry and Paint Brushes. Spoken Word artists 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.

& On the second, fourth, and fifth Sunday of each month, Jenna Mae hosts poets and spoken-word readers at 8:00 p.m. at the Fair Grinds Coffee House on 3133 Ponce de Leon St.

& 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.

& The Lunch ‘n’ Lit Book Club will meet at the Rosa Keller Library Tuesday, April 23rd, at 12:30 pm to discuss How Lincoln Learned to Read: Twelve Great Americans and the Educations that Made Them by Daniel Wolff.

& Sarah Carr will be discussing and signing her book Hope Against Hope: Three Schools, One City, and the Struggle to Educate America’s Children Wednesday at 6 pm. at Maple Street Book Shop’s Uptown location. Hope Against Hope takes place in a New Orleans ravaged by Hurricane Katrina, but even more important in journalist Sarah Carr’s story is a highly unnatural disaster: American poverty. Carr’s book takes an intimate look at the real people—students, principals, teachers—affected by “school reform,” a slippery term that means privatization, a weakening of teachers’ unions and elected school boards, and an increasing dependence on testing data.

& Wednesday there is a weekly poetry reading hosted at the Neutral Ground Coffee House at 9 p.m.

& Wednesday night at UNO Elana Bell will read her poetry 8 p.m. at the UNO Fine Arts Gallery (on Harwood Drive, across from the Liberal Arts Building). The reading will be followed by a booksigning and wine and cheese reception. This event is free and open to the public. Elana’s first collection of poetry, Eyes, Stones (LSU Press 2012) is the winner of the 2011 Walt Whitman Award from the Academy of American Poets

Sorting Out The Horrors April 16, 2013

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Odd, The Typist, Toulouse Street.

don’t come round but if you do . . .

yeah, sure, I’ll be in unless I’m out
don’t know if the lights are out
or you hear voices or then
I might be reading Proust
if someone slips Proust under my door
or one of his bones for my stew,
and I can’t loan money
or the phone
or what’s left of my car
though you can have yesterday’s newspaper
an older shirt or a bologna sandwich
or sleep on the couch
if you don’t scream at night
and you can talk about yourself
that’s only normal;
only I am not trying to raise a family
to send through Harvard
or buy hunting land,
I am not aiming high
I am only trying to keep myself alive
just a little longer,
so if you sometimes knock
and I don’t answer
and there isn’t a woman in here
maybe i have broken my jaw
and am looking for wire
or I am chasing the butterflies in
my wallpaper,
I mean if I don’t answer
I don’t answer, and the reason is
that I am not yet ready to kill you
or love you, or even accept you,
it means I don’t want to talk
i am busy, i am mad, i am glad
or maybe I am stringing up a rope;
so even if the lights are on
and you hear sound
like breathing or praying or singing
a radio or the roll of dice
or typing —
go away, it is not the day
the night, the hour;
it is not the ignorance of impoliteness,
I wish to hurt nothing, not even a bug
but sometimes I gather evidence of a kind
that takes some sorting,
and your blue eyes, be they blue
and your hair, if you have some
or your mind — they cannot enter
until the rope is cut or knotted
or until I have shaven into
new mirrors, until the world is
stopped or opened

— Charles Bukowski

Over the Horizon April 13, 2013

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, quotes, Toulouse Street.
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“Of all the islands he’d visited, two stood out. The island of the past, he said, where the only time was past time and the inhabitants were bored and more or less happy, but where the weight of illusion was so great that the island sank a little deeper into the river every day. And the island of the future, where the only time was the future, and the inhabitants were planners and strivers, such strivers, said Ulises, that they were likely to end up devouring one another.”
— Roberto Bolano, The Savage Detectives

Believe in your work. Launch the raft. Trust the currents. Find your own island.

Odd Words April 11, 2013

Posted by The Typist in books, Indie Book Shops, Internet Publishing, literature, New Orleans, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, publishing, reading, Toulouse Street.
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Every Thursday Odd Words provides NOLA’s most comprehensive listing of literary, book and library events. Facebook followers please Like! the Odd Words page and hover over the Liked! button and select receive notifications to make sure you don’t miss daily updates. Also, follow @odd_words on Twitter for daily event reminders.

& The New Orleans Public Library is sponsoring El Día de los Niños/El Día de Los Libros (Children’s Day/Book Day), a month of programs that celebrate children, families, and reading and emphasize the importance of literacy for children of all linguistic and cultural backgrounds. I missed last Tuesday’s event, but the next is today at 10:30 a.m. at the Hubbell Library, a story time for toddlers featuring European stories. A list of all of the events can be found here.

& Thursday from 5:30 to 6:30 pm the Norman Meyer Branch library in Gentilly hosts Writing Workshops Led By Youths. Upstairs in the teen area. Encouraging creative arts exploration through reading, engaging discussions, and group activities. Youth ages 12-17 are invited! Group limited to 15 participants.

& Tonight, April 11 17 Poets! features poet Gina Myers and songwriter Nasimiyu perform April 11, 8PM at the 17 Poets! Literary and Performance Series (www.17poets.com) followed by the open mic. Myers is the author of A Model Year (Coconut Books, 2009), and several chapbooks, including False Spring (Spooky Girlfriend, 2012). Her second full-length book, Hold It Down, will be published by Coconut Books in 2013. New Orleans-based songwriter Nasimiyu wields a colorful and eclectic Indie/Folk/Retro-pop sound, embodying a new, socially conscious movement that is bright and uplifting as the revolutionary generation that inspired it. Captivating audiences with her lyrically charged songs, Nasimiyu has been touted as the “New Age Nina Simone,” by Snarky Puppy’s Mike League and as “2012’s artist to watch,” in Gambit Magazine.

& Also on Thursday Octavia Books hosts a special evening with former Poet Laureate of Louisiana Brenda Marie Osbey who will read from and sign her new collection. This is Osbey’s fifth collection and her first since the publication of ALL SAINTS: New & Selected Poems, a recipient of the 1998 American Book Award. HISTORY AND OTHER POEMS takes as its task nothing less than an examination and mapping of the never-ending evil of the Transatlantic Slave Trade and the still-palpable effects of European and American colonialism some seven centuries after the making of the New World.

& Tonight the Algiers Library continues its month-long, national celebration of poetry established by the Academy of American Poets since 1996. In celebration of National Poetry Month, Algiers Regional will host Pass The Word poetry workshops presented by local authors. This week features Asia Rainey.

& And the Jefferson Parish East Bank Regional Library hosts an Author Event! at 7 pm featuring J.W. Mallard and his book Lines of a Circle. Julia Isbell has been afforded a good life by her parents who give her everything she needs, including love. But when her mother Viola is dying, she reveals one truth about Julia’s identity that will change her life forever—she is not a true Isbell. Who and where are her parents? Mallard has had multiple careers in his lifetime, one that involved the U. S. Marine Corps and the one he holds as a computer programmer. This is his first book.

& Saturday’s Story Time with Miss Maureen will instead feature Johnette Downing singing and signing her latest book, How to Dress a Po’Boy, at Maple Street Book Shop’s Uptown location 11:30 am to 1 pm. There will be snack-sized po’boys, juice boxes, and cookies.

& Saturday at Garden District Books at 1 p.m. Cecily White discusses and signs her book, Prophecy Girl Prophecy Girl is part of a debut series that follows a girl who is the center of a prophecy that states she is destined to kill everyone she loves. Guardians, immortals, demons, a foreboding prophecy, and forbidden love make the series ideal for YA and adult audiences.

& Also on Saturday the new East Near Orleans Regional Library celebrates its first anniversary with a day-long program including presentations on available programs, activities for small children and teens, and a raffle. And cake. Did I mention there will be cake? From 10:30 am to 3 pm at 5641 Read Blvd.

& The Dickens Fellowship of New Orleans meets Saturday at 2 pm at Metairie Park/County Day School’s Bright Library, with guest LSU Professor of English Elsie B. Michie speaking on “Dickens and Desire.”

& Saturday poet Megan Burns will perform at the 1239 Congress 2nd Saturday Art Show. Burns is the publisher at Trembling Pillow Press (tremblingpillowpress.com) and edits the poetry magazine, Solid Quarter (solidquarter.blogspot.com). She has two books Memorial + Sight Lines (2008) and Sound and Basin (2013) published by Lavender Ink. She has two recent chapbooks: irrational knowledge (Fell Swoop press, 2012) and a city/ bottle boned (Dancing Girl Press, 2012). Her chapbook Dollbaby is forthcoming from Horseless Press. She has been making dolls that incorporate poems and performing regularly with them since December, 2012. This is the first time all the dollbabies will be assembled for an art show.

books&food & Books and food: this can’t miss. National Library Week Food Truck Roundup on Monday, April 15 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.t the Main Library in the CBD 219 Loyola Ave. Come eat on Monday with Taceaux Loceaux, La Cocinita, Empanada Intifada, NOLA Girl Food Truck & Catering, LLC, Foodie Call New Orleans Needs More Food Trucks.

& The new Sunday show from Spoken Word New Orleans is Poetry and Paint Brushes. Spoken Word artists 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.

& On the second, fourth, and fifth Sunday of each month, Jenna Mae hosts poets and spoken-word readers at 8:00 p.m. at the Fair Grinds Coffee House on 3133 Ponce de Leon St.

& Monday at 5:30 at Garden District Books William Kent Krueger discusses and signs his book, Ordinary Grace.. From “New York Times “bestselling author William Kent Krueger comes a brilliant new novel about a young man, a small town, and murder in the summer of 1961. View the book trailer here.

& Monday is also the weekly meeting of the New Orleans Haiku Society at the Latter Memorial Library, 6 pm to 7:30 pm.

& 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.

& Also on Tuesday the NOPL hosts its next El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day) program at the Children’s Resource Center featuring a story and activities about Ethiopia.

& Wednesday, April 17 The Spring 2013 issue of Louisiana Cultural Vistas celebrates with its contributors and readers at The Louisiana Humanities Center, 938 Lafayette St. This month’s party features artists Louviere + Vanessa, plus author/photographer John McCusker and writer Ellen Blue. Abita beer and Zapp’s chips will be provided. Doors open at 6pm.

& Come celebrate Dorado 2, the newest release from Verna Press at McKeown’s Difficult Music and Books. Poets Joseph Bienvenue, Thaddeus Conti and Gina Ferrara will be reading in the redesigned space of McKeown’s Books at 4737 Tchoupitoulas Street. Verna is a New Orleans press operated by the printer and poet, Peter Anderson. Dorado 2 is the latest ripple in the ongoing stream of excellent letterpress chapbooks and broadsides.

& Also on Wednesday Octavia Books hosts a reading and signing with New York Times bestselling author Stuart Woods when he returns to Octavia Books to present his sensational new Stone Barrington thriller, UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES. Woods is the author of fifty-two novels, including the New York Times–bestselling Stone Barrington and Holly Barker series. He is a native of Georgia and began his writing career in the advertising industry. Chiefs, his debut in 1981, won the Edgar Award.

& Wednesday at the Algiers library El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day) continues with Tastes of the World providing drinks from various countries – Ages 12-17, starting at 4 p.m.

& Wednesday there is a weekly poetry reading hosted at the Neutral Ground Coffee House at 9 p.m.

& Wednesday Maple Street Book Shop’s Downtown Book Club, now called the St. Claude Avenue Book Club, led by Ken Foster, will be meeting at 7 pm at Fatoush in the Healing Center to discuss The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami. Am am a full-on, J-Pop, fan-boy fool for Murakami. Damn I want to do this but another book to (re)read by Wednesday?

The Foreman April 8, 2013

Posted by The Typist in New Orleans, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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His voice is a holler, or better spelled a hollah: the flat, chesty, uninflected trumpet that carries between mountains and across battlefields. The attack is moderately steep, allowing each word or phrase to build to the correct crescendo to carry over the sounds of front loaders dumping metal girders in a crash and to reach the roustabouts perched atop the framework leading guide ropes to pull up the tent tops. Long before the first sound check of Jazz Fest the sound is idling and roaring diesels, the back-up warning and crash of cargo, the hollering of men over their machines to orchestrate the erection of the tents. They work with the urgency of a crew of SeaBees erecting a desperate bridge. I imagine one could hold this job with a megaphone, but I think it would diminish the foreman’s authority as king of the roustabouts. Like a drill sergeant or a lion tamer, a good set of lungs is an essential job requirement, the ability to command by tone and volume.

Daydream Believer April 8, 2013

Posted by The Typist in A Fiction, Shield of Beauty, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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The tragic, formulaic sitcom of my life, as viewed with excessive empathy which renders too much of comedy painful. [I watched Synechdoche, N.Y. several times before someone pointed out it was a dark comedy.] Swallowing the draft of poison every day until I become invincible. Possible side effects include madness and sharing too much in writing.

“You give me a reason to live
You give me a reason to live
You give me a reason to live…”
— “You Can Keep Your Hat On”
    Randy Newman

Hypnotic Progression Therapy April 7, 2013

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, je me souviens, Memory, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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The Magnificent Spiral No. 3 -- J. C. Laughlin

The Magnificent Spiral No. 3
John Clarence Laughlin

An icon of childhood memory, I cannot describe that spiral staircase in the gallery behind my great-aunts’ Royal Street apartment with any certainly. Is it as grand as I think it was, or simply amplified by the dimensions of my own smallness and the fog of memory? What remains is an ideal of the spiral or helical staircase; really the latter, with an opening instead of a newel pole. It is the view up that central shaft that gives such staircases the dizzying illusion of a gateway into the third dimension, neither the limit of a ceiling nor the infinite distance of the sky; not the abstract geometry of a tree for climbing but the precise spiral diminishing in perspective that lends a sense of motion toward a destination usually reserved for loose balloons.

ἀπορɛία April 6, 2013

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, Odd Words, Toulouse Street.
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I am thinking of having this word, aporia, tattooed on the back of my neck. As I leave whatever has transacted—an evening of emptying beers and filling ashtrays, the exchange of money and objects most likely books, an unexpected kiss walking to the car—you will be left to wonder as I do if we are merely acting out the roles we believe we have created for ourselves or if something genuine yet invisible, the play within the play, palpable as static electricity, has just occurred. Or will someone, not necessarily ourselves, wake from this dream and forget it all before the coffee is ready?

Originally posted at Alternative Roundezvouz Tango.

Odd Words April 4, 2013

Posted by The Typist in books, literature, New Orleans, Odd Words, Poetry, Toulouse Street.
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& Tonight 17 Poets hosts a sneak peek at Bret Evans’ new collection from Trembling Pillow Press: I Love This American Life (a limited number will be on sale and we’ll be taking orders if those sell out). Also poet Mary Elizabeth Perez from Florida followed by the open mic. Evans’ work has been featured in the anthologies The Gertrude Stein Awards in Innovative American Poetry,Another South:Experimental Writing in the South, and Poets for Living Waters.It also appears in the biography Ernie K-Doe: the R & B Emperor of New Orleans. Perez, a native of Tampa, FL and former USF poetry student and a grandmother of twelve, has been haunted by poetry for the last twenty years. She won the USFZbar Award (1995) and Hillsborough County Emerging Artist Award (1996) and also studied at the Iowa Workshop Summer Writers Program (1998).

& Thursday evening at 6 p.m. Garden District Books hosts Nathaniel Rich and his novel. Odds Against Tomorrow. A novel about fear of the future–and the future of fear New York City, the near future: Mitchell Zukor, a gifted young mathematician, is hired by a mysterious new financial consulting firm, FutureWorld. The business operates out of an empty office in the Empire State Building; Mitchell is employee number two. He is asked to calculate worst-case scenarios in the most intricate detail, and his schemes are sold to corporations to indemnify them against any future disasters. This is the cutting edge of corporate irresponsibility, and business is booming. As Mitchell immerses himself in the mathematics of catastrophe–ecological collapse, war games, natural disasters–he becomes obsessed by a culture’s fears. Yet he also loses touch with his last connection to reality: Elsa Bruner, a friend with her own apocalyptic secret, who has started a commune in Maine. Then, just as Mitchell’s predictions reach a nightmarish crescendo, an actual worst-case scenario overtakes Manhattan. Mitchell realizes he is uniquely prepared to profit. But at what cost? At once an all-too-plausible literary thriller, an unexpected love story, and a philosophically searching inquiry into the nature of fear, Nathaniel Rich’s Odds Against Tomorrow poses the ultimate questions of imagination and civilization. The future is not quite what it used to be.

& Thursday at 6 p.m. Octavia Books hosts reading and signing with author Wiley Cash featuring his phenomenal debut novel, A LAND MORE KIND THAN HOME, a mesmerizing literary thriller about the bond between two brothers and the evil they face in a small North Carolina town. Wiley Cash displays a remarkable talent for lyrical, powerfully emotional storytelling. Octavia calls the book “a modern masterwork of Southern fiction, reminiscent of the writings of John Hart (Down River), Tom Franklin (Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter), Ron Rash (Serena), and Pete Dexter (Paris Trout)” and Ernest J. Gaines says “Wiley Cash is a talented and disciplined young writer, and his first novel proves it. I think this could be the beginning of a long, fruitful career.”

& The New Orleans Public Library offers two programs among many others this Thusday: 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM, Writing Workshops Led by Youths – Norman Mayer Branch and 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM, Pass the Word: Poetry Workshop – Algiers Regional Branch. In celebration of National Poetry Month, Algiers Regional will host poetry workshops presented by local authors. This week Asia Raney is featured.

& Friday upstairs at Mimi’s in the Marigny, author Mark LaFlaur hosts a book launch party for this new novel Elysian Fields. A New York writer and editor, LaFlaur is best known in New Orleans for his activism via Levees Not War. His first novel is the tale of young would-be poet is torn between his long-held dream of being a great artist and obligations to his aged, ailing mother and his emotionally volatile brother, the all-demanding Bartholomew. Will someone in his family have to die before he can get to California? And how might that be arranged? Moira Crone calls it “evocative, poignant, complex and well paced . . . full of delights.” He will also give a reading at Garden District Book Shop May 7.

& Friday night at Antenna Gallery Room 220 hosts the season’s second Happy Hour Salon with authors Ottessa Moshfegh and Carlus Henderson from 6 – 8 p.m. on Friday, April 5, at the Press Street HQ (3718 St. Claude Ave.). As always, this event is free and open to the public, and complimentary libations will be on hand (though we strongly encourage donations). Moshfegh, though yet to publish a book, is one of the country’s best young short story writers. David McLendon says her stories “maybe cause a bit of discomfort.” But Moshfegh presents her characters’ pitiful hopelessness so artfully a reader can’t help but be filled with gratitude for the small bits of bliss and victory available in a generally horrendous world. Her fiction has appeared in many of the nation’s best journals (and others that are at least respectable), including the Paris Review, NOON, Guernica, the Columbia Review, Unsaid, Sleepingfish, Fence, and Vice. She has won a slew of fancy awards and lives in Los Angeles. Henderson is a Zell Fellow in the MFA program at the University of Michigan who splits his time between Detroit and New Orleans. He has also won a number of fancy awards, and has been a high school teacher in New Orleans, a cheese salesman in Vermont, and a dockworker along the Eastern seaboard. Moshfegh’s visit is generously supported by grants from the SouthArts Foundation and Poets & Writers.

& Saturday at 11:30 a.m. Story Time with Miss Maureen returns to the Maple Street Book Shop Uptown location with Frog and Toad are Friends by Arnold Lobel.

& Saturday at 1:30 p.m. Garden District Books brings Helana Brigman and. Fresh Table: Cooking in Louisiana All Year Round. Louisiana’s identity is inextricably tied to its famous foods; gumbo, red beans and rice, jambalaya, and étouffée are among the delicious dishes that locals cherish and visitors remember. But Louisiana’s traditional cuisine has undergone a recent revision, incorporating more local ingredients and focusing on healthier cooking styles. In The Fresh Table, locavore and native New Orleanian Helana Brigman shares over one hundred recipes that reflect these changes while taking advantage of the state’s year-round growing season.

& Saturday at the Latter Memorial Library Gina Ferrara hosts the Poetry Buffet at 2 p.m. featuring “Poets Reading Poets” in which local poets read works by their favorite authors.

& Sunday night at 7 p.m. Slam New Orleans hosts a reading on the theme of Team SNO (the 2013 version) has been decided. The Poetry Olympics are in the books. Now it’s time to kick off the new slam season and celebrate a year’s worth of Slam New Orleans shows at the Shadowbox Theatre. The theme of the night is “New $#%&.” Poets, in celebration of National Poetry Month and a brand spanking new slam season, we urge you to let those freshly inked poems out of their college-ruled prisons and spit us some of your new hotness. Team SNO (the 2013 version) has been decided.”

& This Sunday’s reading at the Maple Leaf Poetry Series features poet and mistress of ceremonies at the south’s oldest continuous poetry reading Nancy Harris reading from and signing her new book, Beauty Eating Beauty (Portals Press)

& If you miss LaFlaur’s Friday book lunch, Sunday at 2 p.m. Garden District Books presents LaFlaur and his novel Elysian Fields. “Life in the Weems family of 1999 New Orleans is anything but Elysian in this engrossing Southern Gothic snapshot.”

& The new Sunday show from Spoken Word New Orleans is Poetry and Paint Brushes. Spoken Word artists 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.

& On the second, fourth, and fifth Sunday of each month, Jenna Mae hosts poets and spoken-word readers at 8:00 p.m. at the Fair Grinds Coffee House on 3133 Ponce de Leon St.

& Monday at 6:30 p.m. Octavia Books features Pam Houston and CONTENTS MAY HAVE SHIFTED, “a tale so vivid, intricate, and intimate that it puts high-def TV to shame” (Elle). Houston’s latest takes us from one breathtaking precipice to the next as we unravel the story of Pam (a character not unlike the author), a fearless traveler aiming to leave her metaphorical baggage behind as she seeks a comfort zone in the air. She flies around the world, finding reasons to love life in dozens of far-flung places from Alaska to Bhutan

& Tuesday evening at the Columns Hotel Pam Houston will be 1718 Society’s featured reader. 1718 is a student-run literary organization of Tulane, Loyola, and UNO students, hosts their reading series the first Tuesday of every month at the Columns Hotel on St. Charles Avenue. Readings start at 7 p.m. and are open to the public. Houston will be reading from her book Contents May Have Shifted. Pam Houston is the author of two collections of linked short stories, Cowboys Are My Weakness and Waltzing the Cat, the novel, Sight Hound, and a collection of essays called A Little More About Me, all published by W.W. Norton. Her stories have been selected for volumes of Best American Short Stories, The O. Henry Awards, The Pushcart Prize, and Best American Short Stories of the Century. She is the winner of the Western States Book Award, the WILLA award for contemporary fiction, and The Evil Companions Literary Award

& 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.

& Wednesday there is a weekly poetry reading hosted at the Neutral Ground Coffee House at 9 p.m.

& Wednesday also bring another installment of Don Paul’s Poetry Ball at the Cafe Istanbul, starting at 8 p.m. and featuring Chuck Perkins, James Nolan, Megan Burns, and special guest Kalamu ya Salaam. Free admission, cash bar. Open mic following the featured performers.

What Not To Read April 2, 2013

Posted by The Typist in books, New Orleans, Odd Words, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street, Writing.
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Dear Maud:

I anxiously opened the latest package from Quarterly with your most recent book selection because it was unexpected, my debit card gone lost on Carnival day and the number the company had no longer valid. I will read the enclosures later today. I know Roxanne Gay’s work through The Rumpus, but first I had to pick up the book. I hefted The Colossus of New York, weighing the “A tour de force” from the Times Book Review between the title and the author’s name. I wasn’t far into the opening, “City Limits” when I laid it down again, worried this book could be The One, except she’s already married. It could be the book of New Orleans I’ve been writing by fits-and-starts, in private and on my blogs, for the last seven years. It is the book I have to write or I’ve run my life all to hell for nothing. And it will have been done already, by another writer for another city.

The jacket copy alone should have been enough to warn me but I had to go ahead and open it, read through the blurbs (Danger, Will Robinson) and into the first chapter and I know New York isn’t the only place one where the initiated live in the memory of what’s gone. I just read Elena Passarello’s Let Me Clear My Throat, the excellent essay on the sportscaster Myron Cope and that piece basically could just as well have been about New Orleans’ own Hap Glaudi and the essay says exactly the same damn thing as “City Limits”. Whether its New York or Pittsburgh or New Orleans the old souls carry that geography of used to be in their heads. It’s not unique to Colson Whitehead or New York. Still, I’m afraid this is the book that would ruin me to write the book I should, afraid it might swallow my own voice like a haunted box or I will find my own plans laid out before me, my ship taken and me left to rot on a waterless rock, that it might leave me feeling incapable of the task, might rob me of the right idea of how to organize my own love letter cum ode and all of the other fine words of the reviewers on the back Whitehead’s.

But I’m going to keep it. I guess I’ll have to pay Quarterly who just dinged me again after trying to bill my old debit card, just when I was about to drop the subscription along with the Rumpus Poetry Book Club because when you are down to rolling your own cigarettes even some necessities have to go. I’m going to wrap this book up in Christmas paper and put it in the box where I keep my measly Christmas things, a drug-store Charlie Brown tree and the Marilyn Monroe skirt-girl ornament that hangs from it, that wicker basket cone with the red berries I wore as a hat to the Brew du Vieux holiday party with a bicycle flasher on top and the doorman wrote “Blinky” on my taster cup and “Sparklie” on my date’s and we took one look at our cups and could have danced all night, and still have begged for more—there I go, off on a tangent again but that is not just me, or a conscious, writerly voice: it is this city. If you are not ADHD when you arrive in New Orleans you will be when you leave because Look a tuba! Our squirrels carry parasols and saxophones and dance at funerals and peek out from the carpet as bits of glitter you still find 40 days after Mardi Gras and you can’t help but stop and look.

So, I’ll put this book in away in that box wrapped in dollar store Santa paper and leave it until then, until I have a manuscript. No, I haven’t been writing much of that sort on the blog lately, those odd bits of New Orleans. I walk down the street and instead of finding those perfect bits of New Orleans—Leopold Bloom crossing Bourbon Street—instead I find myself looking for a good place to put out my cigarette. And I need to snap out of it. I know it’s a curse to say My Book aloud and in public when you don’t have one but I think of it as a geis, a particular sort of Celtic curse the universe lays on you that will either lead to tragedy or triumph and it is all on you to live within its bounds. And when I unwrap this book at the end of the year, I’ll write you again—perhaps privately, this time—and say, ah, Maud, you shouldn’t have. I didn’t even send a card.


Mark Folse