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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.

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