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Odd Words November 28, 2014

Posted by The Typist in Toulouse Street.
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This week in literary New Orleans:

All locations of the New Orleans Public Library and Jefferson Parish Library locations are closed Friday.

& Tubby & Coo’s Mid-City Book Shop hosts a Holiday Open House! We’ll be showcasing books, products, and special merchandise available for the holidays. We’ll also be handing out FREE hot chocolate (hopefully, it’s at least cool!), and our holiday gift guide to help with your gift planning. And you can make a wish list! Who doesn’t like walking around, writing down all the great things they want, and handing off to someone else to buy? Create a wish list with your most coveted items, and we’ll keep it in an old school Rolodex so you can send your family and friends by to shop from them. If you stop by, you can also collect coupons and special deals for your holiday shopping needs.

& Every Friday The Rhyme Syndicate presents a spoken word open mic at Dish on Haynes Boulevard hosted by Hollywood. Doors at 8. Admission $7, $5 will college ID. Music by DJ XXL.

& Saturday is Small Business Saturday and multiple local indie bookstores are hosting special events.

  • Maple Street Book Shop have local author signings all day: 11:30AM Ryan Adams, author of New Orleans Mother Goose; 1PM Madeline Herlong, author of Buddy; 2PM Cornell Landry, author of Goodnight NOLA; 3PM Ryan Murphy, author of What the Sleepy Animals Do at the Audubon Zoo; 11AM Andi Eaton, author of New Orleans Style; 12PM Bonnie Warren, author of New Orleans Homes at Christmas; and, 1PM Jim Wade, author of Pitot House.
  • Octavia Books is hosting over a dozen outstanding local authors as guest booksellers on Small Business Saturday, November 29. Each author will be chatting with customers and recommending favorite books and will be happy to talk about and sign their own books as well. Hundreds of independent bookstores across the country will be hosting local authors this November 29, Small Business Saturday, thanks to a movement called Indies First. Launched by noted author Sherman Alexie, Indies First encourages authors to volunteer at their local store, to give back some of the support that independent bookstores have traditionally given to authors.
  • At Tubby and Coo’s anyone who buys a local book or book written by a local author will be entered to win two prize packs including bookmarks, free books, and other surprises! We’ll also be giving away three $25 American Express gift cards in conjunction with Stay Local. As part of the Indies First movement, four local authors have agreed to help out selling books throughout the day: Michael Murphy, author of Eat Dat New Orleans, will be selling books from 10am-12pm; Sally Newhart, author of The Original Tuxedo Jazz Band, will be selling books from 12-2pm; David Armand, recently named to the Gambit’s 40 Under 40 and author of Harlow, will be selling books from 2-4pm; and, George Bishop, author of The Night of the Comet, will be selling books from 4-6pm.

& Author Kil Whol will sell and sign copies of her book New Orleans Classic Creole Recipes at the Hubbell Library in Algiers at 1 pm during Hubbell’s Friends of Hubbell Tree Sale.

& Also on Saturday Walter Isaacson, author of The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created a Digital Revolution will speak and sign books at Newman School Auditorium, 5333 Danneel Street. In his masterly saga, Isaacson begins with Ada Lovelace, Lord Byron’s daughter, who pioneered computer programming in the 1840s. He explores the fascinating personalities that created our current digital revolution, such as Vannevar Bush, Alan Turing, John von Neumann, J.C.R. Licklider, Doug Engelbart, Robert Noyce, Bill Gates, Steve Wozniak, Steve Jobs, Tim Berners-Lee, and Larry Page. This is the story of how their minds worked and what made them so inventive. It’s also a narrative of how their ability to collaborate and master the art of teamwork made them even more creative. Isaacson will speak for 20-30 minutes, followed by a 15-minute question and answer session. He will sign books afterward. Garden District Book Store will be on site to sell the book.

& This Sunday at 3 pm The Maple Leaf Reading Series features an Open Mic.

& New York Times bestselling author Walter Isaacson comes to the uptown Jewish Community Center to present THE INNOVATORS: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Age, Monday at 7:00 PM. Octavia Books will have THE INNOVATORS for sale in the store and at the event where your purchase will help support cultural programs at the JCC. To reserve a signed copy, please call during store hours at 504-899-READ. Walter Isaacson will sign books immediately following the lecture. Isaacson provides a sweeping and scintillating narrative of the inventors, engineers and entrepreneurs who have given the world computers and the Internet. . . . a near-perfect marriage of author and subject . . . an informative and accessible account of the translation of computers, programming, transistors, micro-processors, the Internet, software, PCs, the World Wide Web and search engines from idea into reality. . . . [a] masterful book.”
— San Francisco Chronicle

& 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. Watch Odd Words on Facebook and Google+ on Tuesdays for a complete list of her guests and features.

& On Tuesday at 6:00 P.M., two New Orleans writers, Mason James Cole and Alex Jennings, will dish about the state of genre literature (horror, SF, crime, magic realism) and discuss how, why, and which authors are blurring the boundaries between those categories at Octavia Books. In addition to the discussion, the authors will read from and sign their own works: Mason James Cole with his novel, BUSTER VOODOO, and Alex Jennings with HERE I COME and OTHER STORIES. Join us for wine, cheese, and lively conversation. ABOUT BUSTER VOODOO: “…bristling with dread and suspense, as well as some of the creepiest scenes you’ll read this side of Stephen King.” – Bryan Smith, author of House of Blood and Strange Ways. ABOUT HERE I COME and OTHER STORIES: Who are we when we are alone? What are ghosts if not memories of the past given voice? Are our bodies and identities warped by the emotions that pass through us? What would it mean for Humanity to have a cosmic parent? Unsolvable by logic or method, such topics are not the business of the scientist. Only the philosopher, the guru, and the fantasist are fit to map these terrains. Consider this volume a guidebook.

& Tuesday at 7 pm Loyola University presents the release of Daniella Zsupan-Jerome’s book Connected Toward Communion: The Church and Social Communication in the Digital Age in the Whitney Presentation Room – St. Thomas Hall. The book explores the ways in which Christians might communicate the Good News of Jesus Christ to all those shaped by digital media. This question addresses the whole church, from the baptized faithful to pastoral ministers and the institutional structures that serve the church locally and globally.

& Also at 7 pm the East Jefferson Regional Library hosts as Author Event! New Orleans Homes at Christmas by Bonnie Warren. Warren and photographer Cheryl Gerber highlight the elaborate decorations, history, public festivities, and exclusive gatherings of yuletide. From réveillon dinners to family repasts, readers can feast on the unique spirit showcased in photographs and profiles of homes in neighborhoods such as the Garden District, English Turn, Esplanade Ridge, the French Quarter, and Uptown. Featured are colorful holiday embellishments from Christmas trees to mantelpieces and attractions, including Jackson Square and City Park.

& Every Tuesday night get on the list to spit at the longest running spoken word venue in New Orleans at Sweet Lorraine’s Jazz Club hosted by African-American Shakespear. Doors open at 7pm and the Mic pops at 8pm. It is $5 to get in.

& Wednesday at the Latter Memorial Library A Book Club Named Desire meets. Adults meet to discuss a local classic every fourth Wednesday of the month at 6 pm. For more information, contact Toni at tlmccourt@hotmail.com.

& In honor of the Whitney Plantation Museum opening on December 7, 2014, Octavia Books is honored to host a special presentation and signing featuring Ibrahima Seck, author of BOUKI FAIT GOMBO: A History of the Slave Population of Habitation Haydel (Whitney Plantation) Louisiana, 1750-1860, on Wednesday at 6:00 PM. An exploration of slavery and its impact on southern culture, BOUKI FAIT GOMBO is the first book to map the history of Habitation Haydel. Now known as the Whitney Plantation, the Haydel began operating in 1752 as an indigo producer and went on to become one of the most important sugar plantations in Louisiana. This in-depth study traces the route of African slaves to the German Coast of Louisiana, charts the various owners of the Haydel, and discusses the daily life of slaves on the plantation. Although the book does not shy away from depicting the brutalities of slavery, at its heart are the stories of the robust culinary and musical cultures that grew out of slaves’ desires to reconnect with their home. As Ibrahima Seck says in the book’s introduction, “The history of slavery should not only be the history of deportation and hard labor in the plantations. Beyond these painful memories, we should always dig deep enough to find out how Africans contributed tremendously to the making of Southern Culture and American identity.” The release of this book will coincide with the opening of the Whitney Plantation Museum.

& The Pearl Wine Co. and literary website Fleur de Lit (www.fleurdelit.com) have teamed to present a literary series, Reading Between the Wines on the first Wednesday of the month at Pearl Wine Co., 3700 Orleans Ave., in the American Can Company. The purpose of the series is to promote local authors and the literary community. The special 2014 sendoff event at 6:30 p.m. on December 3, 2014 will focus on culture and food in New Orleans. The event will feature five local authors in two panels: 6:30 – 7:15 p.m.: On New Orleans Style and Culture featuring Andi Eaton, author of New Orleans Style, named the most stylish person in the South by Southern Living Magazine and Ronald Fisher, author of Mid-City Errands. At 7:30 – 8:15 p.m.: On New Orleans Food features Addie K. & Jeremy Martin, co-authors of Southeast Louisiana Food and Michael Murphy, author of Eat Dat New Orleans: A Guide to the Unique Food Culture of the Crescent City. You must be 21 to attend this event.

& At 8 pm Wednesday it is Poetry & Music at BJs’ Blood Jet Series at BJ’s at 8 pm. This Wednesday’s feature is Andy Young Book Release.

& Every Wednesday at 8 pm at the Neutral Ground Coffeehouse there is an hour-long open mic poetry night (or fiction night; whatever you want to read really!).

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Its Black Absence November 27, 2014

Posted by The Typist in Poetry, Shield of Beauty, The Narrative, The Typist.
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Notice the crow
prominent in
the artist’s calligraphy
(roughly translated
“Crow is flown”)
is not pictured
in his kakejiku

its black absence
from the spray
of violet oleander,
pendulant, suggesting
trajectory:
a semaphore
of departure

a single petal falls
like a farewell tear

Do Horses Named Satan Go to Heaven? November 25, 2014

Posted by The Typist in New Orleans, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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The hospice nurse, a Carmelite nun, asks me if I am Catholic (she asks if my mother is Catholic, as if that were not a rosary around her neck). Apostate, I say. Surely you were raised Catholic she asks. Well enough to know the difference between apostate and lapsed, I reply. She gives my shoulder a wrestler’s squeeze. If her god had caller her to lift and break rocks and she had obeyed, she would have been brilliant, a saint.

Talk to her, she said. I read some Psalms to your mother. I sure she can hear, are her parting words, reminding not to sit there like some adjunct to the oxygen machine but to talk to her. She was unresponsive to my name when I came in. I continue to sit and watch and think, not long after the nun has left, this is how the crucified die. The way she flairs her arms, tries to lift herself a bit off the pillow to suck a little more air into her contracting lungs, much like a typical crucifiction, the men hung by their arms so that they had to lift themselves up to breath. The Romans, out of kindness, boredom or an aversion to overtime, would break their arms if they lingered too long, so that the victim could no longer pull themselves up to catch a breath.

So much for the comforts of Mother Church. (At least one of the sinners was saved. Not a bad percentage).

My mother was wearing the rosary my daughter Killian brought her back from Europe.

Pleural effusion of fluid around her lungs, related to congestive hear failure. Effusion I thought a property of gasses but apparently the pre-meds weren’t paying attention in that part of chemistry. My mother’s lungs are drowning from the outside, the buildup of fluid between the chest cavity and the lungs leaves less and less room for each breath. It can cause chest pains: pleurisy, now there’s a word you probably have used in casual conversation in a long time. We won’t know if the event last Sunday was a heart attack or pleurisy. All she said was it felt like an elephant sitting on her chest. As of Friday she is officially a hospice patient, and so was simply given morphine to dull the pain. I was surprised it came in a little dropper bottle, like something for the ears or eyes. Then I thought: hospice. This means no more trips to the hospitals. No more trying to find an uncollapsed vein to put in one shunt too many.

Ninety-three and the battle over. She survived chemo at 87, including spinal injections. I sat and watch her suffer through that until the technician gave up and called for the Special Man. He looked a bit like Cat Stevens in the 70s, and I told him so. He got her on the second try. If you are giving spinal chemo injections to an 87 year old woman why would you not call for the needle ninja in the first place? She went into remission, and got to ring the bell in the chemo ward at Ochsner. They took another cancer out of her in 2005, after my sister rolled the car in the ditch driving exhausted, trying to reach sanctuary in Kansas. At my mother’s age the E.R. though at CAT scan in order, and they found it. If my sister had not rolled the car, what happens then? God works in mysterious ways, I told the kindly nun-backer after relating that story, as if to apologize for my unrepentant teasing of her.

The regular chugging of the ancient oxygen machine is an hissy, high pitched pneumatic counterpoint to my mother’s irregular struggle to breath, the rattles deep in her throat, her vocalized exhaulations deep as long vowels and sharp as glottal stops.

The suffering on the cross, the physical struggle to breath, not just wheezing and rattling but a pushing up as if toward the surface, began after the nun left. I had been there maybe an hour and a half of mostly just listening to her battle for breath. Sometimes she would open her eyes while pushing out and down with her arms, trying to lift her head. I stood up and put the hand that wasn’t holding hers on her forehead and stroked it. I leaned in and told her, you don’t have to stay and fight. I know it hurts. We love you and will miss you but Sidney (my father) and Paul (my brother) and your father and your Uncle Cy and everyone will be waiting for you.

She loved her Uncle Cy Mathe’ dearly. He was legally a Creole by post-Plessy law but hundreds of rich acres and a plantation home trumped that. He was probably brighter than all the Italian truck farmers and Slavic fisherman settled around the plantations of St. Bernard and Plaquemine. He was riding the boat up from his father’s plantation and saw the woman we very young children ignorantly called Aunt Taunte, a teenager, convalescing in a wheel chair under a parasol on the levee at the foot of Delaronde Street. He was so smitten, he hired a horse when the boat landed at the French Market and rode back to the Ninth Ward to find her.

He built two plantations of his own, Stella for Taunte, and Mary, named after his mother. My mother would go visit Cy and Stella, under strict orders from her father that she was not to go out riding in the front of Cy’s saddle on his huge black stallion, Satan. This was, of course, the favorite part of her visit.

Uncle Cy will have a new horse, I told her, all pure white as an angel. I’m sure they wouldn’t let him bring Satan into heaven.

I’m sure he’ll take your riding, I said.

I had to stop there.

I have to stop here.

Everything eventually stops.

Fires of the Season November 22, 2014

Posted by The Typist in A Fiction, cryptical envelopment, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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Walking out for a forbidden cigarette I take a turn around the lot and notice the neighbor’s overgrown oleanders are in full fall bloom, while the seed pods of the adjacent Chinese lanterns have withered to a color somewhere between grocery bag and old parchment (and just as fragile could I reach them): the same old story–the one the crow knows–of the turning of the wheel. I am so engrossed in my new job I did not notice the odd oaks across the street and just outside my window had turned, but walking to Canseco’s Grocery I did see one of the deciduous cypress dressed in scarlet and yellow,  the color of the fires we light against the cold and dark, the bonfires to guide Papa Noel and the ones once lit on Orleans avenue, dressed in the colors of the diminishing sun.

Having lost the thread of Xianity long ago, I dread the holidays. I miss the orgiastic liquor and fireworks around the bonfire on Orleans, a proper New Year’s display to call back the sun. Run around it three times, close enough for a mild, one-sided sunburn, for good luck in the New Year.  Sadly, two city administrations have thought otherwise, even after we raised the money to get a welding cloth to put under it and agreed the NOPD could fence it off. The fire department was often held up as the scapegoat for the ban, but as a small crowd of us who helped make the last bonfire happen left a meeting with the police and fire chief, a high official of the firefighter’s union pulled us aside and said, “we are with you,” the men of Engine 35 thought lucky to watch over the festivities every year.

It is time to clean up my backyard, which the house painter turned into a white trash tableau of studied neglect. It looks like the still in the garage exploded, but most of my things are in a random pile in the center. I need to scrub the black mold off the chairs and spread the black plastic lawn rug I bought because the landlord’s man is slow to mow. I can flip over the rusting fire pit, give it a quick shot of Rustoleum for Grills and take my chances on the good will of the sparks that flit about like dangerous faeries with a will of their own.  Behind the flames I will light a candle before the Green Man who watches over my little bit of weed-wild meadow..

There are spirits in need of propitiation if my own are not to remain mired in the dark. Yesterday my eldest and dearest sibling turned 69. My mother is now officially on Hospice Care, free to refused her dinner and medications, only oxygen and morphine as required. I went to see her the evening after what gave every indication of a heart attack. She picked a bit at her food because I was there. She tried to take her pills but the orderly forgot to raise the bed and almost chocked her. My sister knows she is not taking her medication or eating but she always puts on a good show for the boys. Or rather, for me.  I am the only one she has left besides grand children. Someday the paper will read, “preceded in death by her loving husband Sidney Joseph and her son Paul Omer.”

Will she fulfill the holiday wishes of the statisticians and hang on until after the holidays? She is a Hilbert bone and sinew, built to last. Still, she will be the chair that is not there when my nephew takes us all out for Thanksgiving. Knowing our family, I am thinking of taking a cab, although Ralph’s on the Park is halfway between P’s house and mine and within staggering distance.. In these circumstances intimations of mortality are inevitable but not to be confused with inclinations. What I post on Facebook after a bit too much rum are not bits of morbidity but a few of the more beautiful expressions of death that I know.

If Coca Cola’s jolly red elf and the hanged god bring no solace, the trees remind me there is always comfort and color in a fire, to warm the hands and backside, and shed an uncertain light on an uncertain world. The firefly fairy sparks call to the things half seen in the flickering, just out of the corner of the eye, that delight in man and his fire, spirits of fire and earth drawn toward light. Perhaps a prayer is in order, starting with the green man who guards my house, that I not burn it or any of the neighbors’down. Or better yet, just sit as the fire burns itself down, leaving winking embers and the scent of the season ascending to the heaven the earthly flames reach for but cannot, the solstice incense that comforts men in the dark.

If this is the corner I’ve painted myself into November 22, 2014

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, Dancing Bear, Everette Maddox, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Odd, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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…think only this of me

That one more cheap camera
has shattered
against the world’s beauty.

— Everette Maddox

Spill That Wine Dig That Girl November 21, 2014

Posted by The Typist in A Fiction, cryptical envelopment, Dancing Bear, The Narrative, The Odd, The Typist.
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Morning will come before you know it pouring through the door like the boiling oil of hash browns on the side. It is not time yet time for breakfast.  Another rum? I could think of a hundred good reasons why not but none of them is rum, the liquor of the loa, the universal Pan-Caribbean elixir of frantic ecstasy, the shuffle and the dub, the wiggle of the skiffle, the because of Carnival.

Bring it dawn. I’m steady, and ready to roll. Sunny side up.

Odd Words November 19, 2014

Posted by The Typist in books, literature, New Orleans, NOLA, Odd Words, Poetry, Toulouse Street.
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“What I really wanted to be was Jim Morrison. However, if I weren’t a writer, I’d be dead.” — Luis Alberto Urea, tomorrow night at Loyola.

This week in literary New Orleans, including the annual Words & Music Festival:

& The annual Faulkner Society Words & Music Festival beings Thursday at 8 am and runs through the weekend. The complete schedule of events is at http://wordsandmusic.org/2014-schedule/. Featured guest author is Luis Alberto Urea (see below at Tulane). A not to be missed event filled with taltented authors.

& Thursday at 6 pm Garden District Books features Jerry Lee Lewis: His Own Story. The greatest Southern storyteller of our time, New York Times bestselling author Rick Bragg, tracks down the greatest rock and roller of all time, Jerry Lee Lewis–and gets his own story, from the source, for the very first time. A monumental figure on the American landscape, Jerry Lee Lewis spent his childhood raising hell in Ferriday, Louisiana, and Natchez, Mississippi; galvanized the world with hit records like Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On and Great Balls of Fire, that gave rock and roll its devil’s edge; caused riots and boycotts with his incendiary performances; nearly scuttled his career by marrying his thirteen-year-old second cousin–his third wife of seven; ran a decades-long marathon of drugs, drinking, and women; nearly met his maker, twice; suffered the deaths of two sons and two wives, and the indignity of an IRS raid that left him with nothing but the broken-down piano he started with; performed with everyone from Elvis Presley to Keith Richards to Bruce Springsteen to Kid Rock–and survived it all to be hailed as “one of the most creative and important figures in American popular culture and a paradigm of the Southern experience.” Jerry Lee Lewis: His Own Story is the Killer’s life as he lived it, and as he shared it over two years with our greatest bard of Southern life: Rick Bragg. Rich with Lewis’s own words, framed by Bragg’s richly atmospheric narrative, this is the last great untold rock-and-roll story, come to life on the page.

& Thursday at 6 pm check out the weekly Spoken Word event #WordConnections at the Juju Bag Cafe.

& Thursday Loyola University at 6pm in conjunction with the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society, Inc. and as an opening event of the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society’s Words & Music 2014 festival features Writer and Poet Luis Alberto Urrea. Writer and Poet Luis Alberto Urrea. Urrea, main speaker of the event, is a prolific and acclaimed writer of poetry, prose and fiction, including the novel Into the Beautiful North, and a member of the Latino Literature Hall of Fame. He uses his dual-culture life experiences to explore greater themes of love, loss and triumph. In The Devil’s Highway he takes us back to the small towns and unpaved cities south of the border, where the poor fall prey to dreams of a better life and sinister promises of smugglers. The Devil’s Highway won the 2004 Lannan Literary Award, the Border Regional Library Association’s Southwest Book Award and was a 2005 finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in nonfiction and for the Pacific Rim Kiriyama Prize. Darrell Bourque, former Poet Laureaute of Louisiana and recipient of the 2014 Louisiana Writer Award will open and close the evening with poems about the forced migration of Acadians from Nova Scotia to South Louisiana. Professor Emeritis of Louisiana at Lafayette Bourque has published nine collections of poetry including Megan’s Guitar and Other Poems from Acadie (UL Press, 2013) and if you abandon me, comment je vas faire: An Amédé Ardoin Songbook (Yellow Flag Press, Lafayette, LA, 2014).

Thursday at 6 pm the Nix Library features An Evening with Author Chere Dastuge Coen. An award-winning journalist, instructor of writing, playwright, and novelist, Chere Dastuge Coen is the author of Forest Hill, Louisiana: A Bloom Town History, Haunted Lafayette, Louisiana, Exploring Cajun Country: A Historic Tour of Acadiana, and co-author of Magic’s in the Bag: Creating Spellbinding Gris Gris Bags and Sachets.

& Thursday at 7 pm brings the UNO’s MFA GOLD ROOM to the talented Maurice Ruffin’s he Pelican Bay Restaurant. This month’s lineup for Gold Room: Andrew Kindinger reading poetry, Kailyn McCord reading fiction, Andrew Kooy reading non- fiction and Carly Blitz reading non-fiction.

& The Jefferson Parish East Bank Regional Library hosts the bi-weekly SciFi, Fantasy and Horror Writer’s Group Thursday at 7 pm. James Butler, a writer of science fiction and fantasy (especially steampunk), leads a workshop to encourage the creation of these genres by local authors. Open to all levels. Free of charge and open to the public. No registration.
Library: East Bank Regional Library

& Every Thursday evening the New Orleans Poetry Brothel hosts a Poetry Hotline. Call 504-264-1336) from 8-12 pm CST and we’ll to hear an original poem.

& The New Orleans Literary & Performance Series features Reading & performance by

& Every Friday The Rhyme Syndicate presents a spoken word open mic at Dish on Haynes Boulevard hosted by Hollywood. Doors at 8. Admission $7, $5 will college ID. Music by DJ XXL.

& Friday at 6 pm Octavia Books also hosts a special evening with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Rick Bragg to discuss and sign his new book, JERRY LEE LEWIS: His Own Story.

& Saturday at 11:30AM Maple Street Book Shop hosts Story Time with Miss Maureen, this week featuring Kid Sheriff and the Terrible Toads by Lane Smith. Drywater Gulch has a toad problem. Not the hop-down-your-britches, croaking-all-night toad kind of problem. The thievin’, hootin’ and hollerin’, steal-your-gold never-say-thank-you outlaw toad kind of problem. Then hope rides into town. Sheriff Ryan might only be seven years old, and he might not know much about shooting and roping. But he knows a lot about dinosaurs. Yes, dinosaurs. And it turns out that knowing a thing or two about paleontology can come in handy when it comes to hoodwinking and rounding up a few no-good bandits. From Bob Shea and Lane Smith comes this hilarious picture book, Kid Sheriff and the Terrible Toads

& Saturday Garden District Book Shop features Dalt Wonk French Quarter Fables at 1 pm. This series of fables was, in a sense, Dalt Wonk’s love letter to the French Quarter. The animals, flowers and insects are almost all Quarter denizens and they appear in their natural habitat: a frog in his courtyard lily pond, a rat in the stone rip-rap on the Mississippi River levee and a roach in the kitchen of a restaurant. Gradually, the geographic scope of the fables to include far-off lands like the Yukon and exotic animals like Hippos. But Dalt Wonk kept the title French Quarter Fables, since the majority take place there and, in any case, all of them were written there and are no doubt influenced by its singular, suggestive atmosphere. The characters in a fable — those odd, polymorphous beings like love-sick frogs and penny-pinching Afghans —are not just disguised human beings. The animal part of their nature is also real.

& Saturday join Team Slam New Orleans for a FREE night of top notch spoken word poetry. The show will feature new work and old favorites from the likes of A Scribe Called Quess?, Desireé V. Dallagiacomo, Kaycee Filson, FreeQuency aka FreeQ Tha Mighty, Justin Lamb and Akeem Martin. This may be your last chance to see the 2014 Team SNO squad (third place finishers at the 2014 National Poetry Slam) perform as a unit. Saturday, November 22nd ★ Shows at 7 PM & 9 PM ★ The Building at 1427 O.C. Haley Blvd ★ FREE.

& Sunday award-winning children’s author Eric Kimmel, who has published over fifty books, comes to Octavia Books at 2:00 P.M., for a special appearance to read and sign his books, SIMON and the BEAR: A HANUKKAH TALE and HERSHEL and the HANUKKAH GOBLINS (first published twenty-five years ago. The PJ Library, the Jewish Community Center, and the Jewish Day School are all co-sponsoring this event!

& This Sunday at 3 pm The Maple Leaf Reading Series features features an Open Mic.

& This Monday at 6 pm Octavia Books hoa presentation and signing with George Packer for featuring THE UNWINDING, which won the National Book Award last year. James Carville will give the introduction at the event. A riveting examination of a nation in crisis, from one of the finest political journalists of our generation. Our American democracy is beset by a sense of crisis. Seismic economic shifts during a single generation have created a country of winners and losers, leaving the social contract in pieces and setting citizens adrift to find new paths forward. In The Unwinding, George Packer narrates the story of this America over the past three decades with his characteristically sharp eye for detail and gift for weaving together complex narratives.

The Unwinding journeys through the lives of several Americans, including Dean Price, the son of tobacco farmers, and an evangelist for a new economy in the rural South; Tammy Thomas, a factory worker in the Rust Belt trying to survive the collapse of her city; Jeff Connaughton, a Washington insider who oscillates between political idealism and the lure of organized money; and Peter Thiel, a Silicon Valley billionaire who questions the Internet’s significance and possesses a radical vision of the future. The narrative combines these intimate stories with biographical sketches of the era’s leading public figures from Newt Gingrich to Jay-Z, and with collages of headlines, slogans, and songs that capture the flow of events and undercurrents. The Unwinding portrays a superpower in danger of coming apart at the seams, its elites no longer elite, its institutions no longer relevant, its ordinary people left to improvise their own schemes for success and salvation.

& Epidemiologist Sandy Althomsons will discuss her book Inside a Refugee Crisis: My Time in South Sudan Monday at 6PM at Maple Street Book Shop. Comprised of raw, honest stories from her time in South Sudan with Doctors Without Borders Inside a Refugee Crisis intimately expresses the frustration and joys of a medical humanitarian mission in the midst of desperate conditions. Please join us.

Monday at 7 pm the East Jefferson Library hosts The Fiction Writer’s Group. The Fiction Writers’ Group is a support group for serious writers of fiction. The group does 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.

& 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. Watch Odd Words on Facebook and Google+ on Tuesdays for a complete list of her guests and features.

& Every Tuesday night get on the list to spit at the longest running spoken word venue in New Orleans at Sweet Lorraine’s Jazz Club hosted by African-American Shakespear. Doors open at 7pm and the Mic pops at 8pm. It is $5 to get in.

& Wednesday at the Latter Memorial Library A Book Club Named Desire meets. Adults meet to discuss a local classic every fourth Wednesday of the month at 6 pm. For more information, contact Toni at tlmccourt@hotmail.com.

& At 8 pm Wednesday it is Poetry & Music at BJs’ Blood Jet Series at BJ’s at 8 pm. This Wednesday’s feature is FEATURE FEATURE FEATURE

& Every Wednesday at 8 pm at the Neutral Ground Coffeehouse there is an hour-long open mic poetry night (or fiction night; whatever you want to read really!).

Give me November 19, 2014

Posted by The Typist in A Fiction, cryptical envelopment, FYYFF, Moloch, New Orleans, The Narrative, Toulouse Street.
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your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free so that we may burn them.

I have bills to pay and you, Mr. and Mrs. I Love America Look The Flag Is Right There On Our Credit Card, are It. I am Elmer Gantry with a PowerPoint tour of hell and a Visio process map of how to get there.

Hail Moloch.

“If you’re losing your soul and you know it, then you’ve still got a soul left to lose”
― Charles Bukowski

About Silence November 15, 2014

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, Dancing Bear, New Orleans, Poetry, The Narrative, Toulouse Street.
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From Jack Spicer’s “Imaginary Eligies II.”

The poet builds a castle on the moon
Made of dead skin and glass. Here marvelous machines
Stamp Chinese fortune cookies full of love.
Tarot cards
Make love to other Tarot cars. Here agony
Is just imagination’s sister bitch.
This is the sun-tormented castle which
Reflects the sun. Da dada da.
The castle sings.
Da. I don’t remember what I lost. Dada.
The song. Da. The hippogriffs were singing.
Da dada. The boy. His horns
were wet with song. Dada.
I don’t remember. Da. Forgotten.
Da. Dada. Hell. Old butterface
Who always eats her lovers.

Odd Words November 12, 2014

Posted by The Typist in books, literature, New Orleans, NOLA, Odd Words, Poetry, Toulouse Street.
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This week in literary New Orleans, including the 5th Annual New Orleans Book Festival, brought to you this year not by any of the local, independent books stores but by Barnes & Noble, which does not even have a store in New Orleans. [Old joke from his father’s 1969 campaign for mayor: “Give the Ball to Landrieu” was a slogan, to which his opponent’s answer was “fumble on the play”]. Please join Odd Words in not attending this insult to local businesses and bookstores. FYYFF.

& Thursday at 5 pm at Tubby & Coo’s Mid-City Bookshop: What happens when four women-owned businesses come together? One heck of a party, that’s what! Join Tubby & Coo’s, SOPO, Relax & Heal, & The Wellness Studio for an amazing night of sales, giveaways, and delectable dishes from Nola Girl Food Truck. It’s sure to be the best shindig Mid-City has ever seen, so grab a friend and come mingle. Tubby & Coo’s will have author signings (stay tuned for which authors!), refreshments, and a giveaway of signed copies of Lewis Aleman’s “Cold Streak” and Rob Cerio’s “Dimensional Games.”

& Thursday, Maple Street Book Shop will host an evening of readings with the Creative Writing Class of Lusher School starting at 5:30PM. Students will read from their original work. Lusher’s Creative Writing program is designed to establish a supportive community of writers and to foster the artistic and intellectual growth of each writer in that community. Creative writing is a highly academic arts discipline, requiring strong critical and imaginative skills as well as a mastery of writing techniques. Thus, the curriculum emphasizes both reading and writing, with expectations becoming progressively more challenging within each level of study and from one level to the next.

& Thursday at 6 pm check out the weekly Spoken Word event #WordConnections at the Juju Bag Cafe.

& At 6:30 pm the East Jefferson Public Library hosts its bi-weekly The Fiction Writer’s Group, a support group for serious writers of fiction. The group does 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.

& On Thursday at 7:00 P.M. Ari Shavit comes to the Jewish Community Center to present and sign MY PROMISED LAND: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel. An authoritative and deeply personal narrative history of the State of Israel, by one of the most influential journalists writing about the Middle East today. Not since Thomas L. Friedman’s groundbreaking From Beirut to Jerusalem has a book captured the essence and the beating heart of the Middle East as keenly and dynamically as My Promised Land. Facing unprecedented internal and external pressures, Israel today is at a moment of existential crisis. Ari Shavit draws on interviews, historical documents, private diaries, and letters, as well as his own family’s story, illuminating the pivotal moments of the Zionist century to tell a riveting narrative that is larger than the sum of its parts: both personal and national, both deeply human and of profound historical dimension.

& Also on Thurstay at 7 pm the East Jefferson Regional Library hosts an Author Event! The Up Stairs Lounge Arson, by Clayton Delery-Edwards. On June 24, 1973, a fire in a French Quarter gay bar killed 32 people. The disaster stands as the deadliest fire in the city’s history. Though arson was suspected, and though the police identified a likely culprit, no arrest was ever made. Additionally, government and religious leaders who normally would have provided moral leadership at a time of crisis were either silent or were openly disdainful of the dead, most of whom were gay men. Delery-Edwards reviewed hundreds of primary and secondary sources, including contemporary news accounts, interviews with former patrons of the lounge, and the extensive trail of documents left behind by the criminal investigations. The Up Stairs Lounge Arson tells the story of those who patronized the bar, what happened on the day of the fire, what course the investigations took, why an arrest was never made, and what the lasting effects of the fire have been.

& Every Thursday evening the New Orleans Poetry Brothel hosts a Poetry Hotline. Call 504-264-1336) from 8-12 pm CST and we’ll to hear an original poem.

& The New Orleans Literary & Performance Series features Reading & performance by NIYI OSUNDARE at 7:30 pm. Please join us in honoring poet, dramatist, critic, essayist, and media columnist NIYI OSUNDARE, 2014 recipient of Nigerian National Order of Merit Award, Nigeria’s highest honor to be awarded. This news was just released on Monday in Nigeria.

& First Lady Cheryl Landrieu presents the 5th Annual New Orleans Book Festival, A Night of Music Under the Stars featuring the Greater New Orleans Youth Orchestra. Bring picnic baskets and blankets for a night of music and magic under the stars. All ages are invited to attend this free event. At the Milton H. Latter Library, 5120 St. Charles Avenue. Brought to you this year not by any of the local, independent books stores but Barnes & Noble, which does not even have a store in New Orleans. [Old joke from his father’s 1969 campaign for mayor: “Give the Ball to Landrieu” was a slogan, to which the answer was “fumble on the play”]. Please join Odd Words in not attending this insult to local businesses and bookstores. For a complete list of events visit nolabookfest.org.

& Every Friday The Rhyme Syndicate presents a spoken word open mic at Dish on Haynes Boulevard hosted by Hollywood. Doors at 8. Admission $7, $5 will college ID. Music by DJ XXL.

& Chef Cal Peternell will join Octavia Books at the Crescent City Farmers Market, Saturday, 8:30-10:30 A.M., to share insight and sign his book, TWELVE RECIPES. In this charmingly written, beautifully photographed and illustrated cookbook, the chef of Alice Waters’s Chez Panisse offers basic techniques and essential recipes that will transform anyone into a confident home cook. When Cal Peternell, the chef at Berkeley’s legendary Chez Panisse, was helping his oldest son pack his things for college and beyond, he naturally set him up with the gear for a new kitchen: a nice skillet, a decent knife, a cutting board, and a colander. He also started writing. Just twelve recipes at first–reminders of foods they’d cooked together and enough to put together some good meals–but what started as a cookbook from a father for his sons has become, luckily for the rest of us, Twelve Recipes a baker’s dozen chapters on how to cook and eat well.

& Saturday at 10 am Octavia Books is hosting the Newcomb Children’s Center Bookfair on Saturday, November 15, 2014, 10-6. On hand we’ll have teacher wishlists that friends and family can purchase for individual classrooms. Also, when friends and family make purchases with special vouchers (found at Newcomb), we’ll donate a percentage of the total sales to the school! (You can use the vouchers from Saturday, November 15 to Friday, November 21. Thee will have freshly signed editions of the great children’s book author William Joyce’s newest book, A BEAN, A STALK, A BOY NAMED JACK. Octavia Books bookseller Veronica will read this book for a short storytime at 11:30. Free and open to the public.

& The 2014 New Orleans Comic and Zine Fest runs Saturday from 11 am to 5 pm at The New Orleans Main Branch Library 219 Loyola Ave. “NOCAZ is an attempt to make a space for self published artists and thinkers to put their work out in the public sphere and be able to reach other people without the constraints and expense of the commercial publishing industry. Zines are a participatory format and we hope bringing multiple perspectives together under one roof can create dialogue and inspire more people to express themselves through print. We would also like to see more of this D.I.Y. spirit in the world of comics and hopefully make space for sharing knowledge and celebrating work that is existing outside of the tired narratives of mainstream comics and pushing the medium to new limits. And all of this happening at the public library? What a dream! We have over 70 writers and artist from New Orleans and from around the country coming to show off there work and hang out. We’ll have numerous workshops about making comics and Zines, a puppet show and activities for the kids, music performances, and free foooood!”

& Tracey Reigel Koch will sign her book Georges The Goose From Toulouse Who Only Ate Couscous at Maple Street Book Shop Saturday,11:30-1PM. Georges (zhorsh or zhorzh) Goose from the town of Toulouse France is so awfully picky he will only eat couscous. Things are not going well for Georges as he grows sluggish and frail. Poor Georges cannot even keep up with a snail! Learn how Georges discovers a valuable lesson about eating healthy!

& This Sunday at 3 p.m. The Maple Leaf Reading Series features features an Open Mic.

& The New Orleans Haiku Society shares Haiku on the third Monday of every month at the Latter Branch Library, 5120 St. Charles Ave., from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. All are invited to attend. For more information call 596-2625.

& 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. Watch Odd Words on Facebook and Google+ on Tuesdays for a complete list of her guests and features.

& Ron Chapman will sign and discuss his book, THE BATTLE of NEW ORLEANS: But for a Piece of Wood, on Tuesday at 6:00 P.M. at Octavia Books. The War of 1812, in particular the Battle of New Orleans, was vital to the national and international identity of the fledgling United States of America. It proved to the American people that the United States was a truly independent military power. However, the victory at New Orleans could have gone to the British under Gen. Edward Pakenham. This fascinating examination of the long campaign up the Mississippi River and the final battle details the high stakes of the battle and the true British motivation: to void the Louisiana Purchase and strip the United States of its most valuable port.

& Tuesday at the Alvar Library at 7 pm presents an evening of poetry. Local poets Bobby Toomer, Clemonce Heard, and Valentine Pierce will read and speak their work.

& Andi Eaton will be at Maple Street Book Shop Tuesday to read from and sign copies of New Orleans Style. After more than three hundred years, New Orleans style is not just sartorial but also venerable. A melting pot of cultures gives rise to the diverse fashion influences of French sophistication, Spanish exuberance and deep Creole roots. Classic trends like jazz style, the ebullient irreverence of Mardi Gras’ festive fashion and seersucker’s cool lines are quintessentially New Orleans. The local aesthetic established by the keen eyes at Maison Blanche and D.H. Holmes, master haberdashers at Rubesteins, milliners like Yvonne LaFleur and perfumers Hove Parfumeur formed a foundation on which the city’s rising stars reinvigorate and build a new fashion capital. Join author and designer Andi Eaton and discover the Big Easy’s stylish legacy and a new side of New Orleans.

& Every Tuesday night get on the list to spit at the longest running spoken word venue in New Orleans at Sweet Lorraine’s Jazz Club hosted by African-American Shakespear. Doors open at 7pm and the Mic pops at 8pm. It is $5 to get in.

& New OrleansYouth Open Mic is back at it Wednesday from 6:30-8 PM. The show will be located in Der Rathskeller, the diner/performance space located in the basement of the Lavin-Bernick Center (McAlister Place) at Tulane University. This month’s show features none other than the amazing Tarriona “Tank” Ball . This lady needs little introduction at this point. But as a Team SNO alumnus herself, who got her start as a youth poet, the now up and coming star and lead vocalist of the acclaimed Tank and the Bangas is more than glad to grace our stage at this month’s show. While we’ve had as many as 100 plus students and 17 schools in attendance in the past, we’re confident that between Tank’s presence and your youth’s, this month’s show will be the best NOYOM yet!

Editorial Note: Odd Words has problems with the use of the term “white Creole” in the book below. In fact, Odd Words has problems with the term Creole when used exclusively for freemen of black or mixed heritage. I am the descendant of native-born French and German stock fleeing Europe. My oldest American-born ancestor on the Acadian side was born in 1714 in Nova Scotia. We don’t know when Johann Jacob Folse debarked in New Orleans but he must have been on the first boats of German to arrive. He married in 1721 in Lafourche Parish. The North American dialect of French was eradicated from my family when my father’s family moved to New Orleans. The nuns would be him for speaking that “ignorant country French” and the kids would beat hi for being a coon-ass. I am a Creole. If you see to appropriate the term by skin color, you don’t know what you’re talking about. A book that focuses on the work of “white” Creole literature while ignoring the work of free men of color is not a book I am in a hurry to own.

& Wednesday the Tennessee William Festival in partnership with the Jefferson Parish Public Library presents Coffee and Conversation: Richard Campanella, Bourbon Street, A History. New Orleans is a city of many storied streets, but only one conjures up as much unbridled passion as it does fervent hatred, simultaneously polarizing the public while drawing millions of visitors a year. Richard Campanella’s cultural history titled “Bourbon Street” spans the street’s inception during the colonial period through three tumultuous centuries, arriving at the world-famous entertainment strip of today. It interweaves world events from the Louisiana Purchase to World War II to Hurricane Katrina with local and national characters, ranging from presidents to showgirls, to explain how Bourbon Street became an intriguing and singular artifact, uniquely informative of both New Orleans’s history and American society. This event is co-sponsored by the Tennessee Williams Literary Festival.

& Wednesday at 6 pm Garden District Book Shop hosts Rien Fertel and Imagining the Creole City: The Rise of Literary Culture in the Nineteenth-Century New Orleans. In the early years of the nineteenth century, the burgeoning cultural pride of white Creoles in New Orleans intersected with America’s golden age of print, to explosive effect. Imagining the Creole City reveals the profusion of literary out-put-histories and novels, poetry and plays-that white Creoles used to imagine themselves as a unified community of writers and readers.Rien Fertel argues that Charles Gayarré’s English-language histories of Louisiana, which emphasized the state’s dual connection to America and to France, provided the foundation of a white Creole print culture predicated on Louisiana’s exceptionalism. The writings of authors like Grace King, Adrien Rouquette, and Alfred Mercier consciously fostered an image of Louisiana as a particular social space, and of themselves as the true inheritors of its history and culture. In turn, the forging of this white Creole identity created a close-knit community of cosmopolitan Creole elites, who reviewed each other’s books, attended the same salons, crusaded against the popular fiction of George Washington Cable, and worked together to preserve the French language in local and state governmental institutions. Together they reimagined the definition of “Creole” and used it as a marker of status and power.By the end of this group’s era of cultural prominence, Creole exceptionalism had become a cornerstone in the myth of Louisiana in general and of New Orleans in particular. In defining themselves, the authors in the white Creole print community also fashioned a literary identity that resonates even today.

& Wednesday at the Latter Memorial Library A Book Club Named Desire meets. Adults meet to discuss a local classic every fourth Wednesday of the month at 6 pm. For more information, contact Toni at tlmccourt@hotmail.com.

& Morgan McCall Molthrop and Tina Freeman will sign their books at Maple Street Book Shop Wednesday, at 6PM. In Andrew Jackson’s Playbook: 15 Strategies for Success , author Morgan McCall Molthrop examines surprising tactics and innovations that have contributed to New Orleans’ rapid recovery post-Katrina, suggesting that contemporary civic leaders have much in common with U.S. Gen. Andrew Jackson who soundly defeated the “invincible” British Army at the Battle of New Orleans 200 years ago. Few artists have the luxury of separate work and living spaces, thus work and life often end up compressed into a singular personal environment. Artist Spaces, New Orleans provides a comprehensive portrait of the city’s artists and their relationship to space. In more than one hundred extraordinary photos taken by Tina Freeman and more than a dozen artist interviews by Morgan Molthrop, Artist Spaces, New Orleans highlights the spaces of New Orleans art luminaries George Dureau, Ron Bechet, Ma-Po, Dawn Dedeaux, Elizabeth Shannon, Willie Birch, Ersy, David Halliday, Robert Tannen, Elenora “Rukiya” Brown, Nicole Charbonnet, Kevin Kline, Amy Weiskopf, Keith Duncan, Josephine Sacabo, Lin Emery, and graffiti artist “Fat Boy.”

&The UNO Creative Writing Workshop will host a reading by artist and poet Mong-Lan on Wednesday at 8 p.m., at the UNO Lakeside Campus, Liberal Arts Building, English Department, Room 201.The reading will be followed by a Q&A, book signing, and brief reception. Mong-Lan, Vietnamese-born multidisciplinary American artist, poet, writer, painter, photographer, musician, singer, dancer and teacher of Argentine tango, left her native Vietnam on the last day of the evacuation of Saigon. Winner of a Pushcart Prize, the Juniper Prize, the Great Lakes Colleges Association’s New Writers Awards for Poetry, and other awards, Mong-Lan’s poetry has been nationally and internationally anthologized to in Best American Poetry and The Pushcart Book of Poetry: Best Poems from 30 Years of the Pushcart Prize. She is the author of eight books and chapbooks which contain her poetry and artwork — the most recent of which is One Thousand Minds Brimming: poems & art.

& At 8 pm Wednesday it is Poetry & Music at BJs’ Blood Jet Series at BJ’s at 8 pm. This Wednesday’s feature is poet Sandra Johnson.

& Every Wednesday at 8 pm at the Neutral Ground Coffeehouse there is an hour-long open mic poetry night (or fiction night; whatever you want to read really!).

This light, this flame that devours November 6, 2014

Posted by The Typist in Toulouse Street.
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Llagas de amor

Esta luz, este fuego que devora.
Este paisaje gris que me rodea.
Este dolor por una sola idea.
Esta angustia de cielo, mundo y hora.

Este llanto de sangre que decora
lira sin pulso ya, lúbrica tea.
Este peso del mar que me golpea.
Este alacrán que por mi pecho mora.

Son guirnaldas de amor, cama de herido,
donde sin sueño, sueño tu presencia
entre las ruinas de mi pecho hundido.

Y aunque busco la cumbre de prudencia
me da tu corazón valle tendido
con cicuta y pasión de amarga ciencia

Wounds of Love

This light, this flame that devours,
this grey country that surrounds me,
this pain from a sole idea,
this anguish of the sky, earth and hour,

this lament of blood that now adorns
a lyre with no pulse, lubricious torch,
this weight of sea that breaks on me,
this scorpion that lives inside my breast,

are a garland of love, bed of the wounded,
where dreamlessly, I dream of your presence
among the ruins of my sunken breast.

And though I seek the summit of discretion
your heart grants me a valley stretched below,
with hemlock and bitter wisdom’s passion.

– Federico García Lorca

Odd Words November 5, 2014

Posted by The Typist in Biography, books, bookstores, Indie Book Shops, literature, New Orleans, NOLA, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, Toulouse Street.
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This week in literary New Orleans featuring LadyFest and the NOLA Book Fair:

& Thursday at 6 pm Dominic Massa presents New Orleans Radio, with guests: Bob Walker, Keith Rush, Ed Clancy, and “Pal Al” Nassar at Garden District Book Shop. Thursday, November 6th 6-7:30PM From humble beginnings in a physics lab on the campus of Loyola University came the sounds of the first radio station in the lower Mississippi River Valley when WWL Radio signed on in 1922. The little station would grow into a national powerhouse, with its morning Dawnbusters show and nightly broadcasts from the Blue Room of the Roosevelt Hotel. The city’s second oldest station, WSMB, with studios in the Maison Blanche Building, developed its own cast of favorites, including “Nut and Jeff.” Later, in the city known as the birthplace of jazz, radio played a key role in popularizing early rock and roll. Disc jockeys at leading stations WTIX and WNOE helped develop the Crescent City sound, along with local personalities with colorful names like “Poppa Stoppa,” “Jack the Cat,” and “Dr. Daddy-O.” Dominic Massa discusses and signs his book, New Orleans Radio, with guests: Bob Walker, Keith Rush, Ed Clancy, and “Pal Al” Nassar.. This book is avaiable in paperback ($21.99). If you are unable to attend, you must call the book shop to order signed books.

& At Garden District Book Shop on Thursday at 6 pm James Nolan will be reading and signing You Don’t Know M.e In this collection of interrelated short stories, James Nolan swings wide open the courtyard gates of a city fabled both for its good times and bad. With ten new stories plus ten from his acclaimed previous volume, Perpetual Care. We meet fatherless boys, Creole spinsters, and lying hustlers, a pregnant teenager, a concert pianist searching for his roots, a crooked homicide detective, a Carnival-parade king hiding in a Dunkin’ Donuts, a pistol-packing babysitter, and a codger who plots to blow up an overpass. Bookended by two post-Katrina stories, this collection takes us from the secretive hive of the French Quarter to decaying cemeteries, from Gentilly to Uptown to family dramas in the suburbs.

& Thursday at 6 pm check out the weekly Spoken Word event #WordConnections at the Juju Bag Cafe.

& Thursday at 7 pm bring the bi-weekly meeting of the SciFi, Fantasy and Horror Writer’s Group at the East Jefferson Regional Library. James Butler, a writer of science fiction and fantasy (especially steampunk), leads a workshop to encourage the creation of these genres by local authors. Open to all levels. Free of charge and open to the public. No registration.
Library: East Bank Regional Library

& Thursday at 8 pm Poet performer DON PAUL and members of ORQUESTA FLEUR present: “Duende, that mysterious force that surges up through the soles up your feet…” Featuring poet performer Don Paul: Poems & songs with bhodran and shakers, and Tangos by members of ORQUESTA FLEUR: Katarina Boudreaux (piano0, Stephanie Reed (accordian), Tom Collins (blues harp), Dancers Nanci Zhang & Casey Mills w/ Grand Finale featuring a full collaboration of all artists, musicians & dancers with OPEN MIC hosted by JIMMY ROSS.

& Every Thursday evening the New Orleans Poetry Brothel hosts a Poetry Hotline. Call 504-264-1336) from 8-12 pm CST and we’ll to hear an original poem.

Friday at 2 pm WordPlay New Orleans poets and educators Asia Rainey and Christopher Williams presents a celebration of poetic works by Tom Dent through readings of his work and inspired new writings. Community is invited to share poetry and learn more about the legacy of Tom Dent at the Main Auditorium of the New Orleans Main Library, 219 Loyola Avenue. His published works included the book of poetry, Magnolia Street. He was a passionate groomer of other Black writers and worked hard to sustain the Free Southern Theater writing workshop and Congo Square Writers’ Union in his hometown of New Orleans and the Umbra Workshop on the Lower East Side in New York.

& Friday at 5 pm Octavia Books Shop hosts Good Night, Sleep Tight (Fall-ish) Story Hour Children’s Picture Book Event featuring Strega Nona’s Harvest. Miss Holly, one of our best book slingers, will read from a selection of fall-ish books for our second Good Night, Sleep Tight Story Hour.

& Friday at 6 pm Dillard University will host an Author Panel featuring Shelia Goss, Kristina K. Robinson, and Maurice Ruffin discussing Tom Dent’s life, works, and mission. Authors will read a selection from their original works and an audience Q & A about the state of black contemporary fiction, publishing, and the writing process will follow.

& Friday at 6 pm at Garden District Book Shop with her memoir, A Street in a Town Remembered, Carole Shelby Carnes does for Shelby, Mississippi, what Laura Ingalls Wilder did for the Great Plains and what Lucy Maud Montgomery did for Prince Edward Island. Memorializing this small Delta town from its roots through its heyday, Carnes tells the story of remarkable families and one extraordinary place. Carnes captures the spirit of Shelby in her descriptions, both of the famous plantation dances where the Delta elite mingled and of the hard times and indomitable spirit of the laboring sharecroppers. Through her own voice and the voice of her mother, May, readers meet Lizzie, Carole’s brave and funny nurse; Kennedy, the town’s tragic WWI hero; James Chow, the town’s Chinese grocer; and many others. Carole Shelby Carnes discusses and signs her book, A Street In A Town Remembered.

& Friday is the first day of the 2014 Lady Fest Poetry Series at Buffa’s. Hosted By: Megan Burns, the evening features poets FreeQuency, Nancy Dixon, Gina Ferrara, Amanda Smith, Whitney Mackman, Chyana Hall, RK Powers’ Sandra Johnson, Paula Anicete, Izzy Oneiric’ Roxy Seay, Kim Vodicka, Stacy Balkun, Patti DeMatteo, Kesha Star Young’ Sunday Shae Parker, w/ a special dance performance by Miz Reese Johanson.

& Every Friday The Rhyme Syndicate presents a spoken word open mic at Dish on Haynes Boulevard hosted by Hollywood. Doors at 8. Admission $7, $5 will college ID. Music by DJ XXL.

& Saturday at 1 pm T(w)een Weekend Writing Workshop will be held at the Norman Mayer Library. No matter what kind of writing you do or even if just think you’d like to, join us 2nd Saturdays in the Teen Room to talk about and share (if you want to) your stories, poetry, scripts, or comics.

& At 2 pm Saturday at the Algiers Regional Library Luci Parham will read her book Sacalait Smith, about a young girl who learns the important lessons of self-acceptance and appreciation of where she comes from.

& Sunday starting at 10 am the Zeitgeist Multidisciplinary Art Center hosts the annual New Orleans Bookfair. With a diverse list of authors, publishers, presses and local book-arts collectives this years bookfair will be an exciting all day bookstravaganza. The bookfair will include tablers, panels and performances and is not to be missed. Including tabling and presentations by: AK Press, PM Press, Ben Passmore, Erin Wilson, Alisha Rae, Osa Atoe/Shotgun Seamstress, Deep South Samizdat Books, Crimethinc. Ex-Workers Collective, Community Records, The Southern Letterpress, Lost Tales Publishing, Mamaphiles, The Iron Rail Book Collective, and The New Orleans Review

& This Sunday at 3 p.m. The Maple Leaf Reading Series features features an Open Mic.

& 2014 Lady Fest Poetry Series continues Sunday night at 5 pm at The Silk Road back room (formerly Schiro’s Cafe) 2507 Royal St. Hosted by: Megan Harris and feature Valentine Pierce, Geryll Robinson a.k.a. Dr. G. Love, Lisa Pasold, Constance Adler, Renee Nelson, Desireé V. Dallagiacomo, Emily Ewings, Sara Jacobelli, Alice Urchin, Kailyn McCord, Roselyn Leonard, Jade Hurter, Laura Mattingly and Raina Zelinski.

& Starting this Monday at 5 pm New Orleans Spoken Word Artists will present monthly workshops that include poetry writing and performance, with the goal of building community through writing and strengthening students’ written and verbal communication skills. Second Monday of the Month (beginning November 10), 5 p.m

& On Monday Octavia Books presents W. Bruce Cameron’s THE MIDNIGHT PLAN OF THE REPO MAN. Cameron is the author of A DOG’S PURPOSE and 8 SIMPLE RULES for DATING MY TEENAGE DAUGHTER.. When you pre-order THE MIDNIGHT PLAN of the REPO MAN during October, $4 of the sale will go to Villalobos Rescue Center. Ruddy McCann, former college football star, now Kalkaska, Michigan repo man, has a fairly simple life repossessing cars, hanging out with his dog Jake, and working at the bar his sister inherited from their parents, enjoying the nightly company of friends and all of their colorful patrons. Simple, that is, until he starts hearing a voice in this head.

& Monday at 7:30 pm poet Andy Stallings, who just published his first book To the Heart of the World), will be reading at Tulane University in Stone Auditorium, Art Building, 7:30PM. Reception to follow, 8:30, Faculty Lounge, Newcomb Hall. You can read an interview from his last New Orleans appearance on Room 220.

&On Tuesday the Jefferson Parish Libraries will be closed in observance of Veterans Day.

& 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. Watch Odd Words on Facebook and Google+ on Tuesdays for a complete list of her guests and features.

& Tuesday at 6 pm Octavia Books hosts a reading and signing with Moira Crone celebrating the launch of her new novel, THE ICE GARDEN. Ten-year-old Claire adores her brand-new baby sister, but her mother doesn’t feel the same. Trapped in the suffocating culture of the small-town South in the early 1960s, Claire’s mother tries to cope with her own mental illness and all the expectations placed upon a woman of her class. While Claire’s father remains too dazzled by his beautiful wife to recognize the impending dangers, Claire is left largely on her own to save herself and her baby sister–with mesmerzing and shocking consequences. Moira Crone won the Robert Penn Warren Award from the Fellowship of Southern Writers in 2009 for the body of her work. She is also a recent finalist for the Phiip K. Dick Award. The author of six books of fiction, she has received fellowships from the NEA, the Bunting Institute of Hardvard/Radcliffe, and the ATLAS program for Louisiana Artists. Her shorter works have appeared in The New Yorker, Oxford American, Southern Review, and more than a dozen anthologies.

& Tuesday at 6 pm Garden District Book Shop features Tina Freeman and Morgan Molthrop’s Artist Spaces, New Orleans. Few artists have the luxury of separate work and living spaces, thus work and life often end up compressed into a singular personal environment. Artist Spaces, New Orleans provides a comprehensive portrait of the city’s artists and their relationship to space. In more than one hundred extraordinary photos taken by Tina Freeman and more than a dozen artist interviews by Morgan Molthrop, Artist Spaces, New Orleans highlights the spaces of New Orleans art luminaries George Dureau, Ron Bechet, Ma-Po, Dawn Dedeaux, Elizabeth Shannon, Willie Birch, Ersy, David Halliday, Robert Tannen, Elenora “Rukiya” Brown, Nicole Charbonnet, Kevin Kline, Amy Weiskopf, Keith Duncan, Josephine Sacabo, Lin Emery, and graffiti artist “Fat Boy.” The interviews and photos provide a perfect complement. While Freeman poetically captures an intensely personal vision of the artists and their spaces, Molthrop unearths what the most accomplished artists in the city have to say about their relationship to that space. What results is an indication that each artist’s style is often reflected in the quality, character, and aesthetic of their living/working environments–a striking illustration of how deeply personal, all-encompassing, and interconnected are life and art.

& Tuesday at 7 pm at the Alvar Library on air personality, painter, and book artist from Kenner, Myrna Leticia Enamorado will read a selection from Growing Flowers By Candlelight In My Hotel Room, one of her hand made artist books — collections of illustrations, completed over a decade.

& Tuesday at 7 pm brings the monthly 1718 Reading at the Columns Hotel, featuring Catherine Lacey, Loyola alumna, read for us next Tuesday, November 11th. Here is a short bio: Catherine Lacey’s work has appeared in The New York Times, Guernica, McSweeney’s Quarterly, The Paris Review Daily, The Atlantic, The Believer, Electric Literature and many others. She was named a New Voice by Granta in 2014 and has earned fellowships from The New York Foundation for the Arts and Columbia University, where she earned an MFA in Nonfiction. She was born in Mississippi. Lacey will be reading from her debut novel Nobody is Ever Missing.

& Every Tuesday night get on the list to spit at the longest running spoken word venue in New Orleans at Sweet Lorraine’s Jazz Club hosted by African-American Shakespear. Doors open at 7pm and the Mic pops at 8pm. It is $5 to get in.

& Wednesday at the Latter Memorial Library A Book Club Named Desire meets. Adults meet to discuss a local classic every fourth Wednesday of the month at 6 pm. For more information, contact Toni at tlmccourt@hotmail.com.

& At 8 pm Wednesday it is Poetry & Music at BJs’ Blood Jet Series at BJ’s at 8 pm. This Wednesday’s feature is poet Ben Lowenkron joins us at Blood Jet this Wednesday night. Lowenkron ‘s home is the river. Born and raised in Virginia by the Potomac, he moved beside the James and the York to attend the College of William and Mary, and now lives with the Mississippi in Louisiana where he received his MFA from LSU and currently teaches at Baton Rouge Community College. His collection, Bone River, was published by Ampersand books.

& Every Wednesday at 8 pm at the Neutral Ground Coffeehouse there is an hour-long open mic poetry night (or fiction night; whatever you want to read really!).