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Odd Words January 28, 2015

Posted by The Typist in books, literature, New Orleans, Odd Words, Poetry, Toulouse Street.

This coming week in literary New Orleans:

& Thursday at 4:30 pm come meet Judith Fradin, the award-winning author of more than 50 children’s and young adult non-fiction books at Octavia Books. Her most recent book, STOLEN INTO SLAVERY: The True Story of Solomon Northup, Free Black Man won the Carter G. Woodson Award for the best multicultural book of the year..The true story behind the acclaimed movie Twelve Years a Slave, this book is based on the life of Solomon Northup, a free black man from New York who was captured in the United States and sold into slavery in Louisiana. This remarkable story follows Northup through his 12 years of bondage as a man kidnapped into slavery, enduring the hardships of slave life in Louisiana. But the tale also has a remarkable ending. Northup is rescued from his master’s cotton plantation in the deep South by friends in New York. This is a compelling tale that looks into a little known slice of history, sure to rivet young readers and adults alike.

& The East Jefferson Regional Library hosts an Author Event Thursday at 7 pm featuring Rosary O’Neill, New Orleans Carnival Krewes. Carnival krewes are the backbone of the Mardi Gras parades. Every year, different krewes put on extravagant parties and celebrations to commemorate the beginning of the Lenten season. Historic krewes such as Comus, Rex and Zulu that date back generations are intertwined with the greater history of New Orleans itself. Today, new krewes are inaugurated and widen a once exclusive part of New Orleans society. Author and New Orleans native Rosary O’Neill explores this storied institution, its antebellum roots and its effects in the 21st century.

& At 6:30 pm at the EJ Library hosts the East Jefferson Writer’s Group is a critique group for serious fiction writers of all levels who want to improve their story development skills. This group focuses on discussing story development and writing elements and applying critiquing skills in romance, adventure, mystery, literature (but not genres of SciFi, Fantasy, Horror of the alternate Thursday Sci-FI Writers). Short stories, novels, screenplays, plays, comics are accepted; however, non-fiction, such as poetry, biography, autobiography, essays, or magazine articles is not. Free and open to the public. No registration.

& Friday Ann Benoit will be doing a reading from and signing her book New Orleans’ Best Ethnic Restaurants at the Nix Library (1401 S. Carrollton) on at 6:30 PM. Maple Street Book Shop will be on-site as the bookseller for the event. Bounce along this fun-filled culinary tour of New Orleans’ top 100 ethnic restaurants. Romp your way from Eastern European pop-ups to Brazilian churras winding through American ethnic and the Restaurateurs Dilemma, as you travel among lively native stories, unusual suppliers and ingredients, fairs, festivals, scrumptious recipes and easily some of the best food photography produced in the city today. A history, a cookbook and a new culinary atlas for your next trip to the amazing ethic food of fabulous New Orleans or your guidebook to culinary tourism in your own town!

& Friday at 6 pm Bill Lavender, Marc Vincenz, & Willis Gordon present a night of poetry & prose at Crescent City Books. This is the night before the Krewe du vieux parade, folks, so come join us in the French Quarter and come ready to party. Bill Lavender is a poet, novelist, editor and teacher living in New Orleans. He founded Lavender Ink, a small press devoted mainly to poetry, in 1995, and he founded Diálogos, an imprint devoted to cross-cultural literatures (mostly in translation) in 2011. His poems, stories and essays have appeared in dozens of print and web journals and anthologies, with theoretical writings appearing in Contemporary Literature and Poetics Today, among others. Marc Vincenz is British-Swiss, was born in Hong Kong, and has published six collections of poetry. Marc is also the translator of numerous German-language poets, including: Erika Burkart, Ernst Halter, Klaus Merz, Andreas Neeser, Markus Bundi and Alexander Xaver Gwerder. His translation of Alexander Xaver Gwerder’s selected poems, Casting a Spell in Spring, is to be released by Coeur Publishing. Willis Gordon is a Lost Highwayman, an Outlaw Patriot, a Hellraiser, and a writer with no permanent location, going wherever the work takes him. Born and raised in Canton, Ohio, Gordon is an Acclaimed Author, Powerful Essayist, Controversial Columnist, Master Orator, Musician, Boxer, and Veteran of the War on Terror. His work captures the essence of the classic American writers while still maintaining a timelessly fresh and biting quality in his work. As Senior Columnist and Political Columnist he has amassed a brilliant and scorching body of work at Drunken Absurdities.

& 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 the FREEDOM WRITING for WOMEN OF COLOR (NEW ORLEANS) group meets at a movable location from 7 pm to 10 p.m. Contact poetryprocess@gmail.com for more information.

& Every Saturday at 2 pm two-time national champions Slam New Orleans (SNO) multi-part workshop for youth and teens will engage participants with poetry both through hearing it and creating their own.. Team SNO is a community-based organization and home of Team SNO. The team, established in 2008, promotes literacy, creativity and self-expression by urging youth and adults alike to become vocal about what matters to them. This The workshops are supported by Poets & Writers, Inc.

& Also at 2 pm Richard Edgar Zwez will sign his new book New Orleans Spirit: A Tchoupitoulas Life at the Main Library on Loyola Avenue. Johnny Smith is left by his mother at his aunt’s home. He becomes part of a quirky family with silly members. He reaches out to his neighborhood and to the citizens of New Orleans. When he does he finds adventures, fun, laughs, and the fiery festivities in the great ethnic mixture of the Big Easy.

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

& 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 pm Octavia Books hosts writer Anya Kamenetz to discuss and sign her new book, THE TEST: Why Our Schools Are Obsessed with Standardized Testing – But You Don’t Have to Be. It’s an exploration of the epidemic of standardized testing that has taken over public schools – and a thorough review of solutions to better assessment and real accountability. THE TEST explores all sides of this problem – where these tests came from, their limitations and flaws, and ultimately what parents, teachers, and concerned citizens can do. It recounts the shocking history and tempestuous politics of testing and borrows strategies from fields as diverse as games, neuroscience, and ancient philosophy to help children cope. It presents the stories of families, teachers, and schools maneuvering within and beyond the existing educational system, playing and winning the testing game. And it offers a glimpse into a future of better tests. With an expert’s depth, a writer’s flair, and a hacker’s creativity, Anya Kamenetz has written an essential book for any parent who has wondered: what do I do about all these tests?

& Jami Attenberg is The 1718’ Society’s February reader at 7PM at the Columns Hotel (3811 St. Charles Avenue). 1718 Society is a literary organization comprised of Tulane, Loyola, and UNO students. They hold monthly readings, which are free and open to the public, the first Tuesday of each month at The Columns Hotel. Maple Street Book shop will be on-site to sell books. Jami Attenberg is the author of the novels The Middlesteins, The Melting Season, The Kept Man and of the story collection Instant Love. She has written for The New York Times, New York, Salon, Nylon, Print, Nerve, and others. Chicago native, she lives in Brooklyn, New York. Her most recent work, Saint Mazie, is forthcoming from Grand Central Publishing in June.

& Tuesday at 6 pm Garden District Book Shops hosts Tom Cooper and his book The Marauders. When the BP oil spill devastates the Gulf coast, those who made a living by shrimping find themselves in dire straits. For the oddballs and lowlifes who inhabit the sleepy, working class bayou town of Jeannette, these desperate circumstances serve as the catalyst that pushes them to enact whatever risky schemes they can dream up to reverse their fortunes. At the center of it all is Gus Lindquist, a pill-addicted, one armed treasure hunter obsessed with finding the lost treasure of pirate Jean Lafitte. His quest brings him into contact with a wide array of memorable characters, ranging from a couple of small time criminal potheads prone to hysterical banter, to the smooth-talking Oil company middleman out to bamboozle his own mother, to some drug smuggling psychopath twins, to a young man estranged from his father since his mother died in Hurricane Katrina. As the story progresses, these characters find themselves on a collision course with each other, and as the tension and action ramp up, it becomes clear that not all of them will survive these events.

& Tuesday at 7 pm the East Jefferson Regional Library hosts an Author Event featuring N.O. Literature, by Nancy Dixon. “N.O. Lit: 200 Years of New Orleans Literature” is a comprehensive collection of the literature of New Orleans. Designed as an introduction for scholars and a pleasure for everyone, this volume will set the standard for years to come. Dixon has gathered some of the most prominent writers long associated with New Orleans, such as Lafcadio Hearn, Tennessee Williams, Truman Capote, and Eudora Welty, as well as more unknown authors such as the writers of Les Cenelles, French Creoles of color who published the first anthology of African American literature in 1845, or Los Isleños, descendents of the 17th-century Spanish immigrants from the Canary Islands. From the first play ever performed in New Orleans in 1809, through Tom Dent’s compelling 1967 drama of violence in the streets, Ritual Murder, this collection traces the city’s history through its authors. Nancy Dixon, PhD, professor of English at Dillard University, has been studying and writing about New Orleans literature, culture, and history for more than 20 years. Her book, Fortune and Misery: Sallie Rhett Roman of New Orleans, (LSU Press 1999), won the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities “Humanities Book of the Year” award in 2000.

& 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 5 pm favorite children’s book author Dan Gutman comes to Octavia Books to present and sign GENIUS FILES #5: LICENSE TO THRILL (rescheduled from the preceding week due to the east coast blizzard). The wackiest road trip in history comes to an action-packed conclusion in book five of the New York Times bestselling Genius Files series (we will have books 1-4 on hand as well).

& Wednesday at 6 pm Garden District Book Shops hosts Elisa Segrave and The Girl From Station X. As Anne Segrave approached old age and infirmity, her daughter, Elisa Seagrave was faced with the daunting task of sorting through her mother’s belongings. She was aware of several elements of Anne’s past, but she was astonished to find evidence of an altogether different life when she uncovered a cache of wartime diaries. Now, on the pages before her, Segrave encountered a young woman who put the world of finishing schools and hunt balls behind her to embark on a journey that took her to Bletchley Park, Bomber Command and, eventually, a newly liberated Germany.

& Wednesday at 7 pm in the Woldenberg Art Center, Freeman Auditorium at Tulane University The New Orleans Center for the Gulf South proudly hosts a joint book launch for two New Orleans-based authors who have just published major new works on the region’s recent history. Brian Boyles, author of New Orleans Boom and Blackout: One Hundred Days in America’s Coolest Hotspot, and Benjamin Morris, author of Hattiesburg, Mississippi: A History of the Hub City, will read from their works on Wednesday, February 4 in the Woldenberg Art Center’s Freeman Auditorium. There will be a Q&A session following the lecture and readings. A reception and book signing will follow the event. Boyles, a Tulane graduate from 1999, is currently director of public programming at the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities. His book chronicles the one hundred days prior to New Orleans’ hosting Super Bowl XLVII in 2013, when business leaders and tourism officials declared the rise of the “new New Orleans,” a thriving city brimming with hope and energy. Yet the watershed moment culminated in darkness when the lights went out in the Superdome. Boyles unearths the conflicts, ambitions, and secret histories that defined the city in this pivotal time. Morris, a poet, writer and member of the Mississippi Artist Roster, received a research fellowship from the Center for his book, the first full-length narrative history of Hattiesburg, a city whose fortunes have long been deeply intertwined with New Orleans . Once a center for lumber and rail, and a “hub city” for the Gulf South, the city is today a regional capital for education, healthcare, commerce, and the armed forces.

& Wednesday at 7 pm the East Jefferson Regional Library hosts Girls Only Author Night, featuring three New Orleans authors talking about their latest books: Test of Faith, by Christa Allan; Rescued by a Kiss, by Colleen Mooney; and Faulkner and Friends, by Vicki Salloum. Guys are welcome. Free of charge and open to the public. No registration


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