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Odd Words February 25, 2015

Posted by The Typist in Book Stores, book-signing, books, Indie Book Shops, literature, memoir, New Orleans, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, Toulouse Street.

This CRAZY BUSY coming week in literary New Orleans:

& At 6 pm Thursday the Alvar Library hosts To the Blighthouse! Readings by Maurice Carlos Ruffin, Carin Chapman, and Tad Bartlett. Ruffin won the 2014 Iowa Review Award for his short story, “The Ones Who Don’t Say They Love You”; and the 2014 gold medal in the novel-in-progress category of the William Faulkner-William Wisdom Writing Competition; among others. His work has been published or is upcoming in The Iowa Review, Callaloo, Cicada, Massachusetts Review, New Delta Review, So To Speak, Redivider, Apalachee Review, and others; and in the New Orleans atlas-and-essay collection, Unfathomable City. Chapman’s work has been named a finalist for the Svenson Award and was shortlisted for the William Faulkner-Wisdom Creative Writing Competition. She is currently an Instructor of Composition and the Coordinator Associate of Freshman and Creative Writing at the University of New Orleans. Bartlett’s essays are found on the online Oxford American, his poetry in the Double Dealer, and his fiction in Bird’s Thumb and The Rappahannock Review. He is currently an MFA student at the Creative Writing Workshop at the University of New Orleans.

& Thursday at 6 pm Room 220 hosts a Happy Hour Salon to celebrate the launch of New Orleans Boom and Blackout: One Hundred Days in America’s Coolest Hotspot by Brian Boyles from 6-9PM on Thursday, Feb. 26, at the Press Street HQ (3718 St. Claude Ave.). The event will also feature best-selling novelist Jami Attenberg. Maple Street Book Shop will be on-site selling books. New Orleans Boom and Blackout is a nonfiction account of the 100 days preceding the 2013 Super Bowl hosted in the New Orleans Superdome. Many will recall the (partial) blackout referenced in the title. Through original research and interviews, conveyed from a casual yet erudite first-person perspective, Boyles unpacks the complex tangle of events that took place as the local government, tourism apparatus, and city at large prepared to showcase the New New Orleans for millions of Americans who had their eyes trained on the game. From the Streetcar Line To Nowhere to VIP celebrity events to cab drivers, bartenders, and street performers hustling like mad to capitalize on the influx of visitors, New Orleans was rife with happenings those 100 days before the game. Through Boyles’ interpretation, they speak volumes about the present state of our city. Jami Attenberg is the author of five books, including the New York Times bestselling novel The Middlesteins, which has been translated into nearly a dozen languages. Her forthcoming book, Saint Mazie, is a novel inspired by a movie theater ticket taker-turned-caregiver on Manhattan’s Lower East Side profiled in Joseph Mitchell’s classic Up in the Old Hotel. Attenberg writes frequently for the New York Times, The Rumpus, Salon, and other distinguished places.

& Also at 6 pm Thursday Garden District Book Shop features M. O. Walsh’s My Sunshine Away. It was the summer everything changed…My Sunshine Away unfolds in a Baton Rouge neighborhood best known for cookouts on sweltering summer afternoons, cauldrons of spicy crawfish, and passionate football fandom. But in the summer of 1989, when fifteen-year-old Lindy Simpson–free spirit, track star, and belle of the block–experiences a horrible crime late one evening near her home, it becomes apparent that this idyllic stretch of Southern suburbia has a dark side, too. In My Sunshine Away, M.O. Walsh brilliantly juxtaposes the enchantment of a charmed childhood with the gripping story of a violent crime, unraveling families, and consuming adolescent love. Acutely wise and deeply honest, it is an astonishing and page-turning debut about the meaning of family, the power of memory, and our ability to forgive.

& At 6:30 pm Thursday Carolyn Kolb will be reading from and discussing her book, New Orleans Memories: One Writer’s City at the Nix branch of the New Orleans Public Library. Carolyn Kolb provides a delightful and detailed look into the heart of her New Orleans. She is a former Times-Picayune reporter and current columnist for New Orleans Magazine, where versions of these essays appeared as “Chronicles of Recent History”.

& Thursday at 6:30 pm The East Jefferson Writer’s Group meets at the East Jefferson Regional Library. This 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.

& Friday at 5 pm Octavia Books hosts A Children’s Picture Book Event: Good Night, Sleep Tight Storytime with Miss Holly. Miss Holly will regale readers with a range of picture book tales. What happens when a bunny family finds a wolf on their front stoop and adopts him? Why do bears need underwear?

& 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.

& This Saturday brings Story Time with Miss Maureen 11:30am at Maple Street Book Shop. She’ll read Last Stop on Market Street by by Matt de la Pena, illustrated by Christian Robinson. Every Sunday after church, CJ and his grandma ride the bus across town. But today, CJ wonders why they don’t own a car like his friend Colby. Why doesn’t he have an iPod like the boys on the bus? How come they always have to get off in the dirty part of town? Each question is met with an encouraging answer from grandma, who helps him see the beauty—and fun—in their routine and the world around them. This energetic ride through a bustling city highlights the wonderful perspective only grandparent and grandchild can share, and comes to life through Matt de la Pena’s vibrant text and Christian Robinson’s radiant illustrations.

& 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 Saturday The Poetry Buffet returns to the Latter Memorial Library from his carnival break. Poets Stacey Balkun. Elizabeth Gross, Geoff Munsterman, and Daniel Reinhold read from their work.

& At 7 pm Saturday Tubby and Coo’s Book Shop hosts UNO graduate Tawni Waters reading from her new novel Beauty of the Broken. And she will likely sneak in some poems from her recently released Siren Song as well. She is an award winning writer and poet, and she currently teaches creative writing in Phoenix, AZ. In this lyrical, heartwrenching story about a forbidden first love, a teen seeks the courage to care for another girl despite her small town’s bigotry and her father’s violent threats. Growing up in conservative small-town New Mexico, fifteen-year-old Mara was never given the choice to be different. Just as Mara begins to live a life she’s only imagined, the girls’ secret is threatened with exposure and Mara’s world is thrown into chaos. Mara knows she can’t live without Xylia, but can she live with an entire town who believes she is an abomination worse than the gravest sin?

& Monday at 5:00 pm the Alvar Library hosts New Orleans Spoken Word Artists monthly workshop that include poetry writing and performance, with the goal of building community through writing and strengthening students’ written and verbal communication skills.

& Meet author Suzanne Lewis on Sunday at 11 am and help Octavia Books launch her first picture book, A PENGUIN NAMED PATIENCE: A Hurricane Katrina Rescue Story. Patience is a South African penguin. She is small at roughly 6 pounds and approximately 20 inches tall; but at 24 years old, she is the “penguin in charge” of the penguin exhibit at New Orleans’s Audubon Aquarium of the Americas. On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina hits, devastating the city and surrounding areas with its catastrophic winds and flooding. The aquarium is severely damaged. With no electricity or relief in sight, the temperature in the aquarium reaches dangerously high degrees, putting the penguins in peril. Patience, and the 18 other penguins, along with some of the other zoo animals, must leave their home and their favorite human, Tom, the penguin keeper. Tom drives his penguins to Baton Rouge where an airplane transfers them to the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California. Here the penguins will recuperate and live until they can return home to New Orleans. After nine long months away from Tom and their home, the aquarium is finally restored. And Patience, who has been patient, and her penguins return to New Orleans to a cheering homecoming.

& This Sunday at 3 pm The Maple Leaf Reading Series features Poet Danny Kerwick followed by an open mic. The Maple Leaf Reading Series, founded by poet Everette Maddox, is the oldest continuous poetry reading series in the south.

& Monday at 7 pm Newcomb College Institute hosts A Reading and Interview with Lorrie Moore, thes 2015 Zale-Kimmerling Writer-in-Residence at Tulane Univeristy, in the Lavin-Bernick Center (LBC), Kendall Cram Lecture Hall. Moore is the author of five collections of short stories and two novels. Her most recent collection, Bark, was published in 2014. Her most recent novel, A Gate at the Stairs, was shortlisted for the 2010 Orange Prize for Fiction and for the PEN/Faulkner Award. Moore has received numerous honors for her work, among them the Irish Times International Prize for Literature, a Lannan Foundation fellowship, as well as the PEN/Malamud Award and the Rea Award for her achievement in the short story. She teaches creative writing at Vanderbilt University

& 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 Rachel Breunlin & Bruce Sunpie Barnes and their collaboration TALK THAT MUSIC TALK. In the early 1900s, jazz was created in New Orleans. Soon afterwards the fear began…it’s moving away, it’s going to die out, it needs to be preserved. Yet each generation has put time and energy into making sure the roots of the music stay strong in the city. This book is about the history of that kind of organizing work, and what happened when the New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park brought together a new group of young people to learn traditional brass band music from older musicians and the Black Men of Labor Social Aid & Pleasure Club.

& Tuesday at 6 pm Garden District Book Shops hosts C. S. Harris’s Who Buries The Dead the 10th Book in the Sebastion St. Cyr series. London, 1813. The vicious decapitation of Stanley Preston, a wealthy, socially ambitious plantation owner, at Bloody Bridge draws Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, into a macabre and increasingly perilous investigation. The discovery near the body of an aged lead coffin strap bearing the inscription King Charles, 1648 suggests a link between this killing and the beheading of the deposed seventeenth-century Stuart monarch. Equally troubling, the victim’s kinship to the current Home Secretary draws the notice of Sebastian’s powerful father-in-law, Lord Jarvis, who will exploit any means to pursue his own clandestine ends. Working in concert with his fiercely independent wife, Hero, Sebastian finds his inquiries taking him from the wretched back alleys of Fish Street Hill to the glittering ballrooms of Mayfair as he amasses a list of suspects who range from an eccentric Chelsea curiosity collector to the brother of an unassuming but brilliantly observant spinster named Jane Austen.

& Also on Tuesday at 7 pm the 1718 Society features reader Jesmyn Ward. National Book Award winner Ward will read and discuss her work at the Columns Hotel. The 1718 Society is a literary organization run by students of Tulane and Loyola. Maple Street Book Shop will be on-site to sell books. Ward received her M.F.A. from the University of Michigan and is currently an assistant professor of creative writing at Tulane University. She is the author of the novels Where the Line Bleeds and Salvage the Bones, the latter of which won the 2011 National Book Award and was a finalist for the New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. Ward grew up in DeLisle, Mississippi, and lives there now.

& AT 8 pm Tuesday Clare Harmon launches her book Thingbody. “There will be an “OFFICIAL” event with book sales and readings and so on TBA but after that we’re going to party drink artisanal cocktails and be merry at Sarsaparilla (Tuesday night pop-up in Dante’s Kitchen). Please join me, none of this would have been possible without the support and inspiration from such amazingly talented colleagues and friends!”

& Also at 7 pm Tuesday the East Jefferson Regional Library hosts One Book One New Orleans’s title Unfathomable City, by Rebecca Snedeker. Like the bestselling Infinite City: A San Francisco Atlas, this book is a brilliant reinvention of the traditional atlas, one that provides a vivid, complex look at the multi-faceted nature of New Orleans, a city replete with contradictions. More than twenty essays assemble a chorus of vibrant voices, including geographers, scholars of sugar and bananas, the city’s remarkable musicians, prison activists, environmentalists, Arab and Native voices, and local experts, as well as the coauthors’ compelling contributions. Featuring 22 full-color two-page-spread maps, Unfathomable City plumbs the depths of this major tourist destination, pivotal scene of American history and culture and, most recently, site of monumental disasters such as Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil spill. Writer, historian, and activist Rebecca Solnit is the author of sixteen books about environment, landscape, community, art, politics, hope, and memory.

& The UNO Creative Writing Workshop hosts poets Ralph Angel and Andy Young in the liberal arts building, Room 140 at 8PM Wednesday. The reading will be followed by a q&a, book signing and brief reception. Young grew up in southern West Virginia and has spent most of her adult life in New Orleans working at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts. For the last two years she has lived in Egypt, where she worked at the American University in Cairo and documented the revolution in essays, poems and photographs. A graduate of the Warren Wilson Program for Writers, her writing has been published in three chapbooks, publications in Lebanon, Egypt,
Ireland, Mexico and throughout the United States. Her first full-length collection, All Night It Is Morning, was published in 2014. Angel’s latest collection, Your Moon, was awarded the 2013 Green Rose Poetry Prize. In addition to five books of poetry, he also has published an award-winning translation of the Federico García Lorca collection, Poema del cante jondo / Poem of the Deep Song. He lives in Los Angeles, and is Edith R. White Distinguished Professor at the University of Redlands, and a member of the MFA in Writing faculty at Vermont College of Fine Arts.

& On Wednesday at 7 pm Fleur de Lit and the Pearl Wine Co. host Reading Between the Wines. This month’s featured authors include Dawn Chartier, author of new paranormal romance Bewitching the Enemy; Erica Spinder, author of The First Wife; Deborah Burst, Author of Louisiana’s Sacred Places: Churches, Cemeteries and Voodoo and Hallowed Halls of Greater New Orleans. Louisiana’s Sacred Places; and Alys Arden, author of The Casquette Girls. More details on each author can be found on the Tubby and Coos website.
HI Mr. Folse–

Just reaching out to request that you re-post the Neutral Ground Coffee House Poetry Night for Wednesdays!

& Wednesday night from 8-9 pm, come drink some coffee and make your voice heard at the Neutral Ground Poetry Hour, 5110 Danneel Street.


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