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Odd Words April 15, 2015

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

This coming week in literary New Orleans:

& All this month, The Pizza Poetry Project celebrates National Poetry Month and the power of youth voices by publishing poems by New Orleans’ writers ages 6-18. Working together with Reginelli’s, Pizza Delicious, Magazine Pizza, Garage Pizza, Mid City Pizza, and G’s Pizza (who generously donate 10% of their proceeds to Big Class’s free youth writing programs), Big Class publishes poems of all kinds on pizza boxes, for delivery and pick up on April 17. Pizza eaters/poetry readers post their poems on Twitter and Instagram using #pizzapoetry15.

& Thursday at 6 pm Jamie Kornegay discusses and signs his book, Soil, at the Garden District Book Shop. Michael Pitre, author of Fives and Twenty-Fives, will interview Jamie following the reading. It all began with a simple dream. An ambitious young environmental scientist hoped to establish a sustainable farm on a small patch of river-bottom land nestled among the Mississippi hills. Jay Mize convinced his wife Sandy to move their six-year-old son away from town and to a rich and lush parcel where Jacob could run free and Jay could pursue the dream of a new and progressive agriculture for the twenty-first century. He did not know that within a year he’d be ruined, that flood and pestilence would invade his fledgling farm or that his wife and son would leave him to pick up the pieces by himself.

Also at 6 pm  come out to hear National Book Award Finalist Rene Steinke (Holy Skirts, Friendswood) and short story writer Sean Ennis (Chase Us: Stories) read from and discuss their work  at UNO’s Lakefront campus. The event will take place in Auditorium room 140 in the Liberal Arts Building and is free and open to the public.  Steinke is an American novelist. She is the author of three novels: The Fires (1999), Holy Skirts (2005), and Friendswood (2014). Holy Skirts, a novel based on the life of the Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, was a finalist for the 2005 National Book Award. Her essays and articles have appeared in The New York Times, Vogue, O: the Oprah Magazine, Bookforum, and elsewhere. Ennis is a Philadelphia, PA native now living in Water Valley, MS where he teaches writing and literature for the University of Mississippi and the Gotham Writers Workshop. His work has appeared in Tin House, Crazyhorse, Mississippi Review, The Good Men Project, and the Best New American Voices anthology, among others. Chase Us: Stories is his first book.

& Thursday at 7 pm The University of New Orleans Women’s Center and Quaint Magazine host Women Write, presenting special guest reader Anne Marie Rooney along with local poets studying in UNO Creative Writing Program including Kia Groom and Clare Harmon at The Sandbar on the UNO Campus. Anne Marie Rooney was born and raised in New York City. Right now she’s living in New Orleans, where she is a teaching artist. Her first book, Spitshine, is available from Carnegie Mellon University Press. She is the author of two chapbooks: The Buff, part of The Cupboard’s pamphlet series, and Shell of an egg in an effort, available from Birds of Lace. She has won the Iowa Review Award, the Gulf Coast Poetry Prize, the Amy Award, the Greg Grummer Poetry Award, and the So to Speak Poetry Prize. Her writing has been featured on Verse Daily, Poetry Daily, Lambda Literary, The Feminist Wire, The Awl, and The Huffington Post, as well as in the Best New Poets and Best American Poetry anthologies.

& Thursday at 7 pm the East Jefferson Regional Library hosts the bi-weekly SciFi, Fantasy and Horror Writer’s Group. The purpose of the group is to encourage local writers to create works of fiction based on science fiction, fantasy and horror themes. Participants submit manuscripts to be critiqued by others in the group. Open to all levels. Free of charge and open to the public. No registration.

& Friday at 6 pm Join 12 of NOLA’s top spoken word artists as they compete for the National Poetry Month Slam Champion title and CA$H prizes at the New Orleans Museum of Art. The night will kick off with a showcase of youth poets from around the city and will end with one poet being crowned the NPM Slam Champ. $10 adults, $8 seniors+students (with ID), $6 children/youth (7-17), 6 and under and NOMA members are free. COMPETING POETS: A Scribe Called Quess?, Akeem Martin , Beck Cooper, Honey Sanaa, iCon, Jessica Bordelon, Kataalyst, Preach, Sadecru and Sam Gordon. This event is put on in collaboration by the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) and Slam New Orleans (Team SNO)

& 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.

& Friday at 6 pm Alan Cumming will be coming by the Faubourg Marigny Art and Bookstore to shop, visit, and sign his books. Come by between 6pm and 7pm to see Alan Cumming, buy a book and have him sign it for you!

& Saturday from 11 am to 5 pm the East Jefferson Regional Library is hosting a Poetry Writing Seminar featuring four local poets/educators.

The workshop, held in honor of National Poetry Month, features the following speakers.

• 11 a.m. – Bill Lavender speaks on metaphor.

• 12 noon – Lee Grue speaks on the slant rhyme with some attention to end rhyme.

• 1 p.m. – Valentine Pierce speaks on free poetry writing.

• 2 p.m. – Kay Murphy speaks on the elements of a good poem.

Each presentation lasts roughly 50 minutes. The workshop is designed for poets of all levels.

& Saturday from 8:30 am – 5 pm The Greater New Orleans Writing Project (GNOWP) and the National Writing Project (NWP) invite you to WriteFest 2015–an all day teacher professional development conference highlighting best practices in teaching writing in urban classrooms. 16 breakout sessions at UNO feature classroom-tested lessons from NWP Teacher Consultants and local and national literacy experts serving urban classrooms across the US–from Portland, OR to Ferguson, MO, to our own New Orleans. By ticketed admission available here: writefest.eventbrite.com.

& Saturday from 12-4 pm NOLA Til Ya Die, the Literacy Alliance of Greater New Orleans, and One Book One New Orleans, a project of the Young Leadership Council (YLC), are teaming up to address one of the biggest–but least discussed–challenges to adult learners in our community: transportation. Many of the approximately 3000 students attending adult literacy centers in Orleans Parish rely on bicycles as their only means of transportation, yet the learning centers lack secure bike racks, which has led to bike thefts on more than one occasion. We as a community can help. The three organizations will hold an event titled “Learn Til Ya Die™,” dedicated to celebrating lifelong learning in New Orleans. NOLA Til Ya Die, which will host the event at 3536 Toulouse Street, has generously agreed to donate a portion of every sale of select merchandise toward installing bike racks outside adult learning centers. After this event, Where Ya Rack, also a project of the Young Leadership Council, will work with us to install the bike racks.

& Saturday at 11:30 am its Story Time with Miss Maureen. This week she’ll read Second Banana by Keith Graves. “Think of us as bananas. Obviously, I am Top Banana. The Big Banana. Numero Uno Banana. You are Second Banana,” says the Amazing Bubbles, the star of the circus. And what does Oop, the Second Banana, do? A Second Banana helps fill the pool so Top Bananas can dive. They hold the music so Top Bananas can entertain the crowd. They keep the tires full of air so Top Bananas can drive. In short, they are not the stars of the circus. But what happens when a Top Banana gets hurt and an eager Second Banana has to stand in his place.

& Saturday at 2 pm the Nix Branch of the New Orleans Public Library hosts a Teen, Tween Comic Workshop by Harriet Burbeck.

& Also at 2 pm Saturday the Latter Memorial Library will host a special Poetry Brunch event: Poets Reading Poets Reading. Everyone is invited to read the poem(s) of their favorite poet(s).

& Saturday at 6 pm at Octavia Books L. Kevin Coleman presents his novel, DIFFERENT SPRINGS. He will begin with a brief flamenco guitar presentation accompanied by a flamenco dancer, followed by a reading and signing. Coleman will take you on a thrilling journey from New Orleans, to Spain and the Middle East. At age 17, Coleman became a flamenco guitarist for José Greco and his Spanish dance company. In between tours he lived in Madrid, attending classes at the Royal Conservatory of Music, playing at the now legendary Amor de Diós dance studios, and trying not to freeze or starve to death. He has been a lawyer in and around New Orleans since graduating from Tulane Law School in 1979 and has written about law, politics, religion, and flamenco in various magazines and newspapers.

& Saturday at 8 pm Pass It On open mic is back again. An exhibition of arts and ignorance all rolled into one good time. The city’s finest spoken word artists will be displaying their talents to the backdrop of Cliff Hines musicianship on Saturday April 18. The Building, at 1427 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd, will be flourishing with the light-hearted spirit of your hosts Bobby & G while Ayo Scott sets the canvas for your evening.

& At 2 pm Sunday Shannon Ables discusses and signs her book, Choosing the Simply Luxurious Life: A Modern Woman’s Guide, at Garden District Book Shop. How can you have a rich and fulfilling life? The choices you make, not your income or financial assets, are the most powerful determining factor for your quality of life. Women have never had so many options. Yet we often experience a kind of paralysis, an unconscious willingness to follow societal dictates rather than become the CEOs of our own lives. When we mindlessly follow the dots, we smother our innate gifts and miss opportunities to fulfill our true potential. There is another way—choosing to live a simply luxurious life. You can curate the life of your dreams by being purposeful and selective, no matter where you live, your income, or your relationship status. Luxury and true fulfillment are ours for the having if we know where to look and how to make the right choices.

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

& Sunday at 4 pm in Baton Rouge there is Poetry Collaborations BR Gallery Reading. Vincent Cellucci and Christopher Shipman read Battleship verse from A Ship on the Line (Unlikely Books, 2014) and Chris and his other co-auther Brett Evans read from T. Rex Parade, a book about the tit’Rex mardi gras art parade ( Lavender Ink / Diálogos, 2015).

& Tuesday at 6 pm at Garden District Book Shop David Baldacci discusses and signs his book, Memory Man. Join in the celebration of Baldacci’s 30th book. The store will have refreshments and a Jazz band. mos Decker’s life changed forever–twice. The first time was on the gridiron. A big, towering athlete, he was the only person from his hometown of Burlington ever to go pro. But his career ended before it had a chance to begin. On his very first play, a violent helmet-to-helmet collision knocked him off the field for good, and left him with an improbable side effect–he can never forget anything. The second time was at home nearly two decades later. Now a police detective, Decker returned from a stakeout one evening and entered a nightmare–his wife, young daughter, and brother-in-law had been murdered. His family destroyed, their killer’s identity as mysterious as the motive behind the crime, and unable to forget a single detail from that horrible night, Decker finds his world collapsing around him. But over a year later, a man turns himself in to the police and confesses to the murders. At the same time a horrific event nearly brings Burlington to its knees, and Decker is called back in to help with this investigation. Decker also seizes his chance to learn what really happened to his family that night. To uncover the stunning truth, he must use his remarkable gifts and confront the burdens that go along with them. He must endure the memories he would much rather forget. And he may have to make the ultimate sacrifice.

& Wednesday at 6 pm Octavia Books hosts s presentation and signing with Gay Leonhardt, editior of SHAKING UP PROHIBITION IN NEW ORLEANS: Authentic Vintage Cocktails from A to Z. This recovered prohibition era recipe guide was originally created by noted New Orleans artist Olive Leonhardt (she illustrated the New Orleans literary magazine The Double Dealer) and political activist Hilda Phelps Hammond around 1929. In the 1920s Prohibition was the law, but ignoring it was the norm, especially in New Orleans. While popular writers such as F. Scott Fitzgerald invented partygoers who danced from one cocktail to the next, real denizens of the French Quarter imbibed their way across the city. Bringing to life the fiction of flappers with tastes beyond bathtub gin, SHAKING UP PROHIBITION IN NEW ORLEANS serves up recipes from the era of the speakeasy.

& At 7 pm Wednesday the East Jefferson Public Library hosts a Poetry Event featuring Joel Dailey and Bill Lavender. l Dailey is best known for Fell Swoop!, a magazine he’s published for decades and that he calls “a newsletter for the Insane or the Inane.” He has published several books with Lavender Ink. His latest is Industrial Loop. In a long and engaging 2012 interview, Dailey talks to Camille Martin about the poetics of satire, Dailey’s poetry in Rolling Stone, small presses, poetic influences (such as Ted Berrigan and Anselm Hollo), and the magazine and its relationship to Hurricane Katrina, among other things. Dailey’s books include Nutria Bounce (Open 24 Hours Press, 2005), Lower 48 (Lavender Ink, 1999), Release Window (Semiquasi Press, 1998), Ambulance (Blank Gun Silencer Press, 1993) and Doppler Effects (Shockbox Press, 1993). 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. His most recent book of poetry, the ground-breaking verse memoir, Memory Wing, dubbed by Rodger Kamentetz “a contemporary autobiographical masterpiece,” was published by Black Widow in 2011. His novel, Q, a neo-picaresque view of a world in constant economic crisis, appeared from Trembling Pillow in 2013.

& 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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