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Odd Words September 21, 2015

Posted by The Typist in Book Stores, book-signing, books, bookstores, literature, Louisiana, New Orleans, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, reading, spoken word, Toulouse Street, Writing.

This coming week in literary New Orleans:

& 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.

& At 7 pm Monday Tulane University presents a reading by A reading by Julia Kasdorf, 2015 Arons Visiting Poet, in the Woldenberg Art Center, Freeman Auditorium. Kasdorf, professor of English and Women’s Studies at Penn State, has published three collections of poetry. Eve’s Striptease was named one of Library Journal‘s Top 20 Best Poetry Books of 1998, and Sleeping Preacher won the Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize and the Great Lakes College’s Association Award for New Writing. Her poems were awarded a 2009 NEA fellowship and a Pushcart Prize and appear in numerous anthologies. She has written a collection of essays, The Body and the Book: Writing from a Mennonite Life, winner of the 2002 Book of the Year Award from the Conference on Christianity and Literature, and a monograph, Fixing Tradition: Joseph W. Yoder, Amish American. With Michael Tyrell she co-edited the anthology, Broken Land: Poems of Brooklyn. In addition to teaching poetry workshops, she established the Writer in the Community course in the MFA program.

& At 6 pm Octavia Books hosts a lecture and book signing with historian Christina Vella celebrating the release of her new biography, GEORGE WASHINGTON CARVER: A Life. George Washington Carver — the famous peanut wizard we all read about in grade school — developed thousands of products from swamp mud, clay, weeds, oil sludge, feathers, barnyard bones, kudzu, and other throw-away materials. Aside from his genius, Carver had an intense personal life that included a deep friendship with Henry Ford and FDR, and a fraught relationship with Booker T. Washington, who contributed significantly to the suicide of a woman Carver loved. When Carver was 60, he began a long love affair with a 23-year-old white man. Christina Vella explores the many dimensions of the man Einstein considered among the ten most brilliant scientists of his time.

& Tuesday at 6 pm Garden District Book Shops presents Stuart Stevens’ The Last Season: A Father, a Son, and a Lifetime of College Football. Fathers, sons, and sports are enduring themes of American literature. Here, in this fresh and moving account, a son returns to his native South to spend a special autumn with his ninty-five-year-old dad, sharing the unique joys, disappointments, and life lessons of Saturdays with their beloved Ole Miss Rebels. In the fall of 2012, after working on a presidential campaign that suffered a devastating loss, Stuart Stevens, having turned sixty, realized that he and his ninty-five-year-old father had spent little time together for decades. His solution: a season of attending Ole Miss football games together, as they’d done when college football provided a way for his father to guide him through childhood–and to make sense of the troubled South of the time. Now, driving to and from the games, and cheering from the stands, they take stock of their lives as father and son, and as individuals, reminding themselves of their unique, complicated, precious bond. Poignant and full of heart, but also irreverent and often hilarious,The Last Season is a powerful story of parents and children and the importance of taking a backward glance together while you still can.

& At 7 pm Tuesday the Westbank Fiction Writers’ Group meets at the Edith S. Lawson Library in Westwego. Writing exercises or discussions of points of fiction and/or critique sessions of members’ submissions. Meets the second and fourth Tuesday of every month. Moderator: Gary Bourgeois. Held in the meeting Room.

& Wednesday brings the return of return to the living room of poetry in BJs in the Bywater for our 5th season of poetry, music, fiction and fun! Our opening night features poets Brad Richard and Aran Donovan as well as open mic poems from our community of amazing writers. Richard’s poetry collection Motion Studies won the 2010 Washington Prize from The Word Works, and will be forthcoming in 2011. He is also the author of the collection Habitations (Portals Press, New Orleans, 2000) and the limited edition chapbook The Men in the Dark (Lowlands Press, Stuttgart, Germany, 2004). He is a recipient of fellowships from the Surdna Foundation, the Louisiana Division of the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Humanities, and poetry winner in the Poets & Writers’ 2002 Writers Exchange competition, he is chair of creative writing at Lusher Charter High school in New Orleans. Donovan works and writes in New Orleans. A graduate of the Arkansas MFA program and Middlebury Summer Language Schools, she was a 2012 resident at the Edward A. Albee Foundation and a 2010 Walton Family Endowment for Creative Writing fellow. Her writing has appeared in such publications as Barrow Street, CutBank, Rattle, and New Ohio Review, New Orleans Review, and Rattle, and has earned her Phoebe Journal’s Greg Grummer Poetry Award and a spot in Best New Poets 2013.

& At 6 pm Wednesday the Young Leadership Council’s One Book One New Orleans and Dillard Univeristy Present “Lil Wayne and America’s Idea of New Orleans”: A Panel Discussion. Inspired by Chapter 17–“I Am Your Great Time”–of Brian Boyles’ “New Orleans Boom and Blackout,” we will hold our third event of the season, Lil Wayne and America’s Idea of New Orleans: A Panel Discussion at Dillard University’s Lawless Memorial Chapel (2601 Gentilly Blvd) from 6:00-8:30p.m. We are honored to welcome Alison Fensterstock, who has covered entertainment and popular culture for several different publications, as our moderator for the evening. She will be joined by panelist Myan Sandifer, a Dillard junior majoring in Biology, Wild Wayne, DJ on Q93.3 FM, and Ethan Brown, author of Queens Reigns Supreme: Fat Cat, 50 Cent, and the Rise of the Hip Hop Hustler

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

& At 6 pm Wednesday it’s a Big Easy Author Night featuring Richard Campanella at the New Orleans Main Library. Campanella is a geographer with the Tulane School of Architecture and the author of numerous articles and seven critically acclaimed books, including Bienville’s Dilemma, Geographies of New Orleans, Bourbon Street: A History, and Lincoln in New Orleans. He is the only two-time winner of the LEH “Book of the Year” Award.

& Thursday at 6 pm meet Elise Blackwell, author of The Unnatural History of Cypress Parish, when she reads and discusses her newest book, THE LOWER QUARTER at Octavia Books.

The authenticity of Blackwell’s New Orleans experience is clear on every page, from the bars the characters frequent to the sense of a city rebuilding itself … will grip readers and keep them turning pages. —Publishers Weekly

A man murdered during Katrina in a hotel room two blocks from her art-restoration studio was closely tied to a part of Johanna’s past that she would like kept secret. But missing from the crime scene is a valuable artwork painted in 1926 by a renowned Belgian artist that might bring it all back. An acquaintance, Clay Fontenot, who has enabled a wide variety of personal violations in his life, some of which he has enjoyed, is the scion of a powerful New Orleans family. And Marion is an artist and masseuse from the Quarter who has returned after Katrina to rebuild her life. When Eli, a convicted art thief, is sent to find the missing painting, all of their stories weave together in the slightly deranged halls of the Quarter.

& At Garden District Books at 6 pm Thursday meet George Sanchez who will discuss and sign his book Exploration’s End. Jeff Chaussier has left his mediocre career as an actor in the Midwest because of another family problem, this time with his cousin Cal. Back in New Orleans with another mystery to solve, he discovers his old friends are dealing with a thriving drug trade. His search sends him to the university theatre, drug lairs, and Bryna’s patio to see if there is still a flame burning there. Has she healed from her injuries suffered in their first adventure? As he pokes about, learning new secrets about Bryna, he receives a second task from the same “certain mysterious gentlemen” who helped him last time. Jeff’s family and friends offer aid as he tries to discover Bryna’s secrets, help his cousin Cal, and keep those “certain gentlemen” placated. Without detective skills, but with a colorful collection of friends, old and new, Jeff pokes and pries, discovering new corners of New Orleans and plots within plots.

& At 7 pm Thursday the Dogfish reading series presents poet Andy Young and her recent collection All Night It Is Morning, among other works at Old N. Villere Bakery 2448 N. VIllere Street New Orleans.

Andy Young’s powerful debut, All Night It Is Morning, sweeps us from the American South to the Middle East and back, in lyric poetry limned with precision, sympathy, and her wise spacious stance. Young’s poems are made from tumult—whether it’s the shattered Ninth Ward of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina or the perilous strife of Cairo’s Tahrir Square—yet reach, time and again, for peace. This poet shows us how to distrust, even to dissolve the inaccurate distinctions we too handily make—among the personal and political, among the familial, natural, and aesthetic—to find a more synthetic blending. Such is the poet’s most revolutionary achievement: To embrace difference is to find likeness, even perhaps to find hope.
—David Baker, winner, 2011 Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Prize

& This and every Thursdays call the New Orleans Poetry Brothel and they will read you a poem 8pm-Midnight CST. 504-264-1336.

& Saturday at 10 am the Jefferson Parish Library Mystery Writers Conference meets at the East Bank Regional Library. “Cops and Authors” is designed to provide hands-on, practical information to local mystery and crime writers, but it is also open to anyone who wants to understand more fully the concepts of police procedure. Three panels will be presented: 10 a.m. – “New Orleans as a Partner in Crime”; 11:15 a.m., “Cop Culture”; and, 12:30 p.m. – “Inside the Mind of a Police Sniper” and “Post Traumatic Stress Disorder”. Full details of panelists and each topic are on the Jefferson Parish Library calendar page.

Saturday at 6 pm at Garden District Book Shop Lea Michelle’s signs her book You First: Journal Your Way to Your Best Life. In this book, Lea, teaches readers how they, too, can be their best-selves. In her opinion, keeping a journal and asking yourself the hard questions about what you want out of life is the best way to achieve your dreams, so she has outlined a series of exercises, prompts, and lists based on her own personal program. Lea’s guided journal will address all the topics she wrote about in her first book, Brunette Ambition, including fitness, diet, work, school, and relationships, but with all-new material to help readers reach their goals. Peppered between the advice and exercises will be fun personal anecdotes from Lea to motivate and inspire readers to put themselves first and live their best life. This is a wrist-band event and we are limited to 600 wrist-bands. To receive a wrist-band you must purchase the new book, You First: Journal Your Way to Your Best Life, from Garden District Book Shop. This book goes on sale Sept. 22.

& Sunday at 3 pm The Maple Leaf Reading Series features an open mic. The Maple Leaf Reading Series is the oldest continuous reading in the south (making an allowance for Katrina), and was founded by noted and beloved local poet Everette Maddox.

& From 3-7 pm the local event for 100,000 Poets for Change features poetry, music and art to celebrate Peace and Sustainability and an Environment to support life for generations to come at St. John’s Coffeehouse, 535 E Boston St. in Covington.


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