Pedestrian I: The Old Man in the Oaks February 29, 2016Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, Pedestrian I, The Journey, The Mystery, The Narrative, The Typist, The Vision, Toulouse Street.
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Walking with intent, without the distraction of an iThing and ear buds and with attention to my environment, I find the most interesting things in the grove of oaks and other trees along the south side of Bayou Metairie. Among yesterday’s discoveries was The Old Man in the Oak. No, I’m not going to tell you where to find him. You will have to join me in walking with intent through what I have come to think of as the Sacred Grove.
Of course, when intent and attentive, one also notices certain vistas of great beauty. I make a habit of leaving the sidewalk and going cross-country as it were through the grove of live oaks, stepping over and through what I think of as gates made by the pendulant branches that come down and touch the ground only to ascend again. Below is a view I found particularly striking on Sunday. I call it the Lady in the Grove.
Finally, while wending my way through the gates (think walking straight ahead above toward the fountain, although the particular path I thread usually involves a much smaller passage), I found a rose stuck in the ground, framed by (and appearing to glare at) a green bottle cap with a bit of gold twist tie you can’t easily make out laying nearby.
Walking with Intent. It’s the only way to travel.
Odd Words: This week in literary New Orleans February 28, 2016Posted by The Typist in Book Stores, book-signing, books, bookstores, Indie Book Shops, literature, Louisiana, New Orleans, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, reading, spoken word, Toulouse Street, Writing.
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This week in literary New Orleans:
& Monday at 6 pm Octavia Books hosts journalist Mary R. Arno presents and signs THANKSGIVING, her novel of memory and coming-of-age based on a short story that won the gold medal in the Faulkner Wisdom competition. New Orleans, Summer 1965: Nancy Drew, the Beatles, Hurricane Betsy. For four young people, it is a time for sailing lessons, clandestine cigarettes, facts of life, guilty secrets. Playing girl detectives, Peg and Emmaline hitchhike to the Winn Dixie, where Emmaline hopes to find her runaway sister. Harry, Emmaline’s brother, lurks on the edges of their toxic, disjointed family. As seasons and years go by, each of the four must come to terms with what happened that summer and what they did—or didn’t do. Thanksgiving slowly reveals the adult ugliness festering beneath the summer idylls of childhood.
& At 6 pm Tuesday Garden District Book Shops features Julie Smith (editor), Ace Atkins, Nevada Barr, O’Neil De Noux, and Maurice Ruffin with New Orleans Noir: The Classics. New Orleans’ tremendous literary tradition shines bright in this outstanding collection of stories from some of the best writers in American history. Julie Smith has masterfully curated this volume with stories published as early as 1843 and as recently as 2012. Classic reprints from: James Lee Burke, Armand Lanusse, Grace King, Kate Chopin, O. Henry, Eudora Welty, Tennessee Williams, Shirley Ann Grau, John William Corrington, Tom Dent, Ellen Gilchrist, Valerie Martin, O’Neil De Noux, John Biguenet, Poppy Z. Brite, Nevada Barr, Ace Atkins, and Maurice Carlos Ruffin. The 18 stories in this irresistible sequel to Smith’s New Orleans Noir run chronologically from Armand Lanusse’s A Marriage of Conscience (1843), about an unusual social custom of the day, to Maurice Carlos Ruffin’s Pie Man (2012), a powerful examination of ethnic tensions in post-Katrina New Orleans. Famous bylines punctuate the book, but even the lesser-known authors hold their own. Former New Orleans police office O’Neil De Noux’s The Man with Moon Hands has particular relevance in view of recent controversial police shootings. Ace Atkins’s Last Fair Deal Gone Down mixes New Orleans’s traditions of music and crime. There’s one outright ghost story, Poppy Z. Brite’s Mussolini and the Axeman’s Jazz, a surrealistic swirl of time travel and assassination. Anyone who knows New Orleans even slightly will relish revisiting the city in story after story. For anyone who has never been to New Orleans, this is a great introduction to its neighborhoods and history.
& Also at 6 pm Tuesday Octavia Books welcomes local activist Emilie Bahr when she introduces her book, URBAN REVOLUTIONS: A Woman’s Guide to Two-Wheeled Transportation. Urban Revolutions is a different kind of cycling book. Author Emilie Bahr draws on her own experience as an everyday cyclist and a transportation planner in New Orleans to demystify urban bicycling in this visually-compelling and fun-to-read field guide. What does it mean for a city to be bike-friendly? What makes bicycling a women’s issue? What does it take to feel safe on a bike? How do you bike to work in the summer and still look professional? What is the most fun you can possibly have on two wheels without having to become an athlete? Bahr answers all these questions and more in her friendly and thoughtful essays and detailed practical tips.
& At 7 pm Tuesday Tulane University presents an evening with Zadie Smith, 2016 Zale-Kimmerling Writer-in-Residence. Smith is the author of six books. Her acclaimed first novel, White Teeth (2000), a vibrant portrait of contemporary multicultural London, told through the stories of three ethnically diverse families, won a number of awards and prizes, including the Guardian First Book Award, the Whitbread First Novel Award, the Commonwealth Writers Prize (Overall Winner, Best First Book), and two BT Ethnic and Multicultural Media Awards (Best Book/Novel and Best Female Media Newcomer). It was also shortlisted for the Mail on Sunday/John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, the Orange Prize for Fiction and the Author’s Club First Novel Award. The Autograph Man (2002), a story of loss, obsession and the nature of celebrity, won the 2003 Jewish Quarterly Wingate Literary Prize for Fiction. In 2003 and 2013 she was named by Granta magazine as one of 20 ‘Best of Young British Novelists’. On Beautywon the 2006 Orange Prize for Fiction and her most recent novel, NW, was shortlisted for the Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize and the Women’s Prize for Fiction and was named as one of The New York Times ‘10 Best Books of 2012.’ Zadie Smith writes regularly for The New Yorker and the New York Review of Books. She published a collection of essays, Changing My Mind: Occasional Essays(2009) and is working on a book of essays entitled Feel Free. She is currently a tenured professor of Creative Writing at New York University.
& Also at 7 pm Tuesday at the Old Metairie Library The Great Books Foundation meets.
& At 8 pm Tuesday at Bar Redux readers are invited to join the discussion with the beautiful, talented, smart, members of Picolla Tushy Presents The Bluestockings. This month we’ll be talking #GirlBoss by Sophia Amorusa. “Girlboss is a hub of inspiration to share stories about what creating an amazing life really means. Being a Girlboss isn’t about being the boss of other people – it’s about being the boss of your own life.”
& At 5 pm Wednesday The West Bank Book Club meets at the Algiers Regional Library to discuss their selection, which is usually literary fiction. Meetings are open to the public and are hosted by library staff
& Wednesday at 6 pm Garden District Book Shop presents Geneveive Munson Trimble’s Afton Villa:The Birth and Rebirth of a Ninteenth-Century Louisiana Garden. n 1963, fire ravaged the forty-room Victorian Gothic plantation home on the historic estate, bringing to ashes over 170 years of history. Over the next decade, its once-regal serpentine entryway and carefully laid out gardens gradually deteriorated, as vines strangled the rows of azaleas that once welcomed guests. A place of enchantment crumbled toward extinction. Afton Villa documents Trimble’s decades-long restoration project while providing a history of the original owners and paying tribute to the other people who contributed to its rebirth. Focusing on preservation, Trimble reveals how the garden’s original footprint survived as well as how she thoughtfully introduced new flora into the terraced landscape, including the foundation ruins of the house, under the guidance of landscape architect Neil G. Odenwald. With steep learning curves and devastating setbacks, including hurricane destruction, each milestone in the recovery of Afton Villa marked a triumph of collaborative will over adversity.
& At 7 pm Wednesday Reading Between the Wines at Pearl Wine Co. welcomes Eva Vanrell and her book THE BUTTERFLY CREST, heavily influenced by Japanese culture, and the Japan Society will also discuss their new book club! An ancient war. A long-told prophecy. A cursed inheritance. If you were destined to die, how would you choose to live? The Butterfly Crest is the first book in a series that tells the tale of a human girl who sacrifices everything to struggle against the inevitable, choosing to resist even when the outcome is doomed from the start. Join Elena as she suddenly finds herself in the middle of a Greek myth and an ancient war between gods, in a world where the old myths are real and human belief has the power to alter the divine. The Butterfly Crest was a 2014 Readers’ Favorite International Book Award Finalist.
& At BJ’s in the Bywater at 8 pm Wednesday Blood Jet Poetry Series returns for its spring season featuring: Bernard Pearce, a Louisiana native born in the rural community of St. Martin Parish. He attended St. John’s College in Santa Fe, NM and returned to Louisiana to pursue a life immersed in music and art. He has owned and operated several music and arts venues in Lafayette, Louisiana. Bernard has recorded and released two full length recordings with his band One Man Machine and has toured internationally with this group. Bernard has recently published a collection of poems, photos, and visual art entitled “The Deed to My Bones”. Also featured is Jim Trainer whose work has appeared in Raw Paw 6: Alien, The Waggle, Philadelphia Stories, Divergent Magazine, Anthology Philly, A Series of Moments and PoetryInk. The release of September, his second full length collection of poetry, coincides with the founding of Yellow Lark Press. Trainer lives in Austin, Texas where he serves as curator of Going For The Throat, a weekly publication of cynicism, outrage, correspondence and romance. Please visit jimtrainer.net.
& Also 8 pm the provocateurs of Estorotica present “Esoterotica knows Romance (Erotica) isn’t Dead, It’s Mysterious, Exciting, and Often Hilarious!” at the Allways Lounge. Doors at 7, show at 8. “…an evening of sex and romance and sexy romance, because we know Romance isn’t dead, especially when it’s also erotica… it’s mysterious, breath-taking, exciting, sometimes corny and when it comes to our show, often hilarious! ”
& Thursday at 6 pm Maple Street Books also welcomes Emilie Bahr, author of Urban Revolutions.
& At 7 pm Thursday the SciFi, Fantasy and Horror Writer’s Group meets at the East Jefferson Regional Library. 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.
& Also at 7 pm Thursday the University of New Orleans Creative Writing Workshop will host two visiting readers in the Liberal Arts Building, Room 140. Mark Yakich is a Professor of English at Loyola University New Orleans, USA, Editor of New Orleans Review, and a poet and novelist. He is the author of several collections of poetry including Unrelated Individuals Forming a Group Waiting to Cross and The Importance of Peeling Potatoes in Ukraine. Jennifer S. Davis is the author of two collections of short stories, Her Kind of Want, winner of the Iowa Award for Short Fiction, and Our Former Lives in Art, which was selected by Barnes and Noble for the Discover Great New Writers Series
& At Octavia Books Thursday at 6 pm local writer Dr. Anne Boyd Rioux will be reading from and signing CONSTANCE FENIMORE WOOLSON: Portrait of a Lady Novelist and MISS GRIEF AND OTHER STORIES. Constance Fenimore Woolson (1840 1894), who contributed to Henry James’s conception of his heroine Isabelle Archer of The Portrait of a Lady, was one of the most accomplished American writers of the nineteenth century. The best known (and most misunderstood) facts of her life are her relationship with James and her suicide in Venice. Uncovering new sources, Anne Boyd Rioux provides a fuller picture of Woolson’s life, her fight against depression, her sources for her writing, and her capacity for love and joy. In her critically acclaimed fiction, Woolson created compelling and subtle portrayals of Americans from the Great Lakes, Reconstruction-era South, and formerly Spanish Florida. As an expat in Europe, she explored women’s thwarted ambitions while challenging the foremost male writers of her era. Ultimately, Rioux reveals an exceptionally gifted and committed artist who pursued (and received) serious recognition despite the stigma attached to female authors and to ambitious, single women.
& Also at 6 pm Thursday Garden District Book Shop hosts Chris Offutt and My Father the Pornographer. When Andrew Offutt died, his son, Chris, inherited a desk, a rifle, and 1800 pounds of porn. Andrew had been considered the “king of twentieth century smut,” a career that began as a strategy to pay for his son’s orthodontic needs and soon took on a life of its own, peaking during the ‘70s when the commercial popularity of the erotic novel was at its height. With his dutiful wife serving as typist, Andrew wrote from their home in the Kentucky hills, locked away in an office no one dared intrude upon. In this fashion he wrote 400 novels, ranging from pirate porn and ghost porn, to historical porn and time travel porn, to secret agent porn and zombie porn. The more he wrote, the more intense his ambition became, and the more difficult it was for his children to penetrate his world. Over one long summer in his hometown, helping his mother move out of the house, Chris began to examine his deceased father’s possessions and realized he finally had an opportunity to come to grips with the mercurial man he always feared but never understood. Offutt takes us on the journey with him, showing us how only in his father’s absence could he truly make sense of the man and his legacy.
& Friday at 6 pm Octavia Books features Authors Yuri Herrera, SIGNS PRECEDING THE END OF THE WORLD, and Lina Wolff, BRET EASTON ELLIS AND OTHER DOGS. Signs Preceding the End of the World is one of the most arresting novels to be published in Spanish in the last ten years. Yuri Herrera does not simply write about the border between Mexico and the United States and those who cross it. He explores the crossings and translations people make in their minds and language as they move from one country to another, especially when there’s no going back. Traversing this lonely territory is Makina, a young woman who knows only too well how to survive in a violent, macho world. Leaving behind her life in Mexico to search for her brother, she is smuggled into the USA carrying a pair of secret messages one from her mother and one from the Mexican underworld. At a run-down brothel in Caudal, Spain, the prostitutes are collecting stray dogs. Each is named after a famous male writer: Dante, Chaucer, Bret Easton Ellis. When a john is cruel, the dogs are fed rotten meat. To the east, in Barcelona, an unflappable teenage girl is endeavouring to trace the peculiarities of her life back to one woman: Alba Cambo, writer of violent short stories, who left Caudal as a girl and never went back. Mordantly funny, dryly sensual, written with a staggering lightness of touch, Bret Easton Ellis and the Other Dogs by Swedish sensation Lina Wolff is a black and Bolano-esque take on the limitations of love in a dog-eat-dog world.
& Saturday at 11:30 am Maple Street hosts a Book Shop launch party of Z.W. Mohr’s children’s book, Desdemona’s Dreams, Volume 1: To Dream of Dancing. Raised in the small town of Remsy by her mysterious aunts and guardian teddy bear, eleven year old Desdemona has always had a hard time relating to the waking world. The elaborate world of dreams she often travels to starts to take on a very real life, and soon she is battling a mad maestro to keep her dream of dancing from being stolen away. This is the first book in the fully illustrated series, Desdemona’s Dreams. A story not only about the beauty of a child’s imagination, but how dreams shape the very world around us. Always remember, you’re dreams are worth fighting for.
& At 1 pm Saturday Garden District Book Shop presents C. S. Harris’s When Falcons Fall. yleswick-on-Teme, 1813. Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, has come to this seemingly peaceful Shropshire village to honor a slain friend and on a quest to learn more about his own ancestry. But when the body of a lovely widow is found on the banks of the River Teme, a bottle of laudanum at her side, the village’s inexperienced new magistrate turns to St. Cyr for help. Almost immediately, Sebastian realizes that Emma Chance did not, in truth, take her own life. Less easy to discern is exactly how she died, and why. For as Sebastian and Hero soon discover, Emma was hiding both her true identity and her real reasons for traveling to Ayleswick.Home to the eerie ruins of an ancient monastery, Ayleswick reveals itself to be a dark and dangerous place of secrets that have festered among the villagers for decades—and a violent past that may be connected to Sebastian’s own unsettling origins. And as he faces his most diabolical opponent ever, he is forced to consider what malevolence he’s willing to embrace in order to destroy a killer.
& At 2 pm Saturday the Poetry Buffet pops up at the Alvar Library in the Bywater. Local poet Gina Ferrara presents noted authors George Guida, Kelly Harris, Nancy Harris, and David Rowe for an unforgettable afternoon of powerful poetry in the Bywater.
& Sunday March 6 from 1-5 pm and the following two weekends the Friends of NOPL are bringing their Book Sale to Norman Mayer Library. Hundreds of books for the whole family will be on sale — adult fiction and nonfiction, children’s and teens’, plus CDs, DVDs, and audiobooks. So tell your friends about our Friends, and we’ll see you there!
& Next Sunday at 3 pm at the Maple Leaf New York poet GEORGE GUIDA reads from his work. The Maple Leaf Poetry Series, founded by beloved poet Everett Maddox and curated by poet Nancy Harris, is the longest running poetry reading series in the South.
& At 7 pm Team Slam New Orleans (Team SNO) hosts The Women of World Poetry Slam Send Off Show featuring ICON at the Ashe Cultural Arts Center. $5 admission.
Yo soy yo y mi circumstancia February 27, 2016Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, The Mystery, The Narrative, The Typist, The Vision, Toulouse Street.
“Yo soy yo y mi circumstancia” (“I am I and my circumstance”) (Meditaciones del Quijote, 1914).”
For [Jose’] Ortega y Gasset, as for Husserl, the Cartesian ‘cogito ergo sum’ is insufficient to explain reality. Therefore, the Spanish philosopher proposes a system wherein the basic or “radical” reality is “my life” (the first yo), which consists of “I” (the second yo) and “my circumstance” (mi circunstancia). This circunstancia is oppressive; therefore, there is a continual dialectical interaction between the person and his or her circumstances and, as a result, life is a drama that exists between necessity and freedom.
The Triumph of the Shills February 26, 2016Posted by The Typist in The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street, We Are Not OK, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.
He did not expect a rally when he stepped out for coffee. The sidewalk was clocked by a feral collection of people in their office clothes, an angry mob that frightened away the homeless, gathered in front of one of the last small electronics shops, a window filled with televisions.
The mobs’ man was giving a speech, and every set in the window was locked to Fox News. Their man railed against the man selling vegetables across the street who wisely decided to close up for a while, and went inside to light a candle to the Virgin Guadeloupe for protection. Their man bellowed against the old woman with her EBT card who had come to the now-closed stand hoping for bananas, who shuffled in hunger slowly back toward her tidy if tiny one room home. Their man called for war and the mob cheered, mindless that their own children were the ones who would be sent to some foreign land most could not find on a map.
He needed coffee and to get back to work, but the storm of emotion stood between him and Starbucks, a gauntlet no thinking person would dare to pass. He stood for a long time, smoking his break-time cigarette, then turned back towards the bar on the corner. There was a television there, but he was certain from experience it would only show the afternoon’s double header, a gentle, Black peanut-man bit of a different America he remembered fondly from his childhood.
I Can’t Get Started February 23, 2016Posted by The Typist in New Orleans, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.
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No going back to sleep for the Insomnimaniac. It’s just going to be one of those days. Time for a slouchy hat, brim snapped low, and to pick up a pack of smokes. Where can I get Chesterfields? [Cough]. Gotta put a quick spit shine on my shoes, find my cleanest shirt and squint out into the painful sunshine of another instant coffee day in the city of broken sidewalks.
First, slink over to the bank, the teller lines snaking around the slumped customers in chairs that would shame a bus station, all waiting for some good word that will not come. Sign my name, wait my turn, close out the big account, and shake the dust of Downtown off my shoes as I walk out the door. Take that fat check somewhere people smile and remember my name.
Lunch. Fuck doctors. I want it medium rare on a soft white bun. Ketchup yessir mister and mustard you bet. A nice sour pickle to suit my mood, and a draft beer with a famous shame. If you’re looking for me, ask Otis. He knows where I slink to drink when afternoon’s a thunderstorm and my raincoat’s at home. Somewhere in Metairie where no one knows me, there’s an ashtray on my table, and the kitchen smells like last night but tastes like Kansas City.
Tonight when the shit storm is blowing outside: whiskey, Prez and Lady Day, a broad brush sadness that brings a smile to dump the cigarette ash on your pants. Well, fuck. Laundry tomorrow.
Odd Words: This week in literary New Orleans February 21, 2016Posted by The Typist in Book Stores, book-signing, books, bookstores, literature, Louisiana, New Orleans, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, reading, spoken word, Toulouse Street, Writing.
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This week in literary New Orleans:
& Monday at 6 pm Octavia Books hosts a presentation and signing with Craig Werner exploring the songs that linked to the times for the soldiers of the Vietnam War in WE GOTTA GET OUT OF THIS PLACE: The Soundtrack of the Vietnam War, named by Rolling Stone as the #1 Best Music Book of 2015. For a Kentucky rifleman who spent his tour trudging through Vietnam’s Central Highlands, it was Nancy Sinatra’s “These Boots Are Made for Walkin’.” For a “tunnel rat” who blew smoke into the Viet Cong’s underground tunnels, it was Jimi Hendrix’s “Purple Haze.” For a black marine distraught over the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., it was Aretha Franklin’s “Chain of Fools.” And for countless other Vietnam vets, it was “I Feel Like I’m Fixin’ to Die,” “Who’ll Stop the Rain,” or the song that gives this book its title. In We Gotta Get Out of This Place, Doug Bradley and Craig Werner place popular music at the heart of the American experience in Vietnam, a central if often overlooked component of the American war in Vietnam.
& At 6:30 pm its Lights! Pens! Poetry! at the Algiers Regional Library. Participants are encouraged to bring original poems to read or poems by a favorite author to share. Anthologies will also be provided for inspiration.
& Tuesday at 4 pm the Rosa F. Keller Library offers New Orleans Youth Open Mic (NOYOM) Workshops. Facilitated by Team Slam New Orleans (SNO) founding member and #NOYOM committee member Akeem Martin, the workshops will help youth learn new writing skills and improve upon the ones they already have in a fun, structured space. Attendees will have the chance to submit work to be published in the NOYOM Youth Anthology. Open to all 7th – 12th graders.
& Tuesday at 6 pm Octavia Books welcomes Marisa Acocella Marchetto, author of ANN TENNA. From the celebrated New Yorker cartoonist and acclaimed author of Cancer Vixen, a brilliant, funny, and wildly imaginative first novel: the story of an influential gossip columnist brought face-to-face with her higher self and a challenge to change her life for the better. Glamorous, superconnected Ann Tenna is the founder of Eyemauler, a New York City-based Web site that’s always the first to dish the most up-to-the-minute dirt on celebrities and ordinary folks alike. Ann has ascended to the zenith of the New York media scene, attended by groups of grovelers all too willing to be trampled on by her six-inch Giuseppe Zanottis if it means better seats at the table. Told with laugh-out-loud humor, spot-on dialogue (including via cameo appearances from Coco Chanel, Gianni Versace, and Jimi Hendrix, to name just a few), and stunning, full-color artwork, Ann Tenna is a timely, necessary tale for our overly media-cated times: the newest, much-anticipated adventure from a supremely gifted artist at the height of her powers.
& Tuesday at 7 pm the West Bank Fiction Writers Group meets at The Edith S. Lawson Library in Westwego. The Group meets the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month. Members perform writing exercises, discuss fiction and critique the writing of fellow authors. Gary Bourgeois moderates.
& At 8 pm Tuesday The Bluestockings Book Club presents a discussion with the beautiful, talented, smart, members of Picolla Tushy Presents The Bluestockings at Bar Redux. This month we’ll be talking #GirlBoss by Sophia Amorusa. “Girlboss is a hub of inspiration to share stories about what creating an amazing life really means. Being a Girlboss isn’t about being the boss of other people – it’s about being the boss of your own life.”
& Wednesday at 6 pm The Director of the Creative Writing program at LSU, Laura Mullen, is here with her newest poetry collection, COMPLICATED GRIEF. “In a way (the way I’m taking it) Laura Mullen’s COMPLICATED GRIEF follows (with giant dropouts) everything she knows about being a monster. Her aegis covers women (young ones and aging), un-natural disasters and literature. If something packed could wander like Julianne Moore’s mind, to the benefit of everyone, but more like a whole department store or a library feeling snarky, shuffled itself and somehow it was wise.” ~Eileen Myles.
& Thursday at 6 pm Octavia books hosts a special evening with author Taylor Brown featuring his new book, FALLEN LAND, in conversation with author Kent Wascom, SECESSIA. Fallen Land is Taylor Brown’s debut novel set in the final year of the Civil War, as a young couple on horseback flees a dangerous band of marauders who seek a bounty reward. Callum, a seasoned horse thief at fifteen years old, came to America from his native Ireland as an orphan. Ava, her father and brother lost to the war, hides in her crumbling home until Callum determines to rescue her from the bands of hungry soldiers pillaging the land, leaving destruction in their wake. Pursued relentlessly by a murderous slave hunter, tracking dogs, and ruthless ex-partisan rangers, the couple race through a beautiful but ruined land. In the end, as they intersect with the scorching destruction of Sherman’s March, the couple seek a safe haven where they can make a home and begin to rebuild their lives. Dramatic and thrillingly written with an uncanny eye for glimpses of beauty in a ravaged landscape, Fallen Land is a love story at its core, and an unusually assured first novel by award-winning young author Taylor Brown.
& At 6:30 pm the EJ Writers Group meets at the East Jefferson Regional Library. he 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.
& Also at the East Jefferson Regional Library at 7 pm the library hosts an Author Event! “Louisiana Aviation” by Vincent Caire. The book includes photos of early aviation pioneer John Moisant, air racing champion General James Doolittle, barnstormer Roscoe Turner, aircraft designer James Wedell, and founder of Delta Airlines C. E. Woolman reflect Louisiana’s zeal for aeronautics. Caire explains the efforts of Senator Huey P. Long and Harry P. Williams, co-owner of the Wedell-Williams Air Service in Patterson, Louisiana, influenced the development of viable airmail routes throughout the southeastern United States. Rarely seen photographs depict the Art Deco elegance of the first modern, multi-operational passenger terminal in the nation—Shushan Airport in New Orleans.
& At 7 pm Thursday The Dogfish Reading Series presents an evening with readings by ANYA GRONER and MAURICE CARLOS RUFFIN.
& At 7 pm Thursday Room 220 presents a reading from Souffles-Anfas at the Antenna Gallery at 3718 St. Claude Ave. Maple Street Book Shop will be on hand to sell copies of the book. Souffles-Anfas: A Critical Anthology from the Moroccan Journal of Culture and Politics introduces and makes available, for the first time in English, an incandescent corpus of experimental leftist writing from North Africa. Founded in 1966 by Abdellatif LaÃ¢bi and a small group of avant-garde Moroccan poets and artists and banned in 1972, Souffles-Anfas was one of the most influential literary, cultural, and political reviews to emerge in postcolonial North Africa. The essays, poems, and artwork included in this anthology-by the likes of Abdelkebir Khatibi, Tahar Ben Jelloun, Albert Memmi, Etel Adnan, Sembene Ousmane, Rene Depestre, and Mohamed Melehi-offer a unique window into the political and artistic imaginaries of writers and intellectuals from the Global South, and resonate with particular acuity in the wake of the Arab Spring. A critical introduction and section headnotes make this collection the perfect companion for courses in postcolonial theory, world literature, and poetry in translation.
& This Friday kicks off the Delta Mouth Literary Festival in Baton Rouge.
- At 4 pm the festival features a discussion featuring two amazing fiction writers, Carmen Maria Machado and Alexander Lumans. Learn about the creative and professional experience of publishing short stories, how short fiction is changing or adapting in the digital age, and what it’s like to be a working fiction writer today. Come out and talk craft and business with two of the most-widely published writers out there. MACHADO is a fiction writer, critic, and essayist whose work has appeared in The New Yorker, Granta, The Paris Review, AGNI, NPR, Los Angeles Review of Books, VICE, and elsewhere. Her stories have been reprinted or are forthcoming in several anthologies, including Best American Science Fiction & Fantasy 2015, Best Horror of the Year, Year’s Best Weird Fiction, and Best Women’s Erotica. Her debut short story collection, Her Body and Other Parties, is forthcoming from Graywolf Press in Fall 2017. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and the Clarion Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers’ Workshop, and lives in Philadelphia with her partner. LUMANS’s fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Story Quarterly, TriQuarterly, Black Warrior Review, Greensboro Review, American Short Fiction, Bat City Review, Gulf Coast, Cincinnati Review, West Branch, and The Normal School, among others. It has also appeared in several anthologies: Surreal South 2009, 2011, 2013 (alongside Ron Rash, Lee K. Abbott), The Versus Anthology, and The Book of Villains. He has published poetry, interviews, essays, creative-nonfiction, and reviews in Guernica, Glimmertrain, The Los Angeles Review of Books, Colorado Public Radio, Sycamore Review, American Short Fiction, The Collagist, Southern Humanities Review, and Cosmonaut’s Avenue. He graduated from the M.F.A. Fiction Program at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. He teaches at the University of Colorado-Denver and at Lighthouse Writers Workshop.
- Friday at 7pm offeres a reading featuring Jami Attenberg, Peter Cooley, and Carmen Maria Machado at Baton Rouge Gallery – center for contemporary art at 1515 Dalrymple Drive in Baton Rouge.
- Saturday at 6 pm at the LSU Honors College the festival features a lively discussion featuring powerful poet-performers Tracie Morris, Monica McClure, and Rodrigo Toscano on the interplay of poetry, performance, and activism, moderated by M.K. Brake. Learn about integrating poetry into different mediums, navigating the divide between page and stage, plus the import of performance in poetry’s relationship to social justice.
- From At 7 pm at LSU’s French House the festival offers a night of amazing poetry, including Baton Rouge’s own WordCrew! Like all of Delta Mouth, this event is free and open to the public.MORRIS is a poet who has worked extensively as a page-based writer, sound poet, critic, scholar, bandleader, actor and multimedia performer. Her sound installations have been presented at the Whitney Biennial, MoMA, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, among others. She is co-editor, with Charles Bernstein, of “Best American Experimental Writing” (2016) from Wesleyan University Press. Her upcoming book, handholding: 5 kinds, published by Kore Press, debuted in late 2015. MCCLURE is a writer and performer based in New York. She is the author of Tender Data (Birds LLC, 2015) and chapbooks Mala (Poor Claudia, 2014) and Mood Swing (Snacks Press, 2013). Her poetry and critical writing can be found in Tin House, The Claudius App, Jubilat, Lambda Literary Review Spotlight Series, Emily Books, The Hairpin, The Huffington Post, The Awl, Spork Press, The Los Angeles Review, Intercourse Magazine, The Lit Review, and CultureStrike / The Margins. WORDCREW is a youth spoken word collective of Forward Arts Incorporated. WordCrew members meet once a week on Wednesday evenings during the school year and participate in writing and performance workshops. Its members are also responsible for running the monthly teen open mic/poetry slam, Freshhhh Heat.
& Saturday at 2 pm the Norman Mayer Library hosts a Black History Month 2016 event with Author Carole Boston Weatherford reading read from Freedom in Congo Square.
& On Sunday at 1:30 pm Garden District Book Shop presents Carole Boston Weatherford’s Freedom in Congo Square. This poetic, nonfiction story about a little-known piece of African American history captures a human’s capacity to find hope and joy in difficult circumstances and demonstrates how New Orleans’ Congo Square was truly freedom’s heart. As slaves relentlessly toiled in an unjust system in 19th century Louisiana, they all counted down the days until Sunday, when at least for half a day they were briefly able to congregate in Congo Square in New Orleans. Here they were free to set up an open market, sing, dance, and play music. They were free to forget their cares, their struggles, and their oppression. This story chronicles slaves’ duties each day, from chopping logs on Mondays to baking bread on Wednesdays to plucking hens on Saturday, and builds to the freedom of Sundays and the special experience of an afternoon spent in Congo Square. This book will have a forward from Freddi Williams Evans (freddievans.com), a historian and Congo Square expert, as well as a glossary of terms with pronunciations and definitions.
An Imaginary Genocide The Cause of Which Is Unsupported by Fiat by Any Government Funded Science, or Your Tax Dollars At Work February 17, 2016Posted by The Typist in fuckmook, FYYFF, je me souviens, New Orleans, postdiluvian, The Dead, The End, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street, We Are Not OK, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.
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And so the end begins, a slow-motion genocide as a byproduct of The American Way and Dream, swallowed by Moloch the infant-feasting god of Capital, a land poured into the tank of your SUV, a people’s way of life devoured to supply you with an endless supply of plastic-wrapped things.
And I chose that word carefully, and mean it.
The individuals will mostly survive. nly the multiple, unique, World Heritage cultures of the place will be diluted until untastable. Their children will be assimilated and the great machine will move along, consuming them in the more convention ways. Except of course the very old who cannot manage the transition, as they died in the thousands after the Federal Flood and the Great Evacuation of 2005, the largest forced movement of US citizens in history. The old could not cope. Their deaths ride shotgun with you, are the faint dark spots you sometimes spy in your high-riding review mirror.
Nice Day, Fuckmooks.
As if February 16, 2016Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, New Orleans, Pedestrian I, poem, Poetry, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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it didn’t winter enough
for them to stop
& think to take
the time to
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“But can we not help but marvel, at least every now and then, at the scandalous beauty of existence, what Robinson Jeffers called the “transhuman magnificence” of the world?”
— “The Love of Destiny: the Sacred and the Profane in Germanic Polytheism” by Dan McCoy
Odd Words: This week in literary New Orleans February 15, 2016Posted by The Typist in Book Stores, book-signing, books, bookstores, literature, Louisiana, New Orleans, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, reading, spoken word, Toulouse Street, Writing.
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This week in literary New Orleans:
& The 30th Annual Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival is pleased to announce that the program for the Festival, which runs March 30-April 3, is live online and our complete box office is now open and ready to take your ticket orders. CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE PROGRAM.
& Monday at 6 pm Octavia Books hosts a presentation and signing with Vern Baxter and Pam Jenkins featuring LEFT TO CHANCE: Hurricane Katrina and the Story of Two New Orleans Neighborhoods. The book takes us into two African American neighborhoods—working-class Hollygrove and middle-class Pontchartrain Park—to learn how their residents have experienced “Miss Katrina” and the long road back to normal life. The authors spent several years gathering firsthand accounts of the flooding, the rushed evacuations that turned into weeks- and months-long exile, and the often confusing and exhausting process of rebuilding damaged homes in a city whose local government had all but failed. As the residents’ stories make vividly clear, government and social science concepts such as “disaster management,” “restoring normality,” and “recovery” have little meaning for people whose worlds were washed away in the flood. For the neighbors in Hollygrove and Pontchartrain Park, life in the aftermath of Katrina has been a passage from all that was familiar and routine to an ominous world filled with raw existential uncertainty. Recovery and rebuilding become processes imbued with mysteries, accidental encounters, and hasty adaptations, while victories and defeats are left to chance.
& Also at 6 pm Monday, the New Orleans Haiku Society meets at the Rosa Keller Library on Broad due to the continuing renovations at the Latter Memorial Library.
& Beginning Tuesday Tulane University hosts Audre Lorde Days continuing throughout the Spring Semester at Tulane University. They feature lectures, films, workshops, celebrations, and dialogues that build on the work of Audre Lorde. The series combines analysis and love, research and lyricism, as well as debate and collaboration to address the ways in which inequity, alienation, and violence undermine individual, collective and planetary health. Collaborations seek to foster holistic analyses and strategic interventions that fuel wellbeing, justice, and positive social change. Tuesday at 6 pm brings An Intimate Conversation with Janet Mock & Alexis de Veaux in the Lavin-Bernick Center Kendall Cram Room. This event features trans-advocate, author and MSNBC talk show host Janet Mock for a discussion about sexuality and identity with Alexis de Veaux, 2015 Lambda Literary Best Lesbian Fiction award winner.
& Also on Tuesday at 6 pm, Octavia Books presents author Melanie Benjamin to the store for a reading and signing of THE SWANS of FIFTH AVENUE. The New York Times bestselling author of The Aviator’s Wife returns with a triumphant new novel about New York’s Swans of the 1950s and the scandalous, headline-making, and enthralling friendship between literary legend Truman Capote and peerless socialite Babe Paley. Of all the glamorous stars of New York high society, none blazes brighter than Babe Paley. Her flawless face regularly graces the pages of Vogue, and she is celebrated and adored for her ineffable style and exquisite taste, especially among her friends the alluring socialite Swans. By all appearances, Babe has it all. Enter Truman Capote. This diminutive golden-haired genius with a larger-than-life personality explodes onto the scene, setting Babe and her circle of Swans aflutter. Through Babe, Truman gains an unlikely entree into the enviable lives of Manhattan’s elite, but Babe never imagines the destruction Truman will leave in his wake. But once a storyteller, always a storyteller even when the stories aren’t his to tell. Truman’s fame is at its peak when such notable celebrities as Frank and Mia Sinatra, Lauren Bacall, and Rose Kennedy converge on his glittering Black and White Ball. But all too soon, he’ll ignite a literary scandal whose repercussions echo through the years. The Swans of Fifth Avenue will seduce and startle readers as it opens the door onto one of America’s most sumptuous eras.
& Tuesday at 7 pm The West Bank Fiction Writers Group meets the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month at the Edith S. Lawson Library in Westwego. Members perform writing exercises, discuss fiction and critique the writing of fellow authors.
& Also at 7 pm Tuesday, the Old Metairie Library Great Book Club meets to discuss Agamemnon by Aeschylus while the East Bank Regional Library that location’s Great Books Discussion Group convenes to discuss The Confessions of Nat Turner by William Styron.
& Thursday at 5 pm the Booked for Murder Book Club meets at the Norman Mayer Library. This group meets Club every third Thursday of the month. New members are welcomed to join. No title is listed on the library events calendar.
& Thursday at 6 pm Garden District Book Shops hosts Suzanne Rheinstein and Rooms For Living: A Style for Today with Things from the Past. Celebrated interior designer Suzanne Rheinstein focuses on the use of rooms from entries to outdoor spaces that reflect her relaxed, elegant style, in which beauty and comfort are paramount. Suzanne Rheinstein is a master at translating traditional style into something fresh and elegant. In Rooms for Living, she shows how to achieve a calm and livable environment in casual or more formal settings. Rheinstein presents welcoming rooms to share with others, as well as private, cozy spaces for relaxing or sleeping. Born and raised in New Orleans, Suzanne has a deep appreciation for the traditions of that city. Her Southern sense of style and hospitality, the visual sophistication she acquired living on the East Coast and her appreciation for the relaxed lifestyle of southern California have made her a sought-after talent.
& At 7 pm Thursday the SciFi, Fantasy and Horror Writer’s Group meets at the East Bank Regional library in Jefferson Parish. 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.
& Saturday at 10 am The Monthly Meeting of the Southern Louisiana Chapter of the Romance Writers of America takes place at the East Jefferson Regional Library, and features guest speakers who discuss all aspects of writing, editing and publishing. Topics frequently explore topics other than romance writing though they focus on subjects that make writers better at their craft.
& At 2 pm Saturday at the EJ Regional Library GNO Chapter of LA Poetry Society presents poetry readings and discussions for poetry lovers.
& Sunday at 2 pm at the Algiers Regional Library Team Slam New Orleans (Team SNO) and Rebessa Mwase, Co-Director of LOUD continue their workshops to prepare contestants for the 2016 Paul Robeson Student Acting Competition, we are offering acting and writing workshops. Participants are encouraged to join the professional artist-teachers leading these workshops to develop and enhance their performance. This weeks writing workshop with Team SNO is 2 pm at the Alvar Library, and the acting workshop will be at the East New Orleans Regional Library at 3 pm.
& Sunday at 3 pm the Maple Leaf Poetry Reading is held every week (parades and Saint’s games permitting) at the Maple Leaf Bar with an open mic and featured readers. This is the oldest continuous reading series in the South. No feature this week but the mic will be open to all readers.
& Also at 3 pm Sunday Garden District Book Shops presents Lincoln Peirce and Big Nate Blasts Off. For fans of the hilarious Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, here comes the eighth novel in the New York Times bestselling series Big Nate. BIG NATE IS BLASTING OFF! Nate has a crush on Ruby. But after his scrap with Randy Betancourt makes headlines in the Weekly Bugle, he’s got a problem WAY worse than detention! Can Nate bounce back? And will the annual Mud Bowl be a blast . . . or a bust?
& The Loyola Writing Institute courses, covering various genres, are held in the fall, spring and summer at 5 Greater New Orleans locations–Loyola University New Orleans, the New Orleans Healing Center, Antenna on St. Claude, the Southern Hotel in Covington and A Studio in the Woods on the Westbank. Our classes are appropriate for adults over 18 at any skill level. Check out more information about our spring classes, starting February 23, and find our paper registration form on our Web site or register online at Eventbrite. Take advantage of special group discounts for the A Studio in the Woods retreats (See more information under New Programs for 2016).
The Spectrum February 12, 2016Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Odd, The Typist, Toulouse Street, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.
Reproduced from the Disorder Service Manual of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA).
When the going gets weird February 12, 2016Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Spectrum, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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the weird mark their days by songs of Pink Floyd. There are your screaming “Careful With That Axe, Eugene” days and your quiet or soulful (or even depressive, the B-side of “Careful…) days of “Great Gig in the Sky.”
Today…today we shall be Fearless.
Wandering February 11, 2016Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, New Orleans, Pedestrian I, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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When I first came home to New Orleans, I was working out of a converted kitchen cum office. I would often take a lunch break to step away from the massive monitor to bathe myself in sunlight instead of the cracklin radiation of the CRT. As it was closest, I often found myself wandering the groves south of Bayou Metairie.
That is where I walk today with more purpose: briskly for exercise, sometimes for distance, often just to be among the great trees, to catch a glimpse of the anhinga that haunts the west end of the cutoff remains of the Bayou.
Anyone who lives near this end of the park knows the air whistle of the miniature train that wends its way around the south end of the park. It has been a fixture of my life since childhood, when the trains were a streamliner style engine and cars, and an Old Smokey engine with false pistons tied to the wheels, a Smokey Mary stack, and most incorrect confederate flags flying at each side of the cow catcher. Those trains are gone. I miss the Old Smokey Mary (but not the flags), the actual tie-in of the decorative pistons and arms to the driving wheels, the antique look of it.
It does not run all of the time, only weekends and the long Celebration of the Oaks. What is always present is the line’s curving tracks wandering among the trees, another path I sometimes wander along the ballast or stepping gingerly along the ties.
Fire, ashes and garlic soup February 10, 2016Posted by The Typist in Carnival, Mardi Gras, The Narrative, The Pointless, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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Time to twist up a wicker sin man and put him to the torch, and wash the taste of ashes out of my mouth with a big steaming bowl of garlic and leek soup. To rest the aching brain, I can dredge up this now traditional post and return to an intent contemplation of Brownian motion in dust motes.
At the conclusion of Carnival in Nice, France, an effigy of Monsieur Carnaval is burned, the ancient story of the burning man, the sacrifice in fire. As told by Mama Lisa’s World Blog, in that rite Monsieur Carnaval “is responsible for all the wrongdoing people do throughout the year. At Carnival time in France, Monsieur Carnaval is judged for his behavior throughout the preceding year. Usually he’s found guilty and an effigy of him is burned.”
Accompanying the ritual is a song, and I offer the lyrics collected by Mama Lisa below, both in Occitan (the language of the Troubadors) and in English. I suggest you click the link to open in a new tab or window so you can follow along as far as the MP3 goes.
And so, from New Orleans, Adiu Paure Carnaval.
Adiu paure Carnaval
Adiu paure, adiu paure,
adiu paure Carnaval
Tu te’n vas e ieu demòri
Adiu paure Carnaval
Tu t’en vas e ieu demòri
Per manjar la sopa a l’alh
Per manjar la sopa a l’òli
Per manjar la sopa a l’alh
Adiu paure, adiu paure,
adiu paure Carnaval
La joinessa fa la fèsta
Per saludar Carnaval
La Maria fa de còcas
Amb la farina de l’ostal
Lo buòu dança, l’ase canta
Lo moton ditz sa leiçon
La galina canta lo Credo
E lo cat ditz lo Pater
Farewell, Poor Carnival
Farewell, poor Carnival
You are leaving, and I am staying
Farewell, poor Carnival
You are leaving, and I am staying
To eat garlic soup
To eat oil soup
To eat garlic soup
Farewell, poor Carnival.
The young ones are having a wild time
To greet Carnival
Mary is baking cakes
With flour from her home.
The ox is dancing, the donkey’s singing
The sheep is saying its lesson
The hen is singing the Credo
And the cat is saying the Pater.
Yorick February 10, 2016Posted by The Typist in A Fiction, The Dead, The Narrative, The Odd, The Typist.
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Yeah, I knew him. Nice guy, what kind always finish last. Or first.
Carnival February 9, 2016Posted by The Typist in Carnival, Mardi Gras, Poetry, The Narrative, The Typist.
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ZAGREUS! TO ZAGREUS!
The soft flutter of a fan
In Venice piazza
Blows chaotic tropical salsas
Across the Atlantic.
The drums rumble the earth
The dancing triangulates
On all the instruments
Far to the north
(Trombones most of all)
Riotous in the Old Quarter
Of New Orleans.
Odd Words: This week in literary New Orleans February 8, 2016Posted by The Typist in Book Stores, book-signing, books, bookstores, literature, Louisiana, New Orleans, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, reading, spoken word, Toulouse Street, Writing.
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This busy, post-Carnival week in literary New Orleans:
& Orleans Parish Libraries will close at 3 pm Monday, reopening Wednesday after Carnival. Jefferson Parish libraries are closed today and Tuesday as well.
& Monday at 6 pm Tubby & Coo’s Science Fiction Book Club hosts its inaugural meeting.There will be a list of books to select from, we’ll pick one, and start discussing in the next meeting. If you have suggestions for books we should read, please e-mail them to email@example.com.
& Wednesday at 5:30 pm Rosa F. Keller Library & Community Center hosts its quarterly film screening based on great books. At each screening, we’ll watch the movie, compare and discuss the print and film versions, and enjoy refreshments reminiscent of each story. We’ll have extra copies of the books available for check out in the weeks before each screening (while supplies last). All ages welcome; attendees younger than 12 years must be accompanied by an adult.
& Thursday at 7 pm the Nix Library Book Club meets. This is a neighborhood group for people who love to read and get together to discuss ideas. Meets every second Thursday of the month. The February selection is A Summons to Memphis by Peter Taylor.
& Wednesday at 6 pm the Garden District Book Shop Book Club meets to discuss Station Eleven. New Members are always welcome. Purchase book in-store for a 20% discount.
& Thursday at 5 pm Maple Street employee Jasper den Hartigh hosts a new book club. The first book is Yuri Herrera’s Signs Preceding the End of the World, and the author will be joining in for the discussion. “Yuri Herrera does not simply write about the border between Mexico and the United States and those who cross it. He explores the crossings and translations people make in their minds and language as they move from one country to another, especially when there’s no going back. Traversing this lonely territory is Makina, a young woman who knows only too well how to survive in a violent, macho world. Leaving behind her life in Mexico to search for her brother, she is smuggled into the USA carrying a pair of secret messages one from her mother and one from the Mexican underworld.”
& At 7 pm Thursday East Jefferson Writer’s Group meets at the East Jefferson Regional Library. This 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 at 6 pm Octavia Books hosts a reading and signing with author Sunil Yapa featuring his electric debut novel, YOUR HEART IS A MUSCLE THE SIZE OF A FIST. On a rainy, cold day in November, young Victor–a nomadic, scrappy teenager who’s run away from home–sets out to join the throng of WTO demonstrators determined to shut down the city. Over the course of one life-altering afternoon, the fates of seven people will change forever: foremost among them police Chief Bishop, the estranged father Victor hasn’t seen in three years, two protesters struggling to stay true to their non-violent principles as the day descends into chaos, two police officers in the street, and the coolly elegant financial minister from Sri Lanka whose life, as well as his country’s fate, hinges on getting through the angry crowd, out of jail, and to his meeting with the President of the United States. When Chief Bishop reluctantly unleashes tear gas on the unsuspecting crowd, it seems his hopes for reconciliation with his son, as well as the future of his city, are in serious peril.
& Saturday at 10:30 am the Octavia Books Science Fiction Book Club meets to discuss THE LOVE WE SHARE WITHOUT KNOWING by Christopher Barzak. The SciFi Book Club meets the second Saturday of every month. Members receive 10% off selections. “In this haunting, richly woven novel of modern life in Japan, the author of the acclaimed debut One for Sorrow explores the ties that bind humanity across the deepest divides. Here is a Murakamiesque jewel box of intertwined narratives in which the lives of several strangers are gently linked through love, loss, and fate.”
& Also at 10:30 am the Nix Library hosts a Creative Writing Workshop. Trisha Rezende, MFA, leads a dynamic writing workshop where students will produce, share, and critique texts while learning how to develop character, voice, and style.
& Saturday at 11:30 am Maple Street Book Shop will be hosting Nancy Backus Roniger, author of A Bayou Home: The Adventure of Swampmaster Bejeaux. Nancy has been a teacher at many schools in the area, including Ursuline Academy, Mt. Carmel, Jesuit, and Christ Episcopal. Lose yourself in the swamps and bayous of South Louisiana and enter a world of swamp creatures whose leader is an alligator named Swampmaster Bejeaux. Swampmaster Bejeaux goes on an action-packed adventure and encounters the Cajun world of fais do-dos, hunting camps, the loup-garou, and black magic. Along the way you will meet his swamp friends, several of whom save the day for our alligator
& At 2 pm Saturday Carnival isn’t quite over when Big Freedia visits the New Orleans Main Branch Library to launch her new book Big Freedia: God Save the Queen Diva. Big Freedia, Queen of Bounce, has gone from a New Orleans phenomenon to a national one, and she is coming out to the Main Library as part of our 2016 Black History Month Celebration. She will be talking about her new book, her music, and fabulous future plans. Q & A to follow; books will be available for sale.
& Also beginning at 2 pm on Saturday Team Slam New Orleans (Team SNO) launches a series of workshops to prepare contestants for the 2016 Paul Robeson Student Acting Competition, we are offering acting and writing workshops. Participants are encouraged to join the professional artist-teachers leading these workshops to develop and enhance their performance.
Acting with Rebessa Mwase, Co-Director of LOUD:
- February 6, 12 p.m. – Keller Library & Community Center
- February 19, 3 p.m. – East New Orleans Regional Library
- February 21, 2 p.m. – Algiers Regional Library
Writing with Members of Team Slam New Orleans:
- February 7, 2 p.m. – Norman Mayer Library
- February 13, 2 p.m. – Alvar Library
- February 14, 2 p.m. – Main Library
& At 6 pm Saturday join in the launch celebration of local author Andy Reynolds’ new book The Axeboy’s Blues. Set in New Orleans, the story follows a centuries-old agency tasked with protecting the city from forces that would see her destroyed. In a city where mosquitoes don vests and spectacles, where the Mississippi is teeming with monstrous beasts, and where Wonder sprouts from people’s heads like plants, can this agency take on an adversary that has jumped through time itself? The event includes: Live readings from the book, Mini Art Market, Wine & Light Edibles, and Musical Guest: Shane Avrard of The Noise Complaints
Lord of the Quiet Bayou February 6, 2016Posted by The Typist in Toulouse Street.
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Mostly they come for the common ducks, the white dinner party escapees, the mallards, and the black dabbling ducks I can’t identify past the Casino toward Wisner where the mainstem Bayou St. John bends and you might glance a brown pelican.. There are many, obnoxious geese, filled with entitlement which will bite if not fed. There are the stately, stilted Egrets, which together with the placid white swans are the nobility of the motely, bread-begging crew. The lovers stand atop the half-moon bridge and bend their necks together as if all of a kind with the curvaceous birds.
A half mile away, where most people are too intent on their iPhone or heart rate to notice, often just out of site of the island where a lone yogi sometimes practices and the the hula hipsters often congregate, hidden by the mass of foliage on the northwest end of Bayou Metairie, this is where you find the lord of the quiet bayou. If there is a Spirit of Bayou Metairie it is the anininga, often airing his wings far from the madding crowd after his best imitation of a feathered Loch Ness monster on the hunt. This is the bird that diverts me from my walk, to stand on the marge in worshipful wonder. Countless joggers could pass on the path behind me without notice. Their earbud oblivion is just that; mine is the momentary suspension of connected time and space born of awe.
Wyrd Synchronicity February 5, 2016Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, Imbolc, New Orleans, The Journey, The Mystery, The Narrative, The Typist, The Vision, Toulouse Street.
It is Imbolc, typically thought of as Brigid’s feast day. Somehow, I found myself at Yule falling into the myth of Frau Holle. Instead of simple decorations, I used the shelf that hosts the Shrine of Jazz and Heritage to erect a small altar to her. At Carnival, I stumbled through a link that took me past the usual matter on the pagan roots of Carnival and into the realm of the goddess Nerthus, one of the Vanir of Germanic (Heathen, if you will and as most prefer) goddesses. It seem as if at a point in my life when it is most necessary, my Germanic ancestors are calling me to a path of responsibility and righteousness. In spite of my acquired, indolent Carribean ways (perhaps because of them, the need to overcome them at this moment, to tend to what is necessary, to my kith and kin), the pull is in fact a specifically Wyrd synchronicity.
As I last posted, the parallels between Nerthus drawn on a cart by white oxen and our own, modern Carnival traditions struck a chord with me. So instead of twisting up a Brigid’s Cross as my friend Bart did today, over the last several days I have assemble on my public altar (born one long Jazz Fest ago as The Shrine of Jazz and Heritage) to Nerthus, who is like Brigid a goddess of fertility honored at this eighth-point of the earth’s orbital compass, the winter cross corner.
If it seems strange to honor a goddess of fertility when in much of North America the ground is frozen hard as a rock, consider the lighting of bonfires (a tradition still well honored here) at the dark of Yule and New Year’s, calling back the light. it is not so strange to call upon a goddess of the earth and fertility to return. Am I ignoring the old Biblical injunction about praying in public by putting this on the Shrine of Jazz and Heritage shelf? I don’t think so. I’m not a biblical person, anyway, and why not start a discussion with someone about alternate ways to honor our ruling and guiding spirits? My new neighbor up the street from Germany was much impressed by my small altar to Frau Holle this past holiday season.
Ay any account, that strange January of blooming tulip trees is behind us and we are back into our New Orleans winter just as we reach the winter cross corner. The pot of daffodils I found at the home center store seem to like this current weather just fine, and I hope to walk out of my girlfriend’s front door one day soon greeted by my favorite flower, long before the snow drops burst through in the higher latitudes. I love daffodils (and tulips, and all the bulb-borne flowers) because there is something so damned right about them in spring, the perennial bulb sleeping through the long winter in the earth, and then as the earth itself is awakening the daffodil emerges as Her messenger of the brightly painted tulip days to come.
Nerthus and Carnival February 2, 2016Posted by The Typist in Carnival, cryptical envelopment, The Mystery, The Narrative, The Typist, The Vision, Toulouse Street.
Ever wonder why there is a white bullock at the front of Rex? Below is an image of Nerthus, a Germanic deity whose worship involved a sacred cart pulled by white bullocks. Nerthus, close cousin to Freya, is attested by Tacitus, the first century AD Roman historian, in his ethnographic work Germania.
The word ‘Carnival’ is of uncertain origin … Usener drives “carnival” from currus navalis, the ship car, and finds its origin in some ship procession similar to that which figures in the cult of the goddess Isis. Certainly in the Middle Ages ship processions were held as spring celebrations in England, Germany and the South of Europe [and] the procession may take place either at Christmas or at the beginning of Lent; for the resemblance between the Kalends and the Saturnalia is paralleled by the resemblance between the Twelve Days and the Carnival.
The Court Masque
– By Enid Welsford