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Odd Words: This week in literary New Orleans February 15, 2016

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 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).



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