jump to navigation

Odd Words: This week in literary New Orleans February 21, 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:

& 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 Laâbi 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.


1. davekingsbury - February 22, 2016

You have a vibrant city!

Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: