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Odd Words: This week in literary New Orleans April 4, 2016

Posted 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 7 pm at the East Jefferson Regional Library the East Jefferson Writer’s Group meets. 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 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.

& Tuesday at 7 pm at the Columns Hotel Kiese Laymon, author of the novel Long Division and the essay collection How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America, is 1718’s featured reader in April. Laymon is a black southern writer, born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi. Long Division was named one of the Best of 2013 by Buzzfeed, The Believer, Salon, Guernica, Contemporary Literature, Mosaic Magazine, Library Journal, Chicago Tribune and the Crunk Feminist Collective. It was also short-listed for the Believer Book Award, the Ernest Gaines Award and the Morning News Tournament of Books. Long Division won the 2014 Saroyan International Writing Award on November 10th. Three essays in How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America have been included in the Best American series, the Best of Net award, and the Atlantic’s Best Essays of 2013. He was selected a member of the Root 100 in 2013 and 2014 and Ebony Magazine Power 100 in 2015.

& Also at 7 pm Tuesday the Old Metairie Library Great Books Discussion Group meets to talk about The Death of Ivan Ilych by Leo Tolstoy.

& Wednesday at 6 pm at the New Orleans Main Branch Library celebrate the 10th anniversary of New Orleans Noir and the release of New Orleans Noir: The Classics with editor Julie Smith and contributors from both volumes. Short readings will be followed by a discussion and audience Q&A. Octavia Books will have copies of both volumes available for sale at the program. Refreshments will be served.

& Also at 6 pm Wednesday Louisiana’s Poet Laureate Dr. Peter Cooley will be leading a poetry writing workshop at Alvar Library for 15 participants. There will be a reading the following week by the workshop participants at Alvar Library, MC’d by local poet Lee Grue. If someone wants to be in Dr. Peter Cooley’s workshop they need to email Emilie Staat: estaat@neworleanspubliclibrary.org They need to send Emilie a poem that they would like to be “workshopped.” Dr. Peter Cooley’s workshop is limited to 15 participants.

& Meet Richard B. Crowell, author of Chenier Plain at Octavia Books at 6 pm Wednesday. Crowell chronicles the history and economic development of a region in southwest Louisiana defined by unique geologic formations and distinguished by its position beneath the Mississippi flyway. Crowell traces the evolution of this region’s well-known sport hunting legacy, creating the first comprehensive narrative history of the area, from 1800 to today. In Chenier Plain, the author takes a fresh look at the decline of French and Spanish influence in coastal Louisiana and investigates an isolated region struggling to find its place against inhospitable conditions following the Civil War. In chronicling the Chenier Plain’s transition from a center of market hunting to one of sport hunting. Crowell draws together over 140 illustrations. He highlights the opportunistic land purchases by a US president, British and American businessmen, a university president, and an illiterate French-speaking Acadian whose property became the nexus of The Coastal Club, the oldest hunting lodge in the geographic region. These events, combined with the background of six hunting clubs established before 1929 and modern methods of waterfowl habitat conservation, illustrate how inextricably linked sport hunting is to the life and preservation of this remote Louisiana world of ridges and marsh.

& AT 7 pm Wednesday Tubby & Coo’s Mid-City Book Shop hosts Reading Between the Wines at the Pearl Wine Co. inside of the American Can Company. This month’s featured authors are; Stephanie Garrison was born and raised in the idyllic Mid-Hudson Valley of New York. Always a dabbler, it wasn’t until college where she tried her hand at playwriting. She fell in love with the form shortly after and has been writing plays since, even earning her MFA in dramatic writing from Adelphi University. She’s had a few productions in New York City, including a one act that made it to the semi-finals of the Harvest Theatre Festival. Shortly after, she moved down to New Orleans, her second home, with her husband, Bradley Warshauer. She still writes, and has had her pieces performed for Southern Rep’s 3×3, Elm Theatre, and her current piece, Solitary, was featured in the Two for Tennessee Festival. Kate Bailey is a playwright originally from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She received her BA in Theatre Performance from Louisiana State University and her MFA in Playwriting from the University of New Orleans. Kate began playwriting in Chicago at Chicago Dramatists. She took classes there and participated in a few small short play festivals. In New Orleans, Kate is a part of Southern Rep’s 6×6 play slam/new play development series and a founding member of Generate INK, New Orleans’ first and only playwright-driven nonprofit. Her full-length play Strays debuted in New Orleans in June 2015 and her full-length play Pleading 894 will be performed in April 2016 as the Spring main stage show for the University of New Orleans.

& At 8 pm Wednesday at the Blood Jet Poetry Series at BJ’s in the Bywater Chanel Clarke, Gian Smith, and Whit “The Whitness” Wddington read. Clarke is a graduate of Tulane University and the University of Texas-Austin, where she received a fellowship from the Michener Center for Writers. Her work has been featured in a variety of journals, including smoking glue gun, EveryDay Genius, Flag and Void, Bayou Magazine, WomenArts Quarterly, and Hayden Ferry’s Review. She now works as a social worker in the New Orleans area. Smith is a New Orleans based artist. His craft spans over several media including writing, acting, and video production, but he is most notably recognized as a spoken word poet. Smith is also well known locally for his community organization including NOYOpresents: Pass It On open mic. Gian is a proud member of the Melanated Writers Collective. A group of writers of color in New Orleans which boasts a strong cast of talented individuals. Gian’s current focus is film making. After completing a first season for his web series “open mike” he went on to produce a short film “The Adulterer” which has been accepted into several film festivals.

& Thursday at 5 pm the Robert E. Smith Branch Library presents a Teen Writing Workshop. Patrons 12-17 are invited to create an original work of short fiction (up to 20 pages) for a group workshop, led by Luke Sirinides, Young Adult library associate at Smith Library and MFA graduate. (Reservations are required; contact Luke at 596-2638.

& Thursday at 6 pm Maple Street Book Shop will be hosting the book launch for Geoffrey Parker’s Platform Revolutions. Uber. Airbnb. Amazon. Apple. PayPal. All of these companies disrupted their markets when they launched. Today they are industry leaders. What’s the secret to their success? These cutting-edge businesses are built on platforms: two-sided markets that are revolutionizing the way we do business. Written by three of the most sought-after experts on platform businesses, Platform Revolution is the first authoritative, fact-based book on platform models. Platform Revolution teaches newcomers how to start and run a successful platform business, explaining ways to identify prime markets and monetize networks. Addressing current business leaders, the authors reveal strategies behind some of today’s up-and-coming platforms, such as Tinder and SkillShare, and explain how traditional companies can adapt in a changing marketplace. The authors also cover essential issues concerning security, regulation, and consumer trust, while examining markets that may be ripe for a platform revolution, including healthcare, education, and energy.

& Meet Lydia Pyne and editor Christopher Schaberg when they discuss BOOKSHELF at Octavia Books Thursday at 6 pm. Every shelf is different and every bookshelf tells a different story. One bookshelf can creak with character in a bohemian coffee shop and another can groan with gravitas in the Library of Congress. “Writer and historian Lydia Pyne finds bookshelves to be holders not just of books but of so many other things: values, vibes, and verbs that can be contained and displayed in the buildings and rooms of contemporary human existence. With a shrewd eye toward this particular moment in the history of books, Pyne takes the reader on a tour of the bookshelf that leads critically to this juncture: amid rumors of the death of book culture, why is the life of the bookshelf in full bloom? Object Lessons is a series of short, beautifully designed books about the hidden lives of ordinary things. It is published in partnership with an essay series in the The Atlantic.

& The Octavia Books Science Fiction Book Club meets the second Saturday of every month at 10:30 A.M. Members receive 10% off book club selections. This month the club is discussing THE SORCERER OF THE WILDEEPS. Everyone is welcome!

& At 11 am Saturday the New Orleans East Regional Library will hosts The Bibby Gumbo Book Club is New Orleans East’s first parent-baby book club. A series of interactive games along with an innovative craft session will infuse literacy and laughter

& Octavia Books hosts paperback book launch party & signing with author M.O. Walsh, Director of the creative writing program at UNO, featuring his Louisiana-based novel, MY SUNSHINE AWAY at 5:30pm Saturday at The Little Gem Saloon on S. Rampart St. My Sunshine Away unfolds in a Baton Rouge neighborhood best known for cookouts on sweltering summer afternoons, cauldrons of spicy crawfish, and passionate football fandom. But in the summer of 1989, when fifteen-year-old Lindy Simpson free spirit, track star, and belle of the block experiences a horrible crime late one evening near her home, it becomes apparent that this idyllic stretch of Southern suburbia has a dark side, too. In My Sunshine Away, M.O. Walsh brilliantly juxtaposes the enchantment of a charmed childhood with the gripping story of a violent crime, unraveling families, and consuming adolescent love. Acutely wise and deeply honest, it is an astonishing and page-turning debut about the meaning of family, the power of memory, and our ability to forgive.

& Saturday at 9 pm Antenna Gallery presents ANTENNA::SIGNALS at Castillo Blanco, 4321 St. Claude Ave. Conceived as a “live arts magazine,” ANTENNA::SIGNALS is a new sort of variety show by the artists and writers of Antenna. Each “issue” of Antenna::Signals will feature a spread of 8 local artists, writers, performers, or scholars whose practices relate thematically. The live event will be accompanied by the release of a two-dimensional print version, with each magazine dropping on a Second Saturday of the Month.

& On Sunday, April 10 at 3 pm Garden District Book Shop features John Hanson’s Farewell to an Angel: It All Began in Old New Orleans. The book gives the reader a personal view of the lives of a man and woman who were born, raised, worked, and found each other in the Crescent City. The man, John Hanson, was from the Carrollton neighborhood. The woman, Patty Callegan, was from the French Quarter. Their parents had only grammar school educations. They were poor, but not destitute. They always managed to shelter, clothe, and feed their families by dint of hard work. After starting on their memoirs, John had more time to work on his as Patty was simultaneously fighting cancer. Much of his memoirs are Patty’s, however, since they were inseparable from their meeting in 1966 until Patty’s death in 2014. A registered nurse and ever a patient advocate, Patty wrote only briefly of her life before nursing and marriage and only as an introduction to an exhaustive guide for cancer patients. Their story will at times evoke both tears and laughter. Overall, it will edify.

& Also at 3 pm Sunday the Maple Leaf Poetry Reading, the oldest, continuous reading series in the south, presents featured readers in all genres followed by an open mic. The April calendar of features is still TBA at this time.

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