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Odd Words: This week in literary New Orleans April 17, 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.

This week in literary New Orleans:

& Meet Amber Tamblyn, actress, writer, film director, and poet, when she reads from and signs DARK SPARKLER at Octavia Books on Monday at 6 pm. Here is the American starlet: discovered, disrobed, displaced, disused, disgorged. In more than thirty haunting, visceral poetic portraits, acclaimed poet and actress Amber Tamblyn contemplates the interior lives of women who glimmered on-screen and crashed in life figures as diverse as Frances Farmer and Brittany Murphy, Jayne Mansfield and Dana Plato, Jean Harlow and Sharon Tate, Heather O’Rourke and Dominique Dunne and Marilyn Monroe. Their stories invite us behind the eyes of a century’s worth of women, the adored and the disappeared.

& Also at 6 pm Monday The 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 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.

& At 6:30 pm Monday the New Orleans Public Library hosts Poetry on Tap. Come celebrate National Poetry month with us at the Old Point Bar. Have a drink, and share some words. . . . Read your original work or some pieces by your favorite poets (or songwriters, because it’s Jazz Appreciation Month too!). Funny, sad, long, short . . . we want them all!

& Tuesday Garden District Book Shops features William Barnwell’s Called to Heal the Brokenhearted: Stories from Kairos Prison Ministry International. In this stirring book, William H. Barnwell tells the stories of prison inmates and the Kairos Prison Ministry volunteers who work with them. Set mostly at the huge Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola, Barnwell’s narrative illustrates how offenders who have done the worst can and do change, becoming model inmates and, if released, productive citizens. The stories also reveal how Kairos volunteers have found healing for broken hearts. Now serving 300 state and federal prisons, 30,000 Kairos volunteers work with 20,000 inmates each year. They take part in long weekend retreats with the inmates and follow up with regular prison visits. Since its beginning in 1976, Kairos has served over 250,000 inmates. Broad-based, nondenominational, and nonjudgmental Christian, Kairos seeks to carry out its slogan–“listen, listen, love, love”–among inmates who have had few to listen to them, and fewer still to love them.

& At 8 pm Tuesday the New Orleans Public Library and Esoterotica “Get Between the Covers.” Join NOPL and Esoterotica upstairs at Mimi’s in the Marigny to bring you an evening of lascivious language and sensual stanzas pulled both from the stacks and personal experience.

& Thursday at 5 pm the Smith Library hosts a Teen Creative Writing Workshop. Patrons 12 – 17 are invited to create short works of fiction and participate in writing games and exercises. Open to all types of writers interested in all types of stories. Reservations required; contact Luke at 596-2638.

& At 5:30 pm Thursday The Booked for Murder Book Club meets at the Norman Mayer Library.

& Thursday at 7 pm Celebrate Poetry Month with Loyola Professor Mark Yakich at the East Jefferson Regional Library. He will discuss the importance of poetry. This presentation is free of charge and is open to the public. Registration is not required. This event is held in honor of National Poetry Month, held each April to celebrate, increase awareness and appreciation of poetry in the United States. Dr. Yakich is editor of New Orleans Review. He is the author of Unrelated Individuals Forming a Group Waiting to Cross (National Poetry Series, Penguin 2004), The Making of Collateral Beauty (Snowbound Chapbook Award, Tupelo 2006), Green Zone New Orleans (Press Street 2008), The Importance of Peeling Potatoes in Ukraine (Penguin 2008), Checking In/Checking Out (NO Books), and A Meaning for Wife (Ig Publishing 2011). With Christopher Schaberg, he is also co-founder and co-editor of airplanereading.org, a new media project that aims to rejunvenate airplane reading. In spring 2012, Dr. Yakich was a Fulbright Fellow in the Faculty of Letters at the University of Lisbon

& Join Please Octavia Books Thursday at 6 pm, on the eve of Jazz Fest 2016, for a presentation and signing with Michael Murphy celebrating the release of HEAR DAT NEW ORLEANS, a charmingly irreverent guide to the thriving, world-famous music scene in New Orleans. One of the first questions visitors to New Orleans often ask is, “Where can I go to hear music?” A better question might be, “Where can I go and not hear music?” Music is everywhere in this city, but to experience the best of it, you need the right guide. In Hear Dat New Orleans, local expert Michael Murphy brings his signature offbeat sensibility to the Big Easy’s largest tourist draw. With in-depth recommendations for the greatest venues, the best musicians, and the must-see festivals, Hear Dat New Orleans is an indispensable companion for anyone who wants to really experience the sounds of New Orleans live and uncensored.

& Also on Thursday at 6 pm Garden District Book Shop hosts Melissa Ginsburg’s Sunset City. Before the drugs, Danielle Reeves was Charlotte Ford’s most loyal and vibrant friend. She helped Charlotte through her mother’s illness and death, and opened up about her own troubled family. The two friends were inseparable, reveling in Houston’s shadowy corners. But then Danielle’s addiction got the best of her and she went to prison for four years. When she gets out, she and Charlotte reconnect. Charlotte hopes this is a new start for their friendship. But then, a detective shows up at Charlotte’s apartment. Danielle has been murdered, bludgeoned to death. Overwhelmed by grief, Charlotte is determined to understand how the most alive person she has ever known could end up dead. But the deeper Charlotte descends into Danielle’s dark world, the less she understands. Was Danielle a hapless victim or master manipulator? Was she really intent on starting over or was it all an act? To find out the truth, Charlotte must keep her head clear and her guard up. Houston has a way of feeding on bad habits and Charlotte doesn’t want to get swallowed whole, a victim of her own anguished desires.

& At Maple Street Book Shop on Thursday at 6 PM celebrate the release of Adrian Van Young’ new book, Shadows in Summerland. Boston, 1859. A nation on the brink of war. Confidence men prowl the streets for fresh marks. Mediums swindle the newly bereaved. Into this world of illusion and intrigue comes William Mumler, a manipulating mastermind and criminal jeweler. Mumler hopes to make his fortune by photographing spirits for Boston’s elite. The key to his venture: a shy girl named Hannah who sees and manifests the dead and washes up on Boston’s harbor along with her strange, intense mother, Claudette. As Mumler and Hannah’s fame grows throughout Boston, everybody wants a piece: Bill Christian, a brothel tough; Algernon Child, a drunken rival; Fanny A. Conant, a sly suffragette; and William Guay, a religious fanatic. These rogues among a host of others, including the great spirit rapper Kate Fox, form powerful bonds with the spirit photographers, one of which will end in murder. Mumler’s first and last mistake: the dead cannot be made to heel. Roughly based on the real-life story of William H. Mumler, spirit photographer and his clairvoyant wife, Hannah Mumler, Shadows in Summerland immerses the reader in a shifting world of light and shade where nothing is quite what it seems at first glance. A soaring and resplendently Gothic novel spanning three decades, it is as much an homage to the Golden Age ghost stories of Edith Wharton and Henry James as it is a companion to the revisionist historical epics of Peter Carey and Sarah Waters, with a little steampunk all its own.

& New Orleans Gulf South Booksellers Association once again operates the Jazz Fest Book Tent. Book signings for week one of the festival include:

  • Friday
    • Michael Murphy, 12-1PM, Hear Dat
    • Keith Polk, 1-2PM, Mardi Grasfish
  • Saturday
    • Michael Zell, 12-1PM, Run Baby Run
    • Todd Mouton, 1-2PM, Way Down in Lousiana
    • Tom Piazza, 3-4PM, Free State
    • Sally Asher & Meagan Baccinelli, 4-5PM, Stories from St. Louis Cemeteries & New Orleans Neighborhoods
    • Peggy Scott Laborde, 5-6PM, New Orleans Mardi Gras Moments
  • Sunday
    • Ann Benoit, 12-1PM, New Orleans’ Best Seafood Cookbook
    • Cheryl Gerber, 1-2PM, New Orleans: Life and Death in the Big Easy
    • Julie Smith, 3-4PM, New Orleans Noir: The Classics
    • Leon Morris, 4-5PM, Homage: New Orleans
    • Laura Dragon, 5-6PM, Bayou Bogeyman Presents Hoodoo and Voodoo

& Saturday at 10 am the East Jefferson Regional Library hosts The Monthly Meeting of the Southern Louisiana Chapter of the Romance Writers of America 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

& Beginning this Saturday at 1:30 pm New Orleans poet and performer Valentine Pierce will lead a five-part poetry workhop for adults. Novice writers, as well as poets with some experience, are enclouraged to attend. Get inspired and write some dynamic poetry for 2016! Participation at all 5 workshops is suggested, but not required. Participants will be invited to read their poetry at a public reading when the program is completed. Sign up in advance at the Alvar Library circulation desk.

& Sunday at 3 pm the Maple Leaf Reading Series hosts its annual Jazz Fest open mic at the Maple Leaf Bar. This is the oldest continuous reading series in the south, and also presents featured readers.


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