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Odd Words: This week in literary New Orleans June 5, 2016

Posted by The Typist in authors, 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 5 pm at the East New Orleans Regional Library New Orleans Spoken Word Artists will present its monthly workshop which include poetry writing and performance, with the goal of building community through writing and strengthening students’ written and verbal communication skills.

& At 7 pm Monday The East Jefferson Writer’s Group meets at the East Bank 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.

& Prof. Lauren S. Cardon visits Octavia Books at 6 pm Tuesday to reveal one of the many wondrous fashion and fiction periods she writes about in FASHION AND FICTION: Self-Transformation in Twentieth-Century American Literature. In Fashion and Fiction, Lauren S. Cardon draws a correlation between the American fashion industry and early twentieth-century literature. As American fashion diverged from a class-conscious industry governed by Parisian designers to become more commercial and democratic, she argues, fashion designers and journalists began appropriating the same themes of self-transformation to market new fashion trends. Cardon illustrates how canonical twentieth-century American writers, including Edith Wharton, Theodore Dreiser, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, and Nella Larsen, symbolically used clothing to develop their characters and their narrative of upward mobility. As the industry evolved, Cardon shows, the characters in these texts increasingly enjoyed opportunities for individual expression and identity construction, allowing for temporary performances that offered not escapism but a testing of alternate identities in a quest for self-discovery.

& Also on Tuesday at 6 pm Garden District Book Shop presents Susan Tucker’s City of Remembering: A History of Genealogy in New Orleans. ity of Remembering represents a rich testament to the persistence of a passionate form of public history. In exploring one particular community of family historians in New Orleans, Susan Tucker reveals how genealogists elevate a sort of subterranean foundation of the city–sepia photographs of the Vieux Carre, sturdy pages of birth registrations from St. Louis Cathedral, small scraps of the earliest French Superior Council records, elegant and weighty leaves of papers used by notaries, and ledgers from the judicial deliberations of the Illustrious Spanish Cabildo. They also explore coded letters left by mistake, accounts carried over oceans, and gentle prods of dying children to be counted and thus to be remembered. Most of all, the family historians speak of continual beginnings, both in the genesis of their own research processes, but also of American dreams that value the worth of every individual life.

& At 7 pm Tuesday at the Old Metairie Library Great Books Discussion Group will discuss Pensees by Blaise Pascal. The Pensées is a collection of fragments on theology and philosophy written by the 17th-century philosopher and mathematician. Pascal’s religious conversion led him into a life of asceticism and the Pensées was in many ways his life’s work. The Pensées represented Pascal’s defense of the Christian religion. The concept of “Pascal’s Wager” stems from a portion of this work.

& Wednesday at 6 pm Garden District Book Shop hosts John Hart’s Redemption Road. Imagine: A boy with a gun waits for the man who killed his mother. A troubled detective confronts her past in the aftermath of a brutal shooting. After thirteen years in prison, a good cop walks free. But for how long? And deep in the forest, on the altar of an abandoned church, the unthinkable has just happened… This is a town on the brink. This is a road with no mercy. Since his debut bestseller, The King of Lies, reviewers across the country have heaped praise on John Hart, comparing his writing to that of Pat Conroy, Cormac McCarthy and Scott Turow.

& The Final Blood Jet for Spring Season 2016 presents Bill Lavender and Addie Citchens at 8 pm at BJ’s in the Bywater. Lavender is the founder and proprietor of Lavender Ink / Diálogos and co-founder, with Megan Burns, of the New Orleans Poetry Festival. His most recent book of poetry, the ground-breaking verse memoir, Memory Wing, dubbed by Rodger Kamenetz “a contemporary autobiographical masterpiece,” was published by Black Widow in 2011. Other books of poetry include While Sleeping (Chax Press, 2003), Transfixion and I of the Storm (both from Trembling Pillow). His novel, Q, a neo-picaresque view of a world in constant economic and social crisis, appeared from Trembling Pillow in 2013. The sequel to Q, entitled Little A, from which he’ll be reading at Blood Jet, should be finished later this century. Citchens is a fiction writer from Clarksdale, Mississippi. Her work covers the performance of blackness, sexuality, sexual violence, generational trauma, and personal healing/liberation/triumph. Her art has been featured in the Oxford American, Callaloo, and Mixed Company. She had recently independently published her novel, The Fire-Starter, on Amazon.

& The fifth meeting of the Maple Street Book Shop is Thursday at 6 pm at the Maple Street Book Shop. This month we will have local author Ann Glaviano as guest facilitator, and she’s picked There Once Lived a Woman Who Loved Her Children, Until They Moved Back In, a collection of three novellas by Russian author Ludmilla Petrushevskaya. The book club choice will be available at 10% off at the store. Refreshments will be served.

& The Bank Street Bar Open Mic features guest Host Carolyn Hembree from 6:30-9 pm at the Bank Street Bar. This event features a mix of readings by the guest host interspersed with reading my local poets not to exceed five minutes. Come out and support New Orleans newest poetry series.

& At 7 pm Thursday the SciFi, Fantasy and Horror Writer’s Group meets at the East Bank 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 6 pm Garden District Book Shop features Judge Edward Butler, Sr.’s Galvez/Spain – Our Forgotten Ally in the American Revolutionary War: A Concise Summary Of Spanish Assistance. The book reveals little known events and proves beyond doubt that the contributions of Spain to the United States during the American Revolutionary War were as great, if not greater than the support rendered by France. The book has garnered two book awards, Best Revolutionary War History book in 2014 awarded by The Order of Granaderos de Galvez,and Readers’ Favorite Five Star Award.

& This Saturday at 10:30 am the Octavia Books Science Fiction Book Club is discussing J by Howard Jacobson. Everyone is welcome, and members receive a 10% discount on book club selections.

& Also at 10:30 am at the Nix Library 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.

& At 2 pm Saturday the GNO Chapter of LA Poetry Society meets at the Old Metairie Library for reading and discussions.

& Sundays at 1 pm The Neutral Ground Poetry Forum, a learning group for poets, meets at the Neutral Ground Coffee House. Poets should bring hard copies of works they wish to have workshopped by the group. Registration and more information is available via Meetup.

& Sunday at 3 pm the Maple Leaf Reading Series features poet Terra Durio who reads from and signs her chapbook, Last Waters. Followed by an open mic. This weekly event held in the patio of the Maple Leaf Bar (weather permitting) is the oldest continuous poetry reading series in the south.

& A week from this Thursday brings the return of NOLA Bloomsday. Featured readers are Jasmine Araujo, George Bishop, Chris Champagne, Addie Citchens, Susan Larson, Louis Maistros, & Chris Waddington. All others welcome to read or listen. Free to attend. Food & beverages available at cost. Special Bloomsday menu prepared by acclaimed chef Matt Murphy. Bloomsday, the only international literary festival, is based on James Joyce’s modernist novel Ulysses. Bloomsday always takes place on June 16th, as do the events in Ulysses. The day also honors the first date Joyce had with his wife-to-be Nora Barnacle. Different cities have different versions of the festival. The New Orleans incarnation is simply reading, eating, and drinking, not necessarily in that order.