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Odd Words: This week in literary New Orleans February 8, 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.
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This busy, post-Carnival week in literary New Orleans:

& Orleans Parish Libraries will close at 3 pm Monday, reopening Wednesday after Carnival. Jefferson Parish libraries are closed today and Tuesday as well.

& Monday at 6 pm Tubby & Coo’s Science Fiction Book Club hosts its inaugural meeting.There will be a list of books to select from, we’ll pick one, and start discussing in the next meeting. If you have suggestions for books we should read, please e-mail them to tubbyandcoos@gmail.com.

& Wednesday at 5:30 pm Rosa F. Keller Library & Community Center hosts its quarterly film screening based on great books. At each screening, we’ll watch the movie, compare and discuss the print and film versions, and enjoy refreshments reminiscent of each story. We’ll have extra copies of the books available for check out in the weeks before each screening (while supplies last). All ages welcome; attendees younger than 12 years must be accompanied by an adult.

& Thursday at 7 pm the Nix Library Book Club meets. This is a neighborhood group for people who love to read and get together to discuss ideas. Meets every second Thursday of the month. The February selection is A Summons to Memphis by Peter Taylor.

& Wednesday at 6 pm the Garden District Book Shop Book Club meets to discuss Station Eleven. New Members are always welcome. Purchase book in-store for a 20% discount.

& Thursday at 5 pm Maple Street employee Jasper den Hartigh hosts a new book club. The first book is Yuri Herrera’s Signs Preceding the End of the World, and the author will be joining in for the discussion. “Yuri Herrera does not simply write about the border between Mexico and the United States and those who cross it. He explores the crossings and translations people make in their minds and language as they move from one country to another, especially when there’s no going back. Traversing this lonely territory is Makina, a young woman who knows only too well how to survive in a violent, macho world. Leaving behind her life in Mexico to search for her brother, she is smuggled into the USA carrying a pair of secret messages one from her mother and one from the Mexican underworld.”

& At 7 pm Thursday 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 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. Free and open to the public. No registration.

& Friday at 6 pm Octavia Books hosts a reading and signing with author Sunil Yapa featuring his electric debut novel, YOUR HEART IS A MUSCLE THE SIZE OF A FIST. On a rainy, cold day in November, young Victor–a nomadic, scrappy teenager who’s run away from home–sets out to join the throng of WTO demonstrators determined to shut down the city. Over the course of one life-altering afternoon, the fates of seven people will change forever: foremost among them police Chief Bishop, the estranged father Victor hasn’t seen in three years, two protesters struggling to stay true to their non-violent principles as the day descends into chaos, two police officers in the street, and the coolly elegant financial minister from Sri Lanka whose life, as well as his country’s fate, hinges on getting through the angry crowd, out of jail, and to his meeting with the President of the United States. When Chief Bishop reluctantly unleashes tear gas on the unsuspecting crowd, it seems his hopes for reconciliation with his son, as well as the future of his city, are in serious peril.

& Saturday at 10:30 am the Octavia Books Science Fiction Book Club meets to discuss THE LOVE WE SHARE WITHOUT KNOWING by Christopher Barzak. The SciFi Book Club meets the second Saturday of every month. Members receive 10% off selections. “In this haunting, richly woven novel of modern life in Japan, the author of the acclaimed debut One for Sorrow explores the ties that bind humanity across the deepest divides. Here is a Murakamiesque jewel box of intertwined narratives in which the lives of several strangers are gently linked through love, loss, and fate.”

& Also at 10:30 am the Nix Library hosts a Creative Writing Workshop. 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.

& Saturday at 11:30 am Maple Street Book Shop will be hosting Nancy Backus Roniger, author of A Bayou Home: The Adventure of Swampmaster Bejeaux. Nancy has been a teacher at many schools in the area, including Ursuline Academy, Mt. Carmel, Jesuit, and Christ Episcopal. Lose yourself in the swamps and bayous of South Louisiana and enter a world of swamp creatures whose leader is an alligator named Swampmaster Bejeaux. Swampmaster Bejeaux goes on an action-packed adventure and encounters the Cajun world of fais do-dos, hunting camps, the loup-garou, and black magic. Along the way you will meet his swamp friends, several of whom save the day for our alligator

& At 2 pm Saturday Carnival isn’t quite over when Big Freedia visits the New Orleans Main Branch Library to launch her new book Big Freedia: God Save the Queen Diva. Big Freedia, Queen of Bounce, has gone from a New Orleans phenomenon to a national one, and she is coming out to the Main Library as part of our 2016 Black History Month Celebration. She will be talking about her new book, her music, and fabulous future plans. Q & A to follow; books will be available for sale.

& Also beginning at 2 pm on Saturday Team Slam New Orleans (Team SNO) launches a series of 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.

Acting with Rebessa Mwase, Co-Director of LOUD:

  • February 6, 12 p.m. – Keller Library & Community Center
  • February 19, 3 p.m. – East New Orleans Regional Library
  • February 21, 2 p.m. – Algiers Regional Library

Writing with Members of Team Slam New Orleans:

  • February 7, 2 p.m. – Norman Mayer Library
  • February 13, 2 p.m. – Alvar Library
  • February 14, 2 p.m. – Main Library

& At 6 pm Saturday join in the launch celebration of local author Andy Reynolds’ new book The Axeboy’s Blues. Set in New Orleans, the story follows a centuries-old agency tasked with protecting the city from forces that would see her destroyed. In a city where mosquitoes don vests and spectacles, where the Mississippi is teeming with monstrous beasts, and where Wonder sprouts from people’s heads like plants, can this agency take on an adversary that has jumped through time itself? The event includes: Live readings from the book, Mini Art Market, Wine & Light Edibles, and Musical Guest: Shane Avrard of The Noise Complaints

Odd Words: This week in literary New Orleans January 31, 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.
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This quiet Carnival week in literary New Orleans:

& 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.

& Saturday at 11:30 am it’s Story Time with Miss Maureen. This week she’ll read Parade by Donald Crews. Illustrations and brief text describe a parade—the spectators, street vendors, marchers, bands, floats, and the cleanup afterwards.

&  Next Sunday at 3ish the Maple Leaf Reading Series presents featured readers followed by an open mic at the Maple Leaf Bar (on the patio, weather permitting). This is the oldest continuous reading series in the south, founded by beloved adopted son of New Orleans poet Everette Maddox. Next Sunday’s details are TBA.

Odd Words: This week in literary New Orleans January 24, 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.
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Carnival time is upon us but the few events this coming week in literary New Orleans are big ones, including the quarterly installment of Waves and the return of The Dust Bowl.

& Tuesday at 6 pm brings The Dust Bowl // An Open Mic, Open Canvas Collaboration Workshop to Gasa Gasa on Ferret St. We will be providing the canvas and paint for anyone that wants to BRING YOUR OWN BRUSHES (BYOB) and contribute some art to the canvas. We invite and encourage any and all vocal performers (comedians, singers, poets, rappers, etc..) to come share some material with everyone. Guest artists this month will be singer/songwriter: Shane Avrard; Spoken Word: Jonathan Brown; Comedy: Benjamin Hoffman. Sign up for the open mic will begin at 7. We will turn the mic on at 8 pm. Painters, bring your brushes… We will have another giant canvas and paint supplied by National Art & Hobby for you to use. Come help us create organic collaboration.

& Thursday brings the return of Waves to the Antenna Gallery, 3718 St Claude Ave. The Waves is a new LGBTIQ reading series presenting student voices, local writers, and visiting writers side by side. This event features Uriel Quesada along with Cassie Pruyn, Engram Wilkinson, Amelia Hess, Anya Leonhard, and perhaps more TBA.

  • Quesada is the author of seven books of fiction, including El atardecer de los niños (short stories, 1990; Editorial Costa Rica Award and Costa Rica National Book Award 1990), Lejos, tan lejos (short stories, Áncora Award in Literature, 2005), El gato de sí mismo (novel, Costa Rica National Book Award 2006) and Viajero que huye (short stories, 2008). Quesada recieved a Masters Degree in Latin American Literature from New Mexico State University, and a PhD from Tulane University. He lives in New Orleans, and is the current director of the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at Loyola University.
  • Pruyn is a New Orleans writer originally hailing from Portland, Maine. Her poems, reviews, and blog posts can be found in AGNI Online, ENTROPY, The Normal School, 32 Poems, The Los Angeles Review, The Adroit Journal, NolaVie, and others. She is currently working on her first poetry collection, and also on a book-length narrative history of Bayou St. John.
  • Originally from Birmingham, AL, Wilkinson now lives in New Orleans. His work has previously appeared in Wag’s Revue, Anomalous and Cobalt Journal; for The Waves, he’ll be reading from his novel-in-progress, The Other Adults Test.
  • Amelia is a first semester sophomore at Tulane University where she is the co-editor of poetry for the Tulane Review. Amelia has been published in The Wrens Nest as well as contributed to the Notes of the Margin zine.
  • Leonhard was born in Melrose Park, IL, but commonly lies about this and says she is from Chicago. She is a fourth-level student in the Certificate of Artistry Creative Writing program at Lusher Charter School. Currently, she is working on her own bio, but in the near future, she will be working on a one-act play based on a personal statement essay and a nonfiction piece about the white alligator at Audubon Zoo.

& Also on Thursday, The University of New Orleans Creative Writing Workshop will host a reading by Juyanne James from her new book, “The Persimmon Trail and Other Stories.” It will be in room 197 of the Liberal Arts Building at 7:30pm. The seventeen stories in this debut collection by Juyanne James interpret the Louisiana experience. They stage encounters mostly with strong women but also interesting men and families all trying to survive in their own way. While this collection is as an evolution of the idea of “double-consciousness” and how African Americans see themselves in the world, the characters are remarkable in their own right, without having to be labeled. They are not so much concerned with color as they are with survival.

& More to do on Thursday: The New Orleans Jane Austen Society presents The Singing Austen, a special performance of Regency and Romantic songs of the British Isles by focalist Arynne Fannin. Wine Reception 6:30 pm, performance pm at the Beeauregard keyes House, 1113 Chartres St.

& Saturday morning at Maple Street Book Shop brings Story Time with Miss Maureen. This week she’ll read the Greentail Mouse by Leo Lionni. This is a tale of a city mouse who visits his peaceful country cousins and tells them about Mardi Gras in the city. The country mice are inspired to have their own Mardi Gras. At first, it’s fun wearing their masks with sharp teeth and tusks and scaring each other, but after a while, they begin believing they’re really ferocious animals. Usual time in the past was 11:30 am but is not noted on their webpage. Call the store to confirm: (504)866-4916.

& Next Sunday, Jan. 31 it’s Family Day! at Tubby & Coo’s Mid-City Book Shop. This end-of-monthly event from 12-2 pm features a family party style event with story time, games, and crafts! This coming Family Day!will be a have a Mardi Gras themed event, including king cake. Bring the kiddos and come read and play with us!

&  Next Sunday at 3ish the Maple Leaf Reading Series features an open mic at the Maple Leaf Bar (on the patio, weather permitting). This is the oldest continuous reading series in the south, founded by beloved adopted son of New Orleans poet Everette Maddox.

& If your parading takes you downtown, you should stop and visit Crescent City Books, which is running a 30% off sale through the end of the month. Would you rather come home with another plastic cup, or a new book or three? Crescent City has New Orleans’ largest selection of titles new and used, including rarities, maps and art, and two full floors of books you could get lost in. 230 Chartres St.

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

& All area libraries are closed Monday in observance of Martin Luther King Day. In New Orleans, the Latter Memorial Library remains closed indefinitely for renovations. In Jefferson Parish, the Live Oak library also remains closed for renovations.

& On Monday at 9 am join Octavia Books at Le Pavillon Hotel when #1 New York Times bestselling author Karen Marie Moning returns to New Orleans for another spectacular launch party for her much anticipated new novel, FEVERBORN. To attend the signing, you must purchase FEVERBORN through Octavia Books. In Karen Marie Moning’s latest installment of the epic Fever series, Mac, Barrons, Ryodan, and Jada are back—and the stakes have never been higher and the chemistry has never been hotter. Hurtling us into a realm of labyrinthine intrigue and consummate seduction, FEVERBORN is a riveting tale of ancient evil, lust, betrayal, forgiveness, and the redemptive power of love. When the immortal Fae destroyed the ancient wall dividing the worlds of Man and Faery, the very fabric of the universe was damaged, and now Earth is vanishing bit by bit. Only the long-lost Song of Making—a haunting, dangerous melody that is the source of life itself—can save the planet.

& Wednesday at 7 pm the East Jefferson Library presents an Author Event featuring Dark Blood: Infamous Louisiana Murders by Alan Gauthreaux. This collection chronicles the most mysterious, bizarre and often overlooked homicides in Louisiana history. Drawing on contemporary records and, where available, the recollections of those who provide a coherent version of the facts, these mesmerizing tales detail some of the more gruesome episodes: the rise of the first Mafia godfather in the United States; the murder of two New Orleans police chiefs; the brutal murder of a famous New Orleans madam; the story of a respectable young woman who “accidentally” poisoned her younger sister and is a suspect in other family deaths; the ritual killing of blacks in southwestern Louisiana and eastern Texas; the mysterious death of a young housewife which still generates debate; and the demise of a local celebrity who believed in his own invincibility.

& At 8 pm Wednesday Esoterotica presents its “No Resolutions, No Regrets, And No Theme Show” of erotic poetry, spoken word, story and who knows all what at the Always Lounge. Doors at 7 pm.

&Thursday at 6 pm Garden District Book Shops hosts Bryan Bailey and Embracing the Wild in Your Dog. Dogs are as interwoven in the American culture as baseball, apple pie and the Fourth of July. In most households, the dogs have trumped evolution itself and jumped straight to being four-legged humans where they are adorned with human names, designer outfits and fed diets. Yet, for all that man has done to carve the wolf from the wild to create a surrogate human, today’s dog is still a wolf at heart. This book is not a training book. It does not cover obedience topics such as heel, sit, down, stay, and come. Instead, it’s about righting the ship of American dog ownership by changing our perception of our dogs. It is about the author growing up in the Alaskan wild under the tutelage and guardianship of a Special Forces survival instructor who introduced him to the ways of wolves and the similarities they shared with dogs. It is about the wisdom and splendor of nature and the many life lessons she provides. Mostly, it about developing a deep understanding of the authors of your dog’s behavior; nature and the wolf. In doing so, you will truly learn who and what your dog really is and the whys and hows of its behavior. You will learn how activating and deactivating natural impulses and mechanisms in your dog will lead to the harmonious existence and the control you always dreamed of.

& At 7 pm Thursday Dogfish Reading Series presents “Mixed Company.” Written, designed, and edited by women of color, Mixed Company is a collection of literary fiction and visual art offered as an expression of contemporary Black thought. Its contributors are representative of diasporic communities engaging in their radical traditions. Chinua Achebe said, “It is the story that out lives the sound of war-drums and the exploits of brave fighters. It is the story that saves our progeny from blundering like blind beggars into the spikes of the cactus fence.” From the city of New Orleans, we unite these narratives to assert undeniably that WE REMAIN. Contributors include Addie Citchens, Jeri Hilt, Soraya Jean- Louis McElroy, Ambata Kazi- Nance, J.R. Ramakrishnan and Kristina Kay Robinson

& Also at 7 pm Thursday the SciFi, Fantasy and Horror Writer’s Group meets at the East Jefferson 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 for critique by others in the group. Open to all levels. Free of charge and open to the public. No registration.

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

Odd Words: This week in literary New Orleans January 11, 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.
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This coming week in literary New Orleans:

& This Tuesday at 6 pm Garden District Book Shop features E. A. Channon and Flesh of the Blood. Great evil is stirring and it has its sights set on acquiring an ancient power source unknown to the inhabitants of a distant planet lost in time. The alien presence in search of the instruments of this power has set in motion events centered on the kingdom and city-state, Brigini’i, of King Dia. A Cyclops leads a huge army of orcs and goblins on an invasion of the king’s realm as Methnorick, the evil magician behind these machinations, has dark elves kidnap the king’s daughter, Shermee. The first book in this three-book series ends with Brigini’i being destroyed. Now, all hope lies with two bands of humans, dwarves, elves, giants, magicians and Druids sent in search of the Princess Shermee.

& At 7 pm Tuesday the West Bank Fiction Writers Group meets the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month. Members perform writing exercises, discuss fiction and critique the writing of fellow authors at the The Edith S. Lawson Library in Westwego.

& At 6 pm Thursday Octavia Books local writer Juyanne James joins us to share her new collection, THE PERSIMMON TRAIL AND OTHER STORIES. The seventeen stories in this debut collection by Juyanne James interpret the Louisiana experience. They stage encounters mostly with strong women but also interesting men and families all trying to survive in their own way. While this collection is as an evolution of the idea of “double-consciousness” and how African Americans see themselves in the world, the characters are remarkable in their own right, without having to be labeled. They are not so much concerned with color as they are with survival. James has written a thoroughly eclectic, lyrical collection of stories that speaks to the African American tradition, depicting life in New Orleans and rural Louisiana.

& Also at 6 pm Thursday Garden District Book Shop hosts Val McDermid in Conversation with Greg Herren about McDermind’s book Splinter the Silence. Psychological profiler Tony Hill is trained to see patterns, to decode the mysteries of human behaviour, and when he comes across a series of suicides among women tormented by vicious online predators, he begins to wonder if there is more to these tragedies than meets the eye. Similar circumstances, different deaths. Could it be murder? But what kind of serial killer wants his crimes to stay hidden?
Former DCI Carol Jordan has her own demons to confront, but with lives at stake, Tony and Carol begin the hunt for the most dangerous and terrifying kind of killer – someone who has nothing to fear and nothing to lose…

& At 7 pm Thursday PAGE FLIPPERS, a new quarterly event, features guests reading great novels aloud. The Winter 2016 book is The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison. The Nobel laureate’s 1st novel (from 1970) has been heralded, banned, and had its adaptation staged, most recently at Le Petit Théâtre Du Vieux Carré Reading slots are available the night of the event for 6 readers up to 10 minutes each. Sign-up is first come, first served. Readers don’t need to read consecutively. Just pick your favorite pages. A copy of “The Bluest Eye” will be available to read from or please bring your own.

& Also at 7 pm Thursday the Jefferson Parish East Bank Regional Library Hosts Four New Authors.

  • An Immigrant’s Song, by Kevin Bitter Sr.: An eighteen-year-old Yugoslavian boy from a small village in the valley is unwillingly drafted as a soldier in a communist army, is wounded, and immigrates to the United States to live with his uncle who happens to be the Yugoslavian Consulate in Chicago. He is culturally shocked upon arrival—the size of O’Hare Airport, the big city, the big cars, and American wealth. He eventually moves to New Orleans to live and work in a machine shop belonging to his uncle’s friend. He learns to speak English and through a series of events captures his version of the American dream for almost 20 years.
    At 40 years old, the mother of his two children spitefully calls U.S. Immigration to report him for an expired visa. This sends his life into a spiral and the struggles of going to a country Louisiana jail for nine months, then forcibly shipped back to European socialism after living half of his life enjoying capitalism in the Land of the Free. It is based on a true story.
  • The Way Eye See It, by Sol Heiman: Dr. Heiman’s memoir begins in 1951 when he joined the Air Force to work as an optometrist and was ordered instead to teach math. Eventually he received an assignment to run an eye clinic, but that did not mean his Air Force career would run smoothly. With the exception of his time in the Air Force, Dr. Heiman has lived his entire life in New Orleans. He sings with the Mardi Gras Barbershop Chorus and uses his love of writing comedy by directing the annual Barbershop Show for the past five years. He continues to practice optometry one day a week in New Orleans. He and his wife Lois have been married more than 63 years and they attribute their long marriage to “consideration for each other.”
  • The Jury Scandal, by Alice Abel Kemp: Marilise, a divorced professor, struggles with an unintended pregnancy from a foolish one-night stand. Her high school sweetheart, Tommy, shows up as a student in her class, but she’s afraid to become involved with him again. He’s a short-tempered homicide detective working on a case where a sportscaster is accused of shooting his ex-wife. Marilise attends the sportscaster’s trial to see Tommy testify. In the bathroom on a break, she overhears a thug threaten a woman juror to vote not guilty. She tells the judge and becomes a target and a risk to a local politician’s plans. Tommy and Marilise rekindle their relationship while he attempts to protect her. Can their new relationship survive the threats and will he accept her pregnancy?
  • The Night Walker’s Song, by Dawn Ruth Wilson: The Night Walker’s Song interweaves the voices of three characters whose lives intersect through the needless deaths of yellow fever victims in the city’s final outbreak in 1905. Jo Nell James, a woman looking for a new start, Archibald Carrier, a crime reporter whose career is on the skids, and Mother Edna Williams, a housekeeper turned spiritualist minister, all must face the consequences of their own secrets as they reveal the shocking truth of a long-dead family’s past.

& Saturday at 10 am the Algiers Regional Library hosts New Orleans Memories: One Writer’s City by Carolyn Kolb, who will present a wide ranging illustrated discussion of New Orleans people and culture. Four major subjects give an all-encompassing view: food, Mardi Gras, literature, and music. New Orleans Memories will be available for sale. Ms. Kolb is a former reporter at The Times-Picayune and is currently a columnist for New Orleans Magazine. She teaches a course on New Orleans People and Culture at Tulane University’s School of Continuing Studies, is a native of New Orleans, a graduate of Newcomb College, and holds a doctorate in Urban History from the University of New Orleans.

& Also at 10 am the East Jefferson Regional Library hosts a meeting of the Southern Louisiana Chapter of the Romance Writers of America, which will will screen “Love Between the Covers,” a feature-length documentary film about the little-known, but powerful community of women who read and write romance novels. While romance novels and their signature covers are ubiquitous around the world, the global community of women who read, write and love them remains largely invisible. “Love Between the Covers” is the story of five different authors who invite viewers into a vast female community running a powerhouse industry that’s on the cusp of an irreversible power shift. For three years, film producers followed the lives of five published romance authors and one unpublished newbie as they build their businesses, find and lose loved ones, cope with a tsunami of change in publishing, and earn a living doing what they love—while empowering others to do the same. Viewers accompany authors on trips with their readers, at conferences and special romance events and watch them encourage their readers to become writers themselves.

& From 12-4 pm Saturday at Tubby & Coo’s Mid-City Book Shop kick open a door, fight a monster, get some treasures, and betray your “friends” at Come and Play Munchkin Day! From 12 PM to 4 PM we will have tables set up for free play of Munchkin. Bring your own copy or purchase a brand spanking new one from the store! Want to learn how to play Munchkin? Staff will be on hand to teach and clarify rules.  Sign up for the Officially Unofficial Munchkin Tournament for a chance to win some big prizes, including items from Steve Jackson games, ProGuide, free games, and much more. Tournament will be from 4PM – 7PM. Sign up will be during free play time (12-4PM).

& At 1 pm Saturday Louisiana Cultural Vistas, the magazine of the Louisian.celebrates the new issue with a DJ party at NOLA Mix Records. The winter 2015-16 issue of Louisiana Cultural Vistas magazine (knowlouisiana.org) is dedicated to the music of Louisiana. Photographer Zack Smith provided the cover photo, and the issue includes a selection from his My Louisiana Muse portfolio. We present new articles by Jerry Brock and Alex Rawls, an interview with guitar legend James Burton, columnists Richard Campanella, Ben Sandmel and Thomas Uskali, and an excerpt from Todd Mouton’s new book, Way Down in Louisiana: Clifton Chenier, Cajun, Zydeco, and Swamp Pop Music.Customers who make purchases of $20 or more will receive a free LCV subscription, and anyone who buys a subscription will receive 50% off their used record purchases.

& On Saturday from 2-4 pm, food and travel writer Beth D’Addono will be signing her new book, “The Hunt – New Orleans” at Kitchen Witch. Kitchen Witch Cookbooks is a small book shop at 1452 North Broad in New Orleans. They specialize in rare, hard to find, out of print and pre-owned books on food and cooking.

& Saturday at 6 pm Garden District Book Shop presents Hoda Kotb’s Where We Belong: Journeys That Show Us The Way. In this incredible collection of stories, Hoda Kotb writes about individuals who realized their path in life was either veering off in a completely new direction or was getting too far off course from where they knew they belonged. By following their passions, their gut, and their heart, these people learned how fulfilling life could truly feel. From the investment banker who became a minister after years of working on Wall Street, to the young woman from a blue-collar background whose passion took her to Harvard Medical School, to the high-powered PR exec who found herself drawn to a pioneering residential community, to a “no-kids” guy who now helps children all over the world, the stories in Where We Belong come from an array of ordinary individuals who have discovered the power of embracing change or fighting for a dream. Hoda also interviews celebrities, such as producer Mark Burnett and actress/producer Roma Downey, comedienne Margaret Cho, and former boxer Laila Ali, all who’ve pursued their passions to find fulfillment.

Odd Words: This week in literary New Orleans January 3, 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.
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Back to business this week in literary New Orleans:

&  Happy New Year Maple Street Bookshop, which has gone from immanent closure and a clearance sale to a call to help restock the used book selection with a preference for literary fiction, philosophy, history, sociology, and children’s books. That said, Maple Street is a generalist store and is happy to take a look at whatever you have. Details on what is not wanted here.

&  Starting today Jan. 3 the New Orleans Public Library has expanded their hours and will be open seven days at week at select locations. For all the details, visit nutrias.org.

&  Wednesday at 6 pm Octavia Books Carly Hallman, author of the YEAR OF THE GOOSE, joins Cate Dicharry, author of THE FINE ART OF F$#KING UP for a conversation

  • YEAR OF THE GOOSE: As China’s economy booms, so do its corporations, but none are as successful as the Bashful Goose Snack Company. Founded by Papa Hui, the company is a national treasure, as is his inspiration and beloved pet: the goose. Papa Hui’s daughter, Kelly, isn’t quite as adored, but she has a new and exciting post in her dad’s company: head of the corporate responsibility department. There she is tasked with helping solve the obesity problem plaguing the country’s children.
  • Your archenemy taunts you with clandestine bacon frying. Your boss feverishly cyberstalks an aging romance novel cover model. Your husband unexpectedly takes in a wayward foreign national. Your best friend reveals a secret relationship with your longstanding workplace crush. Welcome to the life of Nina Lanning, lone and floundering administrator of a prestigious Midwestern art school. Propelled by disasters both natural and personal, Nina must confront her colleagues, her husband, and most importantly, herself. Cate Dicharry’s debut novel is a painfully hysterical examination of what is truly worth saving, and mastering the art of letting go.

&  Also at 6 pm Wednesday at Garden District Book Shop Karol Brandt-Gilmartin and Robby D’Angelo discuss and sign their book, The Struggle is Real: Finally Break the Dieting Cycle, Transform Your Mind & Body, and Evolve Into The Person You Have Always Wanted To Be. After losing 100 pounds each…Robby and Karol lived to tell about it. And how you to can accomplish this same goal. “Here’s to Us…to ordering a salad when you really want a burger and fries. To working out for ourselves in the gym, like no one is watching and yes, blaring your favorite music! To drinking more water than seems possible. To giving one more rep or five minutes when your body is telling you NOOOO. To working out twice as hard as all the genetically skinny people. To falling in love with the real you and the you that you want to become. ” Your working-up-to-10,000-steps-a-day editor would say Just Do, um, SOMETHING, hoping he does not get a cease-and-desist letter.

&  Wednesday at the Always Lounge–doors at 7, show at 8– the provocateurs of Esoterotica present the Sexiest Selections of 2015 & Twelfth Night! If you’ve never been or been missing this show (me), this is the one you don’t want to miss. Details of upcoming shows are on this titillating troupe’s Facebook page.

&  Also at 7 pm Wednesday the Jefferson Parish East Bank Regional Library author Ron Chapman and The Battle of New Orleans: “But for a Piece of Wood. Although it occurred near the end of the conflict, the Battle of New Orleans was a pivotal moment in the history of the United States. Had the defenders of New Orleans, led by Maj. Gen. Andrew Jackson, failed, the British would have been able to seize the territory recently acquired by the U.S. in the Louisiana Purchase, including the lucrative port of New Orleans. This account details the events of and leading up to the battle and the British military blunders, chief among them a failure to account for the strong current of the Mississippi River. If the British had tested the river’s flow with a simple piece of wood, all might have been lost for the fledgling American nation.

&  Thursday at 6:30 pm the Rosa Keller library presents An Evening with José Torres-Tama, Performance Poet & Artist. Immigrant Dreams & Alien Nightmares is a debut collection that documents twenty-five years of José Torres-Tama’s poetry in his unique bilingual voice. Labeled a “Permanent Resident Alien” during his entry into GringoLandia at the age of seven in 1968, he explores the psychic, physical, and open wounds of an Ecuadorian immigrant balancing two languages and cultures, challenging the United States to live up to its mythic ideals as the beacon of democracy.

&  At 7 pm Thursday the SciFi, Fantasy and Horror Writer’s Group meets at the East Bank Regional Library at 7 pm. 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

&  Saturday at 10:30 am the Nix Library hosts Trisha Rezende, MFA, leaing a dynamic creative writing workshop where students will produce, share, and critique texts while learning how to develop character, voice, and style.

&  The Dickens Fellowship of New Orleans will meet at Metairie Park Country Day School’s Bright Library Saturday at 2:00 pm. The current reading is NICHOLAS NICKLEBY. Chapters 30-39 will be discussed

&  Next Sunday Jan. 10 at 3ish the Maple Leaf Reading Series features an open mic. Coming up in this month: on Jan. 17 New York fiction writer Thaddeus Rutkowski reads from and signs his new book, Violent Outbursts, a collection of short fictions from Spuyten Duyvil press; and, on Jan. 24 poet Stuart Strum reads from his work. Features, as always, followed by an open mic at the South’s longest continually running poetry reading series.

&  Also next Sunday at 4 pm Garden District features partners with Billy Reid New Orleans to present, Warren Zanes. Warren discusses and signs his book, Petty: A Biography. An exhilarating and intimate account of the life of music legend Tom Petty, by an accomplished writer and musician who toured with Petty. No one other than Warren Zanes, rocker and writer and friend, could author a book about Tom Petty that is as honest and evocative of Petty’s music and the remarkable rock and roll history he and his band helped to write. This is a book for those who know and love the songs, from American Girl and Refugee to Free Fallin’ and Mary Jane’s Last Dance, and for those who want to see the classic rock and roll era embodied in one man’s remarkable story. Dark and mysterious, Petty manages to come back, again and again, showing us what the music can do and where it can take us.

&  Also next Sunday at 7 pm at the Old Marquer Theatre 12 of the top poets in the city compete for a spot on #TeamSNO2016 , this one is NOT to be missed! Each poet has won at least 1 slam this year at our monthly shows and are ready to go head to head for a spot on the 5 person team. Top 8 poets advance to #ReteamSNO finals hosted on Jan. 22. DOORS OPEN 6:30pm, show starts PROMPTLY at 7pm for the two round slam

Odd Words: This week in literary New Orleans December 21, 2015

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.
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This quiet holiday week in literary New Orleans, Odd Words reminds you that if you are reading this, there is probably no one on your shopping list who wouldn’t like a book. And time is running out to pay a last visit to Maple Street Book Shop. Look down the list of Indie book stores in the right hand column of the blog.

& The December meeting for the New Orleans Haiku Society, which would typically take place today at 6 pm, is cancelled for the holidays.

& There are no other literary events at the New Orleans Public Libraries this week, and all branches will be closed Dec. 24-26.

& The Westbank Fiction Writers’ Group is listed for Tuesday at 7 pm at the Edith S. Lawson Library in Westwego. However, the calender lists a “Programming Break” all through the week due to the holidays. I strongly recommend you call the library to confirm.  (504) 349-5912.

& The Jefferson Parish libraries will be closed Dec. 24 and 25.

& St. Bernard Parish libraries will be closed Dec. 24-26.

 

 

Odd Words: This week in literary New Orleans December 14, 2015

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.
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& Monday at 6 pm James Beard Award-winning Chef John Besh returns to Octavia Books with his newest, BESH BIG EASY: 101 Home Cooked New Orleans Recipes. And, he is bringing some tastes of Mamma’s Seafood Gumbo which is from the new book. In BESH BIG EASY, John Besh makes his favorite hometown cooking accessible to a wide audience of cooks and readers. In this, his fourth book, he takes another deep dive into the charm and authenticity of the cuisine of his hometown, New Orleans. “There’s no reason a good jambalaya needs two dozen ingredients,” John says. In this book, jambalaya has less than ten, but sacrifices nothing in the way of flavor.

& Tuesday at 7 pm at Cafe Istanbul the Lost Love Letters series continues a reading of vintage love letters, childhood diaries, and other artifacts of youthful angst.

& Wednesday at 6 pm Octavia Books hosts a presentation and book signing with photojournalist Cheryl Gerber featuring NEW ORLEANS: Life and Death in the Big Easy. The book uses photo juxtaposition to portray New Orleans culture–its contrasts, dichotomies, and social ironies, the things that make the city so richly diverse and distinctive–as seen through the lens of photojournalist Cheryl Gerber, with shots of her hometown’s local color, showing how everyday New Orleanians live and how they celebrate life through Mardi Gras, Jazz Fest, second lines, and more. The images then take a more serious turn as they depict the inequalities that sometimes make living in New Orleans so difficult. The book closes with photos depicting the way New Orleanians observe, mourn, and celebrate death. Besides images of jazz funerals, the photos include vigils for slain rapper Magnolia Shorty and Archbishop Philip Hannan, among others.

& At 7 pm Wednesday the Algiers Regional Library presents its Big Easy Author Series featuring Kit Wohl, award-winning writer, photographer, and artist. A lifelong food and win enthusiast, since 2005 she has authored twelve cookbooks that celebrate cuisine and her native New Orleans, including New Orleans Classic Creole Recipes and New Orleans Classic Cocktails. She will be discussing another of her classic cookbooks, New Orleans Classic Celebrations.

& Thursday at 4:30 pm the Algiers Regional Library continues its Spoken Word Workshops for Teens, in Partnership with New Orleans Youth Open Mic (NOYOM). At each workshop students will channel their creativity to write and perform original spoken word pieces. Using model texts from local and national artists, students will elevate their craft while also building a community of young artists. Hosted by A Scribe Called Quess? of NOYOM and Team SNO.

& At 6:30 pm the 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 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. Free and open to the public. No registration.

& At 7 pm Thursday the December Dogfish features Dogfish Reading Series Founders Alex Jennings, Jessica Kinnison, Becca Kelly Moussa, Taylor Murrow, and Cate Root. The reading takes place at 2448 N Villere St.

& At 7:00 pm Thursday the Nix Library hosts an Author Night at Nix featuring Marvin Allen’s Magic in a Shaker. Allen, a bartender for the last 25 years, currently works at the Carousel Bar at Hotel Monteleone. His book, Magic in a Shaker: A Year of Spirited Libations, is a guide to mixing cocktails. Each chapter talks about a spirit, its history, and recipes pertaining to that spirit.

& Sunday at 3 pm the Maple Leaf Reading Series features poet Danny Kerwick reads from and signs his new book, Behind Lies the Sugar, from Portals. Meeting in the patio (weather permitting) of the Maple Leaf Bar, this is the oldest continues reading series in the south, founded by beloved New Orleans poet Everette Maddox.

Odd Words: This week in literary New Orleans December 6, 2015

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.
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& At 6 pm Monday New Orleans Saints tight end Benjamin Watson comes to Octavia Books to present & sign his new book, UNDER OUR SKIN. Can it ever get better? This is the question Benjamin Watson is asking. In a country aflame with the fallout from the racial divide – in which Ferguson, Charleston, and the Confederate flag dominate the national news, daily seeming to rip the wounds open ever wider – is there hope for honest and healing conversation? For finally coming to understand each other on issues that are ultimately about so much more than black and white? An NFL tight end for the New Orleans Saints and a widely read and followed commentator on social media, Watson has taken the Internet by storm with his remarkable insights about some of the most sensitive and charged topics of our day. Now, in UNDER OUR SKIN: Getting Real about Race – And Getting Free from the Fears and Frustrations That Divide Us, Watson draws from his own life, his family legacy, and his role as a husband and father to sensitively and honestly examine both sides of the race debate and appeal to the power and possibility of faith as a step toward healing.

& Monday at 6 pm Garden District Book Shops hosts Carol Reese, Tina Freeman, and Walter Stern’s Longue Vue House and Gardens. The stunning interiors and glorious gardens of New Orleans’ unrivaled jewel and architectural masterpiece. Longue Vue House and Gardens, accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and listed as a national historic landmark, was designed and built between 1934 and 1942 by landscape architect Ellen Biddle Shipman and architects Charles and William Platt for Edgar Bloom and Edith Rosenwald Stern, New Orleans’ foremost mid-twentieth-century philanthropists and civil-rights activists. The mansion and its surrounding eight acres of garden spaces, with varied designs ranging from the formal to the wild, draw upon Southern architectural traditions and native Louisiana flora, even as they echo the contemporaneous garden-design movement that set the stage for the creation of some of the most breathtaking garden estates in the country. Lush photography, supporting architectural drawings, and an informative text bring the main house and gardens to life and establish the estate as an enduring symbol to its creators’ contributions to building a just society.

& Tuesday at 6 pm Chef John Besh will be signing Besh Big Easy: 101 Home Cooked Recipes at Maple Street Book Shop’s Holiday Party.In this, his fourth book, award-winning chef John Besh takes another deep dive into the charm and authenticity of the cuisine of New Orleans. “Besh Big Easy” features all new recipes, published in a new flexibound format and accessible to cooks everywhere. Much has changed since Besh wrote his bestselling “My New Orleans” in 2009. The book is dedicated to accessibility. “There’s no reason a good jambalaya needs two dozen ingredients,” John says. In this book, jambalaya has less than ten, but sacrifices nothing in the way of flavor. With 101 original, personal recipes such as Mr. Sam’s Stuffed Crabs, Duck Camp Shrimp & Grits, and Silver Queen Corn Pudding, “Besh Big Easy” is chock-full of the vivid personality that has made John Besh such a popular American culinary icon.

& Also at 6 pm Tuesday the Robert E. Smith Library hosts an Author Visit: A Confederacy of Dunces Cookbook. Cynthia LeJeune Noble’s cookbook offers recipes inspired by the delightfully commonplace and always delicious fare of Ignatius and his cohorts. Through an informative narrative and almost 200 recipes, Nobles explores the intersection of food, history, and culture found in the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, opening up a new avenue into New Orleans rich culinary traditions.

& At 7 pm Tuesday the Alvar Library presents an Evening with José Torres-Tama, Performance Poet & Artist. Immigrant Dreams & Alien Nightmares is a debut collection that documents twenty-five years of José Torres-Tama’s poetry in his unique bilingual voice. Labeled a “Permanent Resident Alien” during his entry into GringoLandia at the age of seven in 1968, he explores the psychic, physical, and open wounds of an Ecuadorian immigrant balancing two languages and cultures, challenging the United States to live up to its mythic ideals as the beacon of democracy.

& Also at 7 pm Tuesday the Westbank Fiction Writers’ Group meets at the Edith Lawson Library in Westwego. Writing exercises or discussions of points of fiction and/or critique sessions of members’ submissions. Meets the second and fourth Tuesday of every month. Moderator: Gary Bourgeois. Held in the meeting Room.

& At 6 pm Wednesday the Norman Mayer Library hosts author Tiffany Monique talking to prospective authors about the process of self-publishing and promoting one’s own work. & Wildlife photographer C.C. Lockwood will be signing Louisiana Wild at Maple Street Book Shop, Wednesday, at 6 pm. Lockwood has lived and worked in fragile ecosystems whose preservation shapes his artistry. His work has earned him international acclaim as an environmental artist, including the Sierra Club’s Ansel Adams Award for conservation photography. His newest book, “Louisiana Wild: The Lands Protected and Restored by The Nature Conservancy”, portrays the good work this organization is doing on over 280,000 acres of land in our state. The scenic images that Louisiana brings to mind—moss-draped cypress, lush marshlands, alligators gliding through bayous, herons coasting across an open sky—all spring from one of the most diverse and productive ecosystems on the continent. From the precious maritime forests of Grand Isle to the steep contours of Tunica Hills, Louisiana’s wild outdoors defines each region’s sense of place and value.

& Also at 6 pm Wednesday meet Anne Butler and Henry Cancienne, creators of LOUISIANA SWAMPS AND MARSHES at Octaviva Books. Louisiana’s wonderful wetlands, coastal marshes, and swamps have meant much to different visitors over the years–sustenance for fisherman and trappers, food supplies for hunters, inspiration for artists and writers, hideouts for hermits and pirates, unbroken solitude for weary souls and assorted dreamers clinging to a vanishing way of life. But these wonderful wild spots are so fragile, and every year brings the loss of more of them. We have been so careless about our environment in the past, so sure our natural resources would last forever. Now we know better. Noted photographer Henry Cancienne has a passion for preserving our unique natural environments through his spectacular images, and in this book he shares some of his favorite walking trails and drives, most free and easily accessible via raised boardwalks and well-maintained paths. Significant spawning/nesting/breeding grounds and vital habitats for wildlife, including a number of endangered species, these wetlands and wildernesses are themselves in danger of vanishing as well. Visit them while you can.

& At 8 pm Wednesday the Blood Jet Poetry Series at B.J.’s in the Bywater hosts a special fiction night with Ann Glaviano and Alex Jennings. Jennings is an author, comic, actor and music writer living right here in New Orleans. He loves comic books, fancy beer, trashy movies, fine films, shoes, and jokes of varying quality. He spends way to much time procrastinating on social media, but it’s usually for a good cause, he swears. Glaviano is a multidisciplinary artist and a born-and-raised New Orleanian. In 2015 her fiction, poetry, and essays have appeared in Prairie Schooner, The Atlas Review, descant (Frank O’Connor Award for fiction), Gravy, VIDA’s “Report from the Field,” Antigravity, and Please Forward: How Blogging Reconnected New Orleans After Katrina (UNO Press). A novella, Dickbeer, is forthcoming from Day One in January.

& At 6 pm Thursday Maple Street Book Shops will be hosting Robert S. Brantley, author of the new book, Henry Howard, Louisiana’s Architect. One of the nineteenth century’s most prolific architects but also, until recently, one of the most historically elusive, Henry Howard (1818-1884) left an indelible mark on the landscape of his adopted home, Louisiana. Howard gave Louisiana some of its most iconic structures: the Pontalba buildings on New Orleans’s Jackson Square, the Robert Short house in the Garden District, and a string of legendary plantation houses along the Mississippi River. The photographer and architectural historian Robert S. Brantley provides a comprehensive survey of Howard’s career in this meticulously researched collection. Lavishly illustrated with photographs both new and historical, and interspersed with archival drawings and plans, Henry Howard: Louisiana’s Architect restores its subject to his rightful place in the pantheon of southern architects.

& Thursday at 6:30 pm Garden District Book Shop hosts a discussion of How Research Informs Both Fiction and Non-fiction with National Book Award Winner Adam Johnson, Gilbert King, Scott Hutchins and Eric Puchner. The authors books will be available for purchase and autograph. Fortune Smiles consists of six masterly stories, Johnson delves deep into love and loss, natural disasters, the influence of technology, and how the political shapes the personal. Devil in the Grove, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction, is a gripping true story of racism, murder, rape, and the law. It brings to light one of the most dramatic court cases in American history, and offers a rare and revealing portrait of Thurgood Marshall that the world has never seen before. In A Working Theory of Love, before his brief marriage imploded, Neill Bassett took a job feeding data into what could be the world’s first sentient computer. Only his attempt to give it languagethrough the journals his father left behind after committing suicidehas unexpected consequences. Amidst this turmoil, Neill meets Rachel, a naïve young woman escaping a troubled past, and finds himself unexpectedly drawn to her and the possibilities she holds. But as everything he thought about the past becomes uncertain, every move forward feels impossible. In Model Home the Zillers—Warren, Camille, and their three children—live the good life in a gated Southern California neighborhood, but the sun-bright veneer hides a starker reality. As Warren desperately tries to conceal a failing real estate venture, his family falls prey to secrets and misunderstandings, both hilarious and painful, that open fault lines in their intimacy. Their misguided attempts to recover their former closeness, or find it elsewhere, lead them into late-night burglary, improbable romance, and strange acts of betrayal.

& At 7 pm Thursday the SciFi, Fantasy and Horror Writer’s Group meets at the East Jefferson Regional Library. he 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.

& At noon Friday Octavia Books hosts a tasting & signing with Chef John Folse featuring his new encyclopedic cookbook, CAN YOU DID IT: Louisiana’s Authoritative Collection of Vegetable Cookery. Readers can expect to find chapters on the swamp floor pantry, root vegetables, leafy greens, off the vine, grains, exotics and more. Recipes focus on vegetables as the primary ingredient in appetizers, soups, salads, sides, entrées, breads, desserts and even drinks. Like Folse’s three other “Big Books,” Can You Dig It begins with a look to the past by co-author Michaela York. The history of agriculture is told from ancient man and biblical perspectives; there are discussions of farming in antiquity including Egypt, Greece and Rome; gardens of the Middle Ages and Renaissance are explored; as well as the discovery of America and vegetables’ influence on population and power through the Colombian Exchange. The history section culminates in an overview of Louisiana’s deep roots in agriculture, with particular focus on the farming methods of the seven nations that make up Louisiana culture and cuisine.

& Friday at 6 pm Octavia Books brings Katrell Christie to the store to share words from her newest book, TIGER HEART: My Unexpected Adventures to Make a Difference in Darjeeling, and What I Learned about Fate, Fortitude, and Finding Family. Her special guest will be husband Thanh Truong, news anchor from WWL Channel 4. Christie was a thirty-something artist turned roller-derby rebel who opened a tea shop in Atlanta. Barely two years later, her life would make a drastic change–and so would the lives of a group of girls half a world away. “I chose the name of my tea shop–Dr. Bombay’s Underwater Tea Party–because it sounded whimsical. India wasn’t part of the equation. Not even remotely. I didn’t do yoga. I had no deep yearning to see the Taj Mahal or tour Hindu temples. Indian food? I could take it or leave it.” Yet on a whim, Katrell did go and fell in love with a country that was gorgeous and heartbreaking all at once, where tragedy, humor, resilience and kindness were inextricably bound. From dodging feral monkeys, to slamming shots of whiskey to win acceptance at a local Rotary Club, to forging lasting friendships with the people who stepped up to help her cause, Tiger Heart offers a shot-gun seat on an inspiring trek across the globe, capturing the essence of India: its quirks, its traditions, and its people. Fate may have led Katrell to a tiny spot on a map, but it was a kinship that brought her back home a half a world away. Tiger Heart is a life-affirming look at the ties that bind and the power of each of us to make a difference.

& Saturday at 11:30 am Marti Dumas will be reading from and signing her latest Jaden Toussaint book at Maple Street Book Shop.Jaden Toussaint is a five year-old who knows it all. I mean, really knows it all. Animal Scientist. Great Debater. Master of the art of ninja dancing. There’s nothing Jaden Toussaint can’t do. The only problem is that grown-ups keep trying to convince him that, even though he’s really smart, he doesn’t know EVERYTHING. The thing is…he kind of does. This time our hero must use all his super-powered brain power to save his school and some possible alien invaders (which may or may not be caterpillars) from destroying each other.

& At 4 pm Saturday Kalamu ya Salaam and Kelly Harris-DeBerry read at Community Book Center to launch Kelly’s poetry CD, Revival.

& Sunday at 3 pm the Maple Leaf Poetry Reading Series hosts GROUP READING BY UNO MFA Creative writing students studying with John Gery and Carolyn Hembree.

Odd Words: This week in literary New Orleans November 29, 2015

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.
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This incredibly busy week in literary New Orleans, as the indie book stores crank up for the holidays, featuring an appearance and book signing by Gloria Steinem and a benefit for Room 220’s Big Class program for young writers.

& Monday at 5:30 pm the East Jefferson Regional Library hosts the final Writing Session for NANOWRIMO. Any person who is writing a novel, short story, play, screenplay, or other work of fiction may come to the East Bank Regional Library with laptops where they focus on writing. These five nights are part of National Novel Writing Month, a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to creative writing. On November 1, participants begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 PM on November 30. Come mingle, meet, commiserate with fellow writers.

& This Monday at 7 pm Shulem Deen presents ALL WHO GO DO NOT RETURN, his memoir of growing up in and then leaving the Hasidic Jewish world. The program will be at the Uptown JCC. Shulem Deen was raised to believe that questions are dangerous. As a member of the Skverers, one of the most insular Hasidic sects in the US, he knows little about the outside world only that it is to be shunned. His marriage at eighteen is arranged and several children soon follow. Deen’s first transgression turning on the radio is small, but his curiosity leads him to the library, and later the Internet. Soon he begins a feverish inquiry into the tenets of his religious beliefs, until, several years later, his faith unravels entirely. Now a heretic, he fears being discovered and ostracized from the only world he knows. His relationship with his family at stake, he is forced into a life of deception, and begins a long struggle to hold on to those he loves most: his five children. In ALL WHO GO DO NOT RETURN, Deen bravely traces his harrowing loss of faith, while offering an illuminating look at a highly secretive world. Octavia Books will have books for sale at the event, and there will be a book signing following the presentation.

& Tuesday at 6 pm Garden District Book Shop hosts Stella Mowen signing her book Until the Beat Stops. Five friends who despite personal struggles are able to create the First Hill–a social media website which connects millions of cancer sufferers and survivors, giving them continual hope and strength during difficult times. Lilac, an elegantly beautiful brunette, is the idealistic founder whose own family struggled fatefully with the disease and tirelessly propels The First Hill team to stay focused and never settle. Strong willed and yet still humble, she finds professional success early on, but her own romantic relationships are at best elusive. James, a British documentarian, adds humor and modesty to the novel as he struggles to interview the team and uncover the truth about the successful startup to establish his own career. Through personal interviews and revelations of many reminiscent memories, we not only learn about the struggles of the start up but also about the personal fears, losses, and successes of each team member as well as James himself. The authentic voices of each character in the novel remind us of our own best friends growing up, while their complicated personal relationships add depth and understanding of the tough choices which face us all when balancing the dynamics of friendship and family. By the end of the novel, Lilac, Mason, Dorian, Benjamin, and Ivy, are not just another bunch of characters, they are the memories of the friends we all shared growing up as we struggled with and embraced adulthood.

& At 7 pm Tuesday the 1718 Society will be hosting a reading at the Columns Hotel featuring Mark Yakich, author of the new book Poetry: A Survivor’s Guide. Playful and serious, unforgiving and compassionate, Poetry: A Survivor’s Guide offers an original take on a subject both loved and feared. In a series of provocative and inspiring propositions, the act of reading a poem is made new, and the act of writing one is made over. Questions of poetry’s difficulty, pretension, and relevance are explored with insight and daring. In an age of new media and social networking, this handbook-cum-manifesto provides fresh reverence for one of our oldest forms of art. Maple Street Book Shop will be on hand, selling copies of the book.

& Also at 7 pm Tuesday Reading Between the Wines returns to Pearl Wine Co. inside of the American Can Company from from 7 to 8 pm. Sally Asher, author of STORIES FROM THE ST. LOUIS CEMETERIES OF NEW ORLEANS, is a writer and photographer living in New Orleans. Her first book, Hope & New Orleans: A History of Crescent City Street Names, was published by The History Press in 2014. She is a frequent contributor to Louisiana Cultural Vistas and regularly lectures on New Orleans history though the Louisiana State Museum. Her photography has appeared in many local, national and international media outlets, including Newsweek, U.S. World News, Penthouse magazine and New Orleans magazine. Also appearing is Maggy Baccinelli, author of NEW ORLEANS NEIGHBORHOODS. Before moving to New Orleans in January, 2014, Maggy Baccinelli, 28, spent almost a decade years writing about neighborhoods in Maryland and Washington D.C. Captivated by the Crescent City’s history and culture, she relocated to New Orleans in search of an adventure, and she found one through the process of writing New Orleans Neighborhoods: A Cultural Guide. Brandon Black, editor of CAIRO BY GASLIGHT, is a New Orleans-based fantasy and science fiction writer specializing in steampunk fiction. He is the editor of Black Tome Books’ By Gaslight series, which currently includes New Orleans By Gaslight and Cairo By Gaslight, both steampunk anthologies of poetry and fiction set in Victorian times.

& Wednesday night join Big Class for “A Dark and Stormy Night” in the Arbor Room at Popp Fountain, City Park. Big Class is a nonprofit organization dedicated to cultivating and supporting the voices of New Orleans’ writers ages 6-18 through creative collaborations with schools and communities. This spirited evening of cocktails and ghost stories will directly benefit the voices of New Orleans’ writers ages 6-18. 6:30 – 7:30: Patron Reception hosted by Wayne Amedee and Julie & Ted George, featuring live ghost stories, music, and cocktails by 12 Mile Limit. 7:30- 9:30: Cocktail and Dance Party featuring DJ Brice Nice, hosted by our “Ghostwriters.”- Jeremy Blum, Mary Carlton, Alvin David, Jayeesha Dutta, Natalie Girard, Sarah Granier, Jose Guadarrama, Kelly Harris-Deberry, Nicole Hershey, Jez Luckett, Kurston Melton, Nora McConnell-Johnson, Heather Muntzer, Sam Randolph, Glynnis Ritchie, Josie Scanlan, Emma Schain, Cherie Teamer, Kathleen Whalen and Emily Wilkerson.

& At 6 pm Wednesday Garden District Book Shop will feature John Freeman and Garnette Cadogan’s book Freeman’s: The Best New Writing On Arrival. Featuring startling new fiction by Laura van den Berg, Helen Simpson, and Tahmima Anam, as well as stirring essays by Aleksandar Hemon, Barry Lopez, and Garnette Cadogan, who relearned how to walk while being black upon arriving in NYC. Freeman’s announces the arrival of an essential map to the best new writing in the world. We live today in constant motion, traveling distances rapidly, small ones daily, arriving in new states. In this inaugural edition of Freeman’s, a new biannual of unpublished writing, former Granta editor and NBCC president John Freeman brings together the best new fiction, nonfiction, and poetry about that electrifying moment when we arrive. Strange encounters abound. David Mitchell meets a ghost in Hiroshima Prefecture; Lydia Davis recounts her travels in the exotic territory of the Norwegian language; and in a Dave Eggers story, an elderly gentleman cannot remember why he brought a fork to a wedding. End points often turn out to be new beginnings. Louise Erdrich visits a Native American cemetery that celebrates the next journey, and in a Haruki Murakami story, an aging actor arrives back in his true self after performing a role, discovering he has changed, becoming a new person.

& Wednesday at 6 pm at Octavia Books author Todd Mouton be here to discuss and sign his book WAY DOWN IN LOUISIANA, joined by double Grammy-winning guitarist and vocalist David Doucet of the band BeauSoleil, one of the bands profiled inthe book , will perform a few acoustic Cajun tunes as part of the presentation and reading. This book is about the mysteries of the soul–and the magic born when you make music from your heart. With Clifton Chenier’s amazing life and career as the centerpiece, this collection of profiles, complete with 130 photographs, gathered across two decades unites some of the world’s most innovative creative forces. The propulsive, soulful sounds of Buckwheat Zydeco, the virtuosic blues-rock of Sonny Landreth, and the accordion-and-fiddle-driven bayou backbeat of BeauSoleil were all birthed in Cajun and Creole country, a place where tradition and innovation rub against one another from the kitchen to the festival stage. Singer-songwriter, poet, and activist Zachary Richard; traditionalists-turned-innovators Steve Riley & The Mamou Playboys; and cross-genre artists Roddie Romero & The Hub City All-Stars are among the many gifted players spearheading their cultures’ ongoing reinventions. In words, images, and music, the lives of these artists and culture-bearers speak volumes about the power of identity, influence, perserverance, and triumph. From Lil’ Band O’ Gold to Bonsoir, Catin and beyond, these artists make music that resonates in the hearts of listeners everywhere.

& At 8 pm Wednesday the Blood Jet Poetry Series at BJ’s in the Bywater hosts their penultimate show for the 2015 season with author and musician Peter Orr. Tall, distinguished, Lithuanian—none of these words describes Peter Orr. Since moving to New Orleans in 1993, he has managed to alienate audiences in nightclubs throughout the Metro area, without ever getting arrested as far as you know. He has signed with two different record labels, both of which went out of business. Prior to his arrival here, he worked as a magazine editor in New York City, contributing to such diverse periodicals as Fangoria, Details, Reflex, Starlog, High Times, Psychotronic Video, Black Teen Superstar, American Astrology, Cinefantastique, Comics Scene, International Tattoo Art, and of course Juggs. His fiction has appeared in The Sun, The Double Dealer Redux, Grue, Not One of Us, and other similarly high-profile venues. In recent years he has published a trilogy of books that take place in New Orleans during the 1990s: the collection Stay Out of New Orleans in 2012, followed by the novels The Breathtaking Christa P and Naught but a Shadow, both of which were finalists in the Faulkner-Wisdom Literary Competition. To the extent that Peter Orr has grown up at all, he did so in the glamorous Borough of Queens.

& Thursday at 4:30 pm a Spoken Word Workshops for Teens is offered at the Algiers Regional Library in Partnership with New Orleans Youth Open Mic (NOYOM). At each workshop students will channel their creativity to write and perform original spoken word pieces. Using model texts from local and national artists, students will elevate their craft while also building a community of young artists. Hosted by A Scribe Called Quess? of NOYOM and Team SNO.

& Thursday at 5:30 pm Maple Street Book Shop will host an evening with the Creative Writing Class of Lusher School. Students will read from their original work. Lusher’s Creative Writing program is designed to establish a supportive community of writers and to foster the artistic and intellectual growth of each writer in that community. Creative writing is a highly academic arts discipline, requiring strong critical and imaginative skills as well as a mastery of writing techniques. Thus, the curriculum emphasizes both reading and writing, with expectations becoming progressively more challenging within each level of study and from one level to the next.

& Thursday at Octavia Books at 6 pm friend of the store, designer of their new bags and T-shirts, and photographer extraordinaire Tom Varisco joins us to share his new book NEW ORLEANS LOOKING UP/NEW ORLEANS LOOKING DOWN. This book is actually two books in one. A partial record of the humor, resilience, strangeness, and charm that makes New Orleans so unique and memorable. Varisco and fellow photographer Erik Winkowski split their focus in half — Looking Up and Looking Down — to better capture the many moods of their ever-changing yet strangely dependable home town. The photographers, along with writer John Biguenet, who contributed two essays, offer an irreverent celebration of one of America’s most intriguing destinations.

& Also at 6 pm Thursday Garden District Book Shop hosts David D. Plater and The Butlers of Iberville Parish, Louisiana: Dunboyne Plantation in the 1800s. In 1833, Edward G. W. and Frances Parke Butler moved to their newly constructed plantation house, Dunboyne, on the banks of the Mississippi River near the village of Bayou Goula. Their experiences at Dunboyne over the next forty years demonstrated the transformations that many land-owning southerners faced in the nineteenth century, from the evolution of agricultural practices and commerce, to the destruction wrought by the Civil War and the transition from slave to free labor, and finally to the social, political, and economic upheavals of Reconstruction. In this comprehensive biography of the Butlers, David D. Plater explores the remarkable lives of a Louisiana family during one of the most tumultuous periods in American history. In 1870, with their plantation and finances in disarray, the Butlers sold Dunboyne and resettled in Pass Christian, Mississippi, where they resided in a rental cottage with the financial support of Edward J. Gay, a wealthy Iberville planter and their daughter-in-law’s father. After Frances died in 1875, Edward Butler moved in with his son’s family in St. Louis, where he remained until his death in 1888. Based on voluminous primary source material, The Butlers of Iberville Parish, Louisiana offers an intimate picture of a wealthy nineteenth-century family and the turmoil they faced as a system based on the enslavement of others unraveled.

& At 6:30 pm Thursday the EJ Writers 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 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. Free and open to the public. No registration.

& At 7 pm Thursday Baskerville, 3000 Royal St., will host a reading and broadside release party featuring work by our three readers, designed and letterpress printed by Jessica Peterson, Laura Thomson, Brigid Conroy, and Amelia Bird.

& Friday at 6 pm Anis Mojgani will be signing at Maple Street Book Shop. Anis grew up at Maple Street Book Shop. We are so excited to have him with us for a reading. He’ll be sharing his latest work, The Pocketknife Bible. What if your future life came to you as a child in dreams? What if you wrote down those dreams in words and pictures, in the language we spoke as children but forgot once grown? What if as an adult you unearthed this book of dreams and prophecy from your past and translated them out of that long lost tongue into poems that those now grown could understand? The Pocketknife Bible seeks to answer those questions through the author’s poems and pictures, being the bridge between a grown-up book for children and a children’s picture book for adults.

& Also at 6 pm Friday Garden District Book Shop presents Katherine Clark’s The Head master’s Darlings: A Mountain Brook Novel, in a conversation with bestselling author Pat Conroy. Clark and Conroy (Author of The Death of Santini, My Reading Life, South of Broad, Beach Music, The Prince of Tides, The Lords of Discipline, The Great Santini, The Boo, My Losing Season, Pat Conroy Cookbook) , discuss Katherine’s new book, The Headmaster’s Darlings: A Mountain Brook Novel. Katherine and Pat will both sign copies of her book following the discussion. Copies of Pat Conroy’s new book, Conversations With the Conroys, will be available for purchase and autograph, as well. The Headmaster’s Darlings: A Mountain Brook Novel is a satirical comedy of manners featuring the morbidly obese Norman Laney, an unorthodox, inspirational English teacher and college counselor for an elite private school in Mountain Brook, a privileged community outside of Birmingham. A natural wonder from blue-collar Alabama, Laney has barged into the exclusive world of Mountain Brook on the strength of his sensational figure and its several-hundred-pound commitment to art and culture. His mission is to defeat “the barbarians,” introduce true civilization in place of its thin veneer, and change his southern world for the better. Although Laney is adored by his students (his “darlings”) and by the society ladies (also his “darlings”) who rely on him to be the life of their parties and the leader of their book clubs, there are others who think he is a larger-than-life menace to the comfortable status quo of Mountain Brook society and must be banished.

& Deborah Burst will sign her latest book, Southern Fried and Sanctified at Maple Street Book Shop Saturday, 11:30 am. Celebrating a decade of writing and photography, Deborah Burst has combined some of her most prolific work and talents of southern storytelling in her third book, Southern Fried and Sanctified: Tales from the Back Deck. Like life itself, each page brings tears, laughter, and the kind of adventure only the south can bring. Five chapters in all, the book begins with some of her fondest travels. Poetic trails from New Orleans and the Gulf Coast states with shrouded bayous, jungles of bearded oaks and beaches flush with seashells and stingrays. Then a rolling picture show of Georgia, South Carolina and roaming the mountainsides of Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky and Virginia. The Friendly Folk chapter introduces the kind of people you never forget. From a Tennessee farm boy realizing his dream, to WWII vets sharing stories of sacrifices and heroism. In the Country Confessions chapter, Burst reveals some of her most personal reflections with tales of those youngin’ days, the dark side of writing, and the erotic beauty of nature.

& At 2 pm Saturday its the Poetry Buffet, at the Latter Memorial Library, featuring readings by poets Ralph Adamo, Laura Mullen, and Andrea Young.

& Sunday at 3 pm please join Octavia Books in welcoming journalist, activist, and international icon Gloria Steinem when she presents MY LIFE ON THE ROAD, her first book in twenty years, an all-new memoir of a lifetime of listening and learning from people, traveling America and the world. This rescheduled event has been moved to the auditorium at the New Orleans JCC – 5342 St. Charles Ave – just over half-a-mile away from Octavia Books due to demand. You must purchase the book from Octavia Books to attend the event. My Life on the Road is the moving, funny, and profound story of Gloria’s growth and also the growth of a revolutionary movement for equality and the story of how surprising encounters on the road shaped both. From her first experience of social activism among women in India to her work as a journalist in the 1960s; from the whirlwind of political campaigns to the founding of Ms. magazine; from the historic 1977 National Women’s Conference to her travels through Indian Country a lifetime spent on the road allowed Gloria to listen and connect deeply with people, to understand that context is everything, and to become part of a movement that would change the world. In prose that is revealing and rich, Gloria reminds us that living in an open, observant, and on the road state of mind can make a difference in how we learn, what we do, and how we understand each other. Visit OctaviaBooks.com to reserve your copy and chance to meet Ms. Steinem.

& At 6:30 pm Sunday Join Slam New Orleans for the last open mic/slam of 2015! New poems, new friends, same ol Team SNO. Doors open at 6:30pm, show starts 7pm. Get there early to sign up for the slam. POETS: its your last chance to compete for your chance to be on the 2016 edition of Team SNO! In order to qualify, you have to have won or placed 2nd in one monthly slam, and competed in another. AUDIENCE: It’s your last chance to hear from members of the 2015 edition of #TeamSNO whose members were Akeem Olaj, A Scribe Called Quess?, FreeQuency aka FreeQ Tha Mighty, Honey Sanaa and Preach!

Odd Words: This Weekend in Literary New Orleans October 23, 2015

Posted by The Typist in Book Stores, book-signing, books, Indie Book Shops, literature, New Orleans, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, publishing, Toulouse Street, Writing.
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& At 11:30 am at Maple Street Book Shpo Jennifer Schreiber will be reading from and signing copies of her new book, Monday at Jelly Roll Dog Park. This children’s book that features a group of dog friends who gather daily at their neighborhood dog park, Jelly Roll, in New Orleans. It’s Monday and a new dog, Muttley, arrives at the park. Ostracized by the group because he isn’t a purebred, Muttley is consoled and mentored by Jelly Roll’s guardian angel, Daisy Mae the bulldog, who is a former friend of the in-crowd at the park. It is through discovering his own strengths that Muttley is able to rise above the bullying and earn the respect of the other dogs

Saturday at 3 pm go to Octavia Books to meet author Taylor Kitchings when he comes to present and sign YARD WARhis new novel for middle-grade readers.

Perfect for readers of Christopher Paul Curtis’s Bud, Not Buddy and Vince Vawter’sPaperboy, Yard War explores race relations during the Civil Rights Movement from the perspective of a boy who accidentally sets off a ‘yard war’ when he invites his maid’s son to play football on his front lawn.”

It’s 1964 in Jackson, Mississippi, deep in the civil rights movement, and the one black person twelve-year-old Trip Westbrook knows well is Willie Jane, the family maid, who has been a second mother to him. When Trip invites her son, Dee, to play football in the yard, Trip discovers the ugly side ofhis smiling neighbors. Even his loving grandparents don t approve. But getting to know Dee and playing football, being part of a team, changes Trip. He begins to see all the unspoken rules he lives by but doesn t agree with, such as “respect your elders.” What if he thinks their views are wrong? This engaging, honest, and hopeful novel is full of memorable characters, and brings the civil rights era South alive for young readers.

& Also at 3 pm the Robert E. Smith library hosts a Book Signing & Author Talk: Alys Arden, The Casquette Girls. Local Young Adult author Arden will sigh and talk about her debut hit The Casquette Girls, a stirring supernatural coming of age story of unbelievable events set in a very believable New Orleans.

& Sunday at 3 pm The Maple Leaf Reading Series features an open mic. The Maple Leaf Reading Series is the oldest continuous reading in the south (making an allowance for Katrina), and was founded by noted and beloved local poet Everette Maddox.

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Odd Words October 11, 2015

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.
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Thist week in literary New Orleans:

&  Kristin Hersh, founding member of the bands Throwing Muses and 50 Foot Wave, comes to Octavia Books on Monday at 6:00pm to read & sign her new book, DON’T SUCK, DON’T DIE Monday at 6 pm. A haunting ode to a lost friend, this memoir by the acclaimed author of RAT GIRL offers the most personal, empathetic look at the creative genius and often-tormented life of singer-songwriter Vic Chesnutt that is ever likely to be written. “Friend, asshole, angel, mutant,” singer-songwriter Vic Chesnutt “came along and made us gross and broken people seem . . . I dunno, cooler, I guess.” A quadriplegic who could play only simple chords on his guitar, Chesnutt recorded seventeen critically acclaimed albums before his death in 2009, including About to ChokeNorth Star Deserter, and At the Cut. In 2006, NPR placed him in the top five of the ten best living songwriters, along with Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, Paul McCartney, and Bruce Springsteen. Chesnutt’s songs have also been covered by many prominent artists, including Madonna, the Smashing Pumpkins, R.E.M., Sparklehorse, Fugazi, and Neutral Milk Hotel.

& Tuesday at 5:30 pm Meet Chelsea Clinton when she comes to Octavia Books to sign IT’S YOUR WORLD: Get Informed, Get Inspired & Get Going. To attend, you must purchase a ticket which will be exchanged at the event for one copy of IT’S YOUR WORLD, to be signed by Chelsea when you meet her. You may come as a family—one signing ticket admits up to 4 family members. To ensure that you will get to meet Chelsea in person, please reserve your ticket now by visiting OctaviaBooks.com.

& At 7 pm Tuesday the Westbank Fiction Writers’ Group meets at the Edith Lawson Library in Westwego. Writing exercises or discussions of points of fiction and/or critique sessions of members’ submissions. Meets the second and fourth Tuesday of every month. Moderator: Gary Bourgeois. Held in the meeting Room.

& At 6 pm Tuesday Garden District Book Shop welcomes Cynthia Lejeune Nobles signing The Confederacy of Dunces Cookbook: Recipes from Ignatius J. Reilly’s New Orleans. In John Kennedy Toole’s iconic novel, Ignatius J. Reilly is never short of opinions about food or far away from his next bite. Whether issuing gibes such as canned food is a perversion, or taking a break from his literary ambitions with an occasional cheese dip, this lover of Lucky Dogs, cafe au lait, and wine cakes navigates 1960s New Orleans focused on gastronomical pursuits. For the novel’s millions of fans, Cynthia LeJeune Nobles’ A Confederacy of Dunces Cookbook offers recipes inspired by the delightfully commonplace and always delicious fare of Ignatius and his cohorts. Through an informative narrative and almost 200 recipes, Nobles explores the intersection of food, history, and culture found in the Pulitzer Prize winning novel, opening up a new avenue into New Orleans’ rich culinary traditions.

& At 11 pm Tuesday poet and artist Thaddeus Conti And Friends and over the stage at Igor’s Checkpoint Charlie for poetry and music.

& Wednesday at 6 pm John Pope launches GETTING OFF AT ELYSIAN FIELDS: Obituaries from the New Orleans Times-Picayune. No city in America knows how to mark death with more funerary panache than New Orleans. The pageants commemorating departed citizens are often, in and of themselves, works of performance art. A grand obituary remains key to this Stygian passage. And no one writes them like New Orleanian John Pope. Collected here are not just simple, mindless recitations of schools and workplaces, marriages, and mourners bereft. These pieces in GETTING OFF AT ELYSIAN FIELDS are full-blooded life stories with accounts of great achievements, dubious dabblings, unavoidable foibles, relationships gone sour, and happenstances that turn out to be life-changing.

& At 7 pm Wednesday Esoterotica: Original Erotic Readings by Local Writers presents Cameryn Moore’s Smut Slam! A chance for you to share your sexiest story for a chance to win fabulous sexy and sensual prizes from NJOY, Esoterotica, Dynamo: A Romantic Boutique in the Deep South and More. SMUT SLAM was created by Moore, an award-winning playwright/performer, sex activist and educator. She tours the world seven months out of the year, but is always glad to come back to New Orleans. When not performing, Cameryn writes Sidewalk Smut: custom type-written pornography as street performance and literary art.

& Wednesday, at 8 pm the Blood Jet Poetry Series presents Fiction Night featuring Louis Maistros and Lisa Pasold. Pasold is a Canadian writer and journalist who lives part of the year in Paris. Her most recent book is ANY BRIGHT HORSE. Her first book of poetry WEAVE, was hailed as a masterpiece by Geist. Her second book of poetry, A BAD YEAR FOR JOURNALISTS, was nominated for an Alberta Book Award. Her debut novel, RATS OF LAS VEGAS, was described as “enticing as the lit-up Las Vegas strip and as satisfying as a winning hand at poker” by The Winnipeg Free Press. And Freefall described the book as “the incredible experience of being told a story rather than reading a book. As if reading a fairy tale, you are pulled into Millard’s world, and it is a world so compelling that you can’t bring yourself to leave.” Maistros is a longtime resident of the New Orleans 8th Ward neighborhood. His New Orleans historical novel, The Sound of Building Coffins, was published by The Toby Press in March of 2009 and is currently in its third printing. It was nominated for an SIBA Award and has garnered rave reviews from publications including The New Orleans Times-Picayune, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The St. Petersburg Times, Library Journal, Publisher’s Weekly, The Roanoke Times, Kirkus Review, The Times of Acadiana, The Anniston Star, The Alabama Press-Register and Baltimore Magazine.

& Wednesday night from 8-9 pm, come drink some coffee and make your voice heard at the Neutral Ground Poetry Hour, 5110 Danneel Street.

& Thursday at 4 pm the Algiers Regional Library presents a Spoken Word Workshops for Teens in Partnership with New Orleans Youth Open Mic (NOYOM). At each workshop students will channel their creativity to write and perform original spoken word pieces. Using model texts from local and national artists, students will elevate their craft while also building a community of young artists. Hosted by A Scribe Called Quess? of NOYOM and Team SNO.

& Thursday at 5:30 pm Octavia Books welcomes Michael Hearst, author of EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLE: A Semi-Comprehensive Guide to Some of the World’s Most Fascinating Individuals, back to the store! Michael will do a PowerPoint presentation and play some music for us. Inside this book, you’ll find stories of 50 extraordinary people such as: Evel Knievel, who jumped his motorcycle over 14 Greyhound buses; The Iceman, the most well-preserved human, found in the ice after 5,300 years; Sam Patch, who jumped Niagara Falls for $75; Helen Thayer, who walked to the North Pole alone; and, Roy Sullivan, who was struck by lightning 7 times. These intriguing facts and hundreds more await curious readers, amateur historians, and anyone who aspires to the altogether extraordinary. Hearst is a composer, multi-instrumentalist, and writer. He is the author of Unusual Creatures: A Mostly Accurate Account of Some of Earth’s Strangest Animals and is the founding member of the band One Ring Zero.

& At 7 pm Thursday the Nix Library presents an Author Night featuring Tina Freeman and Artist Spaces, New Orleans. Freeman is a photographer of architecture, landscape, portraits, and interiors. Her work has been in numerous magazines and her fine art photography has been exhibited in New Orleans, New York, Los Angeles and London. In Artist Spaces, New Orleans, more than one hundred extraordinary photographs taken by Tina Freeman and over a dozen artist interviews by Morgan Molthrop highlight the spaces of New Orleans artists.

& Also on Thursday at 7 pm the SciFi, Fantasy and Horror Writer’s Group meets at the East Jefferson 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.

& Saturday at 10 pm the Keller Library & Community Center hosts Poems & Pink Ribbons©, a community writing workshop that allows breast cancer patients, survivors, and their families a way to use writing to navigate grief, loss, and find support. Now in its 5th year, Poems & Pink Ribbons© welcomes anyone affected by cancer to share in this healing workshop. Participants can register to participate at EventBrite.

& Also at 10 am Saturday The Monthly Meeting of the Southern Louisiana Chapter of the Romance Writers of America meets at the East Jefferson Regional Library. This monthly meeting 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 11:30 am Saturday Maple Street Book Shop present sJennifer Schreiber reading from and signing copies of her new book, Monday at Jelly Roll Dog Park. Monday at Jelly Roll Dog Park is a children’s book that features a group of dog friends who gather daily at their neighborhood dog park, Jelly Roll, in New Orleans. It’s Monday and a new dog, Muttley, arrives at the park. Ostracized by the group because he isn’t a purebred, Muttley is consoled and mentored by Jelly Roll’s guardian angel, Daisy Mae the bulldog, who is a former friend of the in-crowd at the park. It is through discovering his own strengths that Muttley is able to rise above the bullying and earn the respect of the other dogs.

& Sunday at 3 pm The Maple Leaf Reading Series features an open mic. The Maple Leaf Reading Series is the oldest continuous reading in the south (making an allowance for Katrina), and was founded by noted and beloved local poet Everette Maddox.

& Sunday Oct. 18 Garden District Books features Garth Risk Hallberg and City on Fire at 3 pm. A big-hearted, boundary-vaulting novel that heralds a remarkable new talent: set in 1970s New York, a story outsized in its generosity, warmth, and ambition, its deep feeling for its characters, its exuberant imagination. The individuals who live within this extraordinary first novel are: Regan and William Hamilton-Sweeney, estranged heirs to one of the city’s largest fortunes; Keith and Mercer, the men who, for better or worse, love them; Charlie and Samantha, two suburban teenagers seduced by downtown’s punk scene; an obsessive magazine reporter and his idealistic neighbor; and the detective trying to figure out what any of them have to do with a shooting in Central Park. Their entangled relationships open up the loneliest-seeming corners of the crowded city. And when the infamous blackout of July 13, 1977, plunges this world into darkness, each of these lives will be changed forever. A novel about love and betrayal and forgiveness, about art and truth and rock ‘n’ roll, about how the people closest to us are sometimes the hardest to reach–about what it means to be human.

& At 3:30 pm Sunday The Faulkner Society and our partner, the Louisiana State Museum, cordially invite you to attend our first author event of the Fall season, featuring Jenny Tilbury, Elizabeth Sanders, and Mary Helen Lagasse, New Orleans writers with new novels just out. The event, free and open to the public, will take place on Sunday, October 18 beginning at 2:30 p. m. at the Cabildo at Jackson Square and will include complimentary refreshments.

Odd Words October 4, 2015

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.
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This poignant week in literary New Orleans Octavia Books celebrates it’s 15th anniversary as local stalwart Maple Street Books announces it will be closing.

& Monday at 6 pm Octavia Books celebrates the release of Michael Allen Zell latest New Orleans novel, RUN BABY RUN.

Though New Orleans has always been a remarkable setting, few authors can mine its rich veins and still tell a fine tale. Michael Allen Zell does both.”
— David Fulmer, author of the Storyville mysteries

Criminologist Bobby Delery has just returned to New Orleans after decades away, and NOPD is begging for his help to find almost a million dollars stolen from a French Quarter club. He’s only one of many after the money, though. Thieves, church-goers and everyone else ride the sweaty pace from the Ninth Ward to the foot of Canal Street. With Run Baby Run’s compelling mix of gritty realism and dark humor, Michael Allen Zell inaugurates the Bobby Delery series and does for New Orleans what Chester Himes did for Harlem and Dashiell Hammett did for San Francisco.

& Also at 6 pm Monday Garden District Book Shops presents Sybil Haydel Morial presents and signs her new memoir, WITNESS TO CHANGE: From Jim Crow to Political Empowerment. In 1950s New Orleans, a young woman steps into her white tulle gown and glides down the long hallway of her parents’ house into the front garden. Her father, a respected physician, drives her downtown, where she will make her debut into Negro society. Sybil is mesmerized by the debut rituals but cannot help noting their irony in a world where she daily faces the barriers and insults of Jim Crow. So begins WITNESS TO CHANGE by Sybil Haydel Morial. Throughout her memoir, Morial revisits moments—from Brown v. Board of Education to Hurricane Katrina—that have defined her own life, the black community, and the nation. Thirteen years after her debut, Sybil lies sleepless in bed next to her husband, Dutch Morial. Medgar Evers, the NAACP’s Field Secretary, has just been murdered in Mississippi. Dutch, the organization’s New Orleans president, has just received another chilling death threat. In halting whispers, the couple discusses how to protect their three young children. The Morials first become legal, then political, activists. Testing Brown v. Board of Education, Sybil attempts to enroll in graduate school at Tulane and Loyola. She and Dutch challenge a statute restricting political activities of public school teachers. Barred from the League of Women Voters, Sybil forms an organization to help register Negroes held back from voting. After serving as judge and Louisiana legislator, Dutch is elected New Orleans’ first black mayor.WITNESS TO CHANGE reveals Morial as a woman whose intelligence overrides the clichés of racial division. In its pages, we catch rare glimpses of black professionals in an earlier New Orleans, when races, though socially isolated, lived side by side; when social connections helped circumvent Jim Crow; when African American culture forged New Orleans—and American—identity.

& Tuesday at 6 pm Octavia Books also presents Sybil Haydel Morial presents and signs her new memoir, WITNESS TO CHANGE: From Jim Crow to Political Empowerment. See details above.

& On Tuesday at 7 pm the 1718 Society will host a reading by Peter Cooley, recently named poet laureate of Louisiana, at the Columns Hotel. Maple Street Book Shop will be on hand, selling copies of Peter Cooley’s books. With the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans his initial subject, Cooley meditates on transience and mortality as he moves through the landscape of the Gulf South, the sky and his inner weather reflecting one another. Poet and editor Peter Cooley was born and raised in Detroit. He earned a BA at Shimer College, an MA at the University of Chicago, and a PhD at the University of Iowa. He is the author of numerous poetry collections, including Divine Margins (2009), A Place Made of Starlight (2003), and The Astonished Hours (1992). His poems have been widely anthologized in collections such as Best American Poetry (2002) and Poets on Place (2005). Cooley served as poetry editor for the North American Review from 1970 to 2000. He teaches at Tulane University. He lives in New Orleans.

& At 5 pm Wednesday at Tulane University it is the 5th Annual Taste New Orleans, Savor Literacy. an on-campus food gala where local restaurants donate food, we charge one ticket price of $20, and 100% of the proceeds benefit local non-profit Start The Adventure in Reading! STAIR has been working in New Orleans for the past 30 years to reduce the literacy crisis, and has served over 4,000 children in the Greater New Orleans area! Our fundraiser helps to keep the program free to all students who receive services and ensure that STAIR continues for years to come! This event is open to the public, and tickets are available via EventBrite.

& At 6 pm on Wednesday, Maple Street Book Shops features will Margaret Eby, author of South Toward Home, a literary travelogue into the heart of classic Southern literature. What is it about the South that has inspired so much of America’s greatest literature? And why, when we think of Flannery O’Connor or William Faulkner or Harper Lee, do we think of them not just as writers, but as Southern writers? In South Toward Home, Margaret Eby-herself a Southerner-travels through the South in search of answers to these questions, visiting the hometowns and stomping grounds of some of our most beloved authors. From Mississippi (William Faulkner, Eudora Welty, Richard Wright) to Alabama (Harper Lee, Truman Capote) to Georgia (Flannery O’Connor, Harry Crews) and beyond, Eby looks deeply at the places that these authors lived in and wrote about. South Toward Home reveals how these authors took the people and places they knew best and transmuted them into lasting literature.

& Wednesday at 7 pm Reading Between the Wines at Pearl Wine Co. inside of the American Can Company presents: Michael Allen Zell, author of RUN BABY RUN, is a New Orleans-based novelist, essayist, and playwright. Zell’s work has been published in The Los Angeles Review of Books, Cerise Press, Disonare, Entrepot, Exquisite Corpse, NOLA Defender, Room 220, and Sleepingfish. Errata, his first novel, was named a “Top 10 Book of 2012” by The Times Picayune. His first play, What Do You Say to a Shadow?, was named a “Top 10 Play of the Year” in 2013 by The Times Picayune. He has worked as a bookseller since 2001; Michael Pitre, author of FIVES AND TWENTY FIVES, is a graduate of LSU, where he studied with Andrei Codrescu and Mark Jude Poirier. He joined the US Marines in 2002, deploying twice to Iraq and attaining the rank of Captain before leaving the service in 2010 to get his MBA at Loyola. He lives in New Orleans. Fives and Twenty-Fives is his first novel; and, David Armand, author of THE GORGE, has worked as a drywall hanger, a draftsman, and as a press operator in a flag printing factory. He now teaches at Southeastern Louisiana University, where he also serves as associate editor for Louisiana Literature Press. His first two novels were THE PUGILIST’S WIFE and HARLOW. He has a chapbook, THE DEEP WOODS, coming out later this year from Blue Horse Press; and his memoir, MY MOTHER’S HOUSE, is forthcoming Spring 2016 from Texas Review Press. David lives with his wife and two children and is working on his sixth book, THE LORD’S ACRE.

& At 7 pm Wednesday Tulane University presents a reading by Danielle Evans, Zale-Kimmerling Visiting Writer. Evans is the author of the short-story collection Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self, which was a co-winner of the 2011 PEN American Robert W. Bingham Prize for a first book, a National Book Foundation 5 under 35 selection for 2011, the winner of the 2011 Paterson Prize for Fiction and the 2011 Hurston-Wright award for fiction, and an honorable mention for the 2011 PEN/Hemingway award. It was named one of the best books of 2010 by Kirkus Reviews and O Magazine, and longlisted for The Story Prize.A graduate of Columbia University and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, her stories have appeared in The Paris Review, A Public Space, Callaloo, The Best American Short Stories 2008 and 2010, and New Stories from the South. She teaches in the Creative Writing Program at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

& Also at 7 pm Wednesday the Tennessee Williams Festival and Jefferson Parish Library launches their annual Coffee and Conversation series with George Washington Carver: A Life, by Christina Vella at the East Jefferson Regional Library. Nearly every American can cite at least one of the accomplishments of George Washington Carver. The many tributes honoring his contributions to scientific advancement and black history include a national monument bearing his name, a U.S.-minted coin featuring his likeness, and induction into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. Born into slavery, Carver earned a master’s degree at Iowa State Agricultural College and went on to become that university’s first black faculty member. A keen painter who chose agricultural studies over art, he focused the majority of his research on peanuts and sweet potatoes. His scientific breakthroughs with the crops both of which would replenish the cotton-leached soil of the South helped spare multitudes of sharecroppers from poverty. Despite Carver’s lifelong difficulties with systemic racial prejudice, when he died in 1943, millions of Americans mourned the passing of one of the nation’s most honored and well-known scientists. Scores of children’s books celebrate the contributions of this prolific botanist, but no biographer has fully examined both his personal life and career until now. Christina Vella offers a thorough biography of George Washington Carver, including in-depth details of his relationships with his friends, colleagues, supporters, and those he loved. Despite the exceptional trajectory of his career, Carver was not immune to the racism of the Jim Crow era or the privations and hardships of the Great Depression and two world wars. Yet throughout this tumultuous period, his scientific achievements aligned him with equally extraordinary friends, including Teddy Roosevelt, Mohandas Gandhi, Henry A. Wallace, and Henry Ford.

& Wednesday, at 8 pm the Blood Jet Poetry Series welcomes poets Todd Cirillo and Marcella Durand. As always grab a bite to eat before the show at BJs in the Bywater, and bring work to share at the open mic.  We are reading Alice Notley’s Disobedience this season as well. Durand is the author of Deep Eco Pré (with Tina Darragh), AREA, Traffic & Weather and Western Capital Rhapsodies. She has written, taught and talked about the potential intersections of poetry and ecology in a number of venues, including the (eco(lang)(uage (reader), ecopoetics, and Jacket2. Her published translations from French include poems by Charles Baudelaire, Marcel Proust, Nicole Brossard and Michèle Métail. At present, she is working on a book length poem written in alexandrines, titled In this world previous to ours, and a collection of poems, titled Rays of the Shadow.  Cirillo is co-editor of Six Ft. Swells Press. His latest book is Sucker’s Paradise other books include ROXY, This Troubled Heart, Still A Party, and The Dice Are Always Loaded. He is one of the originators of the After-Hours Poetry movement and has been a featured reader in New York City, Seattle, San Francisco reading Jack Kerouac’s On the Road with the musician David Amram, Los Angeles, Nevada City, Paris and Sacramento. His work can be found at afterhourspoetry.com.

& Wednesday night from 8-9 pm, come drink some coffee and make your voice heard at the Neutral Ground Poetry Hour, 5110 Danneel Street.

& Thursday at 4 pm the Algiers Regional Library presents a Spoken Word Workshops for Teens in Partnership with New Orleans Youth Open Mic (NOYOM). At each workshop students will channel their creativity to write and perform original spoken word pieces. Using model texts from local and national artists, students will elevate their craft while also building a community of young artists. Hosted by A Scribe Called Quess? of NOYOM and Team SNO.

& Thursday at 6 pm Octavia Books features photographer C.C. Lockwood as he presents LOUISIANA WILD: The Protected and Restored Lands of The Nature Conservancy. The scenic images that Louisiana brings to mind—moss-draped cypress, lush marshlands, alligators gliding through bayous, herons coasting across an open sky—all spring from one of the most diverse and productive ecosystems on the continent. This varied and inviting landscape gives rise to one of the state’s many monikers, “Sportsman’s Paradise,” which rings true whether you are boating on picturesque Lake Martin or bird-watching among the ancient live oaks of Lafitte Woods. From the precious maritime forests of Grand Isle to the steep contours of Tunica Hills, Louisiana’s wild outdoors defines each region’s sense of place and value. After trekking and canoeing through more than sixty properties managed by The Nature Conservancy, Lockwood presents a vivid photo narrative that journeys from the little-known Copenhagen Hills, a prairie habitat with the largest variety of woody plants in Louisiana; to the swampland lake of Cypress Island, with its massive rookery of roseate spoonbills and great egrets; to over a dozen other sites that showcase Louisiana’s distinct environs.

& Thursday at 6 pm Michael Llewellyn’s Creole Son and Ciji Ware’s That Winter in Venice. Llewellyn’s is subtitled Novel of Degas in New Orleans. In 1872, French painter Edgar Degas is disillusioned by a lackluster career and haunted by the Prussian siege of Paris and the bloodbath of the Commune. Seeking personal and professional rebirth, he journeys to New Orleans, birthplace of his Creole mother. He is horrified to learn he has exchanged one city in crisis for another—post-Civil War New Orleans is a corrupt town occupied by hostile Union troops and suffering under the heavy hand of Reconstruction. He is further shocked to find his family deeply involved in the violent struggle to reclaim political power at all costs. Despite the chaos swirling around him, Degas sketches and paints with fervor and manages to reinvent himself and transition his style from neoclassical into the emerging world of Impressionism. He ultimately became one of the masters of the new movement, but how did New Orleans empower Degas to fulfill this destiny? In That Winter in Venice New Orleans natives Serena Antonelli, an Italian-American costume designer, and Jack Durand, a Pulitzer Prize-winning environmental reporter, meet on a fateful flight bound for Venice where they confront a shared destiny spawned by a national tragedy and a connection they could never have imagined or foretold. While fierce storms blow in from the Adriatic, inundating the Global Rising Waters Conference where Jack is a keynote speaker, the acqua alta also threatens to drown Venice’s legendary carnival celebrations and sink Serena’s desperate plan to rescue her U.S. family’s century-old costume company from its post-Hurricane Katrina insolvency. Soon they are entangled in a spellbinding interplay of history and romance that jeopardizes their chances of sustaining the passionate bond they’ve forged. Exposed, too, are threads of public corruption and private wounds that must be healed before the pair can put to rest the tumult back home in New Orleans and remake their lives as one.

& At 7 pm Thursday the EJ Writers Group meets at the East Jefferson Regional Library. The 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. Free and open to the public. No registration.

& This and every Thursdays call the New Orleans Poetry Brothel and they will read you a poem 8pm-Midnight CST. 504-264-1336.

& Friday at 6 pm Romance Writers of America Unite at Octavia Books. From the Crossroads Writers Chapter in Indiana, Jeana Mann, LeNora Mangano, and Teresa Keefer, will join NOLA chapter members, Colleen Mooney and Dawn Chartier, for a meet and greet, panel, and signing. You also get to meet Fiona Riplee who is about to release her first book! Panelists will include: Jeana Mann, author of DRIFT: A Felony Romance and IMPULSIVE: A Felony Romance; LeNora Mangano; Teresa Keefer, author of A HOME FOR DIXIE (Possum Creek Series) and BLESSED BE (Sisters Trilogy); Colleen Mooney, author of RESCUED BY A KISS (Book 1); DEAD AND BREAKFAST (Book 2); Dawn Chartier, author of BEWITCHING THE ENEMY and MASQUERADING WITH THE CEO; and, Fiona Riplee.

& Saturday at 10 pm the Keller Library & Community Center hosts Poems & Pink Ribbons©, a community writing workshop that allows breast cancer patients, survivors, and their families a way to use writing to navigate grief, loss, and find support. Now in its 5th year, Poems & Pink Ribbons© welcomes anyone affected by cancer to share in this healing workshop. Participants can register to participate at EventBrite.

& At 10:30 am the Nix Library will present a Creative Writing Workshop. 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.

& Saturday from noon to 3 pm it is a celebration of Octavia Books 15th Anniversary. Join Tom and Judith and their fabulous staff in celebrating their 15th anniversary as we serve up some fun music, cake, and refreshments. Dress as your favorite literary character for a chance to win a prize.

& Sunday at 3 pm The Maple Leaf Reading Series features an open mic. The Maple Leaf Reading Series is the oldest continuous reading in the south (making an allowance for Katrina), and was founded by noted and beloved local poet Everette Maddox.

The Not So New Orleans Book Fair September 27, 2015

Posted by The Typist in books, literature, New Orleans, Odd Words, Toulouse Street.
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To: First Lady Chery Landrieu:

My name is Mark Folse, and for the past five years (since the TP folded their book section and laid off Susan Larson) I have invested countless hours and thousands of dollars (in Facebook promotion) to prepare and widely circulate all literary event listings in the city of New Orleans.

I am terribly disappointed to find that again this year the so-called “New Orleans” Book Festival is sponsored and promoted in partnership with a company which does not even have a store within the city of New Orleans.

Originally, this even was done in partnership with a local, independently-owned book shop. For the last several years a local company was dumped in favor of a national chain store that does not have an outlet in the city. This is disgraceful.

Odd Words’ immediate reach via the weekly listing post on ToulouseStreet.net is over 100 viewers weekly. The advertising-supported Facebook placement reaches thousands of self-identified lovers of literature in the metropolitan New Orleans area. It is also shared with several hundred Twitter followers and more on Google+.

Because Ms. Landrieu and this administration chose to snub local businesses in favor of Barnes and Noble, I will do everything in my power over the next few weeks to 1) call attention to this, observing that in the past this event involved local businesses and 2) discourage attendance until this again because a true New Orleans event featuring New Orleans book stores.

Mark Folse
Publisher
Odd Words

Odd Words September 27, 2015

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.
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This coming week in literary New Orleans, Odd Words takes on Mark Zuckerman by lowering the age targeting on the complimentary Facebook page in observance of Banned Books Week. Events which are age restricted due to alcohol or content are clearly noted. I have emailed the Facebook Ads Team and Mark Zuckerman to challenge their policy that bans promoting this literary listing to persons under age 21 if an event takes place in a bar. You will never see these posts on Facebook, even though you have liked the page, unless I pay them for advertising. Those ads have been rejected numerous times in the past due to the location or mention of alcohol unless I restrict targeting of the ad to persons age 21 or older. This is ridiculous. Odd Words promotes literature, not alcohol, and the promotion of literature is for all ages. Happy Banned Books week, Mr. Zuckerman.

& Monday at 6 pm Octavia Books hosts Barbara Sillery for a discussion and signing of her book, BILOXI MEMORIES. Return to the beach in these vintage images and stories. Based on the acclaimed documentary Biloxi Memories and the Broadwater Beach Hotel, produced and written by Barbara Sillery, this illustrated celebration of the community on the Mississippi Gulf Coast looks at its history from the first inhabitants until today. Sillery has captured the memories of generations who visited the shores through vintage postcards, photographs, and memorabilia. From the famous visitors and residents including Elvis Presley and Jayne Mansfield to the curious characters like the “Mad Potter,” from the grand old hotels like the Edgewater Inn and the Broadwater Beach Hotel to the expansive beaches, and from unique products including Barq’s root beer to the thriving seafood industry, Sillery captures it all.

& Tuesday at 6 pm Octavia Books presents Dr. Frederick “Rick” Barton for a reading and signing of his newest novel, IN THE WAKE OF THE FLAGSHIP, a blistering satire chronicling one man’s battle against bureaucracy and corruption.

Barton has a lot of important human business on his mind in this exceptional novel: race, history, the South, hurricanes, laughter, love, and much more. In the Wake of the Flagship is wonderfully inventive, and addictive to read.
—Richard Ford

Basketball coach Richard Janus has found himself interim rector of Urban University, a woefully underfunded public college in Choctaw, Alkansea. After Hurricane Hosea devastates the city, Janus must go to war with the unscrupulous heads of Alkansea’s flagship university, facing down massive layoffs and rabid football fans. The absurdity of the American experience is on full display here as Metacom, the legendary Indian sachem, narrates Janus’s struggle, recounting academic intrigue and hypocrisy with searing humor. Barton’s insight into human contradictions earns In the Wake of the Flagship a place beside other campus novel luminaries.

& Tuesday at 7 pm the Hubbell Library observes Banned Books Week at the Old Point Bar. Enjoy a beverage and listen to people read from banned books. (Contact the Hubbell Library at 596-3113 to sign up to read an excerpt from your favorite banned book.) You must be 21 years of age or older to attend this literary event.

& Also on Tuesday the The East Jefferson Regional Library begins its observance of Banned Books Week at 7 pm with Banned Books Week Presentation – The First Amendment. The speaker for this event is Marjorie R. Esman, executive director of the ACLU of Louisiana since September 2007, after 20 years in the private practice of law. Her law practice focused on copyright and trademark issues, as well as First Amendment litigation concerning the freedom of speech and religion. She was a member of the ACLU of Louisiana board of directors from 1995 and the ACLU National Board from 1997, until she resigned both positions to become executive director. In addition to her law degree (Tulane 1987), Esman holds a Ph.D. in anthropology from Tulane University (1981) and has taught at Tulane, LSU, and the University of Southwestern Louisiana (now ULL). She serves on the board of Parkway Partners, a New Orleans organization dedicated to restoring and preserving the green spaces in the City of New Orleans.

& Michael Murphy will be signing Fear Dat at Maple Street Book Shop, Wednesday, September 30th, at 6PM. Fear Dat New Orleans explores the eccentric and often macabre dark corners of America’s most unique city. In addition to detailed histories of bizarre burials, ghastly murders, and the greatest concentration of haunted places in America, Fear Dat features a bone watcher’s guide with useful directions of who’s buried where, from Marie Laveau to Ruthie the Duck Girl. You ll also find where to buy the most authentic gris-gris or to get the best psychic reading. The Huffington Post tagged Michael Murphy’s first book Eat Dat, about the city’s food culture, the #1 essential book to read before coming to New Orleans. New Orleans Living called it both reverent and irreverent, he manages to bring a sense of humor to serious eating and that’s what New Orleans is all about. In Fear Dat, Murphy brings similar insights and irreverence to New Orleans voodoo, vampires, graveyards, and ghosts

& Wednesday the East Jefferson Regional Library continues its observance of Banned Books Week with a Special Movie Screening of Storm Center at the East Jefferson Regional Library at 7 pm. Widowed librarian Alicia Hull (Bette Davis) becomes the center of a McCarthyist firestorm when she refuses to remove from her library “The Communist Dream,” a book seen by her town council as incendiary anti-American propaganda. Condemned at a town meeting by her former assistant Martha Lockridge (Kim Hunter) and Martha’s opportunist attorney boyfriend, Paul Duncan (Brian Keith), the principled Alicia chooses the moral high ground even as she must endure the town’s oppressive rancor. Release in July 1956.

& Wednesday, at 8 pm the Blood Jet Poetry Series welcomes Fiction writer and Dogfish Series host Jessica Kinnison and Poet Madeline Levy celebrating her new collection, Perfume & Cigarettes. Kinnison holds an MFA in fiction and travel writing from Chatham University in Pittsburgh where she taught creative writing in the Allegheny County Jail, as part of the Words Without Walls program. Her stories have appeared in Juked, Pif Magazine, Fiction Southeast, The Fourth River and The Southern Humanities Review, among others. Her play “Baby” won the Southwest Theatre and Film Association Short Play Contest in 2008. Her nonfiction has appeared in The Jackson Free Press, The Clarion Ledger, and Art Voices Magazine, among others. She serves as Operations Manager and Director of the Wellness University at Project Lazarus, a nonprofit transitional housing facility for people living with HIV/ AIDS. She currently teaches creative writing in the Project Lazarus Wellness University, at Orleans Parish Prison as part of the Humanities: Orleans Parish Education Project (H:OPE), and the Loyola University New Orleans Writing Institute. The poems in Perfume & Cigarettes by Levy come at you like Tom Waits driving a 1957 Cadillac onto the sleek asphalt of night, with only the red glow of taillights sending kisses on the road to everywhere. These poems take us places, somewhere between the proper and the profane, the dive bars and the five-star restaurants. These are poems with wicked grins and sharp edges that will leave a “tiny-sized cut in the back of your heart,” and make us believe that “apple pie & cyanide” are a good idea.

& Wednesday night from 8-9 pm, come drink some coffee and make your voice heard at the Neutral Ground Poetry Hour, 5110 Danneel Street.

& Thursday at 6 pm Garden District Book Shop presents Dick Wall’s Mister Owita’s Guide to Gardening: How I Learned the Unexpected Joy of a Green Thumb and an Open Heart, a true story of a unique friendship between two people who had nothing and ultimately everything in common. Carol Wall, living in a lily-white neighborhood in Middle America, is at a crossroads in her life. Her children are grown; she has successfully overcome illness; her beloved parents are getting older. One day she notices a dark-skinned African man tending her neighbor’s yard. His name is Giles Owita. He bags groceries at the supermarket. He comes from Kenya. And he’s very good at gardening. Before long Giles is transforming not only Carol’s yard, but her life. Though they are seemingly quite different, a caring bond grows between them. But Carol and Giles both hold long-buried secrets that, when revealed, will cement their friendship forever. Carol Wall received her third cancer diagnosis in 2012, just a few months before Mister Owita’s Guide to Gardening was published by Amy Einhorn Books. Wall was too sick to make appearances, and she passed away in December 2014, just nine months after publication. Since Carol’s death, the Wall family, led by her husband Dick, has redoubled their efforts to promote Carol’s work.

& At 7 pm Thursday come to Pelican Bay restaurant for the launch party of Micheal Allen Zell’s new novel Run Baby Run, featuring some excellent–and complimentary–food from the kitchen, cash bar, door prizes including copies of the book, and readings by the author, joined by : Chester Himes scholar Robert Skinner, author of the Wesley Farrell crime novels set in 1930’s New Orleans, and recently retired Xavier University head librarian; Mwende “FreeQuency” Katwiwa, Kenyan born, New Orleans based spoken word artist, organizer and youth worker. She’s been featured in the New York Times, Huffington Post, and other sources for her work on and off the stage; Jason Kerzinski, a native of Chicago who writes plays and short fiction. His work appears in New Orleans Review, Flash and Pen, and Caper Literary Journal, among others; and French Quarter poet Cubs, who can often be found composing poems on Royal St. amidst laundry lines holding his work. Cubs performs, writes, and publishes his own work. You must be 21 years or older to purchase alcohol at this event.

& Thursday the Alvar Library offers Naughty Poetry Night in observance of Banned Books Week. The branch has coupled with Esoterotica to expose you to a night of naughty poetry featuring local poets and provacateurs and hosted by Bill Lavender and Nancy Dixon. At this Banned Books Week event, sexy is relative; scandal is guaranteed. You must be 18 years of age or older to attend this event.

& Thursday at 7 pm the Nix Library presents “Lewd Poetry Night” for Banned Books Week. More details on this event forthcoming.

& This and every Thursdays call the New Orleans Poetry Brothel and they will read you a poem 8pm-Midnight CST. 504-264-1336.

& Friday from 6-8 pm the Main Branch New Orleans Public Library features another Banned Books Week event, With the help of the New Orleans Gulf South Booksellers Association and American Civil Liberties Union – Louisiana Chapter, we’re shining a spotlight on famous acts of media censorship. We’ll present movie clips and perform scenes from iconic plays. We’ll read polarizing poetry and prose. You don’t want to miss this event. You must be 18 years of age or older to attend this event.

& Sunday at 3 pm The Maple Leaf Reading Series features an open mic. The Maple Leaf Reading Series is the oldest continuous reading in the south (making an allowance for Katrina), and was founded by noted and beloved local poet Everette Maddox.

Odd Words September 21, 2015

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.
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This coming week in literary New Orleans:

& The New Orleans Haiku Society shares Haiku on the third Monday of every month at the Latter Branch Library, 5120 St. Charles Ave., from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. All are invited to attend. For more information call 596-2625.

& At 7 pm Monday Tulane University presents a reading by A reading by Julia Kasdorf, 2015 Arons Visiting Poet, in the Woldenberg Art Center, Freeman Auditorium. Kasdorf, professor of English and Women’s Studies at Penn State, has published three collections of poetry. Eve’s Striptease was named one of Library Journal‘s Top 20 Best Poetry Books of 1998, and Sleeping Preacher won the Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize and the Great Lakes College’s Association Award for New Writing. Her poems were awarded a 2009 NEA fellowship and a Pushcart Prize and appear in numerous anthologies. She has written a collection of essays, The Body and the Book: Writing from a Mennonite Life, winner of the 2002 Book of the Year Award from the Conference on Christianity and Literature, and a monograph, Fixing Tradition: Joseph W. Yoder, Amish American. With Michael Tyrell she co-edited the anthology, Broken Land: Poems of Brooklyn. In addition to teaching poetry workshops, she established the Writer in the Community course in the MFA program.

& At 6 pm Octavia Books hosts a lecture and book signing with historian Christina Vella celebrating the release of her new biography, GEORGE WASHINGTON CARVER: A Life. George Washington Carver — the famous peanut wizard we all read about in grade school — developed thousands of products from swamp mud, clay, weeds, oil sludge, feathers, barnyard bones, kudzu, and other throw-away materials. Aside from his genius, Carver had an intense personal life that included a deep friendship with Henry Ford and FDR, and a fraught relationship with Booker T. Washington, who contributed significantly to the suicide of a woman Carver loved. When Carver was 60, he began a long love affair with a 23-year-old white man. Christina Vella explores the many dimensions of the man Einstein considered among the ten most brilliant scientists of his time.

& Tuesday at 6 pm Garden District Book Shops presents Stuart Stevens’ The Last Season: A Father, a Son, and a Lifetime of College Football. Fathers, sons, and sports are enduring themes of American literature. Here, in this fresh and moving account, a son returns to his native South to spend a special autumn with his ninty-five-year-old dad, sharing the unique joys, disappointments, and life lessons of Saturdays with their beloved Ole Miss Rebels. In the fall of 2012, after working on a presidential campaign that suffered a devastating loss, Stuart Stevens, having turned sixty, realized that he and his ninty-five-year-old father had spent little time together for decades. His solution: a season of attending Ole Miss football games together, as they’d done when college football provided a way for his father to guide him through childhood–and to make sense of the troubled South of the time. Now, driving to and from the games, and cheering from the stands, they take stock of their lives as father and son, and as individuals, reminding themselves of their unique, complicated, precious bond. Poignant and full of heart, but also irreverent and often hilarious,The Last Season is a powerful story of parents and children and the importance of taking a backward glance together while you still can.

& At 7 pm Tuesday the Westbank Fiction Writers’ Group meets at the Edith S. Lawson Library in Westwego. Writing exercises or discussions of points of fiction and/or critique sessions of members’ submissions. Meets the second and fourth Tuesday of every month. Moderator: Gary Bourgeois. Held in the meeting Room.

& Wednesday brings the return of return to the living room of poetry in BJs in the Bywater for our 5th season of poetry, music, fiction and fun! Our opening night features poets Brad Richard and Aran Donovan as well as open mic poems from our community of amazing writers. Richard’s poetry collection Motion Studies won the 2010 Washington Prize from The Word Works, and will be forthcoming in 2011. He is also the author of the collection Habitations (Portals Press, New Orleans, 2000) and the limited edition chapbook The Men in the Dark (Lowlands Press, Stuttgart, Germany, 2004). He is a recipient of fellowships from the Surdna Foundation, the Louisiana Division of the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Humanities, and poetry winner in the Poets & Writers’ 2002 Writers Exchange competition, he is chair of creative writing at Lusher Charter High school in New Orleans. Donovan works and writes in New Orleans. A graduate of the Arkansas MFA program and Middlebury Summer Language Schools, she was a 2012 resident at the Edward A. Albee Foundation and a 2010 Walton Family Endowment for Creative Writing fellow. Her writing has appeared in such publications as Barrow Street, CutBank, Rattle, and New Ohio Review, New Orleans Review, and Rattle, and has earned her Phoebe Journal’s Greg Grummer Poetry Award and a spot in Best New Poets 2013.

& At 6 pm Wednesday the Young Leadership Council’s One Book One New Orleans and Dillard Univeristy Present “Lil Wayne and America’s Idea of New Orleans”: A Panel Discussion. Inspired by Chapter 17–“I Am Your Great Time”–of Brian Boyles’ “New Orleans Boom and Blackout,” we will hold our third event of the season, Lil Wayne and America’s Idea of New Orleans: A Panel Discussion at Dillard University’s Lawless Memorial Chapel (2601 Gentilly Blvd) from 6:00-8:30p.m. We are honored to welcome Alison Fensterstock, who has covered entertainment and popular culture for several different publications, as our moderator for the evening. She will be joined by panelist Myan Sandifer, a Dillard junior majoring in Biology, Wild Wayne, DJ on Q93.3 FM, and Ethan Brown, author of Queens Reigns Supreme: Fat Cat, 50 Cent, and the Rise of the Hip Hop Hustler

& Wednesday night from 8-9 pm, come drink some coffee and make your voice heard at the Neutral Ground Poetry Hour, 5110 Danneel Street.

& At 6 pm Wednesday it’s a Big Easy Author Night featuring Richard Campanella at the New Orleans Main Library. Campanella is a geographer with the Tulane School of Architecture and the author of numerous articles and seven critically acclaimed books, including Bienville’s Dilemma, Geographies of New Orleans, Bourbon Street: A History, and Lincoln in New Orleans. He is the only two-time winner of the LEH “Book of the Year” Award.

& Thursday at 6 pm meet Elise Blackwell, author of The Unnatural History of Cypress Parish, when she reads and discusses her newest book, THE LOWER QUARTER at Octavia Books.

The authenticity of Blackwell’s New Orleans experience is clear on every page, from the bars the characters frequent to the sense of a city rebuilding itself … will grip readers and keep them turning pages. —Publishers Weekly

A man murdered during Katrina in a hotel room two blocks from her art-restoration studio was closely tied to a part of Johanna’s past that she would like kept secret. But missing from the crime scene is a valuable artwork painted in 1926 by a renowned Belgian artist that might bring it all back. An acquaintance, Clay Fontenot, who has enabled a wide variety of personal violations in his life, some of which he has enjoyed, is the scion of a powerful New Orleans family. And Marion is an artist and masseuse from the Quarter who has returned after Katrina to rebuild her life. When Eli, a convicted art thief, is sent to find the missing painting, all of their stories weave together in the slightly deranged halls of the Quarter.

& At Garden District Books at 6 pm Thursday meet George Sanchez who will discuss and sign his book Exploration’s End. Jeff Chaussier has left his mediocre career as an actor in the Midwest because of another family problem, this time with his cousin Cal. Back in New Orleans with another mystery to solve, he discovers his old friends are dealing with a thriving drug trade. His search sends him to the university theatre, drug lairs, and Bryna’s patio to see if there is still a flame burning there. Has she healed from her injuries suffered in their first adventure? As he pokes about, learning new secrets about Bryna, he receives a second task from the same “certain mysterious gentlemen” who helped him last time. Jeff’s family and friends offer aid as he tries to discover Bryna’s secrets, help his cousin Cal, and keep those “certain gentlemen” placated. Without detective skills, but with a colorful collection of friends, old and new, Jeff pokes and pries, discovering new corners of New Orleans and plots within plots.

& At 7 pm Thursday the Dogfish reading series presents poet Andy Young and her recent collection All Night It Is Morning, among other works at Old N. Villere Bakery 2448 N. VIllere Street New Orleans.

Andy Young’s powerful debut, All Night It Is Morning, sweeps us from the American South to the Middle East and back, in lyric poetry limned with precision, sympathy, and her wise spacious stance. Young’s poems are made from tumult—whether it’s the shattered Ninth Ward of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina or the perilous strife of Cairo’s Tahrir Square—yet reach, time and again, for peace. This poet shows us how to distrust, even to dissolve the inaccurate distinctions we too handily make—among the personal and political, among the familial, natural, and aesthetic—to find a more synthetic blending. Such is the poet’s most revolutionary achievement: To embrace difference is to find likeness, even perhaps to find hope.
—David Baker, winner, 2011 Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Prize

& This and every Thursdays call the New Orleans Poetry Brothel and they will read you a poem 8pm-Midnight CST. 504-264-1336.

& Saturday at 10 am the Jefferson Parish Library Mystery Writers Conference meets at the East Bank Regional Library. “Cops and Authors” is designed to provide hands-on, practical information to local mystery and crime writers, but it is also open to anyone who wants to understand more fully the concepts of police procedure. Three panels will be presented: 10 a.m. – “New Orleans as a Partner in Crime”; 11:15 a.m., “Cop Culture”; and, 12:30 p.m. – “Inside the Mind of a Police Sniper” and “Post Traumatic Stress Disorder”. Full details of panelists and each topic are on the Jefferson Parish Library calendar page.

Saturday at 6 pm at Garden District Book Shop Lea Michelle’s signs her book You First: Journal Your Way to Your Best Life. In this book, Lea, teaches readers how they, too, can be their best-selves. In her opinion, keeping a journal and asking yourself the hard questions about what you want out of life is the best way to achieve your dreams, so she has outlined a series of exercises, prompts, and lists based on her own personal program. Lea’s guided journal will address all the topics she wrote about in her first book, Brunette Ambition, including fitness, diet, work, school, and relationships, but with all-new material to help readers reach their goals. Peppered between the advice and exercises will be fun personal anecdotes from Lea to motivate and inspire readers to put themselves first and live their best life. This is a wrist-band event and we are limited to 600 wrist-bands. To receive a wrist-band you must purchase the new book, You First: Journal Your Way to Your Best Life, from Garden District Book Shop. This book goes on sale Sept. 22.

& Sunday at 3 pm The Maple Leaf Reading Series features an open mic. The Maple Leaf Reading Series is the oldest continuous reading in the south (making an allowance for Katrina), and was founded by noted and beloved local poet Everette Maddox.

& From 3-7 pm the local event for 100,000 Poets for Change features poetry, music and art to celebrate Peace and Sustainability and an Environment to support life for generations to come at St. John’s Coffeehouse, 535 E Boston St. in Covington.

Odd Words September 13, 2015

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 coming week in literary New Orleans:

& At Garden District Book Shop Tuesday at 6 pm Melinda Rose presents Of The Rising Tide: A Photo Essay of the Vanishing Bayou Community of Isle de Jean Charles. Somewhere…down in the forgotten reaches of the Louisiana marshes, a community clings tenaciously to what remains of its homeland. Isle de Jean Charles, is a fragile, finger-like Island, attached to the mainland by a narrow 2 mile-long road. A good steady wind could leave you trapped on the Island for days. Enter the hurricanes…vicious storms with sweet sounding names like Katrina and Rita swallow up this Island again and again, each time ripping up more lives and eroding away more of the Island’s land mass. “Oh we’re use to hurricanes alright,” says Chris Brunet, who is raising his orphaned niece and nephew from a wheel chair. “But since the ’50s, our barrier Islands have been eroding away…and now the salt water rushes right in and kills just about everything.” Chris is one of 40 remaining Islanders, all descendants of the Choctaw- Chitimacha Indian tribes. These Native Americans have inhabited a once-thriving gulf community for more than a Century. The elders share stories of a once-lush prairie land textured with a variety of trees, including fig, pecan and persimmons. Today the horizon is left to tend the hauntingly beautiful remains of mighty oaks and bald cypress, their lonely bleached-out bones rising defiantly out of the soggy marshes. The people of this battered and broken Island are living on borrowed time. And, as if they haven’t suffered enough, the massive BP oil disaster managed to strip all of the Island’s commercial fishermen of the only livelihood they’ve ever known. Yet, somehow, these gritty and determined people of Isle de Jean Charles continue to live out their lives. The children frolic and play on the new levee. The men take their boats out on the Gulf. Families of three generations come together on a swelteringly hot Sunday afternoon. And life goes on…for now.

& Tuesday at 6 pm join Octavia Books for a reading & signing with Tom Piazza celebrating the release of his new novel, A FREE STATE.

A Free State has great kinetic energy, a gripping central narrative, and a host of indelible characters. And, in the current age of identity politics, it speaks to the prevailing cultural obsession with ‘authenticity’ by exposing the fragility of that very notion. A hugely rewarding novel.” —Monica Ali, author of Brick Lane

The author of CITY OF REFUGE and WHY NEW ORLEANS MATTERS returns with a startling novel of race, violence, and identity. The year is 1855. Blackface minstrelsy is the most popular form of entertainment in a nation about to be torn apart by the battle over slavery. Henry Sims, a fugitive slave and a brilliant musician, has escaped to Philadelphia, where he lives by his wits and earns money performing on the street. He is befriended by James Douglass leader of the Virginia Harmonists, a minstrel troupe struggling to compete with dozens of similar ensembles who senses that Henry’s skill and magnetism could restore his show’s sagging fortunes. The problem is that black performers are not allowed to appear onstage, even in Philadelphia. Together the two concoct a dangerous masquerade to protect Henry’s identity, and he creates a sensation in his first appearances with the Harmonists. Yet even as the troupe’s fortunes begin to improve, a brutal slave hunter named Tull Burton has been employed by Henry’s former master to track down the runaway and retrieve him, dead or alive.

& At 7 pm Tuesday at Cafe Istanbul Lost Love Letters launches a monthly event where regular folks read vintage letters, bad love poetry, childhood diaries, and other artifacts of youthful angst. Inspired by the Mortified Nation events held in other cities, but this event is based on the theme of love. Events are held on the third Tuesday of each month. This month’s kick-off is a benefit for the Lafayette Grand Theater shooting. We are seeking readers for our next event. If you are interested in reading, please contact us at lostlovelettersnola@gmail.com or facebook.com/lostlovelettersnola.

& Wednesday at 6 pm at Octavia Books Michael Murphy, author of EAT DAT, is back with the second book in his planned three-book set, FEAR DAT New Orleans: A Guide to the Voodoo, Vampires, Graveyards & Ghosts of the Crescent City. Cari Roy, the #1 rated psychic in America, joins him to celebrate and offer free five-minute readings. It’s a reading with readings! New Orleans is famous for many things: smoky jazz clubs, spicy gumbo, sweet (but strong) cocktails. But the city is also known for its affinity for the dark side. Walk around the French Quarter and you’ll be greeted by centuries-old cemetery vaults, flamboyant fortune tellers, and—if you’re lucky—maybe something a bit more supernatural. Fear Dat provides a complete tour of all the sights and scares the Crescent City has to offer. Travel writer and New Orleans resident Michael Murphy takes readers through a brief history of Voodoo, and tells many of New Orleans’s best ghost stories and most gruesome murders. But, like Mardi Gras and Second Line Funerals, the point is to participate; Fear Dat encourages visitors to enrich their stay in the Big Easy by doing something, not just reading about it. That might include getting the most reliable psychic reading, buying some authentic gris gris, or finding the grave of a Voodoo queen.

& Also at 6 pm Wednesday Garden District Book Shop presents Garth Stein’s A Sudden Light. Twenty-three years after the fateful summer of 1990, Trevor Riddell recalls the events surrounding his fourteenth birthday, when he gets his first glimpse of the infamous Riddell House. Built from the spoils of a massive timber fortune, the legendary family mansion is constructed of giant whole trees and is set on a huge estate overlooking Seattle’s Puget Sound. Trevor’s bankrupt parents have separated, and his father, Jones Riddell, has brought Trevor to Riddell House with a goal: to join forces with Aunt Serena, dispatch the ailing and elderly Grandpa Samuel to a nursing home, sell off the house and property for development, and divide up the profits.
But as young Trevor explores the house’s hidden stairways and forgotten rooms, he discovers secrets that convince him that the family plan may be at odds with the land’s true destiny. Only Trevor’s willingness to face the dark past of his forefathers will reveal the key to his family’s future.

& Wednesday at 7 pm THE WAVES returns for a second year at Press Street’s Antenna Gallery! Come out to hear Megan Burns, Jen Hanks, Marisa Clogher, Foster Noone and perhaps more! The Waves Reading Series at Antenna Gallery: a new LGBTIQ reading series presenting student voices, local writers, and visiting writers side by side.

& Wednesday night from 8-9 pm, come drink some coffee and make your voice heard at the Neutral Ground Poetry Hour, 5110 Danneel Street.

& If you missed it Tuesday, Wednesday at 6 pm Garden District Books hosts Tom Piazza’s A Free State. See the details above.

& Thursday at 6 pm Octavia Books hosts a reading and signing with Edgar Award finalist Mathew Guinn featuring his new novel, THE SCRIBE. If you came to Guinn’s event last year for THE RESSURECTIONIST, his debut book, you already know how good he is at atmospheric, storytelling with gruesome twists. THE SCRIBE ramps it up another notch.

“….a heady mix of history, sizzle, punch, and danger.”—Steve Berry, New York Times best-selling author of The Patriot Threat

On the eve of Atlanta’s 1881 International Cotton Exposition, disgraced former detective Thomas Canby is called back to Atlanta to track a serial murderer who seems to be targeting the city’s wealthiest black entrepreneurs. The killer’s distinct style is unusually gruesome: on each victim’s body, a letter of the alphabet is inscribed. Intent on shielding the city’s celebration of New South industry, its cabal of prominent businessmen—“the Ring”—pressure Canby to tie up the case quickly. Paired with Atlanta’s first African American officer, Cyrus Underwood, Canby must face down persistent racism, including his own prejudices, to find the source of these bloody crimes. Meanwhile, if he can restore his reputation, he might win back the woman he loves.

& 7 pm Thursday it is an Author Night at the Nix Library featuring Richard Sexton, a fine art and media photographer whose work has been published and exhibited worldwide. His most recent book, Creole World, was published by the Historic New Orleans Collection. Previously published titles include a monograph, Terra Incognita: Photographs of America’s Third Coast, and the best-selling book, New Orleans Elegance and Decadence. Sexton will present a slide show of his work.

& Also at 7 pm the SciFi, Fantasy and Horror Writer’s Group meets at the East Jefferson 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.

& This and every Thursdays call the New Orleans Poetry Brothel and they will read you a poem 8pm-Midnight CST. 504-264-1336.

& Friday at 2 pm at Octavia Books Leslie Zemeckis will read, sign, and discuss GODDESS OF LOVE INCARNATE. Lili St. Cyr was, in the words of legendary reporter Mike Wallace, the highest paid stripteaser in America. Wallace was so fascinated by Lili that out of all the presidents and celebrities he interviewed over a long career, she was the one he remained fixated on. Her beauty had that kind of effect. Lili led an incredible life six marriages, romances with Orson Wells, Yul Brenner, Vic Damone, arrests on indecency charges, a number of suicide attempts all alongside great fame and money. A bigger star than Gypsy Rose Lee, Lili was named one of the world’s ten most beautiful women alongside Ava Gardner and Brigitte Bardot. Yet she lost it all, becoming a recluse in her final decades. Goddess of Love Incarnate is the definitive biography of this legendary figure, done with the cooperation of Lili’s only surviving sister. But the book does more than fascinate readers with stories of a byone era; it reveals that behind the g-strings and the pasties stood a complicated, eccentric, brilliant woman, much loved and little understood. As an award winning documentary filmmaker and writer, Leslie Zemeckis restores Lili to her rightful place in American history in a way no other writer could.

& Saturday at 10 am the East Jefferson Regional Library hosts a meeting of the Southern Louisiana Chapter of the Romance Writers of America. Local agent Pamela Gray Ahearn and authors Farrah Rochon and Candice Proctor will talk about the value of traditional publishing.

& Every Sunday at 3 pm The Maple Leaf Reading Series hosts and open mic and featured artists. This Sunday’s event is TBD, but there is always an open mic unless in conflict with a late afternoon Saint’s game. The Maple Leaf Reading Series is the oldest continuous reading in the south (interrupted only by Katrina), and was founded by noted and beloved local poet Everette Maddox.

Odd Words September 6, 2015

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 coming week in literary New Orleans:

& Monday all area libraries will be closed in observance of Labor Day. Check your favorite Indie Book Store for holiday hours as well.

& Andrew Malan Milward, author of I WAS A REVOLUTIONARY, will chat with M.O. Walsh, author of MY SUNSHINE AWAY at Octavia Books Tuesday at 6 pm. Grounded in place, spanning the Civil War to the present day, the stories in I WAS A REVOLUTIONARY capture the roil of history through the eyes of an unforgettable cast of characters: the visionaries and dreamers, the radical farmers and socialist journalists, the quack doctors and protesters who haunt the past and present landscape of the American heartland. 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.

& At 7 pm Tuesday the Hubbell Library in Algiers hosts an Author Night featuring Deborah Burst, author of Louisiana’s Sacred Places: Churches, Cemeteries, and Voodoo.

& Also at 7 pm Tuesday the Westbank Fiction Writers’ Group meets at the Edith S. Lawson Library in Westwego. Writing exercises or discussions of points of fiction and/or critique sessions of members’ submissions. Meets the second and fourth Tuesday of every month. Moderator: Gary Bourgeois. Held in the meeting Room.

& At 7:30 pm pm Tuesday Randy Fertel, most recently author of A Taste for Chaos: The Art of Literary Improvisation will be talking about improvisation and Jung’s most mysterious book, The Red Book, for the Jung Society of New Orleans, at Parker Memorial United Methodist Church, 1130 Nashville Ave.

& Wednesday at 6 pm Octavia Books hosts a reading and siging with author Hester Young featuring her debut novel, THE GATES OF EVANGELINE. When New York journalist and recently bereaved mother Charlotte Charlie Cates begins to experience vivid dreams about children she’s sure that she’s lost her mind. Yet these are not the nightmares of a grieving parent, she soon realizes. They are messages and warnings that will help Charlie and the children she sees, if only she can make sense of them.

& At 7 pm Wednesday the East Jefferson Regional Library hosts an Author Event: Katrina Memoir Panel. The meeting is free of charge and is open to the public. Books will be available for sale to those who would like to purchase them. Featured will be: Voices of Angels by John Batty, The St. Bernard Fire Department in Hurricane Katrina by Michelle Buuck, and Lost in Katrina by Mikel Schaefer by Mikel Schaefer. Event and author details are available on the library’s website.

& Wednesday night from 8-9 pm, come drink some coffee and make your voice heard at the Neutral Ground Poetry Hour, 5110 Danneel Street.

& Thursday at 4:30 pm to 6 pm the Algiers Regional Library In Partnership with New Orleans Youth Open Mic (NOYOM) presents a Spoken Word Workshops for Teens. At each workshop students will channel their creativity to write and perform original spoken word pieces. Using model texts from local and national artists, students will elevate their craft while also building a community of young artists. Hosted by A Scribe Called Quess? of NOYOM and Team SNO.

& Thursday at 6:30 pm the East Jefferson Writers Group meets at the East Jefferson Regional Library. The 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. Free and open to the public. No registration

& This and every Thursdays call the New Orleans Poetry Brothel and they will read you a poem 8pm-Midnight CST. 504-264-1336.

& Saturday from 2 to 6 pm at Morning Call Born to the Beat, the New Orleans event for the National Beat Poetry Festival, features state and local poets celebrating the Beat Generation. Featured will be poets William F. DeVault, Gina Ferrara, Dennis Formento, John Gery, Tyler Gillespie, Kia Groom, Kelly Harris-DeBerry, Carolyn Hembree, July Kane, Biljana Obradovic, Valentine Pierce, A Scribe Call Quest?, M.E. Riler, Kristina Robinson, Mona Lisa Saloy, Terri Shrum, Claire Welsh and emcee poets Megan Burns and Alex Jennnings.

& Saturdays at 11:30 am it’s Storytime with Miss Maureen at Maple Street Book Shop. This week she’ll read McToad Mows Tiny Island by Tom Angleberger, illustrated by John Hendrix. McToad likes Thursdays. Why? Because on every other day of the week, McToad mows Big Island, but on Thursdays, McToad mows Tiny Island. To do so, he puts his mower on the back of a truck, which drives to a train, which goes to a helicopter, which flies to a boat, which uses a crane to put the lawn mower onto Tiny Island. There McToad mows and drinks some lemonade, and before you know it, it’s time to turn around and go back home. But first, the mower has to get lifted by a crane, to get put back on a boat, which is lifted by a helicopter, and . . . well . . . you get the idea. From master storyteller Tom Angleberger and celebrated illustrator John Hendrix comes this playful narrative that treasures the journey over the destination, with lots of planes, trains, and automobiles to boot.

& Saturday at 1 pm the Norman Mayer Library in Gentilly hosts a T(w)een Weekend Writing Workshop. No matter what kind of writing you do or even if just think you’d like to, join us 2nd Saturdays in the Teen Room to talk about and share (if you want to) your stories, poetry, scripts, or comics.

& Also on Saturday Maple Street Book Shop will celebrate owner Gladin Scott’s birthday with lunch, cake, ice cream, and a book sale! 10% off all new and 20% off all used books! One day only, no other discounts apply.

& At 4 pm Saturday the Spoken Word Weekly Workshop for Teens at the Nix Library. Studying the work of contemporary poets and spoken word artists, teens will focus on imagery, metaphor, narrative, and other important devices as they create their own written work. The workshop is led by Sam Gordon, a spoken word artist and educator based in New Orleans.

& Saturday at 6 pm Garden District Books hosts Wendell Pierce at the Historic Carver Theater in The Wind in the Reeds: A Storm, A Play, and the City That would Not Be Broken discussion and book signing. From acclaimed actor and producer Wendell Pierce, an insightful and poignant portrait of family, New Orleans and the transforming power of art. Pierce and his family were some of the lucky ones: They survived and were able to ride out the storm at a relative’s house 70 miles away. When they were finally allowed to return, they found their family home in tatters, their neighborhood decimated. Heartbroken but resilient, Pierce vowed to help rebuild, and not just his family’s home, but all of Pontchartrain Park. In this powerful and redemptive narrative, Pierce brings together the stories of his family, his city, and his history, why they are all worth saving and the critical importance art played in reuniting and revitalizing this unique American city. Limited seating available on a first come, first serve basis. VIP tickets are available. Limited to 50, These tickets can be purchased for $25.00 and include a meet and greet with Wendell Pierce, beginning at 6:00PM. General admission tickets are available on Eventbrite, and are are $5.00 in advance and $7.00 at the door.

& There is no reading at the  Maple Leaf Reading Series due to conflict with an afternoon Saints game. The Maple Leaf Reading Series is the oldest continuous reading in the south (interrupted only by Katrina), and was founded by noted and beloved local poet Everette Maddox.

Odd Words August 23, 2015

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.
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This coming week in literary New Orleans:

& Monday at 6 pm Octavia Books hosts a reading and signing with author Ellen Urbani celebrating her new novel, LANDFALL. Two mothers and their teenage daughters, whose lives collide in a fatal car crash, take turns narrating Ellen Urbani’s breathtaking novel, Landfall, set in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Eighteen-year-olds Rose and Rosebud have never met but they share a birth year, a name, and a bloody pair of sneakers. Rose’s quest to atone for the accident that kills Rosebud, a young woman so much like herself but for the color of her skin, unfolds alongside Rosebud’s battle to survive the devastating flooding in the Lower Ninth Ward and to find help for her unstable mother. These unforgettable characters give voice to the dead of the storm and, in a stunning twist, demonstrate how what we think we know can make us blind to what matters most.

& Tuesday at 6 pm Garden District Book Shop features Roberta Brandes Gratz’s We’re Still Here Ya Bastards: How the People of New Orleans Rebuilt Their City. Watching coverage of the hurricane on television in 2005, noted urbanist and veteran journalist Roberta Brandes Gratz knew that the best chance for the city’s recovery came from the people who would return to New Orleans. She also knew that she wanted to see for herself how the city would respond. Two years later, after having made several trips to the area and written several articles, Gratz bought a house in the Bywater neighborhood of New Orleans and immersed herself in the life of the city. We’re Still Here Ya Bastards presents an unprecedented panoramic look at New Orleans’ recovery in the years following the hurricane. From the Lower Ninth Ward to the storied French Quarter, Gratz shares the stories of people who returned to their homes and have taken the rebuilding of their city into their own hands. An internationally renowned urban critic, Gratz shows how the city is recovering despite erroneous governmental policies that serve private interests rather than the public good. By telling stories that are often ignored by the mainstream media, We’re Still Here Ya Bastards shows the strength and resilience of a community that continues to work to rebuild New Orleans.

& At 7 pm Tuesday the West bank Fiction Writers’ Group meets at The Edith S. Lawson Library in Westwego. Writing exercises or discussions of points of fiction and/or critique sessions of members’ submissions. Meets the second and fourth Tuesday of every month. Moderator: Gary Bourgeois. Held in the meeting Room.

& Also at 6 pm Octavia Books welcomes Louisiana native son Blaine Lourd when he returns to discuss and sign his memoir, BORN ON THE BAYOU.

As the youngest brother and son of a father whom I respected, feared, and idolized, I know well the rights of passage Blaine writes about: We don’t really become men in our fathers eyes UNTIL we buck them and go our own way. Hard, scary and at times unfair, it works. Blaine Lourd tells a personal story that a lot of sons and little brothers know well. A story that a lot of us wouldn’t be where we are today without.”  –Matthew McConaughey

&  Gary Rivlin will be at Maple Street Book Shop, Wednesday, August 26th, at 6PM to read from his book, Katrina: After the Flood.  Ten years after Hurricane Katrina made landfall in southeast Louisiana, journalist Gary Rivlin traces the storm’s immediate damage, the city of New Orleans’s efforts to rebuild itself, and the storm’s lasting affects not just on the city’s geography and infrastructure-but on the psychic, racial, and social fabric of one of this nation’s great cities. This book traces the stories of New Orleanians of all stripes-politicians and business owners, teachers and bus drivers, poor and wealthy, black and white-as they confront the aftermath of one of the great tragedies of our age and reconstruct, change, and in some cases abandon a city that’s the soul of this nation.

& Also at 6 pm Wednesday Octavia Books hosts acclaimed YA novelist Libba Bray is coming to NOLA to celebrate the release of LAIR OF DREAMS, the follow-up to THE DIVINERS.vAfter a supernatural showdown with a serial killer, Evie O’Neill has outed herself as a Diviner. Now that the world knows of her ability to “read” objects, and therefore, read the past, she has become a media darling, earning the title, “America’s Sweetheart Seer.” But not everyone is so accepting of the Diviners’ abilities. Meanwhile, mysterious deaths have been turning up in the city, victims of an unknown sleeping sickness. Can the Diviners descend into the dream world and catch a killer?

& At 7 pm it’s Big Easy Author Night featuring Tom Piazza at the Keller Library & Community Center. Piazza is celebrated both as a novelist and as a music journalist. His twelve books include the novels A Free State, City of Refuge, the post-Katrina manifesto Why New Orleans Matters, and Devil Sent the Rain, a collection of his essays and journalism. He was a principal writer for the innovated HBO drama series Treme, and the winner of a Grammy Award for his album notes to Martin Scorsese Presents the Blues: A Musical Journey.

& At the East Jefferson Regional Library it’s also an Author Event featuring Conversations with My Daughter About Human Trafficking. Stephanie Hepburn, a local author and attorney, will discuss her new book for children titled Conversations with My Daughter About Human Trafficking. The event is free of charge and is open to the public. Books will be available for sale for those who would like to purchase them. Hepburn’s book focuses on the question – How does one get into a conversation with children about how individuals are tricked, extorted and enslaved without exposing them to ideas that may be too mature for them, such as sexual exploitation, rape and the murder of their loved ones?

Beginning Wednesday at 7 pm and running through Friday The Telling: Photo exhibit by Andy Levin, A reading + new work by Chris Rose, and Sounds provided by The Piano Warehouse. Independent curator Pamala Bishop brings together internationally renowned photographer ANDY LEVIN with Pulitzer Prize winning author CHRIS ROSE for THE TELLING, a multi-sensory experience of Katrina explored through visual art, music and written word. By Admission.

& Wednesday night from 8-9 pm, come drink some coffee and make your voice heard at the Neutral Ground Poetry Hour, 5110 Danneel Street.

& Thursday at 6 pm Garden District Book Shop features John Biguenet’s Rising Water Trilogy: Plays. Widely praised by critics and hailed by audiences, the award-winning plays in John Biguenet’s The Rising Water Trilogy examine the emotional toll of Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Approaching the storm, the levee collapse, and subsequent socioeconomic catastrophe through the lives of three couples and their families, Biguenet conveys insights into the universal nature of trauma and feelings of loss with heart-wrenching intimacy and palliative humor. Each play–Rising Water, Shotgun, and Mold–incorporates the structure of a house as it examines the anatomy of love, moving from the hours just after the levees’ collapse to four months into the flood’s chaotic aftermath–and then to a year later when a family returns to their now mold-encrusted home. In aggregate, these plays employ the seemingly simple act of living together to examine questions of what home truly means. Biguenet also delves into the consequences of living in a city wracked by catastrophe and long-simmering racial tensions, yet so beloved by its inhabitants that even decades of federal neglect and municipal mismanagement cannot erase their emotional attachment to the place and to each other.

& Thursday at 6 pm Octavia Books features a presentation and signing with anthropologist Katherine E. Browne featuring her new book, STANDING IN THE NEED: Culture, Comfort, and Coming Home After Katrina. The book presents an intimate account of an extended Lower St. Bernard Parish African-American family’s ordeal after Hurricane Katrina. Before the storm struck, this family of 300 members lived in the bayou communities of St. Bernard Parish just outside New Orleans. Rooted there like the wild red iris of the coastal wetlands, the family had gathered for generations to cook and share homemade seafood meals, savor conversation, and refresh their interconnected lives In this lively narrative, Katherine Browne weaves together voices and experiences from eight years of post-Katrina research. Her story documents the heartbreaking struggles to remake life after everyone in the family faced ruin. Cast against a recovery landscape managed by outsiders, the efforts of family members to help themselves could get no traction; outsiders undermined any sense of their control over the process. In the end, the insights of the story offer hope. Written for a broad audience and supported by an array of photographs and graphics,

& At the East Bank Regional Library of Jefferson Parish the SciFi, Fantasy and Horror Writer’s Group meets at 7 pm. 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

& This and every Thursdays call the New Orleans Poetry Brothel and they will read you a poem 8pm-Midnight CST. 504-264-1336.

& Saturday at 11:30 am  it’s Story Time with Miss Maureen. In remembrance of 10 years past, we’ll read Marvelous Cornelius: Hurricane Katrina and the Spirit of New Orleans by Phil Bildner (Chronicle Books, $16.99). In New Orleans, there lived a man who saw the streets as his calling, and he swept them clean. He danced up one avenue and down another and everyone danced along. The old ladies whistled and whirled. The old men hooted and hollered. The barbers, bead twirlers, and beignet bakers bounded behind that one-man parade. But then came the rising Mississippi and a storm greater than anyone had seen before. In this heartwarming book about a real garbage man, Phil Bildner and John Parra tell the inspiring story of a humble man and the heroic difference he made in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Also,  The Two Bobbies by Kirby Larson, Mary Nethery, illustrated by Jean Cassels, which  tells the real-life story of animal friendship between a dog and a cat who helped each other survive during and after Katrina.

& At 2 pm Saturday a Poetry Reading: Before, During, and Since, will be hosted by master of poetical ceremonies Gina Ferrara at the Latter Memorial Library. Readers TBA in the daily post (or updated here when I find out).

& At 4 pm Saturday the Spoken Word Weekly Workshop for Teens at the Nix Library. Studying the work of contemporary poets and spoken word artists, teens will focus on imagery, metaphor, narrative, and other important devices as they create their own written work. The workshop is led by Sam Gordon, a spoken word artist and educator based in New Orleans.

& Sunday at 3 pm The Maple Leaf Reading Series features a Katrina Open Mic. The Maple Leaf Reading Series is the oldest continuous reading in the south (making an allowance for Katrina), and was founded by noted and beloved local poet Everette Maddox.

Odd Words August 9, 2015

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 coming week in literary New Orleans:

& Monday at 6 pm Octavia Books hosts a presentation and signing with Ryan Stradal featuring his debut novel KITCHENS OF THE GREAT MIDWEST. When Lars Thorvald’s wife, Cynthia, falls in love with wine and a dashing sommelier he’s left to raise their baby, Eva, on his own. He’s determined to pass on his love of food to his daughter starting with pureed pork shoulder. As Eva grows, she finds her solace and salvation in the flavors of her native Minnesota. From Scandinavian lutefisk to hydroponic chocolate habaneros, each ingredient represents one part of Eva’s journey as she becomes the star chef behind a legendary and secretive pop-up supper club, culminating in an opulent and emotional feast that’s a testament to her spirit and resilience. Each chapter in J. Ryan Stradal’s startlingly original debut tells the story of a single dish and character, at once capturing the zeitgeist of the Midwest, the rise of foodie culture, and delving into the ways food creates community and a sense of identity. By turns quirky, hilarious, and vividly sensory, Kitchens of the Great Midwest is an unexpected mother-daughter story about the bittersweet nature of life its missed opportunities and its joyful surprises. It marks the entry of a brilliant new talent.

& The Latter Memorial Library will be closed all week for termite abatement.

& Tuesday at 7 pm The Edith S. Lawson Library in Westwego hosts the Westbank Fiction Writers’ Group. Writing exercises or discussions of points of fiction and/or critique sessions of members’ submissions. Meets the second and fourth Tuesday of every month. Moderator: Gary Bourgeois. Held in the meeting Room.

& Wednesday night from 8-9 pm, come drink some coffee and make your voice heard at the Neutral Ground Poetry Hour, 5110 Danneel Street.

Thursday at 7 pm the East Jefferson Regional Library hosts an Author Event! Two Local Authors Talk About Their New Memoir. A Big Easy Childhood, by Guy Lyman – Guy Lyman’s memoir focuses on Ray’s Rollerama, Pontchartrain Beach, McKenzie’s, and Easter bunnies in the window of Scheinuk the Florist. Actor and New Orleans native Bryan Batt called the book “A fun and honestly nostalgic memoir. For lovers of all things New Orleans, this delightfully quick read captures a slice of our culture and a lot that ‘ain’t dere no more’.” Guy Lyman is a writer, entrepreneur and owner of Guy Lyman Fine Art on Magazine Street.

VeizerVizerWiezerWieser, A Memoir, Eight Stories and a Search from Granite City to Kompolt, is Keith Viezer’s memoir of his father’s Hungarian family and a history of Lincoln Place, the unique ethnic neighborhood in Granite City, Illinois, where they grew up. It also contains an account of the author’s three trips to Kompolt, the village in Hungary where they and many other Hungarian families immigrated to settle in Lincoln Place in the early 1900s. This book also includes eight short stories written and published over the years that connect Viezer’s family and the neighborhood where he was born.

& Also at 7 pm Thursday the East Bank Regional Library hosts the 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. Free and open to the public. No registration.

& This and every Thursdays call the New Orleans Poetry Brothel and they will read you a poem 8pm-Midnight CST. 504-264-1336.

Saturday at 11:30 am at Maple Street Book Shop it’s Story Time with Miss Maureen. This week she’ll read Yak and Gnu by Juliette McIver, illustrated by Cat Chapman. A romp in the river with Yak in his kayak and Gnu in his canoe leads to a safari full of unusual nautical discoveries!

& Also at 11:30 am Maple Street Book Shop will be hosting George Sanchez, the author of the Jeff Chaussier mysteries. He will be signing copies of both titles, Exploration’s End and Lit by Lightning.Jeff Chaussier has left his mediocre career as an actor in the Midwest because of another family problem, this time with his cousin Cal. Back in New Orleans with another mystery to solve, he discovers his old friends are dealing with a thriving drug trade. His search sends him to the university theatre, drug lairs, and Bryna’s patio to see if there is still a flame burning there. Has she healed from her injuries suffered in their first adventure? As he pokes about, learning new secrets about Bryna, he receives a second task from the same “certain mysterious gentlemen” who helped him last time. Jeff’s family and friends offer aid as he tries to discover Bryna’s secrets, help his cousin Cal, and keep those “certain gentlemen” placated. Without detective skills, but with a colorful collection of friends, old and new, Jeff pokes and pries, discovering new corners of New Orleans and plots within plots. EXPLORATION’S END is the second novel in the Jeffrey Chaussier mystery series following LIT BY LIGHTNING.The adventures of Jeff, Bryna, his family and his friends continue in the next Jeff Chaussier New Orleans Mystery, A PLACE UNCHANGED due next Christmas.

& Saturday at 10 am the East Jefferson Regional Library hosts the Meeting of the Southern Louisiana Chapter of the Romance Writers of America. Jim Azevedo, marketing director for Smashwords, will continue his three-part webinar series about self-publishing at 10 a.m. on Saturday, August 15 at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon, Metairie.

& At 1 pm Saturday the Norman Mayer Library hosts T(w)een Weekend Writing Workshop. No matter what kind of writing you do or even if just think you’d like to, join us 2nd Saturdays in the Teen Room to talk about and share (if you want to) your stories, poetry, scripts, or comics.

& At 4 pm Saturday the Spoken Word Weekly Workshop for Teens at the Nix Library. Studying the work of contemporary poets and spoken word artists, teens will focus on imagery, metaphor, narrative, and other important devices as they create their own written work. The workshop is led by Sam Gordon, a spoken word artist and educator based in New Orleans.

& Sunday at 2 pm Octavia Books features author Dana Gynther comes for a reading, signing, and discussion featuring THE WOMAN IN THE PHOTOGRAPH, a richly drawn novel about a talented and fearless young woman in the 1920s and 30s in Paris. Based around Lee Miller’s life, the story follows her as she catches the eye of Man Ray; and their story takes off. As with books like The Paris Wife and The American Heiress, THE WOMAN IN THE PHOTOGRAPH is a beautifully crafted portrait of a daring woman of her time.. Though Lee gets her start as an assistant to the well-known photographer Man Ray, it doesn’t take her long to find her own path, and put her career above his own.

& Sunday at 3 pm The Maple Leaf Reading Series features an open mic. Coming up Aug. 23 poets Jimmy Ross and Laura Mattingly read from their work.The Maple Leaf Reading Series is the oldest continuous reading in the south (interrupted only by Katrina), and was founded by noted and beloved local poet Everette Maddox.

Beckett August 6, 2015

Posted by The Typist in books, literature, The Journey, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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How can you stand reading Beckett, she asked. I hate him.

I usually do not stand reading Beckett, as I do not frequently travel by city buses any more. More typically, I sit, although at times I recline, bolstered in the bed. And I do not read Beckett so much as enter into Beckett. I imagine myself in a chair in an empty room, as in a setting for End Game, or somewhere unidentifiable in the dark, as when I wake at an odd hour with my sleep mask on.  At such times there is an unsettling silence and stillness, leaving one entirely alone with one’s thoughts which is the most mentally unhealthy thing which a thinking person can do, I mean someone who really thinks, not just worries although worry always enters into it, worries not in the abstract but in the concrete concerns of a thinking, vivid imagination contemplating what slumbers in the dark, the great rendering gears of the world waiting for the sound of a bell to begin to grind and compress us into statistically satisfying compliance or into a reject package, like cast-off metal suitable for export. Or it is day and there is light, grey light while outside the drawn curtains the world rumbles and lurches by, an unbalanced machine always at the edge of the tipping point, lurching and smoking past the gutters of poverty where the hungry search the cast-off packaging of the rich for scraps, along streets the lamps of which are perpetually dimmed by willful ignorance, past crowded sidewalks governed by traffic rules the preeminent of which is eyes should not meet, but may wander the bodies of the opposite sex and appraise them as one does cuts of meet for quality versus expense, between buildings the windows of which have curtains drawn to hide their secrets, or which open into the spacious offices of those who rule over the cubicles, each worker like a bee assigned his place in the comb, beneath a sky laced with contrails of others hurrying on the errands of plutocratic commerce or toward resorts that decorate the coasts of mestizo poverty like colorful tumors.

I read Beckett, I tell her, to escape, to imagine him a madman, and that his material was not the world.

Odd Words August 2, 2015

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 coming week in literary New Orleans:

& Monday at 6 pm Octavia Books hosts New Orleans author Katy Simpson Smith – in conversation with author Laura Lane McNeal, author of DOLLBABY, celebrating the paperback release of THE STORY OF LAND AND SEA: A Novel. Simpson Smith stunned readers everywhere last year with this magnificent debut novel. Now, you can meet her in person when she returns to Octavia Books for the paperback edition. Highly recommend for book groups, or anyone. Drawn to the ocean, ten-year-old Tabitha wanders the marshes of her small coastal village and listens to her father’s stories about his pirate voyages and the mother she never knew. Since the loss of his wife, Helen, John has remained land-bound for their daughter, but when Tab contracts yellow fever, he turns to the sea once more. Desperate to save his daughter, he takes her aboard a sloop bound for Bermuda, hoping the salt air will heal her. in this elegant, evocative, and haunting debut, Katy Simpson Smith captures the singular love between parent and child, the devastation of love lost, and the desperate paths we travel in the name of renewal.

& Wednesday night from 8-9 pm, come drink some coffee and make your voice heard at the Neutral Ground Poetry Hour, 5110 Danneel Street.

& Reading Between the Wines hosts Laura Lane Mcneal, author of DOLLBABY and Greg Herren, author of THE ORION MASK Wednesday inside of the American Can Company from 7:00-8:00 pm. Mcneal grew up in New Orleans. She spent most of her career in advertising, and after Hurricane Katrina she seized the opportunity to fulfill her lifelong dream of becoming a writer. DOLLBABY is her first published novel. Herren is an award winning author of more than 20 novels and 50 short stories. He also works as a freelance editor and has edited 15 anthologies. He currently serves as president of the Southwest Chapter of the Mystery Writers of America and has served on the national board as well. In 2005, he was barred from a planned speaking engagement to the gay-straight alliance at Manchester High School in Virginia due to his erotic writing.

& Also this Wednesday at 6 pm Garden District Book Shop features John R. Batty’s Voices of Angels: Disaster Lessons From Katrina Nurses. Co-authors John R. Batty and Gail Tumulty interviewed dozens of nurses and healthcare workers after Hurricane Katrina and presented their findings at the American Nurses’ Association conference. In those interviews, collected in this volume, the nurses spoke about their experiences caring for patients at New Orleans hospitals and medical centers, including the Veterans Affairs Hospital, Charity Hospital, University Hospital, and Ochsner Medical Center. Batty and Tumulty’s additional lessons and disaster preparedness plans make this book an invaluable resource for healthcare professionals and consumers who need their care and a testament to the character of the men and women who worked under these incredible circumstances.

& Thursday at 7 pm the East Bank Regional Library hosts the SciFi, Fantasy and Horror Writer’s Group. 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.

& This and every Thursdays call the New Orleans Poetry Brothel and they will read you a poem 8pm-Midnight CST. 504-264-1336.

“Ten Years After – Chroniclers of the Storm,” the first-ever Jefferson Parish Library Literary Festival, will occur at 10 a.m. on Saturday, August 8 at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon, Metairie. The event is free of charge and is open to the public. Books will be available for those who would like to purchase them. The literary festival not only commemorates the 10-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina but honors and promotes the writers who put their words on paper so the world would know what happened here. The literary festival will feature writers who produced fiction, non-fiction, essays, memoir, children’s and young adult works, as well as artists who produced books of photography and art.

10 a.m. – Keynote Address Susan Larson, host of WWNO Radio’s The Reading Life, and author of Book Lover’s Guide to New Orleans, will discuss books about Hurricane Katrina during the past decade.

11 a.m. – Fiction Writer’s Panel

· Rexanne Becnel, Blink of an Eye and The Thief’s Only Child

· Laura Roach Dragon, Hurricane Boy

· Tony Dunbar, Tubby Meets Katrina and Night Watchman

· Patty Friedmann, A Little Bit Ruined; Taken Away; and Do Not Open for 50 Years

· Juyanne James, The Persimmon Trail

· Moderator: Julie Smith, New Orleans Mourning

12:30 – Interview with Chris Rose, 1 Dead in Attic

· Interviewer: Stephen Rea, Finn McCool’s Football Club: The Birth, Death and Resurrection of a Pub Soccer Team in the City of the Dead

2 p.m. – Panel discussion – Art and Photography Books

· Brad Benischek, Revacuation

· David Spielman, Katrinaville Chronicles and Katrina Decade Images of an Altered City

· Charlie Varley, Katrina 366

· Moderator: Anne Gisleson,

3:30 p.m. – Nonfiction Writer’s Panel

· John Batty, RN, Voices of Angels

· Richard Deichmann, MD, Code Blue: A Katrina Physician’s Memoir

· Carolyn Perry, For Better, For Worse Patient in the Maelstrom

· Moderator: James Nolan, PhD, Perpetual Care; Higher Ground and You Don’t Know Me

Saturday at 11:30 am at Maple Street Book Shop it’s Story Time with Miss Maureen. This week she’ll read Good Morning to Me! A cheerful parrot pushes the limits of early-morning energy in this exuberant picture book from the author-illustrator of “Red Sled” and “Flight School”.

& At 1 pm Saturday the Norman Mayer Library hosts T(w)een Weekend Writing Workshop. No matter what kind of writing you do or even if just think you’d like to, join us 2nd Saturdays in the Teen Room to talk about and share (if you want to) your stories, poetry, scripts, or comics.

& At 4 pm Saturday the Spoken Word Weekly Workshop for Teens at the Nix Library. Studying the work of contemporary poets and spoken word artists, teens will focus on imagery, metaphor, narrative, and other important devices as they create their own written work. The workshop is led by Sam Gordon, a spoken word artist and educator based in New Orleans.

& Sunday at 3 pm The Maple Leaf Reading Series features an open mic. Coming up Aug. 23 poets Jimmy Ross and Laura Mattingly read from their work.The Maple Leaf Reading Series is the oldest continuous reading in the south (interrupted only by Katrina), and was founded by noted and beloved local poet Everette Maddox.

& Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society And Louisiana State Museum To Host Multi-Author Reception Honoring Faulkner Society
Gold Medal Fiction Writers With New Novels Just Released Sunday from 2:30 to 4:30 pm at the Cabildo. The Society will join hands with the Louisiana State Museum to honor Frederick Barton, author In the Wake of the Flagship; Moira Crone, author of The Ice Garden, Jennifer Steil, author of The Ambassador’s Wife, and J. Ryan Stradal, author of Kitchens of the Great Midwest.

Odd Words July 26, 2015

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 coming week in literary New Orleans:

& Tuesday at 7 pm Edith S. Lawson Library in Westwego hosts Westbank Fiction Writers’ Group. Writing exercises or discussions of points of fiction and/or critique sessions of members’ submissions. Meets the second and fourth Tuesday of every month. Moderator: Gary Bourgeois. Held in the meeting Room

& Wednesday night from 8-9 pm, come drink some coffee and make your voice heard at the Neutral Ground Poetry Hour, 5110 Danneel Street.

& Thursday at 6 pm Garden District Book Shop hosts John E. Wade II and The Bipolar Millionaire and the Operation. John E. Wade II, author, investor, and millionaire, reveals in his memoir, The Bipolar Millionaire and the Operation, his personal struggle with bipolar disorder and his experience being the focus of an all-encompassing and benevolent entity he calls the Operation. Wade takes the reader through his family experiences, political aspirations and beliefs, spiritual journey, relationship trials and errors, battle with mental illness, and how he feels he has been cured of the detrimental aspects of bipolar disorder. With the help of a unique and powerful network he calls the Operation, and through religious beliefs, personal perseverance, and the help of friends, family, and his mental health professionals, Wade lives an active, creative, and successful life. His memoir doesn’t end with contentment at achieving a balance in his life, however. Instead, Wade expresses a determined vision for the future, aiming to assist humanity in finding lasting peace and prosperity through his writing, political, and spiritual endeavors, as well as through being the focus of the ever-pervasive Operation

& Thursday at 6 pm Octavia Books hosts a reading and signing with New Orleans author Mary Helen Lagasse celebrating the release of her second novel, NAVEL OF THE MOON. A freelance writer and journalist, Vicenta (“Vicky”) Lumière has moved beyond her upbringing in the diverse Irish Chan­nel neighborhood of New Orleans. But a visit to her childhood friend Lonnie Cavanaugh in the Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women brings back a flood of memories.In Navel of the Moon, the follow-up to her acclaimed debut The Fifth Sun, Mary Helen Lagasse turns to the 1950s and 60s, where a young Vicky learns that the complicated people that we become as adults and the complicated world that adults create are shaped by events in childhood. The adults around her, beginning with her Mexican grandmother, Mimy, the family storyteller—who says she is from the “navel of the moon”—often confound and sometimes trouble Vicky. Yet Vicky’s strength of character is pro­foundly affected by the complexity of life, and in particular that of her troubled childhood friend Lonnie and of Valentina Dreyfus, the Holocaust survivor who becomes Vicky’s closest confidante.

& This and every Thursdays call the New Orleans Poetry Brothel and they will read you a poem 8pm-Midnight CST. 504-264-1336.

& Friday at 5:30 pm Octavia Books hosts a Find Waldo Party! Now, come join us for fun, games and the drawing of The Grand Prize (and lots of other prizes) for everyone who found Waldo in New Orleans this July Regardless of your age, you are encouraged to come in costume. The famous children’s book character in the striped shirt and black-rimmed specs has been hobnobbing all month at 25 different independent local shops all around Octavia Books – from ice cream parlors, snowball stands, chocolate shops, and eateries to toy stores, hobby shops, movie theaters, and bike shops. Those who spot him can win prizes, including buttons, book coupons and great gifts contributed from all of the participating local businesses, with the grand prize being a six-volume deluxe set of Waldo books. Collecting store stamps or signatures at 20 or more businesses will entitle diligent seekers to entry in a grand prize drawing at the Waldo party. There is no charge to participate. And the hunt is still on.

Here are the participating businesses:

Angelique Baby & Kids – 5519 Magazine St.
Art & Eyes – 3708 Magazine St.
The Bead Shop – 4612 Magazine St.
Blue Frog Chocolates – 5707 Magazine St.
Canine Culture – 4920 Tchoupitoulas St.
Clement Hardware & Variety – 6000 Magazine St.
Creole Creamery – 4924 Prytania St.
Crescent City Comics – 4916 Freret St
Dat Dog – 5030 Freret St.
Dat Dog – 3336 Magazine St.
Dirty Coast – 5631 Magazine St.
Feet First – 4122 Magazine St.
Hansen’s Sno-Bliz – 4801 Tchoupitoulas St.
Jefferson Feed – 6047 Magazine St.
Magic Box – 5508 Magazine St.
Mike the Bike Guy – 4411 Magazine St.
National Art and Hobby – 5835 Magazine St.
Octavia Books – 513 Octavia St.
P’s & Q’s – 5720 Magazine St.
Plum – 5430 Magazine St.
PrytaniaTheatre – 5339 Prytania St.
Rye – 4223 Magazine St.
Scriptura – 5423 Magazine St.
Toast – 5433 Laurel St..
Weinstein’s – 4011 Magazine St.

& On Friday July 31st, Tubby & Coo’s, in collaboration with By the Clock, will be hosting a birthday party for the boy who lived! Join us from 6:30 – 8:30PM for food, games, crafts, and fun, all in the spirit of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Register soon – this is a limited availability event with only 24 open spots!

& At 9:30 pm Friday the Zeitgeist Multi-Disciplinary Arts Center hosts Moroccan poet and singer El Habib Louai and his band perform at New Orleans’s longest-lived alternative theater. $10. Sponsored by 100,000 Poets For Change, New Orleans and Surregional Press. El Habib recites original in English, Arabic and his native Amazigh plus Arabic translations of major Beat poets. Supporting local musicians include Will Thompson, keyboards and Ray Moore, saxphone.

& At 2 pm Saturday the Latter Memorial Library hosts Join us the monthly Poetry Buffet Reading. Poets Steve Beisner, Christian Champagne, David Cook, and Mary Emma Dutreix Pierson read from their work.

& At 4 pm Saturday the Spoken Word Weekly Workshop for Teens at the Nix Library. Studying the work of contemporary poets and spoken word artists, teens will focus on imagery, metaphor, narrative, and other important devices as they create their own written work. The workshop is led by Sam Gordon, a spoken word artist and educator based in New Orleans.

& Sunday at 3 pm The Maple Leaf Reading Series features an open mic. The Maple Leaf Reading Series is the oldest continuous reading in the south (making an allowance for Katrina), and was founded by noted and beloved local poet Everette Maddox.

Odd Words July 19, 2015

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.
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This coming week in literary New Orleans:

& The New Orleans Haiku Society shares Haiku on the third Monday of every month at the Latter Branch Library, 5120 St. Charles Ave., from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. All are invited to attend. For more information call 596-2625.

& Tuesday at 6 pm Garden District Book Shop features David G. Spielman’s The Katrina Decade: Images of An Altered City. The book includes 125 stark, black-and-white photos of New Orleans in the years after the storm. Acting as a window into New Orleans in the last ten years and providing an extention of the work done by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and the Farm Security Administration (FSA). With images whose simplicity evokes the work of FSA photographers Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange, and Gordon Parks. In the ten years since Hurricane Katrina’s storm surge overwhelmed New Orleans’s levee system, the catastrophe has lived in the public imagination as a parade of dramatic images. Often overlooked are smaller, more gradual changes. For years, David G. Spielman has documented these inconspicuous changes. The photographs depict the devastation and despair of the storm, but also have a quality of the haunting melancholy beauty that has befallen the city.

& Tuesday at the Ashe Cultural Arts Center at 7 pm it’s the latest entry in Teatro Sin Fronteras is a series of Seven Movable Feasts to engage the community at large with interdisciplinary theater events, music, & food to celebrate the contributions of LATINAS/LATINOS to the post-Katrina Rebirth of New Orleans in commemoration of the 10th Anniversary of the storm.

& On Wednesday at 6 pm Garden District Book Shops hosts Laura McNeill and Center of Gravity. The truth could cost her everything. Her whole life, Ava Carson has been sure of one thing: she doesn’t measure up to her mother’s expectations. So when Mitchell Carson sweeps into her life with his adorable son, the ready-made family seems like a dream come true. In the blink of an eye, she’s married, has a new baby, and life is wonderful. Or is it? Her husband’s behavior grows more controlling by the day, revealing a violent jealous streak. His behavior is recklessly erratic, and the unanswered questions about his past now hint at something far more sinister than Ava can stomach. Before she can fit the pieces together, Mitchell files for divorce and demands full custody of their boys.

& Wednesday night from 8-9 pm, come drink some coffee and make your voice heard at the Neutral Ground Poetry Hour, 5110 Danneel Street.

& Thursday at 6 pm at the Rosa Keller Library founding members of the Peauxdunque Writers AllianceMaurice Carlos Ruffin, Terri S. Shrum, and Tad Bartlett will read their works in a no-holds-barred, 21-and-over show at the Rosa Keller Library.

& Meanwhile, the Mid-City Branch Library hosts an Author Night featuring Nancy Dixon, author of N.O. Lit: 200 Years of New Orleans Literature, who will present highlights of 200 years of local writing.

& This event has been cancelled: Thursday at 6 pm Garden District Book Shop presents Veda Stamps’s Flexible Wings. Stamps’ critically acclaimed novel, Flexible Wings, is a fictional exploration of the lives of military children. This book, written for preteens, delves into themes of sports, community support and volunteerism as a way to help children and their families through difficult times. In Flexible Wings, an eleven-year-old girl of mixed race uses competitive swimming to navigate her fears of her fighter pilot mom’s impending military deployment.

& At the East Bank Regional Library of Jefferson Parish the SciFi, Fantasy and Horror Writer’s Group meets at 7 pm. 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

& This and every Thursdays call the New Orleans Poetry Brothel and they will read you a poem 8pm-Midnight CST. 504-264-1336.

& Friday at 6 pm Harrison Scott Key stops by Octavia Books to share his wildy funny memoir, THE WORLD’S LARGEST MAN. Key was born in Memphis, but he grew up in Mississippi, among pious Bible-reading women and men who either shot things or got women pregnant. At the center of his world was his larger-than-life father a hunter, a fighter, a football coach, “a man better suited to living in a remote frontier wilderness of the nineteenth century than contemporary America, with all its progressive ideas and paved roads and lack of armed duels. He was a great man, and he taught me many things: how to fight and work and cheat and how to pray to Jesus about it, how to kill things with guns and knives and, if necessary, with hammers.” Sly, heartfelt, and tirelessly hilarious, The World’s Largest Man is an unforgettable memoir the story of a boy’s struggle to reconcile himself with an impossibly outsize role model, and a grown man’s reckoning with the father it took him a lifetime to understand.

& Friday at 6 pm Garden District Books presents Webb Hubbell’s Ginger Snaps. Attorney Jack Patterson returns to Little Rock, Arkansas after an old acquaintance, Dr. Douglas Stewart, is arrested for marijuana cultivation, possession, and distribution. Jack is no expert on drug cases, but meets with Stewart to fulfill a promise to his late wife, Angie, who was close to Stewart. Expecting to wrap up his involvement in an hour and enjoy the rest of the weekend golfing, Jack hears from Stewart that his arrest isn’t about the marijuana. Teaming up with his bodyguard, Clovis, and defense attorney Micki Lawrence, Jack begins to investigate why this highly-respected scientist was growing marijuana. He learns that Stewart had alerted the government about the existence of his marijuana garden years ago. Why the arrest now? Why are the Feds claiming terrorist involvement? Stewart’s wife, Liz, claims it has to be about her ginger snaps which are laced with marijuana to help ease the pain of cancer patients. As Jack delves deeper into the case, he discovers that both Stewarts and the federal government are hiding secrets, secrets that connect to a past Jack and all involved would rather forget.

& Saturday at Maple Street Book Shop at 11:30 AM the store also hosts Veda Stamps and Flexible Wings.

& At 4 pm Saturday the Spoken Word Weekly Workshop for Teens at the Nix Library. Studying the work of contemporary poets and spoken word artists, teens will focus on imagery, metaphor, narrative, and other important devices as they create their own written work. The workshop is led by Sam Gordon, a spoken word artist and educator based in New Orleans.

& Sunday at 3 pm The Maple Leaf Reading Series features an open mic. The Maple Leaf Reading Series is the oldest continuous reading in the south (making an allowance for Katrina), and was founded by noted and beloved local poet Everette Maddox.

Odd Words July 12, 2015

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.
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This coming week in literary New Orleans is going to move to Sunday-to-Saturday, as work is not working out to have it done by Thursday. I’ve missed several weeks of a weekly listing, only just barely getting up daily postings on Facebook. Remember Odd Words is a labor of love, but love is sometimes a struggle and you can always help me get it done by chipping in a little something. Become a sponsor and buy the poor Typist a beer and a poboy, won’t you?

& Wednesday night from 8-9 pm, come drink some coffee and make your voice heard at the Neutral Ground Poetry Hour, 5110 Danneel Street.

& On Wednesday at 8 pm (doors at 7) Esoterotica’s local provocateurs are again going without a theme and that means no hold barred. An evening of surprising and unfettered original erotica in a variety of styles to pique your variety of desires. Original Erotica from: Panzachual, Otter Goodfellow, Paul Oswell, Aime’ SansSavant
and More to be Announced! Interested in joining our sexy party on stage at Esoterotica? Our Unthemed shows are a great time, and we love to experience new voices. Just drop us a line and/or submit writing to info@esoterotica.com

& At 6 pm Thursday the Garden District Book Shop presents Tony Dunbar’s Night Watchman: A Tubby Dubonnet Mystery. In this EIGHTH entry in the Tubby Dubonnet series, the laid-back New Orleans lawyer finds himself caught in a twisted trip down memory lane, distracted by a luscious new love, and, as usual, surrounded by screwball denizens of everybody’s favorite city. But he’s also caught in someone’s crosshairs, and so are half the cast of crazies and screwballs. Which makes for a delicious mix of danger and humor (with a dash of romance!), best consumed with a tall cold one and a bag of Zapp’s Spicy Cajun Crawtators.

& At 6:30 pm Thursday The EJ Writers Group meets at the East Bank Jefferson Parish Regional Library. The 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. Free and open to the public. No registration.

& Every third Thursday of the month the All People Open Mic Poetry Circle occurs at Playhouse NOLA, 3214 Burgundy between Piety and Louisa. Rooted in principles that empower the individual’s creative and intellectual growth, this creative venture particularly invites immigrants, people of color and those who identify the class system as being anti-human and benefitting a small percentage of society are encouraged to join.

& This and every Thursdays call the New Orleans Poetry Brothel and they will read you a poem 8pm-Midnight CST. 504-264-1336.

& At 4 pm Friday at Octavia Books Mark Shulman, author of over 150 titles, presents two books that play with words, MOM AND DAD ARE PALINDROMES and its sequel, ANN AND NAN ARE ANAGRAMS.Shulman doesn’t just mix up words. Everyone loves A IS FOR ZEBRA and AA IS FOR AARDVARK, two pictures books that “picture” the alphabet in a whole new way. If you think these books are fun, wait until you meet the author who dreamed them up. He’ll leave you laughing

& Sunday at 3 pm The Maple Leaf Reading Series features an open mic. The Maple Leaf Reading Series is the oldest continuous reading in the south (making an allowance for Katrina), and was founded by noted and beloved local poet Everette Maddox.

Odd Words June 25, 2015

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 coming week in literary New Orleans:

& Thursday at 6 pm Octavia Books hosts a presentation and signing with photographer John Rosenthal featuring AFTER: The Silence of the Lower 9th Ward. He will be joined by Lolis Eric Elie who wrote the preface. Published in the tenth year after Katrina, John Rosenthal’s photographs of the Lower 9th Ward were taken some time after Katrina. In 1998 a collection of Mr. Rosenthal’s photographs, Regarding Manhattan was published by Safe Harbor Books, and in 2005 his work was included in Safe Harbor’s Quartet: Four North Carolina Photographers. In August of 2008 an exhibit of his Lower Ninth Ward photographs, “Then, Absence,” was displayed at the New Orleans African-American Museum and Boston’s Panopticon Gallery. Mr. Rosenthal was awarded a 2008-2009 North Carolina Arts Fellowship.

& Thursday Garden District Book Shop features Richard Collins’ No Fear Zen: Discovering Balance in an Unbalanced World. No Fear Zen presents an approach to Zen practice that focuses on concentration and sitting (shikantaza) as a discipline that can be practiced in everyday life with the dedication of the samurai. And in a world that requires bravery and decisive action in addition to generosity and compassion, we can learn much from the now-extinct samurai in creating a new kind of warrior for peace in the twenty-first century. While some practices focus on compassion and mindfulness as the goals of Zen practice, No Fear Zen contends that these are outcomes that occur naturally, spontaneously, and automatically from right practice without any goal or object whatsoever.

& 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.

& This and every Thursdays call the New Orleans Poetry Brothel and they will read you a poem 8pm-Midnight CST. 504-264-1336.

& Saturday it’s Story Time with Miss Maureen at 11:30am at Maple Street Book Shop. This week she’ll read The Skunk by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Patrick McDonnell. When a skunk first appears in the tuxedoed man’s doorway, it’s a strange but possibly harmless occurrence. But then the man finds the skunk following him, and the unlikely pair embark on an increasingly frantic chase through the city, from the streets to the opera house to the fairground. What does the skunk want? It’s not clear—but soon the man has bought a new house in a new neighborhood to escape the little creature’s attention, only to find himself missing something. . .

This slyly hilarious tale brings together picture book talents Mac Barnett and Patrick McDonnell for the first time.

& Saturday at 4 pm the Nix Library hosts a Spoken Word Weekly Workshop for Teens. Studying the work of contemporary poets and spoken word artists, teens will focus on imagery, metaphor, narrative, and other important devices as they create their own written work. The workshop is led by Sam Gordon, a spoken word artist and educator based in New Orleans.

& This Sunday at 3 pm The Maple Leaf Reading Series features an open mic. The Maple Leaf Reading Series is the oldest continuous reading in the south (making an allowance for Katrina), and was founded by noted and beloved local poet Everette Maddox.

& Tuesday at 7 pm The Louisiana State Poetry Society features the winners of the Louisiana State Poetry Society Spring Poetry Contest reading from their work at the East Bank Regional Library,

& Also at 7 pm Tuesday at the Old Marquer Theater the ALIENS Taco Truck Theater Project presents “Teatro Sin Fronteras / Theater Without Borders,” a series theater events or “tertulias” in Spanish with music & food to celebrate the contributions of LATINAS/LATINOS to the post-Katrina REBIRTH of New Orleans in commemoration of the 10th Anniversary of the storm.

& Wednesday at 8 pm the Blood Jet Poetry Series at BJ’s in the Bywater conclues their month of poetry in June with readings by Sarah Xerta and Kia Alice Groom.

& Also on Wednesday the New Orleans Jane Austen Society hosts a night of all things Jane trivia at the Pearl Wine Co. Test your knowledge of Austen’s novels, her life, love interests, manners, films and more! We’ll have prizes for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners.

& Wednesday night from 8-9 pm, come drink some coffee and make your voice heard at the Neutral Ground Poetry Hour, 5110 Danneel Street.

Odd Words June 22, 2015

Posted by The Typist in books, bookstores, Indie Book Shops, literature, New Orleans, Odd Words, Poetry, reading, Toulouse Street, Writing Workshops.
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Coming up this week in literary New Orleans:

& Tuesday Garden District Books hosts the book launch of Laura Lane McNeal’s Dollbaby, A big-hearted coming-of-age debut set in civil rights-era New Orleans—a novel of Southern eccentricity and secrets.

& At the East Bank Regional Library on Tuesday the Louisiana State Poetry Society hosts the winners of the Louisiana State Poetry Society Spring Poetry Contest reading from their work. Free of charge and open to the public.

& In Westwego the Westbank Fiction Writers’ Group meets at he Edith S. Lawson Library.

& Wednesday Amanda Emily Smith, Donney Rose and Chancelier “Xero” Skidmore read at Blood Jet Poetry Series at BJ’s in the Bywater.

& Thursday Octavia Books hosts a presentation and signing with photographer John Rosenthal featuring AFTER: The Silence of the Lower 9th Ward. He will be joined by Lolis Eric Elie who wrote the preface.Published in the tenth year after Katrina, John Rosenthal’s photographs of the Lower 9th Ward were taken some time after Katrina.

& Thursday Garden District Book Shop features Richard Collins’ No Fear Zen: Discovering Balance in an Unbalanced World. No Fear Zen presents an approach to Zen practice that focuses on concentration and sitting (shikantaza) as a discipline that can be practiced in everyday life with the dedication of the samurai. And in a world that requires bravery and decisive action in addition to generosity and compassion, we can learn much from the now-extinct samurai in creating a new kind of warrior for peace in the twenty-first century. While some practices focus on compassion and mindfulness as the goals of Zen practice, No Fear Zen contends that these are outcomes that occur naturally, spontaneously, and automatically from right practice without any goal or object whatsoever.
& Thursday at the East Bank Regional Library the SciFi, Fantasy and Horror Writer’s Group meets. 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

Odd Words June 11, 2015

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.
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This coming week in literary New Orleans:

Tuesday is Bloomsday! Details below.

Joyce in New Orleans

& Thursday at 6 pm Garden District Book Shop presents Robert S. Brantley’s Henry Howard: Louisiana’s Architect. Few nineteenth-century architects ventured far from the pattern-book styles of their time. One architect not constrained by tradition was the Irish-born American Henry Howard, who started as a carpenter and stair builder in 1836 New York and arrived in New Orleans the following year, soon establishing a reputation for distinctive designs that blended American and European trends. His career gained momentum as he went on to design an extraordinarily diverse portfolio of magnificent residences and civic buildings in New Orleans and its environs. Henry Howard is a lavishly produced clothbound volume featuring hundreds of contemporary and archival images and a comprehensive analysis of his built work. The first book to examine the forty-year career of the architect, Henry Howard establishes a clear lineage of his aesthetic contributions to the urban and rural environments of the South.

& 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.

& This and every Thursdays call the New Orleans Poetry Brothel and they will read you a poem 8pm-Midnight CST. 504-264-1336.

& Saturday it’s Story Time with Miss Maureen at 11:30am at Maple Street Book Shop. This week she’ll read There’s a Lion in My Cornflakes by Michelle Robinson, illustrated by Jim Field. If you ever see a box of cornflakes offering a free lion, ignore it! This is the hair-raising story of two brothers who didn’t- and then ended up with a grizzly bear, a cranky old crocodile, and a huge gorilla! Now if only they could get a free tiger…

& Saturday at 4 pm the Nix Library hosts a Spoken Word Weekly Workshop for Teens. Studying the work of contemporary poets and spoken word artists, teens will focus on imagery, metaphor, narrative, and other important devices as they create their own written work. The workshop is led by Sam Gordon, a spoken word artist and educator based in New Orleans.

& This Sunday at 3 pm The Maple Leaf Reading Series features Poet/songwriter, Mike True performs his work, followed by an open mic. The Maple Leaf Reading Series is the oldest continuous reading in the south (making an allowance for Katrina), and was founded by noted and beloved local poet Everette Maddox.

& Tuesday June 16 is Bloomsday, the day in 1904 on which James Joyce’s Ulysses takes place. Bloomsday in New Orleans will be observed upstairs at The Irish House from 6-8 p.m. Reading from the celebrated novel will include featured readers Brian Boyles, Yuri Herrera, Mwende “Freequency” Katwiwa, Benjamin Morris, Maurice Carlos Ruffin, and Katy Simpson Smith. Members of the public will be invited to join in and read brief passages of their own selection from the work.

& The East Jefferson Great Books Discussion Group will discuss Sanctuary by William Faulkner at 7 pm. Psychologically astute and wonderfully poetic, Sanctuary is a powerful novel examining the nature of true evil, through the prisms of mythology, local lore, and hard-boiled detective fiction. This is the dark, at times brutal, story of the kidnapping of Mississippi debutante Temple Drake, who introduces her own form of venality into the Memphis underworld where she is being held.

& Wednesday at 6:30 pm the Latter Library hosts an Author Night: Historic New Orleans Cemeteries, featuring Dr. Ryan Gray, University of New Orleans faculty member, sharing his research on our local graveyards.

& Wednesday at 8 pm the Blood Jet Poetry Series at BJ’s in the Bywater continues their month of poetry in June with readings by Russel Swensen and Nikki Wallschlaeger. Wallschlaeger is the author of two chapbooks, Head Theatre (2007) which etched itself out of her palms unexpectedly & “I Would Be The Happiest Bird” (2014). Her hands continue to talk, which is why she writes. Publications include Esque, Nervehouse, Coconut Poetry, Word Riot, Pirene’s Fountain, Burdock, Spork, DecomP, Shirt Pocket Press, Horse Less Press and others. Her book “Houses” was just released by Horse Less Press. She is currently working on her first full-length manuscript of poems called Crawlspace. She is also the Assistant Poetry Editor at Coconut Poetry. She lives in Milwaukee with her spouse and son.Swensen earned his MFA in fiction from the California Institute of the Arts and his doctorate in poetry from the University of Houston. His poetry chapbook, Santa Ana, was the winner of the Spring 2011 Black River Chapbook Contest. His full length collection, The Magic Kingdom, will be released by Black Lawrence Press (January 2016). His work has appeared in Black Clock, Pank, Quarterly West, Prick of the Spindle, The Collagist, and elsewhere.

& Wednesday night from 8-9 pm, come drink some coffee and make your voice heard at the Neutral Ground Poetry Hour, 5110 Danneel Street.

Odd Words June 4, 2015

Posted by The Typist in authors, Book Stores, book-signing, books, bookstores, Indie Book Shops, library, literature, New Orleans, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, publishing, signings, Toulouse Street.
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This coming week in literary New Orleans:

& Room 220 is pleased to present a Happy Hour Salon celebrating two excellent New Orleans music books: Spirit of the Orisha by Janet “Sula Spirit” Evans and Talk that Music Talk edited by Rachel Breunlin and Bruce “Sunpie” Barnes. The event, featuring readings, discussion, translation, and live music, will take place from 6 – 9 p.m. on Thursday, June 4, at the Press Street HQ (3718 St. Claude Ave.). Spirit of the Orisha is a book-music combination meant as a teaching tool to connect new generations with traditional Orisha music. It features a selection of song lyrics compiled and annotated by Janent “Sula Spirit” Evans, translated into English by Omoba Adéwálé Adénlé. The book’s accompanying two-CD album features performances of the songs by the Zion Trinity, of which Evans is a member. Talk That Music Talk: Passing On Brass Band Music in New Orleans the Traditional Way is the latest major offering from the wonderful Neighborhood Story Project. Editors Rachel Breunlin and Bruce “Sunpie” Barnes spent years compiling oral histories, photographs, and documents that tell the story of how brass music in New Orleans has remained alive and thriving for more than a century. Breunlin is co-director of the Neighborhood Story Project and Barnes is a veteran park ranger at New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park

&Thursday at 6 pm Garden District Book Shop hosts Bill Hancock and Riding With The Blue Moth. After the death of his son, Will, in the 2001 airplane crash that took the lives of nine additional members of the Oklahoma State basketball team and support staff, survival became a common word in Bill Hancock’s vocabulary. Bicycling was simply the method by which he chose to distract himself from his grief. But for Hancock, the 2,747-mile journey from the Pacific Coast to the Atlantic Coast became more than just a distraction. It became a pilgrimage, even if Hancock didn’t realize it upon dipping his rear tire in the Pacific Ocean near Huntington Beach, California in the wee hours of a July morning. On his two-wheel trip, Hancock battled searing heat and humidity, curious dogs, unforgiving motorists and the occasional speed bump-usually a dead armadillo. Hancock’s thoughts returned to common themes: memories of his son Will, the prospect of life without Will for him and his wife, and the blue moth of grief and depression. That pesky moth fluttered around Hancock as if he was a beaming lamp pole in an empty parking lot.

& Also at 6 pm The East Jefferson Writer’s Group meets at the East Bank Regional Library. the 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. Free and open to the public. No registration.

& This and every Thursdays call the New Orleans Poetry Brothel and they will read you a poem 8pm-Midnight CST. 504-264-1336

& Saturday it’s Story Time with Miss Maureen at 11:30am at Maple Street Book Shop. This week she’ll read William & the Missing Masterpiece by Helen Hancocks. Debonair cat-detective William finds himself at the center of a mysterious theft when the Mona Cheesa is stolen from a Parisian gallery. Can William put the clues together and solve the crime? Fans of Helen Hancocks’s Penguin in Peril won’t be disappointed in this hilarious tale of cat and mouse.

& Saturday at 2 pm the Poetry Buffet serves up its monthly reading at the Latter Memorial Library. This month features poets Ralph Adamo, Carolyn Hembree, Brad Richard and Mark Statman reading from their work.

& This Sunday at 3 pm The Maple Leaf Reading Series features an Open Mic. The Maple Leaf Reading Series is the oldest continuous reading in the south (making an allowance for Katrina), and was founded by noted and beloved local poet Everette Maddox.

& Tuesday at 5 pm Crescent City Books will be home to a poetry reading hosted by Thaddeus Conti featuring noted local poets Megan Burns, Joseph Bienvenu, Nancy Dixon, Bill Lavender.

& At 6 pm Tuesday the West Bank Writers Group meets at The Edith S. Lawson Library in Westwego. Writing exercises or discussions of points of fiction and/or critique sessions of members’ submissions. Meets the second and fourth Tuesday of every month. Moderator: Gary Bourgeois. Held in the meeting Room.

& Tuesday at 7 pm “TEATRO SIN FRONTERAS” is a community arts initiative of the “ALIENS Taco Truck Theater Project” supported with funds from Alternate ROOTS’ Partners in Action Program. José Torres-Tama & ArteFuturo Productions in partnership with Puentes LatiNola have launched a series of 7 “Movable Feasts” and “Theater Without Borders” events to engage the community at large, and gather around food, theater, & music for sharing of stories & ideas to celebrate the contributions of LATINAS/LATINOS to the post-Katrina REBIRTH of LA NUEVA ORLEANS for the 10th Anniversary of the storm. Featured artists at this event are Featured Artists: Veronica Isabel Giraldo-Puente, poet/performer, Antonio Garza writer & performer, Ecos Latinos & Carlos Valladares short films, and Margie Perez & Guitarist performing original songs.

& Wednesday at 8 pm the Blood Jet Poetry Series at BJ’s in the Bywater continues their month of poetry in June with readings by Joseph Bienvenu & James Blanchard. Bienvenu is the author of Atom Parlor (BlazeVOX 2010), Cocktail Poems (Hobby Horse, 2011), and Pool Hall Quartet (Verna Press, 2008). His translation of the poems of Gaius Valerius Catullus was published by Dialogos (2013). Joseph is a native of New Orleans, Louisiana, where he lives and teaches Latin and English at a local high school. He received his B.A. in Classics from Loyola University of Chicago and his M.F.A. from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Blanchard is a writer, spoken-word artist, poet, bartender residing in Lafayette, Louisiana.

& Wednesday night from 8-9 pm, come drink some coffee and make your voice heard at the Neutral Ground Poetry Hour, 5110 Danneel Street.

Odd Words May 21, 2015

Posted by The Typist in authors, Biography, Book Stores, book-signing, books, bookstores, Indie Book Shops, library, literature, memoir, New Orleans, NOLA, Odd Words, Poetry, publishing, The Typist, Toulouse Street, Writing Workshops.
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This coming, quiet week in literary New Orleans:

& Thursday at 7 pm the Nix Branch of the New Orleans Public Library hosts An Evening with Performance Artist & Poet José Torres-Tama. Immigrant Dreams and Alien Nightmares is a debut collection that documents twenty-five years of José Torrest-Tama’s poetry in his unique bilingual voice.

& This and every Thursdays call the New Orleans Poetry Brothel and they will read you a poem 8pm-Midnight CST. 504-264-1336

& Saturday at Maple Street Book Shop from 11:30 AM to 1PM features Berthe Amoss, author of the new book Mischief and Malice. Set in New Orleans on the eve of World War II, Mischief and Malice is a brand new work from an iconic figure in young adult literature. Following the death of her Aunt Eveline, fourteen-year old Addie-who we first met in Berthe Amoss’s classic Secret Lives-is now living with her Aunt Toosie, Uncle Henry, and her longtime rival cousin, Sandra Lee. A new family has just moved into Addie’s former house, including a young girl who is just Addie’s age. Meanwhile, Louis, the father of Tom, Addie’s lifelong neighbor and best friend, suddenly returns after having disappeared when Tom was a baby. Between school dances, organizing a Christmas play, fretting about her hair, and a blossoming romance with Tom, Addie stumbles upon a mystery buried in the Great Catch All, an ancient giant armoire filled with heirlooms of her family’s past, which holds a devastating secret that could destroy Louis and Tom’s lives. Once again, Berthe Amoss has created an indelible portrait of a young girl coming of age in prewar New Orleans.

& Saturday at Tubby and Coo’s Book Shop frojm 2:30 – 4:30 PM local poets and writers from the MelaNated Writers Collective, the Peauxdunque Writers Alliance, and UNO perform.

& At 1 pm Sunday Garden District Book Shops hosts Dr. Leong Ying and his book From Newton, Einstein, to GOD., Dr. Ying’s family memoir written uniquely in rhyming poetic verses following his history in six chronological parts from his birth in 1961 up to 2012. The book will have readers laughing at his antics when childhood pranks were his specialty in his birthplace of Singapore, and feeling compassion toward his challenges as the only non-white student in Liverpool (UK) where his family emigrated and his struggles with dyslexia and the language-barriers but excelling in numbers and evolving into his groundbreaking scientific research. But it is his writing and scientific research that takes center stage in Dr. Ying’s life, mostly focusing on his exploration of the Twin Universe theory, which combines science and religion to prove the existence of God and answer many of the formerly unknown answers about the world such as Dark Matter and Dark Energy. He developed the Universal Laws of Thermodynamics to prove God’s existence in 2002.

& This Sunday at 3 pm The Maple Leaf Reading Series features an Open Mic. The Maple Leaf Reading Series is the oldest continuous reading in the south (making an allowance for Katrina), and was founded by noted and beloved local poet Everette Maddox.

& Monday is Memorial Day. All regional libraries will be closed.

& Tuesday at 6 pm Garden District Book Shop Amy Conner discusses and signs her book, Million Dollar Road Eighteen-year-old Lireinne Hooten has always been on the lowest rung of the ladder. Abandoned by her mother, Lireinne lives with her stepfather in an old trailer on Million Dollar Road. Every day she walks the long mile, through a canopy of live oaks, to her job at the world’s largest alligator farm. Shy and overweight in high school, Lireinne has become lean and resilient from months of hosing out the huge cement barns. And just like Snowball—the enormous, all-white alligator she feeds illicit treats every day—she’s hungry to be free. Lireinne’s boss, Con Costello, is powerful, attractive, and used to getting exactly what he desires. Now that he’s noticed Lireinne’s haunting beauty, he wants her too. But unlike Con’s needy second wife, Lizzie, or Emma, his still heartbroken ex, Lireinne isn’t interested. Undeterred, Con’s growing obsession will upend all their lives—compelling Lizzie to confront the hard truth about her marriage, pushing Emma past her self-imposed isolation and back into the world. And for Lireinne, it will lead to an unexpected chance to redefine herself, far away from her past and from Million Dollar Road.
Amy Conner discusses and signs her book, Million Dollar Road.

& Tuesday at 7 pm the Westbank Fiction Writers’ Group meets at the Edith S. Lawson Library in Westwego. Writing exercises or discussions of points of fiction and/or critique sessions of members’ submissions. Meets the second and fourth Tuesday of every month. Moderator: Gary Bourgeois. Held in the meeting Room.

& At 7 pm Wednesday Science Fiction and Fantasy Club meets at the Old Metairie Library. This month’s discussion will be on the book, Off Armageddon Reef by David Weber.

& At 8 pm Wednesday Blood Jet Poetry Series at BJ’s in the Bywater welcomes poets Clare Harmon and Charles Garrett followed by an open mic in the poetry living room. Harmon trained and worked as a classical musician. In the fall of 2012 she wrote her first poem and it’s been a delighting hell ever since. She is a Pushcart Prize nominee and her poems have appeared in Quaint and PANK Magazines. Her first book, The Thingbody: A Hybrid Verse Memoir, Sounding & Illuminated, is available from Instar Books. Garrett, has published no books; has no published collections for you to buy or pretend to care about. He has no stake in making you like him or his words, but you will undoubtedly love his voice. He loves cooking for his son, and learning the extremes of his own tolerance. He is not a “teaching artist” nor a professional one, but will gladly talk and share with anyone, willing to listen. He believes poetry is in the way we bleed, not how much we do so.

& Wednesday night from 8-9 pm, come drink some coffee and make your voice heard at the Neutral Ground Poetry Hour, 5110 Danneel Street.

& ! Coming Up… June 16 in Bloomsday in NOLA, from 6-8 pm at The Irish House Pub and Restaurant. Mark your calender for this annual public reading from James Joyce monumental work Ulysses, which takes place over the course of a single day-June 16–in Dublin . Time to start your annual, biennial (our choice), quinquennial or maybe your first time tackling this amazing work. If you are this far down the list, you know it is on your To Do list. Follow the link under the title above, and let Indie Bound find you a copy now!

‽ A confession… Toulouse Street, and the blog Wet Bank Guide before it, became an affiliate of The Evil A long before Odd Words started. In coming up on ten years of blogging with Evil A Affiliate Links I have referred many readers, but not earned a penny. So goes the The Evile A. The link above to Ulysses will take you to Indie Bound. All book links in the future will take you to the Indie Bound site for the book, which features a helpful search box for your closest Indie Book Store.

Odd Words May 14, 2015

Posted by The Typist in authors, Book Stores, book-signing, books, bookstores, Indie Book Shops, literature, New Orleans, Odd Words, Poetry, Toulouse Street, Writing.
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This coming week in literary New Orleans:

& At 6 pm Thursday Garden District Book Shop presents Patty Friedmann’s Do Not Open for 50 Years. The world turns upside down when Hurricane Katrina hits New Orleans, blasting apart three generations of women in the final installment of the The Cooper Family Saga. Darby Cooper, the daughter of Bernie and Letty whom we met in Too Jewish and came of age with in Too Jewish: The Next Generation, has become a bestselling New Orleans author, drawing on the tragedy of her father’s life.

& At 7 pm the SciFi, Fantasy and Horror Writer’s Group meets at th East Jefferson 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.

& This and every Thursdays call the New Orleans Poetry Brothel and they will read you a poem 8pm-Midnight CST. 504-264-1336

& Friday the Freedom Writing for Women of Color group meets at a movable location from 7 pm to 10 p.m. Contact poetryprocess@gmail.com for more information.

& Get ready to be Infused and join Octavia Books for a Saturday morning at the Crescent City Farmers Market featuring Annelies Zijderveld signing and giving samples from her new cookbook, STEEPED: Recipes Infused with Tea, bringing the flavors and fragrances of tea to the table in 70 freshly brewed recipes. Get your oolong on! From morning eats to evening sweets, Steeped infuses your day with the flavors and fragrances of tea. Romance your oat porridge with rooibos, jazz up your brussel sprouts with jasmine, charge your horchata with masala chai! Annelies Zijderveld’s deliciously inventive tea-steeped recipes include: Matcha Chia Pudding Parfaits, Earl Grey Soba Noodle Salad, Green Tea Coconut Rice, Chamomile Buttermilk Pudding with Caramelized Banana, and Earl Grey Poached Pears with Masala Chai Caramel Sauce.

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

& Saturday it’s Story Time with Miss Maureen at 11:30am at Maple Street Book Shop. This week she’ll read The Dullards by Sara Pennypacker, illustrated by Daniel Salmieri. Meet the Dullards is a clever and irreverent picture book about a comically boring family, from bestselling author Sara Pennypacker and illustrator Daniel Salmieri. Their home is boring. Their food is plain. Their lives are monotonous. And Mr. and Mrs. Dullard like it that way. But their children—Blanda, Borely, and Little Dud—have other ideas. Never has dullness been so hilarious than in this deadpan, subversive tale.

& Saturday from 11am – 1pm Deborah Burst signs copies of her books Louisiana’s Sacred Places and The Hallowed Halls of Greater New Orleans. The first blurs the lines between the sacred and the profane. Author Deborah Burst combines her love for art, history and architecture into a poetic trail of churches, cemeteries and Voodoo ceremonies. Explore Louisiana’s most solemn and revered locales. From New Orleans’ most telling portraits of eternal architecture to St. Roch Chapel’s chamber of miracles with relics of pain and suffering. Burst brings readers inside Voodoo ceremonies with vivid photography and a detailed history on the religion. Moving north along the cypress bayous learn the mysteries of the Creole tradition in lighting the graves on All Saints Day. Follow the trail west along the muddy Mississippi where country chapels whisper tales of survival against the river’s mighty floods. Inside the Feliciana Parishes, nineteenth-century

& At 2 pm at Octavia Books Margret Aldrich presents and signs THE LITTLE FREE LIBRARY BOOK. In 2009, Todd Bol built the first Little Free Library as a memorial to his mom. Five years later, this simple idea to promote literacy and encourage community has become a movement. Little Free Libraries—freestanding front-yard book exchanges—now number twenty thousand in seventy countries. The Little Free Library Book tells the history of these charming libraries, gathers quirky and poignant firsthand stories from owners, provides a resource guide for how to best use your Little Free Library, and delights readers with color images of the most creative and inspired LFLs around.

& Please join us at Pistil & Stamen Flower Farm (1900 St. Claude) on Saturday, May 16th at 7 pm for a “GAY/GARDENS”-themed book release party in honor of Jenn Marie Nunes’ AND/OR, winner of the the inaugural Queer Voices Contest from Switchback Books. We will have flower-themed cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, copies of AND/OR for sale, and readings by Jenn Marie Nunes, Anne Marie Rooney, Megan McHugh, and Kristin Sanders. Please note that the rain location is Baskerville

& Sunday at 2 pm visit Octavia Books for a Sunday afternoon reading & signing with Megan Braden-Perry (author) and Lyn Brantly Vicknair (illustrator) celebrating the launch of their very cute debut children’s picture book, ALLEN THE ALLIGATOR COUNTS THROUGH NEW ORLEANS. “One alligator named Allen, wearing a silver medallion, boarded the Elysian Fields bus. He greeted the driver, paid his fare and spotted his good pal Gus.” What follows is a day full of fun and adventure, from eating classic New Orleans cuisine to stopping bullies and touring a police station.

& Sunday at 2 pm Garden District Book Shop features Eleni N. Gage’s The Ladies of Managua. When Maria Vazquez returns to Nicaragua for her beloved grandfather’s funeral, she brings with her a mysterious package from her grandmother’s past-and a secret of her own. And she also carries the burden of her tense relationship with her mother Ninexin, once a storied revolutionary, now a tireless government employee. As Ninexin tries to reach her daughter, and Maria wrestles with her expectations for her romance with an older man, Isabela, the mourning widow, is lost in memories of attending boarding school in 1950’s New Orleans, where she loved and lost almost sixty years ago. When the three women come together to bid farewell to the man who anchored their family, they are forced to confront their complicated, passionate relationships with each other and with their country-and to reveal the secrets that each of them have worked to conceal.

& This Sunday at 3 pm The Maple Leaf Reading Series features poet James Robinson will read from his new chapbook, The Caterpillars at Saint Bernard from Mule on a Ferris Wheel Press. The Maple Leaf Reading Series is the oldest continuous reading in the south (making an allowance for Katrina), and was founded by noted and beloved local poet Everette Maddox.

& The New Orleans Haiku Society shares Haiku on the third Monday of every month at the Latter Branch Library, 5120 St. Charles Ave., from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. All are invited to attend. For more information call 596-2625.

& Tuesday at 6 pm Garden District Book Shop hosts Amy Conner and Million Dollar Road. Eighteen-year-old Lireinne Hooten has always been on the lowest rung of the ladder. Abandoned by her mother, Lireinne lives with her stepfather in an old trailer on Million Dollar Road. Every day she walks the long mile, through a canopy of live oaks, to her job at the world’s largest alligator farm. Shy and overweight in high school, Lireinne has become lean and resilient from months of hosing out the huge cement barns. And just like Snowball—the enormous, all-white alligator she feeds illicit treats every day—she’s hungry to be free.
Lireinne’s boss, Con Costello, is powerful, attractive, and used to getting exactly what he desires. Now that he’s noticed Lireinne’s haunting beauty, he wants her too. But unlike Con’s needy second wife, Lizzie, or Emma, his still heartbroken ex, Lireinne isn’t interested. Undeterred, Con’s growing obsession will upend all their lives—compelling Lizzie to confront the hard truth about her marriage, pushing Emma past her self-imposed isolation and back into the world. And for Lireinne, it will lead to an unexpected chance to redefine herself, far away from her past and from Million Dollar Road.

& Tuesday at 7 pm the East Jefferson Regional Library Great Books Discussion Group chat about “Catcher in the Rye”. Since his debut in 1951 as The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield has been synonymous with “cynical adolescent.” Holden narrates the story of a couple of days in his sixteen-year-old life, just after he’s been expelled from prep school, in a slang that sounds edgy even today and keeps this novel on banned book lists.

& Wednesday Jenn Marie Nunes and Kia Alice Groom read at Blood Jet Poetry at BJ’s Lounge at 8 pm. Nunes is the author of five chapbooks, including HYMN: An Ovulution, a collaboration with poet Mel Coyle, from Bloof Books. She lives in New Orleans where she co-edits TENDE RLOIN, an online gallery for poetry, and performs as [Bi]Nary with the New Orleans Poetry Brothel.Her first full-length collection, AND/OR, selected by Dawn Lundy Martin as winner of the Queer Voices Award, was just released from Switchback Books. Groom is a writer, poet and professional cagreenhairt lady from Perth, Western Australia. She currently resides in the United States, where she is an MFA candidate at the University of New Orleans, Louisiana. She graduated from Edith Cowan University in 2011 with a First Class Honours in Poetry. She enjoys writing about the intersection between the grotesque and girly, and can often be found asleep, or covered in glitter.

& Wednesday will be Esoterotica’s Debaucherous Duets third year, and that means you get to see your favorite local provocateurs do it again, together, on stage. Yes, that’s right, Wednesday, May 20th, it’s an evening showcasing entirely collaborative and group erotica. Of you are curious (in any color) this is art not smut, and an Odd Words recommended event.

& Wednesday night from 8-9 pm, come drink some coffee and make your voice heard at the Neutral Ground Poetry Hour, 5110 Danneel Street.

Odd Words May 6, 2015

Posted by The Typist in Book Stores, books, bookstores, Indie Book Shops, library, literature, New Orleans, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, Toulouse Street, Writing, Writing Workshops.
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This coming week in literary New Orleans:

& Thursday at 6 pm Crescent City Books hosts a reading by poets John Amen, Brett Evans, Jenn Marie Nunes, and Christopher Shipman read from new books. Bio details for Amen and Shipman are below on Sunday’s Maple Leaf listing.

& Also at 6 pm Thursday Garden District Book Shop features Christophe Pourny’s The Furniture Bible, Booksigning & Demonstration. Pourny learned the art of furniture restoration in his father’s atelier in the South of France. In this, his first book, he teaches readers everything they need to know about the provenance and history of furniture, as well as how to restore, update, and care for their furniture—from antiques to midcentury pieces, family heirlooms or funky flea-market finds. The heart of the book is an overview of Pourny’s favorite techniques—ceruse,vernis anglais,and water gilding, among many others—with full-color step-by-step photographs to ensure that readers can easily replicate each refinishing technique at home. Pourny brings these techniques to life with a chapter devoted to real-world refinishing projects, from a veneered table to an ebonized desk, a gilt frame to a painted northern European hutch.

& At Octavia Books Thursday at 6 pm the shop features a presentation & signing with Matt McCarthy featuring his new book, THE REAL DOCTOR WILL SEE YOU SHORTLY: A Physician’s First Year. “It’s just you and me tonight…and eighteen of the sickest patients in the hospital,” medical intern Matt McCarthy’s second-year resident adviser told him on his first night as a physician at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital. “These patients should all be dead. Almost every one of them is kept alive by an artificial method. And every day they’re going to try to die on us. But we’re going to keep them alive.” For McCarthy, this task was sobering. Just two weeks out of Harvard Medical School and with only a few days of medicine under his belt, he could recite pages from a journal article on kidney chemistry and coagulation cascades, easy, but he hadn’t yet been schooled in the practical business of keeping someone from dying. How do you learn how to save lives in a job where there is no practice?

Jimmy Ross

Jimmy Ross

& Thursday at 7 pm poet Jenna Mae has organized a 30th Birthday Party for Jimmy Ross’ Dreadlocks! Jimmy is a poet, playwright, actor and raconteur extraordinaire and the most beloved and colorful figure in New Orleans’ contemporary literary world. You won’t want to miss this.

& Also at 7 pm Thursday the Alvar Branch of the New Orleans Public Library will host an author event featuring illustrator, Mon, and writer, Jinks, will discuss their project of creating an abridged and illustrated adaptation of Silivia Federici’s text, Caliban and the Witch. This book offers a history of the body in the transition to capitalism.

& Friday the Freedom Writing for Women of Color group meets at a movable location from 7 pm to 10 p.m. Contact poetryprocess@gmail.com for more information.

& New Orleans will celebrate Independent Book Store Day this Saturday (delayed a week by Jazz Fest because that’s just how we roll down here. Activities in New Orleans will take place at three independent stores across the city: Tubby & Coo’s, Garden District Book Shop, and Octavia Books. The three stores have joined together to give away a limited number of Blackbird Letter Press New Orleans City Notebooks (printed in Louisiana) to customers who purchase a limited edition IBD book or item or who spend $25 or more on May 9th.

Store-by-store highlights include:

  • At Octavia Books in the morning, there will be coffee and Rebecca’s famous carrot cake chip cookies, brownies and a blueberry coffee cake to go along with a discussion of The Golem and the Jinni by the Science Fiction Book Club. In the afternoon, New Orleans piano man Armand St. Martin gives a solo performance, and we’ll have special author visits by Irvin Mayfield presenting NEW ORLEANS PLAYHOUSE, Carrie Rollwagen discussing THE LOCALIST, and Sarah J. Maas reading A COURT OF THORNS & ROSES. We are also featuring some exclusive literary-themed art and gift items you will want to have to remember this special day.
  • Maple Street Book Shop will celebrate Children’s Book Week Saturday with a party with children’s authors Kenny Harrison , Marti Dumas, and Alex McConduit who will be reading and signing, 11:30-1PM. At 1:30PM, Big Class students will read from their work.
  • Tubby & Coo’s will have Taylor Made Wings on the Geaux food truck, giveaways, exclusive items, and fun activities going on all day, including: a Celebrity Death Match style write-off between local authors for charity; authors reading bad reviews of their books; on the spot personalized poems from local poets; story time for the kids; and, exclusive items available only on IBD, including a Finders Keepers broadside from Stephen King and a signed Hyperbole and a Half broadside.
  • Garden District Books hosts David Eugene Ray and The Little Mouse Santi at 1 pm. Meet the little mouse Santi—he may be small, but he has a big dream! This beautifully illustrated story explores one of the most important aspects of a child’s life, the search for identity. Santi wants to be a cat, and even though all the other mice laugh at him, he follows his dream. This timeless story ends with a whimsical twist as Santi learns a valuable lesson about self-determination while also learning he is not the only dreamer

& This Sunday at 3 pm The Maple Leaf Reading Series features poets Chris Shipman and John Amen will read from newly published books. Amen is the author of four collections of poetry: Christening the Dancer, More of Me Disappears, At the Threshold of Alchemy, and The New Arcana (with Daniel Y. Harris). His next collection, strange theater, will be released by New York Quarterly Press in early 2015. Shipman is the author or co-author of five books and three chapbooks, most recently a book of poems co-authored with Vincent Cellucci, A Ship on the Line (Unlikely Books 2014), Cat Poems: Wompus Tales and Play of Despair (forthcoming from Kattywompus Press), and a book of poems co-authored with Brett Evans, The T. Rex Parade (Lavender Ink, 2015). The Maple Leaf Reading Series, founded by poet Everette Maddox, is the oldest continuous poetry reading series in the south.

& Tuesday at 6 pm the Hubbel Branch of the NOPL in Algiers hosts an author event featuring a discussion of Jyl Benson’s Fun, Funky and Fabulous: New Orleans Casual Restaurant Recipes and Kit Wohl’s New Orleans Classic Creole Recipes.

& Also on Tuesday at 7 pm the West Bank Writers Groups meets at The Edith S. Lawson Library in Westwego, featuring writing exercises or discussions of points of fiction and/or critique sessions of members’ submissions. Meets the second and fourth Tuesday of every month. Moderator: Gary Bourgeois. Held in the meeting Room.

& Wednesday night from 8-9 pm, come drink some coffee and make your voice heard at the Neutral Ground Poetry Hour, 5110 Danneel Street.

Odd Words April 30, 2015

Posted by The Typist in Book Stores, book-signing, books, bookstores, Indie Book Shops, library, literature, New Orleans, NOLA, Odd Words, Toulouse Street.
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This coming week in literary New Orleans:

Through this weekend the New Orleans chapter of the Gulf South Booksellers Association will run the Jazz Fest Book Tent. Proceeds go to literary programs supported by this group, so buy a book. Do you really need another rayon shirt you’re a little embarrassed–as a local–to wear?

& Jazz Tent Book Signings Week Two of Jazz Fest.

  • Thursday:
    Bill Loehfelm, 1, 1-2PM, Doing The Devil’s Work; Leif Pederson, 2-3PM, Adventures of Swamp Kids – A Zoo Ta-Do; Richard Campanella, 3-4PM, Lost New Orleans.
  • Friday:
    Bernie Cook, 1-2PM, Flood of Images; Guy Lyman, III, 3-4PM, A Big Easy Childhood; Dennis McNally, 4-5PM, On Hwy 61: Race, Music and the Evolution of Cultural Freedom.
  • Saturday:
    M. O. Walsh, 12-1PM, My Sunshine Away; Cornell Landry, 1-2PM, Good Night Cajun Land; Michael Pitre, 2-3PM, Fives and Twenty-Fives; Troy Andrews & Brian Collier, 3-4PM,Trombone Shorty.
  • Sunday:
    Brian Boyles, 1-2PM; New Orleans: Boom and Black Out; Johnette Downing, 2-3PM, Fifolet.

& Thursday nights, call the New Orleans Poetry Brothel TONIGHT & they’ll read you a poem! 8pm-Midnight CST. 504-264-1336.

& Thursday at 7 pm the SciFi, Fantasy and Horror Writer’s Group meets at the East Jefferson 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.

& Friday the FREEDOM WRITING for WOMEN OF COLOR (NEW ORLEANS) group meets at a movable location from 7 pm to 10 p.m. Contact poetryprocess@gmail.com for more information.

& Saturday from 11 am to 7 pm it’s that time of year again: Free Comic Book Dake. Stop by Crescent City Comics, 4916 Freret St., for free comics (www.freecomicbookday.com/Home/1/1/27/981) and a to-be-decided-later sale

& Sunday from 2-5 pm come out and celebrate the work of those who graduated from the University of New Orleans Creative Writing Workshop in Summer and Fall of 2014, and Spring of 2015. Everyone and your mother is invited (particularly your mother)! At the reading, thesis committee directors often introduce the readers with what is usually a heart-warming and/or hilarious spiel. You don’t want to miss this. Then we will all have the pleasure of hearing readers share parts of their thesis for about 10 minutes each. Readers include: Tad Bartlett, Dana Glass, Dawkter Marvelous, Brendan Frost, Cynthia Davidson, Andrea Panzeca, Ross Peter Nelson, Zil Nagoh, Roxy Seay, Kia Alice Groom, Christian Coleman, Benjamin Sines, and Eirc Mac Dillman. The reading will take place in Kirschman Hall Auditorium (room 122), on the UNO campus at 2000 Lakeshore Drive. Come for the reading, and then consider heading over to our celebration banquet where food and drinks will be provided for a cover charge of $25 (please note: the reading itself is free).

& This Sunday at 3 pm The Maple Leaf Reading Series features poet Trevor Tingle will give a farewell reading before leaving New Orleans, followed by an open mic. The Maple Leaf Reading Series, founded by poet Everette Maddox, is the oldest continuous poetry reading series in the south.

& Sunday at 4 pm in Baton Rouge it’s the annual LSU MFA Third Year Reading. Baton Rouge Gallery – center for contemporary art, 1515 Dalrymple Dr, Baton Rouge.

& Tuesday at 7 pm the East Jefferson Regional Library hosts an Author Event featuring The Darkness Survives by Sally Michelle Jackson. Hank Heilsing and his new bride had really planned this honeymoon to New Orleans as a duo but soon after their arrival a few ‘incidents’ require that the whole team assemble in the Crescent city. While New Orleans is a tourist mecca with swamp tours being considered to be great fun, it takes on a different feel when you are touring on foot through a restricted area battling with a deranged adversary, his henchmen and a swamp creature or two.

& If you missed Sunday’s graduation bash, Wednesday at 7:30pm New Orleans Professor Carolyn Hembree’s UNO MFA poets will read at the Bayou Beer Garden.

& Wednesday night from 8-9 pm, come drink some coffee and make your voice heard at the Neutral Ground Poetry Hour, 5110 Danneel Street.

& Tubby & Coo’s Mid-City Book Shop presents Reading Between the Wines featuring e K.L. Owens, Jade Hurter and Maurice Ruffins, at Pearl Wine Co. inside of the American Can Company from 7:00-8:00 pm/

Odd Words April 15, 2015

Posted by The Typist in Book Stores, book-signing, books, Indie Book Shops, literature, New Orleans, NOLA, Odd Words, Poetry, Toulouse Street.
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This coming week in literary New Orleans:

& All this month, The Pizza Poetry Project celebrates National Poetry Month and the power of youth voices by publishing poems by New Orleans’ writers ages 6-18. Working together with Reginelli’s, Pizza Delicious, Magazine Pizza, Garage Pizza, Mid City Pizza, and G’s Pizza (who generously donate 10% of their proceeds to Big Class’s free youth writing programs), Big Class publishes poems of all kinds on pizza boxes, for delivery and pick up on April 17. Pizza eaters/poetry readers post their poems on Twitter and Instagram using #pizzapoetry15.

& Thursday at 6 pm Jamie Kornegay discusses and signs his book, Soil, at the Garden District Book Shop. Michael Pitre, author of Fives and Twenty-Fives, will interview Jamie following the reading. It all began with a simple dream. An ambitious young environmental scientist hoped to establish a sustainable farm on a small patch of river-bottom land nestled among the Mississippi hills. Jay Mize convinced his wife Sandy to move their six-year-old son away from town and to a rich and lush parcel where Jacob could run free and Jay could pursue the dream of a new and progressive agriculture for the twenty-first century. He did not know that within a year he’d be ruined, that flood and pestilence would invade his fledgling farm or that his wife and son would leave him to pick up the pieces by himself.

Also at 6 pm  come out to hear National Book Award Finalist Rene Steinke (Holy Skirts, Friendswood) and short story writer Sean Ennis (Chase Us: Stories) read from and discuss their work  at UNO’s Lakefront campus. The event will take place in Auditorium room 140 in the Liberal Arts Building and is free and open to the public.  Steinke is an American novelist. She is the author of three novels: The Fires (1999), Holy Skirts (2005), and Friendswood (2014). Holy Skirts, a novel based on the life of the Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, was a finalist for the 2005 National Book Award. Her essays and articles have appeared in The New York Times, Vogue, O: the Oprah Magazine, Bookforum, and elsewhere. Ennis is a Philadelphia, PA native now living in Water Valley, MS where he teaches writing and literature for the University of Mississippi and the Gotham Writers Workshop. His work has appeared in Tin House, Crazyhorse, Mississippi Review, The Good Men Project, and the Best New American Voices anthology, among others. Chase Us: Stories is his first book.

& Thursday at 7 pm The University of New Orleans Women’s Center and Quaint Magazine host Women Write, presenting special guest reader Anne Marie Rooney along with local poets studying in UNO Creative Writing Program including Kia Groom and Clare Harmon at The Sandbar on the UNO Campus. Anne Marie Rooney was born and raised in New York City. Right now she’s living in New Orleans, where she is a teaching artist. Her first book, Spitshine, is available from Carnegie Mellon University Press. She is the author of two chapbooks: The Buff, part of The Cupboard’s pamphlet series, and Shell of an egg in an effort, available from Birds of Lace. She has won the Iowa Review Award, the Gulf Coast Poetry Prize, the Amy Award, the Greg Grummer Poetry Award, and the So to Speak Poetry Prize. Her writing has been featured on Verse Daily, Poetry Daily, Lambda Literary, The Feminist Wire, The Awl, and The Huffington Post, as well as in the Best New Poets and Best American Poetry anthologies.

& Thursday at 7 pm the East Jefferson Regional Library hosts the bi-weekly SciFi, Fantasy and Horror Writer’s Group. 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.

& Friday at 6 pm Join 12 of NOLA’s top spoken word artists as they compete for the National Poetry Month Slam Champion title and CA$H prizes at the New Orleans Museum of Art. The night will kick off with a showcase of youth poets from around the city and will end with one poet being crowned the NPM Slam Champ. $10 adults, $8 seniors+students (with ID), $6 children/youth (7-17), 6 and under and NOMA members are free. COMPETING POETS: A Scribe Called Quess?, Akeem Martin , Beck Cooper, Honey Sanaa, iCon, Jessica Bordelon, Kataalyst, Preach, Sadecru and Sam Gordon. This event is put on in collaboration by the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) and Slam New Orleans (Team SNO)

& Friday the FREEDOM WRITING for WOMEN OF COLOR (NEW ORLEANS) group meets at a movable location from 7 pm to 10 p.m. Contact poetryprocess@gmail.com for more information.

& Friday at 6 pm Alan Cumming will be coming by the Faubourg Marigny Art and Bookstore to shop, visit, and sign his books. Come by between 6pm and 7pm to see Alan Cumming, buy a book and have him sign it for you!

& Saturday from 11 am to 5 pm the East Jefferson Regional Library is hosting a Poetry Writing Seminar featuring four local poets/educators.

The workshop, held in honor of National Poetry Month, features the following speakers.

• 11 a.m. – Bill Lavender speaks on metaphor.

• 12 noon – Lee Grue speaks on the slant rhyme with some attention to end rhyme.

• 1 p.m. – Valentine Pierce speaks on free poetry writing.

• 2 p.m. – Kay Murphy speaks on the elements of a good poem.

Each presentation lasts roughly 50 minutes. The workshop is designed for poets of all levels.

& Saturday from 8:30 am – 5 pm The Greater New Orleans Writing Project (GNOWP) and the National Writing Project (NWP) invite you to WriteFest 2015–an all day teacher professional development conference highlighting best practices in teaching writing in urban classrooms. 16 breakout sessions at UNO feature classroom-tested lessons from NWP Teacher Consultants and local and national literacy experts serving urban classrooms across the US–from Portland, OR to Ferguson, MO, to our own New Orleans. By ticketed admission available here: writefest.eventbrite.com.

& Saturday from 12-4 pm NOLA Til Ya Die, the Literacy Alliance of Greater New Orleans, and One Book One New Orleans, a project of the Young Leadership Council (YLC), are teaming up to address one of the biggest–but least discussed–challenges to adult learners in our community: transportation. Many of the approximately 3000 students attending adult literacy centers in Orleans Parish rely on bicycles as their only means of transportation, yet the learning centers lack secure bike racks, which has led to bike thefts on more than one occasion. We as a community can help. The three organizations will hold an event titled “Learn Til Ya Die™,” dedicated to celebrating lifelong learning in New Orleans. NOLA Til Ya Die, which will host the event at 3536 Toulouse Street, has generously agreed to donate a portion of every sale of select merchandise toward installing bike racks outside adult learning centers. After this event, Where Ya Rack, also a project of the Young Leadership Council, will work with us to install the bike racks.

& Saturday at 11:30 am its Story Time with Miss Maureen. This week she’ll read Second Banana by Keith Graves. “Think of us as bananas. Obviously, I am Top Banana. The Big Banana. Numero Uno Banana. You are Second Banana,” says the Amazing Bubbles, the star of the circus. And what does Oop, the Second Banana, do? A Second Banana helps fill the pool so Top Bananas can dive. They hold the music so Top Bananas can entertain the crowd. They keep the tires full of air so Top Bananas can drive. In short, they are not the stars of the circus. But what happens when a Top Banana gets hurt and an eager Second Banana has to stand in his place.

& Saturday at 2 pm the Nix Branch of the New Orleans Public Library hosts a Teen, Tween Comic Workshop by Harriet Burbeck.

& Also at 2 pm Saturday the Latter Memorial Library will host a special Poetry Brunch event: Poets Reading Poets Reading. Everyone is invited to read the poem(s) of their favorite poet(s).

& Saturday at 6 pm at Octavia Books L. Kevin Coleman presents his novel, DIFFERENT SPRINGS. He will begin with a brief flamenco guitar presentation accompanied by a flamenco dancer, followed by a reading and signing. Coleman will take you on a thrilling journey from New Orleans, to Spain and the Middle East. At age 17, Coleman became a flamenco guitarist for José Greco and his Spanish dance company. In between tours he lived in Madrid, attending classes at the Royal Conservatory of Music, playing at the now legendary Amor de Diós dance studios, and trying not to freeze or starve to death. He has been a lawyer in and around New Orleans since graduating from Tulane Law School in 1979 and has written about law, politics, religion, and flamenco in various magazines and newspapers.

& Saturday at 8 pm Pass It On open mic is back again. An exhibition of arts and ignorance all rolled into one good time. The city’s finest spoken word artists will be displaying their talents to the backdrop of Cliff Hines musicianship on Saturday April 18. The Building, at 1427 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd, will be flourishing with the light-hearted spirit of your hosts Bobby & G while Ayo Scott sets the canvas for your evening.

& At 2 pm Sunday Shannon Ables discusses and signs her book, Choosing the Simply Luxurious Life: A Modern Woman’s Guide, at Garden District Book Shop. How can you have a rich and fulfilling life? The choices you make, not your income or financial assets, are the most powerful determining factor for your quality of life. Women have never had so many options. Yet we often experience a kind of paralysis, an unconscious willingness to follow societal dictates rather than become the CEOs of our own lives. When we mindlessly follow the dots, we smother our innate gifts and miss opportunities to fulfill our true potential. There is another way—choosing to live a simply luxurious life. You can curate the life of your dreams by being purposeful and selective, no matter where you live, your income, or your relationship status. Luxury and true fulfillment are ours for the having if we know where to look and how to make the right choices.

& This Sunday at 3 pm The Maple Leaf Reading Series features an open mic. The Maple Leaf Reading Series, founded by poet Everette Maddox, is the oldest continuous poetry reading series in the south.

& Sunday at 4 pm in Baton Rouge there is Poetry Collaborations BR Gallery Reading. Vincent Cellucci and Christopher Shipman read Battleship verse from A Ship on the Line (Unlikely Books, 2014) and Chris and his other co-auther Brett Evans read from T. Rex Parade, a book about the tit’Rex mardi gras art parade ( Lavender Ink / Diálogos, 2015).

& Tuesday at 6 pm at Garden District Book Shop David Baldacci discusses and signs his book, Memory Man. Join in the celebration of Baldacci’s 30th book. The store will have refreshments and a Jazz band. mos Decker’s life changed forever–twice. The first time was on the gridiron. A big, towering athlete, he was the only person from his hometown of Burlington ever to go pro. But his career ended before it had a chance to begin. On his very first play, a violent helmet-to-helmet collision knocked him off the field for good, and left him with an improbable side effect–he can never forget anything. The second time was at home nearly two decades later. Now a police detective, Decker returned from a stakeout one evening and entered a nightmare–his wife, young daughter, and brother-in-law had been murdered. His family destroyed, their killer’s identity as mysterious as the motive behind the crime, and unable to forget a single detail from that horrible night, Decker finds his world collapsing around him. But over a year later, a man turns himself in to the police and confesses to the murders. At the same time a horrific event nearly brings Burlington to its knees, and Decker is called back in to help with this investigation. Decker also seizes his chance to learn what really happened to his family that night. To uncover the stunning truth, he must use his remarkable gifts and confront the burdens that go along with them. He must endure the memories he would much rather forget. And he may have to make the ultimate sacrifice.

& Wednesday at 6 pm Octavia Books hosts s presentation and signing with Gay Leonhardt, editior of SHAKING UP PROHIBITION IN NEW ORLEANS: Authentic Vintage Cocktails from A to Z. This recovered prohibition era recipe guide was originally created by noted New Orleans artist Olive Leonhardt (she illustrated the New Orleans literary magazine The Double Dealer) and political activist Hilda Phelps Hammond around 1929. In the 1920s Prohibition was the law, but ignoring it was the norm, especially in New Orleans. While popular writers such as F. Scott Fitzgerald invented partygoers who danced from one cocktail to the next, real denizens of the French Quarter imbibed their way across the city. Bringing to life the fiction of flappers with tastes beyond bathtub gin, SHAKING UP PROHIBITION IN NEW ORLEANS serves up recipes from the era of the speakeasy.

& At 7 pm Wednesday the East Jefferson Public Library hosts a Poetry Event featuring Joel Dailey and Bill Lavender. l Dailey is best known for Fell Swoop!, a magazine he’s published for decades and that he calls “a newsletter for the Insane or the Inane.” He has published several books with Lavender Ink. His latest is Industrial Loop. In a long and engaging 2012 interview, Dailey talks to Camille Martin about the poetics of satire, Dailey’s poetry in Rolling Stone, small presses, poetic influences (such as Ted Berrigan and Anselm Hollo), and the magazine and its relationship to Hurricane Katrina, among other things. Dailey’s books include Nutria Bounce (Open 24 Hours Press, 2005), Lower 48 (Lavender Ink, 1999), Release Window (Semiquasi Press, 1998), Ambulance (Blank Gun Silencer Press, 1993) and Doppler Effects (Shockbox Press, 1993). Lavender is a poet, novelist, editor and teacher living in New Orleans. He founded Lavender Ink, a small press devoted mainly to poetry, in 1995, and he founded Diálogos, an imprint devoted to cross-cultural literatures (mostly in translation) in 2011. His poems, stories and essays have appeared in dozens of print and web journals and anthologies, with theoretical writings appearing in Contemporary Literature and Poetics Today, among others. His most recent book of poetry, the ground-breaking verse memoir, Memory Wing, dubbed by Rodger Kamentetz “a contemporary autobiographical masterpiece,” was published by Black Widow in 2011. His novel, Q, a neo-picaresque view of a world in constant economic crisis, appeared from Trembling Pillow in 2013.

& Wednesday night from 8-9 pm, come drink some coffee and make your voice heard at the Neutral Ground Poetry Hour, 5110 Danneel Street.

Odd Words April 10, 2015

Posted by The Typist in Book Stores, book-signing, books, bookstores, Indie Book Shops, literature, New Orleans, Odd Words, Poetry, Toulouse Street.
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This coming week in literary New Orleans, while everybody is at AWP but us:

& Friday at noon the Tulane Bookstore hosts a Book Signing with Barri Bronston of Walking New Orleans 30 Tours Exploring Historic Neighborhoods, Waterfront Districts, Culinary and Music Corridors, and Recreational Wonderlands. From neighborhoods such as Lakeview and Mid-City to landmarks including the Saenger Theater and Mercedes Benz Superdome, from its restaurants and music clubs to its parks and museums, the Big Easy has regained the title of the world’s most fascinating cities. In Walking New Orleans, lifelong resident and writer Barri Bronston shares the love her hometown through 30 self-guided tours that range from majestic St. Charles Avenue and funky Magazine Street to Bywater and Faubourg Marigny, two of the city’s “it” neighborhoods. Within each tour, she offers tips on where to eat, drink, dance, and play, for in addition to all the history, culture, and charm that New Orleans has to offer–and there’s plenty–Faubourg Marigny it provides tourists and locals alike with one heck of a good time.

& Friday the FREEDOM WRITING for WOMEN OF COLOR (NEW ORLEANS) group meets at a movable location from 7 pm to 10 p.m. Contact poetryprocess@gmail.com for more information.

& Saturday from 8-11:30 am Garden District Book Shop presents Maggie Heyn Richardson signing Hungry For Louisiana: An Omnivore’s Journey at the Crescent City Farmers Market, 700 Magazine Street at Girod Street. Food sets the tempo of life in the Bayou State, where people believed in eating locally and seasonally long before it was fashionable. In Hungry for Louisiana: An Omnivore’s Journey award-winning journalist Maggie Heyn Richardson takes readers to local farms, meat markets, restaurants, festivals, culinary competitions, and roadside vendors to reveal the love, pride, and cultural importance of Louisiana’s traditional and evolving cuisine.Focusing on eight of the state’s most emblematic foods-crawfish, jambalaya, snoballs, Creole cream cheese, file’, blood boudin, tamales, and oysters-Richardson provides a fresh look at Louisiana’s long culinary history. In addition to concluding each chapter with corresponding recipes, these vignettes not only celebrate local foodways but also acknowledge the complicated dynamic between maintaining local traditions and managing agricultural and social change. From exploring the perilous future of oyster farming along the threatened Gulf Coast to highlighting the rich history of the Spanish-Indian tamale in the quirky north Louisiana town of Zwolle, Richardson’s charming and thoughtful narrative shows how deeply food informs the identity of Louisiana’s residents.

& Saturday at Maple Street Book Shop it’s Story Time with Miss Maureen at 11:30. This week she’ll read It’s Only Stanley, written and illustrated by Jon Agee. Mysterious noises keep waking up the Wimbledon family. “That’s very odd,” says Mr. Wimbledon each time, but when he returns from checking on the sounds, he’s always reassuring: “It’s only Stanley; he’s fixing the oil tank.” “It’s only Stanley; he’s clearing the bathtub drain.” But what Stanley the dog is actually doing while his oblivious family goes back to bed is deliciously absurd: he’s turning the house into a rocket ship to zoom himself and his family to another planet for an alien encounter. This is a perfect rhyming read-aloud for fans of irreverent tales like Click Clack Moo and I Want My Hat Back.

& Saturday from 2-4 pm poets Jordan Soyka and Brett Evans demonstrate how to turn any piece of writing into poetry (and even make old poems new!) through the technique of erasure. In this hands-on workshop, participants ages 10+ will be encouraged to make their own erasure creations. Refreshments will be served. Algiers Regional Library 3014 Holiday Dr,

& Saturday at 2 pm Octavia Books features a presentation, signing, and tasting celebrating the release of Dale Curry’s GUMBO, a Savor the South® cookbook. Dale will be bringing samples of her chicken and andouille gumbo. Recalling childhood visits to her grandmother’s house in New Orleans, where she would feast on shrimp and okra gumbo, Dale Curry offers fifty recipes—for gumbos, jambalayas, and those little something extras known as lagniappe—that will put Louisiana taste and hospitality on your table. Gumbo calls to mind the diverse culinary traditions of Louisiana that, like gumbo itself, are simmered from elements of the many cultures circulating in the state. Drawing historically from French, African, Caribbean, Native American, Spanish, Italian, and other culinary sources, the Creole and Cajun cooking featured in Gumbo embraces the best of local shellfish, sausages, poultry, and game.

& Saturday night at 9 pm rock star, crowdfunding pioneer, and TED speaker Amanda Palmer is performing at the Civic Theatre, where she will sign her recent book, THE ART OF ASKING: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help, on site with Octavia Books following the show. Tickets to the performance are available through the Civic Theatre. Palmer knows all about asking. Performing as a living statue in a wedding dress, she wordlessly asked thousands of passersby for their dollars. When she became a singer, songwriter, and musician, she was not afraid to ask her audience to support her as she surfed the crowd (and slept on their couches while touring). And when she left her record label to strike out on her own, she asked her fans to support her in making an album, leading to the world’s most successful music Kickstarter. Part manifesto, part revelation, this is the story of an artist struggling with the new rules of exchange in the twenty-first century, both on and off the Internet.

& This Sunday at 3 pm The Maple Leaf Reading Series features an open mic. The Maple Leaf Reading Series, founded by poet Everette Maddox, is the oldest continuous poetry reading series in the south.

& Monday at 5 pm New Orleans Spoken Word Artists will present monthly workshops at the East New Orleans Regional Library, 5641 Read Boulevard, that include poetry writing and performance, with the goal of building community through writing and strengthening students’ written and verbal communication skills. This is a recurring event every second Monday of the month.

Monday at 7:30 pm Loyola University presents a performance of The Diary of One Who Vanished by Leos Janacek. In 1917, while reading his local newspaper, the Czech composer Leoš Janáček discovered the poems that he was to set to music in his song cycle Diary of One Who Vanished. Written by Ozef Kalda and published anonymously, the poems tell the story of a farmer’s boy who abandons his home because he has fallen in love with a Gypsy.
This program features tenor Tyler Smith, Extraordinary Professor of Voice at Loyola University New Orleans and pianist Carol Rausch, Director of the Loyola Opera Theatre. Free and open to the public in the Roussel Performance Hall, 2nd Floor, Comm./Music Complex.

& Monday at 6 pm #1 New York Times Bestselling author Stuart Woods returns to Octavia Books with HOT PURSUIT, his new Stone Barrington Novel. It’s not often that Stone Barrington finds a woman as accustomed to the jet-set lifestyle as he, so he’s pleasantly surprised when he meets a gorgeous pilot who’s soon moving to New York, and available for closer acquaintance. Their travels together lead them from Wichita to Europe, but trailing them is some unwanted baggage: his new lady love’s unstable, criminal ex-boyfriend.

& Tuesday at 7 pm the East Jefferson Regional Library hosts a Poetry Event featuring Ava Haymon, Ralph Adamo and Andy Young. Poet Laureate of the State of Louisiana, Haymon’s most recent poetry collection is Eldest Daughter, published by LSU Press. She has written three previous collections and edits the Barataria Poetry Series, which premiered in Spring 2014. Her poems have appeared in journals nationwide. Prizes include the Louisiana Literature Prize for Poetry in 2003, the L.E. Phillabaum Poetry Award for 2010, the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters 2011 Award in Poetry.A committed teacher of poetry writing, she worked as Artist in the Schools for many years. She teaches poetry writing during the school year in Louisiana, and during the summer, directs a retreat center for writers and artists. Adamo began teaching English at Xavier in Fall 2007, and has edited Xavier Review since Spring 2011. His six collections of poetry were all published by small presses, most recently the selected volume Waterblind from Portals Press in 2002. He won a National Endowment for the Arts award for poetry in 2003. Former editor of New Orleans Review in the 1990s (and Barataria Review in the 1970s), he has taught at most area universities and continues to work as a journalist. Young is the co-editor of Meena, a bilingual Arabic-English literary journal. She teaches Creative Writing at New Orleans Center for Creative Arts. Her work was recently featured on National Public Radio’s “The World” and published in Best New Poets 2009 (University of Virginia Press), Callaloo, Guernica, and Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia & Beyond (W.W. Norton & Co). Her work has also appeared in electronic music, buses in Santa Fe, flamenco productions, jewelry designs by Jeanine Payer, and a tattoo parlor in Berlin.

& Wednesday night from 8-9 pm, come drink some coffee and make your voice heard at the Neutral Ground Poetry Hour, 5110 Danneel Street.

Odd Words April 2, 2015

Posted by The Typist in book-signing, books, bookstores, Haiku, Indie Book Shops, literature, New Orleans, Odd Words, Poetry, Toulouse Street.
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This coming week in literary New Orleans:

& Friday the FREEDOM WRITING for WOMEN OF COLOR (NEW ORLEANS) group meets at a movable location from 7 pm to 10 p.m. Contact poetryprocess@gmail.com for more information.

& Saturday Dale Curry will be signing and serving samples from her newest cookbook, Gumbo at 11:30 AM. Recalling childhood visits to her grandmother’s house in New Orleans, where she would feast on shrimp and okra gumbo, Dale Curry offers fifty recipes—for gumbos, jambalayas, and those little something extras known as lagniappe—that will put Louisiana taste and hospitality on your table. “Gumbo” calls to mind the diverse culinary traditions of Louisiana that, like gumbo itself, are simmered from elements of the many cultures circulating in the state. Drawing historically from French, African, Caribbean, Native American, Spanish, Italian, and other culinary sources, the Creole and Cajun cooking featured in Gumbo embraces the best of local shellfish, sausages, poultry, and game. This book is part of the latest batch of releases in UNC Press’s acclaimed and popular Savor the South® cookbook series.

& Also on April 4th at 11:30 Alexander McConduit will be reading from his book Snoballs For All, and Melissa Wallace from her book It’s Great To Be A NOLA Kid. Plum Street Snowballs will be here with snoballs for all! Snoballs For All: It’s spring in New Orleans, and that means it’s snoball season Paul is sitting in school when he hears the magical call “Snoballs for all “ He embarks on an adventure through the city, hoping for just a few of those icy treats. But where are the snoballs? On foot and by streetcar, Paul searches high and low. He thinks of all the flavors he could have: grape, strawberry, wedding cake, spearmint, apricot pear . . . but where is that call coming from? If there are snoballs for all, can’t someone spare just one for Paul? Everyone who’s tasted the syrupy-sweet, cold, refreshing concoction that is the beloved New Orleans snoball will slurp up this spunky story. Bright illustrations in every color of the snoball rainbow fill the pages with triple-extra-large fun.

& Saturday at 2 pm the Poetry Buffet returns to the Latter Memorial Library. Poets Gina Ferrara, Melinda Palacio, and Andrea Young read from their work. Books will be for sale and a reception will follow.

& This Sunday at 3 pm The Maple Leaf Reading Series features poet and a leading light of the New Orleans Haiku Society Juliet Seer Pazera followed by an open mic. The Maple Leaf Reading Series, founded by poet Everette Maddox, is the oldest continuous poetry reading series in the south.

& Tuesday at 4:30 pm Octavia Books hosts a very special story-time reading and booksigning with children’s picture book author/illustrator Mike Curato featuring LITTLE ELLIOT, BIG CITY, winner of the 2015 Ezra Jack Keats New Illustrator Book Award Honor (which he will receive two days after his Octavia Books appearance). Little Elliot, the polka-dotted elephant, is about to find out that life is full of sweet surprises . . . sometimes in the smallest of packages. Amid the hustle and bustle of the big city, the big crowds and bigger buildings, Little Elliot leads a quiet life. In spite of the challenges he faces, Elliot finds many wonderful things to enjoy–like cupcakes! And when his problems seem insurmountable, Elliot discovers something even sweeter–a friend.

& The 1718 Society’s featured reader for April is Katy Simpson Smith. She will read from her book, The Story of Land and Sea, at 7PM Tuesday at the Columns Hotel (3811 St. Charles Ave.). Set in a small coastal town in North Carolina during the waning years of the American Revolution, this incandescent debut novel follows three generations of family—fathers and daughters, mother and son, master and slave—characters who yearn for redemption amid a heady brew of war, kidnapping, slavery, and love. Katy Simpson Smith was born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi. She attended Mount Holyoke College and received a PhD in history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars. She has been working as an Adjunct Professor at Tulane University and is the author of We Have Raised All of You: Motherhood in the South, 1750-1835. She lives in New Orleans.

& The Louisiana Humanities Center’s look at Louisiana publishers continues this week with an evening of readings and conversation on Wednesday, April 8. The event begins at 7 pm and is free and open to the public. The second event in the series looks at two new books from University of Louisiana at Lafayette Press. Laura Kelley’s The Irish in New Orleans traces the history of one of the city’s largest immigrant groups. Click here to read an excerpt published in Louisiana Cultural Vistas. Click here to listen to Kelley in an LEH-funded story on WWNO 89.9FM. James Nolan’s new collection of short stories, You Don’t Know Me, has received positive reviews in The New Orleans Advocate, Kirkus Reviews and Foreword. NPR’s Andrei Cordescu said, “James Nolan is New Orleans’ master storyteller. If Flannery O’Connor had been a bad boy living in the French Quarter, she’d have been James Nolan…these stories are wise, marvelous, funny.”

& Wednesday night from 8-9 pm, come drink some coffee and make your voice heard at the Neutral Ground Poetry Hour, 5110 Danneel Street.

Odd Words’ Tennessee Williams Festival Preview Part 2 March 27, 2015

Posted by The Typist in books, literature, Louisiana, memoir, New Orleans, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, The Typist, Theater, Toulouse Street, Writing, Writing Workshops.
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Here are some highlights of the weekend activities for the Tennessee Williams Festival. For the complete list, visit the TWF website for the electronic program.

& First, to get your full on fill of Tennessee:

  • TENNESSEE WILLIAMS’ EUROPEAN INFLUENCES Williams was both a product of and a muse for Europe over the last half century, and their mutual exchange of themes, ideas and images altered the artistic landscapes of several post-war nations. This panel of Williams specialists discusses the early Williams and the uses he made of various European sources in his theatre; the late Williams and the promise European theater afforded him with his
    experimental plays; and the posthumous Williams and his influence on late 20th and early 21st century European theater and cinema. Panelists: John Bak, Michael Hooper, and Barton Palmer. Moderator: Robert Bray. Williams Research Center Saturday at 10 am.
  • TENNESSEE TODAY: HIS CRITICAL REPUTATION AND POPULAR IMAGE “Snatching the eternal out of the desperately fleeting is the great magic trick of human existence,” Tennessee Williams wrote in his essay “The Timeless World of a Play.” In the 32 years since his death, Williams’ plays continue to be produced, his critical reputation grows, and his influence on today’s playwrights is undeniable. From many productions of his works on Broadway, London’s West End and beyond, to the hundreds of references to Streetcar in every form of popular culture including Woody Allen’s film, Blue Jasmine and in TV shows such as “The Simpsons” and “Modern Family,” Williams’ genius not only endures but continues to captivate global audiences. Williams experts and friends discuss the playwright’s hold on our contemporary cultural reputation, and how the future may view the resonating worlds he created. Panelists: Kenneth Holditch, David Kaplan, and John Lahr. Moderator: Thomas Keith. Williams Research Center, Saturday at 11:30 am.
  • TENNESSEE TODAY: HIS CRITICAL REPUTATION AND POPULAR IMAGE “Snatching the eternal out of the desperately fleeting is the great magic trick of human existence,” Tennessee Williams wrote in his essay “The Timeless World of a Play.” In the 32 years since his death, Williams’ plays continue to be produced, his critical reputation grows, and his influence on today’s playwrights is undeniable. From many productions of his works on Broadway, London’s West End and beyond, to the hundreds of references to Streetcar in every form of popular culture including Woody Allen’s film, Blue Jasmine and in TV shows such as “The Simpsons” and “Modern Family,” Williams’ genius not only endures but continues to captivate global audiences. Williams experts and friends discuss the playwright’s hold on our contemporary cultural reputation, and how the future may view the resonating worlds he created. Panelists: Kenneth Holditch, David Kaplan, and John Lahr. Moderator: Thomas Keith. Williams Research Center, Saturday at 11 am.
  • A CONVERSATION WITH JOHN LAHR Interviewed by Robert Bray How do you chronicle a life that defies illummation? John Lahr, the longtime senior drama critic for The New Yorker, has emerged victorious in this task. Lahr’s critically-lauded biography, Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh, is a triumphant weaving of Williams’ journeys as an artist and as a man. The mammoth undertaking involved a decade of research and writing, and illuminates Williams’ works and life, giving readers the added gift of titillating insight into the lives
    of the theatre greats who were Williams’ contemporaries. Join Lahr as he discusses his book, a 2014 National Book Award finalist, with Williams scholar Robert Bray. Sunday, 10 am.
  • And of course: Shouting Contest Contestants vie to rival Stanley Kowalski’s shout for STELLAAAAA!!!!” in the unforgettable scene from A Streetcar Named Desire. Women are welcome to try a little
    role reversal and yell for Stanley. Free and open to the public. Prizes will be awarded. Jackson Square, 4:30 pm.

& Also, in addition to the numerous stage productions around town, don’t forget about LITERARY LATE NIGHT: MIXED COMPANY “There’s a time for departure even when there’s no certain place to go.” ― Tennessee Williams The 21st century moment is an exciting and uncharted time in literature and publishing with new and traditional media forms both co-existing and duking it out to create new avenues for artists to get their work to the public. Mixed Company is an independent publication featuring the writing, art, and photography of women of color currently based in New Orleans. This late night offering will highlight the interplay between tradition and innovation and the syncretic results of a culture of diaspora. “Mixed Company” will be a multi-media presentation of literature, art by artists of color based in New Orleans, film, and music that will expand our notions of reading and seeing into the present, past and future. Location, TBD, 8 pm.

& Saturday and Sunday means panels, panels, and more panels featuring exciting writers and topics. Odd Word’s picks with a focus on panels for writers. All events are by admission, and in the Hotel Montleone unless otherwise noted.

SATURDAY:

  • CRAFTING MEMOIR: OURSELVES AND OTHERS Memoir–You writing about you. But you are not a deserted island. How do memoirists portray themselves in the context of significant and non-significant others? Outside the personal sphere, a writer’s own perspective is set against larger realities—race, gender, sexuality, and nationality. How important is the recognition of the writer’s point of view—and position in the world—in memoir? Can a reconciliation between the You and the many Others happen on the pages of a memoir? Or are memoirs just fine as single and singular stories? Writers on this panel have taken on love, race, and activism in their works. They’ll be considering these questions and more in this panel. Bring your own for the Q&A. Panelists: Molly Crabapple, Jim Grimsley, and Mac McClelland. Moderator: Lauren Cerand.
  • MIGRATING WORDS: HOW POETS INFLUENCE AND ADAPT TO LANGUAGE The rules of the English language are always in flux— from assimilated words to idioms born from social media. Poets are the shepherds, more than the arbiters, of language. Panelists Vijay Seshadri and Saeed Jones write poems that manage to acknowledge the traditional form while simultaneously innovating its use. They will discuss how language came to them and read from their pioneering works. Panelists: Saeed Jones and Vijay Seshadri Moderator: Ava Leavell Haymon. Muriel’s Jackson Square Restaurant,
  • THE TRANSNATIONALISTS: AMERICAN WRITERS ON BORDER CROSSINGS The U.S. literary landscape has always been a transnational space—America goes on excursion into the world and the world comes in—as seen in works of authors from Faulkner on to the many multiply-hyphenated, diasporic writers. In this panel of consummate border crossers, authors will discuss what it means to be an American writer in the world today, at home and abroad. Phil Klay, an Iraq veteran and author, Molly Crabapple, an activist, writer, and artist, and Laila Lalami, a Moroccan-American novelist and linguist, will discuss point of view, writing from within (and about) the U.S. borders and looking inward from abroad. Panelists: Molly Crabapple, Phil Klay, and Laila Lalami. Moderator: Pamela Paul.
  • STORM AND STORYTELLER, TEN YEARS ON: TWO WRITERS AND A PHOTOGRAPHER REVISIT KATRINA In recognition of the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, this panel brings together three of the storm’s most eloquent narrators: Dan Baum, Nine Lives: Mystery, Magic, Death, and Life in New Orleans, Cheryl Wagner, Plenty Enough Suck to Go Around: A Memoir of Floods, Fires, Parades, and Plywood, and photographer Ted Jackson, Hurricane Katrina Then and Now. The panelists will reflect on their Katrina work, consider the responsibilities of journalists and writers in such crises—both as reporters and as storytellers—and share their perspectives on the city of New Orleans ten years after the storm. Reporter, writer, and New Orleans native Lolis Eric Elie, most recently of HBO’s “Treme,” will
    moderate the discussion. Panelists: Dan Baum, Ted Jackson, and Cheryl Wagner. Moderator: Lolis Eric Elie
  • CONVERSATION WITH RICK BRAGG In his biography of aging music legend Jerry Lee Lewis, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Rick Bragg has dared readers to “find one boring page in this book.” Indeed, the life story of the Louisianaborn music sensation known as “The Killer” is one that keeps eyes bulged and mouths agape. The son of Delta sharecroppers, raised as a “holy roller” Pentecostal, Lewis would go on to earn a reputation as a hell-raising rock ‘n’ roller who would shake the music world with his outlandish piano-banging theatrics and offstage scandals. David Johnson, editor of Louisiana Cultural Vistas and KnowLA, The Digital Encyclopedia of Louisiana, will interview Bragg and discuss Lewis’ life and times. Williams Research Center.
  • LADIES WITH AN ATTITUDE Women have come a long way in the crime world from the days when they were either femme fatales, damsels in distress, or simply the murder victim. Where do things stand in the modern day world of crime writing? Join three successful women crime writers as they discuss the state of the art for women in the world of crime fiction. Panelists: Laura Lippman, Annamaria Alfieri, and Rebecca Chance. Moderator: Greg Herren. Muriel’s Jackson Square Restaurant

SUNDAY:

  • A CONVERSATION WITH JOHN LAHR Interviewed by Robert Bray How do you chronicle a life that defies illummation? John Lahr, the longtime senior drama critic for The New Yorker, has emerged victorious in this task. Lahr’s critically-lauded biography, Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh, is a triumphant weaving of Williams’ journeys as an artist and as a man. The mammoth undertaking involved a decade of research and writing, and illuminates Williams’ works and life, giving readers the added gift of titillating insight into the lives
    of the theatre greats who were Williams’ contemporaries. Join Lahr as he discusses his book, a 2014 National Book Award finalist, with Williams scholar Robert Bray.
  • A BYLINE OF ONE’S OWN: WOMEN IN LITERARY LIFE Where are the women on the page? Apparently not very many places as counts of magazines bylines by VIDA Women in Literary Arts have revealed. What does this mean for writers, readers, and the intellectual landscape of our time? Join us for a conversation about women as authors, critics, and readers in contemporary literary life with author Pamela Paul, who edits the New York Times Book Review, Brigid Hughes, founding editor of A Public Space who was formerly at the helm of The Paris Review, and independent publicist Lauren Cerand. Panelists: Lauren Cerand, Brigid Hughes, and Pamela Paul. Moderator: J.R. Ramakrishnan
  • BUILDING STORIES: A PANEL WITH A PUBLIC SPACE In a piece for the Brooklyn-based literary journal A Public Space, now collected in Best American Essays 2014, Yiyun Li wrote that “there are many ways to carry the past with us: to romantize it, to invalidate it, to furnish it with revised or entirely fictional memories.” But how can writers begin to shape experiences into engaging sentences, and what role can editors and mentors play in bringing
    stories to life on the page? Li will be joined on stage by A Public Space founding editor Brigid Hughes and APS Emerging Writer Fellow Vanessa Hutchinson for a candid discussion of fatalism in fiction, the importance of revision, and how writers – like their stories – can emerge in unexpected ways. Panelists: Yiyun Li and Vanessa Hutchinson.
  • NEW ORLEANS: CRAFTING A MYTHICAL CITY New Orleans looms large in the popular imagination, a city envisioned as a peculiar bohemian outpost, loosely attached to the United States in locality and mentality. Tourists seeking a foreign experience within America are drawn to this exotic metropolis, and many arrive with a perception shaped by a long literary tradition of writers who have played off the city’s reputation for eccentricity, debauchery, mystery, and corruption. From Mark Twain and Anne Rice to Tennessee Williams, Frances Parkinson Keyes, and journalists covering the Katrina disaster and its aftermath, this panel will examine how such writers have molded the image of the Crescent City and inadvertently commoditized it as a tourist destination. Panelists: Brian Boyles, Rien Fertel, and others TBA. Moderator: David Johnson

If you hear a cry of Stellaaaaa!!!! in the distance before Sunday, that will be me taking a break from a weekend long special project for the day job that pays the bills that lets me pay Mr. Zuckerman to make sure you see this post on Facebook.

Odd Words March 25, 2015

Posted by The Typist in Book Stores, book-signing, books, bookstores, Indie Book Shops, literature, New Orleans, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, publishing, reading, Toulouse Street.
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This coming week in literary New Orleans:

& You should check out the Tennessee Williams Festival Part 1 post here. Otherwise, here’s a short list of other events likely abbreviated by the Festival being in town.

&From 5 to 7 pm on Thursday celebrated poet R. Flowers Rivera reads from her new book Heathen. Dr. Rivera is the recipient of the prestigious 2015 Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award. The event at Loyola University, Whitney Presentation Room, Thomas Hall, is free and open to the public.

& Meanwhile at Tulane University at 7:30 pm, Kevin Young–Atticus Haygood Professor of Creative Writing and English and curator of Literary Collections and the Raymond Danowski Poetry Library at Emory University–will read from his poetry and be interviewed by Peter Cooley, Director of Creative Writing and Senior Mellon Professor in the Humanities. A reception will follow in the Faculty Lounge of Newcomb Hall. If you hurry you can hear both.

& At 7 pm Thursday Swirl in the City will conduct a wine tasting, to be followed by a reading including Geoff Munsterman, Sara Slaughter, and Andy Young at the Nix Library.

& Thursday at 6 pm Octavia Books hosts a presentation, tasting and signing with Edwin Garrubbo featuring SUNDAY PASTA: A Year Around the Table with Family and Friends. SUNDAY PASTA is Ed’s new cookbook featuring a year of weekly pasta recipes, each with an accompanying expert wine paring and beautiful photography. The book includes 54 recipes, arranged by season, with personal musings, fresh insights about key Italian ingredients, a guide to pasta shapes and sizes, and a handy Italian food glossary.

& Also at 7 pm the East Jefferson Regional Library will host an Author Eventm Tai Chi American Style, by Terry Rappold. Tai Chi American Style was written to provide a simple guide to healthy living for those leading busy, fast paced, active, mentally challenging and often physically exhausting lifestyles. It draws its information predominately from the 3,000 year old Chinese art of Tai Chi. Readers are invited to undergo a mind shift, perceiving daily activity and movement as exercise. Readers also will be taught to ‘actively’ move both their external physical body and their internal energetic body, creating greater Chi (vital life force) circulation. Terry Rappold has been studying Tai Chi and the Healing Arts since the late 1980s. In 1983, he contracted rheumatic fever and shortly thereafter began his search for healthy ways to manage the disease. After several years of Tai Chi study and practice, Terry began to share his experiences in the class setting. Within a few years, he was teaching in several Southeast Louisiana area hospitals and wellness centers.

& Friday the FREEDOM WRITING for WOMEN OF COLOR (NEW ORLEANS) group meets at a movable location from 7 pm to 10 p.m. Contact poetryprocess@gmail.com for more information.

& It’s Edible Book Day Friday at 4:30 pm. Edible Book Day is an international celebration of literature, art, and food. Local community groups and individuals are invited to bake and decorate cakes inspired by books through the integration of text, literary inspiration, or form. Sponsored by the New Orleans Museum of Art. (NOPL’s own Charles Brown, City Librarian/Executive Director, will be among the judges.) Café NOMA/NOMA’s Elevator Lobby, One Collins Diboll Circle in City Park.

& Saturday at 10:30 Octavia books and friends of the Child Development Program (CDP) host a very special live performance – complete with puppets, props, and plenty of silliness – featuring Pat Roig’s hilarious picture book, THE BEIGNET THAT ALMOST GOT AWAY. This uniquely New Orleans tale chronicles the adventures of cockroaches Ralph and Roxanne as they chase an elusive beignet through the streets of the French Quarter. The Child Development Program is a center-based Infant Nursery and Preschool in New Orleans with the mission to foster the social, emotional, cognitive, and spiritual development of young children from ages six weeks through Pre-K. Please mention the Child Development Project when you check out, and we’ll donate a portion of the proceeds to CDP.

& Also on Saturday it’s Story Time With Miss Maureen (no time posted, but usually at 11:30 am). This week she’ll read Home by Carson Ellis. Home might be a house in the country, an apartment in the city, or even a shoe. Home may be on the road or the sea, in the realm of myth, or in the artist’s own studio. A meditation on the concept of home and a visual treat that invites many return visits, this loving look at the places where people live marks the picture-book debut of Carson Ellis, acclaimed illustrator of the Wildwood series and artist for the indie band the Decemberists.

& This Sunday at 3 pm The Maple Leaf Reading Series features Poet Claire Louise Harmon reads from and signs her new book, The Thingbody, followed by an open mic. The Maple Leaf Reading Series, founded by poet Everette Maddox, is the oldest continuous poetry reading series in the south.

& Wednesday at 7 pm the East Jefferson Regional Library hosts an Author Event: Tempesta’s Dream, by Chip Lococo. Giovanni Tempesta always dreamed of becoming an opera tenor and to sing sing from the stage of the La Scala Opera House in his hometown of Milan. But with no real training, his dream has little chance for fulfillment. One day, he meets and immediately falls in love with Isabella Monterone, whose father, a wealthy and powerful Milanese judge, refuses to allow his daughter to date a penniless musician. At the lowest part of his life, Giovanni finds himself inside the Casa di Riposo, a rest home for musicians established by the great opera composer, Giuseppe Verdi. There he meets Alfredo del Monte, a blind, retired opera singer with a secretive past who gradually becomes his mentor. Could Alfredo be the one person who could assist Giovanni in finding the break he needs? Or is Giovanni destined to be on the cusp of reaching his lifelong dream, only to find failure?

& Wednesday night from 8-9 pm, come drink some coffee and make your voice heard at the Neutral Ground Poetry Hour, 5110 Danneel Street.

Odd Words’ Tennessee Williams Festival Preview Part 1 March 25, 2015

Posted by The Typist in books, literature, New Orleans, Odd Words, Poetry, reading, The Typist, Theater, Toulouse Street, Writing, Writing Workshops.
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It’s Tennessee Williams Festival Week. Sadly, Odd Words will not be covering the festival as in recent years as the paying day job makes that impossible. Here, however, are the highlights for the first two days of the Festival (Thursday and Friday):
Program-Logo-Cropped
& Master classes kick of on Thursday at The Historic New Orleans Collection, including:

  • RANDY FERTEL: IMPROV AND THE ESSAY If improvisation generates spontaneous works of art inspired by the
    muses, born of instinct and intuition, and spurred on by revelry, then what city could be more nurturing of improv artistry than New Orleans? Join scholar, author and philanthropist, Randy Fertel, as he investigates the role of improv in the confecting of the essay and works of creative non-fiction. With the city that care forgot as a Dionysian backdrop, Fertel’s call to action, based on his A Taste for Chaos: The Art of Literary Improvisation, may encourage hesitant artists to develop a taste for chaos and discover a recipe for pure and undiluted creativity. & This would be OW’s Go To Master Class. I’m reading the essay right now and I think this will be a fantastic event.
  • NIGEL HAMILTON & PATRICIA BRADY: WRITING TRUE STORIES So you want to write a real Life? Where to start, how to conduct research, organize your materials, scaffold the story—and bring it to life? And finally: for whom? Who is your audience, and what, in theend, do you want to communicate, and why? Two distinguished biographers, Nigel Hamilton whose latest work is The Mantle of Command; FDR at War, 1941-1942,and Patricia Brady (A Being So Gentle: The Frontier Love Story of Rachel and Andrew Jackson), explain—and take you to the heart of biography today.
  • ROY BLOUNT, JR.: ALPHABET JUICE—GETTING THE GOOD OUT OF LETTERS Writing may be about any number of things, but it always consists of the alphabet, variously arranged. Always comes down to wrangling the ABC’s. So let’s take a close look at the building blocks of writing in this master class. In addition to writing bestselling books, Blount is a usage consultant to the American Heritage Dictionary. You will enjoy his take on dictionaries, slang, rhyme, rhythm, and yes, weasel words. This will spice up your style, liven your language, and tickle your funny bone.
  • MICHAEL FARRIS SMITH: PUTTING THE PIECES TOGETHER How do you write a novel? Maybe the better question is how to write pieces of a novel. Thinking about the form as a sum of parts can help relieve the anxiety of the whole. How can you shake things up, give the novel the propulsion it needs to sustain? Discover some different strategies to use when thinking about the next step for your novel-in-progress and practice creating intruders for your story with in-class exercises that may give your work the push it needs.

& And you won’t want to miss this (I won’t since it’s after work): Don’t miss your chance for a first look at the next wave! New Orleans literary blog Room 220 will host the #TWF15 Contest Readings. The contests, part of our organization’s mission to encourage and support new talent, unearth the freshest new talent from hundreds of entries. Writers who have yet to publish a book compete for cash prizes, publication, and the honor of being selected by a judge. This year Molly Antopol (The UnAmericans) judged the Fiction Contest and Vijay Seshadri (3 Sections) judged Poetry. In this panel, the winning writers will read and discuss the contest with Seshadri and novelist Zachary Lazar (I Pity the Poor Immigrant). Press Street HQ, 3718 St. Claude Ave., free and open to the public.

& Another Not To Be Missed Event Thursday: JOHN WATERS: THIS FILTHY WORLD: FILTHIER AND DIRTIER Visionary filmmaker and one-of-a-kind personality John Waters (Pink Flamingos, Polyester, Female Trouble,
and Hairspray) is bringing his show “John Waters: This Filthy World: Filthier and Dirtier” to New Orleans, presented in a presentation by Daniel Nardicio. Waters takes on taboo topics as only he can do in this hilarious and completely uncensored one-man show. Waters, who has been dubbed “the Pope of Trash” and branded “O for Offensive” by the Catholic Church, earned his bad reputation by turning bad taste into high art. Part confession,
part Vaudeville act, he’ll share his origins in the trash genre and his subsequent adventures.

& Friday’s Master Classes include:

  • LAUREN CERAND: LITERARY BUZZ AND HOW TO GET IT Lauren Cerand is the independent literary publicist you want in your corner. •In this Master Class, she’ll talk about innovative publicity now, from tricks-of-the-trade of the old school in traditional publishing right up to the evolved media landscape and social media of the present day.
    Attendees will have a chance to discuss their personal challenges and aspirations, and work towards formulating a sensible public relations plan that can serve as a “North Star” in order to orient themselves, and focus on strengths and strategy.
  • LAILA LALAMI: DECEPTIVE HISTORIES, TRUTHFUL FICTIONS If history is fated to be written by the victors, then fiction offers tantalizing alternate readings of official records. Laila Lalami’s The Moor’s Account follows
    conquistador Pánfilo de Narváez’s 1527 expedition to the New World. The 300-man enterprise ended with four survivors, three Spaniards and an enslaved African named Estebanico. The latter’s account—and role as the first African American explorer—is obscured in the authoritative historical chronicle. In her novel, a NYT Notable Book of 2014, Lalami imagines Estebanico’s story. She will discuss history as narrative force, her re-creation of the multilingual voices of the past, and the points at which facts turn into fiction with Festival literary programming
    director, J.R. Ramakrishnan.
  • JIM GRIMSLEY: THE WHOLE TRUTH AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH Writing fiction and nonfiction about painful subjects involves a willingness to expose the harder and more painful sides of ourselves. Grimsley will share from his own experience in writing nonfiction about the racial attitudes he learned in the South of his childhood, detailed in his memoir How I Shed My Skin, to be published by Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill in April 2015. He will also discuss the different processes for approaching such difficult material in fiction and in nonfiction.
  • MARLY RUSOFF AND JONATHAN ODELL: AUTHOR AGENT ALLIANCE An agent and author explore their dynamic partnership in the today’s changing world of publishing. Roles are no longer as fixed in this brave new world of publishing. How does one navigate times of increased fluidity, where roles often need restructuring in the face of market demands? It’s exciting, fast-moving, and can be daunting, as events happen very much in real time. There are no easy templates but in this class, agent and publisher Marly Rusoffand author Jonathan Odell will share their experiences and innovative ideas about how to succeed in publishing in today’s world.

& Friday is also the annual Tennessee Williams Scholar’s Conference. Panels at the The Historic New Orleans Collection Williams Research Center 410 Chartres Street include:

  • Tom’s “good time girls”: Burlesque and Chorus Girls in Williams’s Early One-Act Plays — Dr. Annette Saddik, City University of New York, Mr. David Kaplan, Provincetown Theatre Festival, Dr. Michael Hooper, St. Margaret’s School (UK) Moderator: Dr. John Bak, Université de Lorraine (France).
  • The Paintings of Tennessee Williams — Dr. Cori Convertito, Curator, Key West Art and Historical Society John Bak, Mr. Bradley Sumrall, Ogden Museum of Southern Art Moderator: Ms. Margit Longbrake, The Historic New Orleans Collection.
  • Suddenly, Last Summer, Play and Film Discussion — John Lahr, former New Yorker drama critic Brenda Currin, actor Dr. Barton Palmer, Clemson University Moderator: Dr. Henry Schvey, Washington University.
  • Southern Literature and the White Trash Aesthetic — Dr. Andrew Leiter, Lycoming College, Dr. Meredith McCarroll, Clemson University, Mr. Jim Grimsley, Emory University, Moderator: Dr. Robert Bray.

& Literary Panels , Theatrical Performances, and Special Events for Friday (Odd Word’s picks; for the full list go to the Festival Website):

  • LOUISIANA WITNESS: HOMEGROWN NARRATIVES The gumbo of the American South’s identity comes from cultural histories as diverse, and in some cases more diverse, than America itself. So when writers, born of the region’s native locales, render and evoke the South, their personal narrative perspectives inform the stories that we receive and read. Panelists discuss how their characters bear witness to an ever-changing Southern social and cultural climate, evolving views of histories, and how these views inform the overall work. Panelists: M.O. Walsh, Rick Barton, Laura Lane McNeal, and Vicki Salloum.
  • SWEET AND SAVAGE: WRITING THE WOMEN OF THE SOUTH Southern women in fiction have faced and overcome seemingly insurmountable adversity, Margaret Mitchell’s Scarlet O’Hara and Alice Walker’s long-suffering Celie come to mind. In this region of sweet tea and magnolias, lynching and the Klan, female characters have long had to be less than genteel, perhaps at times even savage, in order to live their lives and protect those around them, as we see
    depicted in the works of the writers on this panel. Panelists: Natalie Baszile, LaShonda Katrice Barnett, Katy Simpson Smith, and John Warley. Moderator: Nancy Dixon
  • GOOD MORNING, BALTIMORE: LAURA LIPPMAN INTERVIEWS JOHN WATERS John Waters’ wry eye on pop culture has resulted in some of America’s most beloved cult films. The Pope of Trash decided to put his finger on the pulse
    of contemporary culture by hitchhiking across America, from his home in Baltimore to his home in San Francisco, armed with no more than his sardonic wit and a sign saying “I’M NOT A PSYCHO.” The book Carsick is an account
    of what he found. Another Baltimore icon, award-winning bestseller Laura Lippman, sits down with him to talk about what he found on his trip, the experience, and get some insights on America.

& More events the first two days include Southern Rep’s production of Suddenly Last Summer, matinee shows of HOTEL PLAYS BY TENNESSEE WILLIAMS (THEATER), in which The Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival brings short plays by Williams including The Last of My Solid Gold Watches and Lord Byron’s Love Letter set in such rooms. At the Hermann-Grima House, 820 St. Louis Street, $30; and, BLUE DEVILS AND BETTER ANGELS: TENNESSEE WILLIAMS TRIBUTE READING These luminous readings will be comprised of scenes, monologues, poetry, and correspondence of Williams that relate to the struggles and triumphs of the spirit. Readers include author and cult filmmaker John Waters; playwright Martin Sherman; veteran stage and screen actors Keir Dullea and Mia Dillon; and John Patrick Shanley, who will read excerpts from his Pulitzer Prize-winning play Doubt. Also joining our cast are author/columnist “Ask” Amy Dickinson, and glamorous thriller writer Rebecca Chance. Curated by Paul J. Willis and Thomas Keith, and hosted by Keith. The Old Ursuline Convent, 1112 Chartres Street, $35.

Look for another listing Friday of the weekend’s events here on Odd Words, or visit the website for the complete program.

Odd Words March 18, 2015

Posted by The Typist in Book Stores, book-signing, books, Indie Book Shops, library, literature, New Orleans, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, Toulouse Street.
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This coming week in literary New Orleans:

& Thursday at 7 pm Crescent City Books presents Two writers and the poet, featuring Justin Noble, Jason Kerzinski and Christian Cubs, also known as Cubs The Poet. Nobel’s stories have been published with Tin House, Orion, the Oxford American and in Best American Travel Writing 2011 and Best American Science and Nature Writing 2014. He is presently at work on a book about a New Orleans man wrongfully convicted of murder and put on death row. Other projects include a collection of stories about the weather, and an upcoming journey to document lifestyles along the Gulf Coast in the face of sea level rise. Kerzinski is a poet, playwright, and fiction writer. He’s published three chapbooks to date. Little Abyss, Exceedingly Beautiful and Ruler of Hearts. He’s working on his 4th chapbook. Cubs The Poet, is an on the spot poetry curator. Usingthe street as his conduit, Cubs, customizes poetry uniquely for each person that stops in office.Equipped with a 1970’s Hermes Rocket, he is able to create verses in under 3 minutes.

& Also at 7 pm the East Jefferson Regional Library hosts an Author Event featuring Royal and St. Louis, by Renee Austell. Multi-billion dollar international conglomerate SYNX Global is melting down. Top executives murdered and founder and CEO Godfrey Dolan squeezed out of his company for reasons beyond his control. Two power brokers are left standing in the corporation, Emile Fontaine, a mysterious suave sophisticate and Robert Collier, a long serving SYNX executive with many secrets. Speculations on the motive behind the murders run wild and chaos seems to rule the day as young corporate attorney Gillian Claire is thrust into a web of intrigue and deceit when she is tasked with representing the man accused of the murders. Completely out of her element, Gillian must separate fact from fiction and piece together the truth behind the murders. Along the way she learns more than she bargains for. Each revelation spirals her deeper into the clandestine personal lives of the über wealthy and puts her at greater risk of becoming a killer’s next victim.

& Also at 7 pm at the East Jeff Library the SciFi, Fantasy and Horror Writer’s Group meets. 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

& Thursday at 8 pm The New Orleans Literary & Performance Series​ at the Gold Mine Saloon presents JOHN SINCLAIR and GRAY HAWK with special guests LOREN PICKFORD on alto sax & flutes) and author DR. JERRY WARD JR. followed by an Open Mic hosted by JIMMY ROSS. This event is free but a benefit for the Institute for the Imagination. A donation of $15 is requested at the door,\.

& Friday is the registration deadline for those who wish to participate in the New Orleans Public Library Edible Book Festival, in which participants create book-themed culinary creations. Registration is available at all branches.

& Friday the FREEDOM WRITING for WOMEN OF COLOR (NEW ORLEANS) group meets at a movable location from 7 pm to 10 p.m. Contact poetryprocess@gmail.com for more information.

& At 11:30 am Saturday Maple Street Book Shop hosts Whitney Stewart at the store reading from and signing her new book, Meditation is an Open Sky, Mindfulness for Kids. Feeling mindful is feeling good! You know when you’re having a bad day, you have that wobbly feeling inside and nothing seems to go right? Find a quiet place, sit down, and meditate! In this daily companion, kids of any age will learn simple exercises to help manage stress and emotions, find focus, and face challenges. They’ll discover how to feel safe when scared, relax when anxious, spread kindness, and calm anger when frustrated. Simple, secular, and mainstream, this mindfulness book is an excellent tool for helping kids deal with the stresses of everyday life. Stewart is a children’s book author, meditation teacher, and a born adventurer. She has traveled to Tibet, Nepal, and India and teaches mindfulness at Tulane University and to children and teens. Her most recent children’s book is A Catfish Tale: A Bayou Story of the Fisherman and His Wife. Whitney lives in Louisiana, with her husband and son.

& Saturday at 1:30 Octavia Books invites everyone to celebrate Spring with children’s picture book author Dianne de Las Casas and Kid Chef Eliana – storytelling and a cooking demo! Dianne will tell and “egg-cellent” story while Kid Chef Eliana demonstrates 3 ways to use boiled eggs. They are the authors of The Little “Read” Hen.

& Saturday at 2 pm the GNO Chapter of LA Poetry Society meets at the Old Metairie Library and hosts a Poetry Workshop: Poetry reading and discussions for poetry lovers.

& Sunday afternoon Octavia hosts Sunday afternoon booksigning with writer Barri Bronston celebrating the launch of Walking New Orleans: 30 Tours Exploring Historic Neighborhoods, Waterfront Districts, Culinary and Music Corridors, and Recreational Wonderlands. In Walking New Orleans, lifelong resident and writer Barri Bronston shares the love of her hometown through 30 self-guided tours that range from majestic St. Charles Avenue and funky Magazine Street to Bywater and Faubourg Marigny, two of the city’s “it” neighborhoods. Within each tour, she offers tips on where to eat, drink, dance, and play, for in addition to all the history, culture, and charm that New Orleans has to offer — and there’s plenty — Faubourg Marigny it provides tourists and locals alike with one heck of a good time.

& This Sunday at 3 pm The Maple Leaf Reading Series features Poet James Nolan reads from and signs his new book of poems, Drunk on Salt Also reading, Genaro Ky Ly Smith, a Vietnamese-black American poet whose first book, THE LAND BARON’S SON, has just come out with University of Louisiana at Lafayette Press followed by an open mic. The Maple Leaf Reading Series, founded by poet Everette Maddox, is the oldest continuous poetry reading series in the south.

& Also at 3 pm Sunday Garden District Book Shop features S. R. Perricone and Blue Steel Crucifix. When Wilson Three Eagles, a young Native American law student, is recruited by the FBI, he is assigned to a secret task force that will investigate the pernicious grip of organized crime on both Louisiana’s public officials and on the FBI, itself. As he is trained and put into place in the seductive, corrupt, and complex city of New Orleans, Wilson finds himself in the crosshairs of Biaggi and the mob, the ex-governor and even his own new colleagues who are all on a collision course over stolen secrets and valuable records. As this thrilling sting unfolds in the murderous back alleys of the French Quarter, and as the Sicilian and Russian crime bosses try to out-maneuver Louisiana’s politically corrupt, the young Special Agent discovers his true abilities and many others find redemption through a blue steel crucifix.

& Monday at 6 pm Octavia Books presents Kate Cooper’s BAND OF ANGELS: The Forgotten World of Early Christian Women. From peasants to empresses, women of the ancient world contributed to the growth of Christianity as it flourished to become a world religion. With authority earned within their local communities through their role as parents, organizers, and small business owners, women played a central role in spreading new Christian faith through informal friendship and family networks. Through the telling of their stories, Kate Cooper highlights the independent heroines who mobilized friends and family to share the ideas that had inspired them, and in doing so, helped create the enduring legacy of Christianity’s “social miracle.

& Susan Larson, the former book editor of the former Times-Picayune newspaper and member of the National Book Critics Circle hosts The Reading Life on WWNO (89.9 FM) on Tuesdays at 1:30 p.m. She features interviews with authors of local and national interest. Watch Odd Words on Facebook and Google+ on Tuesdays for a complete list of her guests and features.

& At 6 pm Tuesday Garden District Book Shop gets into the Tennessee Williams Festival spirit early,featuring James Grissom’s Follies of God: Tennessee Williams and the Women of the Fog.An extraordinary book; one that almost magically makes clear how Tennessee Williams wrote; how he came to his visions of Amanda Wingfield, his Blanche DuBois, Stella Kowalski, Alma Winemiller, Lady Torrance, and the other characters of his plays that transformed the American theater of the mid-twentieth century; a book that does, from the inside, the almost impossible—revealing the heart and soul of artistic inspiration and the unwitting collaboration between playwright and actress, playwright and director. At a moment in the life of Tennessee Williams when he felt he had been relegated to a “lower artery of the theatrical heart,” when critics were proclaiming that his work had been overrated, he summoned to New Orleans a hopeful twenty-year-old writer, James Grissom, who had written an unsolicited letter to the great playwright asking for advice. After a long, intense conversation, Williams sent Grissom on a journey on the playwright’s behalf to find out if he, Tennessee Williams, or his work, had mattered to those who had so deeply mattered to him.

& Tuesday at 6 pm Octavia Books hosts Hugo, Nebula & World Fantasy Award nominated author N. K. Jemisin when she joins us for a discussion and signing featuring her most recent publication, THE INHERITANCE TRILOGY omnibus, as well as THE KILLING MOON and THE SHADOWED SUN – a duology. And she will give preview of her forthcoming book, THE FIFTH SEASON.

& Tuesday at 7 pm The Westbank Fiction Writers’ Group meets at the Westwego Branch Library, featuring writing exercises or discussions of points of fiction and/or critique sessions of members’ submissions. Meets the second and fourth Tuesday of every month. Moderator: Gary Bourgeois. Held in the meeting Room

& Wednesday night from 8-9 pm, come drink some coffee and make your voice heard at the Neutral Ground Poetry Hour, 5110 Danneel Street.

& The Tennessee Williams Festival gets underway Wednesday with the staging of THE HOTEL PLAYS by Tennessee Williams. Williams lived on the move, often in transitory situations. Many of his short plays are set in hotel rooms and boarding houses, way stations between reality and dream. David Kaplan, artistic director of the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival, returns to The Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival with a selection of four of the maestro’s most poignant and charming works…and stages them environmentally, at the Hermann-Grima House, where small groups of the audience will be guided from room to room, in intimate witness to each poetic tale. Ticket information at the Tennessee Williams Festival website.

& Look for a special Tennessee Williams Festival Odd Words next week, with our own picks for the best of the Fest, which runs March 25-29.

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