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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.

poetry is not January 15, 2016

Posted by The Typist in Poetry, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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that monster under your bed.

That exercise in writing is my latest project, and seems to keep me from a more “serious” manuscript in revision. Still, there is nothing unserious about poetry is not. It is a conscientious attempt to explore the borders between versification, best (?) exemplified by Hallmark and a poetry deeply serious about its business but at first glance simple–and most of all accessible to the general reader. Then again, shouldn’t all poems aspire to be as simple as possible, to pare away every unnecessary word as an engineer builds to spec and budget, an economy of material and forces which at the highest produces both beauty and function, the Golden Gate Bridge golden in the morning? There is nature, the echo of haiku, and a playfulness to it, and a music. It is often self-referential, confessional even, but without the bottle or the oven. If assonance and consonance are a bother, brother, don’t go there. It is a chamber orchestra of penny whistles. It is my attempt to produce a poetry that resonates with a public ruined for poetry by modernism and post-modernism, poetry written for other poets and to please professors of creative writing, a poetry that is swallowing its tale, a Rosicrucian arcanum to which the reading public is not admitted.

Give it a look. Open the door, and let in a bit of sunshine and birdsong. Go fearlessly into the simplicity of snowflakes.

 

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.

 

 

Saddest of All Animals December 19, 2015

Posted by The Typist in errata, Poetry, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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““[V]erily I feel myself sometimes to be that saddest of all animals,” he wrote, “a poet who cannot write poetry…””

— Malcolm Lowry

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.

Debt Is Freedom December 14, 2015

Posted by The Typist in New Orleans, Odd Words, Poetry, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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I am come from the underworld
to tell you your new gods
are concerned about your parsimony.

This country was built on credit, goddammit,
so spend it. You are not carrying your weight
in their grand scheme of things & things.

Their sisters will snip your disobedient cards &
abandon you to eating the happy employee meal
sweating at the bus stop over the rent.

They can take it all back at any minute,
a repossession worse than death:
carless, houseless, under the overpass.

The obsolete missionary gods slop contempt
on mercy’s plate. Get a job, their prayer but
there’s no good work for folk with your credit score.

I was as you once, and walked away, thinking:
freedom. It was then they came for me. No room
for bad examples except under the overpass.

Your new deities send me to tell you:
debt is freedom, the endless shelves
of choice beyond your grandparents imagining.

Spending and getting is all of heaven
you will ever know before the balloon note is due
& cold repo death, the only old god left

comes due at some month’s end.

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.

Radiant Brains December 2, 2015

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, Poetry, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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Poetry as discipline (yes, mistress) the painstaking arrangement of the gunpowder flowers pounding the Anglo-Saxon drum of controlled explosions the crackling shower of non sequiturs of my radiant brains        Klonopin espresso shots! Wallace Stevens Terry Gilliam! Fellini Bugs Bunny! Gasoline-flavored rainbows! Clem and the Amazing Technicolor Radio!        the whizzing pinball governor humming Apple bomb chords of tilt resonating Steven Gould’s piano.

The trick is putting Xmas back neatly in its box–not a jingling crinkle out of place–with a just-so paper lady bow.

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!

Poetry Is Not November 17, 2015

Posted by The Typist in Poetry, The Journey, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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In poetry everything is permitted.

With only this condition of course,
You have to improve the blank page.

— Nicanor Parra

Poetry Is Not

 

One’s Inner Daemon October 31, 2015

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, New Orleans, Poetry, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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Getting in touch with one’s inner daemon, not infernal but an amoral engine of perception whose only purpose is music, not of the spheres, of the equinoctial routine but rather the assembly of images like maenads, words raving and tearing at each other’s clothes until assembled, naked and purposeful, in union, in invocation: the earth shifts its ecliptic and the divine eye is opened.

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.

Dream Song 103: I consider a song will be as humming-bird September 29, 2015

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, New Orleans, Poetry, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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I consider a song will be as humming-bird
swift, down-light, missile-metal-hard, & strange
as the world of anti-matter
where they are wondering: does time run backward—
which the poet thought was true; Scarlatti-supple;
but can Henry write it?

Wreckt, in deep danger, he shook once his head,
returning to meditation. And word had sped
all from the farthest West
that Henry was desired: can he get free
of the hanging menace, & this all, and go?
He doesn’t think so.

Therefore he shakes and he will sing no more,
much less a song as fast as said, as light,
so deep, so flexing. He broods.
He may, rehearsing, here of his bad year
at the very end, in squalor, ill, outside.
—Happy New Year, Mr Bones.

— John Berryman

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.

Agape September 12, 2015

Posted by The Typist in Poetry, The Journey, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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By César Vallejo 

Today no one has come to inquire;
nor have they asked me for anything this afternoon.

I’ve not seen a single cemetery flower
in such a happy procession of lights.
Forgive me, Lord: how little I have died!

On this afternoon everybody, everybody passes by
without inquiring or asking me for anything.

And I don’t know what they forget and remains
strangely in my hands, like something that’s not mine.

I’ve gone to the door,
and feel like shouting at everybody:
If you’re missing something, here it remains!

Because in all the afternoons of this life,
I don’t know what doors they slam in a face,
and my soul is seized by someone else’s thing.

Today no one has come;
and today how little I have died this afternoon!

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.

radio August 16, 2015

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, Poetry, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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strange eyes in my head

I’m the coward and the fool and the clown and

I listen to a man telling me that I can get a

restaurant guide and an expanding cultural events calendar

I’m just not here today

I don’t want restaurants and expanding cultural events

I want an old shack in the hills

rent free

with enough to eat and drink until I die

strange eyes in my head

strange ways

no chance

Bukowski, Charles (2009-03-17). Mockingbird Wish Me Luck

Consummation Of Grief August 16, 2015

Posted by The Typist in FYYFF, Poetry, The Narrative, The Typist.
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By Charles Bukowski

I even hear the mountains
the way they laugh
up and down their blue sides
and down in the water
the fish cry
and the water
is their tears.
I listen to the water
on nights I drink away
and the sadness becomes so great
I hear it in my clock
it becomes knobs upon my dresser
it becomes paper on the floor
it becomes a shoehorn
a laundry ticket
it becomes
cigarette smoke
climbing a chapel of dark vines. . .
it matters little
very little love is not so bad
or very little life
what counts
is waiting on walls
I was born for this
I was born to hustle roses down the avenues of the dead.

Periplumb August 14, 2015

Posted by The Typist in poem, Poetry, The Journey, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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Full-moon Venice preriplumb
Vaparetto No 2. S. Marco:
Campari soda at Harry’s Bar (2)
linen slacks, lime sherbet shirt
my best hat (American, called Milano)
new Italian loafers (no socks)
squandering Euros for a moment
of history, of artificial beauty–
better leather, tan-complimenting
French nails, Italian movie glamour.

The anarchists are out
in the dark like rats:
case por tutti
non si ama liberi
Sheila can you dance like Mussolini?

but the grave carabinieri
who shared my boat,
a blocky, Homeric man
with a square beard,
hefty Berretta on his hip,
keeps their paint bombs
away from S. Marco.

Abandon Harry’s mirrors,
women dressed for Venice
but not Venice, tawdry
among the marble.

Vaporetto No. 2. S. Marco,
round out the periplumb.
One woman alone: brown hair,
glasses, simple slacks and blouse,
natural, a primal Italian beauty,
a noble line of face
fit to strike in metal
the color of her skin.

Glances at my age are flattering,
returning them feels unbecoming but
alone in full-moon Venice
is temptation monumental.
By happy accident I take a seat
in the bow across an aisle
wide as the Grand Canal.
No words. No room. No hope.
Her glances continue, presuming
some intent in my choice of seat.
She removes one shoe, stretches red toes
suggesting the continuation
of lithe curves tending toward
a narrow alley in some quiet sestieri
but no. I watch the passing palazzo.
She turns assertively
to look the other way.

My Venice adventure passes by,
Ca’ Desdemona dark in the moonlight.
My periblumb ends as it began
at Ferrovia.

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.

Get Over It August 8, 2015

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, Poetry, The Narrative, The Typist.
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Item A) get over it.
Item B) keep typing.

— Luis Alberto Urrea
     “Skunks”
     Tijuana Book of the Dead

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.

78 July 14, 2015

Posted by The Typist in Poetry, The Narrative, The Typist.
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Op. posth. no. 1

Darkened his eye, his wild smile disappeared,
inapprehensible his studies grew,
nourished he less & less
his subject body with good food & rest,
something bizarre about Henry, slowly sheared
off, unlike you & you,

smaller & smaller, till in question stood
his eyeteeth and one block of memories
These were enough for him
implying commands from upstairs & from down,
Walt’s ‘orbic flex,’ triads of Hegel would
incorporate, if you please,

into the know-how of the American bard
embarrassed Henry heard himself a-being,
and the younger Stephen Crane
of a powerful memory, of pain,
these stood the ancestors, relaxed & hard,
whilst Henry’s parts were fleeing.

— John “The Revelator” Berryman

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.

He Taught Me To Sing A Song July 11, 2015

Posted by The Typist in New Orleans, Poetry, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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My prolific and talented friend* Ray Shea just had a few of his poems from the online journal Revolution John nominated for Best of the Net, a signal honor in these days of the web-only journal, much better than a Pushcart nomination which has become as common as author copies and so a bit ridiculous when cited. Tell me when you win one.

I know he posted these before when first published but I don’t remember reading “Sing It For Me”, perhaps because of slowly burying own my cold mother, waiting so long until she was both cold and still, the sarcophagus pose, the blue veined marble skin, my own erasure until the only word left f was forget. “Sing It For Me” conjoins that signature scene in 2001 in which Dave is forced to turn off Hall 9000 with the decision on when to pull the plug on a parent, in this case his father (it helps but is not necessary to know his father was a Coastie). The poem is just so fucking beautiful and perfect, a simple yet intricate machine of words with all the beauty of a music box. You want to open the lid again and again, watch the works turning as the song plays out.

This time I promise not to reach for the blemish cream. This poem leaves a scar I will keep and proudly show my children someday, when my life is mostly read outs on the machine, and as we cry I will remind them I left some beauty in this world, a handful of poems and a couple of forgotten blogs, their own lustrous mirrors.

* Can I still say friend when we never speak, constantly miss each other when he comes for Carnival, each on our own trajectories not so much divergent as impossible to calculate an intersection through the massive traffic of parade days. Journalists and former journalists, my friend Victoria (again, how long?) noted, make the worst correspondents. I like to think you don’t lose friends so much as shelve them sometimes, like the books that stack precariously two deep on my book shelves, waiting for happenstance or an inspiration to dig them out to reconnect.

Crabapple Lane June 27, 2015

Posted by The Typist in A Fiction, cryptical envelopment, New Orleans, Poetry, The Pointless, The Typist, Toulouse Street, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.
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Happiness is for saps.
You see them paired in
matching polos and shorts,
their fat pink squealing children
on even, green lawns.

Science we find is wrong.
The universe does not rush into
their vacuous block
to fill the gaping void yawning
in formless boredom.

There is this skulking skunk.
He squats inside my chest
sullen, hungry.
I want to yank him out, toss him
butt first in their yard.

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

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