Odd Words: This week in literary New Orleans May 29, 2016Posted 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 local libraries will be closed Monday in observance of Memorial Day.
& Come meet New Orleans-based, New York Times bestselling author Nevada Barr presenting and signing her new novel, BOAR ISLAND at Octavia Books Tuesday at 6 pm, bringing National Park Ranger Anna Pigeon to the wild beauty of Acadia National Park. Anna Pigeon, in her career as a National Park Service Ranger, has had to deal with all manner of crimes and misdemeanors, but cyber-bullying and stalking is a new one. The target is Elizabeth, the adopted teenage daughter of her friend Heath Jarrod. Elizabeth is driven to despair by the disgusting rumors spreading online and bullying texts. Until, one day, Heath finds her daughter Elizabeth in the midst of an unsuccessful suicide attempt. And then she calls in the cavalry—her aunt Gwen and her friend Anna Pigeon. BOAR ISLAND is a brilliant intertwining of past and present, of victims and killers, in a compelling novel that only Nevada Barr could write. NEVADA BARR is a novelist, actor, and artist best known for her New York Times bestselling, award-winning mystery series featuring Anna Pigeon. A former National Park Service Ranger, she currently lives with her husband in New Orleans.
& The West Bank Book Club meets Wednesday at 5 pm at the Algiers Regional Library to discuss their selection, which is usually literary fiction. Meetings are open to the public and are hosted by library staff. The June selection is Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert.
& Meet Colin Campbell and George from FREE DAYS WITH GEORGE: Learning Life’s Little Lessons from One Very Big Dog at 6 pm Wednesday at Octavia Books. After Colin Campbell went on a short business trip abroad, he returned home to discover his wife of many years had moved out. No explanations. No second chances. She was gone and wasn’t coming back. Shocked and heartbroken, Colin fell into a spiral of depression and loneliness.Soon after, a friend told Colin about a dog in need of rescue—a neglected 140-pound Newfoundland Landseer, a breed renowned for its friendly nature and remarkable swimming abilities. Colin adopted the traumatized dog, brought him home and named him George. Both man and dog were heartbroken and lacking trust, but together, they learned how to share a space, how to socialize and, most of all, how to overcome their bad experiences. At the same time, Colin began to relive childhood memories of his beloved grandfather, a decorated war hero and a man who gave him hope when he needed it most. FREE DAYS WITH GEORGE is an uplifting, inspirational story about the healing power of animals, and about leaving the past behind to embrace love, hope, and happiness.
& At 8 pm Wednesday Blood Jet Poetry Series at BJ’s in the Bywater presents two local poets: Lauren Burgess is an undergraduate at UNO, studying anthropology and creative writing. She is the recipient of the Ryan Chighizola Memorial Scholarship for poetry, and her writing has been featured in UNO’s literary magazine, Ellipsis. She writes about sex, gender, dead bodies, and disappointment, all with the hope of making readers at least a little uncomfortable; if not, she hasn’t done her job. Lewis Schmidt grew up in the strip-mines and pot fields of Appalachia. He attended Vanderbilt University and the University of New Orleans earning degrees in European History and Special Education. He is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer who served in Jamaica. Lewis learned and developed his poetry attending the The Maple Leaf Readings hosted by Everett Maddox and later Nancy Harris, the Dragon’s Den, and 17 Poets at the Gold Mine Saloon. He took writing classes through the New Orleans School for the Imagination, and is influenced by Dada, Kerouac, Loy, Joyce and good Irish whiskey.
& The Banks Street Bar Poetry Open Mike features Guest Host Michael “Quess?” Moore at 6:30 pm. Moore is fresh off a stellar book release show at Cafe Istanbul. He’ll share a few pieces and MC the evening’s festivities and introduce poets from the sign-up list.
& Sunday at 2 pm Garden District Books presents Pamela Skjolsvik’s Death Becomes Us. Woody Allen once said, “I am not afraid of death. I just don’t want to be there when it happens.” For most of my life, that was my mantra. Almost everyone with a pulse fears death, but not everyone fears life. With crippling social anxiety, I feared both. But after an accidental call to a funeral home during my mid-life crisis trip to grad school, I reluctantly embarked on a journey to explore professions that dealt with death in order to come to terms with my own mortality. The result of this quirky trip is Death Becomes Us, a humorous memoir about what happens when a middle-aged, anxiety-filled, life-avoider attempts to investigate the last taboo of American culture. What started as an overzealous MFA thesis ended with my discovery that awareness of death, the one thing that collectively scares people the most is also the one thing that helped me to finally live. During my two years of research, I encountered an embalmer afraid of dying, a grieving EMT, an upbeat Hospice counselor, and a hopeful death row inmate. Emotionally I went from grieving at a funeral for my cigarettes to crying over a dead man’s body just minutes after his execution; I went from avoidance and fear to eventual immersion and acceptance. I realized the importance of looking at death to fully realize the finite nature of life.
& The Maple Leaf Poetry Series, the longest running reading and open mic in the south, meets Sundays at 3 pm at the Maple Leaf Bar at 3 pm. The June schedule has not been published as of Odd Words deadline, but the open mic is on whether there is a featured reader is not.
Odd Words: This week in literary New Orleans May 23, 2016Posted by The Typist in Book Stores, book-signing, books, bookstores, Indie Book Shops, literature, Louisiana, New Orleans, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, reading, spoken word, Toulouse Street, Writing.
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This week in literary New Orleans:
& Monday at 6 pm Garden District Book Shop (2727 Prytania) will host Michael Murphy in conversation with Stanton Moore, Meschiya Lake, and Jan Ramsey. Michael will then sign his book, Hear Dat New Orleans: A Guide to the Rich Musical Heritage & Lively Current Scene.
& on Tuesday at 4pm, at Rosa F. Keller Library & Community Center (4300 S. Broad) The New Orleans Youth Open Mic (NOYOM) hosts its monthly writing workshops. Facilitated by Team Slam New Orleans (SNO) founding member and #NOYOM committee member Akeem Martin, the workshops will help youth learn new writing skills and improve upon the ones they already have in a fun, structured space. Attendees will have the chance to submit work to be published in the NOYOM Youth Anthology. Open to all 7th – 12th graders.
& At 6pm, Garden District Book Shop Pres Kabacoff in conversation with James Farwell, discusses and signs his book, Revitalizing Cities: The HRI Vision. Revitalizing Cities: The HRI Vision tells the story of America’s most innovative real estate companies. Emerging in New Orleans during the 1980s, HRI Properties’ early work in neighborhoods and communities in that city forged it’s mission, and it is now a leader in revitalizing historic neighborhoods that have been abandoned and left vacant. This book is availble in hardcover ($44.95).
& Wednesday at 7 pm Esoterotica: Original Erotic Readings by Local Writers Esoterotica continute its bi-weekly performance series at The AllWays Lounge (The AllWays Lounge 2240 St. Claude) with its 4th Annual Debaucherous Duets reading night, an evening showcasing all collaborative and group erotica. Slated performances by Shadow Angelina with Aime’ SansSavant, Mike Marina with Roux B Shears, Zach Bartlett with Deb Jannerson, Deb Jannerson with Davida Sharp, Fischer Pete with Megan Doe, and Many More. Doors at 7pm, Show at 8pm. No Cover.
& At 8 pm Wednesday the Blood Jet Poetry Series back in the Poetry Living Room at BJs through mid-June every Wednesday night at 8PM. Welcome us back with this week’s readers: Rodrigo Toscano and Carolyn Hembree. Rodrigo Toscano’s newest book of poetry is Explosion Rocks Springfield Fence Books, 2016) His previous books include, Deck of Deeds, Collapsible Poetics Theater (a National Poetry Series selection), To Leveling Swerve, Platform, Partisans, and The Disparities. His poetry has appeared in the anthologies Voices Without Borders, Diasporic Avant Gardes, Imagined Theatres, In the Criminal’s Cabinet, Earth Bound, and Best American Poetry. Toscano has received a New York State Fellowship in Poetry. His poetics plays have been performed at the Disney Redcat Theater and Ontological-Hysteric Poet’s Theater Festival. His radio pieces have aired on WPIX FM, KAOS Public Radio, WNYU, and PS.1 Radio. His poetry has been translated into French, Dutch, Italian, German, Portuguese, Norwegian and Catalan. He works for the Labor Institute in conjunction with the United Steelworkers, the National Institute for Environmental Health Science, Communication Workers of America, and National Day Laborers Organizing Network. Originally, from San Diego, and after 16 years, in Brooklyn, NY, Toscano now lives in New Orleans. Carolyn Hembree was born in Bristol, Tennessee. Her debut poetry collection, Skinny, came out from Kore Press in 2012. In 2016, Trio House Books published her second collection, Rigging a Chevy into a Time Machine and Other Ways to Escape a Plague, winner of the 2015 Trio Award and the 2015 Rochelle Ratner Memorial Award. Her work has appeared in Colorado Review, Drunken Boat, The Journal, Poetry Daily, and other publications. She has received grants and fellowships from PEN, the Louisiana Division of the Arts, and the Southern Arts Federation. An assistant professor at the University of New Orleans, Carolyn teaches writing and serves as poetry editor of Bayou Magazine.
& Thursday at 6:30 A Scribe Called Quess?, instructional coach at Martin Behrman Charter Academy of Creative Arts, joins forces with fellow staff Omotinubuwa Fayemi and her troupe of Mardi Gras Indians, Honey Sanaa, Erika “PoeticOne” Murray, Brittany Travesté Epps, and the legendary Chuck Perkins and Voices of the Big Easy for an evening of poetry and culture to close out your school year. Live music, food and more will be involved. ALL are welcome and invited.
& at 6:30 Banks Street Bar & Grill (4401 Banks) will launch its inaugural Banks Street Open Mic with guest host Geoff Munsterman. Poets are encouraged to sign up & read. Geoff Munsterman is the author of Because the Stars Shine Through It (Lavender Ink, 2013) and has has his work published in Poets for Living Waters, The Southern Poetry Anthology, YAWP, story|south, The Double Dealer, The New Laurel Review, and Margie to name a few and received the John Crowe Ransom Prize for Poetry in 2006. He is founder & editor at Next Left Press, which specializes is handmade poetry chapbooks.
& at 8pm Bar Redux (801 Poland) Presents Phlaurel Pollinator. Phlaurel Pollinator is a poet and singer, who spreads her positive and radiant energy with the crowd. She gets the audience in on the moment by having them join in with spoons, washboards, and anything they can. She is a unique spirit who will pull you into her orbit. Guests are invited to join her for an intimate laid back evening on the patio.
& Friday 7pm, Renaissance New Orleans Arts Hotel (700 Tchoup) will have Cocktails and Spoken Word. Audience members wil receive 1 complimentary cocktail and “a night of poetry dopeness” from host John Lacarbiere III.
& Saturday at 10:30 AM Nix Library (1401 S. Carrollton) will hold a creative writing workshop led my Trisha Rezende. Rezende leads a dynamic writing workshop where students will produce, share, and critique texts while learning how to develop character, voice, and style.
& Sunday at 1 pm Robert Menuet will continue to faciliate the Neutral Ground poetry forum at Neutral Ground Coffee House (5110 Danneel). Robert Menuet has been published by Loyola’s New Orleans Review, Desire Street, The Texas Review Press, and in the Southern Poetry Anthology. He is trained in performance. By day, he is a marriage counselor, psychotherapist, and clinical supervisor. The poetry forum follows strict protocols, so be advised to contact the forum before arriving.
& Sunday at 3 pm the Maple Leaf Reading Series will hold its Memorial Day open mic. This is the oldest continuous reading series in the south, curated by Nancy Harris
Odd Words: This week in literary New Orleans May 2, 2016Posted 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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& On Saturday, May 7 New Orleans indie book shops host their celebration of Independent Bookstore Day, just a little behind the rest of the country due to Jazz Fest. To celebrate Independent Bookstore Day on Saturday, May 7, four local shops including Garden District Book Shop, Octavia Books, Maple Street Book Shop, and Tubby and Coo’s Mid-City Book Shop have partnered with Yelp to bring you a fun scavenger hunt! The idea is to get you to visit all three book shops on May 7 looking for clues to put together a secret phrase. Figure out the phrase and say it, and you’ll be entered to win $100 in gift certificates from all three book shops.There will be special events at each of the locals all across town, including:
- At Octavia Books: 9:00–We open early today! Young people ages 8-12 can begin a special, fun-task-infused scanvenger hunt with Blue Frog Chocolates, Magic Box Toys, and Octavia; 9:15–Curious George: Come in your favorite animal costume to meet Curious George, listen to one of his stories, make animal noises, play around with the alphabet, and enter a bookmark coloring contest; 10:15–Jane Jacob’s Walk — Join up at the bookstore for the final stop or start at the beginning at 9:00 at Cafe Luna; and learn first hand about “What Makes a Successful Commercial Corridor?”;11:00–Adult Coloring Contest: Win a copy of GIRL WITH A GUN by Amy Stewart; 12:00–Armand St. Martin: Hear some tunes from this piano man; 1:00–Michael Tisserand: Challenge the author to a blitz game of chess. Win a prize if you beat him; 4:00–Book Swap: Bring (or buy) a book you have loved and want to share. Swap with another customer or a bookseller at the store; and, 5:00–Booklovers’ Cocktail Hour Starring the Bourbon Street Sour with authors Andrew Shaffer, Tiffany Reisz and Jenn LeBlanc. If you purchase one of Andrew or Jenn’s books, you will receive an advance copy of Tiffany’s latest.
- Maple Street Book Shop will be serving snowballs from Plum Street Snoballs and having readings from local authors. In addition, for one day only, the will be having a sale: all used books will be 50% off! (no other discounts apply). For one day, and one day only, a number of very limited, unique, word-based items and books will be available in more than 400 independent stores across the country. These aren’t your run-of-the-mill signed first editions-these are literature-based art projects, unique books, and collector’s items created for this event only. You can’t get them before.You can’t get them after. And you can’t get them online. The shop will have limited-edition, exclusive books and literary art pieces from Neil Gaiman, Ann Patchett, Tad Hills, Curious George, Anthony Bourdain, and many more. Only at indie bookstores. Only on May 7.
- At Garden district Book Shop: Free Letterpress New Orleans Journal if you spend $25 or purchase an IBD themed item; You’ll receive a random tote bag if you spend $50 or more (while supplies last); Make sure you take photos and tag us on social media, when you show us you shared info about Independent Bookstore Day on social media for 15% off your purchase that day; Advance Reading Copies (ARCs) to anyone making a purchase of $15 or more.
- Tubby & Coo’s will offer exclusive day-of merchandise created especially for Independent Bookstore Day by major publishers and authors, including a Neil Gaiman coloring book, a Brandon Sanderson pocket guide to THE STORMLIGHT ARCHIVES, and more! Since its inception in 2014, more than 120 authors have demonstrated their support for independent bookstores by donating work for Bookstore Day. At Tubby & Coo’s, we will also have giveaways and fun activities going on all day.
& The Loyola Writing Institute at the Walker Percy Center for Writing + Publishing announces their upcoming schedule of summer workshops. For more details, visit their webpage at http://www.loyno.edu/wpc/loyola-writing-institute.
& Monday at 5 pm at the East New Orleans Regional Library New Orleans Spoken Word Artists will present their monthly workshop that include poetry writing and performance, with the goal of building community through writing and strengthening students’ written and verbal communication skills.
& At 6:30 pm Monday at the East Jefferson Regional Library the East Jefferson Writer’s Group meets. This is a critique group for serious fiction writers of all levels who want to improve their story development skills. This group focuses on discussing story development and writing elements and applying critiquing skills in romance, adventure, mystery, literature (but not genres of SciFi, Fantasy, Horror of the Thursday Sci-FI Writers). Short stories, novels, screenplays, plays, comics are accepted; however, non-fiction, such as poetry, biography, autobiography, essays, or magazine articles is not. Free and open to the public. No registration.
& Meet William Geroux when he presents and signs THE MATHEWS MEN: Seven Brothers and the War Against Hitler’s U-Boats Monday at 6 pm at Octavia Books. Mathews County, Virginia, is a remote outpost on the Chesapeake Bay with little to offer except unspoiled scenery, but it sent an unusually large concentration of sea captains to fight in World War II. The Mathews Men tells that heroic story through the experiences of one extraordinary family whose seven sons (and their neighbors), U.S. merchant mariners all, suddenly found themselves squarely in the cross-hairs of the U-boats bearing down on the coastal United States in 1942. THE MATHEWS MEN shows us the war far beyond traditional battlefields often the U.S. merchant mariners life-and-death struggles took place just off the U.S. coast but also takes us to the landing beaches at D-Day and to the Pacific. When final victory is ours, General Dwight D. Eisenhower had predicted, there is no organization that will share its credit more deservedly than the Merchant Marine. Here, finally, is the heroic story of those merchant seamen, recast as the human story of the men from Mathews.
& Opening on Tuesday is an exhibitiion “Merry as the Day Is Long”: Shakespeare’s Hand in New Orleans on view May 3–June 4 in the Williams Research Center, 410 Chartres Street, Tuesday–Saturday, 9:30–4:30 p.m. Admission to the exhibition is free. Sponsored by the Tulane University English Department as well as The Historic New Orleans Collection.
& On Tuesday at 7 pm The 1718 Society will be hosting Carolyn Hembree, author of the new book Rigging A Chevy Into A Time Machine And Other Ways To Escape A Plague. The event will take place at the Columns Hotel and is free and open to the public. Maple Street will be on hand to sell copies of the book. Carolyn’s first poetry collection, Skinny was published by Kore Press in 2012 and her chapbook by Nous-zot Press in 2015. Her newest book, Rigging a Chevy into a Time Machine and Other Ways to Escape a Plague, won the 2015 Trio Award, selected by Neil Shepard, and the 2015 Marsh Hawk Press Rochelle Ratner Memorial Awar, selected by Stephanie Strickland.
& Also at 7 pm Tuesday at the Old Metairie Library the Great Books Discussion Group meets to discuss “Prometheus Bound” by Aeschylus.
& At 6 pm Tuesday Garden District Book Shop will present Julia Reed’s South: Spirited Entertaining and High-Style Fun All Year Long. No one embodies the rollicking spirit of great Southern party giving more than Julia Reed, the consummate hostess and go-to food and lifestyle expert. Thrown everywhere from lush gardens and gracious interior spaces to a Mississippi River sandbar, Julia Reed s parties capture the celebratory nature of entertaining in her native South. Here, her informative and down-to-earth guide to throwing an unforgettable party includes secrets she has collected over a lifetime of entertaining. For this book, she offers up a feast of options for holiday cocktails, spring lunches, formal dinners, and even a hunt breakfast. Eleven seasonal events feature delicious, easy-to-prepare recipes, ranging from fried chicken to Charlotte Russe and signature cocktails or wine-pairings she introduces her talented friends (rum makers, potters, fabric designers, bakers) along the way. Each occasion includes gorgeous photographs showing her original approach to everything from invitations and setting a table to arranging flowers and creating the mood. Reed also provides practical considerations and sources. This irresistible book is the ultimate primer for every party-giver.
& Local, prolific author Claudia Gray is back with a new Star Wars book, BLOODLINE. Geek out at Octavia Books Tuesday at 6 pm and celebrate the launch with a presentation and booksigning. From the New York Times bestselling author of STAR WARS: Lost Stars comes a thrilling novel set in the years before STAR WARS: The Force Awakens. Witness the birth of the Resistance.
& At 8 pm Tuesday Grab your sazeracs and head on down to the Mudlark Public Theater for a fine festive showing in the creative pursuits of young poets based near and far. Ma Ja Ka will be rolling through all the way down from the city of Brotherly Entanglement to bless ya with his new work called Travel By Haiku. A fine night of word magic and humble transformations awaits you. Don’t miss it. Performers include: KNIGHTS OF PIRAEUS, LAURA FISHER & MOSES EDER, MARSHALL JAMES KAVANAUGH, UTAHNA FAITH, KAREN LEBLANC, and JUSTIN NOBEL. Doors at 8pm. Suggested $5 donation for the traveling poet
& Katarina Bivald, author of the bestseller THE READERS OF BROKEN WHEEL RECOMMEND, will be at Octavia Books Wednesday at 6 pm to sign and discuss her book! Plus,there will be a raffle of a special gift basket from Katarina’s publisher. Once you let a book into your life, the most unexpected things can happen. Broken Wheel, Iowa, has never seen anyone like Sara, who traveled all the way from Sweden just to meet her book-loving pen pal, Amy. When she arrives, however, she finds Amy’s funeral guests just leaving. The residents of Broken Wheel are happy to look after their bewildered visitor there’s not much else to do in a dying small town that’s almost beyond repair. You certainly wouldn’t open a bookstore. And definitely not with the tourist in charge. You’d need a vacant storefront (Main Street is full of them), books (Amy’s house is full of them), and…customers. The bookstore might be a little quirky. Then again, so is Sara. But Broken Wheel’s own story might be more eccentric and surprising than she thought. A heartwarming reminder of why we are booklovers, this is a sweet, smart story about how books find us, change us, and connect us.
& Reading Between the Wines is a laid back, salon-type environment where we drink wine, eat cheese, and talk to local authors about their books. The event takes place on the first Wednesday evening of every month at Pearl Wine Co. inside of the American Can Company from 7:00-8:00 PM. This Wednesday the theme will be writing about New Orleans/using New Orleans as a setting. Joining us will be:
- Andy Reynolds lives and writes in New Orleans. His first novel is SPECTACLE OF THE EXTENSION, and his second is THE AXEBOY’S BLUES. He has written an online novella, entitled THE EPISODES, which takes place in New Orleans and is the catalyst for the novel series he is working on. Andy also performs spoken word around the city, most notably with Esoterotica, a biweekly reading of erotic and semi-erotic stories and poetry. Some of these pieces are published in Esoterotica’s anthologies, as well as their audio CDs.
- Reynolds’s book, THE AXEBOY’S BLUES, features a NOLA where creatures and spirits of every ilk saunter down the jazz-filled streets day and night, struggling to find purpose. The book follows a centuries-old agency tasked with protecting NOLA from forces that would see her destroyed. Unfortunately, the agency was nearly wiped out and is virtually nonexistent. In a city where mosquitoes wear spectacles and vests, where the Mississippi is teeming with monstrous beasts, and where Wonder sprouts from people’s heads like plants, can this agency fill its ranks once more to take on an adversary from the past – that has jumped through time?
- Craig Bennett Hallenstein is a psychologist, author, and father of five whose blog, Let’s Talk Sex, is a guide to conscious living and sustainable relationships. He studied psychology at Beloit College and California School of Professional Psychology, and writing at the University of Iowa. His piece in People Finders Magazine was optioned for a made-for-TV movie. An earlier blog, Sex-Positive Parenting, provided guidelines and tips for fostering sexual health in children.
- Hallenstein’s book, THE DOLPHIN, is about an aspiring psychologist named Sean Jordan who moves to NOLA to put the past behind him…until a conservative radio station outs him as a sex offender. When the thirteen-year-old daughter of the station’s nationally celebrated talk show host disappears, police scramble to take down Jordan, unaware that he too is a victim of the kidnapper, terrorizing the city on the eve of Mardi Gras. Jordan has a chance to save the girl but only if he meets the kidnapper’s demands. Refusing could cost him his life. Agreeing could cost him his soul.
& At 8 pm Wednesday the Blood Jet Poetry Series back in the Poetry Living Room at BJs through mid-June every Wednesday night at 8PM. Welcome us back with this week’s readers: Poet Sue Landers will be coming to town to join us in the Living Room. Landers’ latest book, FRANKLINSTEIN, tells the story of one Philadelphia neighborhood wrestling with the legacies of colonialism, racism, and capitalism. She is also the author of 248 MGS., A PANIC PICNIC and COVERS. Her chapbooks include 15: A Poetic Engagement with the Chicago Manual of Style and What I Was Tweeting While You Were On Facebook. She was the founding editor of the journal Pom2 and has an MFA from George Mason University. She lives in Brooklyn. You can follow her on Twitter @suelanders. The evening with also feature a first ever group reading with UNO poetry students from Carolyn Hembree and John Gery’s classes including: Joseph Buckley, Jessica Collins, Thomas Dollbaum, Andrew Kindiger, Karen Maceira, Elle Magnuson, Heidi McKinley, Jacquelyn Nasti, Katie Pfalzgraff, Spencer Silverthorne, Ann Hackett, Ashley Hamrick, Michelle Hoover, Robin Johnstone, Justin Lamb, Ellie Lindner, Ally Nobles, Edie Talley , Shaina Monet, and Clare Welsh.
& At 7 pm Wednesday Elizabeth Desimone, a local author and teacher, will lead a creative writing seminar at 7 the Jefferson Parish East Bank Regional Library. The presentation is free of charge and is open to the public. Registration is not required. Desimone will focus on dialog. At various points in her life, Elizabeth Desimone has been a paralegal, a bookseller, a teacher, a cashier, and a make-believe cross-dressing Arabian pirate, but she says, she has never not been a writer. In 2012, she received her MFA in fiction-writing from Oklahoma State University. Her work has appeared in Cricket magazine and on BustedHalo.com. She’s been working on a YA fantasy series for the past five years. She was born in Laplace.
& Friday at 6 pm Tubby and Coo’s Bookshop hosts the launch Stacey Balkun’s debut poetry book, JACKALOPE GIRL LEARNS TO SPEAK. Stacey will read from the book, and we will also feature readings from: Jen Hanks, Jade Hurter, Z.W. Mohr and Christopher Romaguera. “THERE WILL BE BUNNIES! THERE WILL BE ANTLERS! THERE WILL BE WHISKEY COCKTAILS! AND THERE WILL BE HOMEMADE CARROT BEER!” Mythical creature costumes encouraged!
& Saturday at 1:30 at the Alvar Library n New Orleans poet and performer Valentine Pierce continues her five-part poetry workshop for adults. Novice writers, as well as poets with some experience, are enclouraged to attend. Get inspired and write some dynamic poetry for 2016! Participation at all 5 workshops is suggested, but not required. Participants will be invited to read their poetry at a public reading when the program is completed. Sign up in advance at the Alvar Library circulation desk.
& Saturday at 5 pm brings a Book Launch Party for The Fry Pans Aren’t Sufficing by Peyton Burgess at Sisters In Christ, 5206 Magazine St. With readings by Anna Schulte, Joe Gehringer, Jade Stewart, Amber Kinui, Anya Groner, and Peyton Burgess. Loud music provided by Sisters in Christ music store. Many drinks and some food provided!
&Sunday at 3 pm the Maple Leaf Reading Series features Poet Ingrid Elena Pavia presents a farewell reading before moving to Idaho, followed by an open mic. This is the oldest continuous reading series in the south, curated by Nancy Harris. Ms. Harris is soliciting featured readers for the remaining two open weekends in May.
Odd Words: This week in literary New Orleans April 25, 2016Posted by The Typist in Book Stores, book-signing, books, bookstores, Indie Book Shops, literature, Louisiana, New Orleans, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, reading, spoken word, Toulouse Street, Writing.
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This week in literary New Orleans:
& Tuesday at 4 pm at the Keller Library the New Orleans Youth Open Mic (NOYOM) is excited to host monthly writing workshops. Facilitated by Team Slam New Orleans (SNO) founding member and #NOYOM committee member Akeem Martin, the workshops will help youth learn new writing skills and improve upon the ones they already have in a fun, structured space. Attendees will have the chance to submit work to be published in the NOYOM Youth Anthology. Open to all 7th – 12th graders.
& At 7 pm at Edith S. Lawson Library in Westwego 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. Gary Bourgeois moderates.
& Wednesday at 6 pm Octavia Books hosts a presentation and signing with award-winning photojournalist Leon Morris featuring and his new book, HOMAGE: New Orleans. The book serves as a tribute to the vitality of the city’s people and culture. HOMAGE is a photographic journey through New Orleans’ influence on contemporary music. This elegantly designed book includes over 300 images capturing the personalities and performances of some of the most influential and impactful jazz, soul, world, roots and blues legends of our times. Featured artists include New Orleans greats like Dr John, the Neville Brothers, Irma Thomas and Wynton Marsalis, and jazz and blues legends like Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins, Nina Simone, and Cab Calloway. The aforementioned images are accompanied by essays and personal anecdotes on the musicians, the music industry, the central role of New Orleans and the Mississippi Delta in the development of contemporary music, and explains the evolving role of music photography from the point of view of an artist.
& Also at 6 pm Wednesday Garden District Book Shop presents Darlyn Finch Kuhn and Sewing Holes. A little girl grows up in the 1960s and 70s in a family with a volatile mother, a loving but very ill father, a brother who flees the country to evade the draft, a foster sister whose life is consumed by waiting for her real parents to return, and a best friend who likes to beat her up. She survives on stories told to her by her father, particularly the one about “sewing holes”—creating beauty out of what seems to be nothing.
& Wednesday at 8 pm Esoterotica Investigates the XXX-Files, A Night of Fandom Fetish for All Kinds at the Allways Lounge.
& The Jazz Fest Book Tent signings for the coming week include: Thursday: Michael Murphy, 12-1PM,
Hear Dat; Leif Pedersen, 1-2PM, Swamp Kids: A Dog Named Cat; Richard Campenella, 2-3PM, Photojournalism of Del Hall Cheryl Gerber, 3-4PM, New Orleans: Life and Death in the Big Easy; John Pope, 4-5PM, Getting Off At Elysian Fields; Alexis Braud, 5-6PM, Parade. Friday: Johnny Goldstein & Michael Lydon, 12-1PM, Elegy of the Lost City; Elvis Costello, 1-2PM, Unfaithful Music and Disappearing Ink; Laura Cayouette, 2-3PM, Secret of the Other Mother; Roger Hahn, 3-4PM, Sounds of Louisiana. Saturday: Todd Mouton, 12-1PM, Way Down in Louisiana; Mary Millan (Bloody Mary), 1-2PM, Bloody Mary’s Guide to Hauntings, Horrors, and Dancing With the Dead : True Stories from the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans; Peter Finney, 2-3 PM, The Best of Peter Finney; Tom Piazza, 3-4PM, Free State; Poppy Tooker, 4-5PM, Tujague’s Cookbook: Creole Recipes and Lore in the New Orleans Grand Tradition; Sunday: Alex Cook, 1-2 PM, Seat Yourself: The Best of South Louisiana’s Local Diners, Lunch Houses, and Roadside Stops; Big Freedia, 2-3PM, Big Freedia: God Save the Queen Diva!; Rien Fertel, 3-4PM, One True Barbecue: Fire, Smoke, and the Pitmasters Who Cook the Whole Hog; Johnette Downing, 4-5PM, Louisiana, the Jewel of the Deep South.
& Thursday at 5 pm the Smith Library hosts a Teen Creative Writing Workshop. Patrons 12-17 are invited to create an original work of short fiction (up to 20 pages) for a group workshop, led by Luke Sirinides, Young Adult library associate at Smith Library and MFA graduate. (Reservations are required; contact Luke at 596-2638.)
& Peter Cooley, Ph.D., Poet Laureate for the State of Louisiana, will discuss the importance of poetry at 7 p.m. on Thursday at the East Bank Regional Library. This presentation is free of charge and is open to the public. Registration is not required. Dr. Cooley is Director of Creative Writing, Professor of English, and Senior Mellon Professor in the Humanities, at Tulane University.
& Also at 7 pm at the East Jefferson Regional Library SciFi, Fantasy and Horror Writer’s Group meets. The purpose of the group is to encourage local writers to create works of fiction based on science fiction, fantasy and horror themes. Participants submit manuscripts to be critiqued by others in the group. Open to all levels. Free of charge and open to the public. No registration.
& Saturday at 1:30 the Alvar Library continues New Orleans poet and performer Valentine Pierce five-part poetry workshop for adults. Novice writers, as well as poets with some experience, are encouraged to attend. Get inspired and write some dynamic poetry for 2016! Participation at all 5 workshops is suggested, but not required. Participants will be invited to read their poetry at a public reading when the program is completed. Sign up in advance at the Alvar Library circulation desk.
& Next Sunday at 3 pm. The Maple Leaf Poetry Series, founded by beloved poet Everett Maddox and curated by poet Nancy Harris, is the longest running poetry reading series in the South. This week features an open mic.
& At 6 pm Team Slam New Orleans (Team SNO) hosts May Open Mic and Slam Featuring WORDZ the Poet EMCEE at the Ashe Cultural Arts Center. $5 admission.
Odd Words: This week in literary New Orleans April 17, 2016Posted by The Typist in Book Stores, book-signing, books, bookstores, Indie Book Shops, literature, Louisiana, New Orleans, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, reading, spoken word, Toulouse Street, Writing.
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This week in literary New Orleans:
& Meet Amber Tamblyn, actress, writer, film director, and poet, when she reads from and signs DARK SPARKLER at Octavia Books on Monday at 6 pm. Here is the American starlet: discovered, disrobed, displaced, disused, disgorged. In more than thirty haunting, visceral poetic portraits, acclaimed poet and actress Amber Tamblyn contemplates the interior lives of women who glimmered on-screen and crashed in life figures as diverse as Frances Farmer and Brittany Murphy, Jayne Mansfield and Dana Plato, Jean Harlow and Sharon Tate, Heather O’Rourke and Dominique Dunne and Marilyn Monroe. Their stories invite us behind the eyes of a century’s worth of women, the adored and the disappeared.
& Also at 6 pm Monday The East Jefferson Writer’s Group meets at the East Jefferson Regional Library. This is a critique group for serious fiction writers of all levels who want to improve their story development skills. This group focuses on discussing story development and writing elements and applying critiquing skills in romance, adventure, mystery, literature (but not genres of SciFi, Fantasy, Horror of the Thursday Sci-FI Writers). Short stories, novels, screenplays, plays, comics are accepted; however, non-fiction, such as poetry, biography, autobiography, essays, or magazine articles is not. Free and open to the public. No registration.
& At 6:30 pm Monday the New Orleans Public Library hosts Poetry on Tap. Come celebrate National Poetry month with us at the Old Point Bar. Have a drink, and share some words. . . . Read your original work or some pieces by your favorite poets (or songwriters, because it’s Jazz Appreciation Month too!). Funny, sad, long, short . . . we want them all!
& Tuesday Garden District Book Shops features William Barnwell’s Called to Heal the Brokenhearted: Stories from Kairos Prison Ministry International. In this stirring book, William H. Barnwell tells the stories of prison inmates and the Kairos Prison Ministry volunteers who work with them. Set mostly at the huge Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola, Barnwell’s narrative illustrates how offenders who have done the worst can and do change, becoming model inmates and, if released, productive citizens. The stories also reveal how Kairos volunteers have found healing for broken hearts. Now serving 300 state and federal prisons, 30,000 Kairos volunteers work with 20,000 inmates each year. They take part in long weekend retreats with the inmates and follow up with regular prison visits. Since its beginning in 1976, Kairos has served over 250,000 inmates. Broad-based, nondenominational, and nonjudgmental Christian, Kairos seeks to carry out its slogan–“listen, listen, love, love”–among inmates who have had few to listen to them, and fewer still to love them.
& At 8 pm Tuesday the New Orleans Public Library and Esoterotica “Get Between the Covers.” Join NOPL and Esoterotica upstairs at Mimi’s in the Marigny to bring you an evening of lascivious language and sensual stanzas pulled both from the stacks and personal experience.
& Thursday at 5 pm the Smith Library hosts a Teen Creative Writing Workshop. Patrons 12 – 17 are invited to create short works of fiction and participate in writing games and exercises. Open to all types of writers interested in all types of stories. Reservations required; contact Luke at 596-2638.
& At 5:30 pm Thursday The Booked for Murder Book Club meets at the Norman Mayer Library.
& Thursday at 7 pm Celebrate Poetry Month with Loyola Professor Mark Yakich at the East Jefferson Regional Library. He will discuss the importance of poetry. This presentation is free of charge and is open to the public. Registration is not required. This event is held in honor of National Poetry Month, held each April to celebrate, increase awareness and appreciation of poetry in the United States. Dr. Yakich is editor of New Orleans Review. He is the author of Unrelated Individuals Forming a Group Waiting to Cross (National Poetry Series, Penguin 2004), The Making of Collateral Beauty (Snowbound Chapbook Award, Tupelo 2006), Green Zone New Orleans (Press Street 2008), The Importance of Peeling Potatoes in Ukraine (Penguin 2008), Checking In/Checking Out (NO Books), and A Meaning for Wife (Ig Publishing 2011). With Christopher Schaberg, he is also co-founder and co-editor of airplanereading.org, a new media project that aims to rejunvenate airplane reading. In spring 2012, Dr. Yakich was a Fulbright Fellow in the Faculty of Letters at the University of Lisbon
& Join Please Octavia Books Thursday at 6 pm, on the eve of Jazz Fest 2016, for a presentation and signing with Michael Murphy celebrating the release of HEAR DAT NEW ORLEANS, a charmingly irreverent guide to the thriving, world-famous music scene in New Orleans. One of the first questions visitors to New Orleans often ask is, “Where can I go to hear music?” A better question might be, “Where can I go and not hear music?” Music is everywhere in this city, but to experience the best of it, you need the right guide. In Hear Dat New Orleans, local expert Michael Murphy brings his signature offbeat sensibility to the Big Easy’s largest tourist draw. With in-depth recommendations for the greatest venues, the best musicians, and the must-see festivals, Hear Dat New Orleans is an indispensable companion for anyone who wants to really experience the sounds of New Orleans live and uncensored.
& Also on Thursday at 6 pm Garden District Book Shop hosts Melissa Ginsburg’s Sunset City. Before the drugs, Danielle Reeves was Charlotte Ford’s most loyal and vibrant friend. She helped Charlotte through her mother’s illness and death, and opened up about her own troubled family. The two friends were inseparable, reveling in Houston’s shadowy corners. But then Danielle’s addiction got the best of her and she went to prison for four years. When she gets out, she and Charlotte reconnect. Charlotte hopes this is a new start for their friendship. But then, a detective shows up at Charlotte’s apartment. Danielle has been murdered, bludgeoned to death. Overwhelmed by grief, Charlotte is determined to understand how the most alive person she has ever known could end up dead. But the deeper Charlotte descends into Danielle’s dark world, the less she understands. Was Danielle a hapless victim or master manipulator? Was she really intent on starting over or was it all an act? To find out the truth, Charlotte must keep her head clear and her guard up. Houston has a way of feeding on bad habits and Charlotte doesn’t want to get swallowed whole, a victim of her own anguished desires.
& At Maple Street Book Shop on Thursday at 6 PM celebrate the release of Adrian Van Young’ new book, Shadows in Summerland. Boston, 1859. A nation on the brink of war. Confidence men prowl the streets for fresh marks. Mediums swindle the newly bereaved. Into this world of illusion and intrigue comes William Mumler, a manipulating mastermind and criminal jeweler. Mumler hopes to make his fortune by photographing spirits for Boston’s elite. The key to his venture: a shy girl named Hannah who sees and manifests the dead and washes up on Boston’s harbor along with her strange, intense mother, Claudette. As Mumler and Hannah’s fame grows throughout Boston, everybody wants a piece: Bill Christian, a brothel tough; Algernon Child, a drunken rival; Fanny A. Conant, a sly suffragette; and William Guay, a religious fanatic. These rogues among a host of others, including the great spirit rapper Kate Fox, form powerful bonds with the spirit photographers, one of which will end in murder. Mumler’s first and last mistake: the dead cannot be made to heel. Roughly based on the real-life story of William H. Mumler, spirit photographer and his clairvoyant wife, Hannah Mumler, Shadows in Summerland immerses the reader in a shifting world of light and shade where nothing is quite what it seems at first glance. A soaring and resplendently Gothic novel spanning three decades, it is as much an homage to the Golden Age ghost stories of Edith Wharton and Henry James as it is a companion to the revisionist historical epics of Peter Carey and Sarah Waters, with a little steampunk all its own.
& New Orleans Gulf South Booksellers Association once again operates the Jazz Fest Book Tent. Book signings for week one of the festival include:
- Michael Murphy, 12-1PM, Hear Dat
- Keith Polk, 1-2PM, Mardi Grasfish
- Michael Zell, 12-1PM, Run Baby Run
- Todd Mouton, 1-2PM, Way Down in Lousiana
- Tom Piazza, 3-4PM, Free State
- Sally Asher & Meagan Baccinelli, 4-5PM, Stories from St. Louis Cemeteries & New Orleans Neighborhoods
- Peggy Scott Laborde, 5-6PM, New Orleans Mardi Gras Moments
- Ann Benoit, 12-1PM, New Orleans’ Best Seafood Cookbook
- Cheryl Gerber, 1-2PM, New Orleans: Life and Death in the Big Easy
- Julie Smith, 3-4PM, New Orleans Noir: The Classics
- Leon Morris, 4-5PM, Homage: New Orleans
- Laura Dragon, 5-6PM, Bayou Bogeyman Presents Hoodoo and Voodoo
& Saturday at 10 am the East Jefferson Regional Library hosts The Monthly Meeting of the Southern Louisiana Chapter of the Romance Writers of America features guest speakers who discuss all aspects of writing, editing and publishing. Topics frequently explore topics other than romance writing though they focus on subjects that make writers better at their craft
& Beginning this Saturday at 1:30 pm New Orleans poet and performer Valentine Pierce will lead a five-part poetry workhop for adults. Novice writers, as well as poets with some experience, are enclouraged to attend. Get inspired and write some dynamic poetry for 2016! Participation at all 5 workshops is suggested, but not required. Participants will be invited to read their poetry at a public reading when the program is completed. Sign up in advance at the Alvar Library circulation desk.
& Sunday at 3 pm the Maple Leaf Reading Series hosts its annual Jazz Fest open mic at the Maple Leaf Bar. This is the oldest continuous reading series in the south, and also presents featured readers.
Odd Words: This week in literary New Orleans April 11, 2016Posted by The Typist in Book Stores, book-signing, books, bookstores, Indie Book Shops, literature, Louisiana, New Orleans, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, reading, spoken word, Toulouse Street, Writing.
This week in literary New Orleans:
& This coming weekend brings New Orleans first Poetry Festival, sponsored by local publishers Trembling Pillow Press and Lavender Ink Press. The event will host more than 60 poets from New Orleans and around the nation for a day of readings, panels and workshops, with a Small Press Fair featuring books by participants along with book-making demonstrations, tarot readings,
workshops and more. New Orleans poet and author Rodger Kamenetz will lead a workshop on dreams and poetry . Saturday brings a full day of panels and workshops, with the details available on the website. Highlight events include:
- Poets with Bands, Friday night at SIBERIA, 2227 St. Claude Ave., featuring: Skin Verb, Bruce Andrews with Rob Cambre & Donald Miller, The Call Girls and Shock Patina.
- Saturday night’s reading at 7 pm at MAGS, 940 Elysian Fields, including poets Laura Mullen, Pierre Joris, Nicole Peyraffite, Niyi Osundare and Adeena Karasick.
- The weekend closes with open mic at the Maple Leaf Poetry Reading at the Maple Leaf Bar at 3 pm. This is the oldest continuous reading series in the south hosted by Nancy Harris.
Information on the featured readers and panelists can be found here.
& Monday at 6 pm Octavia Books hosts Raif Shwayri’s family history BEIRUT ON THE BAYOU: Alfred Nicola, Louisiana, and the Making of Modern Lebanon. Shwayri begins his family’s story with his grandfather Habib Shwayri’s arrival at Ellis Island in 1902 and making his way to relatives in New Orleans. There, he began peddling down the Bayou Lafourche, befriending the communities living alongside the water and earning the nickname Sweet Papa for his kindness and generosity. When he returned home to Lebanon in 1920, he invested the money he had made, from years of peddling, in real estate and died a wealthy man in 1956. Nicola’s story, like the story of Lebanon itself, begins farther back in history. In its account of centuries of Ottoman rule, decades of colonial occupation, and years of internal political strife and civil war, Beirut on the Bayou intertwines a family narrative with the story of a people, of Lebanon in the making.
& Also at 6 pm Monday Garden District Book Shop presents William Joyce’s Ollie’s Odyssey. Can a beloved but lost stuffed rabbit save himself and other Losts from becoming the most feared designation of all: The Forgotten? Find out in this epic quest from the author of The Guardians series and the creative force behind The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore. Oswald is a favorite. Of all the toys in Billy’s home, the stuffed rabbit takes top rank: everywhere Billy goes, so goes Oz. But being a favorite is more than a privilege—it’s also fraught with danger. Because of Zozo. Zozo has never been a favorite. An amusement park prize who was never chosen, Zozo has grown so bitter that, when the amusement park closes, he seeks revenge on every toy lucky enough to be a favorite. He wants them all to become The Lost, and even better, Forgotten. When Billy accidentally leaves Oz under the table at a wedding, Oz finds himself on an unplanned adventure, kidnapped by the nefarious Zozo and his gang of creeps and faced with the momentous task of saving not only himself, but all the other stuffies who are “lost” as well…
& Also at 6 pm the NOLALIT Book Club meets at the Columns Hotel to discuss Susan Larson’s The Booklover’s Guide to New Orleans.
& Tuesday at 7 pm Antenna’s Room 220 is pleased to present the New Orleans book launch for Carolyn Hembree’s Rigging a Chevy into a Time Machine and Other Ways to Escape a Plague, a collection of her poetry published by Trio House Press. The book won the 2015 Trio Award, selected by Neil Shepard, and the 2015 Marsh Hawk Press Rochelle Ratner Memorial Award, selected by Stephanie Strickland. The event will take place at 2231 St. Claude Ave, the former Tete Auto Body Shop and soon to be new home of Frenchmen Art Market. Sara Slaughter will also read, and Maple Street Books will be on hand to sell copies of Hembree’s books. Hembree is a poet and beloved teacher of English and creative writing at the University of New Orleans. Her first poetry collection, Skinny, was published by Kore Press in 2012 and her chapbook by Nous-zot Press in 2015. Her work has appeared in a variety of respected publications, including DIAGRAM, Colorado Review, Gulf Coast, Indiana Review, jubilat, and Poetry Daily. Slaughter is a poet and teacher of writing at Lusher Charter School. Her first chapbook, Upriver, was published by Press Street Press in 2014. Her work has recently appeared in New World Writing, The Cortland Review, and PANK.
& Also at 7 pm Tuesday the West Bank Fiction Writers Group meets the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month at the Edith Lawson Library in Westwego. Members perform writing exercises, discuss fiction and critique the writing of fellow authors. Gary Bourgeois moderates.
& Please join Octavia Books for a special evening with #1 New York Times bestselling author and master of narrative nonfiction Erik Larson when he presents DEAD WAKE: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania. The event will take place at the JCC (5342 St. Charles Ave.) on Tuesday at 7 pm. To attend, you must purchase a ticket from Octavia Books. ABOUT THE BOOK: On May 1, 1915, with WWI entering its tenth month, a luxury ocean liner as richly appointed as an English country house sailed out of New York, bound for Liverpool, carrying a record number of children and infants. The passengers were surprisingly at ease, even though Germany had declared the seas around Britain to be a war zone. For months, German U-boats had brought terror to the North Atlantic. But the Lusitania was one of the era’s great transatlantic “Greyhounds”—the fastest liner then in service—and her captain, William Thomas Turner, placed tremendous faith in the gentlemanly strictures of warfare that for a century had kept civilian ships safe from attack. Germany, however, was determined to change the rules of the game, and Walther Schwieger, the captain of Unterseeboot-20, was happy to oblige. Meanwhile, an ultra-secret British intelligence unit tracked Schwieger’s U-boat, but told no one. As U-20 and the Lusitania made their way toward Liverpool, an array of forces both grand and achingly small—hubris, a chance fog, a closely guarded secret, and more—all converged to produce one of the great disasters of history.
& Wednesday at 6 pm at Octavia Books meet Vivian Swift, author of Men>GARDENS OF AWE AND FOLLY…An engaging guide to gardens in locales ranging from Key West and post-Katrina New Orleans to Paris (‘gardening capital of the world’) and Marrakech . . . whimsical.” </em?– Kirkus Reviews. Nine masterpiece gardens. Nine stories of grandeur, sorrow, disaster, triumph, discovery, and joy. From Scotland to Key West, from Brazil to Paris–even right next door–there is always something to learn about being human from a great garden.
& Also at 6 pm Wednesday Maple Street Book Shop hosts an evening with Courtney B Lance and Nikki D. Pope, the authors of Pruno, Ramen, and a side of Hope, a book of uplifting stories of innocent people who survived the ordeal of incarceration and were eventually set free. The event will be co-sponsored by the Innocence Project New Orleans. Innocence Project New Orleans (IPNO) is a nonprofit law office that represents innocent prisoners serving life sentences in Louisiana and Mississippi at no cost to them or their loved ones, and assists them with their transition into the free world upon their release. IPNO uses its cases to explain how wrongful convictions happen and what we can all do to prevent them. IPNO works with legislators, judges, lawyers, law enforcement and policymakers to protect the innocent within the criminal justice system.
& At the Alvar Library at 6 pm Wednesday there is a Poetry Reading with Louisiana Poet Laureat Peter Cooley. To celebrate Poetry Month, Dr. Cooley will headline a poetry reading, performing along with the participants of the workshop (held earlier on April 6). Local poet Lee Grue will MC the reading and introduce the poets.
& At 7 pm Wednesday Esoterotica presents “Our Fantasy Love Letters” at the Always Lounge. Esoterotica’s local provocateurs invite you to a singualrly sexy and evocative night of original erotic fantasy all in the form of love letters. These are letters to those we have not yet met but hope to, to those we had not yet had the courage to write, for lovers from a past when we had not yet found our words, or lovers present about a future with them we hope to see.
& At 6 pm Thursday the Maple Street Book Shop Book Club features Eula Biss’ On Immunity. Local author Anya Groner is guest facilitator. The book club choice will be available at 10% off at the store. Refreshments will be served.
& Also at 6 pm Thursday Katie Parla’s Tasting Rome: Fresh Flavors and Forgotten Recipes from an Ancient City is featured at the Garden District Book Shop. ven 150 years after unification, Italy is still a divided nation where individual regions are defined by their local cuisine. Each is a mirror of its city’s culture, history, and geography. Butcucina romana is the country’s greatest standout. Tasting Rome provides a complete picture of a place that many love, but few know completely. In sharing Rome’s celebrated dishes, street food innovations, and forgotten recipes, journalist Katie Parla and photographer Kristina Gill capture its unique character and reveal its truly evolved food culture—a culmination of 2000 years of history. Their recipes acknowledge the foundations of Roman cuisine and demonstrate how it has transitioned to the variations found today. Studded with narrative features that capture the city’s history and gorgeous photography that highlights both the food and its hidden city, you’ll feel immediately inspired to start tasting Rome in your own kitchen.
& Renowned litigator Roberta Kaplan presents the gripping story of her defeat of the Defense of Marriage Act before the Supreme Court at a major community event at Temple Sinai on Thursday, hosted by Temple Sinai, Forum for Equality, and Federal Bar Association New Orleans Chapter. Doors open at 5:45 pm. Octavia Books will have copies of THEN COMES MARRIAGE: United States v. Windsor and the Defeat of DOMA for sale at the event. Roberta Kaplan will sign books beginning at 6:00 pm before her presentation which begins at 7pm, and immediately following the presentation.
& Also at 7 pm Thursday the Nix Library Book Club meets to discuss A Good Man Is Hard to Find by Flannery O’Connor.
& The East Jefferson Regional Library continues its celebration of National Poetry Month Thursday at 7 pm. Bill Lavender, a poet, novelist, editor and teacher living in New Orleans, will speak at 7 p.m., on Thursday, April 14. He founded Lavender Ink, a small press devoted mainly to poetry, in 1995, and he founded Diálogos, an imprint devoted to cross-cultural literatures (mostly in translation) in 2011. His poems, stories and essays have appeared in dozens of print and web journals and anthologies, with theoretical writings appearing in Contemporary Literature and Poetics Today, among others.
& Also at 7 pm at the East Jefferson 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. Free of charge and open to the public. No registration.
& On Friday in Honor of Big Class’s Pizza Poetry Project, Maple Street Book Shop will be serving pizza for lunch. The store will donate 10% of the day’s sales to Big Class. The Pizza Poetry Project celebrates National Poetry Month and the power of youth voices by publishing poems by New Orleans’ writers ages 6-18. Working together with Reginelli’s, Pizza Delicious, Dolce Vita, Garage Pizza, Mid City Pizza, Theo’s and G’s Pizza (who generously donate 10% of their proceeds to Big Class’s free youth writing programs). Big Class publishes poems of all kinds on pizza boxes, order from the previously mentioned locations for delivery and pick up on April 15 to receive a pizza box with a poem! Pizza eaters/poetry readers post their poems on Twitter and Instagram using #pizzapoetry16. learn more by visiting Big Class at: http://bigclass.org/pizzapoetry/ or follow our blog on Tumblr at http://pizza-poetry-blog.tumblr.com/.
& Saturday at 10 am at the East Jefferson Regional Library brings the Monthly Meeting of the Southern Louisiana Chapter of the Romance Writers of America features guest speakers who discuss all aspects of writing, editing and publishing. Topics frequently explore topics other than romance writing though they focus on subjects that make writers better at their craft.
& Saturday at 10:30 am The Octavia Books Book Club meets the third Saturday of each month. This month they are reading HALF OF A YELLOW SUN. All are welcome, and members receive 10% off book club selections.
& At 11:30 at Saturday Maple Street Book Shop will feature George Sanchez, author of the new mystery, A Place Unchanged. He will be reading from and signing copies of the new book, the third in the Jeff Chaussier series. “The third Jeff Chaussier mystery finds Jeff returning to New Orleans. This time he has marriage on his mind. New Orleans, though, is far too seductive a lady and too wrapped in secrecy for a straightforward narrative to unfold. Things seem hopeful at the start. Bryna no longer has her brother’s child to care for. Jeff is tired of the life of an itinerant actor and is also unusually flush with money from a London engagement. Things are on track, even though the flight home (his least favorite form of transportation) has left him woozy from self-medication. He wakes to an uncertain morning, unclear whose bed it is he finds himself in. Luckily, it’s Bryna who is obeying his mother instructions on what to do with him on arrival. Memory happily restored, Jeff lolls in bed as Bryna goes downstairs to prepare breakfast. Jeff expects a meal, not muffled screams and a slamming door. Dashing downstairs, he chases the intruders out the door, handicapped by his lack of clothing and irked that Bryna was taken in the same state. “
& Saturday at 11:30 pm Join the editor of and contributors to THE BAYOU BOGEYMAN PRESENTS HOODOO AND VODOO for a signing at Octavia Books. The night might have started as a normal camping trip, but it soon becomes a nightmare from the swamp when a group of students are joined by the Bayou Bogeyman! With their teacher missing and no way home, the children have no choice but to play the Bogeyman’s twisted game: tell a campfire story spooky enough to satisfy the monster’s appetite or get eaten alive! This supernatural collection features spine-tingling tales from nine different Louisiana writers, each with their own share of screams to add to the trove of Southern lore. Be warned: you may need to sleep with one eye open.
& Sunday at 2 pm Rheta Grimsley Johnson shares and signs THE DOGS BURIED OVER THE BRIDGE: A Memoir in Dog Years at Octavia Books. Nationally syndicated columnist Rheta Grimsley Johnson uses a parade of beloved dogs to take readers on a colorful journey. It’s not really a dog book in the Old Yeller sense; it’s a personal story that uses dogs as metaphors for love, loss, and life. Meet Rheta’s eccentric neighbors, her friends, her three husbands, and-best of all-her dogs. She introduces Monster, “a big galoot of a mutt, the variegated color of a hand-knitted sweater a dour aunt might give you for Christmas”; Humphrey, who spent much of one night in an apartment complex “patiently lining stolen shoes up at our back door like a clearance rack at Payless”; Mabel (pronounced May-Belle), the first of the dogs to be buried “over the bridge” in Rheta’s sad little dog cemetery, who was “so beautiful that it never really mattered how much toilet paper she shredded, whose hairbrush she destroyed, where she sat or slept. . . . Scolding Mabel would have been stomping a rose”; and Pogo and Albert, who taught Rheta that “grief can kill you, whatever your species. It isn’t pretty, and it’s a walk you must take alone.” There are other dogs as well, for hers has been a life that measures its quality in canines.
The Wild Wood April 6, 2016Posted by The Typist in Bayou Diaries, New Orleans, poem, Poetry, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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In a row of canted half-drowned oblong stones
the park ends & the wild begins again.
Stand back in awe of the anhinga’s wings
drying in the sun on the horizontal branches
of a half-drowned fallen oak root-bound
to a spot of shore hard as planted rock.
The plans of scheming shovel men are toppled
but the oak is propped up on ship stuff
insists on its green camouflage
in which the anhinga unfurls itself
& mocks the thought of park, the bread begging
white ducks & quarrelsome geese
which draw the crowds up to the edge
of the collapsed rocky landing & no farther.
The anhinga asks who is master
& the oak’s broad-fingered reflection answers.
Odd Words: This week in literary New Orleans April 4, 2016Posted by The Typist in Book Stores, book-signing, books, bookstores, Indie Book Shops, literature, Louisiana, New Orleans, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, reading, spoken word, Toulouse Street, Writing.
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This week in literary New Orleans:
& Monday at 7 pm at the East Jefferson Regional Library the East Jefferson Writer’s Group meets. This is a critique group for serious fiction writers of all levels who want to improve their story development skills. This group focuses on discussing story development and writing elements and applying critiquing skills in romance, adventure, mystery, literature (but not genres of SciFi, Fantasy, Horror of the Thursday Sci-FI Writers). Short stories, novels, screenplays, plays, comics are accepted; however, non-fiction, such as poetry, biography, autobiography, essays, or magazine articles is not. Free and open to the public. No registration.
& Tuesday at 7 pm at the Columns Hotel Kiese Laymon, author of the novel Long Division and the essay collection How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America, is 1718’s featured reader in April. Laymon is a black southern writer, born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi. Long Division was named one of the Best of 2013 by Buzzfeed, The Believer, Salon, Guernica, Contemporary Literature, Mosaic Magazine, Library Journal, Chicago Tribune and the Crunk Feminist Collective. It was also short-listed for the Believer Book Award, the Ernest Gaines Award and the Morning News Tournament of Books. Long Division won the 2014 Saroyan International Writing Award on November 10th. Three essays in How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America have been included in the Best American series, the Best of Net award, and the Atlantic’s Best Essays of 2013. He was selected a member of the Root 100 in 2013 and 2014 and Ebony Magazine Power 100 in 2015.
& Also at 7 pm Tuesday the Old Metairie Library Great Books Discussion Group meets to talk about The Death of Ivan Ilych by Leo Tolstoy.
& Wednesday at 6 pm at the New Orleans Main Branch Library celebrate the 10th anniversary of New Orleans Noir and the release of New Orleans Noir: The Classics with editor Julie Smith and contributors from both volumes. Short readings will be followed by a discussion and audience Q&A. Octavia Books will have copies of both volumes available for sale at the program. Refreshments will be served.
& Also at 6 pm Wednesday Louisiana’s Poet Laureate Dr. Peter Cooley will be leading a poetry writing workshop at Alvar Library for 15 participants. There will be a reading the following week by the workshop participants at Alvar Library, MC’d by local poet Lee Grue. If someone wants to be in Dr. Peter Cooley’s workshop they need to email Emilie Staat: firstname.lastname@example.org They need to send Emilie a poem that they would like to be “workshopped.” Dr. Peter Cooley’s workshop is limited to 15 participants.
& Meet Richard B. Crowell, author of Chenier Plain at Octavia Books at 6 pm Wednesday. Crowell chronicles the history and economic development of a region in southwest Louisiana defined by unique geologic formations and distinguished by its position beneath the Mississippi flyway. Crowell traces the evolution of this region’s well-known sport hunting legacy, creating the first comprehensive narrative history of the area, from 1800 to today. In Chenier Plain, the author takes a fresh look at the decline of French and Spanish influence in coastal Louisiana and investigates an isolated region struggling to find its place against inhospitable conditions following the Civil War. In chronicling the Chenier Plain’s transition from a center of market hunting to one of sport hunting. Crowell draws together over 140 illustrations. He highlights the opportunistic land purchases by a US president, British and American businessmen, a university president, and an illiterate French-speaking Acadian whose property became the nexus of The Coastal Club, the oldest hunting lodge in the geographic region. These events, combined with the background of six hunting clubs established before 1929 and modern methods of waterfowl habitat conservation, illustrate how inextricably linked sport hunting is to the life and preservation of this remote Louisiana world of ridges and marsh.
& AT 7 pm Wednesday Tubby & Coo’s Mid-City Book Shop hosts Reading Between the Wines at the Pearl Wine Co. inside of the American Can Company. This month’s featured authors are; Stephanie Garrison was born and raised in the idyllic Mid-Hudson Valley of New York. Always a dabbler, it wasn’t until college where she tried her hand at playwriting. She fell in love with the form shortly after and has been writing plays since, even earning her MFA in dramatic writing from Adelphi University. She’s had a few productions in New York City, including a one act that made it to the semi-finals of the Harvest Theatre Festival. Shortly after, she moved down to New Orleans, her second home, with her husband, Bradley Warshauer. She still writes, and has had her pieces performed for Southern Rep’s 3×3, Elm Theatre, and her current piece, Solitary, was featured in the Two for Tennessee Festival. Kate Bailey is a playwright originally from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She received her BA in Theatre Performance from Louisiana State University and her MFA in Playwriting from the University of New Orleans. Kate began playwriting in Chicago at Chicago Dramatists. She took classes there and participated in a few small short play festivals. In New Orleans, Kate is a part of Southern Rep’s 6×6 play slam/new play development series and a founding member of Generate INK, New Orleans’ first and only playwright-driven nonprofit. Her full-length play Strays debuted in New Orleans in June 2015 and her full-length play Pleading 894 will be performed in April 2016 as the Spring main stage show for the University of New Orleans.
& At 8 pm Wednesday at the Blood Jet Poetry Series at BJ’s in the Bywater Chanel Clarke, Gian Smith, and Whit “The Whitness” Wddington read. Clarke is a graduate of Tulane University and the University of Texas-Austin, where she received a fellowship from the Michener Center for Writers. Her work has been featured in a variety of journals, including smoking glue gun, EveryDay Genius, Flag and Void, Bayou Magazine, WomenArts Quarterly, and Hayden Ferry’s Review. She now works as a social worker in the New Orleans area. Smith is a New Orleans based artist. His craft spans over several media including writing, acting, and video production, but he is most notably recognized as a spoken word poet. Smith is also well known locally for his community organization including NOYOpresents: Pass It On open mic. Gian is a proud member of the Melanated Writers Collective. A group of writers of color in New Orleans which boasts a strong cast of talented individuals. Gian’s current focus is film making. After completing a first season for his web series “open mike” he went on to produce a short film “The Adulterer” which has been accepted into several film festivals.
& Thursday at 5 pm the Robert E. Smith Branch Library presents a Teen Writing Workshop. Patrons 12-17 are invited to create an original work of short fiction (up to 20 pages) for a group workshop, led by Luke Sirinides, Young Adult library associate at Smith Library and MFA graduate. (Reservations are required; contact Luke at 596-2638.
& Thursday at 6 pm Maple Street Book Shop will be hosting the book launch for Geoffrey Parker’s Platform Revolutions. Uber. Airbnb. Amazon. Apple. PayPal. All of these companies disrupted their markets when they launched. Today they are industry leaders. What’s the secret to their success? These cutting-edge businesses are built on platforms: two-sided markets that are revolutionizing the way we do business. Written by three of the most sought-after experts on platform businesses, Platform Revolution is the first authoritative, fact-based book on platform models. Platform Revolution teaches newcomers how to start and run a successful platform business, explaining ways to identify prime markets and monetize networks. Addressing current business leaders, the authors reveal strategies behind some of today’s up-and-coming platforms, such as Tinder and SkillShare, and explain how traditional companies can adapt in a changing marketplace. The authors also cover essential issues concerning security, regulation, and consumer trust, while examining markets that may be ripe for a platform revolution, including healthcare, education, and energy.
& Meet Lydia Pyne and editor Christopher Schaberg when they discuss BOOKSHELF at Octavia Books Thursday at 6 pm. Every shelf is different and every bookshelf tells a different story. One bookshelf can creak with character in a bohemian coffee shop and another can groan with gravitas in the Library of Congress. “Writer and historian Lydia Pyne finds bookshelves to be holders not just of books but of so many other things: values, vibes, and verbs that can be contained and displayed in the buildings and rooms of contemporary human existence. With a shrewd eye toward this particular moment in the history of books, Pyne takes the reader on a tour of the bookshelf that leads critically to this juncture: amid rumors of the death of book culture, why is the life of the bookshelf in full bloom? Object Lessons is a series of short, beautifully designed books about the hidden lives of ordinary things. It is published in partnership with an essay series in the The Atlantic.
& The Octavia Books Science Fiction Book Club meets the second Saturday of every month at 10:30 A.M. Members receive 10% off book club selections. This month the club is discussing THE SORCERER OF THE WILDEEPS. Everyone is welcome!
& At 11 am Saturday the New Orleans East Regional Library will hosts The Bibby Gumbo Book Club is New Orleans East’s first parent-baby book club. A series of interactive games along with an innovative craft session will infuse literacy and laughter
& Octavia Books hosts paperback book launch party & signing with author M.O. Walsh, Director of the creative writing program at UNO, featuring his Louisiana-based novel, MY SUNSHINE AWAY at 5:30pm Saturday at The Little Gem Saloon on S. Rampart St. My Sunshine Away unfolds in a Baton Rouge neighborhood best known for cookouts on sweltering summer afternoons, cauldrons of spicy crawfish, and passionate football fandom. But in the summer of 1989, when fifteen-year-old Lindy Simpson free spirit, track star, and belle of the block experiences a horrible crime late one evening near her home, it becomes apparent that this idyllic stretch of Southern suburbia has a dark side, too. In My Sunshine Away, M.O. Walsh brilliantly juxtaposes the enchantment of a charmed childhood with the gripping story of a violent crime, unraveling families, and consuming adolescent love. Acutely wise and deeply honest, it is an astonishing and page-turning debut about the meaning of family, the power of memory, and our ability to forgive.
& Saturday at 9 pm Antenna Gallery presents ANTENNA::SIGNALS at Castillo Blanco, 4321 St. Claude Ave. Conceived as a “live arts magazine,” ANTENNA::SIGNALS is a new sort of variety show by the artists and writers of Antenna. Each “issue” of Antenna::Signals will feature a spread of 8 local artists, writers, performers, or scholars whose practices relate thematically. The live event will be accompanied by the release of a two-dimensional print version, with each magazine dropping on a Second Saturday of the Month.
& On Sunday, April 10 at 3 pm Garden District Book Shop features John Hanson’s Farewell to an Angel: It All Began in Old New Orleans. The book gives the reader a personal view of the lives of a man and woman who were born, raised, worked, and found each other in the Crescent City. The man, John Hanson, was from the Carrollton neighborhood. The woman, Patty Callegan, was from the French Quarter. Their parents had only grammar school educations. They were poor, but not destitute. They always managed to shelter, clothe, and feed their families by dint of hard work. After starting on their memoirs, John had more time to work on his as Patty was simultaneously fighting cancer. Much of his memoirs are Patty’s, however, since they were inseparable from their meeting in 1966 until Patty’s death in 2014. A registered nurse and ever a patient advocate, Patty wrote only briefly of her life before nursing and marriage and only as an introduction to an exhaustive guide for cancer patients. Their story will at times evoke both tears and laughter. Overall, it will edify.
& Also at 3 pm Sunday the Maple Leaf Poetry Reading, the oldest, continuous reading series in the south, presents featured readers in all genres followed by an open mic. The April calendar of features is still TBA at this time.
Fragments April 2, 2016Posted by The Typist in poem, Poetry, The Narrative, The Spectrum, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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It is the fragment of a song
the symptomatic single verse
which best represents
mania stuck in its groove,
free from the ADD-inspired
of random light & bells
the silver balls of thought
ricocheting from bumper
to target & I bet you thought
it was all about needing
a chess timer for conversation.
in such a quiet moment,
alone with the tumbling
one might enumerate
the reasons for staying,
not unplugging the machine
first the children
(who frankly could use
the insurance for school)
and your lover, who says
she lives through
her fibromyalgia pain
only for you; & then
you are left wondering
if counting up why not
constitutes suicidal ideation?
This latter is the part
Jimi Hendrix’s mad guitar
doesn’t slow down to capture
in “Manic Depression,”
(A merman I should turn to be)”
gets the morbid rumination part
rather nicely and the sea,
the sea is straight ahead, straight up ahead
the beautiful moonlight highway
into the motherly shushing of the waves
but remember the children and &tc.,
so many bright, shining worries
left to worry as the manic burning sun
breaks the spell in a palette of beauty
& leaves you with a moment
of poetic clarity & a pencil
and the suddenly welcome
frenzy of energy &
the day begins again,
just you, your thoughts
& the tumbling tumbleweed.
Odd Words: This week in literary New Orleans March 27, 2016Posted 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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& The 30th Annual Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival is upon us. Check out the program for the Festival, which runs March 30-April 3, and the our box office is now open and ready to take your ticket orders. Updates to the published program can be found here. Featured speakers and guests are listed here. They include:
Megan Abbott, Edgar-winning noir crime writer, whose latest book, The Fever, is being adapted for an MTV show;
Dorothy Allison, award-winning author of Bastard Out of Carolina, Cavedweller, and the forthcoming She Who;
Alys Arden, New Orleans native who parlayed her self-published novel The Casquette Girls into a two-book deal;
Cynthia Bond, New York Times best-selling author of the novel Ruby, the latest Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 selection;
Rick Bragg, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of Jerry Lee Lewis: His Own Story, All Over But the Shoutin’, Ava’s Man, and his latest, My Southern Journey: True Stories from the Heart of the South;
Billy Cannon, Heisman Trophy-winner and College Football Hall of Fame LSU Halfback;
Dick Cavett, Emmy-winning broadcaster, who has interviewed many cultural icons including Tennessee Williams, and author of Talk Show: Confrontations, Pointed Commentary, and Off-Screen Secrets, and Brief Encounters: Conversations, Magic Moments, and Assorted Hijinks;
Alexander Chee, Whiting Writers Award-winning author of the novel Edinburgh and the just released The Queen of the Night;
Lisa D’Amour, Pulitzer finalist and multi-award winning playwright of Detroit;
Beth Henley, Pulitzer-winning playwright of Crimes of the Heart, who recently adapted Tennessee Williams’ short story, “The Resemblance Between a Violin Case and a Coffin,” for the stage;
John Lahr, senior drama critic at The New Yorker, author of the highly-acclaimed biography, Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh, and Joy Ride: Show People and Their Shows;
Estelle Parsons, Oscar winner (Bonnie and Clyde), Broadway legend with a star turn in Williams’ The Seven Descents of Myrtle, and widely known as Mother Bev on “Roseanne”;
Rex Reed, critic, columnist, and lecturer whose writings have appeared in nearly every national magazine and newspaper in London and the U.S;
Claire Vaye Watkins, author of the critically-acclaimed Battleborn and newly-released Gold Fame Citrus, who is judging our 2016 Fiction Contest.
& Elsewhere this week in literary New Orleans:
& Monday at 6 pm Professor Baz Dreisinger will share insights from her new book, INCARCERATION NATIONS: A Journey to Prisons Around the World at Octavia Books. Beginning in Africa and ending in Europe, INCARCERATION NATIONS is a first-person odyssey through the prison systems of the world. Professor, journalist, and founder of the Prison-to-College-Pipeline, Dreisinger looks into the human stories of incarcerated men and women and those who imprison them, creating a jarring, poignant view of a world to which most are denied access, and a rethinking of one of America’s most far-reaching global exports: the modern prison complex. From serving as a restorative justice facilitator in a notorious South African prison and working with genocide survivors in Rwanda, to launching a creative writing class in an overcrowded Ugandan prison and coordinating a drama workshop for women prisoners in Thailand, Dreisinger examines the world behind bars with equal parts empathy and intellect. She journeys to Jamaica to visit a prison music program, to Singapore to learn about approaches to prisoner reentry, to Australia to grapple with the bottom line of private prisons, to a federal supermax in Brazil to confront the horrors of solitary confinement, and finally to the so-called model prisons of Norway. Incarceration Nations concludes with climactic lessons about the past, present, and future of justice.
& Tuesday at 6 pm at Garden District Book Shop My Journey Through War and Peace: Explorations of a Young Filmmaker, Feminist and Spiritual Seeker is based on Melissa Burch’s experiences as a war journalist for BBC, CBS, and other networks. Her team was one of the first documentary crews allowed in the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War, and she was featured in a New York Times story about her time in Afghanistan. She was just in her twenties when she traveled with the mujahedeen, filmed an attack on a Soviet convoy, slept with an Afghan commander, and climbed 14,000-foot mountains in the Hindu Kush. My Journey Through War and Peace examines how, through outward action and inward exploration, life can unfold in mysterious ways, far beyond cultural and family expectations. In looking back at this momentous decade, Burch shares why she pursued such dangerous and difficult circumstances at such a young age and continued to live on the edge. She now understands that she was seeking self-discovery, a connection to something greater, and ultimately inner peace.
& Wednesday at 8 pm Blood Jet Poetry Series at BJ’s in the Bywater presents Essay Night with Laurence Ross and Cate Root. Ross received his MFA from the University of Alabama where he served as the Creative Nonfiction Editor for Black Warrior Review. He has published his essays and reviews in literary journals such as Brevity, Gaga Stigmata, and The Georgia Review as well as The Huffington Post. In addition, he is a frequent contributor to Pelican Bomb, a regional publication dedicated to the Louisiana arts community. Laurence Ross lives in New Orleans where he recently served as the Director of P.3Writes, a program in conjunction with U.S. Art Triennial Prospect New Orleans. You can read a selection of his work at laurencebylaurence.com. Root is a writer whose work has appeared in xoJane, The Times-Picayune, The New Orleans Advocate, the Gambit, and more. Originally from Kansas City, she moved to New Orleans a decade ago to stomp the streets and slurp raw oysters. She is one of the co-producers of Dogfish Literary Series.
& Also on Wednesday at 8 pm Esoterotica’s local provocateurs present Esoterotica Exposes Ourselves with An All True Confessions Show. One hundred percent real life sexy stories, guaranteed to get you one hundred percent hot and bothered. Put your confession in our confessional hat and you could win something very sexy from us at Esoterotica. Confessions will be read anonymously, so feel free to let it out. Or join then on stage. Submit your original erotica to email@example.com, or talk to them at one of their shows.
& Thursday 5 pm The Smith Library offers a Teen Writing Workshop. Patrons 12-17 are invited to create an original work of short fiction (up to 20 pages) for a group workshop, led by Luke Sirinides, Young Adult library associate at Smith Library and MFA graduate. (Reservations are required; contact Luke at 596-2638.)
& Thursday at 6 pm Room 220 will be hosting a Happy Hour Salon honoring the winner of the 2016 Tennessee Williams Literary Festival’s fiction contest from at the Antenna Gallery (3718 St. Claude Ave.). Maple Street Book Shop will be on hand to sell copies of both of Claire’s books. This official Tennessee Williams Festival event will begin with a book launch for the inaugural winner of the UNO Press Laboratory Award, Each Vagabond by Name by Margo Orlando Littell. The evening will conclude with feature readings by the 2016 fiction contest winner and this year’s fiction judge, Claire Vaye Watkins. Claire Vaye Watkins is the author of Gold Fame Citrus and Battleborn, which won the StoryPrize, the Dylan Thomas Prize, New York Public Library’s Young Lions Fiction Award, the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and a Silver Pen Award from the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame. Her stories and essays have appeared in Granta, Tin House, The Paris Review, One Story, Glimmer Train, Best of the West, Best of the Southwest, The New York Times and many others. A Guggenheim Fellow, Claire is on the faculty of the Helen Zell Writers’ Program at the University of Michigan. She is also the co-director, with Derek Palacio, of the Mojave School, a free creative writing workshop for teenagers in rural Nevada.
& 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 to be critiqued by others in the group. Open to all levels. Free of charge and open to the public. No registration.
& Saturday at 2 pm the Poetry Buffet presents its annual Poets Reading Poets reading, A gathering of local poets who will read from works of their favorite poets. Hosted by Gina Ferrara at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Odd Words: This week in literary New Orleans March 21, 2016Posted 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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& Just around the corner the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival celebrates 30 years of theatrical, literary, and cultural offerings, hosts a stellar lineup at its annual event March 30—April 3 in locations throughout the city’s iconic French Quarter and beyond. Guests will enjoy a packed tableau of events to celebrate our patron playwright, his works, and literary life, as well as contemporary artists.Details of the program and tickets can be found at the website http://www.tennesseewilliams.net/.
This week in literary New Orleans:
& Monday at 7 pm 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 Thursday Sci-FI Writers). Short stories, novels, screenplays, plays, comics are accepted; however, non-fiction, such as poetry, biography, autobiography, essays, or magazine articles is not. Free and open to the public. No registration.
& Tuesday at 4 pm the New Orleans Youth Open Mic (NOYOM) is excited to host monthly writing workshops at Rosa F. Keller Library & Community Center. Facilitated by Team Slam New Orleans (SNO) founding member and #NOYOM committee member Akeem Martin, the workshops will help youth learn new writing skills and improve upon the ones they already have in a fun, structured space. Attendees will have the chance to submit work to be published in the NOYOM Youth Anthology. Open to all 7th – 12th graders.
& Tuesday at 6 pm Octavia Books features a reading and siging with authorKeith Lee Morris featuring his new dystopian thriller, TRAVELERS REST, a chilling fable about a family marooned in a snowbound town whose grievous history intrudes on the dreamlike present. With the fearsome intensity of a ghost story, the magical spark of a fairy tale, and the emotional depth of the finest family sagas, Keith Lee Morris takes us on a journey beyond the realm of the known. Featuring prose as dizzyingly beautiful as the mystical world Morris creates, Travelers Rest is both a mind-altering meditation on the nature of consciousness and a heartbreaking story of a family on the brink of survival.
& Also at 6 pm Tuesday Garden District Book Shop will host Mary Millan (AKA Bloody Mary) and Bloody Mary’s Guide to Hauntings, Horrors, and Dancing With the Dead: True Stories from the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans. Journey through compelling chapters and meet 50 ghosts as Bloody Mary shares with readers her experiences with the ghosts and haunted happenings of New Orleans. Among the tales of the supernatural are: A visit to a haunted sanitarium; A meeting with Julie the Ghost of Forbidden Love; The story of Madame La Laurie, La Vampyra; Meetings with Jean Lafitte, the Gentleman Pirate; and, Encounters with the ghosts in New Orleans graveyards. Each chapter ends with Afterlife Lessons and Warnings that help readers navigate the seen and the unseen worlds. What makes these stories particularly engaging is Bloody Mary herself. She is not only a psychic investigator, she is also a psychic healer offering healing and kindness to spirits that walk the earth and also helping readers find spiritual lessons in encounters with the spirit world.
& At 7 pm Tuesday the West Bank Fiction Writers Group meets at The Edith S. Lawson Library in Westwego. 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. Gary Bourgeois moderates.
& The 44th Shakespeare Association of America Meeting runs Wednesday through Saturday at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel, 500 Canal Street. To register or for more information visit www.shakespeareassociation.org/annual-meetings/. This meeting is co-sponsored by the Tulane University Department of English.
& Wednesday at 8 pm Blood Jet Poetry Series at BJ’s in the Bywater presents Fiction Night: J.R. Ramakrishnan, Michael Allen Zell and DC Paul. Actor and comedian Paul will be joining Zell to do a staged reading of the first “Hutch/ Clint” scene from Run, Baby, Run. Paul is currently in “Jungle Kings” at the Anthony Bean Theater. Zell is a noted New Orleans based writer. His newest Lavender Ink book Run Baby Run was praised as “a successful entertainment, taking a buzz saw to the glamorous city New Orleans has purported to have become since Katrina, shining a light on the city’s myth, and, more globally, on the myth of authenticity.” 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. His first novel Errata was named one of the Times-Picayune’s ‘Top 10 Books of 2012’. He has worked as a bookseller in New Orleans since 2003. J.R. Ramakrishnan’s writing has appeared in the New York Times Book Review, Electric Literature, [PANK], Style.com, and the Mixed Company anthology, among other publications. Born in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, she is a graduate of University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. She is the director of literary programs for the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival.
& Thursday at 6 pm author Teresa Nicholas will visit Octavia Books with photographer David Rae Morris (son of Willie Morris) to celebrate WILLIE: THE LIFE OF WILLIE MORRIS with a presentation and book signing. In 2000, readers voted Willie Morris (1934-1999) Mississippi’s favorite nonfiction author of the millennium. After conducting over fifty interviews and combing through over eighty boxes of papers in the archives at the University of Mississippi, many of which had never been seen before by researchers, Teresa Nicholas provides new perspectives on a Mississippi writer and editor who changed journalism and redefined what being southern could mean. More than fifty photographs–some published here for the first time, including several by renowned photographer David Rae Morris, Willie’s son–enhance the exploration. With his broad knowledge of history, his sensitivity, and his bone-deep understanding of the South, he became a celebrated spokesman for and interpreter of the place he loved.
& At 7 pm Thursday the East Jefferson Regional Library features an Author Event! Girl’s Literary Night Out. The local authors – Carroll Devine, Juyanne James and Vicki Salloum – will talk about their new books and sign them. Devine,’ Sleeping Between the Rails: A Woman’s Odyssey traces a young New Orleanian’s two interwoven journeys–external and internal. Both begin with her passion to know the world and to live an uncommon life. It is 1967. Enticed by a former boyfriend’s romantic promise, she sails on a freighter to meet him in Spain. Without a scheme for survival, almost no money, and led only by the prevailing winds, the couple journey in four continents for five and a half years. The odyssey is suffused with ridiculous risk and peril as they hitchhike through Europe and North Africa, and otherwise travel mostly third or abominable class. James’ The Persimmon Trail and Other Stories features 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. Salloum’s Candyland is the story of seventeen-year-old Lázara overhears her brothers plotting to kill the teenage son of her employer for failing to pay his drug debt. Unable to bear the burden of the boy’s murder on her conscience, she embarks on a crusade to save the boy, first alerting the boy’s father then confronting her brothers and, finally, seeking help from a New Orleans cop. When all efforts fail, she steals a handgun and surprises her brothers during their rendezvous with the boy at the meth lab, Candyland, unleashing consequences she never expected or could ever have imagined.
& All locations of the New Orleans Public Library will be closed Friday in observation of Good Friday.& Thursday at 7:30 pm Dogfish Reading Series presents Megan Burns and Graham Foust. Burns is publisher at Trembling Pillow Press and the author of three full length poetry collections, most recently Commitment (Lavender Ink, 2015). She is also the author of six chapbooks, most recently Sleepwalk with Me (Horse Less Press, 2016). She runs the Blood Jet Poetry Series (@bloodjetpoetry) in New Orleans and is the co-founder of the New Orleans Poetry Festival. (nolapoetry.com). Born in Tennessee and raised in Wisconsin, Foust is the author of six books of poems, including To Anacreon in Heaven and Other Poems (Flood Editions 2013), a finalist for the Believer Poetry Award, and Time Down to Mind (Flood Editions, 2015). With Samuel Frederick, he has also translated three books by the late German poet Ernst Meister, including Wallless Space (Wave Books, 2014). He works at the University of Denver. Also featured is opening music by Guts Club, musician and video artist Lindsey Baker.
& Sunday at 3 pm the Maple Leaf Poetry Reading Series features poet Danny Kerwick celebrating his 60th birthday with a reading of his work followed by an open mic. The Maple Leaf is the oldest continuous reading series in the South.
Odd Words: This week in literary New Orleans March 13, 2016Posted 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:
& Monday at 5:30 pm Tulane University’s NewDay Speaker Series features Saru Jayaraman author of FORKED: A New Standard for American Dining. A restaurant critic can tell you about the chef. A menu can tell you about the farm-sourced ingredients. Now who’s going to tell you about the people preparing your meal? FORKED is an enlightening examination of what we don’t talk about when we talk about restaurants: Is the line cook working through a case of stomach flu because he doesn’t get paid sick days? Is the busser not being promoted because he speaks with an accent? Is the server tolerating sexual harassment because tips are her only income? As most corporate restaurants continue to set low standards for worker wages and benefits, a new class of chefs and restaurateurs is working to foster sustainability in their food and their employees. FORKED offers an insider’s view of the highest–and lowest–scoring restaurants for worker pay and benefits in each sector of the restaurant industry, and with it, a new way of thinking about how and where we eat.
& Monday at 6 pm Octavia Books presents Claudette Sutton, author of FAREWELL, ALEPPO: My Father, My People, and Their Long Journey Home. The Jews of Aleppo, Syria, had been part of the city’s fabric for more than two thousand years, in good times and bad, through conquerors and kings. But in the middle years of the twentieth century, all that changed. To Selim Sutton, a merchant with centuries of roots in the Syrian soil, the dangers of rising anti-Semitism made clear that his family must find a new home. With several young children and no prospect of securing visas to the United States, he devised a savvy plan for getting his family out: “exporting” his sons. In December 1940, he told the two oldest, Meïr and Saleh, that arrangements had been made for their transit to Shanghai, where they would work in an uncle’s export business. China, he hoped, would provide a short-term safe harbor and a steppingstone to America. Farewell, Aleppo is the story—told by his daughter—of the journey that would ultimately take him from the insular Jewish community of Aleppo to the solitary task of building a new life in America. It is both her father’s tale that journalist Claudette Sutton describes and also the harrowing experiences of the family members he left behind in Syria, forced to smuggle themselves out of the country after it closed its borders to Jewish emigration.
& Tuesday at 6 pm Garden District Book Shop presents Suzanne Heagy and Love Lets Us Down. On a single day in June, 2004, newlywed ghosts Dorissa and Don haunt a room in an aging hotel, the Meridian Inn. On the afternoon that the ghosts arrive for their honeymoon, the hotel is full of characters—employees and guests—who inhabit the lobby, the pool area, and the parking lot, not to mention what happens behind closed doors. Individually, the characters include an unfaithful wife, an unfaithful husband, a missing girl, as well as a broken engagement, divorce, and unrequited love. If there is a hero in the novel, it might be the night supervisor Duncan, whose bitterness and sarcasm veil a tendency to assess and reflect, and to become involved in the concerns of other people.
& Also at 6 pm Tuesday Octavia Books features Roy Blount Jr. and SAVE ROOM FOR PIE: Food Songs and Chewy Ruminations and off-the-cuff. Blount is one of America’s most cherished comic writers. He’s been compared to Mark Twain and James Thurber, and his books have been called everything from “a work of art” (Robert W. Creamer, The New York TimesBook Review) to “a book to read till it falls apart” (Newsweek). Now, in Save Room for Pie, he applies his much-praised wit and charm to a rich and fundamental topic: food. In poems and songs, limericks and fake (or sometimes true) news stories, Blount talks about food in surprising and innovative ways, with all the wit and verve that prompted Garrison Keillor, in The Paris Review, to say: “Blount is the best. He can be literate, uncouth, and soulful all in one sentence.”
& Also on Tuesday celebrate the publication of Louisiana Women, Volume 2, at Maple Street Book Shop at 6pm. Co-editor Mary Farmer-Kaiser and contributing writers Shannon Frystak, Tania Tetlow, and Leslie Gail Parr will read. The book highlights the significant historical contributions of some of Louisiana’s most noteworthy and also overlooked women from the eighteenth century to the present. This volume underscores the cultural, social, and political distinctiveness of the state as well as showcases the actions and activities of women who greatly affected the history of Louisiana in profound and interesting ways. These essays on women at the forefront of Louisiana and national events include information about Sarah Morgan; Janet Mary Riley; Lindy Claiborne Boggs; Lucy Alston Pirrie; Appoline Patout, Mary Ann Patout, and Ida Patout Burns; Lulu White; Neda Jurisich, Eva Vujnovich, and Mary Jane Munsterman Tesvich; Carmelite “Cammie” Garrett Henry; Alice Dunbar-Nelson; Coralie Guarino Davis; Lucinda Williams; Rebecca Wells; Phoebe Bryant Hunter; Cora Allen; Sarah Towles Reed; and Georgia M. Johnson
& At 7 pm Tuesday Great Books Discussion Group at the East Jefferson Regional Library meets to discuss Catch 22 by Joseph Heller. The Old Metairie Library Great Books Discussion Group meets to discuss The Prince by Machiavelli.
& Wednesday at 6 pm Octavia Books also features James Beard Leadership Award winner Saru Jayaraman presents FORKED: A New Standard for American Dining. FORKED offers an insider’s view of the highest–and lowest–scoring restaurants for worker pay and benefits in each sector of the restaurant industry, and with it, a new way of thinking about how and where we eat.
& Also at 6 pm Wednesday Garden District Book Shop hosts Peter Finney Jr. and The Best of Peter Finney, Legendary New Orleans Sportswriter. Five times each week over the past several decades, sports fans in New Orleans began their mornings by reading local sportswriter Peter Finney. Finney’s newspaper columns—entertaining, informative, and inspiring—connected New Orleans readers to the world of sports, for nearly 70 years. From a career total of 15,000 articles, this book offers a prime selection of the very best of Finney’s writing as well as an introduction from Peter Finney, Jr. This collection includes Finney’s account of Billy Cannon’s 89-yard punt return against Ole Miss in 1959; Tom Dempsey’s 1970 NFL-record 63-yard field goal; and the Saints’ 31–17 victory over the Indianapolis Colts in the 2010 Super Bowl. His interviews and profiles covered nearly every major sports figure of his time: Ted Williams, Jesse Owens, Joe DiMaggio, Muhammad Ali, Joe Namath, Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Arnold Palmer, Billy Cannon, Pete Maravich, Lee Trevino, Rusty Staub, Archie, Peyton, and Eli Manning, Eddie Robinson, Doug Williams, Dale Brown, Billy Martin, Brett Favre, Nick Saban, Shaquille O’Neal, Mike Ditka, Sean Payton, Drew Brees, Sugar Ray Leonard, Skip Bertman, Les Miles, and Tom Benson, among many others. The riveting moments and fascinating characters portrayed in this volume will delight both hardcore sports enthusiasts and casual fans, in stories told with Finney’s characteristic grace, humility, and wit.
& Wednesday at 8 pm Martin Cain and Sandra Grace Johnson read at Blood Jet Poetry Series at BJ’s in the Bywater. Cain was raised in southern Vermont. Currently, he lives in Oxford, Mississippi, where he edits Yalobusha Review and hosts the Trobar Ric Reading Series. His writing has appeared (or is forthcoming) in Tarpaulin Sky, Jacket2, The Pinch, Action Yes, The Journal, Spork Press, and elsewhere. His first manuscript, Kids of the Black Hole, has been short-listed at Cleveland State, The Song Cave, Black Ocean, Tarpaulin Sky, and other presses, and he is pursuing an ongoing critical study of rural avant-gardes. Johnson is a poet, artist, vocalist and all around amazing human being.
& Also at 8 pm Wednesday Esoterotica is Not-Safe-for-Work (NSFW). Esoterotica’s local provocateurs will show you that just just because you may be ‘on the clock’ doesn’t mean you can’t get it on, with original erotica about all kinds of sex in the workplace. So no matter what kind of work you have, go to, or do, you are not going to want to miss this show… you may even get a few industrious ideas.
& Thursday at 6 pm Octavia Books presents Peter Bergen, author of UNITED STATES OF JIHAD: Investigating America’s Homegrown Terrorists, discusses the impetus compelling some Americans at home and abroad to join militanat Islamic groups. Since 9/11, more than three hundred Americans born and raised in Minnesota, Alabama, New Jersey, and elsewhere have been indicted or convicted of terrorism charges. Some have taken the fight abroad: an American was among those who planned the attacks in Mumbai, and more than eighty U.S. citizens have been charged with ISIS-related crimes. Others have acted on American soil, as with the attacks at Fort Hood, the Boston Marathon, and in San Bernardino. What motivates them, how are they trained, and what do we sacrifice in our efforts to track them? Paced like a detective story, United States of Jihad tells the entwined stories of the key actors on the American front. Lucid and rigorously researched, United States of Jihad is an essential new analysis of the Americans who have embraced militant Islam both here and abroad.
& On Thursday at 7 pm Katy Simpson-Smith will be reading from and signing copies of her new book, “Free Men” , At Nix Library. Maple Street Book Shop will be on hand to sell copies of the book. From the author of the highly acclaimed The Story of Land and Sea comes a captivating novel, set in the late eighteenth-century American South, that follows a singular group of companions-an escaped slave, a white orphan, and a Creek Indian-who are being tracked down for murder.
& Also at 7pm Thursday the East Jefferson Regional Library hosts an Author Event Why the History of Women Writers Matters by Anne Boyd Rioux. Rioux has been teaching at UNO since the Fall of 1999. She is a member of the Women’s and Gender Studies faculty and teaches courses in American literature, with an emphasis on the 19th century, cultural studies, and gender. She earned her doctoral degree in American Studies from Purdue University in 1999. She is the recipient of two National Endowment for the Humanities fellowships, and she writes reviews and essays for general and academic audiences, specializing in biography and women writers. She is particularly committed to the recovery of lost women’s voices.
& At the Main Branch Library on Thursday at 6 pm Stephanie Hepburn, author of Human Trafficking Around the World: Hidden in Plain Sight, as she facilitates a panel discussion about human trafficking and the personal and financial costs to victims and society. The conversation will focus on both the local and global impacts of human trafficking. Other speakers include: Tamara Jackson, Executive Director of Silence is Violence; Andy Lewis, Coordinator of Greater New Orleans Human Trafficking Task Force; and Susanne Dietzel, PhD, Executive Director of Eden House.
& Friday at 7 pm Room 220 Presents: A Reading with Adam Tipps Weinstein, Laurence Ross, & Michael Jeffrey Lee at Antenna, 3718 St. Claude Ave. Weinstein is a PhD candidate in Creative Writing, and Steffensen-Cannon fellow at the University of Utah. His first book, Some Versions of the Ice, was chosen by Fanny Howe for the NOS Book Contest is forthcoming from Les Figues–he is also nonfiction editor for Quarterly West. He lives in Salt Lake City with his wife, Emily, and daughter, Zella Mae. Ross received his MFA from the University of Alabama where he served as the Creative Nonfiction Editor for Black Warrior Review. He has published his essays and reviews in literary journals such as Brevity, Gaga Stigmata, and The Georgia Review as well as The Huffington Post. In addition, he is a frequent contributor to Pelican Bomb, a regional publication dedicated to the Louisiana arts community. Laurence Ross lives in New Orleans where he recently served as the Director of P.3 Writes, a program in conjunction with U.S. Art Triennial Prospect New Orleans. Lee’s stories have appeared or are forthcoming in BOMB, The Collagist, Denver Quarterly, and Fairy Tale Review, among others. His first book, Something in My Eye, received the Mary McCarthy Prize and was published by Sarabande. He teaches at NOCCA, Tulane University, and for the Loyola Writing Institute.
& Saturday at 10 am at the East Jefferson Regional Library Emily McKay, author of numerous novels including the young adult book The Farm, will speak to the Southeastern Louisiana chapter of the Romance Writers of America. The event is free of charge and is open to the public. McKay will discuss the art of manuscript revision: “Does your Nano manuscript need some work? Do you sometimes wonder if the term rough draft is a euphemism for Unfixable Mess? If you’re struggling to whip your work-in-progress into shape, you’re not alone. All manuscripts need revisions. Sometimes it’s a little nip and tuck; other times it’s a full organ transplant, heart, lungs and all. Every book can be saved.”
& Saturday at 10:30 am the members of the Octavia Books Book Club will be discussing THE LAND OF LOVE AND DROWNING by Tiphanie Yanique. The club meets the third Saturday of every month. Members receive 10% off the selections.
& Saturday at 11:30 am Maple Street Book Shop will be hosting Connie Collins Morgan, author of “Hercules on the Bayou”. She will be reading from and signing copies of her book. Hercules faces his biggest challenge yet—the Louisiana swamps! Including battles with a twelve-clawed crawfish and the taming of a raging hurricane, this Cajun re-imagining of the Hercules legend stirs together myth, culture, and Louisiana spice. Sent down to the hot and humid bayou from his kingdom in the clouds, Hercules must perform four daring labors to escape the immortal queen’s wrath. Luckily, Hercules has godlike strength, bravery, and his new bayou family to help him conquer every incredible feat! This pourquois tale is told in the style of a gentle Cajun storyteller and features vibrant and whimsical illustrations. Written by an award-winning children’s educator, this adventure will have you shouting “Aiyee!” from start to finish
& At 2 pm Saturday the Greater New Orleans Chapter of LA Poetry Society meets at the Old Metairie Library.
& Sunday at 1 pm the Friends of NOPL are bringing their Book Sale to Norman Mayer Library. Hundreds of books for the whole family will be on sale — adult fiction and nonfiction, children’s and teens’, plus CDs, DVDs, and audiobooks.
& Next Sunday March 20 at 3 pm fiction writer Vicki Salloum reads from her newest novel, Candyland. at the Maple Leaf Reading Series, the longest continuously running poetry reading series in the South. Followed by an open mic in the patio of The Maple Leaf.
Odd Words: This week in literary New Orleans March 7, 2016Posted 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:
& At 5 pm Monday at the New Orleans East Regional Library. New Orleans Spoken Word Artists will present monthly workshops that include poetry writing and performance, with the goal of building community through writing and strengthening students’ written and verbal communication skills.
& Monday at 7 pm the EJ Writers Group meets at the East Jeffersion 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 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
& Monday at 7 pm Garden District Book Shop features Katy Simpson Smith’s Free Men. Set in the late eighteenth-century American South, that follows a singular group of companions—an escaped slave, a white orphan, and a Creek Indian—who are being tracked down for murder. In 1788, three men converge in the southern woods of what is now Alabama. Cat, an emotionally scarred white man from South Carolina, is on the run after abandoning his home. Bob is a talkative black man fleeing slavery on a Pensacola sugar plantation, Istillicha, edged out of his Creek town’s leadership, is bound by honor to seek retribution. In the few days they spend together, the makeshift trio commits a shocking murder that soon has the forces of the law bearing down upon them. Sent to pick up their trail, a probing French tracker named Le Clerc must decide which has a greater claim: swift justice, or his own curiosity about how three such disparate, desperate men could act in unison.
& Tuesday at Oil & Vinegar Louisiana, 6111 Pinnacle Pkwy, Covington from 11:30 am – 2 pm meet Ann Benoit author of NEW ORLEANS’ BEST SEAFOOD RESTAURANTS. From shrimp and crab to fish and oysters, New Orleans knows how to do seafood right. In this mouthwatering collection of recipes, family establishments like Sal’s Seafood dish up long-time favorites, sparkling new talents like Crudo+Bar at Baru offer scintillating tastes, and celebrity eateries like Dickie Brennan’s Bourbon House serve celebrated fare.Featuring dazzling photographs, fascinating restaurant and restaurateur profiles, and industry history,
& Tuesday at 6 pm Garden District Book Shop hosts a Texas two-fer when Manning Wolfe and Bill Rodgers and discuss their books Dollar Signs: Texas Lady Lawyer Vs. Boots King and History Retweets Itself: Texas Edition. Merit Bridges, an attorney and widowed mother in Austin, Texas, works hard, drinks too much wine, and sleeps with younger men. When Merit goes after a shady corporation threatening her client, she encounters hired gun Boots King. His charge is simple, “Stop her!” Merit and her team – including Betty, a mothering office manager with a bad-ass attitude – struggle to stay alive, while they navigate a labyrinth of legal issues, and prove once again that you don’t mess with a Texas lady lawyer. Bill Rodgers is currently writing a series of short-form humor books, entitled History Retweets Itself, offering a funny take on historical events. Bill’s view through the lens of modern day social media provides a fun look at history. No pop quiz. No term paper. Just laughs! The first in the History Retweets Itself series is the Texas Edition, taking a fun slant on historical events in the Lone Star State. The next books in the series will include the Golf Edition, the World History Edition, and the Sports Edition, among others.
& Also at 6 pm Tuesday Tubby & Coo’s Science Fiction Book Club meets. No title announced.
& At 7 pm Tuesday The West Bank Fiction Writers Group meets at the Edith S. Lawson Library in Westwego. Members perform writing exercises, discuss fiction and critique the writing of fellow authors
& At noon Wednesday the Tulane University Book Store presents a Reading and Book Signing of Free Men, a Novel by local author, Katy Simpson Smith.
& Wednesday at 6 pm Marlene Trestman visits Octavia Book to discuss and sign her biography of Bessie Margolin, FAIR LABOR LAWYER: The Remarkable Life of New Deal Attorney and Supreme Court Advocate Bessie Margolin. Through a life that spanned every decade of the twentieth century, Supreme Court advocate Bessie Margolin shaped modern American labor policy while creating a place for female lawyers in the nation’s highest courts. Despite her beginnings in an orphanage and her rare position as a southern, Jewish woman pursuing a legal profession, Margolin became an influential Supreme Court advocate. In this comprehensive biography, Marlene Trestman reveals the forces that propelled and the obstacles that impeded Margolin’s remarkable journey, illuminating the life of this trailblazing woman.
& Also at 6 pm Wednesday the Garden District Book Shop Book Club meets to discuss The Children Act. New Members are always welcome. Purchase book in-store for Garden Dsitrict Book Club and for a 20% discount.
& At 7:30 pm Wednesday the East Jefferson Regional Library presents an Author Event featuring San Irwin, author of a new book titled It Happens in Louisiana: Peculiar Tales, Traditions & Recipes from the Bayou. Irwin writes regularly about Louisiana culture as a freelance writer — blogging at http://www.LaNote.org and http://www.CrawfishReport.com, in addition to print publications. He is the author of several books, including Crawfish: A Succulent History of the Cajun Crustacean.
& Leslie D. Rose and Poeticsoul read at Blood Jet at 8 pm at BJ’s in the Bywater, followed by an open mic. Rose is a journalist and photographer from Baton Rouge, by way of southern New Jersey.. She is the editor of Gonzales Weekly Citizen and The Donaldsonville Chief, and the volunteer director of external communications for the Baton Rouge-based, multi-generational arts organization – Forward Arts, Inc. . Leslie promotes a brand of journalism-inspired poetry and has even created a workshop and performance program titled “Ripped from the Headlines”, which debuted at Baton Rouge Community College’s 7th Annual ArtsFest. Leslie has been on two national poetry slam teams, represented Baton Rouge individually, published and featured on various outlets and has toured select cities. PoeticSoul owns and operates Lyrically Inclined, where she can be seen live monthly in Lafayette, LA. She takes her strong, resound messages to a new level of vibration with her powerful live performances. Her debut album, Scattered Thoughts, was released in December 2015. The tracks address a variety of life issues inspired by the artist’s own personal growth, addressing a variety of human and human rights issues. She challenges her listeners to, “Speak up, Speak out, and Be heard.”
& Thursday at noon the Tulane University Book Stores hosts a Meet and Greet Book Signing featuring Marlene Trestman, New Orleans native and former special assistant to the Maryland attorney general and former law instructor at Loyola University of Maryland’s Sellinger School of Business and Management. Trestman’s book is a biography based on the life of Tulane and Yale Alumna Bessie Margolin. Also a New Orleans native, Margolin was an advocate for the Supreme Court where she won 21 of 24 arguments she presented to champion the wage and hour rights of millions of american workers while overcoming anti-Semitism and sexism
& Thursday at Octavia Books at 6 pm author Travis Ian Smith will read and sign INDIE DARLING. Ex-this, former that. Noah Seymour has a second chance, having been ambushed by Bands Back Together, a reality TV show that reunites once-popular bands for a televised concert. Pondering whether to take the stage again, Noah daydreams about his past in The Vows: his first tour (a disaster), his first album (nominated for a Grammy), his first love (a fellow musician already in a relationship), and his final betrayal. Now a high school teacher in New Orleans, maybe Noah can use The Vows’ reunion as a means to bed flirty guidance counselor Chloe Sorensen? Or maybe it’s his ticket out of writing lesson plans, unjamming copy machines, and loosening neckties at three o’clock? But can Noah in good conscience abandon Miles Lafayette, his hipster student who follows him everywhere, seeking his advice? Furthermore, is it even possible for an ex-rock star to improve the second time around, like a song in reprise at the end of an album?
& Also at 6 pm Thursday the Maple Street Book Club discusses Megan Abbott’s The Fever. This month the club will have local author Adrian Van Young as guest facilitator, and he’s picked Megan Abbott’s “The Fever.” Adrian Has a book coming out called “Shadows in Summerland,” for which we will also be hosting a release party and reading from Adrian at the book store on April 21st at 6 PM. The book club choice will be available at 10% off at the store. Refreshments will be served.
& At 7 pm Thursday the Nix Library Book Club meets to discuss its March selection The Optimist’s Daughter by Eudora Welty.
& At 7 PM on Thursday in celebration of the 10th annual New Orleans New Writers Literary Festival, Rickey Laurentiis will be reading at NOCCA|Riverfront. Boy With Thorn is his first book of poetry. Maple Street Book Shop will be on-site, selling copies of the book. In a landscape at once the brutal American South as it is the brutal mind, Boy with Thorn interrogates the genesis of all poetic creation—the imagination itself, questioning what role it plays in both our fascinations with and repulsion from a national history of racial and sexual violence. The personal and political crash into one language here, gothic as it is supple, meditating on visual art and myth, to desire, the practice of lynching and Hurricane Katrina. Always at its center, though, is the poet himself—confessing a double song of pleasure and inevitable pain.
& Saturday at 10:30 am the Octavia Books Science Fiction Book Club meets to discuss Jennifer Marie Brissett’s ELYSIUM.
& Also at 10:30 am at the Nix Library Trisha Rezende, MFA, leads a dynamic writing workshop where students will produce, share, and critique texts while learning how to develop character, voice, and style.
& From 1-5 pm Saturday the Friends of NOPL are bringing their oop-up Book Sale to Norman Mayer Library. Hundreds of books for the whole family will be on sale — adult fiction and nonfiction, children’s and teens’, plus CDs, DVDs, and audiobooks.
& At 1 pm Sunday at Octavia Books Raymond Arroyo for when he introduces his middle grade book, WILL WILDER: THE RELIC OF PERILOUS FALLS. Fans of Rick Riordan’s “Percy Jackson and the Olympians” and Peter Lerangis’s “Seven Wonders” series will embrace this first epic adventure in a rollicking new series by a New York Timesbestselling author. Will Wilder is a mischievous, headstrong twelve-year-old with an otherworldly gift he alone can see the nefarious creatures encroaching on Perilous Falls. For nearly a century, a sacred relic has protected his hometown from the raging waters surrounding it. But when Will borrows the relic for his own purposes, he accidentally unleashes an ancient evil. As boats sink and hideous creatures crawl from the rising waters, Will must set things right before it is too late. With the help of his sweet (if lethal) Great Aunt Lucille, the curator of a museum of powerful artifacts, Will proves that the actions of one twelve-year-old boy can change the world.
The Clock Strikes Matches March 5, 2016Posted by The Typist in Poetry, The Narrative, The Pointless, The Typist.
Insomnia keeps its own counsel
leaves me alone with my own thoughts
matches flaring & vanishing
in small puffs of smokes of which
I have none. I’m done with them
my old companions in solitude
leaving me to brood over
whether it’s too early for coffee.
Sleep is not on the horizon.
I am low and mercurial
befitting the aimless hour
spent dreading sunrise.
Not even a streetlight mockingbird
for company; the damn cat’s asleep
on my cool pillow & P. breathes
gently against my restlessness.
Old enough for aches & pains
that wake, young enough to worry
the small hours like handkerchiefs
into twisted knots of insomnia.
If you were expecting some ringing resolution
you are obviously dreaming August popsicles
of childhood deliciously dripping but you’re
only drooling, mouth open, on your pillow
not your best look & morning’s bright
mirror horror awaits your yawning hour
while I silently wait for nothing,
an empty can left out overnight
without so much as a racoon
for company. The moon set last afternoon
leaving me alone in the dark, lighting
matches with no excuse for madness.
Odd Words: This week in literary New Orleans February 28, 2016Posted by The Typist in Book Stores, book-signing, books, bookstores, Indie Book Shops, literature, Louisiana, New Orleans, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, reading, spoken word, Toulouse Street, Writing.
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This week in literary New Orleans:
& Monday at 6 pm Octavia Books hosts journalist Mary R. Arno presents and signs THANKSGIVING, her novel of memory and coming-of-age based on a short story that won the gold medal in the Faulkner Wisdom competition. New Orleans, Summer 1965: Nancy Drew, the Beatles, Hurricane Betsy. For four young people, it is a time for sailing lessons, clandestine cigarettes, facts of life, guilty secrets. Playing girl detectives, Peg and Emmaline hitchhike to the Winn Dixie, where Emmaline hopes to find her runaway sister. Harry, Emmaline’s brother, lurks on the edges of their toxic, disjointed family. As seasons and years go by, each of the four must come to terms with what happened that summer and what they did—or didn’t do. Thanksgiving slowly reveals the adult ugliness festering beneath the summer idylls of childhood.
& At 6 pm Tuesday Garden District Book Shops features Julie Smith (editor), Ace Atkins, Nevada Barr, O’Neil De Noux, and Maurice Ruffin with New Orleans Noir: The Classics. New Orleans’ tremendous literary tradition shines bright in this outstanding collection of stories from some of the best writers in American history. Julie Smith has masterfully curated this volume with stories published as early as 1843 and as recently as 2012. Classic reprints from: James Lee Burke, Armand Lanusse, Grace King, Kate Chopin, O. Henry, Eudora Welty, Tennessee Williams, Shirley Ann Grau, John William Corrington, Tom Dent, Ellen Gilchrist, Valerie Martin, O’Neil De Noux, John Biguenet, Poppy Z. Brite, Nevada Barr, Ace Atkins, and Maurice Carlos Ruffin. The 18 stories in this irresistible sequel to Smith’s New Orleans Noir run chronologically from Armand Lanusse’s A Marriage of Conscience (1843), about an unusual social custom of the day, to Maurice Carlos Ruffin’s Pie Man (2012), a powerful examination of ethnic tensions in post-Katrina New Orleans. Famous bylines punctuate the book, but even the lesser-known authors hold their own. Former New Orleans police office O’Neil De Noux’s The Man with Moon Hands has particular relevance in view of recent controversial police shootings. Ace Atkins’s Last Fair Deal Gone Down mixes New Orleans’s traditions of music and crime. There’s one outright ghost story, Poppy Z. Brite’s Mussolini and the Axeman’s Jazz, a surrealistic swirl of time travel and assassination. Anyone who knows New Orleans even slightly will relish revisiting the city in story after story. For anyone who has never been to New Orleans, this is a great introduction to its neighborhoods and history.
& Also at 6 pm Tuesday Octavia Books welcomes local activist Emilie Bahr when she introduces her book, URBAN REVOLUTIONS: A Woman’s Guide to Two-Wheeled Transportation. Urban Revolutions is a different kind of cycling book. Author Emilie Bahr draws on her own experience as an everyday cyclist and a transportation planner in New Orleans to demystify urban bicycling in this visually-compelling and fun-to-read field guide. What does it mean for a city to be bike-friendly? What makes bicycling a women’s issue? What does it take to feel safe on a bike? How do you bike to work in the summer and still look professional? What is the most fun you can possibly have on two wheels without having to become an athlete? Bahr answers all these questions and more in her friendly and thoughtful essays and detailed practical tips.
& At 7 pm Tuesday Tulane University presents an evening with Zadie Smith, 2016 Zale-Kimmerling Writer-in-Residence. Smith is the author of six books. Her acclaimed first novel, White Teeth (2000), a vibrant portrait of contemporary multicultural London, told through the stories of three ethnically diverse families, won a number of awards and prizes, including the Guardian First Book Award, the Whitbread First Novel Award, the Commonwealth Writers Prize (Overall Winner, Best First Book), and two BT Ethnic and Multicultural Media Awards (Best Book/Novel and Best Female Media Newcomer). It was also shortlisted for the Mail on Sunday/John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, the Orange Prize for Fiction and the Author’s Club First Novel Award. The Autograph Man (2002), a story of loss, obsession and the nature of celebrity, won the 2003 Jewish Quarterly Wingate Literary Prize for Fiction. In 2003 and 2013 she was named by Granta magazine as one of 20 ‘Best of Young British Novelists’. On Beautywon the 2006 Orange Prize for Fiction and her most recent novel, NW, was shortlisted for the Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize and the Women’s Prize for Fiction and was named as one of The New York Times ‘10 Best Books of 2012.’ Zadie Smith writes regularly for The New Yorker and the New York Review of Books. She published a collection of essays, Changing My Mind: Occasional Essays(2009) and is working on a book of essays entitled Feel Free. She is currently a tenured professor of Creative Writing at New York University.
& Also at 7 pm Tuesday at the Old Metairie Library The Great Books Foundation meets.
& At 8 pm Tuesday at Bar Redux readers are invited to join the discussion with the beautiful, talented, smart, members of Picolla Tushy Presents The Bluestockings. This month we’ll be talking #GirlBoss by Sophia Amorusa. “Girlboss is a hub of inspiration to share stories about what creating an amazing life really means. Being a Girlboss isn’t about being the boss of other people – it’s about being the boss of your own life.”
& At 5 pm Wednesday The West Bank Book Club meets at the Algiers Regional Library to discuss their selection, which is usually literary fiction. Meetings are open to the public and are hosted by library staff
& Wednesday at 6 pm Garden District Book Shop presents Geneveive Munson Trimble’s Afton Villa:The Birth and Rebirth of a Ninteenth-Century Louisiana Garden. n 1963, fire ravaged the forty-room Victorian Gothic plantation home on the historic estate, bringing to ashes over 170 years of history. Over the next decade, its once-regal serpentine entryway and carefully laid out gardens gradually deteriorated, as vines strangled the rows of azaleas that once welcomed guests. A place of enchantment crumbled toward extinction. Afton Villa documents Trimble’s decades-long restoration project while providing a history of the original owners and paying tribute to the other people who contributed to its rebirth. Focusing on preservation, Trimble reveals how the garden’s original footprint survived as well as how she thoughtfully introduced new flora into the terraced landscape, including the foundation ruins of the house, under the guidance of landscape architect Neil G. Odenwald. With steep learning curves and devastating setbacks, including hurricane destruction, each milestone in the recovery of Afton Villa marked a triumph of collaborative will over adversity.
& At 7 pm Wednesday Reading Between the Wines at Pearl Wine Co. welcomes Eva Vanrell and her book THE BUTTERFLY CREST, heavily influenced by Japanese culture, and the Japan Society will also discuss their new book club! An ancient war. A long-told prophecy. A cursed inheritance. If you were destined to die, how would you choose to live? The Butterfly Crest is the first book in a series that tells the tale of a human girl who sacrifices everything to struggle against the inevitable, choosing to resist even when the outcome is doomed from the start. Join Elena as she suddenly finds herself in the middle of a Greek myth and an ancient war between gods, in a world where the old myths are real and human belief has the power to alter the divine. The Butterfly Crest was a 2014 Readers’ Favorite International Book Award Finalist.
& At BJ’s in the Bywater at 8 pm Wednesday Blood Jet Poetry Series returns for its spring season featuring: Bernard Pearce, a Louisiana native born in the rural community of St. Martin Parish. He attended St. John’s College in Santa Fe, NM and returned to Louisiana to pursue a life immersed in music and art. He has owned and operated several music and arts venues in Lafayette, Louisiana. Bernard has recorded and released two full length recordings with his band One Man Machine and has toured internationally with this group. Bernard has recently published a collection of poems, photos, and visual art entitled “The Deed to My Bones”. Also featured is Jim Trainer whose work has appeared in Raw Paw 6: Alien, The Waggle, Philadelphia Stories, Divergent Magazine, Anthology Philly, A Series of Moments and PoetryInk. The release of September, his second full length collection of poetry, coincides with the founding of Yellow Lark Press. Trainer lives in Austin, Texas where he serves as curator of Going For The Throat, a weekly publication of cynicism, outrage, correspondence and romance. Please visit jimtrainer.net.
& Also 8 pm the provocateurs of Estorotica present “Esoterotica knows Romance (Erotica) isn’t Dead, It’s Mysterious, Exciting, and Often Hilarious!” at the Allways Lounge. Doors at 7, show at 8. “…an evening of sex and romance and sexy romance, because we know Romance isn’t dead, especially when it’s also erotica… it’s mysterious, breath-taking, exciting, sometimes corny and when it comes to our show, often hilarious! ”
& Thursday at 6 pm Maple Street Books also welcomes Emilie Bahr, author of Urban Revolutions.
& 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 to be critiqued by others in the group. Open to all levels. Free of charge and open to the public. No registration.
& Also at 7 pm Thursday the University of New Orleans Creative Writing Workshop will host two visiting readers in the Liberal Arts Building, Room 140. Mark Yakich is a Professor of English at Loyola University New Orleans, USA, Editor of New Orleans Review, and a poet and novelist. He is the author of several collections of poetry including Unrelated Individuals Forming a Group Waiting to Cross and The Importance of Peeling Potatoes in Ukraine. Jennifer S. Davis is the author of two collections of short stories, Her Kind of Want, winner of the Iowa Award for Short Fiction, and Our Former Lives in Art, which was selected by Barnes and Noble for the Discover Great New Writers Series
& At Octavia Books Thursday at 6 pm local writer Dr. Anne Boyd Rioux will be reading from and signing CONSTANCE FENIMORE WOOLSON: Portrait of a Lady Novelist and MISS GRIEF AND OTHER STORIES. Constance Fenimore Woolson (1840 1894), who contributed to Henry James’s conception of his heroine Isabelle Archer of The Portrait of a Lady, was one of the most accomplished American writers of the nineteenth century. The best known (and most misunderstood) facts of her life are her relationship with James and her suicide in Venice. Uncovering new sources, Anne Boyd Rioux provides a fuller picture of Woolson’s life, her fight against depression, her sources for her writing, and her capacity for love and joy. In her critically acclaimed fiction, Woolson created compelling and subtle portrayals of Americans from the Great Lakes, Reconstruction-era South, and formerly Spanish Florida. As an expat in Europe, she explored women’s thwarted ambitions while challenging the foremost male writers of her era. Ultimately, Rioux reveals an exceptionally gifted and committed artist who pursued (and received) serious recognition despite the stigma attached to female authors and to ambitious, single women.
& Also at 6 pm Thursday Garden District Book Shop hosts Chris Offutt and My Father the Pornographer. When Andrew Offutt died, his son, Chris, inherited a desk, a rifle, and 1800 pounds of porn. Andrew had been considered the “king of twentieth century smut,” a career that began as a strategy to pay for his son’s orthodontic needs and soon took on a life of its own, peaking during the ‘70s when the commercial popularity of the erotic novel was at its height. With his dutiful wife serving as typist, Andrew wrote from their home in the Kentucky hills, locked away in an office no one dared intrude upon. In this fashion he wrote 400 novels, ranging from pirate porn and ghost porn, to historical porn and time travel porn, to secret agent porn and zombie porn. The more he wrote, the more intense his ambition became, and the more difficult it was for his children to penetrate his world. Over one long summer in his hometown, helping his mother move out of the house, Chris began to examine his deceased father’s possessions and realized he finally had an opportunity to come to grips with the mercurial man he always feared but never understood. Offutt takes us on the journey with him, showing us how only in his father’s absence could he truly make sense of the man and his legacy.
& Friday at 6 pm Octavia Books features Authors Yuri Herrera, SIGNS PRECEDING THE END OF THE WORLD, and Lina Wolff, BRET EASTON ELLIS AND OTHER DOGS. Signs Preceding the End of the World is one of the most arresting novels to be published in Spanish in the last ten years. 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 a run-down brothel in Caudal, Spain, the prostitutes are collecting stray dogs. Each is named after a famous male writer: Dante, Chaucer, Bret Easton Ellis. When a john is cruel, the dogs are fed rotten meat. To the east, in Barcelona, an unflappable teenage girl is endeavouring to trace the peculiarities of her life back to one woman: Alba Cambo, writer of violent short stories, who left Caudal as a girl and never went back. Mordantly funny, dryly sensual, written with a staggering lightness of touch, Bret Easton Ellis and the Other Dogs by Swedish sensation Lina Wolff is a black and Bolano-esque take on the limitations of love in a dog-eat-dog world.
& Saturday at 11:30 am Maple Street hosts a Book Shop launch party of Z.W. Mohr’s children’s book, Desdemona’s Dreams, Volume 1: To Dream of Dancing. Raised in the small town of Remsy by her mysterious aunts and guardian teddy bear, eleven year old Desdemona has always had a hard time relating to the waking world. The elaborate world of dreams she often travels to starts to take on a very real life, and soon she is battling a mad maestro to keep her dream of dancing from being stolen away. This is the first book in the fully illustrated series, Desdemona’s Dreams. A story not only about the beauty of a child’s imagination, but how dreams shape the very world around us. Always remember, you’re dreams are worth fighting for.
& At 1 pm Saturday Garden District Book Shop presents C. S. Harris’s When Falcons Fall. yleswick-on-Teme, 1813. Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, has come to this seemingly peaceful Shropshire village to honor a slain friend and on a quest to learn more about his own ancestry. But when the body of a lovely widow is found on the banks of the River Teme, a bottle of laudanum at her side, the village’s inexperienced new magistrate turns to St. Cyr for help. Almost immediately, Sebastian realizes that Emma Chance did not, in truth, take her own life. Less easy to discern is exactly how she died, and why. For as Sebastian and Hero soon discover, Emma was hiding both her true identity and her real reasons for traveling to Ayleswick.Home to the eerie ruins of an ancient monastery, Ayleswick reveals itself to be a dark and dangerous place of secrets that have festered among the villagers for decades—and a violent past that may be connected to Sebastian’s own unsettling origins. And as he faces his most diabolical opponent ever, he is forced to consider what malevolence he’s willing to embrace in order to destroy a killer.
& At 2 pm Saturday the Poetry Buffet pops up at the Alvar Library in the Bywater. Local poet Gina Ferrara presents noted authors George Guida, Kelly Harris, Nancy Harris, and David Rowe for an unforgettable afternoon of powerful poetry in the Bywater.
& Sunday March 6 from 1-5 pm and the following two weekends the Friends of NOPL are bringing their Book Sale to Norman Mayer Library. Hundreds of books for the whole family will be on sale — adult fiction and nonfiction, children’s and teens’, plus CDs, DVDs, and audiobooks. So tell your friends about our Friends, and we’ll see you there!
& Next Sunday at 3 pm at the Maple Leaf New York poet GEORGE GUIDA reads from his work. The Maple Leaf Poetry Series, founded by beloved poet Everett Maddox and curated by poet Nancy Harris, is the longest running poetry reading series in the South.
& At 7 pm Team Slam New Orleans (Team SNO) hosts The Women of World Poetry Slam Send Off Show featuring ICON at the Ashe Cultural Arts Center. $5 admission.
Odd Words: This week in literary New Orleans February 21, 2016Posted 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:
& Monday at 6 pm Octavia Books hosts a presentation and signing with Craig Werner exploring the songs that linked to the times for the soldiers of the Vietnam War in WE GOTTA GET OUT OF THIS PLACE: The Soundtrack of the Vietnam War, named by Rolling Stone as the #1 Best Music Book of 2015. For a Kentucky rifleman who spent his tour trudging through Vietnam’s Central Highlands, it was Nancy Sinatra’s “These Boots Are Made for Walkin’.” For a “tunnel rat” who blew smoke into the Viet Cong’s underground tunnels, it was Jimi Hendrix’s “Purple Haze.” For a black marine distraught over the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., it was Aretha Franklin’s “Chain of Fools.” And for countless other Vietnam vets, it was “I Feel Like I’m Fixin’ to Die,” “Who’ll Stop the Rain,” or the song that gives this book its title. In We Gotta Get Out of This Place, Doug Bradley and Craig Werner place popular music at the heart of the American experience in Vietnam, a central if often overlooked component of the American war in Vietnam.
& At 6:30 pm its Lights! Pens! Poetry! at the Algiers Regional Library. Participants are encouraged to bring original poems to read or poems by a favorite author to share. Anthologies will also be provided for inspiration.
& Tuesday at 4 pm the Rosa F. Keller Library offers New Orleans Youth Open Mic (NOYOM) Workshops. Facilitated by Team Slam New Orleans (SNO) founding member and #NOYOM committee member Akeem Martin, the workshops will help youth learn new writing skills and improve upon the ones they already have in a fun, structured space. Attendees will have the chance to submit work to be published in the NOYOM Youth Anthology. Open to all 7th – 12th graders.
& Tuesday at 6 pm Octavia Books welcomes Marisa Acocella Marchetto, author of ANN TENNA. From the celebrated New Yorker cartoonist and acclaimed author of Cancer Vixen, a brilliant, funny, and wildly imaginative first novel: the story of an influential gossip columnist brought face-to-face with her higher self and a challenge to change her life for the better. Glamorous, superconnected Ann Tenna is the founder of Eyemauler, a New York City-based Web site that’s always the first to dish the most up-to-the-minute dirt on celebrities and ordinary folks alike. Ann has ascended to the zenith of the New York media scene, attended by groups of grovelers all too willing to be trampled on by her six-inch Giuseppe Zanottis if it means better seats at the table. Told with laugh-out-loud humor, spot-on dialogue (including via cameo appearances from Coco Chanel, Gianni Versace, and Jimi Hendrix, to name just a few), and stunning, full-color artwork, Ann Tenna is a timely, necessary tale for our overly media-cated times: the newest, much-anticipated adventure from a supremely gifted artist at the height of her powers.
& Tuesday at 7 pm the West Bank Fiction Writers Group meets at The Edith S. Lawson Library in Westwego. The Group meets the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month. Members perform writing exercises, discuss fiction and critique the writing of fellow authors. Gary Bourgeois moderates.
& At 8 pm Tuesday The Bluestockings Book Club presents a discussion with the beautiful, talented, smart, members of Picolla Tushy Presents The Bluestockings at Bar Redux. This month we’ll be talking #GirlBoss by Sophia Amorusa. “Girlboss is a hub of inspiration to share stories about what creating an amazing life really means. Being a Girlboss isn’t about being the boss of other people – it’s about being the boss of your own life.”
& Wednesday at 6 pm The Director of the Creative Writing program at LSU, Laura Mullen, is here with her newest poetry collection, COMPLICATED GRIEF. “In a way (the way I’m taking it) Laura Mullen’s COMPLICATED GRIEF follows (with giant dropouts) everything she knows about being a monster. Her aegis covers women (young ones and aging), un-natural disasters and literature. If something packed could wander like Julianne Moore’s mind, to the benefit of everyone, but more like a whole department store or a library feeling snarky, shuffled itself and somehow it was wise.” ~Eileen Myles.
& Thursday at 6 pm Octavia books hosts a special evening with author Taylor Brown featuring his new book, FALLEN LAND, in conversation with author Kent Wascom, SECESSIA. Fallen Land is Taylor Brown’s debut novel set in the final year of the Civil War, as a young couple on horseback flees a dangerous band of marauders who seek a bounty reward. Callum, a seasoned horse thief at fifteen years old, came to America from his native Ireland as an orphan. Ava, her father and brother lost to the war, hides in her crumbling home until Callum determines to rescue her from the bands of hungry soldiers pillaging the land, leaving destruction in their wake. Pursued relentlessly by a murderous slave hunter, tracking dogs, and ruthless ex-partisan rangers, the couple race through a beautiful but ruined land. In the end, as they intersect with the scorching destruction of Sherman’s March, the couple seek a safe haven where they can make a home and begin to rebuild their lives. Dramatic and thrillingly written with an uncanny eye for glimpses of beauty in a ravaged landscape, Fallen Land is a love story at its core, and an unusually assured first novel by award-winning young author Taylor Brown.
& At 6:30 pm the EJ Writers Group meets at the East Jefferson Regional Library. he 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.
& Also at the East Jefferson Regional Library at 7 pm the library hosts an Author Event! “Louisiana Aviation” by Vincent Caire. The book includes photos of early aviation pioneer John Moisant, air racing champion General James Doolittle, barnstormer Roscoe Turner, aircraft designer James Wedell, and founder of Delta Airlines C. E. Woolman reflect Louisiana’s zeal for aeronautics. Caire explains the efforts of Senator Huey P. Long and Harry P. Williams, co-owner of the Wedell-Williams Air Service in Patterson, Louisiana, influenced the development of viable airmail routes throughout the southeastern United States. Rarely seen photographs depict the Art Deco elegance of the first modern, multi-operational passenger terminal in the nation—Shushan Airport in New Orleans.
& At 7 pm Thursday The Dogfish Reading Series presents an evening with readings by ANYA GRONER and MAURICE CARLOS RUFFIN.
& At 7 pm Thursday Room 220 presents a reading from Souffles-Anfas at the Antenna Gallery at 3718 St. Claude Ave. Maple Street Book Shop will be on hand to sell copies of the book. Souffles-Anfas: A Critical Anthology from the Moroccan Journal of Culture and Politics introduces and makes available, for the first time in English, an incandescent corpus of experimental leftist writing from North Africa. Founded in 1966 by Abdellatif LaÃ¢bi and a small group of avant-garde Moroccan poets and artists and banned in 1972, Souffles-Anfas was one of the most influential literary, cultural, and political reviews to emerge in postcolonial North Africa. The essays, poems, and artwork included in this anthology-by the likes of Abdelkebir Khatibi, Tahar Ben Jelloun, Albert Memmi, Etel Adnan, Sembene Ousmane, Rene Depestre, and Mohamed Melehi-offer a unique window into the political and artistic imaginaries of writers and intellectuals from the Global South, and resonate with particular acuity in the wake of the Arab Spring. A critical introduction and section headnotes make this collection the perfect companion for courses in postcolonial theory, world literature, and poetry in translation.
& This Friday kicks off the Delta Mouth Literary Festival in Baton Rouge.
- At 4 pm the festival features a discussion featuring two amazing fiction writers, Carmen Maria Machado and Alexander Lumans. Learn about the creative and professional experience of publishing short stories, how short fiction is changing or adapting in the digital age, and what it’s like to be a working fiction writer today. Come out and talk craft and business with two of the most-widely published writers out there. MACHADO is a fiction writer, critic, and essayist whose work has appeared in The New Yorker, Granta, The Paris Review, AGNI, NPR, Los Angeles Review of Books, VICE, and elsewhere. Her stories have been reprinted or are forthcoming in several anthologies, including Best American Science Fiction & Fantasy 2015, Best Horror of the Year, Year’s Best Weird Fiction, and Best Women’s Erotica. Her debut short story collection, Her Body and Other Parties, is forthcoming from Graywolf Press in Fall 2017. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and the Clarion Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers’ Workshop, and lives in Philadelphia with her partner. LUMANS’s fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Story Quarterly, TriQuarterly, Black Warrior Review, Greensboro Review, American Short Fiction, Bat City Review, Gulf Coast, Cincinnati Review, West Branch, and The Normal School, among others. It has also appeared in several anthologies: Surreal South 2009, 2011, 2013 (alongside Ron Rash, Lee K. Abbott), The Versus Anthology, and The Book of Villains. He has published poetry, interviews, essays, creative-nonfiction, and reviews in Guernica, Glimmertrain, The Los Angeles Review of Books, Colorado Public Radio, Sycamore Review, American Short Fiction, The Collagist, Southern Humanities Review, and Cosmonaut’s Avenue. He graduated from the M.F.A. Fiction Program at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. He teaches at the University of Colorado-Denver and at Lighthouse Writers Workshop.
- Friday at 7pm offeres a reading featuring Jami Attenberg, Peter Cooley, and Carmen Maria Machado at Baton Rouge Gallery – center for contemporary art at 1515 Dalrymple Drive in Baton Rouge.
- Saturday at 6 pm at the LSU Honors College the festival features a lively discussion featuring powerful poet-performers Tracie Morris, Monica McClure, and Rodrigo Toscano on the interplay of poetry, performance, and activism, moderated by M.K. Brake. Learn about integrating poetry into different mediums, navigating the divide between page and stage, plus the import of performance in poetry’s relationship to social justice.
- From At 7 pm at LSU’s French House the festival offers a night of amazing poetry, including Baton Rouge’s own WordCrew! Like all of Delta Mouth, this event is free and open to the public.MORRIS is a poet who has worked extensively as a page-based writer, sound poet, critic, scholar, bandleader, actor and multimedia performer. Her sound installations have been presented at the Whitney Biennial, MoMA, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, among others. She is co-editor, with Charles Bernstein, of “Best American Experimental Writing” (2016) from Wesleyan University Press. Her upcoming book, handholding: 5 kinds, published by Kore Press, debuted in late 2015. MCCLURE is a writer and performer based in New York. She is the author of Tender Data (Birds LLC, 2015) and chapbooks Mala (Poor Claudia, 2014) and Mood Swing (Snacks Press, 2013). Her poetry and critical writing can be found in Tin House, The Claudius App, Jubilat, Lambda Literary Review Spotlight Series, Emily Books, The Hairpin, The Huffington Post, The Awl, Spork Press, The Los Angeles Review, Intercourse Magazine, The Lit Review, and CultureStrike / The Margins. WORDCREW is a youth spoken word collective of Forward Arts Incorporated. WordCrew members meet once a week on Wednesday evenings during the school year and participate in writing and performance workshops. Its members are also responsible for running the monthly teen open mic/poetry slam, Freshhhh Heat.
& Saturday at 2 pm the Norman Mayer Library hosts a Black History Month 2016 event with Author Carole Boston Weatherford reading read from Freedom in Congo Square.
& On Sunday at 1:30 pm Garden District Book Shop presents Carole Boston Weatherford’s Freedom in Congo Square. This poetic, nonfiction story about a little-known piece of African American history captures a human’s capacity to find hope and joy in difficult circumstances and demonstrates how New Orleans’ Congo Square was truly freedom’s heart. As slaves relentlessly toiled in an unjust system in 19th century Louisiana, they all counted down the days until Sunday, when at least for half a day they were briefly able to congregate in Congo Square in New Orleans. Here they were free to set up an open market, sing, dance, and play music. They were free to forget their cares, their struggles, and their oppression. This story chronicles slaves’ duties each day, from chopping logs on Mondays to baking bread on Wednesdays to plucking hens on Saturday, and builds to the freedom of Sundays and the special experience of an afternoon spent in Congo Square. This book will have a forward from Freddi Williams Evans (freddievans.com), a historian and Congo Square expert, as well as a glossary of terms with pronunciations and definitions.
As if February 16, 2016Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, New Orleans, Pedestrian I, poem, Poetry, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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it didn’t winter enough
for them to stop
& think to take
the time to
Odd Words: This week in literary New Orleans February 15, 2016Posted 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:
& The 30th Annual Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival is pleased to announce that the program for the Festival, which runs March 30-April 3, is live online and our complete box office is now open and ready to take your ticket orders. CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE PROGRAM.
& 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.
& Also at 6 pm Monday, the New Orleans Haiku Society meets at the Rosa Keller Library on Broad due to the continuing renovations at the Latter Memorial Library.
& Beginning Tuesday Tulane University hosts Audre Lorde Days continuing throughout the Spring Semester at Tulane University. They feature lectures, films, workshops, celebrations, and dialogues that build on the work of Audre Lorde. The series combines analysis and love, research and lyricism, as well as debate and collaboration to address the ways in which inequity, alienation, and violence undermine individual, collective and planetary health. Collaborations seek to foster holistic analyses and strategic interventions that fuel wellbeing, justice, and positive social change. Tuesday at 6 pm brings An Intimate Conversation with Janet Mock & Alexis de Veaux in the Lavin-Bernick Center Kendall Cram Room. This event features trans-advocate, author and MSNBC talk show host Janet Mock for a discussion about sexuality and identity with Alexis de Veaux, 2015 Lambda Literary Best Lesbian Fiction award winner.
& Also on Tuesday at 6 pm, Octavia Books presents author Melanie Benjamin to the store for a reading and signing of THE SWANS of FIFTH AVENUE. The New York Times bestselling author of The Aviator’s Wife returns with a triumphant new novel about New York’s Swans of the 1950s and the scandalous, headline-making, and enthralling friendship between literary legend Truman Capote and peerless socialite Babe Paley. Of all the glamorous stars of New York high society, none blazes brighter than Babe Paley. Her flawless face regularly graces the pages of Vogue, and she is celebrated and adored for her ineffable style and exquisite taste, especially among her friends the alluring socialite Swans. By all appearances, Babe has it all. Enter Truman Capote. This diminutive golden-haired genius with a larger-than-life personality explodes onto the scene, setting Babe and her circle of Swans aflutter. Through Babe, Truman gains an unlikely entree into the enviable lives of Manhattan’s elite, but Babe never imagines the destruction Truman will leave in his wake. But once a storyteller, always a storyteller even when the stories aren’t his to tell. Truman’s fame is at its peak when such notable celebrities as Frank and Mia Sinatra, Lauren Bacall, and Rose Kennedy converge on his glittering Black and White Ball. But all too soon, he’ll ignite a literary scandal whose repercussions echo through the years. The Swans of Fifth Avenue will seduce and startle readers as it opens the door onto one of America’s most sumptuous eras.
& Tuesday at 7 pm The West Bank Fiction Writers Group meets the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month at the Edith S. Lawson Library in Westwego. Members perform writing exercises, discuss fiction and critique the writing of fellow authors.
& Also at 7 pm Tuesday, the Old Metairie Library Great Book Club meets to discuss Agamemnon by Aeschylus while the East Bank Regional Library that location’s Great Books Discussion Group convenes to discuss The Confessions of Nat Turner by William Styron.
& Thursday at 5 pm the Booked for Murder Book Club meets at the Norman Mayer Library. This group meets Club every third Thursday of the month. New members are welcomed to join. No title is listed on the library events calendar.
& Thursday at 6 pm Garden District Book Shops hosts Suzanne Rheinstein and Rooms For Living: A Style for Today with Things from the Past. Celebrated interior designer Suzanne Rheinstein focuses on the use of rooms from entries to outdoor spaces that reflect her relaxed, elegant style, in which beauty and comfort are paramount. Suzanne Rheinstein is a master at translating traditional style into something fresh and elegant. In Rooms for Living, she shows how to achieve a calm and livable environment in casual or more formal settings. Rheinstein presents welcoming rooms to share with others, as well as private, cozy spaces for relaxing or sleeping. Born and raised in New Orleans, Suzanne has a deep appreciation for the traditions of that city. Her Southern sense of style and hospitality, the visual sophistication she acquired living on the East Coast and her appreciation for the relaxed lifestyle of southern California have made her a sought-after talent.
& At 7 pm Thursday the SciFi, Fantasy and Horror Writer’s Group meets at the East Bank Regional library in Jefferson Parish. 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 am The Monthly Meeting of the Southern Louisiana Chapter of the Romance Writers of America takes place at the East Jefferson Regional Library, and 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 2 pm Saturday at the EJ Regional Library GNO Chapter of LA Poetry Society presents poetry readings and discussions for poetry lovers.
& Sunday at 2 pm at the Algiers Regional Library Team Slam New Orleans (Team SNO) and Rebessa Mwase, Co-Director of LOUD continue their 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. This weeks writing workshop with Team SNO is 2 pm at the Alvar Library, and the acting workshop will be at the East New Orleans Regional Library at 3 pm.
& Sunday at 3 pm the Maple Leaf Poetry Reading is held every week (parades and Saint’s games permitting) at the Maple Leaf Bar with an open mic and featured readers. This is the oldest continuous reading series in the South. No feature this week but the mic will be open to all readers.
& Also at 3 pm Sunday Garden District Book Shops presents Lincoln Peirce and Big Nate Blasts Off. For fans of the hilarious Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, here comes the eighth novel in the New York Times bestselling series Big Nate. BIG NATE IS BLASTING OFF! Nate has a crush on Ruby. But after his scrap with Randy Betancourt makes headlines in the Weekly Bugle, he’s got a problem WAY worse than detention! Can Nate bounce back? And will the annual Mud Bowl be a blast . . . or a bust?
& The Loyola Writing Institute courses, covering various genres, are held in the fall, spring and summer at 5 Greater New Orleans locations–Loyola University New Orleans, the New Orleans Healing Center, Antenna on St. Claude, the Southern Hotel in Covington and A Studio in the Woods on the Westbank. Our classes are appropriate for adults over 18 at any skill level. Check out more information about our spring classes, starting February 23, and find our paper registration form on our Web site or register online at Eventbrite. Take advantage of special group discounts for the A Studio in the Woods retreats (See more information under New Programs for 2016).
Carnival February 9, 2016Posted by The Typist in Carnival, Mardi Gras, Poetry, The Narrative, The Typist.
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ZAGREUS! TO ZAGREUS!
The soft flutter of a fan
In Venice piazza
Blows chaotic tropical salsas
Across the Atlantic.
The drums rumble the earth
The dancing triangulates
On all the instruments
Far to the north
(Trombones most of all)
Riotous in the Old Quarter
Of New Orleans.
Odd Words: This week in literary New Orleans February 8, 2016Posted 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 email@example.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, 2016Posted 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, 2016Posted 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, 2016Posted 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, 2016Posted by The Typist in Poetry, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
Tags: anti-poetry, PoetryIsNot
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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, 2016Posted 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, 2016Posted 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, 2015Posted 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, 2015Posted by The Typist in errata, Poetry, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
““[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, 2015Posted 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, 2015Posted 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, 2015Posted 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, 2015Posted 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, 2015Posted 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, 2015Posted by The Typist in Poetry, The Journey, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
Tags: Nicanor Parra, PoetryIsNot
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In poetry everything is permitted.
With only this condition of course,
You have to improve the blank page.
— Nicanor Parra
One’s Inner Daemon October 31, 2015Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, New Orleans, Poetry, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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, 2015Posted 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 WAR, his 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.
Odd Words October 11, 2015Posted 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 Choke, North 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, 2015Posted 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, 2015Posted 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, 2015Posted 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.
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.