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I’m On The Phone With Singapore March 2, 2015

Posted by The Typist in New Orleans, The Narrative, The Pointness, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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is now my standing excuse for all night time engagements I would just assume not.

We got off early but damn it, I’m still on the phone with Singapore as far as you all are concerned.

I’m going to make a salad and read something.

Write One Hundred Times on the Board:

I will not watch X-Files when I should be reading or writing.
I will not watch X-Files when I should be reading or writing.
I will not watch X-Files when I should be reading or writing.
I will not watch X-Files when I should be reading or writing.
I will not watch X-Files when I should be reading or writing.
Scully
I will not watch X-Files when I should be reading or writing.
I will not watch X-Files when I should be reading or writing.
I will not watch X-Files when I should be reading or writing.
Tarkovsky Films Now Free Online
I will not watch X-Files when I should be reading or writing.
I will not watch X-Files when I should be reading or writing.
I will not watch X-Files when I should be reading or writing.
I will not watch X-Files when I should be reading or writing.

And, introducing our new tag: The Pointless. It sounds so unhopeful but think about it. Pointless. Without a point. If there is no point, I am neither here nor there. I am not in orbit, have no geographic or geometic reference or presence. I am working no angles, complementary or supplementary. I am adrift in the sea of me without compass or protractor.

All I can tell you with certainty is I am not in Singapore.

That is all.

Brilliantly Literate Occasional Gewgaws February 26, 2015

Posted by The Typist in cryptic envelopment, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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“That’s not writing, that’s typing.”
— Truman Capote on Jack Kerouac

Therapist: “What sort of writing do you do. I mean: long form, short form…”

Me: “Well, I primarily write poetry. And I have had these two blogs. The one called Wet Bank Guide…”

Therapist: “What was that?”

Me: ” WET Bank Guide. I used to work for a newspaper call the West Bank Guide and it seemed an apt title for a Katrina-focused blog…

[Pause to allow for brief scribbling. Therapist changes subject].

[Long, distracted, non-ADD pause by me to consider changing therapists after 1.5 meetings.

Nah, everybody does that].

I think I may refer to my therapist in this space henceforth as my “psychologer.” Not to be demeaning or anything. Just because I can. Because I am The Typist.

Any resemblance to psychologers real or imagined by others is orthoganally tangential and in the Particular & Peculiar Public Domain which I, The Typist, create here.

Odd Words February 25, 2015

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

& At 6 pm Thursday the Alvar Library hosts To the Blighthouse! Readings by Maurice Carlos Ruffin, Carin Chapman, and Tad Bartlett. Ruffin won the 2014 Iowa Review Award for his short story, “The Ones Who Don’t Say They Love You”; and the 2014 gold medal in the novel-in-progress category of the William Faulkner-William Wisdom Writing Competition; among others. His work has been published or is upcoming in The Iowa Review, Callaloo, Cicada, Massachusetts Review, New Delta Review, So To Speak, Redivider, Apalachee Review, and others; and in the New Orleans atlas-and-essay collection, Unfathomable City. Chapman’s work has been named a finalist for the Svenson Award and was shortlisted for the William Faulkner-Wisdom Creative Writing Competition. She is currently an Instructor of Composition and the Coordinator Associate of Freshman and Creative Writing at the University of New Orleans. Bartlett’s essays are found on the online Oxford American, his poetry in the Double Dealer, and his fiction in Bird’s Thumb and The Rappahannock Review. He is currently an MFA student at the Creative Writing Workshop at the University of New Orleans.

& Thursday at 6 pm Room 220 hosts a Happy Hour Salon to celebrate the launch of New Orleans Boom and Blackout: One Hundred Days in America’s Coolest Hotspot by Brian Boyles from 6-9PM on Thursday, Feb. 26, at the Press Street HQ (3718 St. Claude Ave.). The event will also feature best-selling novelist Jami Attenberg. Maple Street Book Shop will be on-site selling books. New Orleans Boom and Blackout is a nonfiction account of the 100 days preceding the 2013 Super Bowl hosted in the New Orleans Superdome. Many will recall the (partial) blackout referenced in the title. Through original research and interviews, conveyed from a casual yet erudite first-person perspective, Boyles unpacks the complex tangle of events that took place as the local government, tourism apparatus, and city at large prepared to showcase the New New Orleans for millions of Americans who had their eyes trained on the game. From the Streetcar Line To Nowhere to VIP celebrity events to cab drivers, bartenders, and street performers hustling like mad to capitalize on the influx of visitors, New Orleans was rife with happenings those 100 days before the game. Through Boyles’ interpretation, they speak volumes about the present state of our city. Jami Attenberg is the author of five books, including the New York Times bestselling novel The Middlesteins, which has been translated into nearly a dozen languages. Her forthcoming book, Saint Mazie, is a novel inspired by a movie theater ticket taker-turned-caregiver on Manhattan’s Lower East Side profiled in Joseph Mitchell’s classic Up in the Old Hotel. Attenberg writes frequently for the New York Times, The Rumpus, Salon, and other distinguished places.

& Also at 6 pm Thursday Garden District Book Shop features M. O. Walsh’s My Sunshine Away. It was the summer everything changed…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.

& At 6:30 pm Thursday Carolyn Kolb will be reading from and discussing her book, New Orleans Memories: One Writer’s City at the Nix branch of the New Orleans Public Library. Carolyn Kolb provides a delightful and detailed look into the heart of her New Orleans. She is a former Times-Picayune reporter and current columnist for New Orleans Magazine, where versions of these essays appeared as “Chronicles of Recent History”.

& Thursday at 6:30 pm The East Jefferson Writer’s Group meets at the East Jefferson Regional Library. This 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.

& Friday at 5 pm Octavia Books hosts A Children’s Picture Book Event: Good Night, Sleep Tight Storytime with Miss Holly. Miss Holly will regale readers with a range of picture book tales. What happens when a bunny family finds a wolf on their front stoop and adopts him? Why do bears need underwear?

& Every Friday The Rhyme Syndicate presents a spoken word open mic at Dish on Haynes Boulevard hosted by Hollywood. Doors at 8. Admission $7, $5 will college ID. Music by DJ XXL.

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

& This Saturday brings Story Time with Miss Maureen 11:30am at Maple Street Book Shop. She’ll read Last Stop on Market Street by by Matt de la Pena, illustrated by Christian Robinson. Every Sunday after church, CJ and his grandma ride the bus across town. But today, CJ wonders why they don’t own a car like his friend Colby. Why doesn’t he have an iPod like the boys on the bus? How come they always have to get off in the dirty part of town? Each question is met with an encouraging answer from grandma, who helps him see the beauty—and fun—in their routine and the world around them. This energetic ride through a bustling city highlights the wonderful perspective only grandparent and grandchild can share, and comes to life through Matt de la Pena’s vibrant text and Christian Robinson’s radiant illustrations.

& Every Saturday at 2 pm two-time national champions Slam New Orleans (SNO) multi-part workshop for youth and teens will engage participants with poetry both through hearing it and creating their own.. Team SNO is a community-based organization and home of Team SNO. The team, established in 2008, promotes literacy, creativity and self-expression by urging youth and adults alike to become vocal about what matters to them. This The workshops are supported by Poets & Writers, Inc.

& Also at 2 pm Saturday The Poetry Buffet returns to the Latter Memorial Library from his carnival break. Poets Stacey Balkun. Elizabeth Gross, Geoff Munsterman, and Daniel Reinhold read from their work.

& At 7 pm Saturday Tubby and Coo’s Book Shop hosts UNO graduate Tawni Waters reading from her new novel Beauty of the Broken. And she will likely sneak in some poems from her recently released Siren Song as well. She is an award winning writer and poet, and she currently teaches creative writing in Phoenix, AZ. In this lyrical, heartwrenching story about a forbidden first love, a teen seeks the courage to care for another girl despite her small town’s bigotry and her father’s violent threats. Growing up in conservative small-town New Mexico, fifteen-year-old Mara was never given the choice to be different. Just as Mara begins to live a life she’s only imagined, the girls’ secret is threatened with exposure and Mara’s world is thrown into chaos. Mara knows she can’t live without Xylia, but can she live with an entire town who believes she is an abomination worse than the gravest sin?

& Monday at 5:00 pm the Alvar Library hosts New Orleans Spoken Word Artists monthly workshop that include poetry writing and performance, with the goal of building community through writing and strengthening students’ written and verbal communication skills.

& Meet author Suzanne Lewis on Sunday at 11 am and help Octavia Books launch her first picture book, A PENGUIN NAMED PATIENCE: A Hurricane Katrina Rescue Story. Patience is a South African penguin. She is small at roughly 6 pounds and approximately 20 inches tall; but at 24 years old, she is the “penguin in charge” of the penguin exhibit at New Orleans’s Audubon Aquarium of the Americas. On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina hits, devastating the city and surrounding areas with its catastrophic winds and flooding. The aquarium is severely damaged. With no electricity or relief in sight, the temperature in the aquarium reaches dangerously high degrees, putting the penguins in peril. Patience, and the 18 other penguins, along with some of the other zoo animals, must leave their home and their favorite human, Tom, the penguin keeper. Tom drives his penguins to Baton Rouge where an airplane transfers them to the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California. Here the penguins will recuperate and live until they can return home to New Orleans. After nine long months away from Tom and their home, the aquarium is finally restored. And Patience, who has been patient, and her penguins return to New Orleans to a cheering homecoming.

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

& Monday at 7 pm Newcomb College Institute hosts A Reading and Interview with Lorrie Moore, thes 2015 Zale-Kimmerling Writer-in-Residence at Tulane Univeristy, in the Lavin-Bernick Center (LBC), Kendall Cram Lecture Hall. Moore is the author of five collections of short stories and two novels. Her most recent collection, Bark, was published in 2014. Her most recent novel, A Gate at the Stairs, was shortlisted for the 2010 Orange Prize for Fiction and for the PEN/Faulkner Award. Moore has received numerous honors for her work, among them the Irish Times International Prize for Literature, a Lannan Foundation fellowship, as well as the PEN/Malamud Award and the Rea Award for her achievement in the short story. She teaches creative writing at Vanderbilt University

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

& Tuesday at 6 pm Octavia Books hosts Rachel Breunlin & Bruce Sunpie Barnes and their collaboration TALK THAT MUSIC TALK. In the early 1900s, jazz was created in New Orleans. Soon afterwards the fear began…it’s moving away, it’s going to die out, it needs to be preserved. Yet each generation has put time and energy into making sure the roots of the music stay strong in the city. This book is about the history of that kind of organizing work, and what happened when the New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park brought together a new group of young people to learn traditional brass band music from older musicians and the Black Men of Labor Social Aid & Pleasure Club.

& Tuesday at 6 pm Garden District Book Shops hosts C. S. Harris’s Who Buries The Dead the 10th Book in the Sebastion St. Cyr series. London, 1813. The vicious decapitation of Stanley Preston, a wealthy, socially ambitious plantation owner, at Bloody Bridge draws Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, into a macabre and increasingly perilous investigation. The discovery near the body of an aged lead coffin strap bearing the inscription King Charles, 1648 suggests a link between this killing and the beheading of the deposed seventeenth-century Stuart monarch. Equally troubling, the victim’s kinship to the current Home Secretary draws the notice of Sebastian’s powerful father-in-law, Lord Jarvis, who will exploit any means to pursue his own clandestine ends. Working in concert with his fiercely independent wife, Hero, Sebastian finds his inquiries taking him from the wretched back alleys of Fish Street Hill to the glittering ballrooms of Mayfair as he amasses a list of suspects who range from an eccentric Chelsea curiosity collector to the brother of an unassuming but brilliantly observant spinster named Jane Austen.

& Also on Tuesday at 7 pm the 1718 Society features reader Jesmyn Ward. National Book Award winner Ward will read and discuss her work at the Columns Hotel. The 1718 Society is a literary organization run by students of Tulane and Loyola. Maple Street Book Shop will be on-site to sell books. Ward received her M.F.A. from the University of Michigan and is currently an assistant professor of creative writing at Tulane University. She is the author of the novels Where the Line Bleeds and Salvage the Bones, the latter of which won the 2011 National Book Award and was a finalist for the New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. Ward grew up in DeLisle, Mississippi, and lives there now.

& AT 8 pm Tuesday Clare Harmon launches her book Thingbody. “There will be an “OFFICIAL” event with book sales and readings and so on TBA but after that we’re going to party drink artisanal cocktails and be merry at Sarsaparilla (Tuesday night pop-up in Dante’s Kitchen). Please join me, none of this would have been possible without the support and inspiration from such amazingly talented colleagues and friends!”

& Also at 7 pm Tuesday the East Jefferson Regional Library hosts One Book One New Orleans’s title Unfathomable City, by Rebecca Snedeker. Like the bestselling Infinite City: A San Francisco Atlas, this book is a brilliant reinvention of the traditional atlas, one that provides a vivid, complex look at the multi-faceted nature of New Orleans, a city replete with contradictions. More than twenty essays assemble a chorus of vibrant voices, including geographers, scholars of sugar and bananas, the city’s remarkable musicians, prison activists, environmentalists, Arab and Native voices, and local experts, as well as the coauthors’ compelling contributions. Featuring 22 full-color two-page-spread maps, Unfathomable City plumbs the depths of this major tourist destination, pivotal scene of American history and culture and, most recently, site of monumental disasters such as Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil spill. Writer, historian, and activist Rebecca Solnit is the author of sixteen books about environment, landscape, community, art, politics, hope, and memory.

& The UNO Creative Writing Workshop hosts poets Ralph Angel and Andy Young in the liberal arts building, Room 140 at 8PM Wednesday. The reading will be followed by a q&a, book signing and brief reception. Young grew up in southern West Virginia and has spent most of her adult life in New Orleans working at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts. For the last two years she has lived in Egypt, where she worked at the American University in Cairo and documented the revolution in essays, poems and photographs. A graduate of the Warren Wilson Program for Writers, her writing has been published in three chapbooks, publications in Lebanon, Egypt,
Ireland, Mexico and throughout the United States. Her first full-length collection, All Night It Is Morning, was published in 2014. Angel’s latest collection, Your Moon, was awarded the 2013 Green Rose Poetry Prize. In addition to five books of poetry, he also has published an award-winning translation of the Federico García Lorca collection, Poema del cante jondo / Poem of the Deep Song. He lives in Los Angeles, and is Edith R. White Distinguished Professor at the University of Redlands, and a member of the MFA in Writing faculty at Vermont College of Fine Arts.

& On Wednesday at 7 pm Fleur de Lit and the Pearl Wine Co. host Reading Between the Wines. This month’s featured authors include Dawn Chartier, author of new paranormal romance Bewitching the Enemy; Erica Spinder, author of The First Wife; Deborah Burst, Author of Louisiana’s Sacred Places: Churches, Cemeteries and Voodoo and Hallowed Halls of Greater New Orleans. Louisiana’s Sacred Places; and Alys Arden, author of The Casquette Girls. More details on each author can be found on the Tubby and Coos website.
HI Mr. Folse–

Just reaching out to request that you re-post the Neutral Ground Coffee House Poetry Night for Wednesdays!

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

Find X February 21, 2015

Posted by The Typist in cryptic envelopment, FYYFF, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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I AM PICKT UP AND SORTED TO A PIP. MY IMAGINATION IS A MONASTERY AND I AM ITS MONK.
— Keats to Shelley, taken from the epigraph page of John Berryman’s His Toy, His Dream, His Rest

Riddle me this, oh Minnesota Multiphasic: If ghosts or spirits do not influence people to do good or bad, how then to explain the history of mankind? Get back to me on that one when you have decoded the mystery of Consciousness
.

A. A violent order is a disorder; and
B. A great disorder is an order. These
Two things are one. (Pages of illustrations.)
— Wallace Stevens, “A Connesieur of Chaos”

“I am a statistical outlier,” said I to the therapist on my initial intake visit. [Much scribbling] I recovered enough statistics from the vast cold storage of my idiosyncratic memory while studying for a Six Sigma Green Belt to understand Standard Deviation. I am, then, a deviant, and so potentially pathological. It is interesting that the application of these ideas to systems containing living breathing thinking feeling human beings comes from the Japanese, who value a Confucian conformity above all else.

¿&?

To what extent does a lifetime’s training to “do well” on anything involving a scantron render something like the MMP, which relies on an honest rather than a best answer, a quaint anachronism?

The 10 Clinical Subscales

The older MMPI-2 is made up 10 clinical subscales, which are a result of answering certain questions on the test in a specific manner:

Psychopathic Deviate (Pd) – The Psychopathic Deviate scale measures general social maladjustment and the absence of strongly pleasant experiences. The items on this scale tap into complaints about family and authority figures in general, self alienation, social alienation and boredom. The scale contains 50 items.

It is not strongly pleasant experiences that concern us here, but rather the absence in society at large of entirely rational and pervasive fits of rage and depression, that absence symptomatic of a society suffering a disturbing level of delusion about the culture and economic systems under which it lives.

¿&?

I am a valuable but dangerous commodity, something like uranium, in the work-a-day world: Exceptionally bright and good at what I do when inclined to do so (emphasis mine, and therein lies what might be considered the pathology), and militantly resistant to the subtle neo-facism of Corporate Culture. I am a time thief in service of other interests, and understand that the old ways of loyalty in service in return for reliable employment no longer apply: the social and employment contract (the latter at once subtly stipulated and explicitly repudiated) reduced to a grease can to oil the wheels of capitalism. I am by no choice of my own a contractor. I am Surplus Labor personified. In a world in which theft and commerce are one and the same I dare to place myself on an equal footing with the 1% in service of my own agendas. I carry away a tiny bit of Surplus Value in my pocket everyday from which I construct dangerous weapons of mass disillusionment: poetry, this blog and other forms of thought crime.

As I said above: I am, then, a deviant, and so potentially pathological but only to the extent I am subvervise (contagious in a pathological sense, a danger to The Others or, more importantly, to Them). This has always been a powerful undercurrent here on Toulouse Street. Careful if you wade in too deep. You may never find your way back. You have not washed up on Paradise Island. This is samidzat, a basement bivouac in the defense of Stalingrad haunted by a peasant folksong, a mine in the classical military sense beneath the prison labor camp we have built with our own hands.

Sixth months ain’t no sentence February 20, 2015

Posted by The Typist in A Fiction, cryptic envelopment, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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Six months I have wandered and sought, excavated closets, scoured books, and read the crazed fragments of once familiar streets ( heaving in gentle tectonics, from dust to dust) & not even the iridescent scatter of glitter is enough.

Somebody, somebody must hold the key.

Odd Words February 20, 2015

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

& Every Friday The Rhyme Syndicate presents a spoken word open mic at Dish on Haynes Boulevard hosted by Hollywood. Doors at 8. Admission $7, $5 will college ID. Music by DJ XXL.

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

& Saturday at 11:30 Maple Street Book Shop hosts Johnette Downing and Jennifer Lindsley will be reading from and signing their new book, The Fifolet. Down by the swamp, where alligators roam, legend says a treasure is buried out past the water on the edge of the beach. To find this prize, follow the fifolet as it bounces and bounds across the bayou, bright and blue against the dark water below. Just as quick as it comes, the light disappears, faster than you can say “will-o’-the-wisp.”

& Saturday at 1:30 New Orleans Spoken Word Artists will present another monthly workshops that include poetry writing and performance, with the goal of building community through writing and strengthening students’ written and verbal communication skills. At the Alvar Branch Library, 913 Alvar Street in the Bywater.

& Every Saturday at 2 pm two-time national champions Slam New Orleans (SNO) multi-part workshop for youth and teens will engage participants with poetry both through hearing it and creating their own.. Team SNO is a community-based organization and home of Team SNO. The team, established in 2008, promotes literacy, creativity and self-expression by urging youth and adults alike to become vocal about what matters to them. This The workshops are supported by Poets & Writers, Inc.

& Saturday at 6 pm T. Geronimo Johnson returns to Octavia Books and his home city to celebrate the release of his newest, WELCOME TO BRAGGSVILLE. From the PEN/Faulkner finalist and critically acclaimed author of Hold It ‘Til It Hurts comes a dark and socially provocative Southern-fried comedy about four UC Berkeley students who stage a dramatic protest during a Civil War reenactment–a fierce, funny, tragic work from a bold new writer. Welcome to Braggsville. The City That Love Built in the Heart of Georgia. Population 712. Born and raised in the heart of old Dixie, D’aron Davenport finds himself in unfamiliar territory his freshman year at UC Berkeley. Two thousand miles and a world away from his childhood, he is a small-town fish floundering in the depths of a large hyperliberal pond.

Caught between the prosaic values of his rural hometown and the intellectualized multicultural cosmopolitanism of “Berzerkeley,” the nineteen-year-old white kid is uncertain about his place, until one disastrous party brings him three idiosyncratic best friends: Louis, a “kung fu comedian” from California; Candice, an earnest do-gooder from Iowa claiming Native roots; and Charlie, an introspective inner-city black teen from Chicago. They dub themselves the “4 Little Indians.” But everything changes in the group’s alternative history class, when D’aron lets slip that his hometown hosts an annual Civil War reenactment, recently rebranded “Patriot Days.” His announcement is met with righteous indignation and inspires Candice to suggest a “performative intervention” to protest the reenactment. Armed with youthful self-importance, makeshift slave costumes, righteous zeal, and their own misguided ideas about the South, the 4 Little Indians descend on Braggsville. Their journey through backwoods churches, backroom politics, Waffle Houses, and drunken family barbecues is uproarious at first but has devastating consequence

& This Sunday at 3 pm The Maple Leaf Reading Series features an Open Mic. Four featured readers are coming in March.

& Monday at 5:30 pm the Creative Writing Workshop returns to the Robert E. Smith Library, 6301 Canal Blvd. Do you think in verse that could become poetry? Do you imagine characters, dialogue, and scenes? If so, join the Smith Library’s free Creative Writing Workshop.

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

& Tuesday from 4-5:30PM It’s a Party at Coquette, 2800 Magazine St, when Jyl Benson and Sam Hanna sign their book, Fun, Funky, & Fabulous: New Orleans’ Casual Restaurant Filled with folksy art and creative recipes from affordable restaurants captured in tantalizing photographs-with tidbits of history thrown in as lagniappe-author Jyl Benson serves up just the right taste of this fascinating and ever-evolving city. Included are neighborhood favorites such as MoPho, Purtoo, Toup’s Meatery, Lola, Bhava, Coquette, and Juan’s Flying Burrito: A Creole Taqueria. Each recipe is accompanied by stunning photos, and chapters are introduced with colorful folk art from Simon of New Orleans.

& Tuesday at 6:30 pm brings an Author Night at Hubbell: What Love Can Do: Recollected Stories of Slavery and Freedom in New Orleans and the Surrounding Area featuring a talk with Gayle Nolan, editor of Arthur Mitchell’s memoir. The Hubbbell Library is at 725 Pelican Avenue in Algiers.

& At 7 pm Tuesday the Alvar Library hosts a writing workshop focused on the creative nonfiction essay. We’ll be exploring the form and experimenting with it as well over the course of the workshop. Neutrons Protons is an idiosyncratic literary project that operates with unfaltering belief in three primary things: the power of true and honest human stories; the importance of smart and purposeful humor; and the role great writing plays in both. We really do believe that well-written stories and a good dose of humor have the power to change the world.

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

& Tuesday March 10 at 8 pm Clare Harmon launches her book Thingbody. “There will be an “OFFICIAL” event with book sales and readings and so on TBA but after that we’re going to party drink artisanal cocktails and be merry at Sarsaparilla (Tuesday night pop-up in Dante’s Kitchen). Please join me, none of this would have been possible without the support and inspiration from such amazingly talented colleagues and friends!”

& Chris Wiltz will be at Maple Street Book Shop, Wednesday, February 25th, at 6PM to read from and discuss her novel Glass House (paperback, $17.95, hardcover, $24.95, LSU Press). Glass House is a finalist for the One Book, One New Orleans 2015 selection. A well deserved honor for a much respected and loved member of the New Orleans literary community! When Thea Tamborella returns to New Orleans after a ten-year absence, she finds a city gripped by fear. The privileged white socialites of her private-school days pack guns to fancy dinner parties and spend their free time in paramilitary patrols. The black gardeners, maids, and cooks who work days in the mansions of the elite Garden District return each evening to housing projects wracked by poverty, drugs, and gang violence. The city’s haves and have-nots glare at each other across a yawning racial divide as fear turns to hate and an us-against-them mentality.

& Wednesday at 7 pm the East Jefferson Regional Library hosts an Author Event featuring Black Life in Old New Orleans, by Keith Medley. African-Americans, their city, and their past. Capturing 300 years of history and focusing on African-American communities’ social, cultural, and political pasts, this book captures a significant portion of the diversity that is New Orleans. Author Keith Weldon Medley’s research encompasses Congo Square, Old Treme, Louis Armstrong, Fannie C. Williams, Mardi Gras, and more. He creates a comprehensive history of New Orleans and the black experience.

& Also on Wednesday at 6:30 pm the New Orleans Youth Open Mic will feature Baton Rouge Slam Master and Program Director of the youth poetry organization Forward Arts, LLC Donney Rose. Donney is a great friend of the New Orleans scene and his organization helped inspire much of NOYOM’s present work. We look forward to his feature next Wednesday, February 25 from 6:30-8:00 pm. It will take place at the Der Rathskeller Lounge in The Lavin-Bernick Center on Tulane University Campus. Doors will open at 6 and the open mic list will be open to all. ​Please arrive early (after 6 but before 6:30) as the show will start promptly at 6:30 at which time the open mic list will also close. Lastly, please RSVP at 504-931-0431 or bklynmik@gmail.com if you plan to come so that we know how many students to plan for.

Radio Free Toulouse February 15, 2015

Posted by The Typist in A Fiction, cryptic envelopment, Leon Russell, New Orleans, NOLA, pirates, Shield of Beauty, The Narrative, The Odd, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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Resumes its broadcast schedue from our pirate tramp freighter located somewhere in the radar clutter of The Gulf.

We are prepared to repel boarders from BP’s Coast Guard and the forces of any other nation which does not recognize our right to Be. Watch out for the transdermally pychotropic water cannons, motherfuckers One blast and you’ll be Ours

If 6 Turned Out To Be 9 February 15, 2015

Posted by The Typist in cryptic envelopment, New Orleans, NOLA, The Narrative, The Odd, The Typist, Toulouse Street, We Are Not OK.
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Somwehere between the last half-slice of citalopram and the allegedly-theraeutic onset of amitriptilyne is something  like a lunar void, a period of uncertainty. The clinically inclined would consider this the expression of depression as the citaoprm washes out before the amitriptilyne kicks in. I consider it something akin to the social readjutment I experienced after forty days and forty nights in Europe, a combination of jet lag and culture shock.

I am rediscovering what it means to be me. In the first few days of the washout I felt an almost exuberant sense of myself, as if I had been mounted by the loa of Walt Whitman. Things then began to grow dark and uncertain, but that I realized is as any path in a journey through the underword should be.

I think the clonazepam has also about run its course, or what the fuck am i doing up at ten of six, and writing my second post in two days on my mostly quiescent blog after two cigarettes and half a cup of coffee. Cigarettes and coffee are two things the new therapist I did a mostly uncomfortable intake with the other day suggests we will have to address. She spoke of a box, in which cigarettes, caffine and alcohol have no place for the chonically anxious. I described myself as a statistical outlier in any battery of tests she may wish to administer, a point well outside the box of the consensually acceptable.

Not a good start.

“Nicotine is a drug, you know,” she said at one point. And what, I was tempted to ask, are clonazepam, amitriptilyne, citlopram and the whole cryptic galaxy of SSRIs the medical profession has perscibed to me in the ĺast several years, along with a course of lamotrigine at a higher dose than a friend’s husband–a full-blown manic-depressive–was perscribed by the former head of the Tulane Medical School pychiatry department?

I am up early, writing. I have a private blog that I hide online from all but invited friends called Poems Before Breakfast, named for the quiet time which I found to write in the tense last years of a disolving marriage inhabited by two teenageers. What role does the deminishing effectiveness of the clonazepam and the absence of an effective pharma cocktail for depression play in this place in space time, in which my fingers find the keyboard and I am unafraid to express my deepest feelings in a highy public way?

What then is the problem we are trying to solve? Caffeine and alcohol are also drugs, but if I calm an anxiety attack with two fingers of Buffalo Trace and the the strange place I am in is one where the amitriptilyne lets me get a decent night’s sleep without fucking with my brain what, for all its transient discomfort, is this place in which I am driven to write, to see myself with a clarity long obscured by over-mdication? What if it is Home, my Axis around which I orbit? What is the purpose of submitting myself to the drug-driven clinicians of phsychology and psychiatry?

The new therapist didn’t answer my question when I asked if the negatively charged phrase “wash out” was a clinnical term. She only scribbled some notes. I deduce it means the period during which the cumulative effects of pharmacology flush themelves out of my system.

It is an unsettling place, but so was my beloved New Orleans when I first returned from Europe.

~

I just want to talk to you.
I won’t do you no harm.
I just want to now about your different lives
On this here people farm.”

Lately I have found more therapeutic value in Jimi Hendrix’s Axis: Bold as Love than I think I will get from any $200 an hour clinician with her DSM, the box-like book of consensual normality from which I declare myself an outlier, a six sigma enigma no re-engineering can or should correct.

Sorry, doctor, but I have had a problem with boxes since I failed in art in the first grade for refusing to color within the lines. I am not sure my comfortable zone is found in the rigid, rectngular pages of the DSM. I am not sure any empathetic and intelligent person should feel comfortble in the world They* are building around us, unless integration is simply another word for cheerful ignorange and compliance.

If the sun refused to shine.
I don’t mind. Idon’t mine.
If the mountains fell in the sea,
Let it be. It ain’t me.
I got my own world to live through
And I ain’t going to copy you….

If the mountains fall
Just don’t let them fall on me…

I think the untriggered anxiety attacks I have had lately whoch wwre well-controlled in medical parlancet rhat led me to visit the pill doctor and schedule myself into the therapist are simply a call to withdraw for a bit into the bariatric chamber of myself, to emerge ready to lift the face plate and announce this planet habitable by the likes of me.

If I cycle through all of the colors of emotion in patterns unpredictable by the mathematics of wave form oscilloscope EEG, well, there are other branches of mathematics and acience that posit alternative universes. Perhaps I am just a visitor in this world, who’s purpose is to take extensive notes such as this–not a catalogue of anthopological field notes but a travelogue–and sometimes sculpt them into poetry. We each have our own path through this planet of forms I find at once alien and interesting.

Perhaps I should just ask the Axis. He knows Everything.

~

* For more information on Them, I recommend a careful reading of Amiri Baraka’s “Somebody Bombed America” supplemented by the more personal and localized blog post on Wet Bank Guide “In the Zone.”. Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow should be considered an essential supplementary text

Mendacity February 14, 2015

Posted by The Typist in Carnival, Mardi Gras, New Orleans, NOLA, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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Somewhere out There (not here) Endymion leans on his shepard’s staff and contemplates the moon. This is so distant from what will erupt a few blocks away this evening as to be almost out of reach, but I would choose to be there however long the walk.

Somewhere along the canals of Venice, or climbing the Albaicín in the midday hallucinatory alleys of the past I lost Carnival and I’m not sure where to find it. The Bacchanal of of this weekend holds no appeal, hasn’t for years, really. The endless parade of megafloats is a Zero, not a point but a hollow as big as infinity, god’s bottomless junk drawer. I have abandoned MoM’s, filed it away as memories of Arabi long ago.

Tuesday they promise rain.

What is missing is me, the old Dionysian me. I looked in my costume trunks (smelling a bit of midew; all must go in the wash), but did not find it there. I know it’s in here somewhere, likes to sneak off to the Holy Ground and play the chatty barfly. I start to wonder if I can find it Here, in this city of my birth. It is drowning again and too few seem to notice, our Lord Mayor the Krewe Captain of the final Americanization, an apocalype as large as Katrina and similarly invited by those who refused to see the faults were not in the stars but in themselves.

Today my neighborhood is Kenner, just another big box strip mall boulevard just off the exit marked America 1/4 mile. (America 1/8th mile. America 1/16th mile. American 1/32nd mile…), a paradox I have no interest in teting. My friend the Pill Doctor would call this depression but it is not. It is a sadness as infinute as zero, a nostalgia for all that was almost lost in apocalypse and a sadness that those who did not drown are being sold into the galleys to pull their oars like Real Americans.

I am not a real American. I think the last vestiges of anything ike patriotism were burned away when the last Apollo climbed into the morning sky. I simply didn’t realize it until the Federal Flood washed away all illusions, a catastrophc baptism into what? Something like a promised salvation, a clean slate in the aftermath that proved itself the medicine bottle of a thousand Cousin Dudley’s who’s only interest is to cash in on mendacity.

BIG DADDY: I’ve lived with mendacity!—Why can’t you live with it? Hell, you got to live with it, there’s nothing else to live with except mendacity, is there?

New Orleans as Big Daddy, dying of cancer that has spread to murder, greed, conformity, and the lot of them–the mayor, the uptown money, the downtown carpetbagers–all circling, eyeing each other, trying to get their hands on 28,000 of the finest acres this side of the Nile.

That is what Endymion and Bacchus are to me: mendacity, the Lexus and American Express suburbanites slumming in the city tossing trinkets to the pick up truck port-o-let crowd come downriver from Kenner pretending this is Carnival.

Carnival is not Blaine Kern and a movie star grand marshall. Carnival is a Spirit and I’m looking for a preacher who knows that Holy Ghost. Perhaps if it’s warm and rainy Mardi Gras, I will walk naked as Ezekial through a mostly empty Quarter with eyes like wheels of fire, one saved in the desert by ravens while looking for my place in the story I seemed to have laid aside and lost track of, a prophet of the wrathful god of water, preaching sin and sin again in perfect innocence while we still have time, before one flood or another washes the slate so clean Noah cannot find the mount.

Odd Words February 12, 2015

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

& Carnival’s coming. On Thursday: Close at 2 p.m. – Children’s Resource Center, Latter Library; Close at 4 p.m. – Algiers Regional Library, Alvar Library, Central City Library, East New Orleans Regional Library, Hubbell Library, Keller Library & Community Center, Main Library, Martin Luther King Library, Mid-City Library, Nix Library, Norman Mayer Library, Smith Library. Friday: Close at 4 p.m. – Central City Library, Main Library, Martin Luther King Library. Saturday: losed – Algiers Regional Library, Children’s Resource Center, Hubbell Library, Latter Library, Mid-City Library. Sunday: Closed – Latter Library. Monday: Closed – Children’s Resource Center, Latter Library. Close at 2 p.m. – Algiers Regional Library, Alvar Library, Central City Library, East New Orleans Regional Library, Hubbell Library, Keller Library & Community Center, Main Library, Martin Luther King Library, Mid-City Library, Nix Library, Norman Mayer Library, Smith Library. Monday: Tuesday: Closed – Happy Mardi Gras! – Algiers Regional Library, Alvar Library, Central City Library, Children’s Resource Center, East New Orleans Regional Library, Hubbell Library, Keller Library & Community Center, Latter Library, Main Library, Martin Luther King Library, Mid-City Library, Nix Library, Smith Library.

& The Jefferson Parish Libraries will be closed on Monday and Tuesday.

& Friday at 1 pm Octavia Books hosts Valentine’s Day Eve a signing with Morgan Molthrop featuring his new book, LOVE: New Orleans.

& Every Friday The Rhyme Syndicate presents a spoken word open mic at Dish on Haynes Boulevard hosted by Hollywood. Doors at 8. Admission $7, $5 will college ID. Music by DJ XXL.

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

& Saturdays at 11:30am at Maple Street Book Shop its Story Time with Miss Maureen. This week she’ll read Gaston Goes to Mardi Gras. Gaston the Green-Nosed Alligator has returned from the swamp and is taking adventurous readers on a tour of Mardi Gras. Experience the real events of Carnival with him through these beautiful illustrations. In Cajun country, he joins a courir du Mardi Gras group, enjoys spicy gumbo, and dances in a fais do-do until dawn. Then follow Gastoni as he travels to New Orleans for even more new sights!

& Every Saturday at 2 pm two-time national champions Slam New Orleans (SNO) multi-part workshop for youth and teens will engage participants with poetry both through hearing it and creating their own.. Team SNO is a community-based organization and home of Team SNO. The team, established in 2008, promotes literacy, creativity and self-expression by urging youth and adults alike to become vocal about what matters to them. This The workshops are supported by Poets & Writers, Inc.

& This Sunday at 3 pm The Maple Leaf Reading Series features an Open Mic. Four featured readers are coming in March.

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

The only really adjustable language February 5, 2015

Posted by The Typist in cryptic envelopment, New Orleans, Odd Words, The Narrative, Toulouse Street.
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PS. If my writing seems at times ungrammatical it is not due to carelessness or accident. The English language—the only really adjustable language—is in state of transition.. Transition and the old grammar forms no longer useful..
Best.
Bill [William S. Burroughs, from a letter to his parents]

Odd Words February 4, 2015

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

& Thursday at 6 pm Please join Octavia Books in celebrating the book launch of author/illustrator Joy Bateman’s THE ART OF DINING IN NEW ORLEANS 2, a restaurant guide with signature recipes. Three of the restaurants featured in the book will be providing some delicious tastes: Eat, 900 Dumaine Street, Blue Cheese and Fig Torte; Pascal’s Manale, 1838 Napoleon, Shrimp Remoulade; and, High Hat Cafe, 4500 Freret, Pimento Cheese Canape with Pickled Okra. Joy Bateman combines her love of art and passion for good food to create The Art of Dining® books, each filled with her beautiful paintings and highlighting the best recipes from the South’s leading restaurants.The Art of Dining® in New Orleans 2 is her second book about New Orleans’ truly unique, diverse and delicious cuisine. Recipes are provided by New Orleans’ restaurants from Acme to Venezia, and Joy’s insights and personal reminiscences make The Art of Dining in New Orleans 2 a treat for locals and tourists alike, and a wonderful gift for any occasion.

& Also at 6 on Thursday Garden District Book Shop hosts four authors: Nina Solomon (The Love Book), Julie Smith (New Orleans Noir), Barbara J. Taylor (Sing in the Morning, Cry at Night), and M. A. Harper (Fire on the Bayou).

  • The Love Book: It all starts when four unsuspecting women on a singles’ bike trip through Normandy discover a mysterious red book about love. But did they discover it–or did the book bring them together? Magical words, spells, conjurations, and a little dose of synchronicity abound in The Love Book, about the misadventures of four women who embark on a soul mate-seeking journey. Somehow, The Love Book insinuates itself into their lives and has its way with them. But there is more than matchmaking afoot. The four women–Emily, Beatrice, Max, and Cathy are each nudged, cajoled, inspired, perhaps guided -despite themselves, to discover love, fulfillment, and the true nature of what being a soul mate really means. While on the surface a lighthearted romp, the novel is a serious exploration of the difficulties women routinely encounter when their lives do not turn out the way society, their families, and they themselves may have planned.
  • New Orleans Noir: The excellent 12th entry in Akashic’s city-specific noir series illustrates the diversity of the chosen locale with 18 previously unpublished short stories from authors both well known (Laura Lippman, Barbara Hambly) and emerging (Kalamu Ya Salaam, Jeri Cain Rossi). Appropriately, Smith divides the book into pre- and post-Katrina sections, and many of the more powerful tales describe the disaster’s hellish aftermath. Standouts in the first section, Before the Levees Broke, include Laura Lippman’s short, twisted tale of victims and victimizers, Pony Girl, and Tim McLoughlin’s Scared Rabbit, a tight, punchy account of a police shooting. Among the contributions to the post-Katrina Life in Atlan
  • Sing in the Morning, Cry at Night: In early 20th century Pennsylvania, a few months after her sister’s mysterious death, eight-year-old Violet befriends a motherless schoolmate, Stanley, who works as a breaker boy in the mines. Meanwhile, Violet’s father and mother find other ways cope with their grief.Months after her sister dies, a death for which she is blamed, Violet must help when her mother goes into premature labor during a freak blizzard.A page-turning debut novel set in Scranton, Pennsylvania, during the height of coal mining, Vaudeville, and evangelism.
  • A prequel to M.A. Harper’s paranormal romance, Cajun Spirit (formerly The Year of Past Things), Fire on the Bayou tells the story of Cajun musician A.P. Savoie, a recovering alcoholic living and gigging in New Orleans while trying to forget about his 7-year-old son Cam and anthropologist ex-wife Michelle, who’s found love up in New York City. When A.P.’s mother “Feen” intervenes to arrange for her grandson to travel down to Louisiana for Christmas, Michelle decides to tag along-sans boyfriend. Despite all their efforts to remain apart, A.P. and Michelle fall madly in love once again, Feen struggling all the while to ignore nightmares and visions of A.P.’s grisly death…

&Thursday at 7 pm the SciFi, Fantasy and Horror Writer’s Group meets at the East Jefferson Regional Library. The purpose of the group is to encourage local writers to create works of fiction based on science fiction, fantasy and horror themes. Participants submit manuscripts to be critiqued by others in the group. Open to all levels. Free of charge and open to the public. No registration.

& Carnival’s coming. On Friday the following New Orleans branch libraries will close at 4 pm: Central City Library, Main Library, Martin Luther King Library. On Saturday, Closed – Algiers Regional Library, Children’s Resource Center, Hubbell Library, Latter Library. Closing at 2 pm are . – Alvar Library, East New Orleans Regional Library, Keller Library & Community Center, Main Library, Mid-City Library, Nix Library, Norman Mayer Library, Smith Library. Sunday: Closed: Latter Library.

& Every Friday The Rhyme Syndicate presents a spoken word open mic at Dish on Haynes Boulevard hosted by Hollywood. Doors at 8. Admission $7, $5 will college ID. Music by DJ XXL.

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

& Saturday at 11:30 am Maple Street Book Shop invites you to Please join them when Keila Dawson will be reading from and signing copies of her new book, The King Cake Baby. “No, “mon ami” “ You can’t catch me I’m the King Cake Baby “ So brags a little Mardi Gras trickster in this lively New Orleans adaptation of “The Gingerbread Man.” The runaway king cake baby escapes an old Creole couple, a praline lady, and a waiter at Cafe du Monde, but he can’t outsmart the clever baker After all, who knows better than a baker that a king cake baby belongs inside of a king cake? This new adaptation of an old folktale will bring a tasty Mardi Gras tradition to life for readers of all ages. From Jackson Square to the Mississippi River, the story sparkles with French phrases, New Orleans colloquialisms, and vibrant, comic-book style artwork depicting the city’s characters and treasures. Just in case readers can’t get enough NOLA from the story alone, the book also includes a recipe for homemade king cake. Bon appetit!

& Saturday at noon Tubby and Coo’s book Shop hosts a Heart Busters Party. The’yll have things for people who both love and hate Valentine’s day at our Valentine/Halloween mash up party! Including: Paranormal Romance, LOVE New Orleans, a new book by local author Morgan Molthrop about loving our awesome city (because even if you’re single, you still love NOLA), Horror books by local authors, 15% off all books in our horror section (because we think Valentine’s Day is pretty horrific), chocolate (to help you celebrate your love or drown your sorrows), Valentine’s goodie bags (for those in love), Halloween goodie bags (for those who hate love), 10% off your entire purchase if you come dressed in costume (Sexy is allowed, but not *too* sexy – we ARE a family establishment). Costumes are highly encouraged, because why not? We will also have four great local authors in attendance: Mason James Cole, horror author of BUSTER VOODOO & PRAY TO STAY DEAD; Alex Jennings, horror author of HERE I COME AND OTHER STORIES; Dawn Chartier, paranormal romance author of BEWITCHING THE ENEMY; and, Morgan Molthrop, author of LOVE: NEW ORLEANS

& Every Saturday at 2 pm two-time national champions Slam New Orleans (SNO) multi-part workshop for youth and teens will engage participants with poetry both through hearing it and creating their own.. Team SNO is a community-based organization and home of Team SNO. The team, established in 2008, promotes literacy, creativity and self-expression by urging youth and adults alike to become vocal about what matters to them. This The workshops are supported by Poets & Writers, Inc.

Saturday at 6 pm T. Geronimo Johnson returns to Octavia Books and his home city to celebrate the release of his newest, WELCOME TO BRAGGSVILLE. From the PEN/Faulkner finalist and critically acclaimed author of Hold It ‘Til It Hurts comes a dark and socially provocative Southern-fried comedy about four UC Berkeley students who stage a dramatic protest during a Civil War reenactment–a fierce, funny, tragic work from a bold new writer.

& This Sunday at 3 pm The Maple Leaf Reading Series features an Open Mic.

&Monday at 5 pm 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 6 pm the New Orleans Haiku Society meets at the Latter Memorial Library at 6 pm, a week early due to Mardi Gras closures of the library.

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

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

Good Night February 1, 2015

Posted by The Typist in cryptic envelopment, Dancing Bear, New Orleans, The Narrative, Toulouse Street.
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sad minions of the Krewe of Going Home: the Krewes du Vieux and Delusion, the frustrated lovers, mad trance dancers (children of Dionysus and Orpheus), hustlers of nothing, the irreparably ripped, the friends of the band, the last to stand.

Retire now to your tents and to your dreams./
Tomorrow we enter the town of my birth/
I want to be ready.

Rest well. Sweet dreams.

Odd Words January 28, 2015

Posted by The Typist in books, literature, New Orleans, Odd Words, Poetry, Toulouse Street.
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This coming week in literary New Orleans:

& Thursday at 4:30 pm come meet Judith Fradin, the award-winning author of more than 50 children’s and young adult non-fiction books at Octavia Books. Her most recent book, STOLEN INTO SLAVERY: The True Story of Solomon Northup, Free Black Man won the Carter G. Woodson Award for the best multicultural book of the year..The true story behind the acclaimed movie Twelve Years a Slave, this book is based on the life of Solomon Northup, a free black man from New York who was captured in the United States and sold into slavery in Louisiana. This remarkable story follows Northup through his 12 years of bondage as a man kidnapped into slavery, enduring the hardships of slave life in Louisiana. But the tale also has a remarkable ending. Northup is rescued from his master’s cotton plantation in the deep South by friends in New York. This is a compelling tale that looks into a little known slice of history, sure to rivet young readers and adults alike.

& The East Jefferson Regional Library hosts an Author Event Thursday at 7 pm featuring Rosary O’Neill, New Orleans Carnival Krewes. Carnival krewes are the backbone of the Mardi Gras parades. Every year, different krewes put on extravagant parties and celebrations to commemorate the beginning of the Lenten season. Historic krewes such as Comus, Rex and Zulu that date back generations are intertwined with the greater history of New Orleans itself. Today, new krewes are inaugurated and widen a once exclusive part of New Orleans society. Author and New Orleans native Rosary O’Neill explores this storied institution, its antebellum roots and its effects in the 21st century.

& At 6:30 pm at the EJ Library hosts the East Jefferson Writer’s Group is a critique group for serious fiction writers of all levels who want to improve their story development skills. This group focuses on discussing story development and writing elements and applying critiquing skills in romance, adventure, mystery, literature (but not genres of SciFi, Fantasy, Horror of the alternate Thursday Sci-FI Writers). Short stories, novels, screenplays, plays, comics are accepted; however, non-fiction, such as poetry, biography, autobiography, essays, or magazine articles is not. Free and open to the public. No registration.

& Friday Ann Benoit will be doing a reading from and signing her book New Orleans’ Best Ethnic Restaurants at the Nix Library (1401 S. Carrollton) on at 6:30 PM. Maple Street Book Shop will be on-site as the bookseller for the event. Bounce along this fun-filled culinary tour of New Orleans’ top 100 ethnic restaurants. Romp your way from Eastern European pop-ups to Brazilian churras winding through American ethnic and the Restaurateurs Dilemma, as you travel among lively native stories, unusual suppliers and ingredients, fairs, festivals, scrumptious recipes and easily some of the best food photography produced in the city today. A history, a cookbook and a new culinary atlas for your next trip to the amazing ethic food of fabulous New Orleans or your guidebook to culinary tourism in your own town!

& Friday at 6 pm Bill Lavender, Marc Vincenz, & Willis Gordon present a night of poetry & prose at Crescent City Books. This is the night before the Krewe du vieux parade, folks, so come join us in the French Quarter and come ready to party. Bill Lavender is a poet, novelist, editor and teacher living in New Orleans. He founded Lavender Ink, a small press devoted mainly to poetry, in 1995, and he founded Diálogos, an imprint devoted to cross-cultural literatures (mostly in translation) in 2011. His poems, stories and essays have appeared in dozens of print and web journals and anthologies, with theoretical writings appearing in Contemporary Literature and Poetics Today, among others. Marc Vincenz is British-Swiss, was born in Hong Kong, and has published six collections of poetry. Marc is also the translator of numerous German-language poets, including: Erika Burkart, Ernst Halter, Klaus Merz, Andreas Neeser, Markus Bundi and Alexander Xaver Gwerder. His translation of Alexander Xaver Gwerder’s selected poems, Casting a Spell in Spring, is to be released by Coeur Publishing. Willis Gordon is a Lost Highwayman, an Outlaw Patriot, a Hellraiser, and a writer with no permanent location, going wherever the work takes him. Born and raised in Canton, Ohio, Gordon is an Acclaimed Author, Powerful Essayist, Controversial Columnist, Master Orator, Musician, Boxer, and Veteran of the War on Terror. His work captures the essence of the classic American writers while still maintaining a timelessly fresh and biting quality in his work. As Senior Columnist and Political Columnist he has amassed a brilliant and scorching body of work at Drunken Absurdities.

& Every Friday The Rhyme Syndicate presents a spoken word open mic at Dish on Haynes Boulevard hosted by Hollywood. Doors at 8. Admission $7, $5 will college ID. Music by DJ XXL.

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

& Every Saturday at 2 pm two-time national champions Slam New Orleans (SNO) multi-part workshop for youth and teens will engage participants with poetry both through hearing it and creating their own.. Team SNO is a community-based organization and home of Team SNO. The team, established in 2008, promotes literacy, creativity and self-expression by urging youth and adults alike to become vocal about what matters to them. This The workshops are supported by Poets & Writers, Inc.

& Also at 2 pm Richard Edgar Zwez will sign his new book New Orleans Spirit: A Tchoupitoulas Life at the Main Library on Loyola Avenue. Johnny Smith is left by his mother at his aunt’s home. He becomes part of a quirky family with silly members. He reaches out to his neighborhood and to the citizens of New Orleans. When he does he finds adventures, fun, laughs, and the fiery festivities in the great ethnic mixture of the Big Easy.

& This Sunday at 3 pm The Maple Leaf Reading Series features an Open Mic.

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

& On Tuesday at 6 pm Octavia Books hosts writer Anya Kamenetz to discuss and sign her new book, THE TEST: Why Our Schools Are Obsessed with Standardized Testing – But You Don’t Have to Be. It’s an exploration of the epidemic of standardized testing that has taken over public schools – and a thorough review of solutions to better assessment and real accountability. THE TEST explores all sides of this problem – where these tests came from, their limitations and flaws, and ultimately what parents, teachers, and concerned citizens can do. It recounts the shocking history and tempestuous politics of testing and borrows strategies from fields as diverse as games, neuroscience, and ancient philosophy to help children cope. It presents the stories of families, teachers, and schools maneuvering within and beyond the existing educational system, playing and winning the testing game. And it offers a glimpse into a future of better tests. With an expert’s depth, a writer’s flair, and a hacker’s creativity, Anya Kamenetz has written an essential book for any parent who has wondered: what do I do about all these tests?

& Jami Attenberg is The 1718’ Society’s February reader at 7PM at the Columns Hotel (3811 St. Charles Avenue). 1718 Society is a literary organization comprised of Tulane, Loyola, and UNO students. They hold monthly readings, which are free and open to the public, the first Tuesday of each month at The Columns Hotel. Maple Street Book shop will be on-site to sell books. Jami Attenberg is the author of the novels The Middlesteins, The Melting Season, The Kept Man and of the story collection Instant Love. She has written for The New York Times, New York, Salon, Nylon, Print, Nerve, and others. Chicago native, she lives in Brooklyn, New York. Her most recent work, Saint Mazie, is forthcoming from Grand Central Publishing in June.

& Tuesday at 6 pm Garden District Book Shops hosts Tom Cooper and his book The Marauders. When the BP oil spill devastates the Gulf coast, those who made a living by shrimping find themselves in dire straits. For the oddballs and lowlifes who inhabit the sleepy, working class bayou town of Jeannette, these desperate circumstances serve as the catalyst that pushes them to enact whatever risky schemes they can dream up to reverse their fortunes. At the center of it all is Gus Lindquist, a pill-addicted, one armed treasure hunter obsessed with finding the lost treasure of pirate Jean Lafitte. His quest brings him into contact with a wide array of memorable characters, ranging from a couple of small time criminal potheads prone to hysterical banter, to the smooth-talking Oil company middleman out to bamboozle his own mother, to some drug smuggling psychopath twins, to a young man estranged from his father since his mother died in Hurricane Katrina. As the story progresses, these characters find themselves on a collision course with each other, and as the tension and action ramp up, it becomes clear that not all of them will survive these events.

& Tuesday at 7 pm the East Jefferson Regional Library hosts an Author Event featuring N.O. Literature, by Nancy Dixon. “N.O. Lit: 200 Years of New Orleans Literature” is a comprehensive collection of the literature of New Orleans. Designed as an introduction for scholars and a pleasure for everyone, this volume will set the standard for years to come. Dixon has gathered some of the most prominent writers long associated with New Orleans, such as Lafcadio Hearn, Tennessee Williams, Truman Capote, and Eudora Welty, as well as more unknown authors such as the writers of Les Cenelles, French Creoles of color who published the first anthology of African American literature in 1845, or Los Isleños, descendents of the 17th-century Spanish immigrants from the Canary Islands. From the first play ever performed in New Orleans in 1809, through Tom Dent’s compelling 1967 drama of violence in the streets, Ritual Murder, this collection traces the city’s history through its authors. Nancy Dixon, PhD, professor of English at Dillard University, has been studying and writing about New Orleans literature, culture, and history for more than 20 years. Her book, Fortune and Misery: Sallie Rhett Roman of New Orleans, (LSU Press 1999), won the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities “Humanities Book of the Year” award in 2000.

& Every Tuesday night get on the list to spit at the longest running spoken word venue in New Orleans at Sweet Lorraine’s Jazz Club hosted by African-American Shakespear. Doors open at 7pm and the Mic pops at 8pm. It is $5 to get in.

& Wednesday at 5 pm favorite children’s book author Dan Gutman comes to Octavia Books to present and sign GENIUS FILES #5: LICENSE TO THRILL (rescheduled from the preceding week due to the east coast blizzard). The wackiest road trip in history comes to an action-packed conclusion in book five of the New York Times bestselling Genius Files series (we will have books 1-4 on hand as well).

& Wednesday at 6 pm Garden District Book Shops hosts Elisa Segrave and The Girl From Station X. As Anne Segrave approached old age and infirmity, her daughter, Elisa Seagrave was faced with the daunting task of sorting through her mother’s belongings. She was aware of several elements of Anne’s past, but she was astonished to find evidence of an altogether different life when she uncovered a cache of wartime diaries. Now, on the pages before her, Segrave encountered a young woman who put the world of finishing schools and hunt balls behind her to embark on a journey that took her to Bletchley Park, Bomber Command and, eventually, a newly liberated Germany.

& Wednesday at 7 pm in the Woldenberg Art Center, Freeman Auditorium at Tulane University The New Orleans Center for the Gulf South proudly hosts a joint book launch for two New Orleans-based authors who have just published major new works on the region’s recent history. Brian Boyles, author of New Orleans Boom and Blackout: One Hundred Days in America’s Coolest Hotspot, and Benjamin Morris, author of Hattiesburg, Mississippi: A History of the Hub City, will read from their works on Wednesday, February 4 in the Woldenberg Art Center’s Freeman Auditorium. There will be a Q&A session following the lecture and readings. A reception and book signing will follow the event. Boyles, a Tulane graduate from 1999, is currently director of public programming at the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities. His book chronicles the one hundred days prior to New Orleans’ hosting Super Bowl XLVII in 2013, when business leaders and tourism officials declared the rise of the “new New Orleans,” a thriving city brimming with hope and energy. Yet the watershed moment culminated in darkness when the lights went out in the Superdome. Boyles unearths the conflicts, ambitions, and secret histories that defined the city in this pivotal time. Morris, a poet, writer and member of the Mississippi Artist Roster, received a research fellowship from the Center for his book, the first full-length narrative history of Hattiesburg, a city whose fortunes have long been deeply intertwined with New Orleans . Once a center for lumber and rail, and a “hub city” for the Gulf South, the city is today a regional capital for education, healthcare, commerce, and the armed forces.

& Wednesday at 7 pm the East Jefferson Regional Library hosts Girls Only Author Night, featuring three New Orleans authors talking about their latest books: Test of Faith, by Christa Allan; Rescued by a Kiss, by Colleen Mooney; and Faulkner and Friends, by Vicki Salloum. Guys are welcome. Free of charge and open to the public. No registration

Crow’ Theology January 25, 2015

Posted by The Typist in poem, Poetry, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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By Ted Hughes

Crow realized God loved him —

Otherwise, he would have dropped dead.

So that was proved.

Crow reclined, marvelling, on his heart-beat.

And he realized that God spoke Crow —

Just existing was His revelation.

But what

Loved the stones and spoke stone?

They seemed to exist too.

And what spoke that strange silence

After his clamour of caws faded?

And what loved the shot-pellets

That dribbled from those strung up mummifying crows?

What spoke the silence of lead?

Crow realized there were two Gods —

One of them much bigger than the other

Loving his enemies

And having all the weapons.

One Upon A Bayou January 23, 2015

Posted by The Typist in History, New Orleans, NOLA, Poetry, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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Once upon a bayou an old man and woman came down Esplanade almost daily to the shore. Under the watchful eyes of Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard (C.S.A) the man sat beneath an unravelling straw hat with a cane pole, fishing. The woman in an apron bent and picked dandelion greens in the ancient posture of the plantation. She placed them in an old, plastic ice cream bucket on which the plastic handle had been replaced by a string of twine.

Once upon a time there were such people? There are no lard-fried bream and dandelion green dinners preserved in the freezer aisle at Winn-Dixie. On my way home, turning north at the General’s statue–the direction of his resentful gaze–on the bank a small tractor pulls a spray tank, scarecrow arms extended. Dandelions no longer mar the view of park lawns from the high-rise apartment building on the opposite shore.

Once upon a time there were such people.

Introduction to a longer poem, and a parable for New Orleans. If you chose someday not to publish the poem because of this post, fine. Return to munching leaves or carrion, after your scaly fashion. Your time will come, too.

Odd Words January 21, 2015

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

& This Thurday at 7 pm Antenna Gallery: THE WAVES presents the New Orleans launch of the anthology The Queer South (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2014). The dream-child of editor Douglas Ray, The Queer South includes poetry and prose by LGBTQ writers who live in or have strong ties to the South. Our stellar lineup of readers includes Sibling Rivalry Press publishers Bryan Borland and Seth Pennington; Louisiana native and nationally celebrated poet Jericho Brown; and many others, including Ken Pobo, Laurence Ross, Foster Noone, Eddie Outlaw, Ellen Goldstein, D. Gilson, Lydia Roux, and Hannah Riddle. THE WAVES founders, Elizabeth Gross and Brad Richard, will host this multifarious extravaganza of queer talent. Maple Street Book Shop will be on-site as the bookseller for the event. For more information visit: http://thewavesreadingseries.wordpress.com/

& AT 6 pm at the Maple Leaf Book Shop features Arthur Hardy will discuss Mardi Gras in New Orleans: An Illustrated History. Written for the casual Carnival observer as well as the veteran Mardi Gras fan, Mardi Gras in New Orleans: An Illustrated History is a concise and comprehensive pictorial account of the celebration. With 325 vintage and contemporary illustrations and 60,000 words of text, the hardbound volume is the ultimate resource on the celebration, past and present. This updated fourth edition features an expanded reference section that provides details on nearly 600 Carnival organizations, including the identities of 5,000 kings and queens.

& Thursday at 7 pm the East Jefferson Regional Library hosts the SciFi, Fantasy and Horror Writer’s Group. The purpose of the group is to encourage local writers to create works of fiction based on science fiction, fantasy and horror themes. Participants submit manuscripts to be critiqued by others in the group. Open to all levels. Free of charge and open to the public. No registration.

& Every Friday The Rhyme Syndicate presents a spoken word open mic at Dish on Haynes Boulevard hosted by Hollywood. Doors at 8. Admission $7, $5 will college ID. Music by DJ XXL.

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

& Most Saturdays at 11:30 am it is Storytime with Miss Maureen at the Maple Street Book Shop. This week she’ll read Mr. Rabbit and the Lovely Present by Charlotte Zolotow, illustrated by Maurice Sendak. Mr. Rabbit helps a little girl find a lovely present for her mother, who is especially fond of red, yellow, green, and blue.

& Every Saturday at 2 pm two-time national champions Slam New Orleans (SNO) multi-part workshop for youth and teens will engage participants with poetry both through hearing it and creating their own.. Team SNO is a community-based organization and home of Team SNO. The team, established in 2008, promotes literacy, creativity and self-expression by urging youth and adults alike to become vocal about what matters to them. This The workshops are supported by Poets & Writers, Inc.

& Sunday at 1 pm Garden District Book Shop hosts From Newton, Einstein, to GOD, Dr.Leong Ying’s family memoir written uniquely in rhyming poetic verses following his history in six chronological parts from his birth in 1961 up to 2012. The book will have readers laughing at his antics when childhood pranks were his specialty in his birthplace of Singapore, and feeling compassion toward his challenges as the only non-white student in Liverpool (UK) where his family emigrated and his struggles with dyslexia and the language-barriers but excelling in numbers and evolving into his groundbreaking scientific research. But it is his writing and scientific research that takes center stage in Dr. Ying’s life, mostly focusing on his exploration of the Twin Universe theory, which combines science and religion to prove the existence of God and answer many of the formerly unknown answers about the world such as Dark Matter and Dark Energy. He developed the Universal Laws of Thermodynamics to prove God’s existence in 2002. A poetic memoir of amazing skill and proportion, From Newton, Einstein, to GOD explores Dr. Ying’s life and journey to utilize science –which he’d formerly applied to deny God’s existence–to reveal the “ultimate godly secrets.” In doing so, he discovers the Twin Universe, a grand cosmic cycle that will have dramatic influence for evolution and humanity to come.

& Monday at 5 pm the Robert E. Smith Library presents a Writing Workshop. “Do you think in verse that could become poetry? Do you imagine characters, dialogue, and scenes? If so, join the Smith Library’s free Creative Writing Workshop. ”

& This Sunday at 3 pm The Maple Leaf Reading Series features an Open Mic.

& Andy Young will read from All Night It is Morning Monday at 7:30 PM at Tulane’s Freeman auditorium. Reception to follow. Free and open to public. Andy Young’s debut poetry collection cuts across geography, politics, language, and culture. Raised in Appalachia, rooted in New Orleans, and now part of an Egyptian/American family with whom she spent the last two years in Cairo, hers is an American perspective that is refreshingly outward-looking. The poems reflect on living life with a foot in both Arabic and Western cultures but reach beyond the personal to inhabit other realms: from a saucy Cleopatra to a coal miner emerging from a mine collapse, from the ruins of post-Katrina New Orleans to the tumultuous events of the Egyptian revolution. Using the aubade, the traditional form of lovers parting at dawn, to anchor the book, Young examines destruction in the wake of storms, wars and revolution, but also at the ways in which we connect within these disasters. These poems exhibit what Daniel Tobin calls “astonishing formal variety,” embracing the lyric, narrative, fragmentary, as well as traditional forms such as the sonnet.

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

& Tuesday at 4:30 pm Octavia Books hosts a Middle Grade Children’s Book event: Dan Gutman’s GENIUS FILES. The wackiest road trip in history comes to an action-packed conclusion in book five of the New York Times bestselling Genius Files series. When we last left our heroes, twins Coke and Pepsi McDonald were in Roswell, New Mexico, and they had just seen a strange beam of light. Now their cross-country road trip is about to take a detour that’s out of this world–literally Once the twins get their feet back on the ground, they embark on the final leg of their trip, which will take them from the Hoover Dam all the way to the Golden Gate Bridge. Chased by nefarious villains, the twins will be trapped with a venomous snake, pushed through a deadly turbine, and thrown into a volcano. And craziest of all, their parents might finally believe them.

& Tuesday at 6 pm the People Say Project launch a new book about New Orleans, Brian Boyles New Orleans Boom & Blackout: One Hundred Days in America’s Coolest Hotspot, published 1/12 by The History Press. The book examines a raucous period in the city’s recent history. From consent decrees to cabbie protests, Carville to Carnival, the run up to Super Bowl XLVII saw New Orleans hustle to meet the approaching national spotlight. The event is at Handsome Willy’s. Things kick off at 6pm. Boyles will read from the book, sign copies and maybe even play some music.

& Tuesday at 6 pm Garden District Book Shop hosts Barry Gifford and The Up-Down, a novel of violence, of love, and introspection, The Up-Down follows a man who leaves home and all that’s familiar, finds true love, loses it, and finds it again. Pace’s voyage is outward, among strangers, and inward into the fifth direction that is the up-down, in a sweeping, voracious human tale that takes no prisoners, witnesses extreme brutalities and expresses a childlike amazement. Here the route goes from New Orleans, to Chicago to Wyoming to Bay St. Clement, North Carolina, but the geography he is charting is always first and foremost unchartable.

& Every Tuesday night get on the list to spit at the longest running spoken word venue in New Orleans at Sweet Lorraine’s Jazz Club hosted by African-American Shakespear. Doors open at 7pm and the Mic pops at 8pm. It is $5 to get in.

& Wednesday at 6 pm Maple Street Book Shop will host both Morgan McCall Molthrop & Ronald Drezto read from and sign their respective books, Andrew Jackson’s Playbook: 15 Strategies for Success and The War of 1812.

  • In Andrew Jackson’s Playbook: 15 Strategies for Success, author Morgan McCall Molthrop examines surprising tactics and innovations that have contributed to the city’s rapid recovery, suggesting that contemporary civic leaders have much in common with U.S. Gen. Andrew Jackson who soundly defeated the “invincible” British Army at the Battle of New Orleans 200 years ago.
  • According to author Ronald J. Drez, the British strategy and the successful defense of New Orleans through the leadership of General Andrew Jackson affirm the serious implications of the battle of New Orleans. Far from being simply an unnecessary epilogue to the War of 1812, this climactic-battle firmly secured for the United States the territory acquired through the Louisiana Purchase.

& Wednesday at 7 pm the East Jefferson Regional Library hosts an Author Event: New Orleans Historic Hotels by Paul Oswell. The hotels of New Orleans have welcomed countless visitors in a history stretching back to the eighteenth century. From humble boardinghouse beginnings to the grand hotels of the nineteenth century and through to the modern properties that stand today, hotel life in New Orleans has reflected the city’s own story. From political scandal and celebrity intrigue to events that shaped the landscape of the entire country, the story of New Orleans’s hotels is an endlessly engaging one. Travel writer Paul Oswell checks into the great hotels of the past and the present, telling the story of the properties that stood the test of time, as well as those that didn’t. Using city records, newspaper archives, vintage travel guides and anecdotal stories in the best New Orleans tradition, he brings each one to life and in the process fleshes out the story of the city’s hospitality industry and, by extension, its lively, fascinating history.

Diary of a Hermit Crab Home Worker January 20, 2015

Posted by The Typist in A Fiction, cryptic envelopment, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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February 26. Covered 172 miles. Cloudy sky, grey sea. Nothingness.

February 27, Covered 94 miles. Blue sky, blue sea. Nothingness.

– Log entries from Bernard Moitessier’s The Long Way

[Loop: Marlboro Theme Song Performed by the Incredible String Band} January 15, 2015

Posted by The Typist in A Fiction, cryptic envelopment, Dancing Bear, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Odd, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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After a long day, toss all those hours of staring at cryptic test cases written by people with marginal English language skills who are clearly feasting on brownies they are not sharing with you into the back of your pickup, spit on your hands, and crawl behind the wheel with a Frosty 40 of Tree Frog. Peel out, spreading gravel and greenhouse gasses everywhere, Adolph’s mountains spewing spring water in the background while the swine soar on the katabatic drafts and the eagles squeal as the winds flatten their pens. It’s Syd Barrett Time.

Odd Words January 15, 2015

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

The Kenner Branch library will be closed all this week for renovations.

&Thursday at 6 pm Garden District Book Shop hosts Brian Boyles’s and New Orleans Boom and Blackout: One Hundred Days in America’s Coolest Hot Spot. As the 2013 Super Bowl approached, New Orleans rushed to present its best face to the world. Politicians, business leaders and tourism officials declared the rise of the “new New Orleans,” a thriving city brimming with hope and energy. But as the spotlight neared, old conflicts and fresh controversies complicated the branding. The preparations revealed the strains of the post-Katrina recovery and the contrasts of the heralded renaissance. The watershed moment culminated in darkness when the lights went out in the Superdome. In a stunning portrait of the breathless hundred days before the game, author Brian W. Boyles unearths the conflicts, ambitions, and secret histories that defined the city as it prepared for Super Bowl XLVII.

& Also on Thursday at 6 pm Octavia Books hoss a reading and signing with New Orleans author Bill Loehfelm featuring his new book, DOING THE DEVIL’S WORK, A gripping third chapter for one of the most unforgettable and compelling heroines in crime fiction. In honor of Bill, Octavia Books will donate a portion of your purchase of DOING THE DEVIL’S WORK to The Roots of Music. (He refers to them in the book!) Also, a group of drummers will play a few cadences at the start of the evening, so get here! Maureen Coughlin is a bona fide New Orleans cop now, and, with her training days behind her, she likes to think she’s getting the lay of the land. Then a mysterious corpse leads to more questions than answers, and a late-night traffic stop goes very wrong. The fallout leaves Maureen contending with troubled friends, fraying loyalties, cop-hating enemies old and new, and an elusive, spectral, and murderous new nemesis—and all the while navigating the twists and turns of a city and a police department infected with dysfunction and corruption.

& This Thursday also brings All People Open Mic Poetry Circle at 6:30 Mingling, Refreshments (BYOBeverage and food to share if you’d like) and Signing In, 7-9 PM Open Mic Alternating Hosts. No featured readers, No book signings. All People, all the time.

& Thursday at 7 pm the East Jefferson Library hosts a Poetry Event: Peter Cooley Introduces . . . Meena Young. Young is the co-editor of Meena, a bilingual Arabic-English literary journal. She teaches Creative Writing at New Orleans Center for Creative Arts. Her work was recently featured on National Public Radio’s “The World” and published in Best New Poets 2009, Callaloo, Guernica, and Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia & Beyond. Her work has also appeared in electronic music, buses in Santa Fe, flamenco productions, jewelry designs by Jeanine Payer, and a tattoo parlor in Berlin. Cooley also will read from his work. His eight books of poetry, all with Carnegie Mellon University Press, are The Company of Strangers, The Room Where Summer Ends, Nightseasons, The Van Gogh Notebook, The Astonished Hours, Sacred Conversations, A Place Made of Starlight, and, most recently, Divine Margins. The poems featured here are included in the manuscript of his next book, The Night Bus To The Afterlife. Other poems are forthcoming or have recently appeared in Boulevard, Hotel Amerika, Commonweal, American Literary Review and The Literary Review. His most recent book of poetry is titled Night Bus to the Afterlife.

& Thursday at 7 pm the Mid-City Library hosts Ron Chapman discussing his new book The Battle of New Orleans: “But for a Piece of Wood”. His visit coincides with the bicentennial of the Battle of New Orleans.

& This Friday the LA/MS Region for the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators meets in New Orleans. SCBWI Meeting 1/17 at UNO Bicentennial Educ. Bldg., Founders Road, Room 305Q (across from The Cove). 1:30 Nina Kooij, Editor-in-Chief, Pelican Publishing Co.; 2:30 – 4:30 Critique Meeting. More info at louisianamississippi.scbwi.org

& Every Friday The Rhyme Syndicate presents a spoken word open mic at Dish on Haynes Boulevard hosted by Hollywood. Doors at 8. Admission $7, $5 will college ID. Music by DJ XXL.

& Friday the FREEDOM WRITING for WOMEN OF COLOR (NEW ORLEANS) group meets at Who Dat Coffee Cafe from 7 pm to 10 p.m.

& Every Saturday at 2 pm two-time national champions Slam New Orleans (SNO) multi-part workshop for youth and teens will engage participants with poetry both through hearing it and creating their own.. Team SNO is a community-based organization and home of Team SNO. The team, established in 2008, promotes literacy, creativity and self-expression by urging youth and adults alike to become vocal about what matters to them. This The workshops are supported by Poets & Writers, Inc.

& Saturday at 11:30 am its Storytime with Miss Maureen. This week she’ll read Unicorn Thinks He’s Pretty Great, written and illustrated by Bob Shea. Ever since Unicorn moved into the neighborhood, Goat has been feeling out of sorts. Goat thought his bike was cool-until he saw that Unicorn could fly to school! Goat made marshmallow squares that almost came out right, but Unicorn made it rain cupcakes! Unicorn is such a show-off, how can Goat compete? When Goat and Unicorn share a piece of pizza, Goat learns that being a unicorn might not be all it’s cracked up to be. And when Unicorn shows his admiration for Goat, it looks like the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

& Saturday at 6 pm Octavia Books hosts fun, literature, nursery rhymes, and cocktails when the fabulous Tim Federle whoops it up (and signs) his two hilarious cocktail books. Tequila Mockingbird is the ultimate cocktail book for the literary obsessed. Featuring 65 delicious drink recipes-paired with wry commentary on history’s most beloved novels-the book also includes bar bites, drinking games, and whimsical illustrations throughout. Even if you don’t have a B.A. in English, tonight you’re gonna drink like you do. Drinks include: The Pitcher of Dorian Grey Goose, The Last of the Mojitos, Love in the Time of Kahlúa, Romeo and Julep, A Rum of One’s Own, Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margarita, Vermouth the Bell Tolls, and more! Federle will also sign HICKORY DAIQUIRI DOCK: Cocktails with a Nursery Rhyme Twist. Congratulations, and welcome to parenthood! Babies are a miracle, but even miracles poop. A lot. Thank goodness she’s got your twinkling eyes, he’s got your perfect nose, and we’ve got your aching back. Welcome to “Hickory Daiquiri Dock: Cocktails with a Nursery Rhyme Twist”–the ultimate gift for new parents everywhere. Featuring 20 classic nursery rhymes with a decidedly grown-up twist, it’s time to lose the rattle, pick up a shaker, and throw yourself an extremely quiet party. Especially if you’ve finally gotten the baby to sleep, which is always worth toasting to. Drinks include: Eeny, Martini, Miny, Mo, Jack and Coke (and Jill), Ring Around the Rose, Old MacDonald Had a Flask, Baa, Baa, Black Russian and more.

& This Sunday at 3 pm The Maple Leaf Reading Series features an Open Mic.

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

& Tuesday at 6 pm Octavia Books features a presentation & signing with Lee A. Farrow celebrating the release of ALEXIS in AMERICA: A Russian Grand Duke’s Tour, 1871-1872. In the autumn of 1871, Alexis Romanov, the fourth son of Tsar Alexander II of Russia, set sail from his homeland for an extended journey through the United States and Canada. A major milestone in U.S.–Russia relations, the tour also served Duke Alexis’s family by helping to extricate him from an unsuitable romantic entanglement with the daughter of a poet. Alexis in America recounts the duke’s progress through the major American cities, detailing his meetings with celebrated figures such as Samuel Morse and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and describing the national self-reflection that his presence spurred in the American people

& Every Tuesday night get on the list to spit at the longest running spoken word venue in New Orleans at Sweet Lorraine’s Jazz Club hosted by African-American Shakespear. Doors open at 7pm and the Mic pops at 8pm. It is $5 to get in.

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

Wednesday Maple Street Book Shop host a night of poetry and prose with Lavender Ink and Dialogos Books, Wednesday, January 21st, at 6PM! Ralph Adamo, Andy Young, & Jonathan Kline will read.

  • Andy Young’s debut poetry collection, All Night It is Morning ($16) cuts across geography, politics, language, and culture. Raised in Appalachia, rooted in New Orleans, and now part of an Egyptian/American family with whom she spent the last two years in Cairo, hers is an American perspective that is refreshingly outward-looking. The poems reflect on living life with a foot in both Arabic and Western cultures but reach beyond the personal to inhabit other realms: from a saucy Cleopatra to a coal miner emerging from a mine collapse, from the ruins of post-Katrina New Orleans to the tumultuous events of the Egyptian revolution.
  • Ralph Adamo’s Ever ($16) is a collection of poems begun at the turn of the 21st century, composed and revised through the beginning of 2013. In this, his 7th collection, he writes about and through wars, hurricanes, issues as common and profound as work and time, and endurance of every sort. He writes as well as about becoming a father after age 50 and raising two children in a time of transition and conflict. The patterns and forms of these poems vary from tightly controlled couplets through prose poetry and various experimental turns of language. At times painfully lucid, at times opaque, often simultaneously personal and universal, Adamo’s poems seek that most elusive goal: truth as far as language can pursue it, and while truth may remain unfathomable and inexpressible, these poems never waver in their seeking.
  • Jonathan Kline’s The Wisdom of Ashes ($15) is a web of stories connecting two poets, a nun, a black and white dog, and a huge red balloon to a heroin addict, the devil, the dead, and a mousy little man in a woman’s wool overcoat, in New Orleans in the early 1980s. In 44 moments, this novel weaves light and dark, memory and forgetting, madness and war, with the smell of jasmine and the sound of cicadas in a walk along the levee.

& Wednesday at 6 pm Garden District Book Shops features Andra Watkins’s Not Without My Father: One Woman’s 444-Mile Walk of the Natchez Trace. Can an epic adventure succeed without a hero? Andra Watkins needed a wingman to help her become the first living person to walk the historic 444-mile Natchez Trace as the pioneers did. She planned to walk fifteen miles a day. For thirty-four days. After striking out with everyone in her life, she was left with her disinterested eighty-year-old father. And his gas. The sleep apnea machine and self-scratching. Sharing a bathroom with a man whose gut obliterated his aim.
As Watkins trudged America’s forgotten highway, she lost herself in despair and pain. Nothing happened according to plan, and her tenuous connection to her father started to unravel. Through arguments and laughter, tears and fried chicken, they fought to rebuild their relationship before it was too late. In Not Without My Father: One Woman’s 444-Mile Walk of the Natchez Trace, Watkins invites readers to join her dysfunctional family adventure in a humorous and heartbreaking memoir that asks if one can really turn I wish I had into I’m glad I did.

& Wednesday at 7 pm the East Jefferson Regional Library hosts an Author Event: Southern Ladies and Suffragists, by Miki Pfeffer. Women from all over the country came to New Orleans in 1884 for the Woman’s Department of the Cotton Centennial Exposition, that portion of the World’s Fair exhibition devoted to the celebration of women’s affairs and industry. Their conversations and interactions played out as a drama of personalities and sectionalism at a transitional moment in the history of the nation. These women planted seeds at the Exposition that would have otherwise taken decades to drift southward. This book chronicles the successes and setbacks of a lively cast of post-bellum women in the first Woman’s Department at a world’s fair in the Deep South. From a wide range of primary documents, Miki Pfeffer recreates the sounds and sights of 1884 New Orleans after Civil War and Reconstruction. She focuses on how difficult unity was to achieve, even when diverse women professed a common goal. Such celebrities as Julia Ward Howe and Susan B. Anthony brought national debates on women’s issues to the South for the first time, and journalists and ordinary women reacted. At the World’s Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition, the Woman’s Department became a petri dish where cultures clashed but where women from across the country exchanged views on propriety, jobs, education, and suffrage. Pfeffer memorializes women’s exhibits of handwork, literary and scientific endeavors, inventions, and professions, but she proposes that the real impact of the six-month long event was a shift in women’s self-conceptions of their public and political lives. For those New Orleans ladies who were ready to seize the opportunity of this uncommon forum, the Woman’s Department offered a future that they had barely imagined.

Googlizing Chaucer January 11, 2015

Posted by The Typist in Odd Words, The Odd, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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A Googlization:

When the top thrill is with his shores shoot the drop of march have to use it to the roots and bad it everyday in the inspection cool down a with the 2 engine dude is the new were windsor forest with his sweet degrees inspired houston every houghton he’s the tender crap is in the youngest son the house in the damages have a seat on the small follows making melody that sleep with all the night with open ye so cricket him nature is courage is that long getting folk to go on pilgrimage is and the polymers for 2 seconds strangest on the phone all screwed in sundry longs and specially from every cheers end of England to come to Daddy they will and the holy blissful market for to seek for them have opened. One that they were sick just fill that in the season on the day in South look at the tall bottle as I lay ready to wind in on my pilgrimage to Canterbury with full devote caraj at night was comin into that Austin very well nine and twenty in a company year of somebody folk buy a venture follow in fellowship and pilgrims were they all that towards Canterbury woods and ride the tram but as in the stables what it in wide and well aware wedding exit off the Beast and shortly when the Sun was the to rest so how do I spoken with him ever return that I was out of here federal ship on on and made forward early for to rise to take our way there as it all divisor,

The Taste of Carnations January 9, 2015

Posted by The Typist in cryptic envelopment, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Odd, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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Tonight of all nights I would hear the saddest songs.

This wine of the Alicante,
dark as blood spilt by night,
sharp as flint, a spark
in the sparkle with the savor
of must fresh from dusty feet
walked hard and long buried.

I would taste carnations
fed with the blood of bulls.

Tonight I would hear the saddest songs
because joy is a wind
that blows hot and cold
but sadness outlasts empires.

Odd Words January 7, 2015

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

& Thursday at 6 pm Octavia Books hosts an evening with acclaimed cartoonist Ben Katchor when he comes to Octavia Books to give a reading with slideshow presentation featuring his latest book, HAND DRYING IN AMERICA And Other Stories. From one of the most original and imaginative American cartoonists at work today comes a collection of graphic narratives on the subjects of urban planning, product design, and architecture—a surrealist handbook for the rebuilding of society in the twenty-first century.

& At Garden District Books Shop at 6 pm Thursday meet Stuart Smith, author of Crude Justice: How I Fought Big Oil and Won, and What You Should Know About the New Environmental Attack on America.One day in the small Mississippi town of Laurel, a 26-year-old expectant mom named Karen Street sat down at the edge of her bathtub—and felt her hip split in two. The episode was so bizarre it wasn’t until later, after she saw the doctor, that she realized her bone disease was almost certainly linked to her father-in-law’s business. Winston Street ran a machine shop that drilled the gunk out of pipes used by Chevron, Shell and other giants of the oil industry—creating a white powder that covered Karen Street’s husband’s overalls every night, which then landed in their vegetable garden…and was highly radioactive. Winston Street didn’t know the dust was poisonous, nor did his workers or his family. But someone did know. Indeed, there was evidence that America’s Big Oil companies were aware for decades that they were pulling up radium from under the earth, poisoning yards like Street’s while dumping radioactive water in unlined pits across the South. Now, to prove that and win justice for his blue-collar clients, an untested young lawyer named Stuart H. Smith and his eccentric team would have to get the better of America’s best-known radiation attorney and the global clout of Chevron inside a Mississippi courtroom.

& At 7 pm Thursday the East Jefferson Regional Library hosts the biweekly SciFi, Fantasy and Horror Writer’s Group. The purpose of the group is to encourage local writers to create works of fiction based on science fiction, fantasy and horror themes. Participants submit manuscripts to be critiqued by others in the group. Open to all levels. Free of charge and open to the public. No registration.

& Every Friday The Rhyme Syndicate presents a spoken word open mic at Dish on Haynes Boulevard hosted by Hollywood. Doors at 8. Admission $7, $5 will college ID. Music by DJ XXL.

& Starting Friday Tubby and Coo’s Mid-City Book Shop will host a raft of readings at Booth 421 at this weekend’s Comic Con, starting with:

  • BILL LOEHFELM signing his new mystery set in New Orleans, DOING THE DEVIL’S WORK, at Tubby and Coo’s Mid-City Book Shop . This is the third book in the Maureen Coughlin series and is an “Indie Next” pick for the month of January. Bill will be signing on Friday, Jan. 9 from 5-6 PM, Saturday, Jan. 10 from 4-5 PM, and Sunday, Jan. 11 from 2-3 PM.
  • ALYS ARDEN will sign THE CASQUETTE GIRLS, a horror/fantasy novel set in New Orleans where a teenage girl releases a hurricane of 18th century myths and monsters on the city. She will be signing on Friday, Jan. 9 from 6-7 PM, Saturday, Jan. 10 from 5-6 PM, and Sunday, Jan. 11 from 12-1 PM. /li>
  • J. L. MULVIHILL signs her new release CROSSINGS, a sequel to THE BOXCAR BABY, part of the Steel Roots series, told in an alternate steampunk dystopian world. She will sign on Saturday, Jan. 10 from 2-3 PM and Sunday, Jan. 11 from 11 AM – 12 PM.
  • DAWN CHARTIER signs her newest release, BEWITCHING THE ENEMY, a paranormal romance featuring witches, evil warlocks, and a hot doctor, set in New Orleans. Dawn will sign on Saturday, Jan. 10 and Sunday, Jan. 11 from 1-2 PM.
  • MOIRA CRONE signs her dystopian, sci-fi, set in New Orleans, novel THE NOT YET, which was a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist in 2012. Moira will sign on Saturday, Jan. 10 from 3-4 PM; and,
  • GREG HERREN signs his newest books, MURDER IN THE ARTS DISTRICT (A Chanse MacLeod Mystery) set in New Orleans, and DARK TIDE, a YA mystery set in Alabama on the Gulf Coast. Greg will sign on Saturday, Jan. 10 from 12-1 PM.

& Friday the FREEDOM WRITING for WOMEN OF COLOR (NEW ORLEANS) group meets at Who Dat Coffee Cafe from 7 pm to 10 p.m.

& Saturday at 11:30 am its Storytime with Miss Maureen. This Saturday she’ll read Shh! We Have a Plan by Chris Haughton. From the creator of Little Owl Lost and Oh No, George! comes a funny, strikingly illustrated story of best-laid plans — and the secret to attracting the birdie. Four friends creep through the woods, and what do they spot? An exquisite bird high in a tree! “Hello birdie,” waves one. “Shh! We have a plan,” hush the others. They stealthily make their advance, nets in the air. Ready one, ready two, ready three, and go! But as one comically foiled plan follows another, it soon becomes clear that their quiet, observant companion, hand outstretched, has a far better idea. Award-winning author-illustrator Chris Haughton is back with another simple, satisfying story whose visual humor plays out in boldly graphic, vibrantly colorful illustrations.

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

& Saturday at 1:30 pm meet the little mouse Santi at Garden District Book Shop. He may be small, but he has a big dream! This beautifully illustrated story explores one of the most important aspects of a child’s life, the search for identity. Santi wants to be a cat, and even though all the other mice laugh at him, he follows his dream. This timeless story ends with a whimsical twist as Santi learns a valuable lesson about self-determination while also learning he is not the only dreamer! David Eugene Ray signs his book, The Little Mouse Santi.

& At 2 pm the Alvar Library hosts Youth Poetry Workshops with SLAM New Orleans. Slam New Orleans (SNO) is a community-based organization and home of Team SNO. The team, established in 2008, promotes literacy, creativity and self-expression by urging youth and adults alike to become vocal about what matters to them. This multi-part workshop for youth and teens will engage participants with poetry both through hearing it and creating their own. The workshops are supported by Poets & Writers, Inc.

& The Dickens Fellowship of New Orleans January meeting will be Saturday from 2-4 pm at Metairie Park Country Day School’s Bright Library. The program is WHAT: JANUARY MEETING at Metairie Park Country Day School’s Bright Library. PROGRAM: Bleak House, Chapters 23-35, book discussion. This represents two sessions worth of reading due to the Christmas party. Meetings are held September through May, reading one of the works of Charles Dickens each year. The meetings include book discussions, movie versions of the novel, and lectures by Dickens scholars. This year’s book is BLEAK HOUSE. Dues are $25/person (couples $40) payable in September.

& At 3 pm POCCAC – Poets of Color and Culture – meets (every other Saturday) at BlackStar Books and Caffe. POCCAC is dedicated to making space for people of color in New Orleans to write together about their common and varied experiences. A more complete mission statement to be formulated collectively as the writing circle grows and evolves.

& This Sunday at 3 pm The Maple Leaf Reading Series features an Open Mic.

& Monday the East New Orleans Regional Library features New Orleans Spoken Word Artists presenting workshops that include poetry writing and performance, with the goal of building community through writing and strengthening students’ written and verbal communication skills.

& At the Robert E. Smith Library at 5 pm hosts a Creative Writing Workshop. Do you think in verse that could become poetry? Do you imagine characters, dialogue, and scenes? If so, join the Smith Library’s free Creative Writing Workshop.

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

& Tuesday at 6:30 pm brings an Author Night at Hubbell Library: New Orleans Historic Hotels. Author Paul Oswell will discuss his new book on the old hotels of New Orleans.

& At 7 pm Tuesday The Alvar Library’s Alvar Arts presents an Author Reading by Andy Young.

& Every Tuesday night get on the list to spit at the longest running spoken word venue in New Orleans at Sweet Lorraine’s Jazz Club hosted by African-American Shakespear. Doors open at 7pm and the Mic pops at 8pm. It is $5 to get in.

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

& Wednesday at 7 pm the East Jefferson Regional Library hosts an Author Event: Mardi Gras in New Orleans, by Arthur Hardy. Written for the casual Carnival observer as well as the veteran Mardi Gras fan, Mardi Gras in New Orleans: An Illustrated History is a comprehensive pictorial account of the celebration from ancient times in Europe to post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans. The book contains more than 350 vintage and contemporary illustrations and 60,000 words of text. The volume includes a complete dictionary of terms and Mardi Gras Q & A— answers to the most frequently asked questions. This updated 5th edition features an expanded reference section that provides details on hundreds of Carnival organizations, including the identities of more than 5,000 kings and queens. Hardy is a nationally recognized authority on Mardi Gras in New Orleans. This fifth-generation New Orleanian has been seen on local television in New Orleans since 1987. Since 1977, his award-winning “Mardi Gras Guide” magazine has sold nearly two million copies to subscribers in all 50 states and 27 foreign countries. BYO King Cake.

Odd Words January 1, 2015

Posted by The Typist in authors, book-signing, books, Indie Book Shops, literature, New Orleans, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, Toulouse Street.
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This quiet holiday week in literary New Orleans (Christmas isn’t over until 12th Night, you know, and then: Carnival):

& Every Friday The Rhyme Syndicate presents a spoken word open mic at Dish on Haynes Boulevard hosted by Hollywood. Doors at 8. Admission $7, $5 will college ID. Music by DJ XXL.

& Saturday brings the first Poetry Buffet of 2015: Wringing Out the Old/Ringing in the New to the Latter Memorial Library at 2 pm. Organizer poet Gina Ferrara invites local poets to come read a poem that’s old or that’s new.

& At 3 pm POCCAC – Poets of Color and Culture – meets (every other Saturday) at BlackStar Books and Caffe. POCCAC is dedicated to making space for people of color in New Orleans to write together about their common and varied experiences. A more complete mission statement to be formulated collectively as the writing circle grows and evolves.

& This Sunday at 3 pm The Maple Leaf Reading Series features an Open Mic.

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

& The First Tuesday Book Club will meet at 5:45PM, Tuesday at Maple Street Book Shop, to discuss Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel. Newcomers are always welcome!

& At 6 pm Garden District Book Shop features Bill Loehfelm and Doing the Devil’s Work. Bill Loehfelm is a rising star in crime fiction. And his Maureen Coughlin is the perfect protagonist: complicated, strong-willed, sympathetic (except when she’s not), and as fully realized in Loehfelm’s extraordinary portrayal as the New Orleans she patrols. The first two installments in this series won Loehfelm accolades as well as fans, and Doing the Devil’s Work only ups the ante. It’s even faster, sharper, and more thrilling than its predecessors. Taut and fiery, vibrant and gritty, and peopled with unforgettable characters, this is the sinuous, provocative story of a good cop struggling painfully into her own.

& At 7 pm Tuesday the East Jefferson Regional Library hosts an Author Event featuring Andrew Jackson’s Playbook, by Morgan Molthrop. The book centers around Jackson’s strategies in bringing a diverse group of Creoles, free people of color, pirates, Tennessee militiamen, Choctaw Indians and Kaintucks (about 3,000 in total) to defeat a disciplined army of more than 10,000 British troops. “The victory was as important – and miraculous – as the recovery of the city after Katrina,” Molthrop said in a recent interview with BBC Record London. “As we approach the 10th anniversary of Katrina, one can’t help make comparisons between the strategies used by Jackson 200 years ago and those used by contemporary civic and cultural leaders over the past decade.”

& Every Tuesday night get on the list to spit at the longest running spoken word venue in New Orleans at Sweet Lorraine’s Jazz Club hosted by African-American Shakespear. Doors open at 7pm and the Mic pops at 8pm. It is $5 to get in.

& Wednesday at 8 pm at the Allways Esoterotica’s local provocateurs are doing it again: bringing you the absolute best of what was performed our stage from last year at our Sexiest Selections of 2014

Knife Switch December 31, 2014

Posted by The Typist in A Fiction, cryptic envelopment, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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Or, The ritualistic use of tobacco and whiskey in modulating irregularities in pharmacologically induced states of a socially integrated and productive equilibrium perceived by the subject as happiness.

Z-z-z-z-z-Zap. The knife switch (sparks optional). Too drowsy to read at 8:30 p.m. Prisoner-in-the-spotlight wide awake at 10:30 p.m. mad-scientist

One whiskey, two whiskeys, three whiskeys, snore. The addition of Buproprion to an SSRI regimen to combat a lethargy born of a crisis in the ability to give a fuck is not indicated if significant sleep disturbances occur. Such disturbances lead to a reliance on coffee (praised be its name) to overcome the loss of sleep resulting in an aggravation in sleep disturbances. Don’t drink so much coffee is not included in the detailed, agate-type instructions and cautions.

Socially integrated. Forget Integration of the Self, the once Holy Grail attainable by psychotherapy or a whispered, $300 personal mantra.

‘Selfhood’ or complete autonomy is a common Western approach to psychology and models of self are employed constantly in areas such as psychotherapy and self-help. Edward E. Sampson (1989) argues that the preoccupation with independence is harmful in that it creates racial, sexual and national divides and does not allow for observation of the self-in-other and other-in-self.

The very notion of selfhood has been attacked on the grounds that it is seen as necessary for the mechanisms of advanced capitalism to function. In Inventing our selves: Psychology, power, and personhood, Nikolas Rose (1998) proposes that psychology is now employed as a technology that allows humans to buy into an invented and arguably false sense of self. In this way, ‘Foucault’s theories of self have been extensively developed by Rose to explore techniques of governance via self-formation…the self has to become an enterprising subject, acquiring cultural capital in order to gain employment’,[23] thus contributing to self-exploitation.

Integration, then, into what? My current state of disintegration–indicated by the inability to give a fuck, by anti-social tendencies bordering on agoraphobia relieved only by occasional atavistic, narcissistic forays into barflyism–is unlikely to be relieved by anything short of a trip to Room 101. Some breakthrough is required but in my current state of disinsurance it will have to be a breakthrough of my own making.

There are a million doors in the naked city, exterior and interior, almost all of them painted in a uniform palette of whites . How then to find the one that may be opened by the application of the correct bottle (larger or smaller), by incantation (Speak, Friend) or by kicking the fucker down? What lies beyond it, in the magical land where old dogs learn new tricks? (Everybody’s going to be happy/That means you and me, my love). Or is consideration of this possibility simply another trap set by society to keep us moving along (nothing to see here; you’ll be late for work), a new flavor of savior on a stick?

In the event of an emergency, are you able to fill in the blank seat-back card in the pocket in front of you and execute what you have written?

Enter Title Here December 27, 2014

Posted by The Typist in cryptic envelopment, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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Some days demand nothing, not a vacuum but an absence of structure. At the holidays in particular there comes a point where a day of aimless amble, perhaps a ramble through Cansecos for a few necessities; all the chores stored up for this expensive long weekend started but left unfinished, at least for today. It is raining. There is a hangover involved, and out too late mesmerized past sense by music. I slept until one, my careful attention to keeping myself on a reasonable schedule when I must get up at 6:30 a.m. most days but have no office where I must appear except as an icon on a screen; that’s shot all to hell. That is where the nothing began: nothing as tangible as the sink of dirty dishes or stepping over the scattered winter clothes on my floor but an abstraction, a one not a zero or a two. A nice, round number, admimiting no possibility of the computation of an endless irrationality. I debated coffee versus pillow, a day of black emptiness but decided I ought to try to get back on something like Corporate Standard Time. The house cleaning I began to late yesterday (as I lingered over a book I wanted to finish) can wait. I might file a few of the carefully stacked papers, clean off the kitchen table, pass a Swiffer over the freshly mopped floor where I spilled coffee grinds this morning. Or I might not. I have other books to linger over. The grey overcast is a lullaby of listlessness, relieved only by the pool of lamplight at the couch. A new book, the Kinks anthology I received for Xmas, grown children who do not demand to be taken out into the snow or to the theater for some Xmas release, no demand to make Barbie talk or battle to conquer the Pokemon universe. Those days are long behind me. Nothing ventured, nothing gained: nothing true about that statement. A careful review of the mix of “See My Friends” by headphones, the new book of poetry from the book club I just rejoined. Nothing ventured, something gained: composure, an easing of the infernal spring inside my head, yesterday’s escape from Beckett’s The Unamable, my own compelling or distracting voices stilled by the overwhelming presence of the narrator’s voices. The only voice today is recognizably my own, relaxed enough for the first time in uncountable time to simply share my thoughts here, the pinnacle of the day. That and perhaps a piece of pie.

The Unnamable December 26, 2014

Posted by The Typist in cryptic envelopment, literature, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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Three Novels: Molloy / Malone Dies / The UnnamableThree Novels: Molloy / Malone Dies / The Unnamable by Samuel Beckett
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Malloy? By all means yes. Malone Dies? Unquestionably. Read it soon. The Unnamable, well, unless you recognize that voice, unless that voice of imagination and uncertainty, curiosity and fear is unceasing in your head, that voice springs out of your dreams and into full stream the moment you awake, then proceed with caution. This way madness lies. If the narrator stills your own voice, replaces you own neurotic fantasy dystopia with The Unnameable, bringing with it the calm of insomniac familiarity, strengthens your resolve to not surrender to the utter certainty of despair, this last book may, perhaps, but not certainly (one can never be certain) be suitable for you.

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Odd Words December 26, 2014

Posted by The Typist in books, Indie Book Shops, library, literature, New Orleans, NOLA, Odd Words, Poetry, publishing, Toulouse Street.
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This quiet holiday week in literary New Orleans:

& Thursday at 6:30 pm the Jefferson Parish East Bank Regional Library hosts The Fiction Writers’ Group is a support group for serious writers of fiction. The group does not focus on poetry, essays or nonfiction. Events consist of critique sessions from group members, author talks and writing exercises. Free of charge and open to the public. Registration is not required.

& Every Friday The Rhyme Syndicate presents a spoken word open mic at Dish on Haynes Boulevard hosted by Hollywood. Doors at 8. Admission $7, $5 will college ID. Music by DJ XXL.

& This Sunday at 3 pm The Maple Leaf Reading Series features an Open Mic.

& Monday at 5:30 pm the Robert E. Smith branch of the New Orleans Pubic Library hosts a free and open creative writing workshop.

& At 7 pm the Latter Memorial Library features local author Carolyn Kolb discusses her latest book New Orleans Memories: One Writer’s City.

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

& Every Tuesday night get on the list to spit at the longest running spoken word venue in New Orleans at Sweet Lorraine’s Jazz Club hosted by African-American Shakespear. Doors open at 7pm and the Mic pops at 8pm. It is $5 to get in.

You’ll Blow Your Ears Out! December 25, 2014

Posted by The Typist in Toulouse Street.
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A Child’s Christmas in Wales December 25, 2014

Posted by The Typist in cryptic envelopment, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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Coal is Good December 24, 2014

Posted by The Typist in A Fiction, cryptic envelopment, Fortin Street, New Orleans, NOLA, The Narrative, The Odd, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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The NOLA Bloggers battle of Bad Xmas Videos drags on is far behind us, but a contender on Facebook comes out of nowhere "swinging", and a dark sense of foreboding settles over the trenches like a dusting of snow. Since Laibach seems to still be working on the Final Mix of the increasingly apocryphal A Very Fascist Xmas, we'll have to settle for this. It starts out with the voice of a tortured soul signing a recognizable carol then swells up into something profoundly disturbing. What is Odd is that this is structured around an actual carol. These people make Korn doing Jingle Bells sound like the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing Happy Birthday Jesus. The part where it sounds like wolves are tearing the band apart at around 2:30 is particularly unsettling. If you make it all the way through this you are deeply disturbed. I have to go now and sacrifice a small goat to The Horne'd One In the Dark Forest wrap presents.

Matthew 25:40 December 24, 2014

Posted by The Typist in cryptic envelopment, New Orleans, NOLA, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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The old version of A Junkie’s Christmas has been taken down from YouTube due to multiple copyright violations by the poster, and the new one cannot be embedded here because there is no commercial partnership between WordPress and YouTube.

I think this perfectly embodies the entwined spirits of modern Capitalism and Xianism.

The video can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6kHN92Yv48

If you wish to keep X in your Xmas, there are still shopping hours left to get yourself a whip and drive the cashiers out of the nearest department store.

Odd Words December 17, 2014

Posted by The Typist in Book Stores, books, bookstores, Indie Book Shops, literature, New Orleans, NOLA, Odd Words, Poetry, Toulouse Street.
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This week in literary New Orleans at least one list is getting shorter. Your’s could get shorter, too; just stop by one of your locally-owned, independent bookstores. Just because B&N is close to Lakeside doesn’t mean you have to shop there.

& Thursday at 5:30 pm Tubby & Coo’s Mid-City Book Shop hosts Mamie Gasperecz, Executive Director of Hermann-Grima + Gallier Historic Houses, presents Luxury, Inequity & Yellow Fever: Living Legacies and the Story of Old New Orleans. The book pairs majestic photographs of the Hermann-Grima and Gallier Historic Houses with captivating historic accounts, offering us a direct connection to the turbulent times of New Orleans’ Golden Age. The new book by acclaimed photographer and author, Kerri McCaffety, features 152 pages of beautiful photographs and intriguing history that reveal intricate details about 19th century New Orleans—a time of wealth, romance, slavery, hurricanes and disease. In addition to the Hermann, Grima and Gallier families, McCaffety explores the lives of many who passed through these noteworthy homes, including slaves, Free People of Color, the ladies of The Woman’s Exchange and those currently keeping the legacy of the houses alive.

& Thursday at 6 pm brings the All People Open Mic Poetry Circle at Playhouse NOLA, 3124 Burgundy Street. 6-7 Mingling, Refreshments (BYOBeverage and food to share if you’d like) and Signing In. 7-10 PM Open Mic Alternating Hosts. No featured readers, No book signings. All People, all the time ! Contact POETRYPROCESS@gmail.com for more information..

& Thursday at 6 pm the Jefferson Parish East Bank Regional Library hosts the Sci-Fi Writing Group. James Butler, a writer of science fiction and fantasy (especially steampunk), leads a workshop to encourage the creation of these genres by local authors. Open to all levels. Free of charge and open to the public. No registration

& Thursday at 7:30 the Love Lost Lounge hosts a Performance of Galway Kinnell’s Book of Nightmares, rare performance of Kinnell’s 10 poem cycle and tribute to a great American Poet 1927-2014. For his 1982 Selected Poems he won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry[1] and split the National Book Award for Poetry with Charles Wright.[2] From 1989 to 1993 he was poet laureate for the state of Vermont.

& Every Friday The Rhyme Syndicate presents a spoken word open mic at Dish on Haynes Boulevard hosted by Hollywood. Doors at 8. Admission $7, $5 will college ID. Music by DJ XXL.

& Saturday at 7 pm Andy Young and Khaled Hegazzi celebrate Andy’s poetry collection, All Night It Is Morning, (Lavender Ink / Diálogos Press), with an evening of wine, Egyptian food and poetry (not necessarily in that order) at Faubourg Wines.

& This Sunday at 3 pm The Maple Leaf Reading Series features an Open Mic.

& At Octavia Books Sunday at 3 pm there will be a a signing with E2 – photographers Elizabeth Kleinveld & Epaul Julien – featuring IN EMPATHY WE TRUST. This unbound boxed book includes twenty of the world’s most iconic art images – such as Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring; Rembrandt’s Jewish Bride; and Whistler’s Mother – remade with a photographer’s twist.

& At 7 pm Sunday oin José Torres-Tam,a for the final performance reading of the year to celebrate his debut book of poetry “Immigrant Dreams & Alien Nightmares” at the cozy Faubourg Marigny Art & Books, at 600 Frenchmen Street.

& Monday at 5 pm Tubby & Coo’s Mid-City Book Shop hosts a listening party for the premier of Neil Gaiman’s Good Omens on BBC Radio We’ll provide some snacks and drinks and listen to the radio old school. While you’re in, if you’re a Neil Gaiman fan, pick up your copy of The Ocean at the End of the Lane so we can win a signing from Neil himself!

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

& Tina Freeman, whose photographers grace the pages of ARTIST SPACES, will be on hand at Octavia Books to sign and/inscribe copies from 1:30-2:30 on Tuesday.

& Every Tuesday night get on the list to spit at the longest running spoken word venue in New Orleans at Sweet Lorraine’s Jazz Club hosted by African-American Shakespear. Doors open at 7pm and the Mic pops at 8pm. It is $5 to get in.

Wednesday is Xmas Eve, and I’m guessing none of the regularly scheduled events are going on. The next Odd Words listing will appear on Friday, Dec. 26.

Dec. 13 / Family Portrait December 16, 2014

Posted by The Typist in Toulouse Street.
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Originally posted on nola studiola REDUX:

I’ve shot several weddings, portraits and promotional posters;  head shots, events, second lines and red-carpet openings;  today, though, was the first time anybody ever asked me to shoot a funeral.

Pam Folse and Sandra Bohne, along with their brother Mark Folse, decided they wanted some nice portraits of the entire extended family when everyone was together for the funeral of their mother, Elaine.  A mutual friend got us in touch, and this morning I carried my camera bag up to the St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church in Mid-City.

Quite frankly, I was a little nervous about the prospect of shooting the attendees at a family funeral service.  I don’t even feel comfortable at the weddings of strangers, half the time, let alone the day on which an entire family is mourning the loss of their 91-year old matriarch.   Her three surviving children, though, were generous with their sharing…

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30 Century Man December 11, 2014

Posted by The Typist in A Fiction, cryptic envelopment, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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The video is a complete waste of your time: full of sound and worry, signifying nothing. I created it a few years ago Christmas after spending an entire day watching a House marathon, an activity for me that is not far removed from standing on a ledge throwing pigeons at the fire department while shouting gibberish.

Perhaps it’s not a complete waste of time. Not of mine, at least. Despite any desire to vanish into Africa or the South Pacific, I am not that likely to jump the next freight west to search for the ghost of Charles Bukowski in the sun-shocked underworld that is L.A. Maybe it’s just something I needed to get out of my system, a swollen psychological boil painfully anticipating the sitz bath of annihilation.

If this video speaks to you in some way, it may not be too late to get help. I find the drug stores in New Orleans among the finest in the world. You traverse the liquor aisle to reach the pharmacist.

Odd Words December 10, 2014

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

& Thursday at 6 pm Garden District Book Shop hosts Ron Drez’s The War of 1812: Conflict and Deception: The British Attempt to Seize New Orleans and Nullify the Louisiana Purchase. At the climax of the war-inspired by the defeat of Napoleon in early 1814 and the perceived illegality of the Louisiana Purchase-the British devised a plan to launch a three-pronged attack against the northern, eastern, and southern U.S. borders. Concealing preparations for this strike by engaging in negotiations in Ghent, Britain meanwhile secretly issued orders to seize New Orleans and wrest control of the Mississippi and the lands west of the river. They further instructed British commander General Edward Pakenham not to cease his attack if he heard rumors of a peace treaty. Great Britain even covertly installed government officials within military units with the intention of immediately taking over administrative control once the territory was conquered. According to author Ronald J. Drez, the British strategy and the successful defense of New Orleans through the leadership of General Andrew Jackson affirm the serious implications of this climatic-battle.

& Thursday at 7 pm The Fiction Writer’s Group meets at the East Bank Regional Library of Jefferson Parish. The Fiction Writers’ Group is a support group for serious writers of fiction. The group does not focus on poetry, essays or nonfiction. Events consist of critique sessions from group members, author talks and writing exercises. Free of charge and open to the public. Registration is not required.

& Every Friday The Rhyme Syndicate presents a spoken word open mic at Dish on Haynes Boulevard hosted by Hollywood. Doors at 8. Admission $7, $5 will college ID. Music by DJ XXL.

& Freedom Writing for Women of Color is tentatively scheduled for Friday from 7-10 pm at Who Dat Coffee Cafe at the corner of Burgundy and Mandeville in the Marigny. For info on this program, email: poetryprocess@gmail.com.

& Saturday at 11:30 am Maple Street Book Shop features Story Time with Miss Maureen. She’ll read How Murray Saved Christmas by Mike Reiss, illustrated by David Catrow.

& When Santa’s knocked out cold by a Jack-in-the-Boxer’s walloping punch, deli owner Murray Kleiner reluctantly agrees to take his place. The suit doesn’t fit, Murray smells a bit like pickles, and there’s no way he can remember the names of all those reindeer. But with the help of a pushy elf and an eager-to-believe young boy, Murray finds out that even though he’s not big enough to fill Santa’s suit, he’s got more than enough heart to get the job done

& On Saturday from 1-3pm, come out to Exhibit Be for #BlackPoetsSpeakOut, a community poetry reading featuring local Black poets responding to the nationwide assault on Black lives (ExhibitBe will be open from 12pm-4pm). “We are Black poets who will not remain silent while this
nation murders black people. We have a right to be angry.” This event is FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC and one the last times ExhibitBe will be open to the public.

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

& Saturday brings ColdCuts presents: CHRISTOPHER SHIPMAN and VINCENT CELLUCCI to Kajun’s Pub at 5:30 pm. About the series: Cold Cuts is a poetry reading interested in performance and a performance interested in reading poetry. Each reading will consist of 3 – often on the theme of 2 poets and a 3rd weird thing: the performative. But we encourage all our poets to perform and all our performances to poet. We like to showcase our TENDER LOIN writers, and we like to showcase local artists.

& Saturday and Sunday at 7 pm brings Wit and Wrath: The Life & Times of Dorothy Parker, a one-woman show by Claudia Baumgarten, directed by Diana Shortez. This literary icone invites you to spend a leisurely hour with her and promises you will be entertained by her her sharp wit and charming manner. At Tasseology, 1228 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd..

& This Sunday at 3 pm The Maple Leaf Reading Series features John Gery’s and Carolyn Hembree’s MFA Creative Writing students at UNO in a group reading.

&Sunday at 5 pm Richard Ford comes to the Garden District Book Shop to read from and sign Let Me Be Frank With You. A brilliant new work that returns Richard Ford to the hallowed territory that sealed his reputation as an American master: the world of Frank Bascombe, and the landscape of his celebrated novels The Sportswriter, the Pulitzer Prize and PEN/Faulkner winning Independence Day, and The Lay of the Land. In his trio of world-acclaimed novels portraying the life of an entire American generation, Richard Ford has imagined one of the most indelible and widely discussed characters in modern literature, Frank Bascombe. Through Bascombe—protean, funny, profane, wise, often inappropriate—we’ve witnessed the aspirations, sorrows, longings, achievements and failings of an American life in the twilight of the twentieth century. Now, in Let Me Be Frank with You, Ford reinvents Bascombe in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. In four richly luminous narratives, Bascombe (and Ford) attempts to reconcile, interpret and console a world undone by calamity. It is a moving and wondrous and extremely funny odyssey through the America we live in at this moment. Ford is here again working with the maturity and brilliance of a writer at the absolute height of his powers.

& Wednesday at the Latter Memorial Library A Book Club Named Desire meets. Adults meet to discuss a local classic every fourth Wednesday of the month at 6 pm. For more information, contact Toni at tlmccourt@hotmail.com.

& On Wednesday Esoterotica’s local provocateurs are not only bringing you a holiday show with original erotica to keep your warm through this festive season. We are also hosting an Arts Market with Sensual Art & Sexy Sundries from very talented locals. So join us for a sexy good time, plus a great opportunity to shop local this season and finish up you gift list with some really unique, fun and frisky items. We’ll see you there!

& At 8 pm Wednesday it is the final performance for 2014 of Poetry & Music at BJs’ Blood Jet Series at BJ’s at 8 pm. This Wednesday’s featured readers are Laura Goldstein and Toby Altman. Goldstein has published poetry and essays in the West Wind Review, Denver Quarterly, American Letters and Commentary, Tenderloin, How2, Jacket2 and other fine publications. She has six chapbooks, including phylum from horse less press and let her from dancing girl press. Her first collection of poetry, loaded arc was released by Trembling Pillow Press in 2013 and awesome camera is her second full-length collection. She teaches Writing and Literature at Loyola University and is the co-curator of the Red Rover Series with Jennifer Karmin. Altman lives in Chicago with his dog and friends. He is the author of two chapbooks, Tender Industrial Fabric (Greying Ghost, 2015) and Asides (Furniture Press, 2012). He is writing a verse play called Arcadia, Indiana which is about language, grief, gender violence, homoeroticism, environmental destruction, capital, the subversive fecundity of traditional form and genre, and the weird deadness of the avant-garde.

& Every Wednesday at 8 pm at the Neutral Ground Coffeehouse there is an hour-long open mic poetry night (or fiction night; whatever you want to read really!).

Odd Words December 3, 2014

Posted by The Typist in Book Stores, books, Indie Book Shops, literature, memoir, New Orleans, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, publishing, reading, Toulouse Street, Writing.
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This week in literary New Orleans:

& Moira Crone will be at Maple Street Book Shop December 4th at 6PM to read from and sign her new book, The Ice Garden. Ten-year-old Claire adores her brand-new baby sister, but her mother doesn’t feel the same. Trapped in the suffocating culture of the small-town South in the early 1960s, Claire’s mother tries to cope with her own mental illness and all the expectations placed upon a woman of her class. While Claire’s father remains too dazzled by his beautiful wife to recognize the impending dangers, Claire is left largely on her own to save herself and her baby sister—with mesmerizing and shocking consequences. Moira Crone is the author of five books of fiction, including stories, and novels. She lives in New Orleans. Her works have appeared in dozens of anthologies and over forty magazines and journals

& Thursday at 6 pm Room 220 is pleased to present a Happy Hour Salon with poets Andy Young and Sara Slaughter at the Press Street HQ (3718 St. Claude Ave.). The event will celebrate new publications by both poets, and they will be reading from these works. Andy Young’s debut poetry collection, All Night It Is Morning, cuts across geography, politics, language, and culture. Raised in Appalachia, rooted in New Orleans, and now part of an Egyptian-American family with whom she spent the last two years in Cairo, her poetry presents an outward-looking American perspective that reflects a life with one foot each in Western and Arab cultures. Using the aubade, the traditional form of lovers parting at dawn, to anchor the book, Young employs a wide variety of forms to poetically navigate post-Katrina destruction, the tumult of the Arab Spring, and myriad points—personal and political—in between and beyond. The book’s cover, a graffiti mural by Alaa Awad (now destroyed) that led the way to Tahrir Square, is a work both ancient and modern, urban and agrarian, beautiful and horrible. This captures the spirit of the book, steeped in mourning and hope and a belief in the voice of the people. Sara Slaughter will read from her first chapbook, Upriver, published by Press Street and featuring woodcuts by Layla Ardalan. Slaughter lives in New Orleans where she teaches Creative Writing at Lusher Charter School. Her work has recently appeared in New World Writing, The Cortland Review, and PANK.

& Thursday at 6 pm Garden District Book Shop features Christopher Buehlman and The Lesser Dead. New York City in 1978 is a dirty, dangerous place to live. And die. Joey Peacock knows this as well as anybody—he has spent the last forty years as an adolescent vampire, perfecting the routine he now enjoys: womanizing in punk clubs and discotheques, feeding by night, and sleeping by day with others of his kind in the macabre labyrinth under the city’s sidewalks. The subways are his playground and his highway, shuttling him throughout Manhattan to bleed the unsuspecting in the Sheep Meadow of Central Park or in the backseats of Checker cabs, or even those in their own apartments who are too hypnotized by sitcoms to notice him opening their windows. It’s almost too easy. Until one night he sees them hunting on his beloved subway. The children with the merry eyes. Vampires, like him…or not like him. Whatever they are, whatever their appearance means, the undead in the tunnels of Manhattan are not as safe as they once were.

& Octavia Books hosts Dr. Laura Kelley joins us to discuss and sign THE IRISH in NEW ORLEANS at 6 pm. In this well-researched volume, historian Dr. Laura D. Kelley tells the colorful, amusing and often adventurous history of the Irish in New Orleans. From “Bloody” O’Reilly in the 18th century to the great churches and charitable organizations built by the Irish Famine immigrants in the 19th century to the Irish-dominated politics of the 20th century, as well as Irish dance, music and sports, the author introduces the reader to a hitherto untold story of one of America’s most historical cities. The book also includes essays by Betsy McGovern recalling her involvement in the city’s Irish music scene and Terrence Fitzmorris who discusses wakes and funerary practices of the Irish. The lively and readable text is beautifully illustrated with photographs by Carrie Lee Pierson Schwartz that convey the continuing vibrancy of the Irish community of the Crescent City.

& Also on Thursday at 6 pm Award-winning local author, journalist, and lecturer, George Gurtner, will discuss his most recent book, Cast of Characters, colorful true stories of life in and around the Big Easy, at the Nix Library. The book is titled after Gurtner’s column that he wrote for New Orleans magazine for 35 years. His first book was Historic Churches of Old New Orleans

& Tuesday at 7 pm the East Jefferson Regional Library hosts the SciFi, Fantasy and Horror Writer’s Group. James Butler, a writer of science fiction and fantasy (especially steampunk), leads a workshop to encourage the creation of these genres by local authors. Open to all levels. Free of charge and open to the public.

& Friday night at 5:00 pm Octavia Books hosts a children’s book event. Miss Holly will present the Good Night, Sleep Tight (Safe from Snow) Story Hour featuring The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Anderson.

& Every Friday The Rhyme Syndicate presents a spoken word open mic at Dish on Haynes Boulevard hosted by Hollywood. Doors at 8. Admission $7, $5 will college ID. Music by DJ XXL.

& Saturday marks the fifth anniversary of Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day, a holiday started by author Jenny Milchman in order to instill a love of bookstores in children. We’ll have snacks and a special story time with Miss Maureen at 11:30am. She’ll read Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson & The Book With No Pictures by B.J. Novak. Armed only with an oversized purple crayon, young Harold draws himself a landscape full of wonder and excitement. Full of funny twists and surprises, this joyful story shows just how far your imagination can take you. Harold and the Purple Crayon has delighted readers of all ages for over fifty years. A #1 New York Times bestseller, The Book With No Pictures is an innovative and wildly funny read-aloud by award-winning humorist/actor B.J. Novak. You might think a book with no pictures seems boring and serious. Except… here’s how books work. Everything written on the page has to be said by the person reading it aloud. Even if the words say… BLORK. Or BLUURF. Even if the words are a preposterous song about eating ants for breakfast, or just a list of astonishingly goofy sounds like BLAGGITY BLAGGITY and GLIBBITY GLOBBITY. Cleverly irreverent and irresistibly silly, The Book with No Pictures is one that kids will beg to hear again and again.

& Saturday at 2 pm the Poetry Buffett returns to the Latter Memorial Library. Poets Ralph Adamo, Laura Mullen, and Andrea Young read from their work.

& Sunday at 3 pm Room 220 presents José Torres-Tama Performance Reading / Book Signing for Immigrant Dreams & Alien Nightmares, a debut collection of performance poems & other verse by Torres-Tama.

& This Sunday at 3 pm The Maple Leaf Reading Series features an Open Mic.

& Sunday at 7 pm at the Shadowbox Theater SLAM New Orleans hosts its last open mic and poetry slam of 2014! This will be our final qualifying show before the 2015 semi-finals and finals in January. Poets, there are two qualifications for competing in January’s semi-finals: A. You must compete in at least TWO slams during the 2014 season. B. You must place in the top two (out of poets who have not previously placed in the top two earlier in the year) in at least ONE slam during the 2014 season.

& Monday at 5 pm at the East New Orleans 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.

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

& Dannielle Owens-Reid and Kristin Russo have created a very important resource, THIS IS a BOOK for PARENTS of GAY KIDS. Join the discussion on Tuesday, 7-8 P.M., at the Central St. Matthew United Church of Christ. Written in an accessible Q&A format, here, finally, is the go-to resource for parents hoping to understand and communicate with their gay child. Through their LGBTQ-oriented site, the authors are uniquely experienced to answer parents’ many questions and share insight and guidance on both emotional and practical topics. Filled with real-life experiences from gay kids and parents, this is the book gay kids want their parents to read. Canadian author Vivek Shraya will join the authors AND will give a reading from from his book, GOD LOVES HAIR, a compilation of short stories following a tender, intellectual, and curious child as he navigates complex realms of sexuality, gender, racial politics, religion, and belonging. Octavia Books will be on site with copies of the book.

& Every Tuesday night get on the list to spit at the longest running spoken word venue in New Orleans at Sweet Lorraine’s Jazz Club hosted by African-American Shakespear. Doors open at 7pm and the Mic pops at 8pm. It is $5 to get in.

& Tuesday at 7 pm the East Jefferson Regional Library hosts an Author Event! Magic in a Shaker, with Marvin Allen. Marvin J. Allen will discuss his new book, but he’ll also talk about two other subjects: the history of Prohibition; and Christmas cocktails. Allen is the bar manager and bartender at the Hotel Monteleone’s Carousel Bar. Voted New Orleans Magazine’s Bartender of the Year in 2005, Allen has been behind the counter for more than 20 years. A member of the United States Bartenders’ Guild, he is a USBG certified spirits professional. Allen’s emphasis on classic ingredients and fresh tastes have earned him several honors: his Southern Comfortini won second place in the Tales of the Cocktail contest in 2003, and in 2004 his Blushing Southern Belle earned honorable mention in the same competition. Allen also placed in the 2010 42 Below Vodka competition with his Peanut Butter and Jelly Martini. A recipient of the 2010 City Business Culinary Connoisseur award, Allen has been an “adopted native” of New Orleans for more than 25 years.

& Wednesday at the Latter Memorial Library A Book Club Named Desire meets. Adults meet to discuss a local classic every fourth Wednesday of the month at 6 pm. For more information, contact Toni at tlmccourt@hotmail.com.

& At 8 pm Wednesday it is Poetry & Music at BJs’ Blood Jet Series at BJ’s at 8 pm. This Wednesday’s featured readers are Tim Earley and Jessica Comola.

& Every Wednesday at 8 pm at the Neutral Ground Coffeehouse there is an hour-long open mic poetry night (or fiction night; whatever you want to read really!).

Odd Words November 28, 2014

Posted by The Typist in Toulouse Street.
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This week in literary New Orleans:

All locations of the New Orleans Public Library and Jefferson Parish Library locations are closed Friday.

& Tubby & Coo’s Mid-City Book Shop hosts a Holiday Open House! We’ll be showcasing books, products, and special merchandise available for the holidays. We’ll also be handing out FREE hot chocolate (hopefully, it’s at least cool!), and our holiday gift guide to help with your gift planning. And you can make a wish list! Who doesn’t like walking around, writing down all the great things they want, and handing off to someone else to buy? Create a wish list with your most coveted items, and we’ll keep it in an old school Rolodex so you can send your family and friends by to shop from them. If you stop by, you can also collect coupons and special deals for your holiday shopping needs.

& Every Friday The Rhyme Syndicate presents a spoken word open mic at Dish on Haynes Boulevard hosted by Hollywood. Doors at 8. Admission $7, $5 will college ID. Music by DJ XXL.

& Saturday is Small Business Saturday and multiple local indie bookstores are hosting special events.

  • Maple Street Book Shop have local author signings all day: 11:30AM Ryan Adams, author of New Orleans Mother Goose; 1PM Madeline Herlong, author of Buddy; 2PM Cornell Landry, author of Goodnight NOLA; 3PM Ryan Murphy, author of What the Sleepy Animals Do at the Audubon Zoo; 11AM Andi Eaton, author of New Orleans Style; 12PM Bonnie Warren, author of New Orleans Homes at Christmas; and, 1PM Jim Wade, author of Pitot House.
  • Octavia Books is hosting over a dozen outstanding local authors as guest booksellers on Small Business Saturday, November 29. Each author will be chatting with customers and recommending favorite books and will be happy to talk about and sign their own books as well. Hundreds of independent bookstores across the country will be hosting local authors this November 29, Small Business Saturday, thanks to a movement called Indies First. Launched by noted author Sherman Alexie, Indies First encourages authors to volunteer at their local store, to give back some of the support that independent bookstores have traditionally given to authors.
  • At Tubby and Coo’s anyone who buys a local book or book written by a local author will be entered to win two prize packs including bookmarks, free books, and other surprises! We’ll also be giving away three $25 American Express gift cards in conjunction with Stay Local. As part of the Indies First movement, four local authors have agreed to help out selling books throughout the day: Michael Murphy, author of Eat Dat New Orleans, will be selling books from 10am-12pm; Sally Newhart, author of The Original Tuxedo Jazz Band, will be selling books from 12-2pm; David Armand, recently named to the Gambit’s 40 Under 40 and author of Harlow, will be selling books from 2-4pm; and, George Bishop, author of The Night of the Comet, will be selling books from 4-6pm.

& Author Kil Whol will sell and sign copies of her book New Orleans Classic Creole Recipes at the Hubbell Library in Algiers at 1 pm during Hubbell’s Friends of Hubbell Tree Sale.

& Also on Saturday Walter Isaacson, author of The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created a Digital Revolution will speak and sign books at Newman School Auditorium, 5333 Danneel Street. In his masterly saga, Isaacson begins with Ada Lovelace, Lord Byron’s daughter, who pioneered computer programming in the 1840s. He explores the fascinating personalities that created our current digital revolution, such as Vannevar Bush, Alan Turing, John von Neumann, J.C.R. Licklider, Doug Engelbart, Robert Noyce, Bill Gates, Steve Wozniak, Steve Jobs, Tim Berners-Lee, and Larry Page. This is the story of how their minds worked and what made them so inventive. It’s also a narrative of how their ability to collaborate and master the art of teamwork made them even more creative. Isaacson will speak for 20-30 minutes, followed by a 15-minute question and answer session. He will sign books afterward. Garden District Book Store will be on site to sell the book.

& This Sunday at 3 pm The Maple Leaf Reading Series features an Open Mic.

& New York Times bestselling author Walter Isaacson comes to the uptown Jewish Community Center to present THE INNOVATORS: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Age, Monday at 7:00 PM. Octavia Books will have THE INNOVATORS for sale in the store and at the event where your purchase will help support cultural programs at the JCC. To reserve a signed copy, please call during store hours at 504-899-READ. Walter Isaacson will sign books immediately following the lecture. Isaacson provides a sweeping and scintillating narrative of the inventors, engineers and entrepreneurs who have given the world computers and the Internet. . . . a near-perfect marriage of author and subject . . . an informative and accessible account of the translation of computers, programming, transistors, micro-processors, the Internet, software, PCs, the World Wide Web and search engines from idea into reality. . . . [a] masterful book.”
— San Francisco Chronicle

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

& On Tuesday at 6:00 P.M., two New Orleans writers, Mason James Cole and Alex Jennings, will dish about the state of genre literature (horror, SF, crime, magic realism) and discuss how, why, and which authors are blurring the boundaries between those categories at Octavia Books. In addition to the discussion, the authors will read from and sign their own works: Mason James Cole with his novel, BUSTER VOODOO, and Alex Jennings with HERE I COME and OTHER STORIES. Join us for wine, cheese, and lively conversation. ABOUT BUSTER VOODOO: “…bristling with dread and suspense, as well as some of the creepiest scenes you’ll read this side of Stephen King.” – Bryan Smith, author of House of Blood and Strange Ways. ABOUT HERE I COME and OTHER STORIES: Who are we when we are alone? What are ghosts if not memories of the past given voice? Are our bodies and identities warped by the emotions that pass through us? What would it mean for Humanity to have a cosmic parent? Unsolvable by logic or method, such topics are not the business of the scientist. Only the philosopher, the guru, and the fantasist are fit to map these terrains. Consider this volume a guidebook.

& Tuesday at 7 pm Loyola University presents the release of Daniella Zsupan-Jerome’s book Connected Toward Communion: The Church and Social Communication in the Digital Age in the Whitney Presentation Room – St. Thomas Hall. The book explores the ways in which Christians might communicate the Good News of Jesus Christ to all those shaped by digital media. This question addresses the whole church, from the baptized faithful to pastoral ministers and the institutional structures that serve the church locally and globally.

& Also at 7 pm the East Jefferson Regional Library hosts as Author Event! New Orleans Homes at Christmas by Bonnie Warren. Warren and photographer Cheryl Gerber highlight the elaborate decorations, history, public festivities, and exclusive gatherings of yuletide. From réveillon dinners to family repasts, readers can feast on the unique spirit showcased in photographs and profiles of homes in neighborhoods such as the Garden District, English Turn, Esplanade Ridge, the French Quarter, and Uptown. Featured are colorful holiday embellishments from Christmas trees to mantelpieces and attractions, including Jackson Square and City Park.

& Every Tuesday night get on the list to spit at the longest running spoken word venue in New Orleans at Sweet Lorraine’s Jazz Club hosted by African-American Shakespear. Doors open at 7pm and the Mic pops at 8pm. It is $5 to get in.

& Wednesday at the Latter Memorial Library A Book Club Named Desire meets. Adults meet to discuss a local classic every fourth Wednesday of the month at 6 pm. For more information, contact Toni at tlmccourt@hotmail.com.

& In honor of the Whitney Plantation Museum opening on December 7, 2014, Octavia Books is honored to host a special presentation and signing featuring Ibrahima Seck, author of BOUKI FAIT GOMBO: A History of the Slave Population of Habitation Haydel (Whitney Plantation) Louisiana, 1750-1860, on Wednesday at 6:00 PM. An exploration of slavery and its impact on southern culture, BOUKI FAIT GOMBO is the first book to map the history of Habitation Haydel. Now known as the Whitney Plantation, the Haydel began operating in 1752 as an indigo producer and went on to become one of the most important sugar plantations in Louisiana. This in-depth study traces the route of African slaves to the German Coast of Louisiana, charts the various owners of the Haydel, and discusses the daily life of slaves on the plantation. Although the book does not shy away from depicting the brutalities of slavery, at its heart are the stories of the robust culinary and musical cultures that grew out of slaves’ desires to reconnect with their home. As Ibrahima Seck says in the book’s introduction, “The history of slavery should not only be the history of deportation and hard labor in the plantations. Beyond these painful memories, we should always dig deep enough to find out how Africans contributed tremendously to the making of Southern Culture and American identity.” The release of this book will coincide with the opening of the Whitney Plantation Museum.

& The Pearl Wine Co. and literary website Fleur de Lit (www.fleurdelit.com) have teamed to present a literary series, Reading Between the Wines on the first Wednesday of the month at Pearl Wine Co., 3700 Orleans Ave., in the American Can Company. The purpose of the series is to promote local authors and the literary community. The special 2014 sendoff event at 6:30 p.m. on December 3, 2014 will focus on culture and food in New Orleans. The event will feature five local authors in two panels: 6:30 – 7:15 p.m.: On New Orleans Style and Culture featuring Andi Eaton, author of New Orleans Style, named the most stylish person in the South by Southern Living Magazine and Ronald Fisher, author of Mid-City Errands. At 7:30 – 8:15 p.m.: On New Orleans Food features Addie K. & Jeremy Martin, co-authors of Southeast Louisiana Food and Michael Murphy, author of Eat Dat New Orleans: A Guide to the Unique Food Culture of the Crescent City. You must be 21 to attend this event.

& At 8 pm Wednesday it is Poetry & Music at BJs’ Blood Jet Series at BJ’s at 8 pm. This Wednesday’s feature is Andy Young Book Release.

& Every Wednesday at 8 pm at the Neutral Ground Coffeehouse there is an hour-long open mic poetry night (or fiction night; whatever you want to read really!).

Do Horses Named Satan Go to Heaven? November 25, 2014

Posted by The Typist in New Orleans, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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The hospice nurse, a Carmelite nun, asks me if I am Catholic (she asks if my mother is Catholic, as if that were not a rosary around her neck). Apostate, I say. Surely you were raised Catholic she asks. Well enough to know the difference between apostate and lapsed, I reply. She gives my shoulder a wrestler’s squeeze. If her god had caller her to lift and break rocks and she had obeyed, she would have been brilliant, a saint.

Talk to her, she said. I read some Psalms to your mother. I sure she can hear, are her parting words, reminding not to sit there like some adjunct to the oxygen machine but to talk to her. She was unresponsive to my name when I came in. I continue to sit and watch and think, not long after the nun has left, this is how the crucified die. The way she flairs her arms, tries to lift herself a bit off the pillow to suck a little more air into her contracting lungs, much like a typical crucifiction, the men hung by their arms so that they had to lift themselves up to breath. The Romans, out of kindness, boredom or an aversion to overtime, would break their arms if they lingered too long, so that the victim could no longer pull themselves up to catch a breath.

So much for the comforts of Mother Church. (At least one of the sinners was saved. Not a bad percentage).

My mother was wearing the rosary my daughter Killian brought her back from Europe.

Pleural effusion of fluid around her lungs, related to congestive hear failure. Effusion I thought a property of gasses but apparently the pre-meds weren’t paying attention in that part of chemistry. My mother’s lungs are drowning from the outside, the buildup of fluid between the chest cavity and the lungs leaves less and less room for each breath. It can cause chest pains: pleurisy, now there’s a word you probably have used in casual conversation in a long time. We won’t know if the event last Sunday was a heart attack or pleurisy. All she said was it felt like an elephant sitting on her chest. As of Friday she is officially a hospice patient, and so was simply given morphine to dull the pain. I was surprised it came in a little dropper bottle, like something for the ears or eyes. Then I thought: hospice. This means no more trips to the hospitals. No more trying to find an uncollapsed vein to put in one shunt too many.

Ninety-three and the battle over. She survived chemo at 87, including spinal injections. I sat and watch her suffer through that until the technician gave up and called for the Special Man. He looked a bit like Cat Stevens in the 70s, and I told him so. He got her on the second try. If you are giving spinal chemo injections to an 87 year old woman why would you not call for the needle ninja in the first place? She went into remission, and got to ring the bell in the chemo ward at Ochsner. They took another cancer out of her in 2005, after my sister rolled the car in the ditch driving exhausted, trying to reach sanctuary in Kansas. At my mother’s age the E.R. though at CAT scan in order, and they found it. If my sister had not rolled the car, what happens then? God works in mysterious ways, I told the kindly nun-backer after relating that story, as if to apologize for my unrepentant teasing of her.

The regular chugging of the ancient oxygen machine is an hissy, high pitched pneumatic counterpoint to my mother’s irregular struggle to breath, the rattles deep in her throat, her vocalized exhaulations deep as long vowels and sharp as glottal stops.

The suffering on the cross, the physical struggle to breath, not just wheezing and rattling but a pushing up as if toward the surface, began after the nun left. I had been there maybe an hour and a half of mostly just listening to her battle for breath. Sometimes she would open her eyes while pushing out and down with her arms, trying to lift her head. I stood up and put the hand that wasn’t holding hers on her forehead and stroked it. I leaned in and told her, you don’t have to stay and fight. I know it hurts. We love you and will miss you but Sidney (my father) and Paul (my brother) and your father and your Uncle Cy and everyone will be waiting for you.

She loved her Uncle Cy Mathe’ dearly. He was legally a Creole by post-Plessy law but hundreds of rich acres and a plantation home trumped that. He was probably brighter than all the Italian truck farmers and Slavic fisherman settled around the plantations of St. Bernard and Plaquemine. He was riding the boat up from his father’s plantation and saw the woman we very young children ignorantly called Aunt Taunte, a teenager, convalescing in a wheel chair under a parasol on the levee at the foot of Delaronde Street. He was so smitten, he hired a horse when the boat landed at the French Market and rode back to the Ninth Ward to find her.

He built two plantations of his own, Stella for Taunte, and Mary, named after his mother. My mother would go visit Cy and Stella, under strict orders from her father that she was not to go out riding in the front of Cy’s saddle on his huge black stallion, Satan. This was, of course, the favorite part of her visit.

Uncle Cy will have a new horse, I told her, all pure white as an angel. I’m sure they wouldn’t let him bring Satan into heaven.

I’m sure he’ll take your riding, I said.

I had to stop there.

I have to stop here.

Everything eventually stops.

Fires of the Season November 22, 2014

Posted by The Typist in A Fiction, cryptic envelopment, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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Walking out for a forbidden cigarette I take a turn around the lot and notice the neighbor’s overgrown oleanders are in full fall bloom, while the seed pods of the adjacent Chinese lanterns have withered to a color somewhere between grocery bag and old parchment (and just as fragile could I reach them): the same old story–the one the crow knows–of the turning of the wheel. I am so engrossed in my new job I did not notice the odd oaks across the street and just outside my window had turned, but walking to Canseco’s Grocery I did see one of the deciduous cypress dressed in scarlet and yellow,  the color of the fires we light against the cold and dark, the bonfires to guide Papa Noel and the ones once lit on Orleans avenue, dressed in the colors of the diminishing sun.

Having lost the thread of Xianity long ago, I dread the holidays. I miss the orgiastic liquor and fireworks around the bonfire on Orleans, a proper New Year’s display to call back the sun. Run around it three times, close enough for a mild, one-sided sunburn, for good luck in the New Year.  Sadly, two city administrations have thought otherwise, even after we raised the money to get a welding cloth to put under it and agreed the NOPD could fence it off. The fire department was often held up as the scapegoat for the ban, but as a small crowd of us who helped make the last bonfire happen left a meeting with the police and fire chief, a high official of the firefighter’s union pulled us aside and said, “we are with you,” the men of Engine 35 thought lucky to watch over the festivities every year.

It is time to clean up my backyard, which the house painter turned into a white trash tableau of studied neglect. It looks like the still in the garage exploded, but most of my things are in a random pile in the center. I need to scrub the black mold off the chairs and spread the black plastic lawn rug I bought because the landlord’s man is slow to mow. I can flip over the rusting fire pit, give it a quick shot of Rustoleum for Grills and take my chances on the good will of the sparks that flit about like dangerous faeries with a will of their own.  Behind the flames I will light a candle before the Green Man who watches over my little bit of weed-wild meadow..

There are spirits in need of propitiation if my own are not to remain mired in the dark. Yesterday my eldest and dearest sibling turned 69. My mother is now officially on Hospice Care, free to refused her dinner and medications, only oxygen and morphine as required. I went to see her the evening after what gave every indication of a heart attack. She picked a bit at her food because I was there. She tried to take her pills but the orderly forgot to raise the bed and almost chocked her. My sister knows she is not taking her medication or eating but she always puts on a good show for the boys. Or rather, for me.  I am the only one she has left besides grand children. Someday the paper will read, “preceded in death by her loving husband Sidney Joseph and her son Paul Omer.”

Will she fulfill the holiday wishes of the statisticians and hang on until after the holidays? She is a Hilbert bone and sinew, built to last. Still, she will be the chair that is not there when my nephew takes us all out for Thanksgiving. Knowing our family, I am thinking of taking a cab, although Ralph’s on the Park is halfway between P’s house and mine and within staggering distance.. In these circumstances intimations of mortality are inevitable but not to be confused with inclinations. What I post on Facebook after a bit too much rum are not bits of morbidity but a few of the more beautiful expressions of death that I know.

If Coca Cola’s jolly red elf and the hanged god bring no solace, the trees remind me there is always comfort and color in a fire, to warm the hands and backside, and shed an uncertain light on an uncertain world. The firefly fairy sparks call to the things half seen in the flickering, just out of the corner of the eye, that delight in man and his fire, spirits of fire and earth drawn toward light. Perhaps a prayer is in order, starting with the green man who guards my house, that I not burn it or any of the neighbors’down. Or better yet, just sit as the fire burns itself down, leaving winking embers and the scent of the season ascending to the heaven the earthly flames reach for but cannot, the solstice incense that comforts men in the dark.

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