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Odd Words May 6, 2015

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

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

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

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

Jimmy Ross

Jimmy Ross

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

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

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

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

Store-by-store highlights include:

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

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

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

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

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

Bunker 3036 May 6, 2015

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, FYYFF, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street, We Are Not OK.
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            I can hold out for ten minutes
With my sergeant and a machine-gun.
            And they rebuked him for levity.

— E.P., Canto XVI

you May 5, 2015

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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You Are Beautiful

Fortin Street Stage April 30, 2015

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, Jazz Fest, je me souviens, Memory, New Orleans, NOLA, The Narrative, The Odd, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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by the time I stop drinking and start thinking about sleep
by the time we’ve eaten the last of next-door jimmy’s hot meat
by the time my feet have shuffled their last hussle
on the public blacktop ballroom of Fortin Street
and the hustle has all gone downtown to Bourbon
and the bustle has all gone downtown to Frenchman
and the last of the one-song, school-kid bands
and the last of the weary ice-cold water men
have carried themselves home weary to the bone
and one sad bicycle hangs abandoned on the fence
and the can picking man passes on his sad, last round
i will stand on Fortin Street and glisten to the sound
the last frantic arpeggios vibrating in the silence
attenuated into memory, a faint flow of the distant glory
like the milky way backdrop to the asterism’s story–
then, yes, then and only then will I go to bed
with tempered brass angels at foot and at head

Odd Words April 30, 2015

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

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

& Jazz Tent Book Signings Week Two of Jazz Fest.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

∆ t April 26, 2015

Posted by The Typist in The Narrative, The Odd, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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‘Personal density,’ Kurt Mondaugen in his Peenemünde office not too many steps away from here, enunciating the Law which will one day bear his name, “is directly proportional to temporal bandwidth…
‘Temporal bandwidth,’ is the width of your present, your now. It is the familiar “∆ t” considered as a dependent variable. The more you dwell in the past and in the future, the thicker your bandwidth, the more solid your persona. But the narrower your sense of Now, the more tenuous you are.

W.A.S.T.E April 26, 2015

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, The Narrative, The Typist.
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image

Why The Fuck Are We Not All In Lafayette? April 24, 2015

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, FYYFF, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street, WTF.
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My tax refund (first in years, and a nice one) has come, and I say: fuck it, and start looking at the cubes. The Jazz Tent. Congo Square. Where are the big names in Jazz that tour the rest of the country and never come here? I love Terrence Blanchard and he’s New Orleans to the bone but couldn’t we book just one, big name, never gonna see them hear otherwise act? And Congo Square? Where is the Afro-World music? Mannie Fresh and Big Freeda and Kermit and What. The Fuck. Why am I not in Lafayette where the real festival is? The price of the ticket is nothing. But I can’t find a day I wouldn’t be going in just to eat. The Blues Tent looks the best and well, folks, I’m listening to it now. It’s right across the fucking street. Elton John and The Who and all I can think of is that British tabloid with the pictures of Jagger and Richards with the Night of the Living Dead headline. Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga? OK, I think Tony’s desire to do duets with pop stars has finally jumped the intergalactic warp-powered mothershark. Phone 042415 001

Just: Fuck you New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival​. Fortin Street is still the best place to be, here at the Fortin Street Stage VIP Seating Area (King and Queen Seating Only)​ at the Fortress of Squalitude​. And if I can’t resist closing my eyes and imagining Roger Daltry isn’t pumped up on some sort of steriod–B-vitamin–Peruvian Pure cocktail straight out of Jim Carroll with autotune in both ears, I can hear the Wheeling Crash of Beautiful Doom one last time from the Secret VIP Section. If Townsend’s rotator cuff is still up to it.

Like the MoM’s Ball, I still have my memories, and I can take a pass. And at least on Fortin Street, I can still Be There, Hovering Just Above on a Cloud of Righteous Fuck You-ey-ness. FYYFF. The Shrine of Jazz and Heritage is up. Time to run the speaker out the window for between acts.

At least please keep the shirts ugly. Hollering WATERMELON at the people not unfortunate enough not only to buy them but to turn around and wear them the next day was the height of last year’s Festival. All my tax-related file are mixed with work and a week’s mail on the board that spans the easy chair behind my desk. I’ve been sick all week. I haven’t cleaned the bathroom. The carpet in front of the couch is full of Cheez It and tortilla chip crumbs. There are no Vegetarian Heaven Red Beans. But you know where I at. Maybe I can pass the vac, clean teh toilet and clear a path through the bedrooms. Just ping me if you’re coming in case I’ve wandered off. And if I have, see what Jimmy’s got cooking and get a beer from him till I wander back.

Let A Hundred Congas Bloom April 21, 2015

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, Dancing Bear, New Orleans, NOLA, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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I’ve just gone from six hours of dark apartment contractor hell starting at o’fuck:thirty no Herman Miller chair can redeem, the house surrounded by packs of voracious two-stroke monsters which no amount of O.K. Computer at any volume can subdue, into in-and-out of Canseco’s on a blindingly blue day with a pack of no-you-don’t cigarettes and a pack of Wholly (Unnecessary), Guacamole while on the balcony above Fair Grinds a circle of pickers work through You Can’t Always Get What You Want, holy banjo notes on a beautiful afternoon.

If you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need.

Very Tasty Boudin April 19, 2015

Posted by The Typist in music, New Orleans, Odd Words, Theater, Toulouse Street.
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I did not set out to opening night to write a review of BOUDIN: The New Orleans Music Project at Southern Rep. I took no notes during the performance or when I got home last night, and thoughtlessly left my program on my seat in my hurry to get to the bathroom after the show. I went to the show out of a certain pride of ownership, having submitted and had accepted into their online collecion an old Wet Bank Guide piece on the project’s theme of How New Orleans Music Saved My Life. Whether you think this masterful piece of musical stage craft is one of the great musical tribute reviews, a rightful heir to Vernel Bagneris’ On Mo’ Time or the must see Monolithic Mouse musical theater attraction in the emerging Theme Park at the End of the World We Knew as New Orleans, BOUDIN delivers on its conception as story project, tribute and a night of theatrical delight.

One look at the Panel of White Privilege that conceived and created the project, before the first word was spoken at the pre-show panel discussion set off every alarm in my (white, once privileged) New Orleans Exceptionalist, Chauvinist self. I was prepared for the worst when I finished my tour of the “altar” art dioramas, although some were quite good. When the Ashe Cultural Center loudly whirring A/C shut off just before the lights went down, I had my preconceptions all lined up like a display of tourist carnival masks in a French Quarter shop window, and this amazing cast knocked them all not just down but across the room, back into the box and onto a ship back to China. No matter how cynical you enter this theater you will leave walking on air, a smile on your face and the hum of a song resonating in your head.

Accomplished musician turned actor Phillip Manuel and Dorian Rush denominated the stage with an easy grace and amazing power, taking us from Allen Toussaint in the studio to five nights a week singing happy hour to early drunks on Bourbon Street, but there is not a weak link in this cast. Josh Smith’s hip-hop microphone vocal rhythm machine antics and Clint Johnson on Banjolele were all the live accompaniment the show required, and Johnson’s tale of a stutterer who was cured by the music of Louis Prima was as powerful as a visit to the ex-votos of St. Roch. Brittney James was equally comfortable bringing gospel sweetness or Etta James raunchiness to center stage. While Natalie Jones seemed to carry the wistful air of the theater nerd she proclaimed herself at one point all through the show, her sweet voice and the story of the girl who came to the music after being tossed out of Catholic School choir and her tale of salvation from evacuation by an old spiritual felt, if a bit practiced, sweetly genuine.

The few slightly off notes in the selected stories swept by almost unnoticed as the talented ensemble kept the almost full house enthralled. It was a shame a seat went unfilled. Perhaps it was eyeballing the producers that sent me into the theater smelling a faint whiff of paint from an expensive but loving restoration, but this show wiped that sin of self-important, St. Claude hubris away and left me feeling as redeemed as by an honest confession. This is a show that should plant itself in the Quarter and run as native and concierge recommended institution until the last tourist packs their bag to board a vaparetto out of town.

At 5 o’clock in the afternoon, or perhaps 7:45 April 18, 2015

Posted by The Typist in A Fiction, cryptical envelopment, Fortin Street, fuckmook, FYYFF, ghosts, je me souviens, New Orleans, postdiluvian, Remember, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street, We Are Not OK.
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Metairie encroaches from the East, swallows Carrollton Avenue. Brooklyn comes from the west across the Industrial Canal in a pathetic, staged white second line. We lost the north when they made  Lakeshore Drive the private dog park of the of  Lake neighborhoods along Robert E, Lee. To the south loom the gas-flare, metal islands  of BP, Mobile, Exxon.Sucking the black ghosts of marshes long past was not enough.The water must run  red as blood.

There is no retreat, no defense.  When America erupted in flames and east Detroit held off the National Guard for two days,  nothing happened here. Riot is not our style.  Its too damn hot and a lot of work.

You are left only one choice, to chose the place, the once familiar  corner with its shuttered store, and the moment (Esplanade in the rare, painterly  golden light of late afternoon, perhaps) when New Orleans dies inside you.

The History of Poetry: 3 April 16, 2015

Posted by The Typist in Poetry, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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Sappho…fragments…matchbook promises to call…carelessly discarded like…used Trojans…by careless men…

Romantic lovers are not heroic, this merely women, and the lyric is not yet.

Impounded in the Lost and Found by cold scholars, a curiosity, a woman of passion and talent.

I do not think she dies in the kitchen, beside an oven cold as the ashes of Dido’s pyre, eaten by crows.

“A damsel with a dulcimer
In a vision once I saw…

Beware! Beware!”

More likely consumed by her own fiery passion, and the gods tend to any men who stood too close.

“Herr God, Herr Lucifer
Beware
Beware..”

The incendiary fragments support this analysis.

What say you, Catullus?

Odd Words April 15, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The History of Poetry: 2 April 14, 2015

Posted by The Typist in Poetry, The Odd, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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And I only am escaped alone to tell thee.

A year of Circe and then

        Calypso!

The Phaeacians dance under the island sun.

Odysseus broods in the shade over his untouched sunburger and Elpenor. The Last-To-Go-ians snatch it out of his hands and conga line out the door singing “Someone’s in the Kitchen with Dinah.”

Roll another lotus, won’t you?

Fucking Cyclops, (fuck you Poseidon), voracious hole Charybdis and that man-eating bitch Scylla. Sometimes a guy can’t catch a break. But, wow, those Sirens.

Ever try. Ever sail. Sail again. Sail better.

Blood, blood is the answer, the universal language of men. (He dug the ell-square pitkin, dug the slashing of the animals, dug the flowing of their blood.)

Not now, mother, I’m talking to Tiresias.

Wait.

What?

Suitors?

Son gone off adventuring after his father. A woman patient to a fault, the faithful guardian of the patrimony, weaving and unweaving lies. Of course. It’s expected (c.f. Eden). In the end the ever seen, never heard servants. Those who remembered.

The rest? Off with their heads, the Bed King said, and they fell like axe heads, those who only labored for their daily bowl of porridge in lieu of a potentially disemboweling loyalty to No Man, the one who wasn’t there, who had no Hero’s part.

In the end, was Penny worth a pound, after all those goddesses? On this the Epic Poet is silent.

The silence of a blind man is perfect.

Death of the Cool April 12, 2015

Posted by The Typist in Beauty, cryptical envelopment, Jazz, je me souviens, music, New Orleans, Remember, Shield of Beauty, The Narrative, The Typist.
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Listening to Yusef Lateef brought this song to mind (and only one other person in the world would know why). God Damned arpeggio showoneupmanship.  The world has forgotten how to swing slow, soft and sweet. Miles. Yusef. And Prez. Always Prez. (Yes, that’s our hat.)  How did we miss the Death of the Cool?

Miles Davis / Darn That Dream: https://youtu.be/-jYCpOOsEV0

The History of Poetry: 1 April 11, 2015

Posted by The Typist in literature, New Orleans, Poetry, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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Sing, Goddess

            [crickets]

the tantrum of Achilles. The woman blamed. Again. All the men rushing to the slaughter, each yearning to be reborn immortal in the lunatic cycle of blood shed by metal. The gory precision of description of the wounds. The listing ships made manifest. The detailing of Achilles’ shield. Down low Patroclus bro’ ergo Hector in drag. Look. A gift horse in Cassandra’s mouth (seen not heard). Athena (Goddess) spares Ajax the Lessor for the rape of Cassandra. (Scream.)

What fabulous brides do we have for our departing contestants?

The hindsight of a man blinded is perfect.

Beckett April 11, 2015

Posted by The Typist in art, literature, Odd Words.
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image

“Samuel Beckett with a Glass of Wine” (Samuel Beckett au verre de vin), drawing from life by Beckett’s close friend and great artist Avigdor Arikha. 1969

Odd Words April 10, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Been Down So Long April 8, 2015

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, New Orleans, Poetry, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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Hell is the place where we place ourselves when we wish to look upward.
— Jack Spicer, “Prayer for My Daughter” from The Heads of the Town Up to the Aether (1960)

Postdiluvian Afternoon Manscape with Bulldozer April 5, 2015

Posted by The Typist in Back of Town, Bayou St. John, City Park, Federal Flood, geo-memoir, Hurricane Katrina, levee, Louisiana, postdiluvian, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street, We Are Not OK.
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This was once bottom land, he says with the practiced eye and assurance of a successful environmental engineer. He is probably right. This recently mown rough at the edge of this former fairway is not far from the ridge of Bayou St. John and less than a mile south of Filmore Avenue, the line your grandfather told you was once the start of the softly indeterminate shore of the lake, the gradual transition from bottom land to open water, before the concrete seawall, the back fill and subdivision, when the land followed the natural contours of water.

Across Harrison Avenue snowy egrets play tag with a bulldozer returning another feral fairway to its appointed state of gracefully sculpted landscaping. They have carefully fenced off the trees they elected to keep just outside their crowns, but they have not bothered to put up runoff barriers along the lagoon. The other trees, the once mature oaks and cypress older than the park, did not fit into the new PGA-caliber design and were themselves bulldozed, cut and chipped into mulch (one hopes), the thicker branches and trunks, the massive root balls hauled off to some dump itself perched at the edge of useful bottom land, to cycle back into muck, the gumbo mud of marginal land that will suck the boot off a man’s foot as if to say: careful where you tread. You do not belong here.

This was all bottom land in flood a decade ago when the lake toppled the less-than-carefully designed levees, the work of a hundred bulldozers sculpting golf and parkways and neighborhoods, the labor of decades, was undone in a few hours. How we clamored to rebuild back then, even as we and the water birds reclaimed the ruins of golf for our own pleasure in spite of the lurking coyotes, after the hired guns had cleared the park of ill-tempered feral hogs washed in from the East, that last failed attempt to fill and subdivide marked by exits to nowhere on the highway out of town.

We follow a well-worn but little used path this beautiful afternoon until we find a shaded spot to plant our beach and Jazz Fest chairs, crack open the cooler filled with rare ales and settle in for a beer tasting. We used to do this in the Couterie Forest, another bit of man-scaping which was once an open field where the local AOR station staged free concerts, but the Couterie has grown crowded since the acres of feral fairway around it have been fenced off for construction of the new golf course, the confluence of FEMA dollars and the investments of men who could not play a PGA caliber game to save their lives but who can afford $150 for a round of eighteen holes, who will crowd the sponsored tents when the golf circus comes to town. (Build it and they will come, they tell themselves).

The FEMA relief we all fought for requires the reconstruction of what was and nothing more, although the men who run the Park have found a loophole big enough to drive a bulldozer through, to try to steal away the local PGA stop via a “public-private partnership,” that popular euphemism for privatizing profit while socializing risk; a great racket if you can get in on it, and our carefully-groomed and well compensated politicians love these sort of arrangements. Without them the contributions would dry up and instead of campaign billboards they would litter the landscape with solicitations for litigation, become just another schmuck lawyer grafting a living off of our ridiculous insurance rates.

In the middle distance is a beautifully bifurcated cypress, rising out of the roots of a clump of dying, non-native palms planted by some long-ago golf architect. The land here takes its revenge slowly but surely, as slowly and certainly as the land upon which we sit and the cypress prospers gradually subsides from bottom land to bottom of the lake. In another hundred years the furor over golf versus a carefully manicured wildness will be settled not in court but simply settled, back into the Back of Town, more wetland than bottom land. The golfers will move north as the water moves back in. Anyone who treads this path along the spoil bank of the artificial lagoon down which this afternoon past three women in a rented canoe, two paddlers and one lounging beneath an orange parasol, will likely find a very different landscape, too boggy to mow and covered in water-loving grasses. The lone cypress in the middle of the field, suited by temperament to flooding, will perhaps have grown into a stand, safe from bulldozers which will have moved on long ago to more certain and stable investments, far from the gulf that will someday reclaim this all, when my imagined stand of cypress will stand as denuded grey ghosts, victims of the relentless salt sea from which we all came and to which all this will return.

The Faster We Go The Rounder We Get April 3, 2015

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, Dancing Bear, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Pointless, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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2001 Kubrick wormhole sequence on mute with China Cat Sunflower/I Know You Rider at 11 1/2 and repeat on my mini-monster Yamaha CRX with the Polks on rockers vibrating the insides of my eyes in the Blue Agave Terror of the Burkian Sublimity of the Precipice. I once worked with a dry drunk who spit cheap chaw into a duct-taped wrapped Diet Pepsi bottle and said when you come to The Edge (the Bottom of The Book) you only have Two Choices. You’re wrong, I said. There is a Third Choice. You can Leap into the Light.

When they get to the end of the North Bound Train verse throw the Hadron Supercollider into the tub.

FYYFF April 2, 2015

Posted by The Typist in fuckmook, FYYFF, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Pointless, The Typist, Toulouse Street, We Are Not OK.
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WANO

Odd Words April 2, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Excerpt in draft of The Bayou: Tell Us About the Light March 31, 2015

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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Tell us about the light.

There was the lemon fresh light of early morning, the sun’s abundance after the long night, grasses, vines, leaves, and saplings all stretching toward it as the morning cupped them like a breast and the bayou echoed with the moan of a distant outboard, droning unseen toward some secret breakfast haunt of the speckled trout. It was then, in the early hours when the water was darkest in the shadow of its own shining, that its browns were most golden, its greens iridescent. The long stalkers fished the shallows, the egret and the ibis, while pelicans stirred but rested in their nests waiting for the coasting updraft of the warming land, for the water clear of the sun’s reflection, for the vision of fish. This was the hour of the gamey peat and green smell percolating as the heat slowly seeped into the water and its soft land, and then the boiling of the coffee.

Where did the darkness hide?

It lay quietly beside the water every which way, where the pirogue-narrow channels slithered into the tangle of cypress knees and creeping things green and black, rooted and rootless, where the logs had eyes and the only way to tell a water snake from a cotton mouth was with a stick, watching for that flash of white in the day-long twilight, far back from the canals where men went about their business, far from the fishermen and the oilmen and their noisy, oily boats rusting away to nothing beneath the scraping of the deck hands. Back there the water gleamed faintly with leaf-rot, another delicate color in the palette of this water forest, not the false rainbows of sputtering two-strokes. On the bayou the pelican traced the bayou coasting up and down, hunting for lunch, a marker of the bayou as certain as clouds and flotsam speak of an island over the horizon. Ice tea tinkled in glasses besides sandwiches.

And later? When all grew dark?

In the mosquito evenings the bayou floated golden brown beneath the creeping shadows of its soft land, the water prairie grasses mellowing from green to yellow, and the dense growth explored each new shade of green blacker than the last, the land camouflaging itself in the growing darkness as the sky turned a burning autumn and the first and strongest star winked. It was the hour of the needling whiz of the mosquito and growling drone of the homeward bound boat. The bayou itself was silent except for the chirp of fish picking dinner out of thin air. Somewhere in the darkness, a roux was stirring through the colors of the evening.

Someday there would be the horns of morning traffic, come afternoon the smell of warm asphalt and finally the flickering buzz of street lamps: that was the darkest of all.

I got the blues March 30, 2015

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, Jazz Vipers, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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No matter that I could not get to sleep after last night’s final shift of weekend work. An eye mask of supreme comfort and impenetrability to light cannot make up for the fact that the circus has come to town. The horsey people are still fighting their once-a-year hangovers and the fancy hats reserved for Opening and Derby Day have not yet been put back in their boxes, but the mechanical elephants of grinding diesel are dropping the piles of steel struts that will soon be assembled by roustabouts with their own roaring machinery and directed by megaphone into the Blues Tent.

My shotgun neighbor Jimmy has been counting the days like an excited child marking off a calendar for Christmas for two weeks now, anxious for the days when Fortin Street (you know it, you just never knew its name) becomes for two weekends something like upper Royal Street on Carnival Day but with a circus twist. The coozy on a neck strap man will start-up his sing-song pitch before too long: “How’r you gonna clap with your hands full!”, the man begging for donations to his home for trouble veterans will arrive with his bucket and handbills to repeat his spiel a dozen times to the people lined up to hit the Fest the moment they open the gates.

We love those days here on Fortin Street, although work will be hard over the noise but not everyone gets to live across from the Blues Tent, can walk two blocks to park themselves in hearing distance of the Jazz Tent, or take a stroll to the secret back fence spot that puts you closer to the Accura Stage than most of the people inside.

It is coming, weekends of no rest and too much beer, of Jimmy cooking for “donations”, of trying to drive for some errand through the ambling crowds going just a hair slower than my cars idle. I was just unprepared this groggy just past ten a.m. for the bang and crash, the mechanical bump and grind that means it is Jazz Fest time.

Lather. Rinse. Repeat. March 27, 2015

Posted by The Typist in Toulouse Street.
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Odd Words’ Tennessee Williams Festival Preview Part 2 March 27, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

SATURDAY:

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

SUNDAY:

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

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

DO NOT STOP OR START OR DO ANYTHING ELSE THAT COULD BE DANGEROUS March 26, 2015

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street, We Are Not OK.
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Two cups of coffee, an over-charged e-cigarette (27 milligrams of nicotine) and the lizards of adrenaline trace the paths of my nervous system with familiar claws. An ogre well-known hereabouts grinds the clockwork of my molars and a pill box monkey dances unwanted telegrams of ALL CAPS urgency to the discordancy of my broken pianos. [Draw upon the e-cigarette with irritable pencils.] The brown stains at the bottom of the cup forecast anxiety, desire and disappointment.. Big Pharma arrives in the waiting room wearing bespoken suits and pink salad bowls carrying sample cases full of cash to reward the doctors for their advice about my bad choices. The reps are peddling punch-foil sample papers of simple solutions to complex problems which the night sky, covered in starry equations, cannot solve, not before it is time to get up and greet the sun with another cup of coffee. I would go back to bed but the pillows are stained with forgotten exams and misplaced passports. The day is leaving without me and I have forgotten to purchase a ticket two weeks in advance. An unreliable narrator suggests solutions to the world’s Facebook agendas involving a black bandanna and a healthy disregard for the law. My sour stomach hollers obscenities from the balcony at the unanimous consent to pour a drink. The lap bar is locked and the cars do not stop (leering clown-faced attendant taking his leisure at the brake lever) and we are dragged clanking back to the top of the roller-coaster from which sunrise is visible over the event horizon from which there appears to be no escape from the plummet into centripetal gibberish.

Somebody scream!

Odd Words March 25, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

& Friday’s Master Classes include:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Moonlight Mile March 22, 2015

Posted by The Typist in Toulouse Street.
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It is the hour of ground fog in the feral corners of City Park nearest to water, the hour of empty streets, dark except for the illumination of unsleeping neon , disregarded stoplights and the taillights of third shift police cars, the first shift workers, and the passing of  the wheel- and teeth-clenched homeward-bound reveler aiming for the center line, Bourbon Street itself mostly empty as the street cleaners pass, their powerful jets of water washing plastic and vomit into the storm drains, while around certain corners a few streets are still haunted  with the music of jukeboxes where men in leather or in lace panties slowly dance in a drunken embrace and the last shift of bartenders and busboys call out for rounds of shots in bars where the doors are stored behind the cigarette machine, the hour in which the most unholy rituals of the city are observed in the dark of Sunday mornings beneath faded bunting in the colors of the  ecclesiastical calender and the cemeteries glow in their most waxen, bloodless alabaster, the hour of the disinterested cat cleaning itself on a wall while the rats scurry along the powerlines toward their dark holes, the silence of tree-draped weekend streets unbroken by the rumble of the trucks and the whistle and shout of the garbagemen, the moment when my own mind sparķs to life as if an unseen hand has thrown a sparking knife switch and I wake with the cut-glass  clarity I once felt stepping out of the Abbey and into the street to clear my mind of the fog of alcohol with a cigarette and the surcease of uneasy laughter, to relish the echo of certain songs carefully selected for this moment with the slide of my last quarters into the jukebox,  music certainly written in pre-dawn hours the for the pre-dawn prowler, Keith Richard’s fingers picking out “Moonight Mile” with the precision of a needle sliding into a well-worn groove, the last rush of exhilaration before the nod and the stumble home become, with age, unwelcome coffee and the flush of an uncertain shade of morning obscured by clouds and illuminated with birdsong.

Fearlessly the idiot faced the crowd March 21, 2015

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, Shield of Beauty, The Narrative, The Pointless, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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Smiling.

IN-A-GADDA-DE-DOLCE-VITA March 20, 2015

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Pointless, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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It is Friday. Innocence is not an option.

dolcevita6 (1)

I hear the singing of the undertow
where the anxious waves come and go.

I watch it greedily leach
away the sand beneath
Fellini’s beached monster.

The tide has drowned the beach.
The cafe angel waves. I cannot reach
her distant innocence from here.

I turn my back on the fantastic
and light another cigarette.

Let Sleeping Camels Lie? March 19, 2015

Posted by The Typist in New Orleans, The Narrative, The Pointless, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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I walk into Canseco’s and It’s Midnight at the Oasis on the ceiling speakers. It’s Day 4 of red beans, day 4 of late night meetings with our colleagues in that huge swath of the earth on China Standard Time. I’m eating a salad, again, to relieve the tedium of just red beans.

The best I can say about this week is last night a line came to me, and I forced myself out of bed in spite of my exhaustion and managed three draft strophes for a long poem I’m working on, a break-through, really, another approach to telling history through poetry without hitting a false note: typing, not writing.

Come Friday night at midnight, I am the camel. Coo coo ka choo. OK, maybe you weren’t born when that song came out or were waiting for Saturday night and the Lawrence Welk Show, but this is not a happy thought. Maria Muldaur was a pop pin up girl in my day, with Cher’s looks locks but a real woman’s body, not a stick figure. And a come hither voice in that song that sent chills up and down the spine.

Now I hear it and I remember the card I saw once in the same store, before the changed the racks. Over what hill? When? Where? I don’t remember any hil1!. (I add here my own: harrumph!) I don’t want to be the Camel. I want to be Peter O’Toole and Omar Sharif, both terrified to ride in a camel charge, finishing off a pint of scotch whiskey and milk before they took Aqabah from the land side. To paraphrase another song of long ago, I want to up get on my camel and ride before I’m so old no amount of extras and crew and scotch and milk can get me up in that saddle. I want to stop collapsing on Friday night like Welk’s dead accordion.

I better run. I think my sausage is about done. Wait, can I rephra…oh, never mind.

Odd Words March 18, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Good Night. Safe Home. March 17, 2015

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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NO. I am NOT going to the Holy Ground. (Write on the blackboard 100 times). I’ve had a 12 hour day and more to come this week.

The last little bit of Jameson is gone, and I’ve got a few bottles of Guinness and Altan for company.

When I die, after you leave my marker or scatter my ashes, I don’t ask for a brass band and Didn’t He Ramble. I ask every friend I’ve known (and one I haven’t met yet who can play the fiddle, or at least the penny whistle), to lead everyone away from the sad moment to the party to follow playing this, the one song I’ve heard in fifty plus years that marries sorrow and joy perfectly, that echoes the music of the Acadians whom my German ancestors were assimilated into.

Long ago, halfway into my exile, the Scottish host of The Thistle and Shamrock Fiona Ritche had Micheal Doucet on her show, and pronounced the Acadians the Lost Tribe of the Celtic Race. I felt this on my one visit to Ireland, especially the nights spent in small town inns. And I’ve taken that as license to drink a bit on this day, as I am right now, even though I am but 1/32nd Irish (and thank my sister whose Mormon genealogy, if I can lay hands on it, can give me the name and the county.

(NO. I WILL NOT go &c.)

(Echoes of drunken Welshmen abound in that last statement. But dammit, I shall not go. NO)

If you can talk Doucet into playing my funeral, I’ll promise to arrange for someone to return the ankle bells I drunkenly stole off the stage at the Mardi Gras Party at the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria, VA one long-ago carnival season early in my long exile. If he preceeds me, I will make arrangements for return of the bells myself.

A penny whistle would be just fine. I hear it in my head that way. May this tune carry you safe home tonight is my prayer.

Tommy Bhetty’s Waltz by Altan:

Redemption Songs March 17, 2015

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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Now at the annual collision of our African, Celtic and Sicilian cultures, in this town where the African’s ripped from their villages and put into bondage were too valuable a property to risk so the hungry Irish were set to work and die digging the New Basin Canal, where the Sicilian residents of the French Quarter were lynched by practiced hands, the Mardi Gras Indians will come out even as the Irish and Italians stage their parades and the green beer and red wine will flow, and the streets will be lined with rotted cabbage heads, pork chop sandwiches and loose feathers, a celebration in the way only our entirely Creolized culture knows how to do best. In this one place God set aside like Nod for the rejects of Anglo culture and in which we have established (with a wink and a blind eye from God) all that the propaganda of the north promised in their lies, the true melting pot. It is time to to sing Redemption Songs.

Impacts of Fuzz Effect Guitar on Dopamine Uptake and Recycling Rates in the Brain of the Typist March 13, 2015

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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ABSTRACT: A study of the Fripp Effect, in combination with mellotron, in reducing states of oppositional misbehavior and inducing a state of exhilarated calm by the end of the second side.

Klaatu barada nikto mofo March 13, 2015

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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What Tumblr’s email robot thinks I should be doing with my life. Banking is not one of the choices. Wise, wise robot:

college versus gardening. You decide

I thought the other day, for a moment, how happy I was working my ass off trying to cram six credit hours of graduate school into four weeks: eating well, not smoking or drinking much, climbing that damn hill every day, brain fully engaged in poetry.

A castle helped. As did lunch. As did Venice.

Then again, I”m watching three people go through the end of their MFA on Facebook. Not a pretty picture, at least for two of them. Not naming names. You know who you are.

Gardening. I used to do that.

“The Lake Isle of Innisfree”
By Wm. B. Yeats.

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee;
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping
slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket
sings;
There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet’s wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.

WHAT HE SAID March 13, 2015

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Typist, Todd Rundgren, Toulouse Street.
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honk honk honk [listen closely]

Miller Time 3 1/2 Hours [Exit Only]

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