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Odd Words: Getting Ready for Words & Music November 7, 2011

Posted by The Typist in 504, books, literature, New Orleans, Odd Words, Toulouse Street.
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This week’s big event was too big to squeeze into last week’s Odd Words and can’t wait for Thursday: Faulkner House Books and the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society will host there annual Words & Music, a Literary Feast in New Orleans this Wednesday through Sunday at venues across the French Quarter with the Monteleone Hotel the festival headquarters. This year’s theme is Literature and Life in the Global Village.

This year’s festival will feature three Pulitzer Prize winners Oscar Hijuelos, Fiction; Nilo Cruz, Drama; and Robert Olen Butler, Fiction, along with the winner of France’s prestigious Goncourt Prize (equivalent of our National Book Award) for biography Anka Muhlstein. Daily events include master classes with prominent writers, editors and agents; a Literature and Lunch Series daily at Muriel’s featuring a different presentation daily; theatrical and musical performances; and several gala social events including the Faulkner for All Gala, Honoring All Great Writers Friday night.

Friday’s night’s black tie gala will featuring Armando Valladares, former United States Ambassador to the United Nations for Human Rights, and author of the international bestselling memoir, Against All Hope, which details his 22 years as a prisoner of conscience in Castro’s Cuba. 7:00 — 9:00 p. m. – Hotel Monteleone.

Words & Music is a literal feast for the book lover, with other notable presenters including Tom Carson, James P. Farwell, Julie Smith, George Rodrigue, Alex Beard, C. Robert Holloway, James Nolan, Justin Torres, Uriel Quesada, Randy Fertel, Lorie Marie Carlson, Andrew Lam, Robert Hicks, John Biguenet, Eric Liebetrau, Andrei Codrescu, Ted Mooney, Chris Ruen, Rodger Kamenetz, Joséphine Sacabo, Paula McLain, Michael Signorelli, Michael Signorelli, Robert Olen Butler, Signe Pike, Deborah Grosvernorm, Amy Serrano, Javier Olondo, George Bishop, Binnings Ewen, Mark Yakich, Elise Capron, Ken Wells, Roy Blount, Jr., Lee Papa, Elise Blackwell, and Leopoldo Tablante.

Guest editors will represent Kirkus Review, The New Orleans Review, Random House, and Harper-Collins, and numerous agents associated with the festival or presenting authors will also be on hand.

Details of the event including the schedule and cost of events, are available on the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society website. If you have checked the schedule before and already made your plans, check back because there have been some changes of schedule and venue.

Here’s a quick rundown of some stand-out events to carry us through to Thursday’s edition of Odd Words:

& Things will kick off Wednesday morning with an open Master Class featuring Irvin Mayfield and UNO Professor and musician/composer Victor Atkins, addressing the symbiotic relationships between the arts and the importance of these relationships as inspiration for the creation of new works of art. 10:30 am Our Lady of Victory Church, 1116 Chartres St.

& Tom Carson, Film critic for GQ Magazine and author two novels–Daisy Buchanan’s Daughter and Gilligan’s Wake, will discuss the elements of writing which make a good short story and introduce this year’s winner of the William Wisdom Creative writing competition, who will read a short excerpt from the winning manuscript. Noon in the Courtyard at Faulker House Books.

& Literature and Lunch on Wednesday will feature author James P. Farwell’s new book, The Pakistan Cauldron on the subject Love Thy Neighbor, or getting to know our neighbors as part of the festival theme Life & Literature in the Global Village. 12:45 pm at Muriel’s. Literature & Lunch events are $60.

& Why Do Animals Make Such Great Characters for Children’s Literature will include Julie Smith, George Rodrigue, Alex Beard, and C. Robert Holloway discussing about animals, even animals that ordinarily might be considered downright scary, such as tigers and lions, that make them so irresistible as characters for literature.

& Wednesday members of the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society will hold their annual meeting with readings and refreshments. Open to the public with admission. Lead this event and read from her own work is nationally noted poet Laura Mullen, a writer in residence at LSU. Others featured include poet and writing coach Rosemary Daniell; Brad Richard, author of the new collection Motion Studies; poet and fiction writer Tad Bartlett; poet and fiction writer J.Ed Marston; poet M’Bilia Meeker, author of the Spirit of Louis Congo, which won the Faulkner Society’s gold medal for best poem this year, fiction writer Maurice Ruffin; fiction writer Terri Stoor, winner of the 2011 Gold Medalfor her Short story, A Belly Full of Sparrow. This is open to the general public for $15. 4:30 pm at The Cabildo.

& Wednesday closes out with Victor Atkins will perform his new music inspired by the famous Faulkner short story, Barn Burning, and discuss the importance of the interplay between the arts to the creative process. Victor Atkins’ performance is a presentation of the Faulkner Society, the New Orleans Jazz Institute, and the Louisiana State Museum. 6:15 pm at The Cabildo.

& Thursday opens with a Welcome event New Orleans, Mon Amor
Featuring well known New Orleans poet, translator, and fiction writer, James Nolan, author of the new novel Higher Ground, a noir humor set in postdiluvian New Orleans, and a recentcollection of short fiction entitled Perpetual Care. He has been a Writer-in-Residence at Tulane University and currently directs the Loyola Writing Institute at Loyola University in New Orleans. Nolan, a New Orleans native, will speak about the unique elements of the humor of New Orleanians. 8:30 a. m. — Hotel Monteleone, Ground Floor, Royal Suites

& Next up The Hyphenated-American Experience As Inspiration for Literary Art featuring Justin Torres, author of the hot new novel, We The Animals, which has inspired a national chorus of praise from America’s leading newspapers and magazines. Torres will explore imagination versus reality in fiction, addressing the question of how to ground contemporary fiction in reality without grounding the imagination. Invited to introduce him and set the stage for the discussion is Uriel Quesada, Ph.D. Dr. Quesada directs the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at Loyola University. 9:45 a. m. — Hotel Monteleone, Ground Floor, Royal Suites.

& Literature & Lunch will address the Impact of The Exile Experience on Life & Literature in the Global Village will also feature Torres; Oscar Hijuelos, winner of the Pulitzer for his novel The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love; Lori Marie Carlson, who is a translator, editor, and author of award winning anthologies of work by Latino and Oriental-American artists in translation; and Andrew Lam, distinguished Vietnamese – American non-fiction author of Perfume Dreams: Reflections on the Vietnamese Diaspora, which won the Pen American Beyond the Margins Award in 2006, and was short-listed for the Asian American Literature Award. 11:30 p. m. — Hotel Monteleone, Riverview Room, Roof Cash Bar Opens followed by Literature & Lunch at Noon.

& Following lunch The Art of Turning Your Passion into Perfect Pieces of Fiction features New York Times bestselling author Robert Hicks and his literary agent Jeff Kleinman. oining them will be Rosemary Daniell, one of the country’s best writing coaches, founder of the Zona Rosa writing workshops and author of such classics as Fatal Flowers and Sleeping with Soldiers. 2:00 p. m. — Hotel Monteleone, Ground Floor, Royal Suites.

& Thursday’s signature event will be An Afternoon with Oscar Hijuelos, Winner, Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, and Lori Marie Carlson. Carlson will set the stage for Hijuelos, who will do a performance reading from his new, critically acclaimed memoir, Thoughts Without Cigarettes. After the performance he two authors will discuss the importance of identity in the work of hyphenated-American literary artists 3:15 p. m. — Hotel Monteleone, Queen Anne Ballroom.

& How to Read Faulkner and Love it, our traditional salute to our namesake, this year will be replaced by REMEMBERING THE FAULKNERS!, an old fashioned southern wake in memory of Dean Faulkner Wells, niece of Nobel Laureate William Faulkner. Ms. Wells died July 27 after being hospitalized for a collapsed lung. Ms. Wells was adopted and raised as a daughter by William Faulkner after her father Dean, Faulkner’s younger brother, was killed in an airplane crash. The evening will close with 8:30 p. m. — Hotel Monteleone, Queen Anne Ballroom.

This is just a summary of highlights for two days of the five day festival. For more events Wednesday through Sunday, or more details on these visit the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society website. Follow Odd Words here, on Facebook (click the Like! button) and Twitter (Odd_Words) for bulletins and links to coverage of the best of the festival.