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Odd Words November 5, 2009

Posted by The Typist in books, literature, New Orleans, NOLA, Odd Words, Toulouse Street.
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Two big events this week: first the NOLA Bookfair and the second the new store grand opening and anniversary celebration of Maple Street Books.

§ The NOLA Bookfair is “an annual celebration of independent publishing and alternative media featuring small presses, zinesters, book artists, anarchists, rabblerousers, and more!”. I will be reading from Carry Me Home and other work at the Apple Barrel Bar, 609 Frenchman St. around 1:30 pm (fourth in a series that starts as 12 but, hey, it’s New Orleans), and parked the rest of the day at a table in Cafe Negril, 606 Frenchman St. (from 10 a.m. until around 6) selling and signing Carry Me Home A Journey Back to New Orleans. Stop by for a free chapbook while they last.

The featured guest is John Berendt, author of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil and The City of Falling Angels, who will speak at Snug Harbor at 2 p.m. on Censorship. Two of New Orleans finest writers, Louis Maistros of The Sound of Building Coffins and Ethan Brown of Shake the Devil Off will be reading (and in Louis’ case, playing his guitar) at the kick-off party at Sound Cafe on Friday at 6 p.m.

Update: Here’s the list of readers at the Apple Barrel on Saturday. I’ve also corrected some times above (Berendt, mine, Friday night’s party!):

  • 12:00—12:20 Myrma L. Enamorado
  • 12:30—12:50 J. Bradley
  • 1:00—1:20 Avah LaReaux
  • 1:30—1:50 Mark Folse
  • 2:00—2:20 Bud Faust
  • 2:30—2:50 Tara Jill Ciccarone
  • 3:00—3:20 The Nose Knows
  • 3:30—3:50 Kevin Brown
  • 4:00—4:20 Celeste Mcarty
  • 4:30—4:50 Andrea Boll
  • 5:00—5:20 Jeff Markowitz
  • 5:30—5:50 Michael Aro

§ The Maple Street Bookstores will celebrate their 45th anniversary and our grand re-opening of the “new” book shop at 7529 Maple and our 9000 plus volume used & rare book shop at 7523 Maple. Festivities will begin at 4:30 Friday, November 6 with Dave Eggers. On Saturday, November 7, the store will feature author readings and signings, door prizes, food, and live music throughout the day. For specific times please see our website. Thank you New Orleans for allowing us to “Fight the Stupids” since 1964! http://www.maplestreetbookshop.com/pages/view/279/279/Events

§ Does your writing suck? How about mine? Here’s a few thoughts from the interesting Lit Drift blog for people who are participating in writing workshops (or online writing workshops, which is all I’ve ever done).

§ A Salon.com piece titled Late Bloomers starts with the anecdote of a writer notified they were being included in an anthology of best young writers, then having that yanked back when they figured out the author was over 40. A review of “late debuts” by two poets, it says, “Collections like [these] couldn’t have accrued any faster than they did without irreparable damage to their wisdom.” As someone who’s first publications of anything [excluding early journalism] came after 50, this immediately set me off wondering about other people late to the dance and their experience with writing (family, workshops, etc.). This piece is really just a review of the two books (which sound quite interesting), but there’s something more in this idea I think I will have to explore myself. Watch this space.

§ So here I am cribbing from Maud Newton, but I’ll just try to pass this off as homage: if you have read this far down, you really should be reading her blog. A few weeks back I wrote about Hank Williams voice as a singer, and just this morning (at Oh Dark:WTF-am-I-doing-up:30) came across this great piece on William’s voice as a writer.

When I asked Rogert Miller what it was about Williams’s songwriting that touched him, he said, “Meticulous. They’re meticulous and all hooked up.” When I asked him what this meant, he sang me two lines from one of his songs.

The moon is high and so am I.
The stars are out and so will I be pretty soon.

“That’s maybe a little too hooked-up,” Miller said, and sang half a verse of “Me and Bobby McGee” a song by Kris Kristofferson and Fred Foster that Miller had discovered and recorded first.

Busted flat in Baton Rouge
Headed for the trains.
Feeling nearly faded as my jeans.

“That’s hooked up,” Miller said. “I love the ‘as’ that picks up ‘flat’ and bat.’”

I know I try for effects of sound and sense just like this and damn but “hooked up” sure sounds finer than prosody.

§ Lee Sheldon, Fuckmook. “When people asked about the writing craft, he offered a lot of advice, including,”Be somewhere where other writers hang out. Hollywood or New York, not Louisiana’.” Join me at the NOLA Bookfair where we can celebrate by offering Sheldon a big fat raspberry by the assembled writers, publishers and artists here in New Orleans.

Odd Words October 22, 2009

Posted by The Typist in books, New Orleans, NOLA, Odd Words, Toulouse Street.
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It looks like a quiet week for Odd Words, but there’s a few things to call out and some events down the road I want to mention.

§ It’s the last week to catch Mondo Bizarro’s production of Moose Jackon’s play Loup Garou in City Park. I’m going Friday (and maybe again Sunday). By the time you read this, expect Friday to be sold out, or so they tell me.

§ I will probably not make it to the Tennessee Williams Festival Literary Legends Hollywood Bash. That’s probably the night I will see Loup Garou, and I don’t have a costume ready, but if you’re the sort who keeps your Darcy duds or Samuel Clemens get up pressed and ready in the closet its 8 p.m. Friday at the Gazebo Cafe. It’s a benefit for the festival so go help and support their programs.

§ Halloween is right around the corner and I think I’ve found what I want to do. Octavia Books is hosting a party to try to lure Neil Gaiman to a future event at the store as part of a contest Gaiman is having sponsoring. Whoever throws the best Halloween party using ideas from his novel, The Graveyard Book, is going to receive a visit from the author. The party is Oct. 31 (‘natch) and starts at 5 p.m.

I am a tremendous fan of Gaiman so I’m going to have to do my bit to get him to come. When I have nothing at hand to read I often pick up and reread his collection Fragile Things. Gainman is up there in my personal pantheon with Borges, de Lint, Cortazar and Crowley as a master of the fantastic.

§ Looking further ahead there is the NOLA Bookfair on Frenchman Street Nov. 7 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Reading by authors will run from noon and 3 p.m. at the Apple Barrel Bar. Books will be for sale at tables in a couple of Frenchman Street bars all day.

I will be reading something, either from Carry Me Home or possibly something else from this blog in the vein of memoir and “the genie soul of place.” but I haven’t figured it out yet. And I’ll be at a table the rest of the day hawking copies of Carry Me Home. Stop by and at least say hello. And watch the table while I get a beer and go to the bathroom. I trust you.

§ That evening I’ll be heading straight uptown to The Dinglerization of America, an art opening featuring Rex Dingler along with a video installation by Christa Rock, performance by Bella Blue and music by DJ Stress. This invite came along with a copy of ReX’s latest chapbook, which I’ll post about at more length later. If your favored haunt seems a little quiet that night, well its because all of the cool people in New Orleans will be at the Coup d’Oeil Art Consortium, 2033 Magazine Street for this soiree’.

§ Speaking of the Tennesee Williams festival, just a reminder that the deadline to enter their fiction writing contest is Nov. 16. So get busy. And if you’re not busy get back to me with comments on that manuscript I sent you to look over.

§ Also on my calendar for November, poet C.D. Wright will read as the 11th Florie Gale Arons Poet at The Newcomb College Center for Research on Women on Monday, Nov. 9 at 7:30 p.m. in Freeman Auditorium. I had not read her until someone affiliated with NCCROW called this out to me, and after looking at some samples in the Internet I will certainly be there.

§ So I made it over to Antenna Gallery to here Stephen Elliott Tuesday night and he was in fact all that. He had a full house in the small space, and read partially in response to the questions he was asked. If you missed it, have a look at his TheRumpus.net piece Why I Write (where I largely found the answer to the question I reference in an earlier post before the reading).

The most interesting story for this space is how his book tour is organized. Before publication, he asked readers of his online space who wanted a pre-publication copy of the book. All they had to do was ask, and they got added to a sort of chain letter in which one person got the book and the list of people to forward it to. He went to this same 400 people who signed up for this exercise to ask them to find a place to host a reading (their home, a place, preferably anything but a bookstore).

His publisher is no longer paying for his flights, and he usually stays at the home of the person who organized the local event. I didn’t have enough cash (oversight, not poverty) to buy another book but brought the copy I have of The Adderall Diaries to get signed. The man needs to tell the story of the self-organizing book tour on his website and stick up a PayPal. I’d gladly wire him a few bucks for the pleasure of meeting him, getting to ask him a few questions about how he writes and hearing him read.