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Odd Words May 14, 2015

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

& At 6 pm Thursday Garden District Book Shop presents Patty Friedmann’s Do Not Open for 50 Years. The world turns upside down when Hurricane Katrina hits New Orleans, blasting apart three generations of women in the final installment of the The Cooper Family Saga. Darby Cooper, the daughter of Bernie and Letty whom we met in Too Jewish and came of age with in Too Jewish: The Next Generation, has become a bestselling New Orleans author, drawing on the tragedy of her father’s life.

& At 7 pm the SciFi, Fantasy and Horror Writer’s Group meets at th 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.

& This and every Thursdays call the New Orleans Poetry Brothel and they will read you a poem 8pm-Midnight CST. 504-264-1336

& 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.

& Get ready to be Infused and join Octavia Books for a Saturday morning at the Crescent City Farmers Market featuring Annelies Zijderveld signing and giving samples from her new cookbook, STEEPED: Recipes Infused with Tea, bringing the flavors and fragrances of tea to the table in 70 freshly brewed recipes. Get your oolong on! From morning eats to evening sweets, Steeped infuses your day with the flavors and fragrances of tea. Romance your oat porridge with rooibos, jazz up your brussel sprouts with jasmine, charge your horchata with masala chai! Annelies Zijderveld’s deliciously inventive tea-steeped recipes include: Matcha Chia Pudding Parfaits, Earl Grey Soba Noodle Salad, Green Tea Coconut Rice, Chamomile Buttermilk Pudding with Caramelized Banana, and Earl Grey Poached Pears with Masala Chai Caramel Sauce.

& Saturday at 10 am The Monthly Meeting of the Southern Louisiana Chapter of the Romance Writers of America occurs at the East Jefferson Regional Library. The meeting features guest speakers who discuss all aspects of writing, editing and publishing. Topics frequently explore topics other than romance writing though they focus on subjects that make writers better at their craft.

& Saturday it’s Story Time with Miss Maureen at 11:30am at Maple Street Book Shop. This week she’ll read The Dullards by Sara Pennypacker, illustrated by Daniel Salmieri. Meet the Dullards is a clever and irreverent picture book about a comically boring family, from bestselling author Sara Pennypacker and illustrator Daniel Salmieri. Their home is boring. Their food is plain. Their lives are monotonous. And Mr. and Mrs. Dullard like it that way. But their children—Blanda, Borely, and Little Dud—have other ideas. Never has dullness been so hilarious than in this deadpan, subversive tale.

& Saturday from 11am – 1pm Deborah Burst signs copies of her books Louisiana’s Sacred Places and The Hallowed Halls of Greater New Orleans. The first blurs the lines between the sacred and the profane. Author Deborah Burst combines her love for art, history and architecture into a poetic trail of churches, cemeteries and Voodoo ceremonies. Explore Louisiana’s most solemn and revered locales. From New Orleans’ most telling portraits of eternal architecture to St. Roch Chapel’s chamber of miracles with relics of pain and suffering. Burst brings readers inside Voodoo ceremonies with vivid photography and a detailed history on the religion. Moving north along the cypress bayous learn the mysteries of the Creole tradition in lighting the graves on All Saints Day. Follow the trail west along the muddy Mississippi where country chapels whisper tales of survival against the river’s mighty floods. Inside the Feliciana Parishes, nineteenth-century

& At 2 pm at Octavia Books Margret Aldrich presents and signs THE LITTLE FREE LIBRARY BOOK. In 2009, Todd Bol built the first Little Free Library as a memorial to his mom. Five years later, this simple idea to promote literacy and encourage community has become a movement. Little Free Libraries—freestanding front-yard book exchanges—now number twenty thousand in seventy countries. The Little Free Library Book tells the history of these charming libraries, gathers quirky and poignant firsthand stories from owners, provides a resource guide for how to best use your Little Free Library, and delights readers with color images of the most creative and inspired LFLs around.

& Please join us at Pistil & Stamen Flower Farm (1900 St. Claude) on Saturday, May 16th at 7 pm for a “GAY/GARDENS”-themed book release party in honor of Jenn Marie Nunes’ AND/OR, winner of the the inaugural Queer Voices Contest from Switchback Books. We will have flower-themed cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, copies of AND/OR for sale, and readings by Jenn Marie Nunes, Anne Marie Rooney, Megan McHugh, and Kristin Sanders. Please note that the rain location is Baskerville

& Sunday at 2 pm visit Octavia Books for a Sunday afternoon reading & signing with Megan Braden-Perry (author) and Lyn Brantly Vicknair (illustrator) celebrating the launch of their very cute debut children’s picture book, ALLEN THE ALLIGATOR COUNTS THROUGH NEW ORLEANS. “One alligator named Allen, wearing a silver medallion, boarded the Elysian Fields bus. He greeted the driver, paid his fare and spotted his good pal Gus.” What follows is a day full of fun and adventure, from eating classic New Orleans cuisine to stopping bullies and touring a police station.

& Sunday at 2 pm Garden District Book Shop features Eleni N. Gage’s The Ladies of Managua. When Maria Vazquez returns to Nicaragua for her beloved grandfather’s funeral, she brings with her a mysterious package from her grandmother’s past-and a secret of her own. And she also carries the burden of her tense relationship with her mother Ninexin, once a storied revolutionary, now a tireless government employee. As Ninexin tries to reach her daughter, and Maria wrestles with her expectations for her romance with an older man, Isabela, the mourning widow, is lost in memories of attending boarding school in 1950’s New Orleans, where she loved and lost almost sixty years ago. When the three women come together to bid farewell to the man who anchored their family, they are forced to confront their complicated, passionate relationships with each other and with their country-and to reveal the secrets that each of them have worked to conceal.

& This Sunday at 3 pm The Maple Leaf Reading Series features poet James Robinson will read from his new chapbook, The Caterpillars at Saint Bernard from Mule on a Ferris Wheel Press. The Maple Leaf Reading Series is the oldest continuous reading in the south (making an allowance for Katrina), and was founded by noted and beloved local poet Everette Maddox.

& The New Orleans Haiku Society shares Haiku on the third Monday of every month at the Latter Branch Library, 5120 St. Charles Ave., from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. All are invited to attend. For more information call 596-2625.

& Tuesday at 6 pm Garden District Book Shop hosts Amy Conner and Million Dollar Road. Eighteen-year-old Lireinne Hooten has always been on the lowest rung of the ladder. Abandoned by her mother, Lireinne lives with her stepfather in an old trailer on Million Dollar Road. Every day she walks the long mile, through a canopy of live oaks, to her job at the world’s largest alligator farm. Shy and overweight in high school, Lireinne has become lean and resilient from months of hosing out the huge cement barns. And just like Snowball—the enormous, all-white alligator she feeds illicit treats every day—she’s hungry to be free.
Lireinne’s boss, Con Costello, is powerful, attractive, and used to getting exactly what he desires. Now that he’s noticed Lireinne’s haunting beauty, he wants her too. But unlike Con’s needy second wife, Lizzie, or Emma, his still heartbroken ex, Lireinne isn’t interested. Undeterred, Con’s growing obsession will upend all their lives—compelling Lizzie to confront the hard truth about her marriage, pushing Emma past her self-imposed isolation and back into the world. And for Lireinne, it will lead to an unexpected chance to redefine herself, far away from her past and from Million Dollar Road.

& Tuesday at 7 pm the East Jefferson Regional Library Great Books Discussion Group chat about “Catcher in the Rye”. Since his debut in 1951 as The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield has been synonymous with “cynical adolescent.” Holden narrates the story of a couple of days in his sixteen-year-old life, just after he’s been expelled from prep school, in a slang that sounds edgy even today and keeps this novel on banned book lists.

& Wednesday Jenn Marie Nunes and Kia Alice Groom read at Blood Jet Poetry at BJ’s Lounge at 8 pm. Nunes is the author of five chapbooks, including HYMN: An Ovulution, a collaboration with poet Mel Coyle, from Bloof Books. She lives in New Orleans where she co-edits TENDE RLOIN, an online gallery for poetry, and performs as [Bi]Nary with the New Orleans Poetry Brothel.Her first full-length collection, AND/OR, selected by Dawn Lundy Martin as winner of the Queer Voices Award, was just released from Switchback Books. Groom is a writer, poet and professional cagreenhairt lady from Perth, Western Australia. She currently resides in the United States, where she is an MFA candidate at the University of New Orleans, Louisiana. She graduated from Edith Cowan University in 2011 with a First Class Honours in Poetry. She enjoys writing about the intersection between the grotesque and girly, and can often be found asleep, or covered in glitter.

& Wednesday will be Esoterotica’s Debaucherous Duets third year, and that means you get to see your favorite local provocateurs do it again, together, on stage. Yes, that’s right, Wednesday, May 20th, it’s an evening showcasing entirely collaborative and group erotica. Of you are curious (in any color) this is art not smut, and an Odd Words recommended event.

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

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Odd Words March 4, 2015

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

& Thursday at 6 pm Jyl Benson and Sam Hanna bring their book FUN, FUNKY, AND FABULOUS: New Orleans’ Casual Restaurant Recipes to Octavia Books. Filled with folksy art and creative recipes from affordable restaurants captured in tantalizing photographs—with tidbits of history thrown in as lagniappe—author Jyl Benson serves up just the right taste of this fascinating and ever-evolving city. Included are neighborhood favorites such as MoPho, Purtoo, Toup’s Meatery, Lola, Bhava, and Juan’s Flying Burrito: A Creole Taqueria.

& Thursday at 7 pm the SciFi, Fantasy and Horror Writer’s Group meets at the East Jefferson Regional Library.

& IT’S THURSDAY NIGHT & THE GIRAFFES ARE ON FIRE…That means it’s time to call the New Orleans Poetry Brothel for a personal poetry reading! Call 504-264-1336 between 8-Midnight CST. [This copy taken directly from the Poetry Brothel Facebook page. To the best of Odd Word’s knowledge, no giraffes were harmed in the hosting of this event.]

& 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 9 pm brings Slam Up to The New Movement, 2706 St Claude Ave. In case you didn’t know Slam Up is kinda like “underground speakeasy meets bubblegum pop. It’s dirty, jubilant, tender and inspiring. Not exactly a comedy music set, not exactly a poetry slam, not exactly a lesbian folk duo- Slam Up is something all to itself.” -William Glen, Fringe Review.

& This Saturday brings Story Time with Miss Maureen 11:30 am at Maple Street Book Shop.

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

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

& Also on Saturday The Dickens Fellowship of New Orleans hosts its March meeting at the Metairie Park Country Day School’s Bright Library from 2:00-4:00 p.m. BLEAK HOUSE, Chapters 43-49 will be discussed. The New Orleans Branch of the Dickens Fellowship holds meetings September through May, reading one of the works of Charles Dickens each year. The meetings include book discussions, movie versions of the novel, and lectures by Dickens scholars. This year’s book is BLEAK HOUSE. Dues
are $25/person (couples $40) payable in September.

& This Sunday at 3 pm The Maple Leaf Reading Series celebrates the life of Sara Beth Wildflower, presented by Lisa A. Hix and Brad Ott. Bring any poems, photos or memories!followed by an open mic. The Maple Leaf Reading Series, founded by poet Everette Maddox, is the oldest continuous poetry reading series in the south.

& Monday at 5:30 pm the Robert E. Smith branch library will host its biweekly creative writing workshop.

& Monday at 6 pm Octavia Books will host a Middle School Book Event, Peter Lerangis and SEVEN WONDERS #4: The Curse of the King. The adventure unfolds in this fourth book in the New York Times bestselling Seven Wonders series!

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

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

& Wednesday The Blood Jet returns too B.J.’s Lounge at 8 pm with poets Jonathan Penton and Bernd Sauermann. Penton founded the literary electronic magazine Unlikely Stories. Since then, UnlikelyStories.org has grown into a contemporary multimedia journal of sociopolitical and cultural essays, reviews, interviews, criticism, poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction, movies, visual art, music, cross-media work, and first-hand tales of political and cultural activism, now known as Unlikely Stories: Episode IV. It has spawned a print and e-book subsidiary, Unlikely Books, which has published, among other things, the 418-page anthology (CD and DVD attached) Unlikely Stories of the Third Kind. Jonathan currently serves as Editor-in-Chief of Unlikely Stories: Episode IV and Unlikely Books, Managing Editor for both Fulcrum and MadHat Press, and a co-ordinator for Acadiana Wordlab, a weekly literary drafting workshop in Lafayette, Louisiana. Born in Hof, Germany, Sauermann graduated in 1993 from McNeese State University with an MA in English and an MFA in Creative Writing (poetry). Since then, Sauermann has taught at colleges in Illinois and Vermont and currently teaches composition, literature, creative writing, and film in the Division of Fine Arts and Humanities at Hopkinsville Community College in Hopkinsville, Kentucky. Sauermann was also the poetry editor at Whole Beast Rag, a now-retired online (and sometimes print) journal of art, ideas, and literature. He has a chapbook entitled Diesel Generator out from Horse Less Press (2013), and his first full-length collection, Seven Notes of a Dead Man’s Song, was released by MadHat Press at the Brooklyn Book Festival, September, 2014

& Wednesday at 6 pm The New Orleans Youth Open Mic invites all 7th-12th grade poets to come out and share their work OR support their friends as they share at Tulane University’s Lavin-Bernick Center, downstairs in Der Rathskeller Cafe. This month, we have partnered with the Tulane Black Arts Fest for a double whammy of a feature with 2 New Orleans born and now internationally renowned poets! First we have 2014 National Poetry Slam Champion, award winning educator and top tier TED Talker Clint Smith! He accompanies the legendary queen of New Orleans poetry, HBO Def Poet Sunni Patterson! This is a line up any poetry fan would swoon over! And we’re bringing it straight to the youth! Don’t miss it!

& 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 November 5, 2014

Posted by The Typist in Biography, books, bookstores, Indie Book Shops, literature, New Orleans, NOLA, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, Toulouse Street.
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This week in literary New Orleans featuring LadyFest and the NOLA Book Fair:

& Thursday at 6 pm Dominic Massa presents New Orleans Radio, with guests: Bob Walker, Keith Rush, Ed Clancy, and “Pal Al” Nassar at Garden District Book Shop. Thursday, November 6th 6-7:30PM From humble beginnings in a physics lab on the campus of Loyola University came the sounds of the first radio station in the lower Mississippi River Valley when WWL Radio signed on in 1922. The little station would grow into a national powerhouse, with its morning Dawnbusters show and nightly broadcasts from the Blue Room of the Roosevelt Hotel. The city’s second oldest station, WSMB, with studios in the Maison Blanche Building, developed its own cast of favorites, including “Nut and Jeff.” Later, in the city known as the birthplace of jazz, radio played a key role in popularizing early rock and roll. Disc jockeys at leading stations WTIX and WNOE helped develop the Crescent City sound, along with local personalities with colorful names like “Poppa Stoppa,” “Jack the Cat,” and “Dr. Daddy-O.” Dominic Massa discusses and signs his book, New Orleans Radio, with guests: Bob Walker, Keith Rush, Ed Clancy, and “Pal Al” Nassar.. This book is avaiable in paperback ($21.99). If you are unable to attend, you must call the book shop to order signed books.

& At Garden District Book Shop on Thursday at 6 pm James Nolan will be reading and signing You Don’t Know M.e In this collection of interrelated short stories, James Nolan swings wide open the courtyard gates of a city fabled both for its good times and bad. With ten new stories plus ten from his acclaimed previous volume, Perpetual Care. We meet fatherless boys, Creole spinsters, and lying hustlers, a pregnant teenager, a concert pianist searching for his roots, a crooked homicide detective, a Carnival-parade king hiding in a Dunkin’ Donuts, a pistol-packing babysitter, and a codger who plots to blow up an overpass. Bookended by two post-Katrina stories, this collection takes us from the secretive hive of the French Quarter to decaying cemeteries, from Gentilly to Uptown to family dramas in the suburbs.

& Thursday at 6 pm check out the weekly Spoken Word event #WordConnections at the Juju Bag Cafe.

& Thursday at 7 pm bring the bi-weekly meeting of the SciFi, Fantasy and Horror Writer’s Group at the East Jefferson Regional Library. James Butler, a writer of science fiction and fantasy (especially steampunk), leads a workshop to encourage the creation of these genres by local authors. Open to all levels. Free of charge and open to the public. No registration.
Library: East Bank Regional Library

& Thursday at 8 pm Poet performer DON PAUL and members of ORQUESTA FLEUR present: “Duende, that mysterious force that surges up through the soles up your feet…” Featuring poet performer Don Paul: Poems & songs with bhodran and shakers, and Tangos by members of ORQUESTA FLEUR: Katarina Boudreaux (piano0, Stephanie Reed (accordian), Tom Collins (blues harp), Dancers Nanci Zhang & Casey Mills w/ Grand Finale featuring a full collaboration of all artists, musicians & dancers with OPEN MIC hosted by JIMMY ROSS.

& Every Thursday evening the New Orleans Poetry Brothel hosts a Poetry Hotline. Call 504-264-1336) from 8-12 pm CST and we’ll to hear an original poem.

Friday at 2 pm WordPlay New Orleans poets and educators Asia Rainey and Christopher Williams presents a celebration of poetic works by Tom Dent through readings of his work and inspired new writings. Community is invited to share poetry and learn more about the legacy of Tom Dent at the Main Auditorium of the New Orleans Main Library, 219 Loyola Avenue. His published works included the book of poetry, Magnolia Street. He was a passionate groomer of other Black writers and worked hard to sustain the Free Southern Theater writing workshop and Congo Square Writers’ Union in his hometown of New Orleans and the Umbra Workshop on the Lower East Side in New York.

& Friday at 5 pm Octavia Books Shop hosts Good Night, Sleep Tight (Fall-ish) Story Hour Children’s Picture Book Event featuring Strega Nona’s Harvest. Miss Holly, one of our best book slingers, will read from a selection of fall-ish books for our second Good Night, Sleep Tight Story Hour.

& Friday at 6 pm Dillard University will host an Author Panel featuring Shelia Goss, Kristina K. Robinson, and Maurice Ruffin discussing Tom Dent’s life, works, and mission. Authors will read a selection from their original works and an audience Q & A about the state of black contemporary fiction, publishing, and the writing process will follow.

& Friday at 6 pm at Garden District Book Shop with her memoir, A Street in a Town Remembered, Carole Shelby Carnes does for Shelby, Mississippi, what Laura Ingalls Wilder did for the Great Plains and what Lucy Maud Montgomery did for Prince Edward Island. Memorializing this small Delta town from its roots through its heyday, Carnes tells the story of remarkable families and one extraordinary place. Carnes captures the spirit of Shelby in her descriptions, both of the famous plantation dances where the Delta elite mingled and of the hard times and indomitable spirit of the laboring sharecroppers. Through her own voice and the voice of her mother, May, readers meet Lizzie, Carole’s brave and funny nurse; Kennedy, the town’s tragic WWI hero; James Chow, the town’s Chinese grocer; and many others. Carole Shelby Carnes discusses and signs her book, A Street In A Town Remembered.

& Friday is the first day of the 2014 Lady Fest Poetry Series at Buffa’s. Hosted By: Megan Burns, the evening features poets FreeQuency, Nancy Dixon, Gina Ferrara, Amanda Smith, Whitney Mackman, Chyana Hall, RK Powers’ Sandra Johnson, Paula Anicete, Izzy Oneiric’ Roxy Seay, Kim Vodicka, Stacy Balkun, Patti DeMatteo, Kesha Star Young’ Sunday Shae Parker, w/ a special dance performance by Miz Reese Johanson.

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

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

& At 2 pm Saturday at the Algiers Regional Library Luci Parham will read her book Sacalait Smith, about a young girl who learns the important lessons of self-acceptance and appreciation of where she comes from.

& Sunday starting at 10 am the Zeitgeist Multidisciplinary Art Center hosts the annual New Orleans Bookfair. With a diverse list of authors, publishers, presses and local book-arts collectives this years bookfair will be an exciting all day bookstravaganza. The bookfair will include tablers, panels and performances and is not to be missed. Including tabling and presentations by: AK Press, PM Press, Ben Passmore, Erin Wilson, Alisha Rae, Osa Atoe/Shotgun Seamstress, Deep South Samizdat Books, Crimethinc. Ex-Workers Collective, Community Records, The Southern Letterpress, Lost Tales Publishing, Mamaphiles, The Iron Rail Book Collective, and The New Orleans Review

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

& 2014 Lady Fest Poetry Series continues Sunday night at 5 pm at The Silk Road back room (formerly Schiro’s Cafe) 2507 Royal St. Hosted by: Megan Harris and feature Valentine Pierce, Geryll Robinson a.k.a. Dr. G. Love, Lisa Pasold, Constance Adler, Renee Nelson, Desireé V. Dallagiacomo, Emily Ewings, Sara Jacobelli, Alice Urchin, Kailyn McCord, Roselyn Leonard, Jade Hurter, Laura Mattingly and Raina Zelinski.

& Starting this Monday at 5 pm New Orleans Spoken Word Artists will present monthly workshops that include poetry writing and performance, with the goal of building community through writing and strengthening students’ written and verbal communication skills. Second Monday of the Month (beginning November 10), 5 p.m

& On Monday Octavia Books presents W. Bruce Cameron’s THE MIDNIGHT PLAN OF THE REPO MAN. Cameron is the author of A DOG’S PURPOSE and 8 SIMPLE RULES for DATING MY TEENAGE DAUGHTER.. When you pre-order THE MIDNIGHT PLAN of the REPO MAN during October, $4 of the sale will go to Villalobos Rescue Center. Ruddy McCann, former college football star, now Kalkaska, Michigan repo man, has a fairly simple life repossessing cars, hanging out with his dog Jake, and working at the bar his sister inherited from their parents, enjoying the nightly company of friends and all of their colorful patrons. Simple, that is, until he starts hearing a voice in this head.

& Monday at 7:30 pm poet Andy Stallings, who just published his first book To the Heart of the World), will be reading at Tulane University in Stone Auditorium, Art Building, 7:30PM. Reception to follow, 8:30, Faculty Lounge, Newcomb Hall. You can read an interview from his last New Orleans appearance on Room 220.

&On Tuesday the Jefferson Parish Libraries will be closed in observance of Veterans Day.

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

& Tuesday at 6 pm Octavia Books hosts a reading and signing with Moira Crone celebrating the launch of her new novel, THE ICE GARDEN. Ten-year-old Claire adores her brand-new baby sister, but her mother doesn’t feel the same. Trapped in the suffocating culture of the small-town South in the early 1960s, Claire’s mother tries to cope with her own mental illness and all the expectations placed upon a woman of her class. While Claire’s father remains too dazzled by his beautiful wife to recognize the impending dangers, Claire is left largely on her own to save herself and her baby sister–with mesmerzing and shocking consequences. Moira Crone won the Robert Penn Warren Award from the Fellowship of Southern Writers in 2009 for the body of her work. She is also a recent finalist for the Phiip K. Dick Award. The author of six books of fiction, she has received fellowships from the NEA, the Bunting Institute of Hardvard/Radcliffe, and the ATLAS program for Louisiana Artists. Her shorter works have appeared in The New Yorker, Oxford American, Southern Review, and more than a dozen anthologies.

& Tuesday at 6 pm Garden District Book Shop features Tina Freeman and Morgan Molthrop’s Artist Spaces, New Orleans. Few artists have the luxury of separate work and living spaces, thus work and life often end up compressed into a singular personal environment. Artist Spaces, New Orleans provides a comprehensive portrait of the city’s artists and their relationship to space. In more than one hundred extraordinary photos taken by Tina Freeman and more than a dozen artist interviews by Morgan Molthrop, Artist Spaces, New Orleans highlights the spaces of New Orleans art luminaries George Dureau, Ron Bechet, Ma-Po, Dawn Dedeaux, Elizabeth Shannon, Willie Birch, Ersy, David Halliday, Robert Tannen, Elenora “Rukiya” Brown, Nicole Charbonnet, Kevin Kline, Amy Weiskopf, Keith Duncan, Josephine Sacabo, Lin Emery, and graffiti artist “Fat Boy.” The interviews and photos provide a perfect complement. While Freeman poetically captures an intensely personal vision of the artists and their spaces, Molthrop unearths what the most accomplished artists in the city have to say about their relationship to that space. What results is an indication that each artist’s style is often reflected in the quality, character, and aesthetic of their living/working environments–a striking illustration of how deeply personal, all-encompassing, and interconnected are life and art.

& Tuesday at 7 pm at the Alvar Library on air personality, painter, and book artist from Kenner, Myrna Leticia Enamorado will read a selection from Growing Flowers By Candlelight In My Hotel Room, one of her hand made artist books — collections of illustrations, completed over a decade.

& Tuesday at 7 pm brings the monthly 1718 Reading at the Columns Hotel, featuring Catherine Lacey, Loyola alumna, read for us next Tuesday, November 11th. Here is a short bio: Catherine Lacey’s work has appeared in The New York Times, Guernica, McSweeney’s Quarterly, The Paris Review Daily, The Atlantic, The Believer, Electric Literature and many others. She was named a New Voice by Granta in 2014 and has earned fellowships from The New York Foundation for the Arts and Columbia University, where she earned an MFA in Nonfiction. She was born in Mississippi. Lacey will be reading from her debut novel Nobody is Ever Missing.

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

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

& At 8 pm Wednesday it is Poetry & Music at BJs’ Blood Jet Series at BJ’s at 8 pm. This Wednesday’s feature is poet Ben Lowenkron joins us at Blood Jet this Wednesday night. Lowenkron ‘s home is the river. Born and raised in Virginia by the Potomac, he moved beside the James and the York to attend the College of William and Mary, and now lives with the Mississippi in Louisiana where he received his MFA from LSU and currently teaches at Baton Rouge Community College. His collection, Bone River, was published by Ampersand books.

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

Odd Words September 18, 2014

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

& Thursday at 6 pm check out the weekly Spoken Word event #WordConnections at the Juju Bag Cafe.

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

& Every Thursday evening the New Orleans Poetry Brothel hosts a Poetry Hotline. Call 504-264-1336) from 8-12 pm CST and we’ll to hear an original poem.

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

& Saturdays at 11:30 am its Story Time with Miss Maureen at Maple Street Book Shop. Wear your best hat! We’ll be reading Happy Birthday Madame Chapeau by Andrea Beaty, pictures by David Roberts. From the bestselling team behind Iggy Peck, Architect and Rosie Revere, Engineer comes this delightful and very stylish story about love, community, and friendship, with some fancy hats thrown in for good measure. Full color.

& Trisha Rezende, MFA, leads a dynamic writing workshop where students will produce, share, and critique texts while learning how to develop character, voice, and style Saturday 10:30 am – noon at the Nix Branch of the New Orleans Public Library.

& Saturday at 3:30 come meet author Lawrence Goldstone when he stops by Octavia Books to sign copies of his latest book, BIRDMEN: The Wright Brothers, Glenn Curtis, and the Battle to Control the Skies. From award-winning writer Lawrence Goldstone comes a gripping narrative of the to-the-death rivalry between the Wright Brothers and Glenn Hammond Curtiss, and a fresh look at a formative era: the astounding and dangerous early days of flight.

& Every Sunday at 3 p.m. The Maple Leaf Reading Series, the oldest continuous reading series in the south, founded by Everette Maddox, features guest poets and an open mic. This Sunday features a long awaited event– a new book from Ralph Adamo. Come by and hear Ralph read, pick up your copy, and enjoy some refreshments on us. Ever is a collection of poems begun at the turn of the 21st century, composed and revised through the beginning of the year 2014. In this, his 7th collection and his first following Waterblind: New & Selected Poems (2002), Ralph writes through wars, hurricanes and endurance of every sort. He writes about becoming a father after age 50 and raising two children in a time of transition and conflict, in forms ranging from tight couplets through prose poetry and various experimental turns. At times painfully lucid, at times opaque, simultaneously personal and universal, Ralph’s poems seek that most elusive goal: truth as far as language can pursue it.

Monday kicks off Banned Books Week with two events:

& At the main branch of the New Orleans Public Library, 219 Loyola Avenue, co-sponsored by the New Orleans Public Library, the Jefferson Parish Public Library, the ACLU of Louisiana, and the New Orleans Gulf South Booksellers Association, the evening promises to inform and entertain attendees with a stellar roster of participating authors and local luminaries.

Schedule to read are the following: Thomas Beller, author of J.D. Salinger: The Escape Artist; Nancy Dixon, author of N.O. Lit: 200 Years of New Orleans Literature; Bill Lavender, author of Q; Constance Adler, author of My Bayou: New Orleans through the Eyes of a Lover; Bill Loehfelm, author of The Devil In Her Way; Rebecca Snedeker, co-author of Unfathomable City: A New Orleans Atlas; Kim Vaz-Deville, author of The ‘Baby Dolls’: Breaking the Race and Gender Barriers of the New Orleans Mardi Gras Tradition; Stephanie Grace, New Orleans Advocate columnist; Charles Brown, Library CEO & City Librarian, New Orleans; Nevada Barr, author of Destroyer Angel; Amanda Boyden, author of Babylon Rolling; Maurice Ruffin, attorney and author with the MelaNated Writers Collective.

& Mid-City’s new bookstore Tubby and Coo’s on Monday features: 5:30-6:00 p.m. Open mic – customers read from their favorite banned books and 6:00-6:30 p.m.: Local romance author Farrah Rochon reads from her favorite banned book. On Tuesday 5:30-6:00 p.m.: Open mic – customers read from their favorite banned books and 6:00-7:00 p.m.: Local mystery authors Greg Herren & J.M. Redmann read from their favorite banned books.

& 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.

& Michael Rubin, author of THE COTTONCREST CURSE, visits Octavia Books on Tuesday at 6 pm. The bodies of an elderly colonel and his comely young wife are discovered on the staircase of their stately plantation home, their blood still dripping down the wooden balustrades. Within the sheltered walls of Cottoncrest, Augustine and Rebecca Chastaine have met their deaths under the same shroud of mystery that befell the former owner, who had committed suicide at the end of the Civil War. Locals whisper about the curse of Cottoncrest Plantation, an otherworldly force that has now taken three lives. But Sheriff Raifer Jackson knows that even a specter needs a mortal accomplice, and after investigating the crime scene, he concludes that the apparent murder/suicide is a double homicide, with local peddler Jake Gold as the prime suspect. Michael H. Rubin’s The Cottoncrest Curse takes readers on the bold journey of Jake’s flight within an epic sweep of treachery and family rivalry ranging from the Civil War to the civil rights era, as the impact of the 1893 murders ripples through the twentieth century and violence besets the owners of Cottoncrest into the 1960s.

& At 6 pm Tuesday Peter Abadie presents Green in Judgement Cold in Blood at the Garden District Book Shop. Assassination is the template that binds this work together. Whether it’s the murder of the modern world through a political miscalculation during the Cuban missile crisis or through mistakes made in Indochina, the result would be the same. The individual assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Lee Harvey Oswald, innocent Russian peasants, Ngo Diem of Vietnam, his brother, Nhu, and even the Empress of Hungary, is a replete theme that hovers throughout the novel. The self-immolation by a Buddhist monk and the attempted assassinations of Fidel Castro, his brother Raul, and Che Guevara, adds considerable spice to the murderous stew. Couched behind most scenes are the actions of the four sets of brothers. Whether it’s the Kennedy, the Bundy, the Castro, or the Ngo Dinh brothers, their insatiable desire to rule was paramount in most of their decisions and in two of the four sets, it led to their demise.

& Tuesday at 7 pm the Jefferson Parish Library features Three New Authors at the East Jefferson Regional Library:

  • When the Lights Went Out in the City is the first children’s book for New Orleans native Christi Johnston Rice. With the help of Megan Kay Nolan’s illustrations, the book follows Flambeaux, a power truck, as he drives throughout the Greater New Orleans area during a hurricane power outage. It is an interactive “hide and seek” book with familiar sights, such as City Park, Audubon Zoo, and other local spots both parents and kids will enjoy. Christi Rice is a “born and raised” New Orleanian. She is a graduate of Mount Carmel Academy and she attended Louisiana State University and University of New Orleans. She is the marketing director for the professional organizer Clutter Clearer, LLC. This is her first adventure in writing a children’s book.
  • Hurricane Boy, by Laura Dragon. In this coming-of-age story, Hollis Williams matures in the traumatic events of Hurricane Katrina. Living with his siblings and his grandmother, Hollis’s greatest wish has always been to reconnect with his absent father. Through the turmoil of the storm and the ensuing tests of his determination, Hollis keeps this dream alive. Their home destroyed, Hollis and his younger siblings are taken to a shelter in West Virginia, where he discovers what family means and finds his own inner strength. Laura Dragon is a clinical social worker and a writer on the side. She has been writing for 20 years and Hurricane Boy is her first published novel. She says writing is harder work than she ever realized, but it’s been worth it.
  • This Day, by Kristen Hedgepeth. At 16 pages, This Day is a compact, illustrated volume that shows children why this day can be a better day than the one before. Hedgepeth believes there are many children who need something positive to help them face another day, especially if they have been abused, lost a loved one, are being bullied or having a rough time in todays’ challenging world. The book is dedicated to children affected by domestic abuse. A portion of the proceeds from the book will be donated to this cause. As a reminder, October is fast approaching and is recognized nationally as domestic violence awareness month.

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

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

& At 8 pm Wednesday WHO be reading at the Poetry & Music at BJs’ Blood Jet Series at BJ’s at 8 pm. This week features Laura Theobold & Danielle Buchanan.

& Also on Wednesday come see some of your favorite poets break out of the traditional slam format and perform 1 and 2 minute poems in a multi-round competition 1t the Love Lost Lounge.. We’ll open the show with a brief open mic. Open mic sign up will begin at 7 on the day of the show. Due to high demand and a limited amount of spots, the slam is currently full.

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

Odd Words July 31, 2014

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

& Thursday at 6 pm check out Team Slam New Orleans at the #wordconnections spoken word event at the Juju Bag Cafe.

& Every Thursday evening the New Orleans Poetry Brothel hosts a Poetry Hotline. Call 504-264-1336) from 8-12 pm CST and we’ll to hear an original poem.

& On Thursday at 5 p.m. Octavia Books culminates their Find Waldo in New Orleans program with fun, games and the drawing of The Grand Prize (and lots of other prizes) for everyone who found Waldo in New Orleans this July. Regardless of your age, you are encouraged to come in costume. The event is being recorded by MSNBC for national broadcast. And if you haven’t found Waldo yet, there is still time – but hurry!!!

& On Friday at 6 p.m. Garden District Book Shops hosts Rolland Golden’s Rolland Golden: Life, Love, and Art in the French Quarter at the Garden District Gallery, 1332 Washington, New Orleans 70130. In the early twentieth century, the French Quarter had become home to a vibrant community of working artists attracted to the atmosphere, architecture, and colorful individuals who populated the scene (and who also became some of its first preservationists). Louisiana native Rolland Golden was one of these artists to live, work, and raise a family in this most storied corner of New Orleans. With 94 black-and-white and 54 color photographs and illustrations, his memoir of that life focuses on the period of 1955 to 1976. Golden, a painter, discusses the particular challenges of making a living from art, and his story becomes a family affair involving his daughters and his beloved wife, Stella.

& Saturday at 11:30 am Maple Street Book Shop hosts Connie Collins Morgan reading and signing The Runaway Beignet. In the heart of New Orleans lived an old baker named Marcel who made the most delicious beignets in the entire city. While his heart is filled with kindness, his home is cold and lonely. To repay some gratitude, a mysterious stranger grants Marcel a wish with his magic bag of sugar in this Louisiana-flavored retelling of a classic tale. Out of the sugared pastry pops the beignet boy with a penchant for trouble, who zips from Canal Street through Jackson Square and the French Market. His hilarious antics, a smattering of French phrases, and New Orleans cultural icons scattered like powdered sugar on the deliciously re-spun story will delight readers of all ages. Illustrator Herb Leonhard brings this little beignet to life with a mischievous grin and a sprinkle of sugar. His images of New Orleans dance across the pages, bringing a true taste of the city to the story. Author Connie Collins Morgan draws upon her memories of life in Louisiana—and her favorite treats—to make this retelling stand apart from the rest with an infectious jazz beat and the sweet aroma of magic sugar in its wake.

&Saturday at 2 p.m. the Latter Memorial Library hosts the monthly Poetry Buffet hosted by Gina Ferrara. This month features poets Asia Rainey, M.e. Riley, and Jordan Soyka .

& Every Sunday at 3 p.m. The Maple Leaf Reading Series, the oldest continuous reading series in the south, founded by Everette Maddox, features guest poets and an open mic. This Sunday is T.B.A as of Thursday.

& Join Team Slam New Orleans Sunday evening at 7 p.m at the Shadow Box Theater for their August Open Mic + Slam and help send Team SNO off to the National Poetry Slam in Oakland, CA. $5 Admission. Free to slam.

& 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.

& Later Tuesday Maple Street Book Shop’s The First Tuesday Book Club will meet at 5:45 p.m. Their August selection is Midnight in Peking. Newcomers are always welcome! Winner of the both the Edgar Award for Best Fact Crime and the CWA Non-Fiction Dagger Chronicling an incredible unsolved murder, Midnight in Peking captures the aftermath of the brutal killing of a British schoolgirl in January 1937. The mutilated body of Pamela Werner was found at the base of the Fox Tower, which, according to local superstition, is home to the maliciously seductive fox spirits. As British detective Dennis and Chinese detective Han investigate, the mystery only deepens and, in a city on the verge of invasion, rumor and superstition run rampant. Based on seven years of research by historian and China expert Paul French, this true-crime thriller presents readers with a rare and unique portrait of the last days of colonial Peking.

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

& Wednesday night at 6:30 Fleur de Lit and the Pearl Wine Co. present Reading Between the Wines. This month’s featured readers are Sally Asher , Sherry Lee Alexander and Stephanie Grace who will discuss their careers in journalism, how it affects their writing, and shared their interesting stories about New Orleans.

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

While I’m still recovering from jet lag, for events at your local library please visit Nutrias.org for the New Orleans Public Library and http://www.jefferson.lib.la.us for Jefferson Parish.

Odd Words June 4, 2014

Posted by The Typist in books, Indie Book Shops, literature, New Orleans, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, publishing, Toulouse Street.
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& Thursday at 6 pm Octavia Books hosts Edward J. Branley presents and signs his new book, NEW ORLEANS JAZZ, including more than 200 vintage images documenting the birth and development of jazz in New Orleans. Branley is the author of several historical books on New Orleans, including New Orleans: The Canal Street Car Line, Brothers of the Sacred Heart in New Orleans, and Maison Blanche Department Stores.

& Thursday at 7 pm the New Orleans Public Library and Prospect New Orleans feature the first P.3 Reads, a conversation between Zarouhie Abdalian and Jerry Ward exploring Brenda Marie Osbey’s All Saints: New and Selected Poems. P.3 Reads, a Prospect New Orleans Public Program, is inspired by Artistic Director Franklin Sirmans’ vision for the at Alvar Branch, 913 Alvar Street. Prospect.3 (P.3). The program takes place monthly in different NOPL branches. Artists who will be featured in the upcoming P.3 Biennial will discuss with members of the New Orleans community the books that have been important in their lives and work.

& Every Thursday evening the New Orleans Poetry Brothel hosts a Poetry Hotline. Call 504-264-1336) from 8-12 pm CST and we’ll to hear an original poem.

& Thursday at 6 pm check out #wordconnections spoken word event at the Juju Bag Cafe.
& Every Thursday evening the New Orleans Poetry Brothel hosts a Poetry Hotline. Call 504-264-1336) from 8-12 pm CST and we’ll to hear an original poem.

& Thursday the Jefferson Parish Library SciFi, Fantasy and Horror Writers’ Circle meets at 7 pm at the Lakeshore Library. James Butler, a writer of science fiction and fantasy (especially steampunk), leads a workshop to encourage the creation of these genres by local authors. Open to all levels. Free of charge and open to the public. No registration.

& Starting Friday catch Pressure Cooker for the Soul new play by Moose Jackson. Jackson also authored Loup Garoup and is a notable local poet. Doors and Pre-show 6:00PM. Show @ 6:45PM Shows 6/6, 7, 8, 2014

& Starting Friday St. Francisville, La. will host the Walker Percy Festival, A Literary Festival Celebrating the Writer and His Works June 6—8. Good food and drink, live music, and a great time talking about books and Southern culture under the live oaks: That’s what the inaugural Walker Percy Weekend has to offer when it celebrates the acclaimed novelist’s life and work in St. Francisville, June 6—8. * Tickets are limited and selling fast. You can get tickets here

& Saturday starting at 4 p.m. author and award-winning playwright Louie Crowder will sign his new novella In Irons from Gallatin & Toulouse Press at Faubourgh Marigny Art & Books, 600 Frenchman Street.

& At 3 pm Saturday in Aclee Fortier Park (Esplanade Avenue at Mystery Street) 100,000 Poets for Change hosts World Word Against Police Brutality. “Poetry vigil for Peace against police brutality stop the killing stop the WAR… Poets are invited to read, recite, sing or spit poems to raise consciousness about police brutality and to change hearts, the only way to achieve justice.”

& Saturday the Latter Memorial Library features the monthly Poetry Buffet hosted by Gina Ferrara. Reading this month are poets Peter Cooley, J Bruce Fuller, and Lee Grue.

& Every Sunday at 3 p.m. The Maple Leaf Reading Series, the oldest continuous reading series in the south, founded by Everette Maddox, features guest poets and an open mic. This Sunday features poet Delia Nakayama reads from her work followed by an open mic

& Sunday is a special evening with Khaled Hosseini – #1 New York Times bestselling author of THE KITE RUNNER – celebrating the paperback release of AND THE MOUNTAINS ECHOED. The author will be interviewed before a live audience by Louisiana Cultural Vistas editor David Johnson. Octavia Books is holding the event at Temple Sinai, 6227 St. Charles Avenue (at Calhoun), New Orleans, LA. Doors open at 4:300PM and the program will start promptly at 5:30. Tickets are required! The cost per ticket is the same as the price of the book. You will get to meet Khaled Hosseini in person while he signs your copy. Call or visit Octavia Books (or their website) to order tickets in advance.

& Speak Sunday is hosted every Sunday at 7 pm by Duece the Poet at Therapy, 3001 Tulane Avenue, also featuring live painting of the performers by C.C. Givens.

& On Monday the Jefferson Parish Library continues hosting The Artists’ Way Seminar, a 12-part series of seminars based on the classic book, The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path To Higher Creativity, by American author Julia Cameron, with Mark Bryan. The book was written to help people with artistic creative recovery, which teaches techniques and exercises to assist people in gaining self-confidence in harnessing their creative talents and skills. Correlation and emphasis is used by the author to show a connection between artistic creativity and a spiritual connection. Cherie Cazanavette is the group moderator

& On Tuesday at 6 pm Garden District Book Shop presents Jeanette Walls’ The Silver Star. It is 1970 in a small town in California. “Bean” Holladay is twelve and her sister, Liz, is fifteen when their artistic mother, Charlotte, takes off to find herself, leaving her girls enough money to last a month or two. When Bean returns from school one day and sees a police car outside the house, she and Liz decide to take the bus to Virginia, where their widowed Uncle Tinsley lives in the decaying mansion that’s been in Charlotte’s family for generations. An impetuous optimist, Bean soon discovers who her father was, and hears stories about why their mother left Virginia in the first place. Money is tight, and the sisters start babysitting and doing office work for Jerry Maddox, foreman of the mill in town, who bullies his workers, his tenants, his children, and his wife. Liz is whip-smart—an inventor of word games, reader of Edgar Allan Poe, nonconformist. But when school starts in the fall, it’s Bean who easily adjusts, and Liz who becomes increasingly withdrawn. And then something happens to Liz in the car with Maddox.

& Tuesday at 6 pm Octavia Books and the Jewish Community Center invite you to a presentation and signing with outgoing Tulane University President Scott Cowen celebrating the launch of his new book, THE INEVITABLE CITY: The Resurgence of New Orleans and the Future of Urban America. This is the story of the resurgence and reinvention of one of America’s greatest cities. Ordinary citizens, empowered to actively rescue their own city after politicians and government officials failed them, have succeeded in rebuilding their world.

& Tuesday at 6:30 bring Author Night at the Hubbell Branch of the New Orleans Public Library, featuring Vietnamese Cuisine in New Orleans by Susan Pfefferle. The East meets the Westbank and more! With recipes by local Vietnamese cooks and world-renowned chefs, this cookbook provides the reader with a detailed offering of Vietnamese cuisine in the New Orleans area. Join us for a discussion and book signing.

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

& Room 220 and The N.O. Loving Festival host NATIVE. HOMELAND. EXILE. featuring five New Orleans writers will explore the theme native, homeland, exile through readings and a Q&A from 6 – 8 p.m. on Wednesday at the Press Street HQ, 3718 St. Claude Ave. Readers include: ADDIE CITCHENS, a Mississippi native and New Orleans-based writer of literary fiction. She has been featured in the Oxford American‘s “Best of the South” edition, in Calloloo journal, and others; JERI HILT is a Louisiana native with roots in New Orleans, Avoyelles Parish, and Shreveport. She writes fiction and teaches literacy in the Lower Ninth Ward; AMBATA KAZI-NANCE is a writer and teacher living in her hometown New Orleans with her husband and son. She writes for Azizah magazine and Grow Mama Grow, a blog for Muslim mothers; and, J.R. RAMAKRISHNAN whose journalism has appeared in Style.com, Harper’s Bazaar, Chicago Tribune, and Grazia, amongst other publications. Her fiction has appeared in [PANK]. She arrived in New Orleans by way of Brooklyn, London, and Kuala Lumpur, her original hometown. She is director of literary programs for the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival. They will provide attendees a concert of voices from women writers of color that unflinchingly captures the coming of age in America’s New South. This event is part of the New Orleans Loving Festival, a multiracial community celebration and film festival that challenges racial discrimination through outreach and education.

& On Wednesday at 6 pm Maple Street Book Shop features the Plume Anthology of Poetry Reading. lume (http://plumepoetry.com/) has become one of the most respected and influential on-line poetry journals. Its contributors are a veritable Who’s Who of contemporary American Poetry. Readers will include Carrie Causey, Peter Cooley, Benjamin Lowenkron, Brad Richard and Christopher Shipman.

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

Odd Words April 10, 2014

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

& Thursday at 6 pm the Belle Chase Library hosts native son Geoff Munsterman who will will read from and sign his poetry collection Because the Stars Shine Through It (2013 Lavender Ink). Guests are invited to purchase books from the author before or after the reading, which should begin around 6:30. Cookies and refreshments will be available.

& Also on Thursday at 6 pm Garden District Book Shop hosts Zachary Lazar and I Pity the Poor Immigrant. The stunning new novel by the author of Sway is another “brilliant portrayal of life as a legend” (Margot Livesey). In 1972, the American gangster Meyer Lansky petitions the Israeli government for citizenship. His request is denied, and he is returned to the U.S. to stand trial. He leaves behind a mistress in Tel Aviv, a Holocaust survivor named Gila Konig. In 2009, American journalist Hannah Groff travels to Israel to investigate the killing of an Israeli writer. She soon finds herself inside a web of violence that takes in the American and Israeli Mafias, the Biblical figure of King David, and the modern state of Israel. As she connects the dots between the murdered writer, Lansky, Gila, and her own father, Hannah becomes increasingly obsessed with the dark side of her heritage. Part crime story, part spiritual quest, I Pity the Poor Immigrant is also a novelistic consideration of Jewish identity.

& On Friday at 6 p.m. pm Garden District Book Shop features Frances Mayes’s Under Magnolia. A lyrical and evocative memoir from Frances Mayes, the Bard of Tuscany, about coming of age in the Deep South and the region’s powerful influence on her life. Under Magnolia is a searingly honest, humorous, and moving ode to family and place, and a thoughtful meditation on the ways they define us, or cause us to define ourselves. With acute sensory language, Mayes relishes the sweetness of the South, the smells and tastes at her family table, the fragrance of her hometown trees, and writes an unforgettable story of a girl whose perspicacity and dawning self-knowledge lead her out of the South and into the rest of the world, and then to a profound return

& On Saturday at 11:30 a.m. Maple Street Books presents Story Time with Miss Maureen. This week she’ll read The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes by Marjorie Flack. The country bunny attains the exalted position of Easter Bunny in spite of her responsibilities as the mother of twenty-one children.

& At 1:30 pm Octavia Books at children’s book author Whitney Stewart presents and signs her new picture book, A CATFISH TALE: A Bayou Story of the Fisherman and His Wife. Deep in the bayou, a Cajun fisherman named Jack catches a magic fish that offers to grant wishes in exchange for being set free. Jack doesn’t have a lot of wishes, but his wife Jolie sure does—for a mansion, a paddleboat, fame and fortune! With each wish, all the fish says is “Ah, tooloulou—if that ain’t the easiest thing to do.” But when Jolie wants to be crowned Mardi Gras queen, have things gone too far?

& Saturday evening at 7 pm the journal T E N D E R L O I N presents it’s reading series The Third Weird Thing at Kajun’s on Sat. Claude. This month our 3rd weird thing is the 4th! Four poets for your pleasure: Jennifer Hanks, M.K Brake, Min Kang and Joseph Bienvenu. About the series: Cold Cuts is a poetry reading interested in performance and a performance interested in reading poetry. Each reading will consist of 3 – often on the theme of 2 poets and a 3rd weird thing: the performative. But we encourage all our poets to perform and all our performances to poet. We like to showcase our TENDER LOIN writers, and we like to showcase local artists

& Every Sunday at 3 p.m. The Maple Leaf Reading Series, the oldest continuous reading series in the south, founded by Everette Maddox, features guest poets and an open mic. This Sunday features an open mic.

& Sunday is Slam and Spoken Word Day in New Orleans. WhoDatPoets.com lists five Spoken Word shows on Sunday nights. For phone numbers with more details on all these readings visit WHODATPOETS.COM. (I stopped listing all of the events because one venue’s name forced me to limit this post for readers over 21. Check WHODATEPOETS.COM for all the latest on slam and spoken word in New Orleans.

& Sunday at 7 pm the two-time national champion Slam New Orleans hosts The New $#!% Slam at the Shadowbox Theater. “Bring your new hat, your new date, and most importantly your NEW POEMS as we celebrate all things new. Please bring new poems that have not yet hit the The Shadowbox Theatre (and preferably any) stage.”

& Speak Sunday is hosted every Sunday at 7 pm by Duece the Poet at Therapy, 3001 Tulane Avenue, also featuring live painting of the performers by C.C. Givens.

& Monday the East Bank Regional Library hosts it’s Fiction Writers’ Group featuring Greg Alexander, a local author who lives and works in Metairie, will discuss his new book, The Holy Mark. The Holy Mark is a monologue told from the point of view of a psychologically disturbed Catholic priest who continually rationalizes and justifies his relationships with teenaged boys. It combines the elements of a psychological case study and dysfunctional New Orleans Italian family saga. The Holy Mark is the story of one reluctant priest caught between the cynicism of his own Southern upbringing and the political machinations of the Roman Catholic Church. Gregory Alexander was born and raised in New Orleans. After completing degrees in Psychology and American Literature, he taught English at several Catholic schools in the city. His short stories, including the genesis of The Holy Mark, have appeared in literary magazines across the country. Alexander has been a contributing book reviewer for the New Orleans Times Picayune.

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

& Tuesday the Latter Memorial Library at 7 pm presents New Orleans Memories: One Writer’s City featuring local author Carolyn Kolb discussing her new book.

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

& Best-selling author and media personality Sarah Vowell will give a presentation of her work at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, April 16, in the Freeman Auditorium in the Woldenburg Art Center on Tulane University’s campus. Vowell, whose books often present U.S. histories infused with her irreverent comedy, is the author most recently of Unfamiliar Fishes, which the New York Times called “a whiplash study of the Americanization of Hawaii and the events leading to its annexation. Its scintillating cast includes dour missionaries, genital-worshiping heathens, Teddy Roosevelt, incestuous royalty, a nutty Mormon, a much-too-­merry monarch, President Obama, sugar barons, an imprisoned queen and Vowell herself, in a kind of 50th-state variety show.” She is also the author of, among other books, The Wordy Shipmates and Assassination Vacation, she was a contributing editor to This American Life, and she was one of the original contributors to McSweeney’s. (h/t to Room 220, which called this to my attention. It didn’t show up on the Tulane calendar).

& Wednesday at 6 pm Garden District Book Shops presens Justin Go’s The Steady Running of the Hour. Just after graduating college, Tristan Campbell receives a letter delivered by special courier to his apartment in San Francisco. It contains the phone number of a Mr. J.F. Prichard of Twyning & Hooper, Solicitors, in London—and news that could change Tristan’s life forever. In 1924, Prichard explains, an English alpinist named Ashley Walsingham died attempting to summit Mt. Everest, leaving his fortune to his former lover, Imogen Soames-Andersson. But the estate was never claimed. Information has recently surfaced suggesting Tristan may be the rightful heir, but unless he can find documented evidence, the fortune will be divided among charitable beneficiaries in less than two months. In a breathless race from London archives to Somme battlefields to the East fjords of Iceland, Tristan pieces together the story of a forbidden affair set against the tumult of the First World War and the pioneer British expeditions to Mt. Everest. Following his instincts through a maze of frenzied research, Tristan soon becomes obsessed with the tragic lovers, and he crosses paths with a mysterious French girl named Mireille who suggests there is more to his quest than he realizes. Tristan must prove that he is related to Imogen to inherit Ashley’s fortune—but the more he learns about the couple, the stranger his journey becomes.

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

& Also at 8 p.m.every Wednesday the Blood Jet Poetry Series hosted by Megan Burns happens at BJs. Features for the 16th are TBA. Check the daily Odd Words posting for an update.

If you don’t see your event listed here, please be sure to send it to odd.words.nola@gmail.com no later than the Wednesday before the event. Late entries are accepted and added to the blog and so get into the daily post, but getting the in early is appreciated.

Odd Words April 3, 2014

Posted by The Typist in books, Indie Book Shops, literature, New Orleans, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, publishing, Toulouse Street.
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This coming week in literary New Orleans. Be sure to check out the National Poetry Month event listing on ToulouseStreet.net or find the link on the Odd Words Page.

& Thursday the Delta Mouth Literary Festival in Baton Rouge kicks off four days of events through the weekend. featuring sixteen readers at various venues. Their website is deltamouthfestival.com and you can keep up with them on their Facebook page.

& Friday at 6 pm Maple Street Books features Michael Grabell (2009), Aran Donovan (2013), and Anne Marie Rooney (2008) reading Friday, April 4th, at 6PM! All have been featured at one point in the Best New Poets annual anthology. Each year, Best New Poets has a guest editor selects 50 poems from nominations made by literary magazines and writing programs, as well as an open internet competition.

& April 5th at 2 pm the U.S. Mint Louisiana State Museum in New Orleans brings Resilient Women, a poetic performance of ancestral power:  with Delia Tomino Nkayama, Troi Bechet, Miki Fugii, Jenna Mae, and Mona Lisa Savory.

& Saturday at 10 am Octavia Books hosts friends of the Child Development Program (CDP) for a special reading/performance by members of the Marsalis Family featuring Delfeayo Marsalis’s new picture book, NO CELL PHONE DAY – followed by a jazz concert by local musicians. And, just mention CDP when you check out and we will donate a portion of your purchases to CDP. NO CELL PHONE DAY is a children’s picture book written by world-renowned NEA Jazz Master and Grammy award-winning producer, Delfeayo Marsalis and illustrated by award-winning Harlem artist, Reginald W. Butler. The book playfully addresses the idea of imposing technology and how it affects our relationships with loved ones. In the book, Delfeayo and his daughter decide to put down their cell phones for a day to explore their hometown of New Orleans!

& Saturday at 1 pm Garden District Book Shop features Jane Scott Hodges’s Linens: For Every Room and Occasion. The book is is the ultimate guide to living and entertaining with fine textiles. Whether your style is classic or modern, casual or formal, crisply pressed or nonchalantly rumpled, linens are uniquely adaptable to the way you live and decorate and the surest way to put a personal stamp on your home.

Saturday at 2 pm bring the National Poetry month instance of the Poetry Buffet at the Latter Memorial Library hosted by poet Gina Ferrara will feature an outstanding collection of poets at 2 pm including: Grace Bauer, Dave Brinks, John Gery, and Julie Kane reading from their work.

& Saturday evening at 6 pm Octavia features Michael Patrick Welch’s NEW ORLEANS: The Underground Guide. Red beans and rice, trad jazz, and second lines are the Big Easy’s calling cards, but beyond where the carriage rides take you is a city brimming with genre-defying music, transnational cuisine, and pockets of wild, artistic locals that challenge preconceived notions of what it means to be New Orleans. With a respectful nod to the traditional and a full embrace of the obscure, New Orleans: The Underground Guide is a resource for discovering the city as it really is — as much brass bands and boas as it is bounce and bicycle tours. From a speakeasy in the Bywater neighborhood to the delightfully sketchy vibe of St. Roch Tavern, lead author Michael Patrick Welch uncovers an unexpected tableau of musicians, venues, and novel ways to pass the bon temps.

& Every Sunday at 3 p.m. The Maple Leaf Reading Series, the oldest continuous reading series in the south, founded by Everette Maddox, features guest poets and an open mic. This Sunday kicks off National Poetry Month with Poets Grace Bauer reading from and signing her new book, Everywhere All At Once, and poet Julie Kane reading from and signing her new book Paper Bullets

& Sunday is Slam and Spoken Word Day in New Orleans. WhoDatPoets.com lists five Spoken Word shows on Sunday nights. For phone numbers with more details on all these readings visit WHODATPOETS.COM. (I stopped listing all of the events because one venue’s name forced me to limit this post for readers over 21. Check WHODATEPOETS.COM for all the latest on slam and spoken word in New Orleans.

& Sunday at 7 pm the two-time national champion Slam New Orleans hosts The New $#!% Slam at the Shadowbox Theater. “Bring your new hat, your new date, and most importantly your NEW POEMS as we celebrate all things new. Please bring new poems that have not yet hit the The Shadowbox Theatre (and preferably any) stage.”

& Speak Sunday is hosted every Sunday at 7 pm by Duece the Poet at Therapy, 3001 Tulane Avenue, also featuring live painting of the performers by C.C. Givens.

& Monday at 5 pm the Creative Writing Workshop returns to the Robert E. Smith Memorial Library on Canal Boulevard.

& Also on Monday the East Bank Regional Library hosts it’s Fiction Writers’ Group – Critique Session. The Fiction Writers’ Group is a support group for serious writers of fiction. We do not focus on poetry, essays or nonfiction. Events consist of critique sessions from group members, author talks and writing exercises. Free of charge and open to the public. Registration is not required.

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

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

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

& On Wednesday at 3 pm Octavia Books Grammy Award winner, musician/actor, and New York Times bestselling author Rick Springfield makes a special visit to Octavia Books in anticipation of his forthcoming novel, MAGNIFICENT VIBRATION. Rick Springfield will sign original lithographs he created for MAGNIFICENT VIBRATION and bookplates for the book which is being released on May 6, 2014. To meet Rick, you must purchase a ticket. Each ticket admits one person and will be exchanged at the event for a signed lithograph and signed bookplate. And you will receive a copy of MAGNIFICENT VIBRATION after publication. Tickets are $45. Why are we here? What is love? Is there a Loch Ness monster? Does God send text messages?” These are the kinds of questions Horatio Cotton, aka Bobby Cotton, asks as he sets off on an uproarious adventure to find his purpose in life. After stealing a mysterious self-help book called Magnificent Vibration: Discover Your True Purpose from a bookstore, Bobby calls the 1-800 number scrawled inside the front cover, only to discover that he has a direct line to God. This launches Bobby on a whimsical quest, serendipitously accompanied by a breathtakingly sexy and exceed­ingly sharp travel companion named Alice. Together the pair sets out to find some combination of spiritual and carnal salvation—and possibly save the planet.

& At 5:30 pm Octavia then hosts George Packer for the paperback release of THE UNWINDING, which won the National Book Award last year. It’s currently nominated for the National Book Critics’ Circle Award as well! James Carville will give the introduction at the event. A riveting examination of a nation in crisis, from one of the finest political journalists of our generation.

& Finally, Octavia ends a busy day at 7 pm with a presentation, tasting, and book signing with writer Dane Huckelbridge featuring new book, BOURBON: A History of the American Spirit. This is popular history with a whiskey-soaked edge––an artful and imaginative biography of our most well–liked and, at times, controversial spirit that is also a witty and entertaining chronicle of the United States itself.

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

Also at 8 p.m.every Wednesday the Blood Jet Poetry Series hosted by Megan Burns happens at BJs. Feature this week are Poets Charles Alexander and Daniel Reinhold.

TWF14: The Law and Order Episode of Who Killed the Essay March 24, 2014

Posted by The Typist in books, literature, lyric essay, memoir, New Orleans, NOLA, Odd Words, Toulouse Street.
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“This is the Law and Order episode of Who Killed the Essay,” moderator John Freeman said to open the Tennessee Williams Festival panel “The Return of the Essay.” “Someone killed it. We’re going to find out later from Lennie Briscoe,” the character from the crime drama franchise. Panelists Dani Shapiro, Kiese Laymon and Roxanne Gay promptly put a bullet in the head of Freeman’s metaphor.

“The essay isn’t dead, it never died,” panelist Roxanne Gay shot back. “We have the arrogance in this age of believing that we’re going to be the end of literature when it has been around for millenia. That is always appalling to me. The book is dying. Are you kidding me? People were writing books on rice paper. Calm down. Books aren’t going anywhere, readers aren’t going anywhere. I think things are shifting. The essay from Montaigne to [fellow panelist] Kiese, we’re still doing it. I think we’re in the golden age of the essay. I’ve never read more stunning essays than the ones I read every single day and the art hasn’t been perfected because it can’t be perfected but people are practicing it at such a level. If the essay is dead, then the afterlife is quite wonderful.”

“The internet has done a lot of terrible things, but one of the best things it’s done has democratize this writing thing. It has allowed us to read all these amazing essays,” Laymon said. “I think there was a golden age. I think [James] Baldwin was the golden age. Every day, or every other day, I read an essay on the Internet that actually scares me as a writer. I think those are the best essays, I think s— I can’t do it. I just can’t do it as well as other people can do it. Now we have people not waiting for crusty editors to say: here’s your stamp that says, now you can put it out there. Also it puts out some art that is not so great, but it’s also allowed me to read some of the greatest essays that I have read in my life.”

“I don’t think we can know a golden age that we’re in one,” Dani Shapiro, countered. “I will admit tweeting this morning the title of this panel and saying, I don’t think it’s vanished. I also think it’s worth noting that the word essay means attempt, to attempt to get something right and true and universal and authentic down on the page. That’s like saying human nature is dead.”

Freeman asked his panelists: “If style is a struggle and essay is an attempt, what are you attempting in an essay? What makes you want to put the struggle in that form?”

“There’s an urgency when I’m writing an essay,” Gay explained. “Something has gotten under my skin. One of the first essays that got under my skin. One of the first essays that got my attention was “The Careless Language of Sexual Violence”. It was about a young girl that was raped in Cleveland, Texas. The New York Times wrote a story about the town–poor, poor town–and think of these poor boys but there were like 30 of them. The magnitude of the crime was horrific and the shoddiness of the reporting was also horrific. I went into this fugue state trying to temper my rage with understanding how we got to a place as a culture where we’re worrying about a town instead of this 11 year-old girl. The essays that I love writing the most are where I’m trying to make sense of this crazy world, but also acknowledge the god in this world.”

“Kiese, you [mention] the fact that an essay is going to deal some collateral damage to their family, because the wedge into a topic is not just your experience. It’s everything you grew up with. I wonder if you could talk about writing about your family and those essays and how you weighed what you would actually reveal because the truths you tell are quite difficult.”

“I feel like I’ve been writing about that question in my essays and my fiction. I come from a family in central Mississippi. I was raised by my mother. She was 19 when she had me. I went to graduate school and went to stay with my grandmother [also] in Mississippi. They’re both wonderful, brilliant people but whenever they got around white people their wonder and their brilliance and their thickness shrunk, and I think a lot of time they want me to also shrink my brilliance on the page. In [one] essay I talk about my mother pulling a gun on me when I was 19, partially because she wanted me to act right. I was trying to say in that essay there is a consequence to acting right in this country especially for folks of color…I think we talk about the consequences too often of not acting right, but there is a self consequence for acting right.

“Form is really important for me and I’m pushing back against forms and against my mom and I was trying to push back against my inclination to write predictable punditry. My inclination is to just write the traditional, standard essays that will make people say, ‘that’s a smart African-American man’ as opposed to being a potentially revelatory Black human being.” Later in the panel he added, “I come from a community where sadness, funk, funny happens all the time and I was being encouraged to take the funk and funny out.”

“Dani, you’ve written about your family in two memoirs, and this book Still Writing, it looks like a book about writing but then it’s threaded through with all these tiny memoirs,” Freeman asked Shapiro. “Did you find that to write about writing did you have to write about your family?”

“When it comes to form and when it comes to realism, it feels like in the last ten years of my writing life things have been breaking apart. The more I try to make something whole the more it breaks apart. I think what you just said about realism and the surreality that is at the core of it in some way is so true: the puzzle like structure, my last memoir Devotion was puzzle-like, every essay that I’ve written in the last five years. When I started Still Writing I was writing a blog because my publisher told me I had to write a blog. And I was thinking what can I blog about that’s not going to make me want to stick pins in my eyes every day. What I wanted to write about was how to do this every day. I didn’t want to write another book about craft. I wanted to write about what it takes: the courage, the tenacity, the persistence, the resistance. Then I started getting letters from people says, ‘I really needed this today’ and I thought, people are actually asking me to write a book. How often does that happen?”

“I’m reading this and what is it like to revise your life, the story of your life in public.” Freeman said.

“I think it would be an amazing thing for the same writer to spend an entire writing life writing the same memoir every ten years because it would be a different book every ten years because the relationship between the self and the story is the story. When I wrote Slow Motion [arising from the death of her father] I had feeling that this was the before and after moment. I wasn’t old enough to know that there is more than one before and after moment. It was also my son’s illness fifteen years later, and my mother’s death.

There was an essay in Ploughshares that was called “Plane Crash Theory.” I think it’s my best essay. It began shortly after 9-11, my infant son was dropped down a flight of stairs by a baby sitter and for months and months I couldn’t write a thing. It was all in the shadow of 9-11 and felt like a shadow had flown over our house and was hovering there. I was having coffee with a friend of mine in Brooklyn who’s a writer and I said, ‘I haven’t written a word since Jacob fell down the stairs’ and she said, ‘that’s your first sentence’. I couldn’t tell the whole story because the essay couldn’t contain that he was dropped down the stairs but that a few weeks earlier I had noticed these little movements and he was later diagnosed with this rare seizure disorder. An essay couldn’t contain both of those, so I took all of my anxiety and my fear and my feeling of–writing, what is the point of it–but finding a way to pour all of that into a very disciplined form and tell the whole story emotionally and not tell the whole story, what to leave in and what to leave out, which is such an important part of writing memoir and essay.”

“I think one of my most popular essays to write was the hardest to write,” Gay said in a comment that resonated for me in the post-Katrina room. “It was about The Hunger Games, because I love, love, love the Hunger Games to insanity. I started to think what is it about the Hunger Games that captures me as an adult because they are YA . There is a young woman in the novel Katniss, she has to endure the unendurable over and over again is that it showed PTSD as it is, as something that cannot necessarily be cured but something that you learn to live with, and as something that will shape the decisions you will make.”

Freeman asked the panelists if there was someone, an essayist, who opened a door and what they did. “I would say in a word [Joan] Didion if it was an essayist,” Shapiro said. “Grace Pailey was for me an example of the life of a writer, a life I wanted in some way. When I think of Grace I think of her sentences, I think of her fiction, the distillation, a certain kind of minimalism before there was minimalism. She was tremendously important to me.”

Gay, after citing the encourage of her parents from age four, cited Edith Wharton. “She was doing it when women weren’t encouraged” to write. “She is the master of the elegant sentence.” And Zadie Smith: “she is fierce. She makes me feel like I can do anything with the word.” Laymon also talked about his grandmother’s influence. “My grandmother taught me how to work. She worked at a chicken plant and the way she talked about it, the craft, she made me feel I was beautiful.” His essayist pick was James Baldwin. “The Fire Next Time was the first book that I really, really read. I would tear it apart. Ultimately I think I became the writer I want to be because in The Fire Next Time, someone who was so great could not make space for Black women. You could be so sublime and so great and not make space for this entire group of people you should make space for. Baldwin’s otherworldliness is something I could aspire for, not just because of his prose but because of the gaps in his prose.”

Odd Words March 22, 2014

Posted by The Typist in books, Indie Book Shops, New Orleans, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, publishing, Toulouse Street.
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The rest of this week in literary New Orleans now that the Tennessee Williams Festival is {almost} behind us:

Sunday still offers some choice Tennessee Williams Festival events, both at 11:30 am: first is The Return of the Essay, featuring panelists Kiese Laymon, Roxanne Gay and Dani Shapiro in the Royal Ball Room at the Monteleone Hotel. The second is Sing Me A Story, Tell Me A Song: When Writing Demands Melody featuring David Simon, Tom Piazza and Luke Winslow King, at the Palm Court Jazz Cafe. And at 1 pm there is Cultural Vistas’ 25th Anniversary Panel.. Join executive editor David
Johnson in a discussion about documenting Louisiana for the past quarter century, along with contributor and author Sally Asher, longtime music reviewer Ben Sandmel and history columnist Richard Campanella. At the Monteleone Royal Ballroom.

And don’t forget the Stella and Stanley shouting contest at 4:15 pm at Jackson Square.

& This Sunday at Octavia Books hosts renowned cartoonist Michael Fry (co-creator and writer of OVER THE HEDGE) comes to read and sign his two recent ODD SQUAD books: ZERO TOLERANCE and BULLY BAIT — middle-grade illustrated novels for all ages. Michael Fry has been a cartoonist/writer/entrepreneur for over 30 years. In addition to THE ODD SQUAD novels, Fry has created or co/created four international syndicated comic strips, including Over the Hedge, which runs in 150 newspapers worldwide – and it was adapted into the hit animated movie of the same name. Over the Hedge was nominated for Best Comic Strip in 2006 by the National Cartoonist Society Rueben Awards.

& Every Sunday at 3 p.m. The Maple Leaf Reading Series, the oldest continuous reading series in the south, founded by Everette Maddox, features guest poets and an open mic. This Sunday features Thaddaeus Conti and Joseph Bienvenu followed by an open mic.

& Sunday is Slam and Spoken Word Day in New Orleans. WhoDatPoets.com lists five Spoken Word shows on Sunday nights. For phone numbers with more details on all these readings visit WHODATPOETS.COM. (I stopped listing all of the events because one venue’s name forced me to limit this post for readers over 21. Check WHODATEPOETS.COM for all the latest on slam and spoken word in New Orleans.

& Speak Sunday is hosted every Sunday at 7 pm by Duece the Poet at Therapy, 3001 Tulane Avenue, also featuring live painting of the performers by C.C. Givens.

& Monday the Robert E. Smith Library at Harrison Avenue and Canal Boulevard hosts a writing workshop starting at 5:30 p.m. “Do you think in verse that could become poetry? Do you imagine characters, dialogue, and scenes? If so, join the Smith Library’s free Creative Writing Workshop.”

& Also on Monday the East Bank Regional Library hosts it’s Fiction Writers’ Group – Critique Session. The Fiction Writers’ Group is a support group for serious writers of fiction. We do not focus on poetry, essays or nonfiction. Events consist of critique sessions from group members, author talks and writing exercises. Free of charge and open to the public. Registration is not required.

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

Tuesday at 6 p.m. Octavia Books hosts a presentation and signing with journalists Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes, featuring their new book, HRC: State Secrets and the Rebirth of Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton’s surprising defeat in the 2008 Democratic primary brought her to the nadir of her political career, vanquished by a much younger opponent whose message of change and cutting-edge tech team ran circles around her stodgy campaign. And yet, six years later, she has reemerged as an even more powerful and influential figure, a formidable stateswoman and the presumed front-runner for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, marking one of the great political comebacks in history. The story of Hillary’s phoenixlike rise is at the heart of HRC, a riveting political biography that journeys into the heart of “Hillaryland” to discover a brilliant strategist at work.

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

& On Wednesday at 6:00 at TEN gallery, 4432 Magazine Street artist Harriet Burbeck will discuss her work on view. Michael Allen Zell will read from his book The Oblivion Atlas and discuss collaborating with photographers Louviere and Vanessa. Burbeck is also soliciting submissions from writers from the show Illustrations From Stories That Haven’t Been Written. Writers are invited to view the work and submit stories inspired by her fabric art to tinylittlehappy@gmail.com. She will post all submissions on her blog, and one story will be selected for publication in the forthcoming new journal Ark of New Orleans.

& Wednesday at 6 p.m. Garden District Book Shop hosts Sally Asher and Hope & New Orleans: A History of Crescent City Street Names. New Orleans is a city of beautiful contradictions, evidenced by its street names. New Orleans crosses with Hope, Pleasure and Duels. Religious couples with Nuns, Market and Race. Music, Arts and Painters are parallel. New Orleans enfolds its denizens in the protection of saints, the artistry of Muses and the bravery of military leaders. The city’s street names are inseparable from its diverse history. They serve as guideposts as well as a narrative that braid its pride, wit and seedier history into a complex web that to this day simultaneously joins and shows the cracks within the city. Learn about Bourbon’s royal lineage, the magnitude of Napoleon’s influence, how Tchoupitoulas’s history is just as long and vexing as its spelling and why mispronouncing such streets as Burgundy, Calliope and Socrates doesn’t mean you are incorrect–it just means you are local!

& Wednesday the Jefferson Parish East Bank Regional Library hosts an Author Event featuring Game Changers: The Legacy of Louisiana Sports, by Marty Mule. Mule, a local author who has written numerous books about Louisiana sports, talks about and signs his latest book.

& Former Louisiana Poet Laureate Darrell Borque will be reading at 8 pm Wednesday at the University of New Orleans in room in LA 197 (the Liberal Arts Lounge). Open to the public.

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

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Odd Words March 6, 2014

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& Thursday at 6 pm Octavia Books hosts a a presentation, food tasting, and booksigning celebrating the release of author and photographer Ann Benoit’s new book, NEW ORLEANS’ BEST ETHNIC RESTAURANTS.Ann Benoit takes you on a culinary tour of the continents without ever leaving New Orleans. Chosen for their excellence in food and history, iconic eateries such as Galatoire’s and Pho Tau Bay transport the reader from local Creole cuisine to spicy Vietnamese creations. Benoit also reveals such treasures as the Mediterranean gem Fatoush. From the classic Southern food of Praline Connection, hop the pond to the flavors of Europe at La Provence, the Irish House, or Taste of Bavaria. Café Abyssinia, Byblos, and Mona’s Café conjure the delicate flavor of African and Middle Eastern cuisine.

& Friday will feature New Orleans’ first International Women’s Day Poetry and Music Celebration at The Jazz Park, 916 N Peters in The French Quarter at 3 p.m. Among the participants are: Melinda Palacio, Terisha Angel Lopez, Delia Tomino Nakayama, Amanda Emily Smith, Clara Masako Fernandez, Juanita Jackson, Milena Martinovic and vocalist Kanako Fuwa.

& Neutrons Protons has been publishing smart humor writing and narrative-driven creative nonfiction for six months now. Now we are publishing our first-ever PRINT edition, so we’re having a party. Come buy the magazine, listen to readings, eat food, enjoy music, and be a literary snob for one enchanted evening. We’ll be at Press Street’s The Reading Room 220, basking in the glow of great writing and beautiful design Friday from 6-9 p.m.

& Poets Peter Cooley, Gina Ferrara, Ava Leavell Haymon and Melinda Palacio read from their work at Saturday’s Poetry Buffet at the Latter Memorial Library from 2-3:30 p.m.

& Saturday from 12-3 Garden District Books hosts a signging by Argyle Wolf-Knapp & Jeremy Labadie of New Orleans Beer: A Hoppy History of Big Easy Brewing. Recently, one drink has been getting more and more attention in New Orleans: beer. The craft brewing revolution of the last 30 or so years has caught hold here, creating what is only the latest chapter in New Orleans’s illustrious love affair with boozy concoctions. From old-school breweries like Jax, Regal and Dixie to craft brewers like Abita, NOLA and Bayou Teche, join authors Jeremy Labadie and Argyle Wolf-Knapp to enjoy the first comprehensive history of brewing in New Orleans—a history 287 years long and as wide as the Mississippi.

& Also Saturday 1-3 at Garden District Book Shop Bonnie Warren and Cheryl Gerber sign New Orleans Historic Homes In this series of profiles, the residents of New Orleans’s notable homes invite readers inside. Dazzling photographs of the interiors and exteriors of the dwellings reveal the most stunning abodes of the city. While the owners have undertaken renovations to include modern amenities, the spirit of the past has not merely been preserved-it has been embraced. Brief profiles of famous inhabitants and fascinating architectural and historical details of these celebrated dwellings complement the gorgeous photographs..

& Every Sunday at 3 p.m. The Maple Leaf Reading Series, the oldest continuous reading series in the south, founded by Everette Maddox, features guest poets and an open mic. This Sunday is an Open Mic.

& Sunday at 7:30 pm Slam New Orleans and the Shadowbox Theater present in honor of Women’s History Month, we present to you the 2014 Women of the Word Poetry Showcase, featuring some of New Orleans’ best Ladies of the Mic. OPEN MIC: We invite anyone who identifies as a woman to spit a poem for the open mic. SHOWCASE: 10 spectacular women from all over the New Orleans spoken word scene show us what they’ve got.FEATURE: Our own FreeQuency aka FreeQ Tha Mighty will take the stage as she prepares for the Women of the World Poetry Slam in Austin, TX March 19th – 22nd!

& Sunday is Slam and Spoken Word Day in New Orleans. WhoDatPoets.com lists five Spoken Word shows on Sunday nights. For phone numbers with more details on all these readings visit WHODATPOETS.COM. (I stopped listing all of the events because one venue’s name forced me to limit this post for readers over 21. Check WHODATEPOETS.COM for all the latest on slam and spoken word in New Orleans.

& Speak Sunday is hosted every Sunday at 7 pm by Duece the Poet at Therapy, 3001 Tulane Avenue, also featuring live painting of the performers by C.C. Givens.

& Monday at 5:30 pm the Smith Branch Library at Canal Boulevard and Harrison Avenue hosts a creative writing workshop.

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

& Ann Benoit, a cookbook author and food photographer, will host a launch party for her latest book, New Orleans Best Ethnic Restaurants at 7 p.m., on Tuesday at the Eastbank Regional Library, 4747 West Napoleon Avenue, Metairie. This event is free of charge and is open to the public. Registration is not required. New Orleans Best Ethnic Restaurants focuses on Benoit’s top 100 ethnic restaurants in the area. The book features stories, unusual suppliers and ingredients, fairs, festivals, recipes and Benoit’s food photography. Ann Benoit is a commercial food photographer and culinary writer native to New Orleans and author of Broussard’s Restaurant and Courtyard Cookbook and the photographer of Magic in a Shaker by Marvin Allen. She is a member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals, the American Culinary Federation and the James Beard Foundation.

& Tuesday at Garden District Book Shop from 6-7:30 Kim Harrison will be signing The Undead Pool. Supernatural superhero Rachel Morgan must counter a strange magic that could spell civil war for the Hollows in this sexy and bewitching urban fantasy adventure in acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Kim Harrison’s Hollows series.

& Wednesday Fleur de Lit and Pearl Wine Co. present Reading Between the Wines, Wednesday at 7:30 pm at Pearl Wine Co. This month’s theme is Celebrations and the featured authors are: Errol Laborde: Mardi Gras Chronicles; Kit Wohl: New Orleans Celebrations; Stephen Rea: Finn McCool’s Football Club; and, Kim Marie Vaz: The Baby Dolls. You must be 21 to attend this event.

& Also on Wednesday Maple Street Book Shop hosts a signing with Michael Murphy, author of Eat Dat, and Jeremy Labadie & Argyle Wolf-Knapp, authors of New Orleans Beer: A Hoppy History of Big Easy Brewing. Eat Dat New Orleans is a guidebook that celebrates both New Orleans food and its people. It highlights nearly 250 eating spots sno-ball stands and food carts as well as famous restaurants and spins tales of the city’s food lore, such as the controversial history of gumbo and the Shakespearean drama of restaurateur Owen Brennan and his heirs. New Orleans Beer is the first comprehensive history of brewing in New Orleans—a history 287 years long and as wide as the Mississippi— from old-school breweries like Jax, Regal and Dixie to craft brewers like Abita, NOLA and Bayou Teche!

& Chelsey Johnson is the 1718 Society’s featured reader for March Tuesday at 7 pm at The Columns. The 1718 Society is a literary organization comprised of Tulane, Loyola, and UNO students. Their monthly reading series at the Columns Hotel is free and open to the public. It showcases the work of student readers, as well as that of prominent local and national writers.

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

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

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Odd Words February 28, 2014

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

& For the complete list of New Orleans libraries due to carnival, visit the New Orleans Public Library calendar page. In Jefferson Parish the Rosedale Branch will be closed for construction on Saturday. All Jefferson Parish Public Libraries will be closed on Tuesday.

& Saturday at 11:30 it’s Story Time with Miss Maureen at Maple Street Book Shop. This week she’ll read Gaston Goes to Mardi Gras. King Cake will be served

& Every Sunday at 3 p.m. The Maple Leaf Reading Series, the oldest continuous reading series in the south, founded by Everette Maddox, features guest poets and an open mic. This Sunday is a Mardi Gras Open Mic.

& Sunday is Slam and Spoken Word Day in New Orleans. WhoDatPoets.com lists five Spoken Word shows on Sunday nights. For phone numbers with more details on all these readings visit WHODATPOETS.COM. (I stopped listing all of the events because one venue’s name forced me to limit this post for readers over 21. Check WHODATEPOETS.COM for all the latest on slam and spoken word in New Orleans.

& Speak Sunday is hosted every Sunday at 7 pm by Duece the Poet at Therapy, 3001 Tulane Avenue, also featuring live painting of the performers by C.C. Givens.

& Monday at 5:30 pm the Smith Branch Library at Canal Boulevard and Harrison Avenue hosts a creative writing workshop.

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

& Tuesday at 6 p.m. Garden District Books will host author George Fowler III’s My Cuba Libre: Bringing Fidel Castro to Justice. The book is the very personal story of his lifelong battle to remove the dictator from power and bring democracy to his homeland. Fowler exposes the monstrous actions of the Communist Party of Cuba and makes a firm case for indicting Castro for crimes against humanity. Fowler also provides a first-hand account of events like the Elián González case, the Brothers to the Rescue shoot down, and Cuban embargo negotiations.

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

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

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Odd Words February 20, 2014

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

& Thursday at 4 p.m. Dr. Mary Breen of University College Cork will present a lecture on James Joyce’s Ulysses at the University of New Orleans Earl K. Long Library, Room 407. Earlier in the afternoon, the UNO Creative Writing Workshop will present an information session on the summer Writing Workshop in Cork, Ireland at 12:30 pm in the Education Building, Room 104.

Thursday at 6 pm Maple Street Book Shop features poet Peter Cooley will be reading from and signing his latest collection, Night Bus to the Afterlife. With the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans his initial subject, Cooley meditates on transience and mortality as he moves through the landscape of the Gulf South, the sky and his inner weather reflecting one another. A native of the Midwest, Peter Cooley has lived over half his life in New Orleans, where he is Professor of English at Tulane University.

& At 6 pm Thursday Octavia Books welcomes critically acclaimed and bestselling author Wiley Cash back to Octavia Books when he gives a reading and signs his new novel, THIS DARK ROAD TO MERCY. “This Dark Road to Mercy is a terrific, moving and propulsive novel: Harper Lee by way of Elmore Leonard.” —Jess Walter, New York Times best-selling author of Beautiful Ruins and We Live in Water.

& Friday at 6 pm Octavia Books hosts five amazing YA authors are about to descend on Octavia Books to talk about their books – some of the coolest books of the season. Appearing are Tahereh Mafi, author of IGNITE ME; Kiersten White, author of PERFECT LIES; Sophie Jordan, author of THE UNINVITED; Veronica Rossi, author of THE STILL BLUE; and, Claudia Gray, author of SPELLCASTER and STEADFAST.

& Friday at 8 p.m. Cafe Istanbul hosts another Artistic Mash up. All artists are welcome. Sing a song or blow a horn. Tell a joke or read a poem. Come and check out New Orleans most eclectic variety show where everything goes. There will be a house band if musical back up is needed.

& Saturday at 11:30 it’s Story Time with Miss Maureen at Maple Street Book Shop. This week she’ll read Captain Cat by Inga Moore. A trader who loves cats discovers an island plagued by rats in Inga Moore’s lavishly illustrated tale about the value of treasure and the nature of home.

& Every Sunday at 3 p.m. The Maple Leaf Reading Series, the oldest continuous reading series in the south, founded by Everette Maddox, features guest poets and an open mic. Host Nancy Harris’ email has vanished from my inbox. I’ll update the details on features on ToulouseStreet.net as soon as I can run them down.

& Sunday is Slam and Spoken Word Day in New Orleans. WhoDatPoets.com lists five Spoken Word shows on Sunday nights. For phone numbers with more details on all these readings visit WHODATPOETS.COM. (I stopped listing all of the events because one venue’s name forced me to limit this post for readers over 21. Check WHODATEPOETS.COM for all the latest on slam and spoken word in New Orleans.

& Speak Sunday is hosted every Sunday at 7 pm by Duece the Poet at Therapy, 3001 Tulane Avenue, also featuring live painting of the performers by C.C. Givens.

& Monday at 5:30 pm the Smith Branch Library at Canal Boulevard and Harrison Avenue hosts a creative writing workshop.

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

& Tuesday at 6 pm Octavia Books hosts Lincoln Paine, author of THE SEA & CIVILIZATION: A Maritime History of the World. A monumental retelling of world history through the lens of maritime enterprise, revealing in breathtaking depth how people first came into contact with one another by ocean and river, lake and stream, and how goods, languages, religions, and entire cultures spread across and along the world’s waterways, bringing together civilizations and defining what makes us most human.

& Tuesday at 7 pm the East Bank Fiction Writers Group meets at the East Jeffereson Regional Library for a critique session.

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

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

The Jefferson Parish Library website is down this morning. I’ll update the column on ToulouseStreet.net later, and make sure any events make the daily posts.

Next Thursday kicks off the annual American Writing Programs or AWP meeting in Seattle. If you’re going, swipe me some cool bit of swag, preferably a button for the man bag. I’ll try to put together a round up of Louisiana publishers who will be represented at the book show.

Odd Words February 13, 2014

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

& Thursday at 6 pm Octavia Books Errol Laborde comes to present and sign his beautiful and informative, must-have new book, MARDI GRAS. (Yes, king cake will be served.) This extravagantly illustrated coffee-table book covers such topics as the place of the old-line krewes in the evolution of Mardi Gras, women’s groups, flambeaux, the Carnival foods, and more.

& At 6:30 pm Garden District Books features Sarah Baird signing Kentucky Sweets: Bourbon Balls, Spoonbread & Mile High Pie at out Uptown shop. Illustrator Chase Chauffe will also be present. We’ll have treats from the book, so please join us for refreshments prior to the signing.

& Also on Thursday at 6 pm Garden District Book Shops features Natalie Baszile’s Queen Sugar, a mother-daughter story of reinvention—about an African American woman who unexpectedly inherits a sugarcane farm in Louisiana. Why exactly her late father left her eight hundred acres of prime sugarcane land in Louisiana is as mysterious as it is generous. But for Charley Bordelon, it’s also an opportunity start over: to get away from the smog and sprawl of Los Angeles, and to grow a new life in the coffee-dark soil of the Gulf coast.

& Thursday at 7 pm the East Bank Regional Library hosts a poetry event featuring Gina Ferrara and Jonathan Kline, writers, authors, performers and educators (Ed.’s note: and spouses), who will read from their works and discuss the importance of poetry in a presentation that honors the spirit of Valentine’s Day. This special day is known for couples dining out in special restaurants, the giving of roses and the exchange of cards. It is also connected with poetry. Valentine’s Day is an opportunity for partners to show how much they love their significant others, or to hint at crushes and infatuations. During this presentation, Ferrara and Kline will read from their writings and talk about love and romance and the concept of longing that form a basis for their work.

& Every Thursday at 7 pm the JuJu Bag Cafe hosts the spoken word event Word Connections hosted by John Lacabiere. Call 504-307-9969 to sign up or for more information.

& Friday at Maple Street Books Joel Dinerstein will be talking about cool and signing American Cool, a catalogue for the National Portrait Gallery’s exhibit by that same title. The term “cool” has become such a part of America’s modern lexicon that it seems to have lost its meaning. This stellar collection of photographs from the National Portrait Gallery and from prominent artists, museums, and archives nationwide would argue otherwise. The idea of cool is not only older than we think – it’s also constantly changing, aided by the mediums of portraiture and film. Readers will find unexpected and familiar faces here: Walt Whitman, Frederick Douglass, and Georgia O’Keeffe, as well as James Dean, Bob Dylan, and Chrissie Hynde. In perceptive essays, Joel Dinerstein investigates the evolution of cool from the 1930s to the present while Frank Goodyear explores how the mediums of film and photography have helped define the term.

Saturday at 10 am Garden District Book Shop hosts Brandi Perry’s The Jury. Thomas Urlacher knows his wife wants him dead and so does the rest of the town. So, when he is killed in a mysterious boat explosion, it’s not long before law enforcement points the finger at his young bride. What follows is a sensational trial where Britt Urlacher somehow wins a not-guilty verdict. Within a week, jurors from the trial start dying under unusual circumstances. Has Thomas come back from the dead to exact revenge on those who allowed his killer to go free or is someone else defending Thomas?

& Saturday at 11:30 it’s Story Time with Miss Maureen at Maple Street Book Shop. This week she’ll read Penguin in Peril by Helen Hancocks. Three hungry cats. One little penguin. The odds don’t look good.

& Every Sunday at 3 p.m. The Maple Leaf Reading Series, the oldest continuous reading series in the south, founded by Everette Maddox, features guest poets and an open mic.

& Sunday is Slam and Spoken Word Day in New Orleans. WhoDatPoets.com lists five Spoken Word shows on Sunday nights. For phone numbers with more details on all these readings visit WHODATPOETS.COM. (I stopped listing all of the events because one venue’s name forced me to limit this post for readers over 21. Check WHODATEPOETS.COM for all the latest on slam and spoken word in New Orleans.

& Speak Sunday is hosted every Sunday at 7 pm by Duece the Poet at Therapy, 3001 Tulane Avenue, also featuring live painting of the performers by C.C. Givens.

& Monday at 4 pm at the New Orleans Public Library Main Branch GLBTQ teens & their Allies are invited to join in the book club conversation! We will provide paper and digital copies of a short story the week before; the subsequent discussion will be guided by the themes and issues explored in the reading.

& The New Orleans Haiku Society shares Haiku on the third Monday of every month at the Latter Branch Library, 5120 St. Charles Ave., from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. All are invited to attend. For more information call 596-2625.

& Monday at 7:30 pm the East Jefferson Regional Library Fiction Writers Group meets. Candice Huber, a fixture on the local literary scene and a computer wizard, will make a presentation on how technology can help writers. The Fiction Writers’ Group is a support group for serious writers of fiction. We do not focus on poetry, essays or nonfiction. Events consist of critique sessions from group members, author talks and writing exercises. Free of charge and open to the public. Registration is not require

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

& Tuesday at 6 pm Garden District Books features Michael Murphy with Sara Roahen & Poppy Tooker and Eat Dat: A Guide to the Unique Food Culture of the Crescent City. Eat Dat New Orleans is a guidebook that celebrates both New Orleans’s food and its people. It highlights nearly 250 eating spots—sno-ball stands and food carts as well as famous restaurants—and spins tales of the city’s food lore, such as the controversial history of gumbo and the Shakespearean drama of restaurateur Owen Brennan and his heirs. The books includes a series of appendixes that list restaurants by cuisine, culinary classes and tours, food festivals, and indispensable “best of” lists chosen by an A-list of the city’s food writers and media personalities, including Tom Fitzmorris, Poppy Tooker, Lolis Eric Elie, Ian McNulty, Sara Roahen, Marcelle Bienvenu, Amy C. Sins, and Liz Williams.

& Tuesday at 6 pm Octavia Books hosts a reading and signing with Dawn Ruth celebrating the release of her new novel, THE NIGHT WALKER’S SONG. Jo Nell James thinks her life is on the upswing when she rents an antebellum mansion stocked with valuable antiques in a blighted New Orleans neighborhood. Even though the truth lurks everywhere, in the iconic oaks, her bed and even at the piano in the parlor, she hangs on to that fantasy for far too long. Unknown to her, the former occupants’ long ago tragedies are about to become her own.

& Tuesday at 7 pm the East Bank Fiction Writers Group meets at the East Jeffereson Regional Library for a critique session.

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

& Wednesday at 2 pm at UNO in LA 236 three writers, Tom Cooper, Kathy Conner, and Michael Cooper, speak about fiction-writing at our first 3rd Wednesday Talk of the semester. The three are part of the same family.

& Wednesday at 6:30 pm the Nix Library on Carrollton Avenue features Members of the MelanNated Writers’ Collective will share poetry, fiction, music and everything in between. While the group is predominantly African-American, it boasts members who have roots in the Philippines, India, and Malaysia. MelaNated Writers are journalists, professors, MFA students, published fictionistas and poets, and even one Pulitzer winner.

Odd Words January 30, 2014

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

& Thursday at 6 pm Octavia Books hosts a presentation and signing with John H. Baron featuring his recent book, CONCERT LIFE IN NINETEENTH-CENTURY NEW ORLEANS. During the nineteenth century, New Orleans thrived as the epicenter of classical music in America, outshining New York, Boston, and San Francisco before the Civil War and rivaling them thereafter. While other cities offered few if any operatic productions, New Orleans gained renown for its glorious opera seasons. Resident composers, performers, publishers, teachers, instrument makers, and dealers fed the public’s voracious cultural appetite. Tourists came from across the United States to experience the city’s thriving musical scene. Until now, no study has offered a thorough history of this exciting and momentous era in American musical performance history. John H. Baron’s Concert Life in Nineteenth-Century New Orleans impressively fills that gap.

& Every Thursday at 7 pm the JuJu Bag Cafe hosts the spoken word event Word Connections hosted by John Lacabiere. Call 504-307-9969 to sign up or for more information.

& Friday all New Orleans Public Libraries will be closed for an All Staff Day.

& Saturday at 11:30 it’s Story Time with Miss Maureen at Maple Street Book Shop. This week she’ll read Fog Island by Tomi Ungerer. In this imaginative tale from master storyteller Tomi Ungerer, two young siblings find themselves cast away on mysterious Fog Island. No one has ever returned from the island’s murky shores, but when the children begin to explore, they discover things are not quite as they expected!

& Saturday at 2 pm the Poetry Buffet returns to its home at the Latter Memorial Library, feeaturing poets jonathan Kline, Geoff Munsterman and Mike True reading from their new books.

& Saturday at 2 pm Octavia Books and Kid Chef Eliana celebrate the launch of her third cookbook. Come meet her and learn about the mouth-watering recipes in COOL KIDS COOK: Fresh and Fit. Everyone benefits from healthy menus, and Kid Chef Eliana has created a collection of twenty-six recipes that focus on flavor and fresh ingredients. Her recipes are easy to prepare and kid-friendly. With mouth-watering dishes, including such tasty treats as Vinegar and Sea Salt Kale Chips, Beef and Broccoli Stir-Fry, and Inside-Out Peach Crumble, the whole family will be eating nutritious meals prepared by their very own kids!

& Starting Saturday Chef Jacquy Pfeiffer, co-founder of The French Pastry School and author of the new cookbook, The Art of French Pastry will be visiting New Orleans. He’ll be hosting a demonstration Saturday, at the Ritz, and Sunday he’ll be at Sucre. Maple Street Book Shop will be on-site selling the books. Monday morning at 1 1AM, he’ll lecture and sign at the Maple Street Book Shop, and do a macaron tasting

& Every Sunday at 3 p.m. The Maple Leaf Reading Series, the oldest continuous reading series in the south, founded by Everette Maddox, features guest poets and an open mic. January is a series of open mics.

& Sunday is Slam and Spoken Word Day in New Orleans. WhoDatPoets.com lists five Spoken Word shows on Sunday nights. For phone numbers with more details on all these readings visit WHODATPOETS.COM. (I stopped listing all of the events because one venue’s name forced me to limit this post for readers over 21. Check WHODATEPOETS.COM for all the latest on slam and spoken word in New Orleans.

& Speak Sunday is hosted every Sunday at 7 pm by Duece the Poet at Therapy, 3001 Tulane Avenue, also featuring live painting of the performers by C.C. Givens.

& Monday at 7 pm the East Jefferson Regional Library Fiction Writer’s Group will host guest writer Janet Moulton, the author of The Headless Palm. The chaos of life after Hurricane Katrina places a local attorney and her contractor son at odds with a broken legal system. When they befriend two college students, they agree to help them in the search for a missing cousin. The investigation uncovers horrors worse than anything the storm did. Janet Moulton graduated from the University of Connecticut with bachelor degrees in psychology and English. She obtained her law degree from Tulane University and has lived in various parts of the New Orleans area since 1972. The Fiction Writers’ Group is a support group for serious writers of fiction. We do not focus on poetry, essays or nonfiction. Events consist of critique sessions from group members, author talks and writing exercises. Free of charge and open to the public. Registration is not required.

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

& Tuesday at 6 pm Octavia Books hosts best selling author Wendy Webb and her new book The Vanishing. Set on the roguishly beautiful Northern shore of Lake Michigan, THE VANISHING begins with a past séance that goes unpardonably wrong—and then leaps forward to today’s most troubling headlines. The widow of a Ponzi-scheming genius who escaped through suicide, Julia Bishop is shocked by an offer so intriguing she cannot refuse: she’s offered the position of companion to a famed gothic novelist who much of the world believes has died. The authoress’s son offers Julia refuge from the cruel media and vicious personal attacks surrounding her husband’s misdeeds—she can vanish into his family’s cloaked estate, just has his mother, Amaris Sinclair, did some decades ago. But when Julia arrives at the aptly named castle-in-the-wilderness, Havenwood, she becomes unsettled: by voices from figures that are not there; by intruders who must mean someone harm; by legends surrounding the estate and the Sinclair family that seem all too true.

& The 1718 Society literary group will host its first first reading of the Spring semester is Tuesday at 7 pm. Shelly Taylor is the featured reader. Shelly Taylor is the author of Black-Eyed Heifer (Tarpaulin Sky Press) and Dirt City Lions (Horse Less Press), as well as two poetry chapbooks, Peaches the Yes-Girl (Portable Press of Yo-Yo Labs) & Land Wide to Get a Hold Lost In (Dancing Girl Press). Born in southern Georgia, she currently resides in New Orleans, where she teaches at Loyola. All readings are free and open to the public. Maple Street Book Shop will be on-site selling books. The 1718 Society is a literary organization of Tulane, Loyola, and UNO students, which holds a monthly reading series at the Columns Hotel, 3811 St. Charles Avenue.

& The Great Books Club meets at the Old Metairie Branch of the Jefferson Parish Library Tuesday at 7 pm. The Great Books Foundation is a nonprofit educational organization whose mission is to advance the critical, reflective thinking and social and civic engagement of readers of all ages through Shared Inquiry discussion of works and ideas of enduring value. Since 1947, the Foundation has helped people throughout the United States and other countries conduct discussion groups in schools, libraries, community centers, and other venues.

& Also on Tuesday the Jefferson Parish Library Teen Book Club will meet in the Lafitte Library. Teens ages 12-18 are invited to join in an exciting discussion of this month’s book, BETWEEN THE LINES by Jodie Picoult. Registration required. Please call 504-689-5097 to register. Held in the adult reading area.

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

& Wednesday at 6:30 pm Garden District Book Shop features Joshua Field Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus discussing their book Everything That Remains. Twenty-something, suit-clad, and upwardly mobile, Joshua Fields Millburn thought he had everything anyone could ever want. Until he didn’t anymore. Blindsided by the loss of his mother and his marriage in the same month, Millburn started questioning every aspect of the life he had built for himself. Then, he accidentally discovered a lifestyle known as minimalism and everything started to change. That was four years ago. Since, Millburn, now 32, has embraced simplicity. In the pursuit of looking for something more substantial than compulsory consumption and the broken American Dream, he jettisoned most of his material possessions, paid off loads of crippling debt, and walked away from his six-figure career. So, when everything was gone, what was left? Not a how-to book, but a why-to book.

& On Wednesday Esoterotica’s local provocateurs are bringing you a celebration of the all different forms of self-love… and we don’t mean in the Depak Chopra kind of way. 8 pm at the Allways.

Odd Words January 15, 2014

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

& Thursday at 9 p.m. Bayou Magazine will launch Issue No. 60 of the literary journal at The Saturn, 3067 St. Claude Ave. ” Readers, writers, editors, contributors, music-lovers and party-goers, come join us for [REDACTED], dancing, singing, literature-dispersing, or any subset of these activities! Games will be played, prizes will be won, joy will be spread.”

& Thursday at 5:30 pm the Norman Mayer Library continues its Writing Workshops led by Youths. Upstairs in the teen area. Encouraging creative arts exploration through reading, engaging discussions, and group activities. Youth ages 12-17 are invited! Group limited to 15 participants. Call the branch to reserve your spot: 596-3100.

&  Also on Thursday the East Jefferson Regional Library’s Great Books Discussion Group will take up Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov at 7 pm in the A/V Conference Room – 2nd Floor. Awe and exhilaration–along with heartbreak and mordant wit–abound in Lolita, Nabokov’s most famous and controversial novel, which tells the story of the aging Humbert Humbert’s obsessive, devouring, and doomed passion for the nymphet Dolores Haze. Lolita is also the story of a hypercivilized European colliding with the cheerful barbarism of postwar America. Most of all, it is a meditation on love–love as outrage and hallucination, madness and transformation.

& Saturday at 1 pm Garden District Book Shop features Katie Wainwright’s The Azaleas. Dumped by her lover, no money, no credit, no job, facing eviction…Karla Whitmore hits rock bottom. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, she has reached a dead end, nowhere to turn, no place to go. Then a chance encounter at Café du Monde—Albert Monsant, a suave, sophisticated uptown lawyer, offers Karla a job selling real estate, dangling the prospect of big money under her nose. Suspicious, but lacking options, Karla accepts the challenge. Arriving at The Azaleas, Karla is pitted against a roaming ghost, a good-old-boy network and a past culture that hangs on and won’t let go. She soon realizes that the impediment to a sale is not the real estate, but the owner’s conflicts.

& At 2 pm Saturday the Dickens Fellowship of New Orleans meets to continue their discussion of David Copperfield. They will discuss Chapter XXIX “I Visit Steerforth at his Home, again” through Chapter XXXV “Depression. The Fellowship holds meetings September through May, reading one of the works of Charles Dickens each year. The meetings include book discussions, movie versions of the novel, and lectures by Dickens scholars. This year’s book is DAVID COPPERFIELD. Dues are $20/person (couples $30) payable in September.

& Also at 2 pm Saturday author Victoria Cosner Love will be signing her book Mad Madame Lalaurie: New Orleans’s Most Famous Murderess Revealed at the 1850 House, 523 St. Ann St in the lower Pontalba. What really happened in the Lalaurie home? Who was “Mad Madame Lalaurie,” and what motivated her to commit such ghastly atrocities, if she indeed did? Mad Madame Lalaurie is one of New Orleans’ most infamous villains, even being portrayed by Kathy Bates in the 2013 season of American Horror Story. Historian Victoria Cosner Love and author Lorelei Shannon uncover the truth behind one of New Orleans’s most famous stories and one of America’s most haunted houses.

& Every Sunday at 3 p.m. The Maple Leaf Reading Series, the oldest continuous reading series in the south, founded by Everette Maddox, features guest poets and an open mic. January is a series of open mics.

& Sunday is Slam and Spoken Word Day in New Orleans. WhoDatPoets.com lists five Spoken Word shows on Sunday nights. For phone numbers with more details on all these readings visit WHODATPOETS.COM. (I stopped listing all of the events because one venue’s name forced me to limit this post for readers over 21. Check WHODATEPOETS.COM for all the latest on slam and spoken word in New Orleans.

& Monday, January 20 is Martin Luther King Day and both Jefferson parish and New Orleans public library will be closed. There will be no GLBTQ book club or student’s Creative Writing Workshop this week.

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

& Tuesday evenings the Old Metairie Library branch Great Books Discussion Group meets at 7 pm. No title is announced for this meeting. Contact the library at 889-8143 for more information.

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

& Mark Rothko. Horse racing and cockfighting. Exotic New Orleans. On Wednesday the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities celebrates the new issue of Louisiana Cultural Vistas magazine with another publication party featuring several of the issue’s contributors. Doors open at 5:45 at 938 Lafayette Street and the event is open to the public. A $5 donation is suggested. Scheduled to discuss their articles in the Winter 13-14 issue are: Cybele Gontar, who unearths the details of artist Mark Rothko’s time in New Orleans; S. Derby Gisclair, who looks back at the golden age of Big Easy sports, when boxing, horse racing, cockfighting and baseball reigned; and, John Lawrence, who explores the exotic style in local architecture.

Odd Words June 27, 2013

Posted by The Typist in books, literature, memoir, New Orleans, NOLA, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, publishing, spoken word, Toulouse Street.
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Featured Event: Ever thought of dating a poet, once of those charasmatic masters of the microphone you swoon to hear speak? Friday night Team Slam New Orleans is hosting a fundraiser for their trip to back to the National Poetry Slam in Boston this August. Team SNO will be hosting a date auction at the Red Star Gallarie from 8-11 p.m. hosted by The Hump Connection featuring D.J. Victoria Vixxen. Team SNO is a two-time winner of the nationals so everyone is encouraged to go out and help them raise that last $1,000 they need to get there. Come play for a date & hear in your very own ear the fierce & tender magic that’s Team SNO.

See you logo here! Sponsorship available. To reach 7,500 self-identified book readers & buyers, contact Mark Folse at odd.words.nola@gmail.comr

See your logo here and on Facebook daily! Sponsorship available. To reach 7,500 self-identified book readers & buyers a week, contact Mark Folse at odd.words.nola@gmail.com.

Some other literary chatter:

Pick up the current issue of the Oxford American to read a feature-length essay by Press Street co-founder Anne Gisleson, “Condolences from Death Row.” The essay, an early draft of which Gisleson read at a Room 220 event in May 2012, uses the author’s receipt of a letter from a death row inmate, who her attorney brother represented, as the jumping-off point to ruminate about their father’s recent death and her own mortality. Gallows humor (that, as we learn through Gisleson’s descriptions of her father, clearly runs in the family) and an urgent sense of longing pervade the essay, which is yet another piece of evidence that one of New Orleans’ best prose writers is getting better before our eyes.

Also check out Micheal Zell of Crescent City Books’ essay on the seminal New Orleans author, historian and folklorist Marcus Christian at Room 220.

Local poet and essayist Rodget Kamanetz has just co-published a book of pomes with illustrations by Michael Hafftka, To Die Next To You. From Amazon.com: “Two brother artists, both nurtured by the dream world and its imaginal colors and sacred words, have joined to produce a single work of rare quality. More that a collaboration this work is a journey into the power of the unconscious depth of word and image, in which master painter and poet present verbal and visual displays of agony and joy, destruction and falling, love and dying.”

Finally, this month’s find on the Intertubes is the Tumblr blog Structure & Style, where Rebecca Hazelwood and Savannah Sipple find marvelous poems and serve them up as a many course meal of poetic wonder. Check it out.

& so to the listings…

& This evening at Maple Street Books Brenda Marie Osbey will be signing her latest poetry collection, All Souls: Collected Poems (forthcoming, 2013); All Saints: New and Selected Poems (LSU Press, 1997), which received the American Book Award; Desperate Circumstance, Dangerous Woman (Story Line Press, 1991); In These Houses (Wesleyan University Press, 1988); and Ceremony for Minneconjoux (Callaloo Poetry Series, 1983; University Press of Virginia, 1985). She is the author also of a series of Kongo-New Orleans libretti, including Sultane au Grand Marais: a New Orleans Opera (Rites & Reason Theatre, December, 2011).

& This Thursday at The International House, 221 Camp Street, welcomes journalist Stephanie Hepburn for a presentation & signing celebrating the launch of her new book, HUMAN TRAFFICKING AROUND THE WORLD: Hidden in Plain Sight. Octavia Books will be selling the books on location and Stephanie will be signing books following her presentation. A complimentary cocktail will be served. From New Orleans to New Guinea. From Baltimore to Bangladesh. From Laos to Los Angeles. Stephanie Hepburn brings uncommon passion and penetrating insights, born of exhaustive investigation, to a topic which needs both.

& This week’s Alvar Arts, held every third Thursday at The Alvar Library from 7 to 9 pm, features Ken Foster discussing his latest book, I’m a Good Dog: Pit Bulls, America’s Most Beautiful (and Misunderstood) Dog. Working in collaboration with book packager Becker & Meyer, photographer Karen Morgan, and Penguin USA, Foster will describe the collaborative process that produced the book, which features nearly 100 full color photos and historic images in addition to Foster’s text

Likely as not you will find a bunch of poets sitting around outside Flora’s Coffee Shop in an informal reading/meeting organized by Jimmy Ross. 8 pm-ish.

& Friday night Team Slam New Orleans is hosting a fundraiser for their trip to back to the National Poetry Slam in Boston this August. Ever thought of dating a poet, once of those charasmatic masters of the microphone you swoon to hear speak? This is your chance. Team SNO will be hosting a date auction at the Red Star Gallarie from 8-11 p.m. hosted by The Hump Connection featuring D.J. Victoria Vixxen. Team SNO is a two-time winner so everyone is encouraged to go out and help them raise that last $1,000 they need to get there. Come play for a date & hear in your very own ear the fierce magic that’s Team SNO. Team members include Akeem Martin, Justin Lamb, Sam Gordon, Kaycee Filson and Quess?. Team SNO came in sixth out of 32 of the best teams of the country in the recent Southern Friend Poetry Slam hosted by Team SNO. Quess? says the SFPL is “a competition that is getting fiercer every year. That was with that new members who just started writing, much less performing just last year. I put EVERYTHING on my team. We’re some of the best slam poets in the world and one of the best teams.”

& Also this Friday Word Connections @ The Juju Bag Cafe Open Mic features Mr. Spoken Word Lionel King. Word Connections aims to be a weekly fix of good times with people you know and soon will know, words being shared, great food being served, drinks and laughter all night with the amazing ambiance provided by The JuJu Bag Cafe’s outdoor patio area. Open mic so all poets (and singers) are welcomed to come sign up and showcase their skills

& Also on Friday night Octavia books hosts author Sheila Heti celebrating the paperback edition of HOW SHOULD A PERSON BE? with a reading and book signing. Hailed as “a breakthrough” (Chris Kraus, Los Angeles Review of Books) for the critically acclaimed Sheila Heti, HOW SHOULD A PERSON BE? is an unabashedly honest and hilarious tour through the unknowable pieces of one woman’s heart and mind. It has ignited conversation and earned Heti comparisons to Joan Didion, Henry Miller, Kathy Acker, and Gustave Flaubert. “Funny…odd, original, and nearly unclassifiable…Unlike any other novel I can think of.” —David Haglund, The New York Times Book Review

& On Saturday at 11:30 am Story Time with Miss Maureen at Maple Street Book Shop will feature Dr. Sues’ The Butter Battle Book.

Also on Saturday, the , the Teen Zone of the Main New Orleans Public Library will be hosting an visit by two Young Adult authors, for teens: e.E. Charlton-Trujillo, author of FAT ANGIE, and Michelle Embree, author of MAN STEALING FOR FAT GIRLS. The authors will read from and discuss their books. 2 pm at the Main Library, 219 Loyola Ave

& Sunday at 3 p.m. at the Maple Leaf Bar is the Maple Leaf Reading Series, the oldest continuous reading series in the south, founded by Everette Maddox. In the back patio, weather permitting. Periodic features and an open mic every Sunday.

& The new Sunday show from Spoken Word New Orleans is Poetry and Paint Brushes. Spoken Word artists perform as a resident artist sketches the performers. Doors at 7 pm. and show at 8 pm. at Special Tea, 4337 Banks Street.

& 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.

& Also on Tuesday, Maple Street Book Shop’s The First Tuesday Book Club will be meeting at 5:45PM at the Uptown location to discuss Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. Pick up your copy today! Newcomers are always welcome. August’s titled will be In the Sanctuary of Outcasts by Neil White.

& Also on Tuesday the Jefferson Parish Library Writers Group meets at the Westwego library from 7-9 pm.

Every Wednesday at Buffa’s in the back room there will be music and poetry from 7-8 p.m. followed by an open mic.

Coming next week: The Community Book Store on Bayou Road celebrates its 30th anniversary with two days of events July 5 and 6

Odd Words June 6, 2013

Posted by The Typist in books, bookstores, literature, New Orleans, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, publishing, Toulouse Street.
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& Team Slam New Orleans is hosting and defending their title in the Southern Fried Poetry Slam in venues all over the city, with qualifying rounds and after hours events. Here is the schedule, with more details on their Tumblr.

Thursday

11 -12pm Community Service: Poetry In Motion Care Bears Children Hospital

10-12am Slam Master’s Meeting (TBD)

10-12pm Youth (Y) & Adult (A) Workshops (New Orleans Public Library-Main Branch)

12-1pm Lunch

6-8pm Round 2: Bout 1 (Café Istanbul, The Cathedral, Byrdie’s, Sweet Lorraine’s)

8-10pm Round 2: Bout 2 (Café Istanbul, The Cathedral, Byrdie’s, Sweet Lorraine’s)

Friday

11am-12pm Community Service: Poetry In Motion Care Bears Ochsner Hospital

10-11am Slam Master’s Meeting (TBD)

10-12pm Youth (Y) & Adult (A) Workshops: New Orleans Public Library-Main Branch

12-1pm Lunch

5-6 pm *Black On Black Rhyme Presents The Staccato Slam (Sweet Lorrain’s)

8-10pm Round 3: Bout 1 (Café Istanbul, The Cathedral, Byrdie’s,Sweet Loraine’s)

8-10pm Round 3: Bout 2 (Café Istanbul, The Cathedral, Byrdie’s, Sweet Lorraine’s)

10:30-1am *Slam Masters Slam (Café Istanbul)*

Beauty vs. Brawn (Sweet Loraine’s)*
Inclusive Gauntlet Slam (Venue TBD)*

Saturday

10-12pm Youth Showcase (New Orleans Public Library)

1-3pm City Tour

7:30-10pm Final Slam (Ashe Cultural Arts Center) & Closing Remarks

10:30pm The After Party (Venue TBD)

Sunday

10am-12pm Southern Fried Brunch (Trolley Stop)

12-2pm Farewell Open Mic (Venue TBD)

(*) denotes that event is free to the general public. A ticket to all qualifying events is $20 and finals admission is $25 at the door.

& This Thursday at 8 p.m. the Thursday poetry scene moves to a reading at the open art salon at 1501 St. Roch Ave. features Brad Richard, Chris Tonelli and Megan Burns followed by an open mic. Food and Drink, please feel free to bring something. Richard’s Motion Studies won the 2010 Washington Prize from The Word Works. He is also the author of the collection Habitations (Portals Press, New Orleans, 2000) and the limited edition chapbook The Men in the Dark (Lowlands Press, Stuttgart, Germany, 2004). He is a recipient of fellowships from the Surdna Foundation, the Louisiana Division of the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Humanities, and poetry winner in the Poets & Writers’ 2002 Writers Exchange competition, he is chair of creative writing at Lusher Charter High school in New Orleans.c Tonelli is one of the founding editors of Birds, LLC, an independent poetry press. He also founded and curates the So and So Series and edits the So and So Magazine. He is the author of four chapbooks, most recently No Theater (Brave Men Press) and For People Who Like Gravity and Other People (Rope-A-Dope Press), and his first full-length collection is The Trees Around (Birds, LLC). New work can be found in or is forthcoming from jubilat, Fou, La Fovea, and Leveler. He works at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, where he lives with his wife, Allison, and their two kids, Miles and Vera. Burns edits the poetry magazine, Solid Quarter (solidquarter.blogspot.com). She has two books Memorial + Sight Lines (2008) and Sound and Basin (2013) published by Lavender Ink. She has two recent chapbooks: irrational knowledge (Fell Swoop press, 2012) and a city/ bottle boned (Dancing Girl Press, 2012). Her chapbook Dollbaby is forthcoming from Horseless Press. Her 30 Days of Weezy project is annotated over at Rap Genius.

& Thursday at Garden District Book Shop Kent Wascom and The Blood of Heaven is featured at 6 p.m. “The Blood of Heaven is a remarkable portrait of a young man seizing his place in a violent new world, a moving love story, and a vivid tale of ambition and political machinations that brilliantly captures the energy and wildness of a young America where anything was possible. It is a startling debut.”

& Friday at Garden District Book Shop Walter Culpepper presents The Replacement Son at 6 p.m. “From a thriving 19th-century New Orleans to the city’s devastation in Hurricane Katrina and amidst the harsh realities of England during World War II, The Replacement Son takes readers through vividly depicted locales and eras as Harry pursues his existential quest. With motifs ranging from chivalric adventure to metaphysical mystery, author W.S. Culpepper brings a charming but most unlikely hero and an exotic range of supporting characters to life in a compelling story of sacrifice and discovery.”

& Saturday’s Story Time with Miss Maureen is one of my favorites from when my kids were young: “We’ll eat cookies and read If You Give a Mouse a Cookie written by Laura Joffe Numeroff and illustrated by Felicia Bond.” 11:30 a.m. at Maple Street Book Shop uptown.

& Saturday night Chuck Perkins and Voices of the Big Easy will host an show and open mike/poetry slam at 8pm at Cafe Istanbul. In honor of the poets who are in town for Southern Fried we will have a open mic from 10pm until 11pm and the poetry slam will start afterwards.

& Sunday at 3 p.m. at the Maple Leaf Bar is the Maple Leaf Reading Series, the oldest continuous reading series in the south, founded by Everette Maddox. In the back patio, weather permitting. Periodic features and an open mic every Sunday. This Sunday Poets Sarah Beth Wildflower and Sulla (Charles Morgan) perform their work. Followed by open mic.

& The new Sunday show from Spoken Word New Orleans is Poetry and Paint Brushes. This week featuring Asia “Preach” Palmer, Will “Duece” Powell and and J. Mickey McKinney and special guest from St. Louis, MO, Louis Conphicltion. Spoken Word artists perform as a resident artist sketches the performers. Doors at 7 pm. and show at 8 pm. at Special Tea, 4337 Banks Street.

& On the second, fourth, and fifth Sunday of each month, Jenna Mae hosts poets and spoken-word readers at 8:00 p.m. at the Fair Grinds Coffee House on 3133 Ponce de Leon St.

& On Monday June 10th Andy Cohen visits Garden District Book Shop with his book Most Talkative: Stories from the Front Lines of Pop Culture. “From a young age, Andy Cohen knew one thing: He loved television. Not in the way that most kids do, but in an irrepressible, all-consuming, I-want-to-climb-inside-the-tube kind of way. And climb inside he did. Now presiding over Bravo’s reality TV empire, he started out as an overly talkative pop culture obsessive, devoted to Charlie’s Angels and All My Children and to his mother, who received daily letters from Andy at summer camp, usually reminding her to tape the soaps. Dishy, funny, and full of heart, Most Talkative provides a one-of-a-kind glimpse into the world of television, from a fan who grew up watching the screen and is now inside it, both making shows and hosting his own.”

& Monday the Jefferson Parish Library Fiction Writers Group hosts guest author Wanda Ramirez. In Hurricane Tsunamis, Ramirez shares her experiences in Hurricane Betsy as a child and Hurricane Katrina as an adult. After Katrina, she relocated to Memphis with her brother Sam. She works as an administrative assistant with Avon District 1804 of Louisiana. She also is a clarinetist with the Bartlett Community Band and the River City Concert Band of Memphis. She says she hopes to return to Louisiana to be near family and friends. Ramirez is working on another book titled, Born into Two Lands: Between New Orleans and Puerto Rico. The author says she is “privileged to be culturally endowed with two great lands with many similarities as well as unique differences.”

& 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.

& On Wenesday Maple Street Book Shop’s St. Claude Avenue Book Club will be meeting June 12th at 7PM at Fatoush in the Healing Center to discuss Hope Against Hope. The author, Sarah Carr, will be in attendance for the discussion. Please join us! Newcomers are always welcome.

& Also on Wednesday, The Shakespeare Festival at Tulane University kick’s off their 2013 season with a benefit featuring great food, drink and Elizabethan music with your friends. Get an insider’s look at the final dress rehearsal of The Merry Wives of Windsor. Join the auction for a wonderful weekend at the Windsor Court Hotel. Reception begins at 6:45 pm/ Curtain at 7:30 pm. Champagne, Desserts & Auction at 9:30 pm. at the Lupin Theatre at Tulane University. Single Tickets $100
Couple Tickets $180.

& Also on Wednesday Room 220 hosts a special event as part of the New Orleans Loving Festival—Black Rabbits and White Indians: Racially Controversial Children’s Books—at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, June 12, at the Press Street HQ (3718 St. Claude Ave.). NOTE: Unlike most Room 220 events, this one will start (sort of) on time. It will be immediately followed by another Loving Fest literary event in the same location, beginning at 7 p.m.

& The following event at Room 220 is A Poetic Gathering to celebrate Mixedness and the 46th anniversary of Loving Day featuring performances by local poets Travis Duc Tran, Rosana Cruz, Geryll Robinson and Delia Tomino Nakayama. Sponsored by Poets & Writers Inc. The victory of Mildred Jeter and Richard Loving – in the court case of Loving vs. Virginia – not only won them their freedom to love, but it also granted the same freedom to every interracial couple in every state in America.

Odd Words September 23, 2010

Posted by The Typist in books, literature, New Orleans, NOLA, Odd Words, Toulouse Street.
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No, I didn’t exactly forget to write a column this week. I just should have written in earlier because last night I was at the first of two Nights Creole Arabesque & Transylvanian-Moldavian Fascination (the first event listed below) listening to talented young writers and their mentor from Romania share imaginative stories based on the model of Sheherezade, the medieval storyteller of 1,001 Arabian Nights. The event also feature a hilarious retelling of a Brer Rabbit story by Bill Lavender and a brilliant and theatrical piece about an Irish sailor in the transatlantic slave trade by Moose Jackson.

It’s not too late to get yourself over to the Goldmine for the second night, so scan the bullet below and read the rest of this later. If I had anything clever to say to top this post it was swallowed in my utter amazement at the talent I saw on display last night. if you need clever, do I really have to read HTMLGiant, The Rumpus and Maud Newton for you every week? (I am sure Ms. Newton regularly crushes under her heel the notion that men don’t make passes at women in glasses, but since this week’s blog reminds us she’s married you could skip it so as not to be heartbroken. Except that he husband interviews William Gibson.)

And so, after my opening paragraph, why are you still here when you should be on your way to the second night of:

§ Two nights of Creole Arabesque & Transylvanian-Moldavian Fascination. Last night featured guest writers & poets Lucian Dan Teodorovici, Bogdan Odagescu, Marius Conkan, Bill Lavender, R. Moose Jackson, James Nolan and DeWitt Brinson. Thursday, September 23, 8:00 p.m. (that’s tonight, as in right now, so go there and read this later) the featured guest writers & poets include Andrei Codrescu, Ruxandra Cesereanu, Corin Braga, Dave Brinks, Jessica Faust-Spitzfaden, and Kip Cairo.

EVENT PROLOGUE: Sheherezade, the medieval storyteller, told stories for 1001 nights in order to save her life from the cruel sultan Sharyar, who married a virgin every night and had her killed the next morning. Only Sheherezade’s stories could stop him from his murderous insanity. The 1001 Nights Storytelling Festival and its participants are out to prove that the 21st century is the new Oral Century. They believe that New Orleans and Transylvania are the places where Sheherezade 2 is going to offer a new model for survival through storytelling. The events will center entirely on the human voice and imagination. The Transylvanians will unveil sequels to the 1001 Nights in English translation, some of them interpreted by New Orleans actors, surprise musicians and dancers, while the New Orleanians will unveil accounts of unmerciful fabulosity.

Also featured in this festival — A meeting of Two-Continent Imaginations: Corin Braga, founder of The Center For Imagination Studies from Cluj, Transylvania, and Confessor Emeritus of Abomination and founder of The New Orleans School for the Imagination Dave Brinks joined by collaborateurs Andrei Codrescu and Bill Lavender.

§ Also part of this cross cultural story slam is a 1001 Nights Story-telling Festival Symposium Friday, Sept. 24 at 2 p.m. at the University of New Orleans in the TRAC Building, Room 103, featuring the ring leader of the Transylvanian Invasion Corin Braga along with New Orleans School for the Imagination ringleaders Dave Binks, Andrei Codrescu and Bill Lavender. A writing workshop on collaborative poetry will precede this event, but there’s no time on the card they handed out so just go early.

§ If this seems to be turning into all 17 Poets! at the Goldmine all the time, well that’s what’s on top of the stack and closest on the calendar. On Saturday night, the Goldmine will be closed to its usual weekend business of dance clubbers and consumers of Flaming Dr. Peppers (don’t ask) in order to feature an evening with poet ANDREI CODRESCU signing & reading from his new book The Poetry Lesson (Princeton) at the Gold Mine Saloon this coming Saturday at 7:00 p.m., September 25, 2010, admission is free.

§ When Dave Eggers told the crowd at his event at this year’s Tennessee Williams festival that there were still 100 Katrina books waiting to be written (like this one, I think he was right. At Garden District Book this Saturday, Sept. 25 at 11:30 am author Jean Redmann will read and sign Water Mark, the lastest installment in her Micky Knight mystery series, this one tied to solve the reasons behind the death of one of the many bodies found in the flooded homes of postdiluvian New Orleans.

§ Following Redmann at Garden District is Nolde Alexius, Judy Kahn, Allen Wier, Jeanne Leiby, Moira Crone, and other contributors discussing and signing their book Best of LSU Fiction. is not only a literary history of Louisiana’s flagship university but also an original presentation of some of the country’s best fiction writers. From Pulitzer Prize–winner Robert Penn Warren to Olympia Vernon, LSU MFA graduate, acclaimed novelist, and winner of the Ernest Gaines Award for Literary Excellence, this vital anthology includes original author biographies that trace the establishment of LSU’s prestigious literary tradition. Contained within are stories, some never before published, by LSU notables James Wilcox, Andrei Codrescu, Walker Percy, Moira Crone, David Madden, John Ed Bradley, Tim Parrish, Rebecca Wells, Olympia Vernon and many more.

§ At the Maple Leaf on Sunday Poet Kay Murphy celebrates her birthday and retirement from UNO with a poetry reading.

§ I don’t normally do children’s books, but Jewell Parker Rhodes’ Ninth Ward sounds like such a gem I am tempted to pick it up. (I have to confess to having picked up some of my children’s books over the years, wanting to revisit A Wrinkle in Time and Treasure Island). Twelve-year-old Lanesha lives in a tight-knit community in New Orleans’ Ninth Ward. She doesn’t have a fancy house like her uptown family or lots of friends like the other kids on her street. But what she does have is Mama Ya-Ya, her fiercely loving caretaker, wise in the ways of the world and able to predict the future. So when Mama Ya-Ya’s visions show a powerful hurricane–Katrina–fast approaching, it’s up to Lanesha to call upon the hope and strength Mama Ya-Ya has given her to help them both survive the storm.

§ I usually don’t mention this but after Jimmy Ross told me the story of his regular dumpster diving behind the Latter Memorial Library, which used to through out its old books, I think we should refer to this as the weekly You Should Thank Jimmy Ross For This Memorial book sale. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Wednesday and Saturday. Latter Library Carriage House, 5120 St. Charles Ave., (Uptown), 596-2625, http://www.nutrias.org. A blogger I read (I think it was NolaNotes, but I could be wrong; I can’t find it searching her blog archives) wrote a lovely piece about a particularly obsessive fellow who is an avid and regular shopper there, and her competition with him for prized volumes. If nothing else, you should go read NOLA Notes to see why she was on the Top 10 list of Best New Orleans blogs in this year’s reader poll.

Indigenous and Endangered August 4, 2010

Posted by The Typist in 504, New Orleans, NOLA, Poetry, Toulouse Street.
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A quick Odd Words update, because I’m an overextended idiot and forgot to list this last week. I need to hurry up and type this because for all I can remember I may have forgotten to pay the light bill. I think we’ll have to drop a wrench in the assembly line works so we can somehow slip away tonight from work, bills and book to catch this.

§ UPDATE: Not sure how I forgot this when I’m subscribed to two different Facebook reminders about it: Indigenous and Endangered: An Evening of Louisiana Poetry A Language of Conservation Program featuring Darrell Bourque, Louisana Poet Laureate plus other notable local poets: Dave Brinks, Megan Burns, Gina Ferrara, Kelly Harris, Roger Kamenetz, Brad Richard, and Jerry Ward. Wednesday, Aug. 4 (tonight, that is) from 7-9 p.m.

Odd Words May 6, 2010

Posted by The Typist in books, literature, New Orleans, NOLA, Odd Words, Toulouse Street.
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From, Maud Newton, thoughts of poet Phillip Larkin on your day job versus your writing. I mean, it’s not like anyone I know is getting paid to write anything other than journalism. (No problem with journalism. I’ve done my time, and the pay is a good bit better than poetry, but not by much). A day job, Larkin says, “forces you to think about something other than yourself and other than your own poems and I think that’s good for you and for y our poems…and the whole thing releases you from that awful pressure…of having to write something to carry on living…”.

I’ll try to keep those words in mind, although part of me would rather be spending my day among books than herding bad-tempered feral cats, which is about what corporate project management amounts to, be free as I re-shelved the books by rote to think and dream. Then again, based on the experience of one city librarian I know, it’s just as likely my outcome would be to police the computer lab and read to bad-tempered, feral children in a bookmobile in East Jesus. So maybe I should just shut up and finish this before someone important walks past my cube.

§ The Poetry Bomb is coming to New Orleans next weekend. Los Angeles poet S.A. Griffin purchased a hollow training bomb on Craigslist and is traveling the country filling it with poetry. At The Maple Leaf on Sunday at 3ish. Unfortunately for me, it’s Mother’s Day and if I suggest showing up here I may have to claim the Everette Maddox Memorial Bench as my new home, but this looks fascinating.

§ I haven’t watched but half an episode (the last of last season) of the TV series Mad Men, but local-born actor Bryan Batt will be signing She Ain’t Heavy, She’s My Mother, “an achingly funny and deeply moving portrait of his beautiful New Orleanian mother” one blurb reads, at Octavia Bookstore Saturday, May 8 at 6:30 pm. Probably not my thing but always good to give a local boy his props.

§ Sandra Cordray and Denise Danna discuss and sign their book Nursing in the Storm: Voices From Hurricane Katrina at the Garden District Bookstore May 6, 2010, 5:30pm. The book “takes you inside six New Orleans hospitals-cut off from help for days by flooding-where nurses cared for patients around the clock. In this book, nurses from Hurricane Katrina share what they did, how they coped, what they lost, and what they are doing now in a city and health care infrastructure still rebuilding, still in jeopardy” per the publisher.

I know, a lot of people are not ready for another Katrina book, but I tend to agree with Dave Eggers who said at this year’s Tennessee Williams festival that there are a hundred Katrina books waiting to be written. “I think we’re at the very beginning of telling the story of Katrina,” he told the audience. “There is a market beyond New Orleans.” You should not feel obliged to read them all, but this event is too important to think it will go undocumented. I‘ve written mine. Have you written yours?

I’ll try to get back to my Egger’s notes and write him up his remarks (now that I’ve typed up my month-old notes) as the brief feature at the top of Odd Words next week.

§ It’s not too late to to donate to any of the participants in theNeighborhood Story Project Write-A-Thon featuring their own authors and anyone else willing to step up and ask for sponsors. You can donate here to any of the participants here and if you’re reading this blog and this post in particular, I don’t know why you wouldn’t want to.

§ This week at 17 Poet! features novelist and short story writer MOIRA CRONE and poet DAVE BRINKS (Dave’s Birthday Party!) Thursday, 8ish at the Goldmine Saloon on Dauphine in the Quarter. And don’t forget the upcoming birthday celebration for New Orleans-born Bob Kaufman. Come and read something by this original Beat, perhaps the most original of the Beats with all due respect to Ginsburg and Corso. If you don’t know his work, call up the main library and find out if the collection Cranial Guitar is still in cataloging. I mean, it’s been two years. Maybe they should hire me.

Odd Words April 22, 2010

Posted by The Typist in Odd Words, Toulouse Street.
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Telling stories about New Orleans. That is what got me started writing again after a long quiet period, prompted in part by my reaction to the Federal Flood. The Neighborhood Story Project is an organization in New Orleans dedicated to helping the people of New Orleans tell their own stories. It started as a book making project at John McDonough Senior High School, nurturing young writers from the city and publishing their work.

There are now a dozen titles and a raft of related projects. One of their major fund raising efforts is an annual Write-A-Thon featuring their own authors and anyone else willing to step up and ask for sponsors who will spend the afternoon writing together.

One thing I see missing from this year’s event are local celebrity writers stepping up to participate, which is a bit of a shame. Props to Tom Piazza and Eric Lois Elie for participating in the 2009 event.

You can donate here to any of the participants here and if you’re reading this blog and this post in particular, I don’t know why you wouldn’t want to.

§ Yes, it’s Jazz Fest time again and The New Orleans Gulf South Booksellers Association (NOGSBA) sponsors the Book Tent at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, where authors will sign books during the fest. Friday-Sunday and April 29-May 1. Here’s the first weekend’s lineup:

April 23th – Friday
Tom Fitzmorris 12-1:00PM Hungry Town
Abby Sallenger 2 –3:00PM Island in a Storm
Cornell Landry 3 – 4:00PM Happy Jazz Fest & Goodnight NOLA
*Tom Sancton 5 – 6:00PM Songs for My Father

April 24th – Saturday
Jennifer Zdon 12-1PM New Orleans A-Z
John Besh 1 – 2:00PM My New Orleans Cookbook
*Johnette Downing 2 – 3:00PM Why the Crawfish Lives in the Mud
Jason Berry 3 – 4:00PM Up From the Cradle of Jazz
Bill Loehfelm 4 – 5:00PM Bloodroot
Aubrey Bart 5 – 6:00PM Bluesiana Snake Festival

April 25th – Sunday
Ethan Brown 12 – 1:00PM Shake the Devil Off
Tom Aswell 1 – 2:00PM Louisiana Rocks
Meri Sunseri 2 – 3:00PM P & J Oyster Cookbook
Karen Ocker 3 – 4:00PM Ray Nagin Coloring Book
Earl Hampton 4 – 5:00PM Streetcars of New Orleans: 1964 to Present
Stacey Meyer & Troy Gilbert 5 – 6:00PM New Orleans Kitchens

§ Since I’m passing on Jazz Fest this weekend due to business travel, I may have to catch Valentine Pierce, Paul Benton, Asia Rainey and Chuck Perkins reading their poetry Noon Saturday April 24 at the Alvar Library, 913 Alvar St. in the Bywater.

§ The Maple Leaf will have a Jazz Fest Open Mike on this Sunday with no featured reader.

§ Dave Brinks told me who his featured reader(s) were going to be last Thursday, and I didn’t write it down and so I’ll just hold this space until I get his email during the week. If all you see is this, it means I got too tied up by work to update it, but 17 Poets at the Goldmine Saloon is my favorite local poetry venue. Thursdays, eightish, on Dauphine Street.

That’s probably it for this week, but hey it’s Jazz Fest and people’s minds are on music, but there’s nothing stopping you from dropping by the Book Tent now is there?

Odd Words April 15, 2010

Posted by The Typist in books, Odd Words, Toulouse Street.
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I’ve been so busy between work and blogging Treme that I don’t have a clever lead in this week, so here’s a suggestion. Go read some of the websites I do where I find some of this stuff. My recommendations:

  • The Rumpus.net, a crazy romp through literary culture by people who might be mistaken for hipsters, except that they are actually creative. And snarky. If Jeffrey reads this blog the combination of clever snark and hip may cause his head to explode. Just warning you, brother.
  • LitDrift, where the banner at the top offers Zombie Romeo waxing hungry over Juliet’s brains. They really do a lot of my heavy lifting in terms of finding stuff to put at the top here. And there’s Free Book Fridays.
  • And then there is the slightly more Manhattan classy Maud Newtown</li
  • Finally, there is fascinating HTMLGIANT, prefect for all you visual thinkers as they post a lot of interesting literary videos and graphics. Example. God, I love maps.

§ This is the last weekend for Cripple Creek Theatre’s production of Jules Feiffer’s Little Murders, April 16, 17 (Friday and Saturday) at 8pm
At the Marigny Theatre / AllWays Lounge and Theatre 2240 St. Claude. To rip-and-read their excellent email notice: ” Think of Neil Simon in his Barefoot in the Park/The Prisoner of Second Avenue period on mescaline. Or Edward Albee crossed with a Warner Brothers cartoon.” I love the film version so well when I tried to watch it with my son he had to shush me from reciting along, which is (I know) a terribly annoying habit and I promise I won’t do that in the theatre.

§ I mentioned Treme and I think something of this epic scope and quality this qualifies as a literary event, so get yourself over to Back of Town blog where I and a half dozen other partisans of New Orleans and video auteur David Simon are sharing our thoughts. (I’m under my old blog name, “wet bank guy”.

§ The feature at 17 Poets will be Moose Jackson, whom I just wrote up the other day about one or two posts down. He is one of New Orleans’ premiere spoken word poets and the author of the play Loup Garou, which I hope you did not miss this past summer. Also feature, and fiction writer JENNIFER STEWART. At the Goldmine Saloon on Dauphine, eightish. And the birthday tribute to New Orleans born Beat Bob Kaufman has been moved from next week to May which pleases me immensely, as the Counting House will be sending me off to Wild Goose Chase, MD on business next week.

§ I’ll be at 17 Poets on Thursday, but I have to confess a certain interest in the subject of Matthew Randazzo; sMr. New Orleans: The Life of a Big Easy Underworld Legend. 5:30 p.m. Thursday. Garden District Book Shop, The Rink, 2727 Prytania St.

§ Best of LSU Fiction – Editors read from the publication. 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Cabildo, 701 Chartres St., New Orleans (French Quarter), 523-3939, http://www.lsm.crt.state.la.us.

§ There is no feature at the Maple Leaf this Sunday or next, just Open Mike. So screw your courage to the sticking place and come down and read something. It’s spring on the patio.

§ I find it Odd that next Wednesday there will be a reading of Plato’s Symposium hosted by the New Orleans Lyceum at the Latter Library, and the same night the Socrates Cafe philosophical group holds a monthly discussion. 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. St. Tammany Parish Library, Folsom Branch. I find it even Odder that Folsom is a hot bed of Socratic thought but that’s probably not being nice.

§ I lost my library card, and while getting a new one I discovered 1) I owed them $2.25 and 2) During National Library Week, April 11-17th, pay your outstanding library account balance, including all overdue fines, lost book and processing fees, by donating food items to the New Orleans Public Library. The library will donate the food to Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans, a United Way Agency. One can, item, equals one dollar from your fines! Acceptable items include: rice, pasta, dry cereal, beans, canned meat, juice, peanut butter, tuna fish, dry milk, boxed dinners or any other high protein none-perishable food item.

Odd Words April 1, 2010

Posted by The Typist in books, Odd Words, Poetry, Toulouse Street.
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Courtesy of LitDrift, a website with a banner in which Zombie Rodeo pines thus: “Oh that I were a glove upon that hand, that I might reach inside her head and chew her scrumptious brain” but which actually is full of interesting stuff, such as a link to Lewis Lapham’s Quarterly in which Kurt Vonnegut explains literature via some nifty diagrams. The Internet is a wonderful thing, especially if you have work to do and it has nothing to do with writing.

§ It’s National Poetry Month in April. Even if you’re just reading this because you know me or because you’re bored at lunch, I know you were exposed to poetry at some point in high school or college, and filed the experience away with brussels sprouts, you know: the ones you mother cracked out of that Bird’s Eye box in the freezer and made you eat. Not everyone was lucky enough to have a teacher like Mr. Burns at De La Salle, who bears an uncanny resemblance to the English teacher character in Mystic Pig, someone who by the end of the year had you truly listening to and thinking about poetry.

It doesn’t have to be like those brussels sprouts. First, brussels sprouts in season and well prepared are delicious. So is poetry, if you read the right stuff. I can’t tell you what the right stuff is, any more than I can convince Greg that the Grateful Dead is the acme of American Popular Music. Still, there must have been something you liked, from some period or genre. Sometime this month, stop in the bookstore or the library and just cruise the spines until something pops out at you. Then take it down and read it. Now, take it to check out and find yourself a tree somewhere and get yourself back to that high school space of mind and just sit there and read away the afternoon. You might just be able to get over that metallic Bird’s Eye memory.

§ Susan Stouse, who’s taken over intermittent book reviewing duties for the Picayune Item, opens her Sunday column with this: “in the rest of the country, people will celebrate books next month by taking in National Library Week, Support Teen Literacy Week and National Drop Everything and Read Day. Don’t read us wrong; these are really, really good things, all these “observances.” It’s just that, um … where’s the music? Where’s the food?”

§ Stolen from her column are a couple of poetry notes: Dennis Formento publisher of “Mesechabe: The Journal of Surregionalism,” but best known by some as the founder of the Frank Zappatistas free jazz/free verse band will publish (Looking for an Out Place” (FootHills Press, $15) this spring. And also this: Already out, from Chicory Bloom Press, the small Thibodaux imprint started by noted poets Glenn Bergeron and David Middleton that publishes but two handsome, handmade poetry chapbooks each year, is a limited edition of “Trees in a Park” ($15), a chapbook of works by distinguished poet and Tulane University professor emerita Catharine Savage Brosman. Louisiana poet laureate Darrell Bourque is smitten, calling the author “an impeccable artist” and “one of the great metaphysicians of our time and place.”

§ She also reports the paper release of “Song for My Fathers: A New Orleans Story in Black and White” by musician/Time editor/Tulane professor/bestselling author Tom Sancton who will play Tulane’s Dixon Hall April 19 to celebrate the new version. Sancton will play (clarinet) at the April 20 re-launch party at Octavia Books, with his Classic Jazz Trio mates John Rankin and Tom Fischer.

§ Featured tonight 17 poets tonite New Orleans poet, editor and publisher KYSHA BROWN (author of Spherical Woman, Runagate Press 2010), and New Orleans poet, editor and publisher JOSEPH BIENVENU (author of Atom Parlor, BlazeVox Books 2010). Also, host and noted poet Dave Brinks mentioned the other night there will be a celebration of Bob Kaufman’s birthday on Thursday, April 15 (Kaufman’s birthday is the 18th) so have something of Kaufman’s ready to read (and you’d best have it by memory, and be ready to jump up on the bar or a car parked outside to proclaim it. Just don’t jump on the blue Vue if it’s in front. The hood won’t take the weight.

§ At the Maple Leaf this Sunday the poet Sulla, laureate of the dour, will read followed by an open mike.

Odd Words March 25, 2010

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If you’re bothering to read this you certainly already know this is the weekend of the Tennessee Williams Festival in New Orleans. My own first experience I summarized here:

I hunched in the back with a tattered dimestore notebook balanced on my lap, an Oddity in the mostly female crowd dressed to meet for lunch under the clock at D.H. Homes. I had surrendered my cafe au lait at the door and as I sat damp from the steady spring drizzle outside, I waited for someone to announce that tea would be served, and hoped they would serve me.

At 51 I was one of the youngest people in the room and the most ill dressed, until that spot was taken by a guy in a ball cap who arrived and sat two rows up. One of the older book clubbers who filled the seats asked him to remove it, and I felt instantly more comfortable in my own shabby jeans and t-shirt. I had taken off my own driving cap when I sat down.

I find the program to be a bit heavy on Best Selling Authors and Notable Editors/Agents sharing their secrets it was an interesting experience, and I plan to try to get their on Friday to hear author/publisher/screenwriter/activist/educator Dave Eggers’ two presentations on this work. On Saturday the historic presentation on The Vieux Carre in the 1930s sounds interesting : “…a slide presentation on the literary milieu that so attracted the young Tennessee Williams to the French Quarter [along with] Sherwood Anderson, Lyle Saxon, William Faulkner, Caroline Dureiux and Roark Bradford.”

A 2:30 on Saturday “New Angles in New Orleans Writing” also sounds very good, with panelists Rick Barton, Andrea Boll, Bill Loehfelm and Paula Morris. Toulouse Street neighbor and author of a fine short story debut Barb Johnson will join Jill McCorkle and N.M. Kelly in a short story panel titled The Long and the Short of It at 11:30 AM Saturday.

The sole poetry event is 1 p.m. Sunday and features Peter Cooley, Louisiana Poet Laureate Darrell Bourque and Allison Pelegrin. I don’t know why the TWF cut out the poetry contest, which I think is a big mistake. I guess the books-and-tea club types I find at a lot of these events don’t read much poetry anymore, except maybe a little Tennyson or Frost (if they’re feeling daring) now and again. Also on Sunday at 11:30 am is a panel on the HBO Series Treme “All that Jazz…and Beyond: The Making of Treme” with the writing team of Lolis Eric Elie, David Mills, Eric Overmayer, Tom Piazza and David Simon.

Finally, there is the Stella shouting contest late Sunday, and a performance of Ignatius On Stage.

§ This Thursday 17 Poets! Literary & Performance Series hosts a reading & book signing featuring Manhattan poet, editor, publisher, and translator BILL ZAVATSKY. The featured poet will be followed by Open Mic hosted by Jimmy Ross. Bill Zavatsky is an American poet, teacher, translator, jazz pianist, and former publisher, editor-in-chief of SUN press and SUN magazine. He currently lives in New York City, where he teaches English at the Trinity School. Zavatsky’s co-translation, with Zack Rogow, of Earthlight: Poems by André Breton (Green Integer), won the PEN/Book-of-the-Month Club Translation Prize. His translation of The Poems of A.O. Barnabooth by Valery Larbaud (Black Widow Press) with Ron Padgett was republished in 2009. Zavatsky has written poems for twelve CDs by the jazz pianist Marc Copland. His recent full-length book of poems Where X Marks the Spot was published by Hanging Loose Press. Zavatsky recently received the prestigious John Simon Guggenheim fellowship for his poetry.

§ On Sunday the Maple Leaf Poetry Series, the longest running reading in the South, will host local poet Poet Sulla reading from and signs his new chapbook followed by an open mike. As Spring comes on and the Saints season behind us, what better place to spend a Sunday afternoon than in the patio Everette Maddox made famous.

§ — Missed a Good One for Tonite The Jazz & Heritage Foundation’s Tom Dent Congo Square Lecture Series will present poet, author and activist Amiri Baraka at Dillard University’s Lawless Memorial Chapel Thursday, March 25, 7pm. Baraka, perhaps best known for his 1963 book “Blues People: Negro Music in White America,” will speak as part of the lecture series’ current theme of presentations, “Jazz in Black & White.” Contact (504)558-6100

§ Missed another one: Dave Eggers returns to Octavia Books to sign ZEITOUN Friday, March 26, 5:00pm – 6:30pm at Octavia Books, 513 Octavia Street. I’m going to have to try to get one signed at the TWF as I won’t be able to get away and back uptown by then.

Odd Words March 18, 2010

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Nothing clever to report today, especially after last night’s Downtown Irish St. Patrick’s Day Parade. We stood in front of Mimi’s and it was steadily raining black condoms from the balcony. I’m not sure the Saint involved would approve, and where we would get all of the damn Irishmen for the parade if they were used? Anyway, I’m a wee bit hungover so here’s a quick quote right off the side bar (you do browse the sidebar occasionally, don’t you? There are links to some fine blogs over there):

I write about myself with the same pencil and in the same exercise book as about him. It is no longer I, but another whose life is just beginning. – Samuel Beckett (1906-1989)

§ This week 17 Poets! Literary & Performance Series presents a film screening of legendary twentieth century poet CHARLES OLSON: Growling Shaman 1956 – 1970, video outtakes of Charles Olson speaking from his home in Gloucester. Note: This screening will begin PROMPTLY at 8:00 p.m. Our featured presentation will be followed by Open Mic hosted by Jimmy Ross (sign-up begins @ 7:30 p.m.)…storytellers, poets, fiction writers, essayists, vocalists & performance artists are welcome.

If I were going to quote Olson, I’d probably go straight for The Lordly and Isolate Satyrs, except, um, well, I’ve just done that recently.

§ The city’s two arts-centric high schools, The New Orleans Center for Creative Arts and Lusher High School, will present their third annual literary festival for your writers. Poet Matthew Dickman, who won the APR/Honnickman First Book Prize for All-American Poem in 2008 will give a reading free and open to the public at 7 p.m. at New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, 2800 Chartres St.

Other session offerings include fiction writing with Barb Johnson, author of the story collection “More of This World or Maybe Another”; dance and text with Jeffrey Gunshol, Tsunami dance company member; screenwriting with writer/director Henry Griffin; spoken word with local favorite Chuck Perkins; experimental poetry with Laura Mullen, author of three collections of poetry and two hybrid texts; radio essays with Cheryl Wagner, contributor to NPR’s “This American Life”; and book art with collage artist Deborah Norsworth. In addition, there will be a panel discussion comprised of representatives from the Lusher and NOCCA writing programs, the Neighborhood Story Project, the Queer Youth Project and other organizations that support young writers.

The Saturday festival is open to high school age students only and requires pre-registration. The registration fee is $20 and is payable upon arrival at the event March 20. To register or for information, go to http://www.nocca.com or contact Brad Richard at N.O.new.writers@gmail.com or 504.554.0963

§ Author Rick Barton discusses and signs his book of essays Rowing to Sweden. 5:30 p.m. Thursday. Garden District Book Shop, The Rink, 2727 Prytania St. Barton is the last familiar name at UNO from my own time long-ago as a student in Eng. Lit. He oversaw the establishment of the creative writing program and is a teaches Fiction there.

§ This Sunday at 3 p.m. at the Maple Leaf Bar poet John C. Knight reads from and signs his new collection, Body into Earth. Followed by an open mike. Spring is here so its a great time to visit this event in the back patio.

§ CORRECTION I saw Thaddeus Conti tonight at 17 Poets and he says his Tuesday night poetry reading at the back bar of Molly’s has ended. Sad, as it was great fun, equal parts poetry, seminar and drinking. We both agreed that deep down we’reAbbey men anyway, a preference that for me date back to the early 1980s when Betz Brown owned the Abbey and snakebites only came in one flavor and were, for the regulars, on the house. It was at once one of the most convivial and unconventional places I’ve ever frequented. Monihan had the TV personalities and the politicians but we had the people worth staying up until dawn talking with.

§ Long-time local champion of the environment Oliver A. Houck discusses and signs Taking Back Eden. 7 p.m. Tuesday. Garden District Book Shop, The Rink, 2727 Prytania St.

Odd Words March 4, 2010

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Is traditional literature dying, or merely transforming itself to fit new media and new ways of reading? Here’s an interesting piece on subjects like twitlit (attempts to write in 140 characters), the evolution toward flash fiction and other very short forms to fit the attention span of the multi-tabbed multi-tasker, and similar thoughts. Yes, some things deserve more time and space that 1,000 words or 140 characters, and always will, but I don’t think that devalues attempts to create for new media outlets. We write for ourselves (or why are we here?) but we are lying to ourselves if we don’t admit that we also write to be read. As traditional print diminishes and new channels open, it would be ridiculous to disregard them.

On a related note, this.

Also:

§ Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Rita Dove, the country’s first African-American poet laureate, will read at Tulane University’s McAlister Auditorium on Monday, March 8 at 7 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. After the reading, Dove will sign copies of her book. Dove won the Pulitzer Prize in 1987 for her poetry collection Thomas and Beulah, which places the lives of her grandparents in a richly vivid historical context.

§ Poets Michael Czarnecki, Daniel Kerwick and Thaddeus Conti read from their work at the Maple Leaf Bar Poetry Series, Sunday at 3 p.m. followed by an open mike

§ Barbara Johnson’s striking debut short-story collection More of This World or Maybe Another (HarperPerennial) took second place honors in Barnes and Nobles 2009 “Discover Great New Writers Awards.”

§ No email from Dave Brinks and I forgot what he announced last week as a feature because I was too busy chatting up that night’s featured reader, but you can usually find me at The Goldmine Saloon on Thursday nights around eight for the 17 Poets Reading Series. The feature last week was Sandra Beasley, and I strongly recommend you check out her work.

Update: This just in from D.B.– This week 17 Poets! features the contributions of two extraordinary, early twentieth century poets: Romanian TRISTAN TZARA and French author SABINE SICAUD (1913-1928). Poet Dave Brinks will present selected English translations by Lee Harwood from CHANSON DADA: Selected Poems, TRISTAN TZARA (Black Widow Press 2005); as well as selected English translations by Norman R. Shapiro from To Speak, to Tell You?: Poems, SABINE SICAUD (Black Widow Press 2009), http://www.blackwidowpress.com.

§ Poet and artist Thaddeus Conti will open a showing of his drawings at the Kevin Gillentine Gallery, 3917 Magazine St., on Saturday at 6 p.m. If you can’t make the opening, gallery hours are Monday to Saturday 10-5. Or you can stop by Conti’s Dinky Tao poetry reading Tuesday nights in the back bar of the Maple Leaf on Decatur St., where you will often find him with sketch book under his arm.

§ A closing thought from today’s Daily Rumpus email by Stephen Elliott of TheRumpus.net: “Something that keeps you occupied with no expectation of recognition is not necessarily art, it might just be television.” So don’t just slap it on the blog or stick it in a drawer. Go out and read or submit something.

Odd Words February 4, 2010

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Carp. Between work, a cold and the collision of Carnival and the Super Bowl, I completely forgot to write up an Odd Words column this week. So quick before the day gets any later:

§ 17 Poets ends its holiday absence and resumes its weekly run tonight at The Goldmine Saloon at 8 p.m. with a reading & party for poet and author Rodger Kamenetz on his 60th birthday.

§ A bit of random fun: a Java Haiku generator. And to go with it, what I was thinking while I was having a cigarette right before I remembered I needed to write this post:

The way the rain falls off the fascia,
fat pillow-mint shaped drops
float down slow as snow.

§ And finally, a helpful list of publications that regularly publish from the slush pile, courtesy of TheRumpus.Net.

Odd Words January 21, 2010

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What I love most about this literary city in the post-Katrina era is the way we treasure our own stories, the way we have listened to and sympathized and encouraged one another in telling those stories. Every New Orleanian is a storyteller now, knows his or her thread of our great urban narrative. We have learned to cherish one another, just as we have learned to value anew our city’s history, its mythology, its sturdy yet exuberant culture. Bookstores were some of our havens after the storm; festivals and readings became rites of civic renewal.

— Susan Larson, former book editor of the Times Picayune, in her final column

Farewell to all that: The Times-Picayune officially spikes any pretense of a book section, and Susan Larson writes her swan song. The remaining rip-and-paste wire reviews move to Sunday’s living section, but at least there will be a once a month column by former Times-Picayune Books section editor Suzanne Stouse. And so another pretense to being anything like a major newspaper slips away on Howard Avenue. I hope they can afford to keep someone on payroll to dust all those old Pulitzers.

§ As you know, I have an interest in memoir and particularly those with a strong tie to place. I’m going to miss Aristide Oconostota Marshal discussing his family history book The Trumpet Talked with Me! at the Latter Library but I think I am going to have to pick up his book. Sadly, it’s from Ex Libris which means that even if our local newspaper had a book section, they wouldn’t review it.

§ It’s almost carnival and the Saints are in the playoffs and the only thing of note I find listed for this week is author Scott Ellis discussing and signing Madame Vieux Carre. 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. The author discusses and signs his book Madame Vieux Carre: The French Quarter in the Twentieth Century. 1 p.m. Saturday. Garden District Book Shop, The Rink, 2727 Prytania St. This looks like a charming book, and I normally don’t go for charming.

§ Dan Baum, lately of the New Yorker and notable for among other things his pink bowler, will celebrate the paperback release of Nine Lives: Death and Life in New Orleans at Octavia Books, 513 Octavia Books, Wednesday, February 24, 2010 6:00 p.m. Yes, I have picked on his newspaper writing but the book sounds interesting to me and now that it’s out in paperback I think I’ll have to break down and read it. But first I have to get that vision of his pink hat out of my mind.

Odd Words January 14, 2010

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Just back from a gruesome business trip and thinking about Haiti a lot and there really isn’t much on the literary calendar in New Orleans this next week. So while Haiti is much on our minds:

§ I have never read Madison Smartt Bell's widely praised All Souls’ Rising (a nominee for the National Book Award and the PEN/Faulkner Award) but its going on the book pile. I did read his Master of the Crossroads, which focuses on Toussaint Louverture and the intersection of Haitian voodoun and the apocopyltic revolution. Highly recommended. I will also need to polish off this trilogy at some point and read The Stone that the Builder Refused

§ And now, for something complete different courtesy of HTMLGIANT: In 2006, Adobe Systems commissioned an art installation titled San Jose Semaphore by Ben Rubin, which is located at the top of its headquarters building. Semaphore is composed of four LED discs which “rotate” to transmit a message. The content of the San Jose Semaphore’s message remained a mystery until it was deciphered in August 2007. The visual art installation is supplemented with an audio track, transmitted from the building on a low-power AM station. The audio track provides clues to decode the message being transmitted. The San Jose semaphore has been broadcasting the full text of Thomas Pynchon’s 1966 novel, The Crying of Lot 49.

§ And, um, Odd Words. I think someone got an OED for Christmas, or is just making some of these up. There are some gems. Comic Sans, however, is an abomination but consider the source. I’m with these folks.

Odd Words December 24, 2009

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Well it’s Xmas week so there’s nothing for me to post up here for local events. I did stop by the new reading which Thaddeus Conti has organized Tuesday nights in the back bar of Molly’s, a rather low key affair of reading, talking and drinking. He did ask everyone who stood up to extemporize something before they read a prepared work, which scared the hell out of me. I’m paralyzed by the site of an office birthday card, but I managed something and came away with one of his drawings for my effort. Stop by and have a pint and help him grow this weekly event on Tuesdays, 9-10ish, Molly’s at the Market on Decatur.

Here’s some light holiday reading from Stephen Elliott. And there’s a newer post that follows this which I also highly recommend. Thanksgiving isn’t a holiday. Its a way of looking at the world, taking it one day at a time and finding something about that day which makes you relish the present and look forward to tomorrow. Thanks to Billy Sothern of Imperfectly Vertical for reminding me about this, which I saw in The Daily Rumpus but forgot to mention until he reminded me.

The Bukowski thing is recycled from last year, but I prefer to think of it as a “holiday chestnut,” one of those acceptably recycled things like “The Night Before Christmas” on the front page of the newspaper wreathed in holly, or putting “Yes, Virginia” in the editorial column, as timeliness as the pile of two dollar Dickens at the cash register, things which are to publishing what the fruitcake is to gifting.

Me, I actually like fruitcake (if you make me one and don’t buy me one of those tinned things suitable for long term storage next to the MREs against future apocalypse). This probably explains something about me, but I’m not going to try to figure out what that is today. Take that as your creative challenge for this week. Imagine.

Odd Words November 5, 2009

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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 29, 2009

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It looks like another quiet week for Odd Words but then Halloween is a busy time in New Orleans. Just a few notes on things mostly for the future, some regular events to call out and a couple of blog linkeroos.

§ First lets start with the New Orleans Bookfair on Saturday Nov. 7 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Book sellers, readings and such all over the 500 and 600 blocks of Frenchman Street on Saturday. The featured guest will be John Berendt, author of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, who I saw at last year’s Tennessee Williams Festival (a report from that event here). There is a kick-off party and reading Friday at the Sound Cafe, 2700 Chartres St at the corner of Port from 6-9 p.m. featuring Ethan Brown, author of Shake the Devil Off and Louis Maistros, author of The Sound of Building Coffins.

Here’s a bit of their press release: “Besides boatloads of beautiful books to peruse, ponder & purchase, there will be live music & other entertainment, interactive activities, ‘zines-a-plenty, and readings from authors local and otherwise…The Bookfair is also hosting the TENTH annual outing of BABYLON LEXICON, an exhibition of avant-artists who use the bound book or printed narrative as a medium of artistic expression. This will blow your circuits, folks, and it’s bigger and stranger than ever! Books made of metal, a bowl full of tiny, bite-sized comics, books comprised of squished pastries, books made of pieces of other books, books deconstructed and re-jiggered in ways so creative as to defy press-release copy. You must see it to believe it!”

I’ll be selling Carry Me Home A Journey Back to New Orleans at Cafe’ Negril, and reading at sometime between noon and three at the Apple Barrel Bar. This will be my first year at this event so I can’t tell you much more, but here’s a photostream of last year’s festivities. If you’re reading this I’m sure I’ll see you there at some point.

§ I paid my first visit to Antenna Gallery last week to hear Stephen Elliott’s reading and was wowed looking at the books published by Press Street, “a New Orleans-based non-profit which promotes art and literature in the community through events, publications and arts education” as their web site says. I forgot to get cash and that’s the only reason I didn’t leave with one of each of the titles they have published. Each book is uniquely designed with different textures of paper, cover styles, bindings, etc. They were simply beautiful things that wanted to jump off the shelf into your hands and demand to be read. I’ll be back to clean out of of each off their shelves soon. In addition to the press, they host work space for writers, offer writing workshops all at the Antenna Gallery, an art space in front. Keep an eye on their website for future events, and by all means buy one of their books.

§ Don’t forget that Octavia Books is hosting a Halloween Party themed around Neil Gaimain’s The Graveyard Book Friday starting at 5 p.m. as part of a national contest. Best and biggest party gets a future visit from the author. I’m not sure I can get there but desperately want to do my part to get Gaiman to visit. If you go and get a wee bit drunk and your mask is good, you can claim to be me and I get credit for showing up because it looks like I may not be able to. Unless you manage to burn the place down. Then it was definitely not me.

§ As promised, since it’s a slow week here’s a few regular events.

  • The Maple Leaf Bar Poetry Series meets most Sundays 3ish (but starting later, I find), usually with a featured reader followed by an open mike. This is a charming set of folks I mostly met for the first time two weeks ago (my bad), but the series has been running since it was founded by poet Everette Maddox and is the longest running poetry reading series in the U.S. (or so I’m told).
  • Extraordinary poet, barkeep and editor of the YAWP! Journal Dave Brinks hosts a weekly reading series 17 Poets! Thursday at his Goldmine Saloon, 701 Dauphine St., corner of Dauphine and St. Peter. This event has been featured on NPR and Jim Leher’s PBS show and routinely brings in national talent as featured readers. Check it out.
  • Sweet Lorraine’s hosts a Jazz and Poetry series but I don’t have the schedule. By the time you read this we will have missed the last one but I have host M.C. Shakespeare’s email somewhere and will try to get a schedule and post it here. You may remember Shelton “Shakespeare” Alexandeer for his moving spoken word performance in front of the St. Roch Cemetery in Spike Lee’s When The Levees Broke. I used a line from it as the epigram of my book. (The speech used to be up on YouTube but got pulled by someone for copyright reasons).
  • Open Mic Poetry & Spoken Word – Loren Murrell hosts a weekly poetry and spoken-word night with free food. Free admission. 8:30 p.m. at Yellow Moon Bar, 800 France St., in Bywater (I cribbed this from another site. If you’ve been (or get there before I do), post up some info about it.

I know there are more comprehensive lists of literary events, but if you like the one’s I’m collecting here and want to clue me in to something people might otherwise might miss leave me a note here. See you at a locally owned, independent bookstore soon, I’m sure.

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.

Odd Words October 15, 2009

Posted by The Typist in New Orleans, NOLA, Odd Words, Toulouse Street.
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Here is my second (now officially weekly) collection of bits of book and culture gossip from around New Orleans, essentially things that might attract me to attend, buy a book, or do something else interesting and specifically or exclusively about the alcohol, music or food. As I explained last week, this is not a comprehensive list; just the events where I’m likely to show up and some mention of books or whatnot I’m reading or about to read. If you show up at one of these events as well, I’m the old fart in a young man’s hat. Say hello. And buy me a drink.

§ Local poet and impresario Dave Brinks will be a man about town this week, signing or reading from his new poetry collection THE CAVEAT ONUS, starting with a kick off party tonight (Thursday) at 8 pm at 17 Poets, the poetry series he runs every Thursday at the Goldmine Saloon.

Here’s the announcement email: “This event is dedicated to the living memory of jazz flautist ELUARD BURT and poet PAUL CHASSE. The presentation will feature a reading and book signing by Dave Brinks; plus lots of tasty eats, including BROCATO’S famous cannolis. Special guest performances by New Orleans’ musicians include Peter Nu on steel drums (www.poetryprocess.com) and Matthew Shilling on bansuri, Indian bamboo flute (www.matthewschilling.com). Complimentary on-site Massage Therapist/Therapy provided by Spa by the Park. Followed by Open Mic emceed by poet JIMMY ROSS. ”

Brinks will also appear in the coming week at Maple Street Bookstore from 1-2:30 on Oct. 17; at the Maple Street Bar poetry series on Oct. 18 at 3 pm; at Octavia Books Oct. 20 at 6 p.m. and somewhere in Metairie you can find on your own if you must. If you missed the interview in the Oct. 7 Picayune-Item by all means go have a look.

I’ve read the first book of the series; have in fact tried to study it closely. The Onus Opus (um, no don’t do that) is a complex poetry sequence including a unique stanza form based on the hexagrams of the I’Ching and and an over all structure tied to Mayan cosmology, a mix that produces a surrealist experience that does not merely erupt from the unconscious but is,in the context of the structure he has erected, as rational as fractals.

Unpeeling this onion all the way is not for the faint of heart but the lines are frequently taken directly from the streets of New Orleans, as familiar as the cracks and holes you instinctively step over on a street your frequently cross. You can take the poems as a pleasing pack of surrealist postcards from New Orleans, or as a puzzle to spend hours taking apart and marveling at the complexity of, and enjoy the experience in either case. You can find a sample from the first book with the invaluable Notes on the Text here.

§ Stephen Elliott, author of HAPPY BABY, is coming to New Orleans to promote his new book THE ADDERALL DIARIES, which is just out and kicking up a storm. He’ll will read and sign Tuesday, October 20th, at Antenna Gallery in Bywater at 7 pm

Elliott’s writing has been featured in Esquire, The New York Times, GQ, Best American Erotica and Best Sex Writing 2006. He was a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University and is a member of the San Francisco Writer’s Grotto. He is the editor of The Rumpus.

So of course I went out this weekend and bought the book (on the recommendation of two people who’s opinions I value who called him out to me). Like any good true crime book it is both disturbing and fascinating, a combination guaranteed to keep you reading to the end. And for someone who spends a good bit of my writing time here as a diarist or memoirist or whatever we can think to call this intersection of writing, my own life and the internet, I find it fascinating. His powerful first person presence in the story challenges the boundary between journalist and diarist in a way I haven’t encountered since Hunter Thompson and Tom Wolfe. This endorsement of the book should not be considered, however, an invitation to pinch my nipples until they bleed. (If this idea disturbs you, I suggest you skip this book, as among the author’s proclivities is sadomasochism. The book is not pornographically explicit, but honest enough to make your skin crawl every now and then.)

§ Another great link courtesy of Ray Shea, “Why Don’t Aspiring Writers Read More Literary Magazines?” from Bookish.Us. This piece shamed me into subscribing to a year of the journal Sentence rather than just ordering a sample copy. And frankly, if they published samples on the web, would I have really ordered a sample copy? Everyone cries Gutenberg is dead but if we don’t buy newspapers and we don’t subscribe to journals or magazines that publish fiction and poetry, can we entirely blame the corporate buccaneers?

§ I no longer remember how I stumbled into a UNO graduate thesis on poetry and the web (the author manages to not include their name), but it is worth the visit just for an interesting list of poetry blogs that nicely compliments the Poems and Poetics list (if you clicked that last link to read some of Caveat Onus. If you didn’t do that I’ll wait here until you’re done).

I disagree with a lot of what the author says about blogs and blogging (may in fact write up a post in response) but the list looks promising from my first pass through, and it led me to Loss Glazier’s DIGITAL POETICS: THE MAKING OF E-POETRIES. This book promises to explore “the relationship between web “pages” and book technology, and the way in which certain kinds of web constructions are in and of themselves a type of writing.” Damn, now I have to buy another book. I may have to start skipping lunch.

§ A reminder: Moose Jackson’s poem/play Loup Garou, which explores the deep interconnectedness between land and culture in Louisiana, continues it’s outdoor run in the abandoned fields of City Park’s old East Golf Course. Showings are Thursdays at sunrise (7am) and Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at 5pm through October 25.

§ Another late add: Ned Sublett signs his memoir of New Orleans before the Federal Flood in ‘The Year Before the Flood, ‘ Thursday (tonight) , 7:30 p.m., Faubourg Marigny Art and Books.

§ This weekend is the Louisiana Book Festival in Baton Rouge, which looks interesting, but I’m not headed up there. There’s just too much else going on, and I’m a little miffed that I submitted a copy of my book for consideration for their panel on self-published authors, and got back not so much as a post-card. You would think these people know how the rejection process works. This is one I’m skipping.

§ Fellow Mid-Citian Barb Johnson will be among those reading at the Louisiana Book Festival, but I plan to catch her at Garden District Books Oct. 21 Check out this excerpt from her novel in progress.