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Odd Words November 19, 2014

Posted by The Typist in books, literature, New Orleans, NOLA, Odd Words, Poetry, Toulouse Street.
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“What I really wanted to be was Jim Morrison. However, if I weren’t a writer, I’d be dead.” — Luis Alberto Urea, tomorrow night at Loyola.

This week in literary New Orleans, including the annual Words & Music Festival:

& The annual Faulkner Society Words & Music Festival beings Thursday at 8 am and runs through the weekend. The complete schedule of events is at http://wordsandmusic.org/2014-schedule/. Featured guest author is Luis Alberto Urea (see below at Tulane). A not to be missed event filled with taltented authors.

& Thursday at 6 pm Garden District Books features Jerry Lee Lewis: His Own Story. The greatest Southern storyteller of our time, New York Times bestselling author Rick Bragg, tracks down the greatest rock and roller of all time, Jerry Lee Lewis–and gets his own story, from the source, for the very first time. A monumental figure on the American landscape, Jerry Lee Lewis spent his childhood raising hell in Ferriday, Louisiana, and Natchez, Mississippi; galvanized the world with hit records like Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On and Great Balls of Fire, that gave rock and roll its devil’s edge; caused riots and boycotts with his incendiary performances; nearly scuttled his career by marrying his thirteen-year-old second cousin–his third wife of seven; ran a decades-long marathon of drugs, drinking, and women; nearly met his maker, twice; suffered the deaths of two sons and two wives, and the indignity of an IRS raid that left him with nothing but the broken-down piano he started with; performed with everyone from Elvis Presley to Keith Richards to Bruce Springsteen to Kid Rock–and survived it all to be hailed as “one of the most creative and important figures in American popular culture and a paradigm of the Southern experience.” Jerry Lee Lewis: His Own Story is the Killer’s life as he lived it, and as he shared it over two years with our greatest bard of Southern life: Rick Bragg. Rich with Lewis’s own words, framed by Bragg’s richly atmospheric narrative, this is the last great untold rock-and-roll story, come to life on the page.

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

& Thursday Loyola University at 6pm in conjunction with the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society, Inc. and as an opening event of the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society’s Words & Music 2014 festival features Writer and Poet Luis Alberto Urrea. Writer and Poet Luis Alberto Urrea. Urrea, main speaker of the event, is a prolific and acclaimed writer of poetry, prose and fiction, including the novel Into the Beautiful North, and a member of the Latino Literature Hall of Fame. He uses his dual-culture life experiences to explore greater themes of love, loss and triumph. In The Devil’s Highway he takes us back to the small towns and unpaved cities south of the border, where the poor fall prey to dreams of a better life and sinister promises of smugglers. The Devil’s Highway won the 2004 Lannan Literary Award, the Border Regional Library Association’s Southwest Book Award and was a 2005 finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in nonfiction and for the Pacific Rim Kiriyama Prize. Darrell Bourque, former Poet Laureaute of Louisiana and recipient of the 2014 Louisiana Writer Award will open and close the evening with poems about the forced migration of Acadians from Nova Scotia to South Louisiana. Professor Emeritis of Louisiana at Lafayette Bourque has published nine collections of poetry including Megan’s Guitar and Other Poems from Acadie (UL Press, 2013) and if you abandon me, comment je vas faire: An Amédé Ardoin Songbook (Yellow Flag Press, Lafayette, LA, 2014).

Thursday at 6 pm the Nix Library features An Evening with Author Chere Dastuge Coen. An award-winning journalist, instructor of writing, playwright, and novelist, Chere Dastuge Coen is the author of Forest Hill, Louisiana: A Bloom Town History, Haunted Lafayette, Louisiana, Exploring Cajun Country: A Historic Tour of Acadiana, and co-author of Magic’s in the Bag: Creating Spellbinding Gris Gris Bags and Sachets.

& Thursday at 7 pm brings the UNO’s MFA GOLD ROOM to the talented Maurice Ruffin’s he Pelican Bay Restaurant. This month’s lineup for Gold Room: Andrew Kindinger reading poetry, Kailyn McCord reading fiction, Andrew Kooy reading non- fiction and Carly Blitz reading non-fiction.

& The Jefferson Parish East Bank Regional Library hosts the bi-weekly SciFi, Fantasy and Horror Writer’s Group Thursday at 7 pm. 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

& 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.

& The New Orleans Literary & Performance Series features Reading & performance by

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

& Friday at 6 pm Octavia Books also hosts a special evening with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Rick Bragg to discuss and sign his new book, JERRY LEE LEWIS: His Own Story.

& Saturday at 11:30AM Maple Street Book Shop hosts Story Time with Miss Maureen, this week featuring Kid Sheriff and the Terrible Toads by Lane Smith. Drywater Gulch has a toad problem. Not the hop-down-your-britches, croaking-all-night toad kind of problem. The thievin’, hootin’ and hollerin’, steal-your-gold never-say-thank-you outlaw toad kind of problem. Then hope rides into town. Sheriff Ryan might only be seven years old, and he might not know much about shooting and roping. But he knows a lot about dinosaurs. Yes, dinosaurs. And it turns out that knowing a thing or two about paleontology can come in handy when it comes to hoodwinking and rounding up a few no-good bandits. From Bob Shea and Lane Smith comes this hilarious picture book, Kid Sheriff and the Terrible Toads

& Saturday Garden District Book Shop features Dalt Wonk French Quarter Fables at 1 pm. This series of fables was, in a sense, Dalt Wonk’s love letter to the French Quarter. The animals, flowers and insects are almost all Quarter denizens and they appear in their natural habitat: a frog in his courtyard lily pond, a rat in the stone rip-rap on the Mississippi River levee and a roach in the kitchen of a restaurant. Gradually, the geographic scope of the fables to include far-off lands like the Yukon and exotic animals like Hippos. But Dalt Wonk kept the title French Quarter Fables, since the majority take place there and, in any case, all of them were written there and are no doubt influenced by its singular, suggestive atmosphere. The characters in a fable — those odd, polymorphous beings like love-sick frogs and penny-pinching Afghans —are not just disguised human beings. The animal part of their nature is also real.

& Saturday join Team Slam New Orleans for a FREE night of top notch spoken word poetry. The show will feature new work and old favorites from the likes of A Scribe Called Quess?, Desireé V. Dallagiacomo, Kaycee Filson, FreeQuency aka FreeQ Tha Mighty, Justin Lamb and Akeem Martin. This may be your last chance to see the 2014 Team SNO squad (third place finishers at the 2014 National Poetry Slam) perform as a unit. Saturday, November 22nd ★ Shows at 7 PM & 9 PM ★ The Building at 1427 O.C. Haley Blvd ★ FREE.

& Sunday award-winning children’s author Eric Kimmel, who has published over fifty books, comes to Octavia Books at 2:00 P.M., for a special appearance to read and sign his books, SIMON and the BEAR: A HANUKKAH TALE and HERSHEL and the HANUKKAH GOBLINS (first published twenty-five years ago. The PJ Library, the Jewish Community Center, and the Jewish Day School are all co-sponsoring this event!

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

& This Monday at 6 pm Octavia Books hoa presentation and signing with George Packer for featuring THE UNWINDING, which won the National Book Award last year. 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. Our American democracy is beset by a sense of crisis. Seismic economic shifts during a single generation have created a country of winners and losers, leaving the social contract in pieces and setting citizens adrift to find new paths forward. In The Unwinding, George Packer narrates the story of this America over the past three decades with his characteristically sharp eye for detail and gift for weaving together complex narratives.

The Unwinding journeys through the lives of several Americans, including Dean Price, the son of tobacco farmers, and an evangelist for a new economy in the rural South; Tammy Thomas, a factory worker in the Rust Belt trying to survive the collapse of her city; Jeff Connaughton, a Washington insider who oscillates between political idealism and the lure of organized money; and Peter Thiel, a Silicon Valley billionaire who questions the Internet’s significance and possesses a radical vision of the future. The narrative combines these intimate stories with biographical sketches of the era’s leading public figures from Newt Gingrich to Jay-Z, and with collages of headlines, slogans, and songs that capture the flow of events and undercurrents. The Unwinding portrays a superpower in danger of coming apart at the seams, its elites no longer elite, its institutions no longer relevant, its ordinary people left to improvise their own schemes for success and salvation.

& Epidemiologist Sandy Althomsons will discuss her book Inside a Refugee Crisis: My Time in South Sudan Monday at 6PM at Maple Street Book Shop. Comprised of raw, honest stories from her time in South Sudan with Doctors Without Borders Inside a Refugee Crisis intimately expresses the frustration and joys of a medical humanitarian mission in the midst of desperate conditions. Please join us.

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

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

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

& 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 FEATURE FEATURE FEATURE

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

Odd Words December 5, 2013

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

Don’t forget this weekend is the Pirate’s Alley Faulker Society’s Words & Music festival. See the Odd Words’ special listing post for more details. Room 220 interviews one of the prominent featured participants Horacio Castellanos Moya at Room 220.

& In conjunction with Professor Melissa Harris-Perry’s Fall 2013 course, Hip-Hop and Feminism, Tulane University, in partnership with the Anna Julia Cooper Project, LLC, is hosting a mini-conference on the topic of gender, sexuality and hip-hop. The conference will bring together a small group of scholars, students, artists, and activists for an intensive series of discussions focused on the contemporary challenges and opportunities at the intersection of gender, sexuality and hip-hop. The conference will be held at Tulane University on Thursday, December 5th and Friday December 6th, and will feature a Thursday night keynote delivered by Joan Morgan, author and cultural critic who coined the phrase “hip-hop feminism” with the publication of the bestselling When Chickenheads Come Home to Roost: My Life as a Hip-Hop Feminist. This conference is organized by the Anna Julia Cooper Project. Named in honor of one of the most noted African-American intellectuals in the history of the nation, the Anna Julia Cooper Project is an LLC based in New Orleans that investigates how gender and race intersect to shape women’s politics in the South. Details of the conference can be found at femhiphop.weebly.com/.

& Tonight Maple Street Book Shops hosts Errol Laborde and Peggy Scott Laborde at 6 p.m. for a book discussion 1and holiday dinner. Space is limited, so please reserve your book (hardcover, $35) and seat (no additional cost) by calling (504-866-4916) or emailing (people@maplestreetbookshop.com). Errol will talk about his latest work, Mardi Gras: Chronicles of the New Orleans Carnival. This extravagantly illustrated volume from a well-respected New Orleans expert 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 Octavia Books Thursday at 6 pm author Rich Cohen, who first visited Octavia Books in 2012 for the release of THE FISH THAT ATE THE WHALE, returns to present and sign his new book, MONSTERS: The 1985 Chicago Bears and the Wild Heart of Football. The gripping account of a once-in-a-lifetime football team and their lone championship season, Cohen breathlessly recounts the thrilling narrative of their championship season. It’s a story filled with outsized characters and unbelievable-but-true anecdotes gleaned from extensive interviews with the players themselves. It’s a story about fathers and sons, love and loyalty, hope and redemption, pain and joy. It’s a story about football, in all its beauty and all its brutality—the uniquely American sport.a

& Odd Words isn’t a theater listing, but a production of Eugene O’Neil’s A Long Day’s Journey into Night strikes me as a notable exception. Promethean Theatre Co with Four Humours Theater presents the play the ARK KLUB Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm starting Friday through Dec. 21. Tickets and information at fourhumourstheater@gmail.com or 504.948.4167.

& Saturday at 9 am join Octavia Books at the Saturday Crescent City Farmers Market for a special signing and recipe tasting with New Orleans’ own James Beard award-winning chef John Besh featuring his new book, COOKING FROM THE HEART: My Favorite Lessons Learned Along the Way. Besh shares the lessons he learned from his mentors through 140 accessible recipes and cooking lessons. Featuring lush photography, inspiring personal stories, and a rich expanse of culinary knowledge, COOKING FROM THE HEART is the next best thing to having an apprenticeship with Chef Besh.

& Saturday’s Story Time with Miss Maureen at Maple Street Book Shops at 11:30 am features How Murray Saved Christmas by Mike Reiss and David Catrow.

& Saturday at 3 pm Garden District Book Shop features Tom Franklin and Beth Ann Fennelly’s The Tilted World. Set against the backdrop of the historic flooding of the Mississippi River, The Tilted World is an extraordinary tale of murder and moonshine, sandbagging and saboteurs, and a man and a woman who find unexpected love, from Tom Franklin, the acclaimed author of the NY Times bestseller Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter, and award-winning poet Beth Ann Fennelly.

& Also on Saturday at Garden District come meet John Currence, author of Pickles, Pigs and Whiskey: Recipes From My Three Favorite Food Groups (and Then Some). In his first cookbook, Currence gives you 130 recipes organized by 10 different techniques, such as Boiling/Simmering, Slathering, Pickling/Canning, Roasting/Braising, Muddling/Stirring, Brining/Smoking, and Baking/Spinning, just to name a few. John’s fun-loving personality rings true throughout the book with his personal stories and history, and his one-of-a-kind recipes. Each recipe has a song pairing with it and the complete list can be downloaded at spotify.com. Over 100 documentary-style color photographs by photographer Angie Mosier complete this stunning look at the South.

& The Poetry Buffet returns to the Latter Memorial Library for it’s monthly reading at 2 pm, featuring Darrell Bourque, Lee Grue and Rodger Kamenetz.

& Saturday evening at 6 pm Octavia Books hosts a special evening with chess Grandmaster Jesse Kraai when he comes to Octavia Books to read and sign his chess novel, LISA. This debut novel by chess GM Jesse Kraai tells the story of a 13-year-old California girl who defies her mother and her school to study chess with Russian master Igor Ivanov. Lisa is an exploration of what it means to get an education in chess, and a meditation on what makes the game so compelling to those who play. As much about art and education as it is about pawns and kings, Lisa tells a story that will resonate with anyone who’s ever set foot in a tournament hall, or has ever pursued beauty and excellence in any arena. Following his reading, Grandmaster Kraai will play blindfolded chess with a top New Orleans chess junior.

& 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 week features a group reading by John Gery’s UNO MFA poetry students.

& 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.

& The Main Branch of the New Orleans Public Library hosts 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. In the main auditorium at 4:00 p.m. Mondays.

& Do you think in verse that could become poetry? Do you imagine characters, dialogue, and scenes? If so, join the New Orleans Public Library Smith branch’s free Creative Writing Workshop. Every other Monday, beginning October 7, 5:30 – 7 p.m.

& Monday at 6 pm Octavia books hosts a reading and signing by two novelists: Daniel Chacon’s HOTEL JUAREZ: Stories, Rooms, and Loops and Jonathan Kline’s THE WISDOM OF THE ASHES.

& Monday the East Bank Fiction Writers Group meets at the Jefferson Parish East Bank Regional Library at 7 p.m.. 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.

& Monday at 7 pm Crescent City Books hosts the launch of The Oblivion Atlas, by Michael Allen Zell, whose first novel Errata (also from Lavender Ink) was a Times-Picayune top 10 book of 2012, with book design and illustration by the award-winning Louviere and Vanessa (L+V), who were named in Oxford American’s 2012 “Superstars of Southern Art”, is now available and launches with several events over the holidays and at PhotoNOLA. All events feature a reading by Zell with showings of the artwork by L+V. Please join us at any or all of these events:

& 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.

& Tuesday at 6 p.m. The Ogden Museum of Art hosts a book launch for Inventing Reality: New Orleans Visionary Photography. The collection, published by Luna Press and curated by D. Eric Bookhardt, presents a vision that is both subjective and representative of a broad spectrum of techniques, providing an overview into the creative renaissance that is taking place in the city today. “In photography, this city and the surrounding region have long been a spawning grounds for visionary or magic realist imagery dating to Clarence John Laughlin’s surrealist works of the 1930s,” writes Bookhardt. “Today a coterie of younger emerging artists, often reflecting alternative socio-cultural milieus, have – in concert with their more established peers – expanded this visionary vocabulary.” Bookhardt’s insightful essay details the rich history of photographic arts in New Orleans, and his individual introductions to each photographer’s series provide context for the works of 2013 Guggenheim Fellow Deborah Luster, David Halliday, Josephine Sacabo, and Louviere+Vanessa, among other established and emerging artists

& 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 Maple Street Book Shop will feature a reading of Unfathomable City: A New Orleans Atlas with Rebecca Snedeker (the local editor for the book), as well as local contributors Nathaniel Rich, Dana Logsdon, and Joel Dinerstein at our Uptown shop, Wednesday, December 11th at 6PM.

& Wednesday at the Alvar Library at 6:30 pm Poets & Writers, Inc. presents Reflections on Revolutionary Egypt Poet and nonfiction writer Andy Young has been living in Cairo for the last year and will return to Egypt in January. She will read from her poems and essays reflecting on revolutionary Egypt and share some of her photographs of the street art which reflects the state of resistance on the streets of the city.

Odd Words: Words & Music Special December 4, 2013

Posted by The Typist in books, literature, memoir, New Orleans, NOLA, novel, Odd Words, Poetry, publishing, Toulouse Street.
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The Words & Music Festival, sponsored by the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society, is officially underway. The theme for this year is “Faith and the Search for Meaning as Inspiration for the Arts.” You can get all the details here: http://www.wordsandmusic.org/Schedule.html. All events except Wednesday evening’s are by admission.  Here are some highlights:

  • Wednesday’s opening event of the Words & Music Festival at 4:00 p.m. at The Presbytere at Jackson Square, Corner St. Ann & Chartres Streets, featuring author Rodger Kamenetz along with Terri Stoor, who won the Society’s gold medal for Best Short Story in 2011 and has been a finalist several times in both the short story and essay categories of the Faulkner – Wisdom Competition; Tad Bartlett, J. Ed Martston, Maurice Ruffin,and Emily Choate, all of whom have placed in the Society’s competition. Caroline Rash, Associate Editor of the Double Dealer will be reading new poetry, and Geoff Munstermann. A Screening of Walker Percy, the documentary film, follows at 6:15 pm.
  • Friday the annual New Orleans, Mon Amour session, after the famous essay by the late National Book Award winner Walker Percy,features a program Thursday which includes a discussion about his work by his distinguished biographer the Rev. Patrick Samway, SJ. We start New Orleans, Mon Amour, 2013 with a book appropriate to this year’s theme: Faith and the Search for Meaning as Inspiration for the Arts.
  • Also on Thursday There will also be session on writing about architecture and food (two beloved New Orleans topics) featuring authors Deborah Burst and Elizabeth M. Williams ; a paper presentation by Dr. Nancy Dixon on Faith in Early New Orleans Literature, examining the role of Catholicism and alternate religions in early New Orleans literature beginning with some of the city’s earliest works up to the 20th century; the keynote talk will be delivered by the Rev. Patrick Samway, S.J., distinguished biographer of National Book Award winner the late Walker Percy; a set of fiction panels featuring authors Christine Sneed, T. Geronimo Johnson and David Armand; a paper presentation The Walker Percy I remember presented by Garic “Nikki” Barranger, an affectionate appreciation of Walker and Bunt Percy will be at the center of Nikki Barranger’s presentation, which deals with the frictions attendant on Walker Percy’s philosophy by one of the founders of the Society and a close friend of the Percys.
  • Literature and Lunch will feature will feature Michael Sartisky, left above, President of The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities and author of A Unique Slant of Light: The Bicentennial History of Louisiana Art, who will discuss the ways the visual arts have been influenced by not only the Gulf light but by the arts, notably music and storytelling, historically in Louisiana. Joséphine Sacabo and Dalt Wonk, who recently created a new press specifically for creating beautiful books devoted to the arts, produced a remarkable book, Nocturnes, feature Joséphine’s images and Dalt’s poetry. The new company, Luna Press, also produced a collector’s limited edition of Dalt’s French Quarter Fables, combining his fables with his illustrations. They will be joined by bestselling poet and non-fiction author Rodger Kamenetz, whose new collection of poetry inspired a stunning collection of abstract expressionist art by his friend, The art images are reproduced in Rodger’s new book of poetry, To Die Next to You.
  • Thursday’s afternoon sessions will feature Shari Stauch, creator of Where Writers Win. Shari has been involved in publishing, marketing and PR for 30 years; LITERARY ROLE MODELS …And the Agents Who Help Them Achieve Their Dreams Against All Odds! featuring author David Menache of New Orleans, introduced by his agent, Brandi Bowles, who worked with David to complete an inspiring memoir and then sold it; 21st Century Publishing Alternatives introduced by Shari Stauch of Where Writers Win and a member of the Faulkner Society’s Advisory Council, will feature April Eberhardt, who owns the April Eberhardt Literary Agency and is expert in alternative options, including successful formats and planning for self-publishing. Ms. Eberhardt will be joined by William Coles, who has been a finalist multiple times in multiple categories of the William Faulkner-William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition.
  • Thursday ends with Music in the Mood of the Season
    The Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society is Co-Sponsoring with the French Quarter Festival and St. Louis Cathedral, the kick-off concert for the annual Christmas concert series at the Cathedral. The concert will feature the fabulously entertaining jazz band,
    Harmonouche, led by French guitarist and harmonica player Rafaël Bas.

WHEW. That’s just Thursday.

  • Friday morning’s events features Faith and Literature: Robert Hicks, author of the New York Times bestseller, The Widow of the South , which will feature Naomi Benaron, Bellwether Prize winner for her novel, Running the Rift, will lead this session, a discussion of how faith or a search for it or even a lack of it can inform your writing. Joining them will be Leslie Lehr, who won the Faulkner Society’s gold medal for Novella in 1998 and whose new novel, What A Mother Knows, is a retelling of the Old Testament story, the Judgement of Solomon; and Pamela Binnings Ewen (at left) nominated for the Christy Award for her work and whose new novel, The Accidental Life, is a compelling story of the consequences of a live birth during an abortion; PAN AMERICAN CONNECTIONS: FICTION Make it Real, Inject Black and Blue Humor
    Steve Striffler, Ph.D., who holds the Doris Stone Chair of Latin American Studies at the University of New Orleans, will set the stage for this session featuring our special Pan American Connections guest of honor, Horacio Castellenos Moya, who is a master of black humor in the face of horror. Castellanos Moya is author of Senselessness and other novels, as well as an impressive body of work as a journalist in both Latin America and the United States. Currently, in exile from his country, El Salvador, he teaches in the MFA Program in Spanish at the University of Iowa. His novel Senselessness is both a study in a revolution gone wrong and the search for meaning in the midst of horror. Daniel Castro, a New Orleans native whose heritage is Cuban and El Salvadoran, is invited to interview Castellanos Moya for this session. Daniel won our 2012 gold medal for his incredibly imaginative novella Inspection.
  • Friday’s Literature and Lunch features Cuba, My Beloved: Writing from the Heart about Tough Political Issues. This session will center on the appeal to readers of literature inspired by passion. Featuring George Fowler (left) author of the new book My Cuba Libre: Bringing Fidel Castro to Justice, and Humberto Fontova, bestselling author of the new book, his fifth, The Longest Romance: The Mainstream Media and Fidel Castro. They will be introduced by Raúl Fonte of the New Orleans Hispanic Heritage Foundation, who is a professional engineer and patent attorney.. Prior to their presentation, Latina poet Melinda Palacio will read a new poem in tribute to the Pulitzer Prize Cuban American novelist Oscar Hijuelos, who passed away while playing tennis on October 12, 2012
  • Friday afternoon brings THE AESTHETICS OF LITERATURE What’s in a Name? A Literary Field Full of Daisies, introduced by novelist George Bishop, author of the new Night of the Comet, this session will be led by Lee Froehlich, the Managing Editor of Playboy Magazine, an excellent writer himself, has spent much of his adult life on the job editing some of the most exciting writers of our time. Beyond that he is a incurable addict of serious literature consumed voraciously in his leisure time. He will lead off this session discussing the importance of selecting memorable names in creating successful characters for fiction, using the Daisies of literature, such as Daisy Miller, as his focus. Joining him will be internationally noted poet Gordon Walmsley, editor of the Copenhagen Review, who has now turned his hand to fiction with his first novel, Daisy, The Alchemical Adventures of a New Orleans Hermaphrodite; and GQ Magazine critic Tom Carson, author of the new novel Daisy Buchanan’s Daughter and other events.
  • Saturday morning brings three master classes that each deserve their own bullet: MASTER CLASS: NARRATIVE NON-FICTION What Works and Why. This session will be led by literary agent Jeff Kleinman, left, of Folio Literary Management, who judged the Narrative Non-Fiction category of the Faulkner – Wisdom Competition this year. The program will begin with a reading by best-selling non-fiction writer Gary Krist, author of City of Scoundrels, The masterfully told story of 12 volatile days in the life of Chicago, when an aviation disaster, a race riot, a crippling transit strike, and a sensational child murder roiled a city already on the brink of collapse. Other featured authors are the men and women he selected to place: Alex Sheshunoff of Ojai,CA, Misplaced Paradise, Winner; Sybil Morial of New Orleans, Witness to Change, Leah Lax of Houston, TX, Uncovered, and the Rev. Patrick Samway, S.J., “I am Properly Back Where I Started From”: Flannery O’Connor to Her Editor Robert Giroux, all runners-up;
  • MASTER CLASS: FICTION What is this Thing Called Novella? Novellas are really hot with publishers right now. Why? Lots of people write what they think are novellas but are really either longish short stories or short novels. So how do you write a real novella. Featuring Lisa Zeidner (left), author of bestselling novels Layover and Love Bomb and founder and director of the MFA program at Rutgers, and Moira Crone, (at right), winner of the Robert Penn Warren Award for her fiction, including her collection What Gets Into Us, former director of the MFA program at LSU, and author of the new novel, The Not Yet. They will explain for writers what a novella is and how to achieve it; and,
  • MASTER CLASS: FICTION The Evil of the World Inspires Quests for Meaning…and…Compelling Literature Featuring Horacio Castellanos Moya, left, born in Honduras and raised in El Salvador, and whose work centers on horrific consequences during revolutions in El Savador and Guatemala. Also featuring Ron Rash, a native of the Carolinas whose work has focused on Appalachia, and Tom Franklin, a native of Alabama who writes in the dark, southern Gothic tradition. Castellanos Moya is author of Senselessness, and 11 other novels, along with short fiction collections. He also has had a dramatic career as a political journalist in countries where it has been dangerous to be political at all. One of Latin America’s most important authors, his work only recently has begun to appear in English translations. His novels are born out out of rage over inhumanity and injustice. Ron Rash, center, a master short fiction writer and poet, as well as a critically acclaimed novelist, is author of the novel Serena, a portrait of evil personified, which has been adapted for a feature film starring Academy Award winning actress Jennifer Lawrence scheduled for release this winter. Like Castellanos Moya, Rash looks around his world and is appalled by the evil he sees and is inspired to capture that evil in his stories and their characters. Tom Franklin, like Rash, is a master of the short story form, and his books have included Poachers, which won the Edgar Award and other honors. Many of his characters are reminiscent of Faulkner’s unattractive family of Snopes and the degenerate Popeye of Sanctuary. Most recently, he co-authored a novel, The Tilted World, with his wife, the renowned poet and essayist, Beth Ann Fennelly. Invited to appear with them is Barnes Carr, selected by Ron Rash as winner of the Faulkner Society’s gold medal for Best Short Story for his dark story, The Needle Man.
  • LITERATURE & LUNCH brings Jesus Christ, Superstar! featuring Reza Aslan, religious studies superstar, author of the international bestselling new book, Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth, as well as his previous bestsellers, No God But God and How To Win A Cosmic War, all works that have been translated in more than a dozen languages.
  • Saturday afternoon offers PAPER PRESENTATION The Moral Implications of the Time-Space Continuum presented by Gregory Freidlander, who will discuss the Einstein Hologram Universe theory of fundamental physics, not from a standpoint of the math but from the standpoint of logic and the moral underpinnings. “In order to understand the theory first I have to convince you that dimension is a function of time and doesn’t exist independently, and I will do that, says Mr. Friedlander! His paper revolves around the concept that that the existence of the universe derives from you, that your individual morality affects the universe, and that you can and should act with as much integrity and courage as your situation allows; THE HOLLY WOOD EXPERIENCE–WORKSHOPS, NTRODUCTION
    Workshop No. 1 feeatures Leslie Lehr a produced screenwriter, who currently is adapting her new novel, What a Mother Knows, for the screen—will introduce and participate in Hollywood Experience; and, Workshop No. 2 brings Writing a Screenplay to Sell on Spec featuring Mark Evan Schwartz, this session will zero in on a dynamic opening and lead characters. In theprofessional world of spec feature film screenwriting, the first ten 15 pages of a screenplay can make it or break it. If the set up through inciting incident and characters don’t immediately captivate, propelling the story and its leading characters forward in a way that compels the reader to keep turning the page, the agent, manager, development exec, and/or producer will pass. The Hollywood theme continues after these workshops with HOLLYWOOD EXPERIENCE PART TWO–Developing Authors: How to Improve Your Chances of Selling your Novel to Hollywood studios, Television, or Major Publishing Houses. Presented by Marilyn Atlas, an award-winning film, television, and stage producer and talent manager of actresses, actors, and authors.

Ready for more?

  • Sunday starts off with the MASTER CLASS: POETRY: This session will be introduced by poet Caroline Rash, a finalist in the 2013 Faulkner — Wisdom Competition and Associate Editor of The Double Dealer and led by the widely published, critically acclaimed poet Beth Ann Fennelly. Appearing with them will be Gail Waldstein, who was selected by Beth Ann for the Faulkner Society’s 2013 Gold Medal for Poetry. Joining them will be Geoff Munsterman, Associate Editor of The Double Dealer, whose new collection, just published by Lavender Ink Press, is: Because the Stars Shine Through It.
  • Sundayu morning also brings: Presentation of a paper Sherwood Anderson’s Search for a New Faith presented by Don De Grazia. De Grazia is author of the novel, American Skin (Scribner/Jonathan Cape) and an Assistant Professor in the Creative Writing Department at Columbia College Chicago. His work has appeared in The Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Reader, New City, TriQuarterly, The Outlaw Bible of American Literature, The Italian American Reader, Rumpus, The Great Lakes Review, Make Magazine, and other publications. He also a screenwriter in the Writers Guild of America (east) and co-founder/co-host of Come Home Chicago, a live event series dedicated to celebrating the Chicago storytelling tradition in all its forms; The Year of Flannery O’ Connor featuring the Rev. Patrick Samway, S.J. and W.Kenneth Holditch, scholar in the literature of the South; and, THE POLITICS OF RELIGION
    What you need to know about State Religions in Modern World, The Study of Other Faiths and How Such Studies Can Point You Back to Your Own Faith and to the Creation of Compelling Literature. This session will feature Reza Aslan, a Muslim who converted to Christianity and then returned to Islam and author of Zealot: the Life & Times of Jesus Of Nazareth, and Rodger Kamenetz (at right), critically acclaimed poet and bestselling non-fiction author of The Jew in the Lotus, a memoir about his studies of Buddhism and meetings with the Dali Llamma.
  • The festival will conclude with Sunday’s Literature and Lunch featuring: The Quests for Meaning of Tennessee Williams and William Faulkner featuring Williams and Faulkner scholar W. Kenneth Holditch, who is co-founder of both the Tennessee Williams Festival and the Faulkner Society.

Odd Words November 29, 2013

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

Skip ahead with me one week to the Faulkner Society’s Words and Music Festival, which kicks off for the public on Wednesday Dec. 4. Odd Words will have a full listing next Thursday, but here is a taster to whet your appetite.

& This coming Wednesday, Dec. 4 features the 2013 ANNUAL MEETING OF THE WORDS & MUSIC WRITERS ALLIANCE, featuring readings of new work, fiction, poetry, non-fiction, led by bestselling poet and non-fiction author, Rodger Kamenetz, who will start the program with a reading from his new collection of poetry, To Die Next to You. The new book is beautifully illustrated with abstract expressionist paintings by artist Michael Hafftka and slides of the illustrations will be shown during Rodger’s reading. Other authors scheduled to read are members of the Peauxdunque chapter of the Writers Alliance, including Terri Stoor, who won the Society’s gold medal for Best Short Story in 2011 and has been a finalist several times in both the short story and essay categories of the Faulkner – Wisdom Competition; Tad Bartlett, J. Ed Martston, Maurice Ruffin,and Emily Choate, all of whom have placed in the Society’s competition. Caroline Rash, Associate Editor of the Double Dealer will be reading new poetry, and Geoff Munstermann, will be reading from his new Collection of Poetry, just published by Lavendar Ink. Subject matter of readings will be related to the theme of Words & Music, 2013: Faith and the Search for Meaning as Inspiration for the Arts. The event is free and open to the public. 4:00 p.m. at The Presbytere at Jackson Square, Corner St. Ann & Chartres Streets. Following an intermission for refreshments, there will be a 6:15 pm screening of Walker Percy, a new documentary film by Win Riley of New Orleans, who will introduce the film and explain the perils and pleasures writing and producing a literary documentary. Win will take questions after the film. The Faulkner Society will have copies of the documentary for sale at the event and at the Words & Music Book Mart during the remainder of the festival. Next Thursday features almost a dozen events (see below for some details on Thursday). For more information and to start planning the W&MF weekend early, visit the website: http://www.wordsandmusic.org/wordsandmusic.html.

& Also please note that all New Orleans and Jefferson Parish Public Library locations remain closed Friday for the Thanksgiving holiday, reopening Saturday.

& so back to the chronological weekly listings.

& Octavia Books is hosting eight great local authors as guest booksellers on Small Business Saturday, November 30. Each author will be chatting with customers and recommending favorite books and will be happy to talk about and sign their own books as well. Carolyn Kolb begins the first shift at 10:30 a.m., and will be signing her new book, NEW ORLEANS MEMORIES: One Writer’s City. Rebecca Snedeker, whose book UNFATHOMABLE CITY was just released this month, will begin her shift at Noon. George Bishop, author of the novel THE NIGHT OF THE COMET, will arrive at 1:00 p.m., followed by Tom Sancton, SONG FOR MY FATHERS, and Sylvaine Sancton, SOME BIRDS at 2:00 p.m. Lawrence Powell, author of THE ACCIDENTAL CITY, a history of the city from its founding through statehood, will arrive for his shift at 3:00 p.m. Ryan Murphy and Grace Millsaps, author of the new children’s picture book, WHAT THE SLEEPY ANIMALS DO AT THE AUDUBON ZOO, will come at 4:00 p.m.

& Saturday’s Story Time with Miss Maureen at Maple Street Book Shops features Cinders: A Chicken Cinderella by Jan Brett. Jan Brett sets her Cinderella story in a snowy Russian winter where one magical night, Cinders, the most picked upon hen in the flock, becomes the most loved by Prince Cockerel when she arrives at his ball looking so beautiful that even her bossy sisters don’t recognize her.

& Later at 2 pm Ryan Murphy & Grace Millsaps, the authors of What the Sleepy Animals Do At the Audubon Zoo, will be reading and signing their delightful book at Maple Street as well.

& In between, Maple Street hosts M.A. Kirkwood at 11:30 am signing her second and latest book, Claire Ange, which is a young adult novel set in New Orleans. “On the face of it Claire Ange is about an abused girl who rises above her circumstances. Underlying this basic premise is so much more: spiritual insight, the interconnectedness of history past, present and future, and the lives of strangers who intersect, become changed by their encounters, and through these connections move forward to new levels of being. A humorous tone permeates throughout, as Claire and her spirit-observer encounter an array of colorful characters as they make their respective journeys. This, and the rich tapestry for self-discovery for both, makes for an engrossing and memorable read and a top recommendation for a vast readership: basically, anyone looking for a spiritually complex story of evolution and change.” — Midwest Book Review

& Every Sunday at 3 p.m. he Maple Leaf Reading Series, the oldest continuous reading series in the south, founded by Everette Maddox, features guest poets and an open mic. Novelist Deborah Reed Downing will read from and sign her new book, Friends of Chickens, 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.

& It’s the last qualifier slam of the year for Team SNO! Sunday, December 1st marks our final show before we finalize the 2014 Team SNO selection process in January with our semi-finals and finals. We'll kick off our December show with a raucous open mic. After, a group of poets will battle it out to secure the last spots in 2014 SNO semi-finals. $5 admission. Free to slam.

& The Main Branch of the New Orleans Public Library hosts 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. In the main auditorium at 4:00 p.m. Mondays.

& Do you think in verse that could become poetry? Do you imagine characters, dialogue, and scenes? If so, join the New Orleans Public Library Smith branch’s free Creative Writing Workshop. Every other Monday, beginning October 7, 5:30 – 7 p.m.

& Monday Crescent City Books, 230 Chartres St. hosts the Black Widow Salon at 7 pm, featuring Guests Ratty Scurvics and John Porter talk songwriting. Ratty Scurvics is an artist in several disciplines. As a painter he has exhibited in solo and group shows in New Orleans, Chicago, Austin and Dallas. As a writer he has published works of short fiction and poetry as well as three produced musicals. In the area of theater he has enjoyed an award winning career as a composer and musical director. In the field of music he’s produced forty-two solo records including the scores for eight plays and five musicals. Englishman John Porter is an acclaimed musician and producer. Early on he was part of Bryan Ferry’s fledgling band The Gas Board. John has produced many records, several of them Grammy Nominees and Winners, including by The Smiths, The Go-Go’s, B.B. King, Taj Mahal, John Lee Hooker, R.L. Burnside, Elvis Costello, Jon Cleary, Carlos Santana, and Ratty Scurvics.

& Monday the East Bank Fiction Writers Group meets at the Jefferson Parish East Bank Regional Library at 7 p.m.. 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.

& At 5:45 pm Tuesday Maple Street Book Shop’sat the First Tuesday Book Club‘s December meeting they’ll be discussing The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman. Newcomers are always welcome!

& Tuesday at 6 pm Octavia Books features a presentation and signing with Matt Sakakeeny featuring his new book, ROLL WITH IT: Brass Bands in the Streets of New Orleans. ROLL WITH IT is a firsthand account of the precarious lives of musicians in the Rebirth, Soul Rebels, and Hot 8 brass bands of New Orleans. These young men are celebrated as cultural icons for upholding the proud traditions of the jazz funeral and the second line parade, yet they remain subject to the perils of poverty, racial marginalization, and urban violence that characterize life for many black Americans. Some achieve a degree of social mobility while many more encounter aggressive policing, exploitative economies, and a political infrastructure that creates insecurities in healthcare, housing, education, and criminal justice. The gripping narrative moves with the band members from back street to backstage, before and after Hurricane Katrina, always in step with the tap of the snare drum, the thud of the bass drum, and the boom of the tuba.

& Robert Stone, who won the National Book Award for his 1974 novel Dog Soldiers, will be reading from Death of the Black-Haired Girl at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, December 3, in the Woldenberg Art Center on Tulane University’s campus. You can catch an interview with Stone at Room 220.

& At 7 pm Tuesday McKeown’s Books & Difficult Music hosts FIVE Writers: Readings from their latest works.

Geoff Munsterman hails from Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana and attended Belle Chasse High School, The New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts | Riverfront, & Kenyon College. His poems have been featured in story|south, YAWP, Margie, among others. His debut collection, Because the Stars Shine Through It came out last month from Lavender Ink in New Orleans. Of it, poet John Kinsella said: “At once wry and matter-of-fact, Munsterman can register pathos and deadly insight into the contradictions of his social environment, his friends, neighbours, family and self.”

Benjamin Morris is a writer and researcher whose work appears in such places as the Oxford American, the Edinburgh Review, and the New Orleans Review. A member of the Mississippi Artist Roster, he is the recipient of a poetry fellowship from the Mississippi Arts Commission and a residency from A Studio in the Woods. His next book, a history of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, is forthcoming from the History Press next year.

Cassie Pruyn has been living and writing in New Orleans since 2010. She is currently studying poetry at the Bennington Writing Seminars in Vermont, working on a project that explores what happens when we travel 3,640 miles across the ocean and land in a vast, “unexplored” wilderness––among other things. She was finalist in the 2013 Indiana Review 1/2K Prize, and third runner-up in the 2013 William Faulkner-William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition, with work forthcoming in The Double Dealer.

Matt Roberts’ work has been published in Isotope, Ninth Letter, Sweet, Ecotone, on NPR’s Morning Edition and elsewhere. His essay, “The Myopia of Scale,” was a Notable selection in Best American Essays 2009, and he is a founding editor of The Normal School literary magazine. He is working on a novel about imaginary birds and the people who drive hundreds of miles to stare at their Crayola-colored plumage through binoculars.

Katy Simpson Smith received her Ph.D. in history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and her MFA in creative writing from the Bennington Writing Seminars. Her first novel, The Story of Land and Sea, will be published next fall by HarperCollins.

& 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 Poppy Tooker (Louisiana Eats), Elsa Hahne (The Gravy: In the Kitchen with New Orleans Musicians), and Elizabeth Pearce (The French Quarter Drinking Companion with Allison Alsup & Richard Read) will be signing their books and participating in a Question and Answer session Wednesday, December 4th, at 6PM at Pearl Wine Co., located inside of the American Can Company (3700 Orleans Ave). After the signing, sponsored by Fleur de Lit and Pearl Wine, there will be a Top Chef viewing party. Maple street Book Shop will be on-site selling books! Pearl will offer a selection of wines for $5 a glass, and Indochow will provide a food pop-up with Thai, Vietnamese, and BBQ!

& On Wednesday at 6 pm Garden District Book Shop hosts Margaret Talbot and The Entertainer: Movies, Magic, and My Father’s Twentieth Century. Using the life and career of her father, an early Hollywood actor, New Yorker writer Margaret Talbot tells the thrilling story of the rise of popular culture through a transfixing personal lens. The arc of Lyle Talbot’s career is in fact the story of American entertainment. Born in 1902, Lyle left his home in small-town Nebraska in 1918 to join a traveling carnival. From there he became a magician’s assistant, an actor in a traveling theater troupe, a romantic lead in early talkies, then an actor in major Warner Bros. pictures with stars such as Humphrey Bogart and Carole Lombard. After that, he worked as an actor in cult B movies, and finally as a part of the advent of television, with regular roles on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet and Leave It to Beaver. Ultimately, his career spanned the entire trajectory of the industry.

& Also at 6 pm Christy Jordan, the new doyenne of Southern cooking, visits Octavia Books and presents, signs, and gives sample tastes from her new cookbook, COME HOME TO SUPPER, a heartfelt celebration of family dinners–with an emphasis on easy-to-prepare comfort foods. To Christy, the dinner table is where everyone can talk about what happened that day and share their struggles and triumphs. Conceived and written to reflect the reality of today’s hectic schedules, COME HOME TO SUPPER includes more than 200 deeply satisfying dishes that are budget-minded, kid-friendly, and quick

& Wednesday the Jefferson Parish Library and the Tennessee Williams Festival present Coffee and Conversation featuring Mardi Gras: Chronicles of the New Orleans Carnival at 7 pm. Errol Laborde discusses his latest book. From Twelfth Night to Ash Wednesday, New Orleans is transformed. Queens and fools, demons and dragons reigh over the Crescent City. This vividly photographed book is a lively, comprehensive history of Mardi Gras in New Orleans.

& Don’t forget Thursday’s opening event of the Words & Music Festival at 4:00 p.m. at The Presbytere at Jackson Square, Corner St. Ann & Chartres Streets, featuring author Rodger Kamenetz along with Terri Stoor, who won the Society’s gold medal for Best Short Story in 2011 and has been a finalist several times in both the short story and essay categories of the Faulkner – Wisdom Competition; Tad Bartlett, J. Ed Martston, Maurice Ruffin,and Emily Choate, all of whom have placed in the Society’s competition. Caroline Rash, Associate Editor of the Double Dealer will be reading new poetry, and Geoff Munstermann. A Screening of Walker Percy, the documentary film, follows at 6:15 pm.

“And in this corner”–The Big 6 v Digital Cage Match November 13, 2011

Posted by The Typist in books, literature, New Orleans, Odd Words, publishing, Toulouse Street.
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Another Odd Words Special entry in this weekend’s Dispatches from the Back from the annual Words & Music Festival in New Orleans.

Will Murphy, executive editor at Random House was the nominal moderator until the fist chair flew. It was billed as “New Designs in Publishing in the Digital Age, just another equanimous panel discussion at the staid Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society’s annual Words & Music Festival, until e-publisher John Oakes came off ropes like a glory-hungry luchador going for the title belt.

Oakes, a graduate of the Bix Six before he started alternative e-publisher OR Books, started softly. “I don’t think [e-publishing} is going to be the only way, but it’s going to be one way.” His tag team partner Julie Smith, Edgar-winning mystery novelist turned e-publisher of BooksBnimble, started out equally calm. “I was published by Big Six publishers for a long time but it became something very different for fiction writers.”

Things continued calmly for almost 20 minutes with Oakes and Smith talking about their decision to enter the e-publishing field, and a long lecture by Chris Ruen, author of a forthcoming book on the digital music area titled Freeloading, on the lessons of the perils and opportunities of e-publishing he took from his study of the music industry.

That’s when Murphy, as politely as possible, inadvertently opened a can of whoop ass. “I’m afraid the two esteemed panelists to my right are going to have to answer for what they said. I’d like both of you to say what’s wrong with traditional publishing and why are you the solution and what’s in it for writers.”

“First of all, let me correct what I said,” Oakes answer prompting scattered nervous laughter in the audience. “I don’t think traditional publishing is breaking down. I think it’s broken and has been for a number of years, in tatters and a smoking ruin.”

Oakes outlined the traditional process of agent, editor, editorial board and sales force proceeded to outline outlined the current publishing paradigm he described as “guesswork on top of guesswork on top of guesswork. “Let’s say everything’s gone well, you have have some great blurbs. You didn’t plagiarize the the book. People are really excited about it. You have good advance orders. The stores pack it all across the country, they pack stacks of the book in. Such a tiny percentage actually sell through. A reasonable return rate for a front list book is 40 to 60 percent. So these books come streaming back. The stores hurt because all this shelf space has been taken up by a book that didn’t sell. The environment, which I think is worth mentioning, [is hurt] because all these books were printed and have to be transported back to warehouse. The publisher has to pay for all these books. Its a disastrous, antiquated system that does not benefit [anyone].”

Smith challenged Murphy in return. “One of the things that always bothered me, the reason I named my company Books Be Nimble, is I don’t feel that big pub is very nimble. Say you brought that you bring a 40 page meditation book [published as an e-book by Books Be Nimble] to a publisher in New York, they might very well say: you know what, there’s no way you can sell this book. My answer is, why don’t you figure it out. You know it was always just book stores and not to much willingness to go outside that to find other ways to make that work.

“There’s a lot more to the question, Will, but I’d like to give you a chance to defend big pub,” Smith

“I’m the last person you want defending big publishing. Traditionally the alternative to big publishing is self publishing,” he answered, starting the real battle royal. “I think there is a pretty heinous process in getting a book to market traditionally. There are a lot of steps, but I don’t know they’re the wrong steps.”

“But we’re not self publishers,” Smith quickly retorted. “Yeah,” Oakes chimed in before she finished her sentence

“The question for you guys is what differentiates you from self publishers,” Murphy offered, trying to get back on a civil track.

“I can’t say I don’t publish my own books because I intend to publish my own back list. I’d be crazy not to. And I publish people who are not me, for openers. Here is how I operate. We don’t offer an advance. I offer a 50% royalty and what I do for the50% royalty I do what Random House does, and I hope as well : I edit the book, I have the cover designed, I market the book.”

The temperature rose another notch when Oakes suggested that the major publishers are charging authors to promote their books by encouraging them to hire independent publicists. “If you are a new author at a major house you can confirm this. The publisher and editor say: how are we going to market this book. In my opinion its the publisher’s job to market the book, but I don’t expect an author to hire a publisher so I could make very good case that major publishers are indirectly charging authors because {suggesting an author hire their own publicist] is a standard way to work with people–unless your name is Steven King–and I’ve always understood and I have heard this from friends who have contracts with major publishers, that you are expected to hire your own publicist.

“This is wrong,” Murphy answered heatedly. “We have a fully staffed publicity department. We never encourage this, the hiring of independent publicists…”

“Maybe Random House is the exception,” Oakes offered.

“Because we have people who are paid to do that job,” Murphy continued, “and in every case when an author of mine has gone outside and brought an independent publicist in to the team, that independent publicist has done nothing that we wouldn’t have done ourselves.

“That wasn’t my experience at Random House,” Smith said.

Well, you didn’t work with me,” Murphy said. “It’s certainty not the status quo.”

“I’ve not heard that said about you, Will,” Oakes offered, trying to take the increasingly testy tone down a bit.

“We disagree,” Murphy answered sharply, trying to bring the scuffle to a close.

Ruen jumped in, pointing out that the difference between the self-publishing and the emerging digital publishers are editing and marketing. But on top of that, any publisher, even if its a small digital publisher, is providing a platform for an author. “Editing?” Ruen asked, “if you’re self-publishing, who’s editing the thing?”

Then he brought in Amazon’s move to change its vanity press operation into a larger model of the upstart short run digital and e-pub houses.. “One of the huge things for self publishing, Amazon announced their venture to release their own books and pay small advances.”

“They’re playing with the big boys,” Murphy agreed.

“That puts the burden of proof right on traditional publishers, emerging digital publishers, all of them, because it comes down to the question of what is the value of editing,” Ruen said.

“What I tell people who are thinking of publishing with Amazon is: go for it. And time will tell if traditional publishers know anything. I do know that the environment that I’ve worked in is a cultivating and cultivated one and I’d been surprised if within two years if Amazon were producing prize winners or best sellers.”

“What do you mean by best sellers?” Smith asked. “Amazon is publishing best sellers every day.”

“What do you mean by best sellers?,” Oakes asked.

“I mean on Amazon,” she said

“Amazon is an eco-system. What percentage of your e-sales are on Amazon and are tabulated to Amazon best seller list? Amazon is a very powerful retailers, probably the most powerful one in American today. They want to publish books. What they really want to do is sell. Their focus in the consumer, not the creator. They remain first and foremost a retailer, not a publisher.”

Smith tried to take the discussion off the playground and back into the ballroom “I think Random House is terrific and we haven’t really talked about the parallel universes that exist today. I think that we sound a little adversarial but we all exist together. I really don’t understand the hostility to e-books. I don’t actually see any sign at all that paper books will go away.” Conference organizer Rosemary James of the locally iconic Faulkner House Bookstore and a founder of the society had started out introducing the panel by expressing her abhorrence for e-books.

Oakes disagreed. “Here’s a statistic from the pages of Publisher’s Weekly.”

“Oh, the bible,” Murphy quipped drily.

“It’s a bible…still the industry newsletter. It came out a couple of months ago, but it compared a significant portion of this year 2011 to last year f 2010, and the sale of adult trade paperbacks was down 65%. That’s not a decline. That’s a precipitous drop. Now e-books, and that number I don’t remember, but they are shooting up like this. That said, paperbacks are starting at such a higher level and e-books are just starting. There’s no point to discussing whether e-books are a good thing or a bad thing. They are happening.

“I actually now agree with you both. Yeah, paperback sales have declined because e-books are simultaneously published simultaneous with the hard cover edition,” Murphy pointed out. “They are the low price alternative.”

Having gotten his moderator’s groove back on and brought things back on an even keel, Murphy took a question from the back of the hall, but bringing the audience in just raised the temperature in the room as the audience’s own prejudices on e-books and dire prophecies of the collapse of the traditional publishing model re-ignited the atmosphere.

‘It’s not paperback versus e-book. We already know people like their electronica. I fight is quality control versus free for all, and how do they decide that?” a woman in the back asked. “We have sort have glossed over the fact that newspapers and magazines are in decline. That’s a bigger thing than all that stuff you’re talking about. If you care about literary fiction, where do you think we find out what to read? That to me is a bigger problem that what you’re talking about. I read the New York Times Review. The Washington Post has folded their separate publication. What’s going to happen when the newspapers cut their editors. These are the arbiters of taste that we all rely upon.”

“Not all of us,” Oakes interrupted. “I stopped reading the Times Book Review years ago. I think that’s something you have to decide for yourself. Do you have to rely on the Book Review to tell you what to read?”

“Well then tell me how you decide what to read,” the woman interjected over Oakes’ answer.

“I read things like N+1, The Millions, Rumpus. [There are] online literary journals. How books come to me they always have when I ran a traditional press. They come from agents, they come from authors.

“I think you’re talking about, what are the filters,” Murphy offered to

“I don’t know who those people are,” the questioner answered.

“For the point of the Times, I published a great little book, a biography of H.G.Wells. The Times Sunday Book Review does this little square of a little nasty review. I had never heard of the person before. I found the person who wrote this review–and me being semi-crazy because I thought this book was fantastic–I found this person and called him up. The guy was either a sophmore or a junior in college. The arbiters of taste are not so infalible.”

“The bottom line is: somebody has to be out there, with the plethora of books, saying you have to read this book,” the questioner asserted.

Another audience member jumped in, any pretense of going around the room by raised hands lost in the heat of the moment. “We think we have choices in the market and we don’t. We have just a very slim piece of the pie. We have all these small presses that we don’t talk about [at the festival} that are still doing regular books. When you talk about best sellers when you have a rare exception [like the Tinkers”, they’ll never make that mistake again because it created all this hostility.

“We used to have adults in the playground,”another audience member suggested. “We used to have Alfred Kazin and [John W.] Aldritch and they were vilified then because we didn’t like them telling us what to think but at least they were thinkers telling us how to read,” another audience member offered. “There is no culture of criticism anymore. It’s not criticism. Its a lot of mutual back patting” in book criticism. “Without it we might as well all be self-published.”

“If you’re looking for an arbiter, read until you find someone [on the internet] you respect,” Oakes answered.

“We’re gatekeepers, too,” Smith said when asked what was the difference between small e-publishers and self-publishing. “The big difference is editorial,” Murphy chimed in. “And its the publisher’s job to bring the book to market,” Oakes added. “Its the job of your publisher to reach out to your readers and say, we’re interested in good writing and you should read this thing.”

Asked about whether e-publishers would become the logical home of literary fiction, Smith said “I think there’s a lot of room in e-publishing for manuscripts that cannot make it in Big Six publishing. I have a really nice memoir that ought to be published and Random House would not be able to sell it. It would sell six copies for them and I think I can sell it.”

Another audience member expressed a concern about the impact of e-publishing on independent bookstores.

“We made a decision not to deal with stores unless they come to us. And they come to us. Instead of buying ten or twenty copies they buy two or three, then they sell them and buy another two or three and sell it. But it’s true that when we have a front list title, it will not reach all the stores,” Oakes said. “I think this new model is good for authors, for publishers, the environment and readers, frankly I don’t think its good for independent stores. I agree with you: the independent stores is a beautiful thing and I don’t have the answer for that.”

“The giant chain store that banks on having everything is clearly threatened by the internet which has more than everything,” Ruen added.

“So let me tilt your answer toward what I think to be an interesting evolution of this conversation, that the independent side of table is envisioning the demise of the indie book store,” Murphy suggested.

“I’m not,” Ruen said. “One thing that the Internet cannot replace is the physical sense of community and only an independent bookstore can deliver that. And they’re selling books.”

“This has been a fascinating, exciting and fireworks filled panel,” Murphy closed out, ” and this is an artisan profession that is in transition. And great people such as the people to my right are tinkering and prematurely aged people like myself are done in, and that’s an exciting world to have.”

Here’s a complete podcast. I apologize for the variable volume but there was only one microphone for the panel and none for the audience. I also apologize for my occasional loud interjections. It was that kind of a panel discussion: PODCAST

One World, Many Narratives November 11, 2011

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Or why the Germans have a word specifically to lament the death of their forests and Americans just mow them down to print more books about dogs. Another Dispatches from the Back from the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society Words & Music Conference from Odd Words.

[Ed.’s note: This is as much a typical Odd Words literary ramble as an exercise in journalism as my audio recorder was giving my trouble tonight and I was so fascinated by the discussion that my note taking often fell behind. I have now got my tech glitches ironed out and without time for a re-write before this morning’s sessions, I am embedding the full podcast at the end.]

Let’s start with translation, the moderator suggested. In Germany sixty percent of the literature read is in translation from another language. In the United States, that figure is one percent. With that stark contrast Eric Leibetrau, managing editor of the Kirkus Review, kicked off Tailoring Literary Art to the Requirements of the Global Village, which quickly turned into a wide ranging discussion of translation, American exceptionalism and our increasingly cosmopolitan culture, Murakami and manga, why American symphonies are filled with Asian-American musicians playing for aging Anglo audiences, and what Hurricane Katrina and the Federal Flood can tell us about the difficulty Americans have processing what does not fit our carefully tailored ideas of who we are.

Or we can begin with the first question: why American’s don’t read more foreign literature. "Its about what we are prepared for. Our teachers simply aren’t prepared to teach international literature, suggested John Biguenet, poet, playwright, novelist and twice President of American Literary Translators Association. Andrew Lam, journalist and web editor of New American Media, an association of multicultural literary associations. “At a time when we need to have eyes on what’s happening overseas we are cutting back on foreign correspondents. We have less interest in putting our eyes and ears overseas,” suggesting a willful American ignorance of the outside world.

In answer to Leibetrau’s observation that the Germans have a word for the death of the forests along the Autobahn due to pollution–Waldsterben–and Americans have no such term, suggesting a lack of concern for the environment, Biguenet quoted a philosopher (not in my notes; blame my audio recorder): “Language is an agreement among a group of people to avoid saying something.” I think it was Spinoza but don’t hold me to that.

Leibetrau tried to turn the discussion back to the original topic, asking what a good non-fiction piece do that a novel or a play or a poem can not, but the conversation seemed to veer away from the published topic like a driver fiddling with his cell phone at hurtling down the autobahn at 180 KPH, and the moderator seemed to sense the panel had found its groove and let it go. Biguenet spokes about his columns for the New York Times after the Federal Flood, how unprepared conventional American journalism was for a disaster on a scale not scene in this country in over a century. “The reason writers from New Orleans turned to non-fiction was because we had to get the story out,” to correct the poor information coming out of traditional journalistic channels. The issue wasn’t so much how to write for an international audience as how to write for an insular Anglo-American audience. “As I writer I have to write taking into account the ignorance of Americans.”

Lam turned the conversation back toward the world, pointing out how Japanese author Haruki Murakami first wrote a non-fiction account of the great Kobe earthquake and only later turning back to fiction and the excellent After The Quake, a collection of stories tied to how some slim connection of each protagonist to that event effected their later lives. There is a cultural gulf in how Americans react to disaster versus the Japanese that escapes most Americans, Lam suggested, sharing the anecdote of a boy who lost his family in the Fukuyama tsunami. Found wandering in his gym clothes (he had been in that class when the tsunami struck), he told a police officer how he had most likely lost both his parents. The cop gave him his own rations, and the boy promptly walked to the head of the meal line and put them on the table and got back in line. Asked why, he told the officer that everyone here had suffered the same, and the others were in line before him. Try transplanting this scene to America. You can’t. Biguenet suggested the audience read the book The Nobility of Failure: Tragic Heroes in the History of Japan to understand that gulf, to contrast American hero worship with Japan’s history of heroic figures who failed.

Lam brought up the current flooding in Thailand, suggesting that rather than consider how to expand America’s consciousness of the world that Biguenet write a letter to the people of Bangkok, to counsel them on how to handle the complete inundation of their city. The panelists did not however give up on the possibilities of an America more open to the rest of the world and its literature. One pointed out that Los Angeles had the largest number of Buddhist temples in the world, representing all sects; another that it will soon be essential for Americans to speak a second language as the latest wave of immigrants make the largest coastal cities among the most cosmopolitan in the world.

The hyper-nationalist, 9-11 flag pin American heartland is increasingly hemmed in by a cultural pluralism, by a new generation of immigrants not driven to respell their names and abandon their own customs but determined to make America both their home and their own, to adopt to their American homeland as Lam did when his family fled the fall of Saigon in 1975 while maintaining their own cultural identify. Biguenet (I believe, its not clear in my notes) told the story of a niece living in Houston and married to a Dane, how there was even a Danish school there. “It’s the most cosmopolitan city she’s every lived in. Pretty soon it will get to Dallas.”

In the end none of the panelists had a past answer on how to write for a global village audience, but they suggested that the days when only one percent of the books read in America are translations may be coming to an end. Much of Tea Party shopping mall America may be ready to turn its back on the world, but the world is coming to America’s shores and therein the answer may lie. I thought of my own experience in Fargo, N.D. as culturally homogenous a place as any mid-20th Century Scandinavian country and yet a also a city where Lutheran Social Services brought refugee immigrants from all over the world. I thought of the map in my childrens’ elementary school marked with the native lands of all the students.

The lesson of this panel wasn’t a neat formula for writers who want to communicate with a world-wide audience or a program to disseminate translated world literature. The message in the end is that if America will not embrace the world, the world continues to embrace America and come to its shores, yearning to to be free. The answer won’t be found in the pages of The Kirkus Review or a conference paper at AWP. The answer is in that growing segment of America where the release of Murakami’s 1Q84 was as anxiously awaited as an installment of Harry Potter, in a country where–in Biguenet’s words–Houston is the most cosmopolitan city his niece has ever lived in.

Here is the podcast, with the introduction by Rosemary James of the Faulkner Society and Faulkner House Books:
Tailoring Literary Art to the Requirements of the Global Village

Bonus podcast of the first half of the session The Impact of the Internet on Artists:

The Impact of the Internet, Good and Bad, on Artists

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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