Saturday, May 2, 2015

Library millage approved overwhelmingly, 75-25 percent; law enforcement millage redirection passes 52-48 percent

Posted By on Sat, May 2, 2015 at 10:30 PM

The main branch of the New Orleans Public Library. - CREATIVE COMMONS/JASON PARIS
  • The main branch of the New Orleans Public Library.

New Orleans voters today chose overwhelmingly to create a new 25-year, 2.5 mill tax to support the New Orleans Public Library (NOPL). While the library already is the recipient of a 3.14 mill tax, library officials warned that it wasn't enough to support the system long-term and said without new funds branches would shutter and hours would be cut.

With 99 percent of the vote counted, 75 percent of voters supported the tax, while 25 percent did not. The measure is expected to bring $8.25 million a year to the NOPL.  

The measure had wide community support, including endorsements by local newspapers and a number of New Orleans mayor's wives. The major opposition was stated by the Bureau of Governmental Research; officials said they supported the NOPL, but wanted a more detailed plan and urged that it be put on the fall ballot instead.

As of 10:25 p.m., another measure was too close to call — the redirection of a part of an existing millage to pay operational expenses at Orleans Parish Prison. That measure was barely ahead, 52 percent to 48 percent.

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Friday, April 17, 2015

Tonight: Order pizza with a side of poetry

Posted By on Fri, Apr 17, 2015 at 4:27 PM


The last food item that you need additional incentive to eat is probably pizza, but just in case you were hesitating to pick up a pie, tonight you can get it served with a side of poetry and eat for a good cause, in honor of National Poetry Month. 

Big Class, the writing and tutoring arm of Press Street that brings free creative writing programs to underserved youth, is attaching student poetry to pizza boxes for pickup and delivery from G's Pizza, Garage Pizza, Magazine Pizza, Mid City Pizza, Pizza Delicious, and all Reginelli's Pizzeria locations. Poets range in age from six to 18.

Ten percent of proceeds earned tonight will support Big Class and the work it does year-round.

In addition to the poems attached to pizzas, Big Class is also compiling a book of student work about Italian pies, and will select 20 "pizza poet laureates." The organization has asked recipients of pizza and poetry to share their poems on social media suing the hashtag #pizzapoetry15. A Pizza Poetry Project party is scheduled for April 29 to celebrate student work at Zeitgeist Multi-Disciplinary Arts Center. 

Check out the Pizza Poetry blog for writing prompts, poems, stories and interviews. 

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Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Young Leadership Council selects One Book One New Orleans 2015

Posted By on Thu, Mar 26, 2015 at 2:08 PM

One Book One New Orleans' 2014 announcement event. This year's book is Brian Boyles' New Orleans Boom and Blackout: One Hundred Days in America's Coolest Hotspot. - JEANIE RIESS
  • One Book One New Orleans' 2014 announcement event. This year's book is Brian Boyles' New Orleans Boom and Blackout: One Hundred Days in America's Coolest Hotspot.

Each year, the Young Leadership Council (YLC) chooses a book for One Book One New Orleans, a citywide reading event meant to encourage community reading and promote literacy across New Orleans. The YLC announced in a press release today that the book it's chosen, with the help of an online poll, is New Orleans Boom and Blackout: One Hundred Days in America's Coolest Hotspot, by Brian Boyles — a look at the city in the run up to Super Bowl XLVII.

Continue reading »

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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

April Toole's Day brings Ignatius J. Reilly to life at The Irish House

Posted By on Tue, Mar 24, 2015 at 1:52 PM

click image A statue of Ignatius J. Reilly. - FLICKR USER TODD MURRAY
  • A statue of Ignatius J. Reilly.

Public displays of affection for literary heroes are not unfamiliar in New Orleans, from the Tennessee Williams New Orleans Literary Festival's Stella! shouting contest to the annual Bloomsday celebration for James Joyce's Ullyses

But on April 1, it's April Toole's Day upstairs at The Irish House. A half-dozen readers will flesh out John Kennedy Toole's A Confederacy of Dunces, with excerpts that introduce key characters and dramatic tension in the novel.

Continue reading »

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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Fall in love, dungeon master style

Posted By on Tue, Feb 24, 2015 at 1:13 PM

Tubby and Coo's Mid-City Bookshop - JEANIE RIESS
  • Tubby and Coo's Mid-City Bookshop

Finding love is a difficult enterprise, and for those tired of tossing the polyhedral die on a shot at romance, Tubby and Coo's Mid-City Bookshop is making match-making easier than ever...for nerds. 

This Friday, the bookstore hosts Dungeons and Dating, organized by Nerd Love NOLA, an offshoot of the female-oriented nerd culture website She-Geeks (recent posts include "Is there really room for self love in cosplay?"). According to a press release, the mixer will provide ample opportunity to find your "Player 2." It's for Dungeons and Dragons enthusiasts and lovers of nerdom of all kind (though you do need to be 18 or older to attend). 

Dungeons and Dating costs $10, and you can register online or show up at the door. The event kicks off with a nerd trivia ice breaker at 7 p.m. There will be coffee provided by Monkey Monkey Coffee and Tea and cupcakes from IzzyBelly Cakes. 

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Friday, February 20, 2015

Lorrie Moore brings her witty prose to Tulane March 2

Posted By on Fri, Feb 20, 2015 at 5:19 PM

Lorrie Moore - ZANE WILLIAMS
  • Lorrie Moore

When the Paris Review approached the writer Lorrie Moore about participating in one of its famous long form author interviews, Moore responded by saying, "My life is impossible to make interesting—others have tried before." Despite what Moore might think about her own life, the lives of her characters are as interesting as they come, living and breathing in the pages of short story collections like her acclaimed debut Self-Help, the novel A Gate at the Stairs and most recently the story collection Bark.

Moore is scheduled to speak at Tulane's Kendall Cram lecture hall Monday, March 2 at 7 p.m. The writer will read from Bark and answer questions. The event is free and open to the public.  

Here, Moore writes about how to become a writer, and here she reads from Bark

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Monday, December 22, 2014

Church Alley Coffee launches "Tasting Coffee in NOLA" zine

Posted By on Mon, Dec 22, 2014 at 11:08 AM

The coffee scene in New Orleans is ever-expanding, with the arrival of craft coffee bars and pour-over spots from Uptown to the Bywater. Now, a new zine produced by Church Alley Coffee hopes to capture this pivotal moment in the city's coffee history.

Continue reading »

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Thursday, December 18, 2014

TONIGHT: Less holiday cheer, more nightmare with Galway Kinnell

Posted By on Thu, Dec 18, 2014 at 3:07 PM


Tonight, a handful of local performers and poets will come together at Lost Love Lounge (2529 Dauphine St.) to celebrate the late poet Galway Kinnell with a performance of The Book of Nightmares.

Gary Esolen, one of the founders of the group (and one of the founding editors of Gambit), which is humbly called the Great American Poetry and Theatre Company and includes Mikko and Diana Shortez, says the volume of poems might seem like a gloomy choice for the holidays, but inherent in its darkness is a sense of love and wonder. "It is not a cheerful poem, but it is as obsessed with life and love as it is with death," he says. 

This is the group's first reading, but Esolen says they plan to do more "performances for voices" using the poetry, playwriting and literature that speaks to them. The Book of Nightmares is rooted in Galway's opposition to the Vietnam War and other social woes of the 1960's. The Great American Poetry and Theatre Company will read works by Robert Frost and a play Esolen wrote about Dylan Thomas, among others, throughout the new year.

"It's not just a standard reading," Esolen says. "We think that poems should be performed by professional actors."

Tonight's performance begins at 8 p.m. and admission is by donation. 

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Monday, December 15, 2014

This Thursday, a reading to honor Kendall Michelle Daigle

Posted By on Mon, Dec 15, 2014 at 3:15 PM


Kendall Michelle Daigle was no stranger to the written word. Before her unexpected death earlier this year, Daigle wrote plays, poetry and prose, studying creative writing at both NOCCA and Loyola University and dedicating her 19 years on earth to writing and reading. 

Daigle died just before her 20th birthday, and this Thursday, Dec. 18, friends, family and former teachers will come together to read and celebrate a collection of her work at 5 Press Gallery, across the street from NOCCA's riverfront campus. The book, compiled in part by  Gabrielle Steib, Kendall's mother Michelle Daigle, Anne Gisleson, Lara Naughton, Erik Kiesewetter, Sage Rose and Benjamin Morris, is a 180-page volume entitled A Soul Under Construction: The Written Word by Kendall Michelle Daigle

Daigle was a native New Orleanian, and her book will be available throughout the New Orleans Public Library system. 

The book launch and ceremony are free and open to the public and will include live music by Frankie Ford and Kyle Anderson, as well as food provided by The Boxcar. The readings and music start at 6 p.m. 

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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Walter Isaacson will give two readings in New Orleans this week

Posted By on Tue, Nov 25, 2014 at 12:24 PM


You've got two opportunities to see Walter Isaacson over the next week. The bestselling biographer of Steve Jobs, Albert Einstein, Benjamin Franklin and Henry Kissinger will be back in his hometown after Thanksgiving, first at Isidore Newman School (1903 Jefferson St.), his alma mater, on Saturday, Nov. 29 at 1 p.m., then at the Jewish Community Center New Orleans (5342 St. Charles Ave.) on Monday, Dec. 1. at 7 p.m.

Both events - the first hosted by Garden District Book Shop, the second by Octavia Books — are free and open to the public. Isaacson, who is also president and CEO of the Aspen Institute, will read from his latest book, The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution, then answer questions from the audience and sign books. 

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