Monday, September 22, 2014

Marcus Samuelsson coming to New Orleans Oct. 24

Posted By on Mon, Sep 22, 2014 at 9:10 AM


October 24 is shaping up to be a big day for celebrity chefs in New Orleans. Alton Brown announced earlier this summer that he will taking the stage at the Saenger Theater as part of his Alton Brown Live tour.

Now, celebrity restaurateur and Food Network personality Marcus Samuelsson will also be visiting as part of a national tour for his new book, Marcus Off Duty: The Recipes I Cook at Home, according to Southern Food and Beverage Museum Executive Director Liz Williams. The book will be available Oct. 21.

"We're particularly excited because his visit to the museum will coincide with the reopening of the Leah Chase Louisiana Gallery," said Williams.

Samuelsson's book signing takes place at 2:00 p.m. More details are scheduled to be released closer to the book launch. (One can only hope that Brown and Samuelsson are secretly planning a gigantic Scandinavian-Southern dinner together.)

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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Maple Street Book Shop turns 50

Posted By on Thu, Sep 11, 2014 at 11:28 AM

Maple Street Book Shop owner Gladin Scott. - MAPLE STREET BOOK SHOP
  • Maple Street Book Shop owner Gladin Scott.

In a city as old as New Orleans, half a century might not seem like that long a time. But for a local bookstore, half a century is an aeon, not matter where you are. This weekend, Maple Street Book Shop turns 50, and it has two full calendar days of events and partnerships to help you help it celebrate. 

On Friday, there will be a reception at the bookstore (7529 Maple St.) with Rebecca Snedeker, the local editor of Unfathomable City: A New Orleans Atlas, which is also the Young Leadership Council's One Book One New Orleans selection fore 2014. Local authors from the book will be there (it's a collection of maps, stories and essays that's definitely worth checking out), and there will be cocktails to celebrate the book, the bookstore and everyone and everything in between. That starts at 7 p.m.

All weekend, Maple Street Book Shop will be donating 10 percent of its proceeds to Big Class,  the local literary non-profit inspiring the next crop of New Orleans writers.

With its weekly children's "Storytime with Miss Maureen," not to mention a sunny, vibrant and diverse kid's reading room, Maple Street Book Shop has always looked out for its youngest readers. So it's aptly honoring kids on Saturday with children's day at the shop, complete with readings, signings, crafts, prizes and treats.

At 11:30 a.m., Ryan Murphy and Grace Millsaps, the authors of What the Sleepy Animals Do At the Audubon Zoo, will read and sign their newest book, You Wouldn’t Like Me Without My Coffee!

At 12:30 p.m. there's a lunch with Big Class, then at 1 p.m. Dianne de Las Casas will read her latest picture book Cinderellaphant and everyone will get to decorate his or her very own crown. At 2 p.m., kid Chef Eliana (one of Gambit's 40 Under 40) will talk about her cookbooks, Cool Kids Cook: Louisiana and Cool Kids Cook: Fresh and Fit, and do a cooking demo.

It's been an adventurous year for all book shops, and for Maple Street too, which closed its used shop (next door to the original, remaining shop) a few months ago to consolidate everything under one roof. But, under the guidance of owner Gladin Scott and a dedicated staff always eager to recommend books and chat with customers, the creaky wooden house is still one of the warmest places to browse for books in New Orleans, or to just talk about reading, writing, 

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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Neutrons Protons hosts monthly nonfiction writing series at Press Street's Room 220

Posted By on Tue, Sep 9, 2014 at 11:39 AM

Kyle Sheehan, artistic director of Neutrons Protons, wraps up the magazine's first print edition. - SOPHIE JOHNSON
  • Kyle Sheehan, artistic director of Neutrons Protons, wraps up the magazine's first print edition.

"We are living in an era where everyone is more empowered than ever before to tell her own story," says Sophie Johnson, editor-in-chief of the locally-based nonfiction and satire magazine Neutrons Protons. "You'll see that in storytelling events that pop up around cities, and in the rise of the podcast. But the written form of that, it might be argued, is the essay."

In the spirit of the belief that the essay is "the medium of the future," and to help give writers all over the city an extra push to explore creative storytelling, Johnson and the staff of Neutrons Protons are hosting a series of non-fiction writing workshops beginning this month. Each workshop will have a different theme, and September's is The Truth. The first workshop is this Sunday, Sept. 14 at 7 p.m. at Press Street's Room 220 (3718 St. Claude Ave.) and will feature an hour of instruction, prompt and warm-up, followed by about 45 minutes to an hour of guided writing time. 

Continue reading »

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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Rising Tide 9 set for Sept. 13 at Xavier University

Posted By on Tue, Sep 2, 2014 at 11:41 AM

Dr. Andre Perry will be the keynote speaker at Rising Tide 9 on Sept. 13 at Xavier University.
  • Dr. Andre Perry will be the keynote speaker at Rising Tide 9 on Sept. 13 at Xavier University.

Rising Tide
, the bloggers' conference that began in summer 2006 one year after Hurricane Katrina and the federal floods, will hold its 9th edition Sept. 13 at Xavier University.

This year's keynote speaker is Dr. Andre Perry, founding dean of the College of Education at Davenport University in Grand Rapids, Michigan and former associate director of the Loyola Institute for Quality and Equity in Education at Loyola University. Among this year's panels: Using Mobile Devices to Uncover Seemingly Lost Historical Memory of the Confederacy, Leprosy, and White Supremacy in New Orleans; Building Capacity in Marginalized Communities; Saga at Treme: The Story of How A Quest for Personal Resilience Exposed Incompetence and Waste in Government; and Religion in Post-Katrina New Orleans.

Tickets for the all-day event are $10 (available here). An additional (optional) $10 fee buys catered lunch from Lucky Rooster.

Previous editions of Rising Tide have included keynote speakers David Simon (former journalist and creator of the television programs The Wire and Treme), Richard Campanella (author of Bourbon StreetGeographies of New Orleans and Bienville's Dilemma) and writer/actor/part-time New Orleans resident Harry Shearer.

For more information on the conference, visit Rising Tide's schedule page.

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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

A never-ending list of activities sponsored by the NOPL closes out summer

Posted By on Wed, Aug 6, 2014 at 1:45 PM


The New Orleans Public Library is hosting a day of events and activities Aug. 16 to celebrate going back to school, including a literary dress-up parade, live music, a school supply and book giveaway and a ridiculously long list of fun things to do.

The Audubon Nature Institute will have a petting zoo and the bugmobile on-site, and there will be rock climbing, mobile video games, a literacy lounge for teenagers and free pizza and snowballs. Local food trucks will also be there to sell dishes at reduced costs.

The event will be held at the main library branch at 219 Loyola Ave. from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and is sponsored by The New Orleans Public Library Foundation, Friends of the New Orleans Public Library and Turn the Page

A parade starts at 11:15 a.m. and participants are encouraged to dress up as their favorite literary characters (yes, that includes Harry Potter and company). A host of local businesses and organizations will be on hand with exhibits, including Costco, United Way, Ashe Cultural Arts Center, the Orleans Parish School Board, New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, the Louisiana Children's Museum and others. 

There will also be free health screenings for all. For more information, call (504) 596-2565. 

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Monday, May 12, 2014

NOPL card holders get free access to this weekend's giant book fair

Posted By on Mon, May 12, 2014 at 12:54 PM


This Saturday, anyone with a New Orleans Public Library card can get free access to the RT Booklovers Convention's Giant Book Fair. The convention is a literary festival for lovers of genre fiction which starts tomorrow and goes till May 18, featuring more than 700 bestselling genre fiction writers and 125 writing workshops for aspiring storytellers. It all goes down at the New Orleans Marriott on Canal Street.

The Giant Book Fair lasts from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Bound books, e-books and self-published books will all be on sale, and participating authors will be around to sign books and posters for fans.

The convention is hosted by RT Book Reviews Magazine - formerly Romantic Times Magazine. NOPL card holders just need to show their cards at the door for entry to the book fair. The convention promises to bring tons of genre fiction fans to New Orleans, with the Marriott and the convention's overflow hotel both sold out of rooms.

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Friday, May 2, 2014

Chelsea Handler will sign books May 16 at Garden District Book Shop

Posted By on Fri, May 2, 2014 at 5:07 PM


  • Photo courtesy of Flickr user David Shankbone

Chelsea Handler makes her way to Garden District Book Shop May 16 at 2 p.m. The host of E!'s Chelsea Lately and the author of three cheekily-titled New York Times Bestsellers, including Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang, Are You There, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea and My Horizontal Life, will sign copies of her newest book, Uganda Be Kidding Me, which is a collection of tales from the talk show host's recent safari venture.

A ticket to the signing costs $29.43 and admits two adults. It also gets you a copy of Handler's book. Garden District Book Shop is quick to point out, though, that Handler will be there to sign books only, there's no reading or standup comedy. So if you're looking for a live riff on pop culture, catch Handler at the Mahalia Jackson Theater later that night.

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Thursday, May 1, 2014

Garrison Keillor to read at Le Petit Theatre May 13

Posted By on Thu, May 1, 2014 at 4:25 PM

Garrison Keillor.
  • Garrison Keillor.

Garrison Keillor will be in New Orleans May 13 to promote his newest book, The Keillor Reader: Plain Thoughts on Fatherhood, Writing, Politics and Age, which was published today.

The writer and radio personality known for hosting American Public Media's A Prairie Home Companion and The Writer's Almanac will read and perform at Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre at 7:30 p.m. Doors open at 7 p.m.

Octavia Books and WWNO are hosting the author in conjunction with Le Petit, and tickets for the event can be purchased here, or by calling Octavia Books (504-899-7323). The ticket is the cost of a book and can be exchanged for a signed copy of the book at the reading. Attendees also will be invited to meet the author onstage after the reading.

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Poetry Brothel hosts a sultry poetry scavenger hunt

Posted By on Thu, Apr 17, 2014 at 4:20 PM

  • Photo courtesy of Debbie Easley of Naked New Orleans Photography

On May 10, the New Orleans Poetry Brothel is leaving its dimly lit room of lust for the streets of the Marigny, where it will position its so-called "poetry whores" for a poetic scavenger hunt around the neighborhood. Each poet will offer a riddle or clue, and the team to finish first wins a prize.

After the hunt, the brothel invites everyone to the AllWays Lounge, where free beer awaits courtesy of Neutral Ground Brewing. The Call Girls will play and Brett Evans, a poet and the founder of 'tit Rex Parade, will read. The poetry whores will be on hand to read poems to paying customers in intimate corners of the bar.

The Poetry Brothel aims to take poetry out from behind the podium with private, pay-what-you-want readings in a set up like a Storyville brothel. It operates a poetry hotline every Thursday night from 8 p.m. to midnight (the number to call for a free poetry reading is 504-264-1336) and it hosts brothel events, complete with burlesque and acrobats, regularly around the city.

Pre-registration is required, and tickets range from $30 to $40 for the scavenger hunt and $10 for the show, with a $5 suggested donation for private readings.

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Jesmyn Ward joins the faculty of Tulane University

Posted By on Wed, Apr 16, 2014 at 10:30 AM

Jesmyn Ward
  • photo courtesy of Tulane University.
  • Jesmyn Ward

Jesmyn Ward, who won the 2011 National Book Award for her novel Salvage the Bones, will join the faculty of Tulane University's Department of English July 1.

Ward is currently a professor of creative writing at the University of South Alabama. The writer grew up just an hour away from New Orleans in DeLisle, Miss., and she set Salvage the Bones in a fictional Mississippi town in the 10 days following Hurricane Katrina. Ward is also the author of the critically lauded memoir Men We Reaped.

Ward is no stranger to the city. Besides having grown up on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, she taught writing at the University of New Orleans post-Katrina.

On her blog, upon learning her book had been nominated for the National Book Award, Ward wrote:

"Driving through New Orleans East for work, through that wasted landscape, the houses rotting and spray-painted, the empty streets, the waste from the flood still sitting where the water deposited it when it receded subdued me so thoroughly I didn't write a new sentence for 3 years. Fine, I thought, I'll shut up now. I told despair: You win. I began looking up the pre-requisite courses I'd need to enter a nursing program, began plotting my return to school, my leave from writing."

It's a good thing she didn't do that.

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