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 »

Tags: , , , , , , ,

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. 

Tags: , , , , ,

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

Tags: , , ,

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 »

Tags: , , , , , , ,

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. 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

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. 

Tags: , , ,

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. 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Local book launch brings NOLAbeings and rum-infused Plum Street Snowballs together in one place

Posted By on Thu, Nov 13, 2014 at 4:58 PM

Claire Bangser of NOLAbeings - ELI SILVERMAN
  • Claire Bangser of NOLAbeings

The new book The Art of Discovery: Hollywood Stars Reveal Their Inspirations, featuring photos by Jeff Vespa, is a set of portraits and personal stories of celebrities meant to inspire readers. At the book's launch party next Wednesday, Nov. 19, though, event organizers are turning the mirror back on readers, with an interactive photo project with Claire Bangser, the creator of NOLAbeings.

NOLAbeings, which was inspired by the popular internet presence Humans of New York and started last February, gives followers a portrait a day of a person in New Orleans and allows that person to tell his or her own story. Sometimes the posts include a guiding question ("What do you teach your sister?" "What are you afraid of?"), and sometimes the responses are sad, and still sometimes the responses are funny, endearing, edgy and brave. 

NOLAbeings has close to 5,000 followers on Instagram, but many people might not realize that the team behind the camera is really one woman: Claire Bangser, who's driven not only by an eye for photography but also by a love of honest, personal stories. "I want to force the audience to reconsider preconceptions and stereotypes and to interact with their neighbors more," says Bangser. "And to listen...I love listening to stories. And I think for many of the NOLAbeings I talk to, there's something sort of therapeutic about reflecting on their lives and experiences and sharing that and having someone listen. That's something that doesn't happen as much as we'd like to believe - listening."

The event takes place at the Renaissance New Orleans Pere Marquette Hotel (817 Common St.) from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and is completely free. Bangser will be taking portraits and there will also be Old New Orleans Rum-infused treats from Plum Street Snoballs and coffee and beignets from the New Orleans Coffee and Beignet Company. It's open to the public, but you will need to RSVP here, and space is limited.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Andru Okun talks about his zine No Place For a Vacation

Posted By on Tue, Nov 11, 2014 at 1:32 PM

Andru Okun, creator of the zine No Place For a Vacation. - JULES BENTLEY
  • Andru Okun, creator of the zine No Place For a Vacation.

The upcoming New Orleans Comics and Zine Fest (NOCAZ) is further proof that zines, a catch-all term for self-published and often small-circulation print periodicals, are just too scrappy to die. They’ve been part of the New Orleans cultural scene since long before the term was coined, though the format hit its subcultural stride nationwide in the '90s through the mid-2000s. While most of the names from our city's zine golden age have moved on to other endeavors, Hope Amico (Keep Loving, Keep Fighting) continues to create beautiful and intricate zines, and the New Orleans underground metal/punk zine Paranoize, begun in 1989, just published their 35th issue. Chainbreaker, a DIY bike repair guidebook, sells briskly in major bookstores nationwide more than a decade since it first saw print as a New Orleans zine.

Our city’s most extraordinary zine-related institution is Robb Roemershauser's Aboveground Zine Library, a collection of more than 15,000 zines from all over the world that spans six decades. It remains in limbo since being gentrified out of the space at 511 Marigny, but Roemershauser has contributed to smaller collections of zines now stocked at some branches of the New Orleans Public Library (NOPL), and over the last few months NOPL has been hosting make-your-own-comics-and-zine workshops for kids.

The latter are part of the buildup to the inaugural NOCAZ, which takes place Nov. 15 at the NOPL's Main Branch (read Kate Watson's preview). NOCAZ describes itself as "a space for self-published artists and thinkers to put their work out... and be able to reach other people without the constraints and expense of the commercial publishing industry."

There are multiple events around NOCAZ, including a zine reading Thursday night featuring several local zine creators. One of those, Andru Okun, has just published an ambitious narrative zine called No Place for a Vacation. It recounts his experiences on a tumultuous 2012 Middle East trip that began with a free "Birthright" tour of Israel designed to make the oft-criticized state appealing to young American Jews. Okun broke off and traveled on his own through Jerusalem into Palestine, where he volunteered at a refugee camp and participated in a rally against the Israeli occupation that came under attack by the Israeli army. As if that weren't enough, Okun then took a surreal sojourn into areas of post-revolution Egypt that had previously been tourist hotspots.

It's a compelling read, elevated above travelogue not only by its events but by Okun's engaging mix of thoughtfulness and humor. No Place for a Vacation's use of a personal lens to explore larger issues make it a good example of zinedom's enduring possibilities. I spoke with Okun about his zine, his upcoming readings and NOCAZ itself.

Continue reading »

Tags: , , , , ,

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The New Orleans Book Festival is back, this time better than ever

Posted By on Tue, Oct 28, 2014 at 5:31 PM

In previous years, the festival has appealed mostly to young readers. - NEW ORLEANS BOOK FESTIVAL
  • In previous years, the festival has appealed mostly to young readers.

Baton Rouge has long had a book festival worthy of both local and national literary celebrity, and this year, New Orleans boasts a fest with a similarly impressive fleet.

The 5th annual New Orleans Book Festival, which takes place Nov. 14-15, promises richer finds than it has in the past, with a new City Park venue around Big Lake and books and authors for both adults and children, many that come with national prestige, thanks to a new partnership with Barnes and Noble. 

On Saturday in City Park, Wally Lamb kicks off the day at 10:30 a.m. with a reading from his latest novel, We Are Water, just before James Carville and Mary Matalin take the stage to talk about their 2013 memoir, Love and War. Also on tap are local favorites Julia Reed, Ian McNulty and Poppy Tooker.

In the New Orleans Museum of Art's Auditorium, look for Tulane University Professor of English Zachary Lazar, whose newest novel I Pity the Poor Immigrant has earned him rave reviews from the New York Times to the New Yorker, and Michael Pitre, the U.S. Marine and New Orleans novelist who penned Fives and Twenty-Fives earlier this year who's also stormed the lists of rave reviews around the country. Richard Campanella, Tom Piazza, James Cobb and many, many more are on tap to participate in panel discussions, read and discuss their work.

On Friday, the Greater New Orleans Youth Orchestra will perform at the New Orleans Public Library's Latter branch (5120 St. Charles Ave.) at 6:30 p.m. Throughout the festival there will be live music free book giveaways, games and activities for young readers and appearances by the Cat in the Hat himself, not to mention Curious George, Madeline and others. 

The entire festival is free and open to the public, and a free shuttle service will be running from certain public library branches to City Park. Check here for more information.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Submit an event Jump to date

Recent Comments

© 2016 Gambit
Powered by Foundation