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Louisiana Books 2 Prisoners Benefit 

Even before Katrina, conditions in Louisiana prisons, particularly juvenile facilities, were lacking in what you might call amenities. The New Orleans-based grassroots nonprofit group Books 2 Prisoners has a simple directive: to collect used books, match them up with prisoner requests for reading material, and ship them off to prisons throughout Louisiana. The organization lost its space after the storm and is still without a permanent home, but the book drives keep going. This benefit at the all-ages performance space above the Green Project, an architectural salvage organization in Bywater, is intended to raise cash and collect books for their efforts. Performing are the Zydepunks (pictured), downtown's favorite Cajun-gypsy fusion punk band, the whimsical saloon-music conglomeration of horns and accordion that is Why Are We Building Such A Big Ship? and Charts and Maps. Besides the three bands, the event includes a themed carnival, vegan food booths, a book sale and a pre-show workshop at 6 p.m. on prison reform sponsored by the national prison abolition group Critical Resistance. Check the group's Web site (http://geocities.com/books2prisoners) for suggestions on what sorts of books to donate: the list includes books about dogs, hip-hop magazines, astrology tomes and texts on the history of Egypt. Tickets $5. -- Alison Fensterstock

8 p.m. Fri., Dec. 8

The Green Space (above the Green Project), 2831 Marais St. at Press St., 945-0240

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