Books

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Pizza Poetry Project returns April 21

Posted By on Wed, Apr 19, 2017 at 3:00 PM

Pizza Delicious is among several New Orleans pizza joints offering poetry from students age 6-18. - COURTESY PIZZA DELICIOUS
  • COURTESY PIZZA DELICIOUS
  • Pizza Delicious is among several New Orleans pizza joints offering poetry from students age 6-18.

In conjunction with National Poetry Month, the fourth annual Pizza Poetry Project from Big Class, a writing and literacy program for young students in New Orleans, serves poetry from students ages 6-18 on takeout boxes from several local pizzerias.

On the cardboard box with your pizza order comes a work from a young local writer. Participating pizza joints include G's Pizza, Garage Pizza, Mid City Pizza, Pizza Delicious, Reginelli's and Theo's.

This year, the pizza project runs alongside the inaugural New Orleans Youth Poetry Festival running April 19 and April 21-21. There's a youth open mic with Sunni Patterson and Pages Matam from 6 p.m.-8 p.m. April 19 at Tulane University's Lavin-Bernick Center, followed by a youth slam and mixer on April 21 and writing workshops and other events from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. April 22 at the New Orleans Public Library's Main Branch on Loyola Avenue. Visit the website for a full schedule and more information.

Since 2010, Big Class has served more than 3,500 students through its writing programs. From 2015-2016, the group published more than 30 publications featuring student work from more than 1,200 students. 

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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Feminist writer Roxane Gay appears in New Orleans July 12

Posted By on Tue, Apr 18, 2017 at 11:50 AM

JAY GRABIEC
  • JAY GRABIEC

Roxane Gay, the prominent feminist writer, cultural critic and pre-eminent voice of Woke Twitter, will appear at Octavia Books July 12 on a book tour for her new book Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body. The much-anticipated book is expected to discuss body and food issues from the author's uniquely candid perspective. (If you aren't familiar with her work, try her periodic contributions to the New York Times op-ed page for an introduction to her thoughts on race and womanhood.)

This is a ticketed reading and participants must purchase a copy of the book to attend the event. More details are available via the bookstore's event announcement. Copies of the book are $25.99.

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Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Books roundup: Six literary events in New Orleans in April

Posted By on Wed, Apr 5, 2017 at 12:08 PM

CCAC NORTH LIBRARY / CREATIVE COMMONS 2.0
  • CCAC NORTH LIBRARY / CREATIVE COMMONS 2.0

"April is the cruellest month," wrote T.S. Eliot in his inscrutable modernist masterpiece "The Waste Land." (Personally, I've always preferred "Preludes.") New Orleanians probably disagree — April means festival season, gleeful crawfish gluttony and those last nice sunshiny days before humidity turns the city into the interior of an unplugged refrigerator for six months.

If you can squeeze a reading or two onto your crowded festival calendar, here are a few picks for literary happenings around town.

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Thursday, March 30, 2017

LSU sociologist discusses her book Pay to Play: Race and the Perils of the College Sports Industry

Posted By on Thu, Mar 30, 2017 at 3:41 PM

Black athletes in America are finding themselves in a form of slavery in college athletic programs, LSU sociologist Lori Martin implies in her book, Pay to Play:  Race and the Perils of the College Sports Industry. - IAN MCCUSKER
  • IAN McCUSKER
  • Black athletes in America are finding themselves in a form of slavery in college athletic programs, LSU sociologist Lori Martin implies in her book, Pay to Play: Race and the Perils of the College Sports Industry.

Black athletes in America are finding themselves in a form of slavery in college athletic programs, LSU sociologist Lori Martin implies in her book, Pay to Play: Race and the Perils of the College Sports Industry.

Martin outlined for a Science Café crowd in Baton Rouge this week of the efforts at controlling the participation and compensation for black athletes.

Merchandisers, the NCAA, and top-tier universities, such as LSU, are part of a billion-dollar industry which excludes athletes from the profits.

Martin used George Mason University’s surprising run in the 2006 men’s basketball tournament as an example of the influence players can have on a university’s financial fortunes. Her research found the number of licensees of university products jumped from 40 to 53 after the team made a surprising run to the NCAA Final Four in spite of entering the tournament as an 11 seed. That increase amounted to about $100,000 in revenue, none of which went to the players.

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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Student zine, presentation March 30 highlight notable New Orleans black women

Posted By on Tue, Mar 28, 2017 at 11:10 AM

Mwende Katwiwa (center) and program participants.
  • Mwende Katwiwa (center) and program participants.

In a time when pop culture is finally amplifying the voices and stories of more black women, participants in a Young Women with a Vision after-school program are finding heroes closer to home.

At a New Orleans Public Library presentation Thursday, they'll present a zine-style sample of their work so far on a book that ultimately will profile as many as 30 notable black women from New Orleans. The book, created almost entirely by the program's middle and high school students, will be published when the program concludes this academic year.

"We're living in this era of black girl magic, and  if you're a millennial of my age it hits you at the perfect time, but I realized ... a lot of that has not actually trickled down to young people," says program coordinator Mwende Katwiwa. "I was getting a lot of feedback from [the students] in school that they don't have access to a lot of black women who look like them. ... A lot of the people people that they see in places that are not home don't look like them and don't share similar experiences."

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Thursday, March 23, 2017

Gambit TV: Entertainment picks March 24-26

Posted By on Thu, Mar 23, 2017 at 10:01 AM

Music critic and tacoficionado Noah Bonaparte Pais makes a stop at WWL-TV to share weekend picks: another exciting series at the Music Box Village, a new documentary about house ball culture and more.


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Friday, March 17, 2017

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg to speak in New Orleans May 9

Posted By on Fri, Mar 17, 2017 at 11:28 AM

sheryl-sandberg.jpg

Sheryl Sandberg, the high-profile Facebook COO and author of the ostensibly feminist career coaching tract Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead, will appear in New Orleans later this spring. She's in conversation with commentator Mary Matalin at Academy of the Sacred Heart's Nims Fine Arts Center on May 9.

In Lean In, Sandberg essentially argues that there aren't as many women in the highest levels of business in part because they begin "opting out" of more demanding assignments in anticipation of pregnancy and child care. She urges professional women to invest more in their careers, rather than stepping back (the "you *can* have it all!" argument). The book sparked a backlash from critics who pointed out that Sandberg herself has resources like nannies, housekeepers and significant wealth to support an ambitious career — assets which aren't available to many women.

Sandberg later reevaluated some of her Lean In arguments after the sudden death of her husband. Her new book, Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resistance and Finding Joy, details how her family recovered from that loss and how she learned to cope with the difficulties of being a single parent.

A ticket, which includes a copy of the new book, is required to attend the event sponsored by Garden District Book Shop. It's from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

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Monday, March 13, 2017

Hillbilly Elegy author J.D. Vance, Rod Dreher to speak at UNO April 17

Posted By on Mon, Mar 13, 2017 at 2:30 PM

HARPERCOLLINS
  • HARPERCOLLINS

J.D. Vance, author of the much-discussed Rust Belt memoir Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis, will speak on a panel at University of New Orleans April 17. American Conservative senior editor Rod Dreher also will appear; their talk is called "Faith, Hillbillies and American Politics."

Vance has been regularly quoted in analyses of last fall's presidential election as a voice of the "white working class" some pundits credit with propelling President Donald Trump to power. In the book, he writes about the disillusionment of Rust Belt voters who feel left behind by the modern economy and say that many in national politics don't reflect their values. You can read excerpts from the book in the Washington Post and in National Review.

The event takes place in UNO's Geoghegan Ballroom at the Homer L. Hitt Alumni Center. A reception at 5:15 p.m. precedes the 6 p.m. talk. It's free to attend.

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Thursday, March 2, 2017

Books roundup: Six literary events in New Orleans in March

Posted By on Thu, Mar 2, 2017 at 2:55 PM

Alison Fraser performs in A Tennessee Williams Songbook: Only a Paper Moon at the 2013 Tennessee WIlilams Festival.
  • Alison Fraser performs in A Tennessee Williams Songbook: Only a Paper Moon at the 2013 Tennessee WIlilams Festival.

Spring is a busy time for book lovers in New Orleans: a flurry of fests, book sales and appearances by arts and letters types round out the calendar. Fortunately, no one in her right mind gives up reading for Lent.

Here's a few of our picks for literary activities this month.

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Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Interview: Activist, educator and author Bill Ayers

Posted By on Wed, Mar 1, 2017 at 9:46 AM

COURTESY BILL AYERS
  • COURTESY BILL AYERS

Bill Ayers first achieved notoriety as a leading voice in 1960s radical-left groups such as Students for a Democratic Society and the Weather Underground. (You may remember his name from a brief 2008 controversy in which he was rumored to be acquainted with then-candidate Barack Obama.) Now 72, he's spent his life involved in activism, particularly eduction reform, while teaching at the College of Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

He's also written several books. He'll present his latest, Demand the Impossible!: A Radical Manifesto, at Octavia Books March 9. In advance of his appearance, he spoke briefly with Gambit by phone about the book and the future of social justice activism. A condensed and edited version of that conversation appears below.

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