Books

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival announces 2018 dates and lineup

Posted By on Thu, Sep 14, 2017 at 3:00 PM

Louisiana Poet Laureate Jack Bedell. - COURTESY SLU
  • COURTESY SLU
  • Louisiana Poet Laureate Jack Bedell.
The Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival returns March 21-25, 2018, highlighted by speaker events, literary seminars and readings, theater performances, panels and other events.

Speakers include All Grown Up's Jami Attenberg, Louisiana Poet Laureate Jack Bedell, Detroit and Airline Highway playwright Lisa D'Amour, and Walter Isaacson, among others.

Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre will present the festival namesake's signature play A Streetcar Named Desire, directed by Maxwell Williams, and Southern Rep will run Williams' one-act And Tell Sad Stories of the Death of Queens, directed by Ricky Graham. The Tennessee Williams Theatre Company of New Orleans will present One Arm, Moises Kaufman’s adaptation of a Williams short story.

Williams' women characters are the focus of The Women of Williams, hosted by D'Amour and inviting women who have portrayed his characters to read his scenes and discuss his work.

There also are tribute readings, writing contests, and the simultaneous 15th annual Saints and Sinners Literary Festival, the annual LGBT literary event.

Tickets go on sale in January. Visit the festival website for more information.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Books roundup: Six literary events in New Orleans in September

Posted By on Thu, Sep 7, 2017 at 3:58 PM

COFRIN LIBRARY / CREATIVE COMMONS 2.0
  • COFRIN LIBRARY / CREATIVE COMMONS 2.0

In September, the New Orleans literary scene picks up again after a traditional summer lull. There are readings, book release parties and reader's conventions throughout the month; here are a few highlights and picks.

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Wednesday, September 6, 2017

A book drive for prison literacy programs is at Urban South Brewery Sept. 9

Posted By on Wed, Sep 6, 2017 at 12:00 PM

INDI SAMARAJIVA / CREATIVE COMMONS 2.0
  • INDI SAMARAJIVA / CREATIVE COMMONS 2.0

YLC literacy advocacy group One Book One New Orleans (OBONO) hosts its annual book drive benefiting Louisiana Books 2 Prisoners (LAB2P) at Urban South Brewery Saturday.

That day, the group welcomes donations of new and gently used paperback books only — hardback books are not permitted in prison libraries — at all reading levels. Everyone age 21 or older who donates at least one book will receive a free beer from the brewery, and food from a food truck is available for purchase.

Participants also can donate composition-bound notebooks and dictionaries, which OBONO project leader Megan Holt says are some of the most-requested items in letters from incarcerated people.

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Monday, August 7, 2017

Books roundup: Five literary events in New Orleans in August

Posted By on Mon, Aug 7, 2017 at 3:25 PM

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

August: kids are back in school (weather permitting — looking at you, #nolaflood), you've burned through all your beach reads, and it's time to start thinking about your fall reading list. Here are some events from the book scene to inspire you. There are lots of lots of highlights from notable local writers this month.

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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

A wry Roxane Gay talks Hunger and healing at Jewish Community Center

Posted By on Wed, Jul 12, 2017 at 9:59 PM

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Listening to Roxane Gay is a little like listening to the voice of the internet — dryly funny, pop culture-astute, versed in the latest controversies about avocados and the apocryphal sordid past of Lena Dunham's dog.

But where the internet is shallow, Gay has depth, which was on display in a wide-ranging conversation hosted by Octavia Books and conducted by emerging novelist Maurice Carlos Ruffin. In the cavernous yet disturbingly fluorescent auditorium at the Jewish Community Center July 12, Gay spoke about blackness, sexual assault, feminism, being from Omaha, tattoos, comic books, personal healing and the body image issues that are at the center of her recent, much-anticipated book Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body.

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Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Books roundup: Five literary events in New Orleans in July

Posted By on Wed, Jul 5, 2017 at 1:18 PM

COFRIN LIBRARY / CREATIVE COMMONS 2.0
  • COFRIN LIBRARY / CREATIVE COMMONS 2.0

Welcome back, friends, to the dog days of summer. After the conclusion of Essence Festival and the Fourth of July, New Orleans buckles down for a long stretch of uninterrupted, air-conditioned time in which we do mostly nothing and pray for no hurricanes. (Good times.)

But it's important to leave the house, once in a while, if just to keep up our social skills. Here are some July book events for those occasional sojourns.

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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Panel and book signing June 29 highlight gun violence survivors

Posted By on Tue, Jun 27, 2017 at 9:40 AM

Shyrica is one of many featured in Shot: 101 Survivors of Gun Violence in America. - COURTESY KATHY SHORR
  • COURTESY KATHY SHORR
  • Shyrica is one of many featured in Shot: 101 Survivors of Gun Violence in America.

One of every five people pictured in Kathy Shorr's Shot: 101 Survivors of Gun Violence in America was shot in an incident of domestic violence.

There's Shyrica, who was shot by her husband in a Walmart parking lot. Elizabeth was shot in the face by her estranged husband, who then killed her 18-year-old daughter. A Miami woman was shot in the parking lot of her apartment building by her husband, a veteran with PTSD.

These women all appear in the book, along with portraits of 98 other survivors. They represent just a small fraction of the thousands of people in America who are victims of gun violence each year, many of whom have no personal involvement with criminal activity. Shorr presents the book at a panel discussion at Treo Thursday night, where she'll appear with a trauma surgeon and some of of the people she photographed.

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Friday, June 2, 2017

Books roundup: Six literary events in New Orleans in June

Posted By on Fri, Jun 2, 2017 at 11:40 AM

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

In book scene news this month, we bid a sad farewell to Uptown mainstay Maple Street Book Shop. It's a tough world out there for independent booksellers, who are faced with competition from behemoths like Amazon (which, in a move that adds insult to injury, opened its own brick-and-mortar bookstores recently).

Such developments are all the more reason to support your local book shops, and the writers who hang around them. Some June picks for literary events are below.

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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Planned Parenthood hosts storytelling and community health event May 20

Posted By on Wed, May 17, 2017 at 9:00 AM

A protester holds a sign at a February rally supporting Planned Parenthood. - PHOTO BY KAT STROMQUIST
  • PHOTO BY KAT STROMQUIST
  • A protester holds a sign at a February rally supporting Planned Parenthood.

"Standing Strong," a storytelling series hosted by Planned Parenthood, discusses barriers to women's health care in the South. The May 20 event caps off National Women's Health Week.

At the event at Ashe Cultural Arts Center, speakers will discuss the positive impact Planned Parenthood has had on their lives and propose ways Southern women can work to enhance their health care community. Featured speakers include poet and activist Sonya Renee Taylor — you can watch her perform one of her firebrand poems about reproductive rights here — and Erika Jupiter, who was a Planned Parenthood patient when she was younger and grew up to be a senior field organizer for the organization. Local health groups also will table and offer information about community resources.

The event begins at 6 p.m. Saturday. It's free to attend, but advance registration is required.

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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

At New Orleans appearance, a polished Sheryl Sandberg says "it gets better"

Posted By on Wed, May 10, 2017 at 12:00 PM

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In a 45-minute conversation at Academy of the Sacred Heart with crackly conservative intellectual Mary Matalin, Sheryl Sandberg spoke about bereavement and recovery as told in her new book, Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience and Finding Joy.

Sandberg is like a new sort of person: Facebook COO; alumna of Harvard (twice), the World Bank, the Treasury Department and Google; poised, without the hesitation and self-questioning that so often characterizes women's speech; at ease in front of a crowd of hundreds; spin-class slim at age 47; delicate pink pumps; voice like a piece of black velvet.

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