A competition win; and our clubhouse reaches a milestone

While we’re still all aglow in the land of Peauxdunque about last week’s Yeah, You Write event, there is already more great news to report; so, moving right along …

Maurice Carlos Ruffin‘s short story, “The Anchor Song,” has been named the winner of the 2014 Short Fiction Contest at So to Speak: A Feminist Journal of Language and Art!  His winning story will be published in the Fall 2014 issue of So to Speak, so keep your reading eye out for it.

Also, while we’ve been a bit busy with word rebellions and such, our website stretched past 10,000 hits over the weekend. While we’ve been live for two and a half years to get there, and recognize we’re no Google or anything, this feels like a nice milestone for the clubhouse of our little gang of literary misfits.

Thanks for keeping up with us. More to come …

Another “Yeah, You Write” in the books

The second installment in the “Yeah, You Write” word rebellion series let loose at Cafe Istanbul last night. Many people came together to fill the room and make the night a success, with readings and remarks from John M. BarryCassie Pruynjewel bushBenjamin PercyJoseph BoydenEmilie Staat, and Tom Franklin and Beth Ann Fennelly. Emcee Nick Fox moved the night along, regaling the audience with the exploits of the readers, while the photographs of L. Kasimu Harris and the innovative turntable work of DJ Seppe punctuated every point of the show.

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Tom Franklin and Beth Ann Fennelly came bearing gifts of moonshine, and read from the dramatic inundation scene from The Tilted World. Ben Percy’s dynamic reading from Red Moon was preceded appropriately enough by his horror-rendition of a line from the childhood classic, Good Night, Moon. Joseph Boyden came in from far travels and despite illness to utterly transfix the room with a chapter from his soon-to-be-released-in-the-U.S.-novel, The Orenda. jewel bush punched the lights out with her boxing-themed, coming-of-age-in-a-rough-world short story. And Peauxdunque’s own Emilie Staat and Cassie Pruyn brought intense and passionate memoir and poetry to the stage.

Leading them all off was John Barry and his reading from Rising Tide, followed by his remarks on the attempts of the oil and gas industry to rise above the law in Louisiana’s fight to protect itself from the increased storm risks caused by the industry’s destruction of wetlands (everyone, that message for the legislators was “Don’t let politics kill the flood authority’s independence,” and “Let the courts decide the fate of the levees lawsuit, not the legislature, because no one should be above the law,” and those legislators were Raymond Garofalo, Christopher Leopold, Neil Abramson, and Nick Lorusso).

A huge shout-out to the folks at Cafe Istanbul, without whom the night would not have been a success. Cafe Istanbul is clearly a vital heartbeat in the revival of New Orleans’ many communities, including its artists and writers. Also, many thanks to the good folks at Garden District Book Shop, who came through on short notice with the books that sold to the enthusiastic audience, making the night a further success.

Tonight

Can you believe it? Tonight. The Second coming of the original “Yeah, You Write!” event. It’s more than a reading, more than a photo exhibit, more than a dance party, more than a night out on the most incredible town this side of the moon. It’s all of that.

It started as a vision, something slightly more than a whim. One night in late summer in 2011, Maurice and Emilie and Terri and I sat around and talked about it, put it into words: To put great writers on great stages, put them on the pedestals on which we put our musicians and other artists, take them out of the usual context, fete them. When it first translated into something real two and a half years ago, I was a bit in disbelief we pulled it off. And now we have the audacity to do it a second time, with the help and guidance of a host of new Peauxdunquians (April, Denise, Sabrina, and Kasimu) with another slate of amazing writers and artists. I’m still flabbergasted, and extremely grateful that all these great folks said “Yes,” then and now. These are my literary heroes, and many of them I feel lucky to call my friends now, too. We’re so happy to share them with you. Beth Ann Fennelly,Tom Franklin, John BarryJoseph Boyden, Ben Percyjewel bushEmilie StaatCassie Pruyn. Photos by the always amazing L Kasimu Harris. Tunes by the gifted DJ Seppe. Emcee’d by the extraordinary Nick Fox. We’ll see you tonight. 7:00 at Cafe Istanbul.

peauxdunque postcard final

The return of ‘Yeah, You Write!’

We’re excited to announce that our original event series, Yeah, You Write,” is back! Last time we billed it as a “literary concert”; this time it’s a full-on “word rebellion.” Back in October 2011, Peauxdunque launched its series of putting top writers on top stages, with our original event at Tipitina’s. This time around, on the night of April 18, 2014, we’ll feature writers, images, and music on the stage at Cafe Istanbul, at 2372 St. Claude Avenue.

MC Nick Fox, with Amanda Boyden, Gian Smith, Terri Stoor, Kelly Harris-DeBerry, Mat Johnson, and Bill Loehfelm, October 2011

MC Nick Fox, with Amanda Boyden, Gian Smith, Terri Stoor, Kelly Harris-DeBerry, Mat Johnson, and Bill Loehfelm, October 2011

This year’s slate of writers includes best-selling and prize-winning authors Beth Ann Fennelly and Tom Franklin, who will be reading from their new collaborative work, The Tilted World; Joseph Boyden, winner of the Giller Prize, whose new novel, The Orenda, has already been winning awards and praise in Canada and which will be released in the United States in May; John Barry, whose seminal work on the great 1927 flood, Rising Tide, informed much of The Tilted World, and who is currently front and center in a fight to stop a new great flood as southeast Louisiana washes away; Benjamin Percy, whose most recent novel, Red Moon, was a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection, IndieNext Pick, Amazon “Top Ten Best Books of May,” CNN’s Top Ten Books of May, iBookstore Editor’s Choice, and an Entertainment Weekly “Must List” selection; insightful local essayist and writer jewel bush, founder of the MelaNated Writers Collective; Emilie Staat, winner of the 2012 Faulkner-Wisdom Gold Medal for the essay; and stellar local poet Cassie Pruyn, finalist in the most recent Indiana Review 1/2K Prize.

Music for the event will be provided by DJ Sep, and the event will feature the projected images of writer/photographer L. Kasimu Harris. Doors open at 7:00 p.m., with the words set to start flowing at 7:30. $5 cover charge at the door.

Writers’ Camp 2014

On March 7-9, eleven members of Peauxdunque gathered in Hopedale, Louisiana for the annual Writers’ Camp. We cooked, ate, drank, read, wrote, discussed, walked about, laughed, shared, all that sort of stuff you do at camp. Mainly, we processed the past writing year, and re-energized each other for the coming writing year. Here are some pictures (in an updated slideshow):

(Photos by Tad Bartlett, Emilie Staat, Emily Choate, J.Ed. Marston, and Terri Shrum Stoor.)

More good news from Peauxdunque …

As Peauxdunquians head down to the appropriately named Hopedale for their annual Writers’ Camp, we have a few bits of good news to report.

Maurice Carlos Ruffin has learned of three new publications! He will have his story, “Heathen,” published in Issue 2 of The Knicknackery; his story, “Motion Picture Making,” will appear in Writing Tomorrow; and his story, “Heroes and Villains,” will appear in an upcoming issue of 94 Creations.

Meanwhile, both Maurice and Emily Choate have been informed they’ve been selected to attend the Tin House Writers’ Workshop this summer!

More good news soon. Always …

A busy start to 2014 in Peauxdunque

There’ve been lots of doings in the land of Peauxdunque to begin 2014.

Susan Kagan has inked a book deal with Left Hand Press for her book, Avoiding a Perilous Path: Basic Wiccan Ethics, a book examining every mundane aspect of ethical behavior in a Wiccan’s life, from birth to death and all the epiphanies and drudgeries in between. Publication will be no later than early 2015.

Maurice Carlos Ruffin has learned that his short story, “Catch What You Can,” will be published this May in issue 11.2 of Redivider.

New Peauxdunquian Geoff Munsterman has been all over the place, presenting readings from his new collection, Because the Stars Shine Through It, including at the AllWays Lounge, at the “Meet the Authors of Lavender Ink” event at Faulkner House Books, and as a featured author, along with Maurice, at the upcoming Pine Street Salon hosted by Rodger Kamenetz and Moira Crone.

Tad Bartlett learned in January that his short story, “Superpowerless,” received an Honorable Mention designation in the November 2013 Glimmer Train Short Story Award for New Writers.

Emily Choate continued her great series with Chapter 16, posting a review of Charles McNair’s Pickett’s Charge, his first book since his Pulitzer-nominated Land O’ Goshen nineteen years ago.

Tom Carson continues to write his insightful film and cultural criticism for The American Prospect and GQ, including his touching obituary in GQ for Philip Seymour Hoffman.

And L. Kasimu Harris had a successful solo exhibition of his photography at the Bellocq lounge, titled “Dreams Do Come True.” Proving the truth of that title, Kasimu also emcee’d the “Haute & Handmade” event, a showcase of Southern costume couture, at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art on January 24.

MORE TO COME!