Words and Music, the Gray Lady, the Radio, and some more publications

Peauxdunque, despite its moniker, is a bustling place these days!

First up, tomorrow the Words and Music writers’ conference, put on by the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society, kicks off at the Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans. On the opening day, Thursday December 7, Tad Bartlett will chair a “Words and Music Writers Alliance” session at 3 p.m., featuring a remembrance of Peauxdunque founding member Terri Sue Shrum, and readings of new works by Peauxdunquians Emily ChoateJ.Ed. MarstonAlex Johnson, and others. Please come join us, and stay for the rest of this excellent conference!

And last week featured two different recognitions of Peauxdunquians’ work by The New York Times! First, The New York Times Book Review featured a stellar review of The Best Women’s Travel Writing, Volume 11: True Stories from around the World, edited by Peauxdunquian Lavinia Spalding. “The latest book’s editor, Lavinia Spalding, hungry for travelers who ‘go with an open heart’ and have ‘the inclination to practice human kindness, a sincere intention to build pathways of understanding and a willingness to be transformed,’ read nearly 500 submissions before settling on the 31 stories that make up this diverse collection.” Then, the NYT featured “Kings of the Confederate Road,” the essay and photo feature collaboration by Tad Bartlett, Maurice Carlos Ruffin, and L. Kasimu Harris published by The Bitter Southerner, in its weekly “What We’re Reading” round-up.

On the grand old wireless contraption known as the radio, Peauxdunquian poet (and historian!) Cassie Pruyn was featured on NPR’s The Reading Life, discussing her brand new, just released lyrical history book, Bayou St. John: A Brief History. Cassie will also be reading and signing her newest book at Octavia Books on Sunday, December 10, at 2 p.m. (513 Octavia Street, NOLA).

Finally, there’s a slew of new publication news coming out of Peauxdunque for upcoming fiction and non-fiction: Tad‘s short story, “Porches,” will be published in January 2018 by Gris-Gris literary journal. Andrew Kooy has two upcoming publications: his short story “clap your hands” will run in an upcoming issue of Apex, and his nonfiction piece “George, WA” will run in the June 2018 issue of Bird’s Thumb. Finally, James Drew Jordan will see two of his stories–“The Man Who Played with Satchmo” and “Starland, Washington”–run in New South.

WHEW!

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Peauxdunque on the 2017 Faulkner-Wisdom lists

The final winner and placings lists are out for the 2017 William Faulkner-William Wisdom writing competition, and Peauxdunquians are all up in that list. To-wit:

  • In the short story category, Tad Bartlett has stories that made the final short list and the longer “finalists” list–his stories “Thousand-Year Oak” and “Elysian Fields,” respectively.
  • In the novel category, Amy Conner‘s Holy Water was a finalist, and her Lost, Stolen, or Strayed was a semi-finalist. Also in the novel category, Emily Capdeville‘s Forbidden: Permit Required was a finalist.
  • In the novel-in-progress category, Susan Kagan‘s Rapture Fever was a finalist, as was Stephanie Stoecker‘s The Pilot Plans.
  • And in the poetry category, Sanem Ozdural‘s “One Two Tree” was on the final short list.

All of the winners and the placing writers will be honored during the 2017 Words and Music Conference, from December 7 through 10 at the Hotel Monteleone. Hope to see y’all there!

Ruffin interviewing Dinerstein; Kooy publication and plaudit

TONIGHT! Maurice Carlos Ruffin will interview Joel Dinerstein at Garden District Book Shop on Dinerstein’s book, The Origins of Cool in Postwar America. We certainly can’t think of a cooler fellow to conduct the interview. And the subject feels particularly fitting to Peauxdunque, too, as Dinerstein writes: “To be free and cool requires leaving one’s repressive hometown (or family) to seek a floating community of rebels.” We’re all leaving our personal podunks and striving for something greater and more communal, especially these days.

Also of note in Peauxdunque-land (and also speaking of cool), Andrew Kooy will see his short story, “Clap Your Hands,” published by Apex Magazine (which is currently at the top of Duotrope’s list of “most challenging fiction markets”). Andrew also recently received an Honorable Mention designation in the “Writers of the Future” competition!

Peauxdunque on the ‘Best’ lists

Three Peauxdunquians are on the lists published by the Best American … series this year!

More news than I can keep up with

Peauxdunque has become a big and busy place. We may have to have long, serious discussions about gentrification soon. But in the meantime I’ll scatter here a few of the bits of good news that I can, knowing that there is so much more that I can’t contain it all–and therefore neither can this website. My apologies, but also my happiness to share the following:

Always more news on the way, so stay tuned …

More in the Bitter South, plus a Texas guidebook

Peauxdunquian Alex Johnson has joined the ranks of contributing writers at The Bitter Southerner, with his feature interview published yesterday with Georgia Congressman John Lewis and Congressman Lewis’s collaborator on the March trilogy of graphic memoirs, Andrew Aydin: “Good Trouble.” A deep and fascinating dive into the life of Congressman Lewis and the creative process behind March.

Also, Janis Turk‘s latest guidebook, Frommer’s complete guide to Texas, is also now out. So everyone take a trip through the bitter South to Texas; Peauxdunque will have you well-equipped!

John Lewis and Andrew Aydin talk with Alex Johnson; photo by Willis Bretz for The Bitter Southerner

A scholar, an interviewer, and some BS; and some Yok, too

A lot happens when you neglect your website for too long. While I’ve been derelict in my duties, the citizens of the Peauxdunque nation have been busy out in the writing world.

First up, Emily Choate was named a 2017 Tennessee Williams Scholar for this year’s edition of the Sewanee Writers’ Conference. Great recognition for some great writing, including publications in ShenandoahThe Florida ReviewTupelo QuarterlyChapter 16Late Night LibraryYemassee, and elsewhere; and recent residency awards at the Virginia Center for Creative Arts and The Hambidge Center, among others. And even greater recognition for the work that’s coming.

L. Kasimu Harris has been showing up everywhere lately. On the publication front, Kasimu has started a series of food essays at The Bitter Southerner. His first two installments are “The Fried Green Tomatoes” and “How Mentors Season Our Lives.” His photography is also featured in the show, “Race and Revolution: Still Separate – Still Unequal,” which opened at Smack Mellon in New York City on June 24. He was also part of a feature in The New York Times entitled “Hot Links and Red Drinks: The Rich Food Tradition of Juneteenth.” Also one of this year’s Louisianians of the Year, and featured on an almost-uncountable, weekly deluge of articles, podcasts, and shows, Kasimu has been a force!

And y’all know Maurice Carlos Ruffin hasn’t been sitting still, either. On July 12, Maurice has been tapped to interview and moderate a reading by Roxane Gay, and her new memoir, Hunger. Originally set to take place at Octavia Books, the response has been so great that it’s been moved to the JCC at 5342 St. Charles Avenue, at 7 p.m. Buy a book to get in, and you won’t regret it! Details and RSVP here.

Y’all, I know I’m leaving stuff out. These are just the highlights, and there’s already more exciting news in the hopper that I’ll save for next week. But I’ll leave you with this pleasant picture from Oxford, Mississippi, where Peauxdunquians Tad Bartlett, J.Ed. Marston, Emily Choate, April Blevins Pejic, Ben Saxton, Susan Vallee, Andrew Siegrist, Drew Jordan, Larry Wormington, and Amy Conner gathered as part of the 2017 Yokshop Writers’ Conference: