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.
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 Shenandoah, The Florida Review, Tupelo Quarterly, Chapter 16, Late Night Library, Yemassee, 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:
A raft of new publications by Peauxdunque’s own have been launched recently, along with news of publications on the horizon:
- First, Cassie Pruyn‘s Walt McDonald First Boo Prize-winning book of poems, Lena, is out now from Texas Tech University Press. Writes Rachel Mennies in the foreword, “Pruyn lets us feel what lovers feel–the magnetism, the physicality, the tenderness, the rage, the wondering–with language both musical and visceral.” Room 220 will host a book release for Cassie at Saturn Bar on May 11 at 7 p.m., featuring readings by Cassie and by Ben Aleshire.
- Next up in publications just out, the incredible story, “Eufala,” by Emily Choate, is now out in the latest issue of Shenadoah:
My stepfather Des got famous, eventually. Fame of a particular stripe—for writing a handful of the most soul-throttling country songs of the seventies and eighties, for a drinking habit so dedicated that it verged on religious solemnity, and for the time my mother left him handcuffed to a tree, alone, for twenty-six hours.
The story of that ordeal was what mattered most. I heard Des tell it over and over—the heat of the day collapsing his throat, the sun moving across the sky, then the moon, then the sun again. At last the bending of sky and trees, ushering the visitation of fearsome beasts, heavenly creatures come to chasten and guide him.
If my mother were within earshot at this point in the story, she’d shrug off all the majesty: “It was the DTs.”
People ate that shit up.
We suspect y’all will eat up the rest of this story, as soon as you head over to Shenandoah to check it out.
- Zach Bartlett will have a new story, “Excerpts from the Diary of Theodore Miro, Competitor on CryptoChefs Season 2,” out in Mad Scientist Journal, in December 2017.
- Maurice Carlos Ruffin‘s story, “Beg Borrow Steal,” will be included in the anthology Mojo Rising, out from Sartoris Press in September 2017.
- Janis Turk‘s story, “Flight Path,” is in the anthology, Mending for Memory, out now by New Laurel Review Press.
- And Tad Bartlett‘s novella, Marchers’ Season, will see the world in print and e-book in 2018, as the L.A.-based literary journal Storylandia will devote a full issue to it.
From founding members to our newest members, the folks of Peauxdunque keep it up with the good news, publications and otherwise.
James A. (Drew) Jordan will have his short story, “Those Old Burning Ships,” published in Issue 102 of The Greensboro Review. He also had his short story, “The Light Bearer,” named a finalist in the Jan./Feb. 2017 Glimmer Train Short Story Award for New Writers. Drew will complete his MFA at the University of New Orleans Creative Writing Workshop next month, and this fall will begin in the Ph.D. program in Creative Writing at the University of Southern Mississippi, expanding Peauxdunque to a seventh state!
Founding Peauxdunqian Maurice Carlos Ruffin has just published his experimental short, “You Can Run,” in the second issue of Arkansas International. A thrilling read, so click that link and have at it.
The New Orleans Poetry Festival will take place from April 20 through 23, at the New Orleans Healing Center and Cafe Istanbul (2372 St. Claude Avenue, NOLA), and Peauxdunque poets will be featured among the poets and presenters. (Indeed, unrequited Peauxdunquian Benjamin Morris is a coordinator of the 2017 NOPF).
Kelly Harris will be featured twice during the NOPF. On Friday, April 21, at 3:30 p.m., she will be on the “Mystic Female: Black Women Poets Read” panel, along with Kwoya Fagin Maples and Jacqueline Allen Trimble. Then at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 22, Kelly will be in the lineup for the Saturday Night Feature Reading at Cafe Istanbul, along with Rodrigo Toscano and Lee Herrick. (Kelly will also be on the faculty of the Saturday workshop at the New Orleans Youth Poetry Festival on April 22).
Cassie Pruyn will be part of the “Small Press Readings III” presentation at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 22, in Cafe Istanbul, along with Sarah Anne Cox, Jeff Grieneisen, and Biljana D. Obradović.
Come out and celebrate poetry and small presses for the whole festival!
More publications news from Peauxdunque-land:
- Larry Wormington has had his short story, “Balloon Animals,” accepted for publication by Elm Leaves Journal, out of Buffalo, New York. ELJ has been in production since 1948 and is edited by Pushcart Prize-winning author, Kim Chinquee.
- Zach Bartlett‘s story, “Stop Making Your Words Fancy,” will be published in The J.J. Outré Review. It should be out in late April.
Also, Peauxdunquian Amy Vincent, publishing as Claudia Gray, will have her new YA sci-fi adventure, Defy the Stars, released today. A release event will be held tonight at Octavia Books at 513 Octavia Street (NOLA), with a reception from 5 to ~6 and a reading and signing starting close to 6. There will be cupcakes and wine! As Claudia Gray, Amy is the author of the bestselling Evernight series, Fateful, the Spellcaster trilogy, and the Firebird trilogy. She is also the author the young adult Star Wars novels Lost Stars and the forthcoming Bloodline. Kirkus gave Defy the Stars a starred review, calling it a “[n]uanced philosophical discussions of religion, terrorism, and morality advise and direct the high-stakes action, informing the beautiful, realistic ending. Intelligent and thoughtful, a highly relevant far-off speculative adventure.”
Peauxdunquian Andrew Kooy has had his short story, “Perfection,” accepted for publication by the Stockholm Review of Literature. Some would say Andrew’s Viking-like good looks would make him a natural fit for such Scandinavian dreams, but this is, indeed, Andrew’s first European publication. When SRL‘s new issue goes live with Andrew’s story next week, we’ll post the link to our Facebook page.