2020 Words & Music Conference Is Upon Us!

Peauxdunque is excited to be sponsoring three readings/panels

AND the Conference is donate-your-own-price this year!

Somehow, in the time of a global pandemic and conferences either being canceled outright or cutting down to a virtual simulacrum of their former selves, One Book One New Orleans has managed to make the 2020 edition of the Words and Music Conference bigger and better than ever this Thursday, November 19, through Sunday, November 22. Virtual, yes; but scaled back? Decidedly not. And the best news is that, in furtherance of OBONO’s pledge when taking over the Conference reins three years ago to make the Conference more accessible, this year there is no set admission price to the Conference’s panels and readings, but merely a donation page to donate what you can and what you feel to be appropriate, a donate-your-own-price model that is the ultimate in conference accessibility. As Conference director Megan Holt says, “Whether it is $1 or $1000, we know that you are giving what you can during a difficult time, and we are grateful for your support!” All panels will be live-streamed at OBONO’s YouTube page.

For that, the schedule is jam-packed with stellar writers and musicians, including Pulitzer winners, multiple state poets laureate, and numerous award-winners and critically acclaimed authors. Peauxdunque, through our literary journal The Peauxdunque Review, is hosting a reading on Thursday night, featuring nine writers from Issues 3 and 4 of the Review (Michael Quess? Moore, Freesia McKee, Alex Jennings, David Meischen, Sarah Jiang, Jackson Musker, Kaitlin Murphy-Knudsen, Hamza Rehman, and Ana Fores Tamayo); a reading on Friday afternoon, featuring winners and runners-up from the 2020 Words and Music Writing Competition (Katie Devine, Titus Chalk, Constance Adler, Tiara Malone, Elizabeth Gross, Andy Young, Deja Robinson, Percy Unger, and Ryan Brandenburg); and a panel on Saturday morning featuring an editors’ roundtable on Southern periodicals and social justice featuring editors from Oxford American, Bitter Southerner, and Scalawag!

  • Thursday features include a keynote by Jarvis DeBerry and Kelly Harris DeBerry; a conversation between Niyi Osundare and (Peauxdunquian) Christopher Louis Romaguera; a panel on the life of chef Leah Chase, featuring Antoinette de Alteriis, Carol Allen, and Edgar “Dook” Chase IV; a panel featuring musicians John Boutte, Don Vappie, John Rankin, and Helen Gillet; a panel on “Queering the South: LGBTQ+ Writers on Home, Love, and History,” with Brad Richard, Megan Volpert, M’Bilia Meekers, and Matthew Draughter; a presentation by Johnnie Bernard on the difference between developmental editing and copy editing; Jason Berry and musician of Dr. Michael White; and a reading celebration of Issues 3 and 4 of Peauxdunque Review.
  • Friday includes a panel on the modern memoir, featuring Beth Ann Fennelly, Sarah Broom, TaRessa Stovall, and Morris Ardoin; “Late Night Lit:  Poets, Presidents, and Pandemics:  A Reading for These Times,” featuring Pulitzer winner Tyehimba Jess and poets Jane Spokenword, Karisma Price, Justin Rogers, and Lupe Mendez; a panel on “Home and Haunting” with Michael Zapata, Margaret Wilkerson Sexton, Maisy Card, and Annell López; “Immortal Lives in Speculative Fiction” with Jamey Hatley and Megan Giddings, moderated by Alex Jennings; “Writing Music” with Joel Dinerstein, Kyle DeCoste, and Tony Bolden, moderated by Melissa A. Weber; an “Improv and the Arts” panel with Randy Fertel and Stephen Nachmanovich; and a “Publishing 101” presentation by Antoinette de Alteriis.
  • Saturday provides a panel on “Justice and Inclusiveness of Vision in the Modern Southern Periodical: Editors’ Roundtable Discussion from the Oxford American, Bitter Southerner, and Scalawag,” with Eliza Borné, Josina Guess, and Lovey Cooper, moderated by Maurice Carlos Ruffin; “Heartbreak, or Research?  Poets on the Writing Process,” with Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Rebecca Morgan Frank, Skye Jackson, Elizabeth Gross, and Melinda Palacio, moderated by Stacey Balkun; a Youth Poetry Workshop with Quartez Harris; “Reimagining Memory: Historical and Fantasy Fiction,” with Marita Crandall, Alys Arden, and Daniel José Older, moderated by Candice Detillier-Huber; “Picturing New Orleans,” with Cheryl Gerber, Leigh Wright, and Polo Silk; “Mystery in Motion: African American Spirituality in Mardi Gras,” with The Divine Prince Ty Emmecca, Peteh M. Haroon, and Chief Shaka Zulu, moderated by Kim Vaz-Deville; and “An Evening with John Warner Smith,” moderated by Christopher Louis Romaguera.
  • And on Sunday is the main event, paying homage to New Orleans writer and intellectual Tom Dent, with the panels “Affirming Voices: Howard University Graduates on Black Intellectualism as Resistance,” with Aye B. Diallo, Sadiyah Malcolm, Tierra Jackson, and Carmin Wong; “The Power of Jazz & Place in Tom Dent Poetry” by Skye Jackson; and the presentation of a reading of “No Ritual Murder” by the No Dream Deferred Theater Company (featuring Rachel Ridgeway, Lawrence J. Weber, Jr., Rodney Graham, Angelo Cross, Brian Egland, Allyson Lee Brown, Adella Gautier, Brittany N. Williams, Chakula cha Jua).

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