Words for Terri Sue: Meet the writers, part 3

Next week, on August 30, a special coming together of the writing tribes (and those who love them, or at least dig them) will occur at Three Keys (at the Ace Hotel, 600 Carondelet Street, NOLA), as six best-selling and award-winning writers will present work at a benefit reading for Peauxdunque founding member Terri Sue Shrum. In May, Terri was diagnosed with inoperable stage-4 pancreatic cancer. Since then, Terri has begun chemotherapy treatments at the Winship Cancer Institute at Emory University in Atlanta, and writers nationwide have come together to help with an active fund-raising campaign to help Terri with her out-of-pocket treatment-related expenses. From 7 to 9 p.m. on August 30, we’ll continue that, with tunes spun by DJ Sep (Giuseppe Catania) and an evening emcee’d by Nick Fox. Admission is free, and donations will be accepted at the door and throughout the evening; RSVP here.

Our third featured writer is Gian Francisco Smith. Gian is an artist local to New Orleans. Although most notable as a poet due to his work with the second season of Treme, Gian is talented at many crafts. He is a promising film maker. His short film, “The Adulterer,” which is currently in development as a series, has been screened at almost a dozen film festivals including winning the prestigious Remi Award at Worldfest-Houston International Film Festival, a distinction shared with Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and Ang Lee. Gian was featured at Peauxdunque’s first “Yeah You Write” event in 2011, and we’re grateful to have him back on the line-up next week, alongside M.O. Walsh, Bill Loehfelm, Kelly Harris-DeBerry, Nick Mainieri, and Maurice Carlos Ruffin.

Gian "The G-Perspective" Smith, Oct. 2011

Gian “The G-Perspective” Smith, Oct. 2011

Words for Terri Sue: Meet the writers, part 1

In one week, on August 30, a special coming together of the writing tribes (and those who love them, or at least dig them) will occur at Three Keys (at the Ace Hotel, 600 Carondelet Street, NOLA), as six best-selling and award-winning writers will present work at a benefit reading for Peauxdunque founding member Terri Sue Shrum. In May, Terri was diagnosed with inoperable stage-4 pancreatic cancer. Since then, Terri has begun chemotherapy treatments at the Winship Cancer Institute at Emory University in Atlanta, and writers nationwide have come together to help with an active fund-raising campaign to help Terri with her out-of-pocket treatment-related expenses. From 7 to 9 p.m. on August 30, we’ll continue that, with tunes spun by DJ Sep (Giuseppe Catania) and an evening emcee’d by Nick Fox. Admission is free, and donations will be accepted at the door and throughout the evening; RSVP here.

The first of our six featured readers is Nicholas Mainieri. His debut novel, The Infinite, will be published by Harper Perennial in November of 2016. Born in Miami, Florida, Nicholas has also lived in Colorado and Indiana. After graduating from the University of Notre Dame, he earned his MFA from the Creative Writing Workshop at the University of New Orleans. His short stories have appeared in the Southern Review, the Southern Humanities Review, and Salamander, among other literary magazines. He currently teaches writing and literature at Nicholls State University. He resides in New Orleans with his wife and son. Nick will be joined at Words for Terri Sue by writers M.O. Walsh, Kelly Harris-DeBerry, Bill Loehfelm, Gian Francisco Smith, and Maurice Carlos Ruffin.

Nicholas Manieri

Nicholas Mainieri

 

Ruffin named CWW Distinguished Alumnus

Maurice at the 2011 Oxford American Summit for Ambitious Writers

Maurice at the 2011 Oxford American Summit for Ambitious Writers

At a ceremony at the University of New Orleans tonight, Peauxdunquian Maurice Carlos Ruffin will be named a “Distinguished Alumnus” of UNO’s Creative Writing Workshop MFA program. Peauxdunque is proud to have a broad and deep connection to the CWW. Several members of Peauxdunque have graduated from or are still attending the CWW, including Maurice, April Blevins PejicDana Glass, Tad Bartlett, Caroline Goetze, Andrew Kooy, and Emily Capdeville. In addition, several CWW faculty members (and themselves incredibly distinguished alums of the CWW) have read at our occasional “Yeah, You Write” reading series, including Bill Loefhelm, Amanda Boyden, and Joseph Boyden.

Maurice graduated from the CWW in 2013 as the recipient of the Joanna Leake Prize for Fiction Thesis for his short story collection “It’s Good to See You’re Awake.” In 2011, in his first year in the program, he was awarded the Ernest Svenson Fiction Award (which has subsequently been won by Peauxdunquians Tad Bartlett in 2014 and Dana Glass in 2015). Since graduating from the CWW, Maurice has won the 2014 Iowa Review Award for Fiction, the 2014 Short Fiction Contest from So To Speak magazine, and the 2014 gold medal in the novel-in-progress category of the William Faulkner-William Wisdom writing competition. Maurice’s fiction and non-fiction have been published in Iowa Review, So To Speak, Callaloo, Cicada, The Massachusetts Review, New Delta Review, The Knicknackery, Writing Tomorrow, Redivider, 94 Creations, Apalachee Review, Regarding Arts & Letters, Ellipsis, and South Carolina Review, as well as in the maps-and-essays collection, Unfathomable City, and the Scars anthology.

Congratulations, Maurice!

Peauxdunque with Literati Glitterati

This week is filled with events where Peauxdunquians read with, mingle with, and interview some of the leading lights of literature.

The events start tonight at Garden District Book Shop, as Maurice Carlos Ruffin and Emilie Staat read from their contributions to the Scars anthology, joined by editor Erin Wood. The anthology is newly released by Et Alia Press. Maurice, Emilie, and Erin will be reading from 5:30 to 6:30, at 2727 Prytania Street.

On Thursday, October 29, Peauxdunque leads a reading of new works at the Words & Music Conference at the Hotel Monteleone (200-block of Royal Street) at 4:45 p.m. Maurice will be joined by Terri Shrum, Tad Bartlett, J.Ed. Marston, and Zach Bartlett, who are on the bill with 2015 Kirkus Award nominee Harrison Scott Key, writer and documentarian Ellen Ann Fentress, and Faulkner-Wisdom competition gold medalist Emily Capdeville and short-lister Alex Johnson. The reading will take place in Royal Suites C & D.

On Saturday, October 31, the events head up to the Louisiana Book Festival on the state capitol grounds in Baton Rouge. At 11 a.m. in the House Chamber, Maurice Carlos Ruffin will moderate a presentation by 2015 National Book Award Long-Lister T. Geronimo Johnson, and his book, Welcome to Braggsville. At 1:15 p.m. in Senate Committee Room A, Emilie Staat will interview 2015 Booklist Top-Ten (and New York Times Best-Seller) author M.O. Walsh regarding his book, My Sunshine Away. At 2:15 in the same room, Emilie will interview Jami Attenberg, author of Saint Mazie: A Novel.

A great week and weekend for writing and for books. Come join us!

Tad and Maurice reading tonight!

Our very own Tad Bartlett and Maurice Carlos Ruffin will be reading their work, alongside Carin Chapman, at the Alvar Branch of the New Orleans Public Library, from 6 to 7:15 p.m. Should be a stellar literary experience, so come on out and hear the words.

More Peauxdunque publications, plus My Sunshine Away

Peauxdunquian Emily Choate will have her story, “Stump Winter, Indian Summer,” published in Tupelo Quarterly‘s upcoming issue! Also, Maurice Carlos Ruffin‘s “Beg Borrow Steal” will appear in the spring issue of the Kenyon Review.

Also, we’re happy to note that friend-of-Peauxdunque (and mentor to several of us through his direction of the Creative Writing Workshop at UNO and the Yokshop Writing Workshop) M.O. Walsh is celebrating the release today of his excellent debut novel, My Sunshine Away, by G.P. Putnamn’s Sons. Emily Choate reviewed My Sunshine Away recently for Chapter 16.org. It’s an excellent and fascinating novel, so buy it and read it.

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.

More Peauxdunque readings on the horizon

Tomorrow night (Tuesday, December 3) at 7 p.m., Peauxdunque’s Cassie Pruyn and Benjamin Morris will be on the bill of the 5 Writers reading event at McKeown’s Books and Difficult Music (4737 Tchoupitoulas, New Orleans). Also on the bill are Geoff Munsterman, Matt Roberts, and Katy Simpson Smith.

On Sunday, December 15, beginning at 6 p.m., Peauxdunquian Maurice Carlos Ruffin will be among contributors to NPR’s Storyville project who will be reading at Siberia Bar (2227 St. Calude, New Orleans). Also reading will be Robin Baudier, Adam Karlin, Laura Janelle McKnight, Jonathan Brown, Daniel Lawton, and Phyllis Dunham.

And don’t forget, this Wednesday at 4 p.m., Peauxdunquians Cassie, Maurice, Emily Choate, Terri StoorTad Bartlett, and J.Ed. Marston will be reading in the Presbytere (corner of Chartres and St. Ann) as part of the kick-off to the 2014 Words and Music Conference.