Appearances, readings, and publications, oh my.

Go see Maurice Carlos Ruffin reading with James Nolan at the Alvar branch of the New Orleans Public Library (913 Alvar Street) tonight from 6 to 8! Maurice will be reading from his novel, We Cast A Shadow, and James will be reading from his new book of poetry, Nasty Water.

Then on August 28, Maurice will be in conversation with Sarah Broom at Garden District Book Shop at 6 p.m., about Sarah’s critically acclaimed bookThe Yellow House.

In the latest Peauxdunque publication news, look for Maurice‘s essay, “The Great American Press Release,” about his visit to the Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, in the fall issue of Oxford American. And Tad Bartlett‘s story, “Flock Apart,” will be published in New York City-based Litbreak in November; so look forward to more Peauxdunque goodness this fall!

Poems, politics, and the flamenco guitar

Peauxdunque keeps going out in the world, y’all, in so many ways.

Tomorrow night, Nordette Adams will be in the line-up of poets reading at the Why There Are Words event at Octavia Books, from 6 to 8 p.m.! Poets will be presenting works on the theme of “Grace,” and Nordette will be part of a line-up em-ceed by Liz Green and also featuring Tom Andes, Jessie Morgan Owens, Brad Richard, Josie Ann Scanlan, and Rodrigo Toscano.

Anne Babson adds to her publications list with the publication of poems in 2 Bridges Review, which will publish Anne’s poem “What They Don’t Tell the Young”; and in Australia’s The Blend International, which will publish Anne’s poems, “Buenos Aires 1952” and “Ansterdam.”

On from poets to politics, Amy Conner‘s political essay, “All Life is Sacred–Except Yours,” was published earlier this month by both PolitiZoom and 360 News Digest.

And Lavinia Spalding‘s long-form travel essay, “Meet the Revolutionary Women Strumming their Way into the World of Flamenco Guitar,” about the tocaoras in Spain, has been published in Afar.

Big writing conference weekend: Peauxdunquians appearing coast-to-coast!

It’s that time of year again, when writers across the land flock to spring conferences for that necessary writing recharge. This week and coming weekend, two of the biggest gatherings of writers will happen in Portland, Oregon at the 2019 AWP Conference, and in New Orleans at the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival. Peauxdunquians populate panels and readings at both, so we’re all in luck, from the South Coast to the West Coast.

At AWP, Peauxdunquian Maurice Carlos Ruffin will be almost everywhere at once. On Friday, March 29, 9:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m., Maurice will be part of the panel, “Unspoken Intimacies: On Male Friendship, Romance, and Everything in Between,” in room B113 on Level 1 of the Oregon Convention Center. On Saturday, March 30, 2 p.m. – 5 p.m., Maurice will be part of the Krewe de Louisiane & Friends reading put on by Lavender Ink and River Writers, at the Big Legrowlski at 812 NW Couch Street (this reading will also feature one of the poets in the imminently released Issue 1 of The Peauxdunque Review, Christopher Romaguera). Then, somehow managing simultaneous appearance, on March 30, 4:30 p.m. – 5:45 p.m., Maurice will be part of the panel, “Match Game: How to Find and Work with Your Agent,” in Oregon Ballroom 203 on Level 2 of the Oregon Convention Center. Finally, on March 30, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m., Maurice will be part of the reading for the SEI Library Grand Re-Opening at the Center for Self-Enhancement at 3920 N. Kirby Avenue.

At the Tennessee Williams Festival, Anne Babson will moderate the panel, “Poets on Craft and Inspiration,” on Sunday, March 31, 1 p.m. – 2:15 p.m., in the Royal Ballroom at the Hotel Monteleone. Tad Bartlett will be on the panel, “How to Start and Maintain a Writers’ Group,” on Thursday, March 28, 2:30 p.m. – 3:45 p.m., at the Historic New Orleans Collection (533 Royal Street). And Claudia Gray will moderate the panel, “Writing Young Adult Fiction: It’s Not Just for Teenagers,” on Saturday, March 30, 11:30 p.m. – 12:45 p.m., at Muriel’s Jackson Square.

And, of course, at both conferences there will be almost-countless Peauxdunquians roaming around in attendance. And there will be so many friends of Peauxdunque on panels and in readings that I dare not try to start listing them all, for fear of forgetting one (but just a sample, because I can’t help myself: at Tennessee Williams Fest, we are looking forward to bumping brains and elbows with great friends George Bishop, Bryan Camp, Nancy DixonAbram HimelsteinSusan LarsonDaniel Jose OlderHannah PittardBrad RichardNathaniel Rich, and Bryan Washington; we can’t even begin to list all the friends at AWP).

Mostly, though, we can’t wait to see YOU (yes, you), as we grow in community with all the writers around us.

Maurice’s book release party, and more Peauxdunquian publications and events!

The wait for the publication release of Maurice Carlos Ruffin’s We Cast a Shadow is almost over! In eight more days, on January 29, all those pre-ordered copies will hit folks’ mailboxes, and the shiny covers will hit bookstore shelves, and the release party will rock the Three Keys venue at the Ace Hotel in downtown New Orleans. So far, We Cast a Shadow has made “must read” and “most anticipated” lists put out by Barnes and Noble, Garden and Gun, New York Magazine’s Vulture Magazine, Fodor’s Go List, Book Riot, Southern Independent Booksellers’ Association, Southern Living, Cosmopolitan, LitHub, Augusta Chronicla, HuffPost, L.A. Times, BuzzFeed, The Millions, A/V Club, Parade Magazine, Poets and Writers, Nylon, PopSugar, Bookbub, Writers Bone, and Read It Forward. Starred reviews from Kirkus and Publishers Weekly, with more to come! So come celebrate with Maurice and Peauxdunque and everyone else in New Orleans from 6 to 9 p.m. at Three Keys at the Ace Hotel, January 29!

And more good Peauxdunque publication news abounds. Lavinia Spalding has had a beautiful non-fiction piece about life and love and eviction in a cabin in Utah accepted by Longreads, which will run later this month or in February. And Emilie Staat‘s essay, “The Passenger,” was just published in the latest issue of Gris-Gris.

In addition, writer and photographer L. Kasimu Harris has four new shows that include his photography opening in the next few weeks:Dandy Lion (Re)Articulated Black Masculinity  is now on view, from January 18 to April 8, at the Hammonds House in Atlanta. Harris will debut three photographs for the (Per)Sister: Incarcerated Women of Louisiana exhibition at the Newcomb Art Museum of Tulane University, opening on January 19 and on view until July 6. Truth, By Any Means Necessary is a solo exhibition of Harris’s work at Grambling State University’s Dunbar Gallery. This exhibition opens January 29 and runs until February 26. And four photos from Harris’s War on the Benighted Series continue to travel with the Race & Revolution: Still Separate, Still Unequal exhibition, from January 29 to April 6 at the Woskob Family Gallery of Penn State University.

Words and Music Conference, 2018: Rebirth of a Great Writers’ Conference!

The Peauxdunque Writers Alliance is proud to be a sponsor of the 2018 edition of the annual writers’ conference: Words and Music: A Literary Feast in New Orleans, which will be held this year from Thursday, November 15, through Sunday, November 18!

After twenty years of running the conference, at the end of 2017 the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society transferred the conference to local literacy-advocacy organization, One Book One New Orleans (“OBONO”). Fitting in with OBONO’s mission of increasing access to literacy and literature in under-served populations, OBONO has overhauled Words and Music to put a focus on increasing accessibility to the great conference programming. The first part of this is to change the venue from the Hotel Monteleone in the French Quarter, with its difficult and expensive parking situation (and other premium-prices amenities), a few blocks away in New Orleans’ Central Business District at the Pere Marquette Hotel, with easier parking and continued great access to the city in a great set of conference facilities. The second part of this was a complete overhaul of pricing for the conference. Now attendees can peruse the schedule and get access just to individual panels (at $10/panel), individual days of the schedule (at $40/day, or $75 for a two-day pass; Sunday is just $20), all-panel passes for the full conference at only $125, individual Literature & Lunch events at great venues and with stellar panelists from $25 to $50 depending on the event, great evening events and parties from $10 to $50, or an all-inclusive/all-events/all-panels pass of $400. Way more flexible, and far cheaper, than the conference had been in the past. And now, for the first time, all registration and ticketing is available online through Eventbrite.

This is a new edition, a rebirth, for an established literary institution, and should usher in a whole new generation of literary talent and support. This year’s theme is “Voices of New Orleans, Voices of the World,” taking cognizance of New Orleans’ tricentennial this year to celebrate New Orleans’ contributions to literature, music, and food.

And the scheduling approach is all new from the ground-up, too! The lineup includes programming pursuant to a generous grant from PEN America to produce a track of programming called “Black Justice and Joy.” Curated by Kelly Harris DeBerry, this programming will focus on celebrating African-American contributions to the arts in New Orleans and taking an honest look at the problems facing the African-American community from a literary perspective.Throughout the schedule you’ll see some Peauxdunquians, and many friends of Peauxdunque, among the faculty/panelists, which we’re super-stoked about:

Thursday, 11/15: 8:25 a.m., Opening Remarks (Dr. Megan Holt); 8:30-9:45 a.m., Over the Airwaves:  Intersecting Audio, Storytelling, and the Creative Arts in New Orleans (Moderator David Benedetto; Panelists Susan Larson, Hal Clark, Camille Roane, Laine Kaplin-Levenson); 10:00-11:15 a.m., Publishing with a University Press (Moderator Abram Himelstein, UNO Press; Panelists Johnnie Bernard, David Armand, Jack Bedell); 11:45 a.m. – 1:15 p.m.: Literature & Lunch–The Family Table: Passing on Traditions of Food and Foodways (Venue Dooky Chase) (Moderator Elizabeth Williams; Panelists Leah Chase, Justin Nystrom, Isaac Toups,  Dr. Mona Lisa Saloy); 2:30-4:00 p.m., Altars, Shrines, and Literary Remembrance (Facilitator Kristina K. Robinson); 4:15-5:45 p.m., City of a Million Dreams:  A Conversation with Jason Berry and Dr. Michael White (Interviewer Dr. TR Johnson; Speakers Jason Berry; Dr. Michael White); 7:30-8:30 p.m., Make it Funky and Feminine: A Conversation with DJ Soul Sister (Interviewer Kelly Harris-DeBerry; Speaker Melissa A. Weber, AKA DJ Soul Sister); Late-Night Welcome Party following interview.

Friday, 11/16: 8:30-10:00 a.m., Keeping the Tradition Alive:  New Orleans Culture Bearers (Moderator Ben Sandmel; Panelists Kim Vaz-Deville, Eric Waters, Rachel Brenulin, Big Chief Victor Harris, Merline Kimble); 10:15-11:15 a.m., Sweet Spots:  In-Between Spaces in New Orleans (Moderator Barbara Ewell; Panelists Beth Willinger, John Klingman, John Clark); 11:45 a.m. – 1:15 p.m., Literature and Lunch–Poets and Po’Boys (Venue The Dragonfly Poetry and Performance Ritual Space) (Poets Alison Pelegrin, James Nolan, Christopher Romaguera, Shaina Monet); 1:45-2:50 p.m., It’s a Family Affair:  Intergenerational Connections to the Arts (Panelists Peter Cooley, Nicole Cooley, and others TBA); 3:00-4:15 p.m., Casting a Shadow: Writing while Working My Day Job (Interviewer Kelly Harris; Speaker Maurice Carlos Ruffin); 6:30-9:30 p.m., Words & Music Dinner and Awards Ceremony (Venue Cafe Reconcile), A Tribute to Mrs. Herreast Harrison.

Saturday, 11/17: 8:30-10:30 a.m., Children’s Programming–Free Community Session; 10:00-11:00 a.m., KNOW New Orleans (Speaker Freddi Williams Evans); 9:15-10:30 a.m., How To Write a Query Letter (Author and Editor Johnnie Bernhard walks you through this all-important step in publishing); 10:00-10:45 a.m., New Orleans’ Next Generation of Literary Voices (Speakers Students from 826 NOLA (formerly Big Class)); 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., Literature and Lunch–Don’t Read the Comments Section: NOLA Black Journalist talk Race, Fake News and Surviving the Industry (Venue Drink Lab NOLA (upstairs from Victory)) (Moderator David T. Baker); 1:15 p.m., Short film by Kelly Harris-DeBerry1:30-2:45 p.m., Black Dance in Louisiana: From Africa to Twerking (Speaker Greer Mendy); 3:00-4:15 p.m., Words & Music Writing Competition Reading; 4:30-5:45 p.m., TBA; 9:00 p.m., Late Night Literature:  Poetry Tribute to Aretha Franklin (Venue Whiskey and Sticks).

Sunday, 11/18: 8:30-9:45 a.m., Hot Off the Press (Moderator Alysha Rooks; Panelists Michael Allen Zell, Kalamu Ya Salaam, Rein Fertel, Jerika Marchan); 10:00-11:15 a.m., Literacy as a Tool to Combat Incarceration (Moderator Charmel Gaulden; Panelists Dr. Jerry Ward, Representative from Louisiana Books 2 Prisoners,  Representative from CEEAS, Sarah Omojola); 11:45 a.m. – 1:45 p.m., Literature and Lunch–Vengeance (Venue Ashe Power House), Reading by Zachary Lazar, Performance by The Graduates, Closing Remarks by  Dr. Megan Holt.

We here in Peauxdunque hope we see a lot of old friends and meet a lot of new ones at the conference, in the panels, at the lunches and evening events, and out having drinks in between!

Winners, runners-up, and honorable mentions in the 2018 Words and Music Writing Competition

Through our literary journal arm, The Peauxdunque Review, we here in Peauxdunque are excited and proud to help administer the Words and Music Writing Competition for the Words and Music Writers’ Conference in New Orleans (held this year from November 15th through 18th). Last week, we announced on The Peauxdunque Review‘s Twitter and Facebook feeds the winners, runners-up, and honorable mentions in the five categories of the competition (short story, creative nonfiction, poetry, short story by public high school students, and “Beyond the Bars” for incarcerated juveniles). Today we have posted that information to The Peauxdunque Review‘s website, complete with photos and bios of the winners and runners-up and comments about the winning entries by the final-round judges. Check it out!

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More information about specific Peauxdunque involvement in this year’s Words and Music Writers’ Conference will be cross-posted here in the next few days, but you can go to the conference website for a full schedule.

Two more stellar publications, plus Peauxdunque at the Jambalaya Writers’ Conference

No sooner did we report on the last round of Peauxdunque publication news, than two more wonderful items dropped in. April Blevins Pejic will have her creative non-fiction piece, “Clusters and the Cosmos,” published in Cimarron Review; and Drew Jordan‘s essay, “Pop’s Pocket Knife,” will be published by The Bitter Southerner! Both are beautiful pieces of work, so keep your eyes open for them.

This Saturday, March 3, Peauxdunque will join the list of featured presenters at the Jambalaya Writers’ Conference in Houma, Louisiana, put on by the Terrebonne Parish Library. Peauxdunquians on the roster include Marti Dumas and Maurice Carlos Ruffin. They join a number of luminaries, including Bill Loehfelm, Ladee Hubbard, Tom Piazza, James Nolan, Yuri Herrera, Katy Simpson Smith, Joshilyn Jackson, and R.L. Stine.

Peaux-ets at the 2017 New Orleans Poetry Festival

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!

New publications by Zach and Worm; plus a Claudia Gray book release

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.”

Peauxdunque at the Tennessee Williams Festival

The Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival will be happening this weekend, March 22-26. Two of Peauxdunque’s own will be among the star-studded cast of writers among the Festival’s packed list of panels. At 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 25, Maurice Carlos Ruffin will moderate “A Conversation About Race: Finding Strength for the Struggle in Great Writing,” a panel featuring Jericho Brown, Kiese Laymon, Bernice McFadden, and Kalamu ya Salaam. At 2:30 p.m. on Friday, March 24, Maurice and Tad Bartlett will join Kia GroomBill Loehfelm, and Trisha Rezende on the panel, “Can You Imagine a Better Place to Write? The Artistic Allure of New Orleans,” moderated by Carolyn Hembree, part of the UNO Panel Series at the Festival.

Tad Bartlett and Maurice Ruffin, Hopedale, La., March 19, 2017