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 Groom, Bill 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.
The New Orleans Fringe Fest has grown and evolved into the Faux/Real Festival, two and a half weeks of theater, music, dance, art, and writings on the edge. And this year they have given over their writers’ space, the Faux/Real Cafe, to the Peauxdunque Writers Alliance, on Wednesday night, November 11, from 6:30 to 9:30.
What happens when eight writers leave their personal podunks and come to New Orleans and start getting fo’ real? Come to the Faux/Real Cafe to find out! Maurice Carlos Ruffin, Cassie Pruyn, Zach Bartlett, Terri Shrum, Andrew Kooy, Emilie Staat, Tad Bartlett, and Caroline Goetze take the stage at 6:30 (along with a special spectral appearance by Susan Kagan), and the verbal slings and arrows don’t stop flying until 9:30. Cafe Faux/Real is a venue set up just for the Faux/Real Festival, where coffee and drinks and books will be for sale while the readings go. THIS READING IS FREE, though all Faux/Real events can be attended with a Faux/Real Button ($5 gets you an awesome collectors’ button that also happens to get you into more than two weeks of premier art out beyond the boundaries).
See you there! (At 2161 N. Rampart)
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.
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.
Peauxdunque’s April meeting was hosted by Terri and myself at Krewe du Brew, a new coffee shop on St. Charles. The lovely owners were kind enough to stay open late for us and we enjoyed KdB’s mixed berry juice, peach tea and delicious scones, tea breads and pecan bars. The folks at Krewe du Brew are some of the nicest you’ll meet, so you should definitely check them out.
James Nolan graced us with his presence, not only reading from his novel Higher Ground, but sharing one of the craft lessons from the writing course that he teaches. The lesson synched particularly well with the work that was being critiqued and is sure to help many of us with our projects.
It was a very successful meeting all around and our thanks to the crew at Krewe du Brew and to James Nolan for enriching the experience! Check out a few pictures from the meeting below.
Another month, another set of publications and other writing recognition for the fine folks of Peauxdunque and their good friends …
Terri Stoor and Maurice Ruffin have had work selected for the upcoming New Orleans By New Orleans book project, which should come out at the end of this month. Joselyn Takacs, currently in Baltimore working on her MFA at Johns Hopkins, has the Story of the Week at Narrative, “Flares of Little Warning.” Also, Arion Berger and Tom Carson both have stories in the latest issue of Black Clock. Tad Bartlett has been admitted to the MFA program in fiction at UNO’s Creative Writing Workshop, where he will begin this fall.
More news on Peauxdunquians in the world: Foremost, another Peauxdunque publication, as Kimberly Clouse’s short story, “Hector Gets Taken,” is in Volume 1, Issue 9 of Fortyouncebachelors. Kimberly joined Peauxdunque in 2011, and is currently working on a collection of short stories for her thesis project in the UNO Creative Writing Workshop MFA program.
In readings news, TODAY, February 3, Peauxdunqian Helen Krieger will be reading at the Artfully Aware event at the New Orleans Museum of Art, which takes place from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Also reading at the event are friend-of-Peauxdunque and fellow Oxford American Summit alum Benjamin Morris, as well as New Orleans literary renaissance man extraordinaire, John Biguenet; Moira Crone; and M’Bilia Meekers. A number of other musical and visual art components will take place in conjunction with the readings.
In a final bit of Peauxdunqian-in-the-world programming news, beginning February 26, 2012, Hatchery Media‘s (and Peauxdunque’s) Helen Krieger and Joseph Meissner will conduct an eight-week master class in acting and directing actors for the screen, bringing together actors, writers, and directors to develop and hone their material in a hands-on workshop. The class will meet Sundays from 1-4 p.m., until April 22. Contact Joseph at Hatchery Media for information or registration.
Undeniably, the New Orleans word world is a vital part of our culture, contributing to the rebirth of a great American city and adding its flavor to a national literary mix. Peauxdunque strives to be a dynamic part of that role, from our support and encouragement of our member writers to our production of the Yeah You Write reading series. New Orleans poet Kelly Harris recently published an excellent post to the Poets & Writers blog on the many doings in the New Orleans literary universe, including our own.
An inextricably intertwined adjunct of the New Orleans writing world is the innovative and burgeoning filmmaking scene here. Peauxdunque is lucky to count two of the best filmmakers in New Orleans among our ranks, Amy Serrano and Helen Krieger. At the recently concluded New Orleans Film Festival, Helen‘s award-winning feature film, Flood Streets, garnered critical and popular raves, and was chosen for the premier encore screening slot at the end of the festival.
Last week’s Words and Music Conference, hosted by the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society and with the guiding hand of Peauxdunque’s Amy Serrano in her role as Chairperson of the Pan American Connections Committee, brought international human rights advocate and former Ambassador to the U.N. Human Rights Commission Armando Valladares to provide a keynote speech on the power of writers and words to be the vanguard in the fight against global oppression and inequity. Words and Music also brought in national literary lights Nilo Cruz, Justin Torres, Robert Olen Butler, Oscar Hijuelos, Andrew Lam, Elise Blackwell, Roy Blount, Jr., Tom Carson, and Paula McLain, along with our own New Orleans greats, John Biguenet, Rodger Kamenetz, James Nolan, Moira Crone, and others. Joined by a faculty of nationally prominent agents and publishers ranging from Bix Six publishers through the agile and innovative crop of new generation publishers, brilliant discussions and readings ensued, probing the current and future states of writing, storytelling, and publishing. New Orleans literary crusader Mark Folse captured the vibe well in his posts on Odd Words and on the nola.com NOLA Vie report.
As covered in Mark’s reports, the Peauxdunque gang was glad to play a part in Words and Music. Terri Stoor, Maurice Carlos Ruffin, J.Ed. Marston, and Tad Bartlett presented poetry, fiction, and essays on the conference theme during the Wednesday afternoon session in the Cabildo. Also, Terri Stoor was the winner of the gold medal in the Faulkner-Wisdom Competition’s short story category, while Maurice Carlos Ruffin was a finalist in the short story category and Tad Bartlett and J.Ed. Marston were semi-finalists in that category. In the novel category, Sabrina Canfield had a manuscript on the long list for finalists, and Tad and J.Ed. had a co-authored manuscript on the long list for finalists. In the novel-in-progress cateogry, Sabrina had a manuscript make the short list for finalists. In the essay category, Terri was the second runner-up, and Sabrina had an essay on the short list for finalists. Tad and J.Ed. each also had poems make the finalist list in the poetry category. In addition, a gang of Peauxdunquians volunteered to help staff several conference events, including Bryan Block, Dana Glass, Susan Kagan, Emilie Staat, Sabrina Canfield, Janis Turk, and Helen Krieger.