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.
There have been a ton of great developments for the writers in the land of Peauxdunque over the last couple months, so before we get too far behind, here’s the news:
Emily Choate‘s great short story, “Eufala,” has been accepted for publication by Shenandoah, the sixty-seven-year-old journal that has published the likes of e e cummings, Dylan Thomas, W. H. Auden, James Merrill, Ezra Pound, William Faulkner. and Flannery O’Connor. Emily’s work will fit right in!
Peauxdunque writers have also aimed their pens at the current political times, with topical publications by Kelly Harris (“Resistance Must be Personal,” on after i was dead); Maurice Carlos Ruffin (“Talking in New Orleans in the Age of Trump,” a podcast republication of Maurice’s LitHub essay from last November, on the Racist Sandwich blog; and “The Effects of White Supremacy Are Non-Transferable,” on LitHub); and Alex Johnson (“Election Elegy 2016: A Carpenter’s Prayer on a Walnut Bed in the Woods,” on Flagpole), in addition to Tom Carson‘s regular cultural and political insights, which have moved from his old post at GQ to his new digs at Playboy (see, for example, his most recent essay, “Alternative Facts Will Rule the White House: Let’s Not Take the Bait“).
In other publication news, Maurice’s gentrification essay, “Transition in New Orleans,” has been published by Room 220; and his new critical take on Confederacy of Dunces, his essay “Ignatius in the New New Orleans,” was published by Louisiana Cultural Vistas. Also, Cassie Pruyn had her essay, “Report From the Field: Speaking Into Silences,” published at VIDA Review.
In awards-season news, the slightly old but huge news is that Maurice’s short story, “The Ones Who Don’t Say They Love You,” published in 2014 by The Iowa Review, made the list of 100 “Other Distinguished Short Stories” listed at the back of the 2016 Best American Short Stories, guest edited by Junot Diaz. Maurice also has two of his 2016 publications nominated for a Pushcart Prize, his short story “Children of New Orleans,” published in AGNI, and his essay, “Fine Dining in New Orleans.” His two Pushcart nominations join Tad Bartlett‘s nomination for his essay, “My Time With You,” published in 2016 by Chautauqua Literary Journal. AGNI also noted that Maurice’s essay, “Stanislavski in the Ghetto,” was one of its Top 5 blog posts for 2016. And, finally, L. Kasimu Harris‘s photography and writing work has been recognized with his naming as one of eight “Louisianians of the Year” by Louisiana Life.
Continuing a growing tradition of Peauxdunquians winning and placing in the various categories of the William Faulkner-William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition (administered by the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society), 2016 sees another slew of folks from Peauxdunque placing in the competition. Seven different Peauxdunquians placed nine pieces in three of the competition categories!
- In the novel category, Emily Capdeville was on the short list for her novel, Where Ground Gives Way to Water. Emily won the gold medal in the novel-in-progress category last year for her manuscript, Search a Dark and Empty Space. Also in the novel category, Susan Kagan’s novel, Ruxandra: Granddaughter of Vlad the Impaler, placed as a semi-finalist.
- In the short story category, Hayley Lynch‘s story “Horsewomen” was named a finalist, as well as “The New World” by Liz Gruder and “Way Station” by Susan Kagan.
- In the novel-in-progress category, Hayley Lynch was on the short list with her manuscript, Hunter’s Moon; and Alex Johnson was also on the short list, with Skylakes Fall. J.Ed. Marston placed as a finalist with his manuscript, Dispossession. Sabrina Canfield made the list of semi-finalists, with To the Place Where They Go.
More upcoming publication news from Peauxdunque. Long-time Peauxdunquian Susan Bennett Vallee will have her short story, “It Hurt to Remember,” appear in an upcoming issue of Deep South Magazine. And one of our newest members, Alex Johnson, has his story, “Forever Tonight,” in the inaugural issue of Situate Magazine!
Speaking of Situate, they will have a release party this Sunday, June 12, for their inaugural issue at Sidney’s Saloon (1200 St. Bernard, New Orleans) from 4 to 6 p.m. Peauxdunquian Maurice Carlos Ruffin, whose story, “A Brief Visit to San Dominick,” appears in the issue, will be a featured reader, along with C.W. Cannon. There will also be music spun by WWOZ dj George Ingmire, and a special showing of FLOTSAM (by Olivianne Motley) and DOUCE (by Leila Sabbagh and Monika Kozicz), in addition to homemade food, drinks, and other Festivities.
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!