Quick Peauxcrunque recap

There will be a proper debriefing and a full posting of gratitude and wonderment in the next few days, complete with the brilliant pictures taken by our many friends last night, but for now these quick thoughts on Yeah, You Write 

Terri spun golden morphine threads; and Kelly made us all dance uncontrollably and exclaim involuntarily and think unfetteredly; and Bill put us right there on a Staten Island street at four in the morning, where we were angry at the audacity of evil; and Amanda hung us in a tree, afraid of a washing machine, perfectly one with tornado-green clouds; and Gian made us the poets with him, and us of this city with him, and he created this “us” out of this crowd of “I”s; and then Mat “Poison in My Cock” Johnson — well, what more can you say — except there was joy and fear and intensity of a level even higher than any all night when Mat took the stage.

And then there was excellent Mr. Nick Fox, an emcee like no other (who you must employ for your next show, whatever it is, because you simply will not believe how he turns a mere event into a Spectacle)! And, of course, without DJ Seppe spinning the tunes before and during and after the everything, it could have been just another reading in just another room.

But this wasn’t just another room. This was Tipitina’s, the Temple of ‘Fess. We had writers on stage at Tipitina’s, goddamnit, and it felt right and it felt good. Thank you, Tip’s. Thank you, Terri and Kelly and Bill and Amanda and Gian and Mat. Thank you, Faulkner House Books for being there to sell our performers’ books. Thank you, Emilie Staat for making it all happen.

And that was the brief recap.

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Yeah, You Write! Get PeauxCrunque with Peauxdunque …

Peauxdunque is one day away from the first Yeah, You Write event, a literary concert and DJ dance party (ya’ heard?) at Tipitina’s on October 13th! Doors open at 7 p.m. and show starts at 7:30. New Orleans poet and Emcee-extraordinaire Nick Fox will be presiding. Tickets are available online and are already starting to go; get yours now! Want to hear more about Yeah, You Write? Listen to this interview of Peauxdunquian Emilie Staat and featured performer Amanda Boyden by WYLD’s Hal Clark.

Our featured performers have been busy in the lead-up to Yeah, You Write, sharing their insights on writing and living in interviews by Peauxdunquians Maurice Carlos Ruffin, Emilie Staat, and Tad Bartlett. Check out the interviews with Mat Johnson, Amanda Boyden, Kelly Harris-DeBerry, Bill Loehfelm, Gian Smith, and Terri Stoor, then get ready for some great, one-of-a-kind wordage and a Peaux-Funquey dance party at Tip’s, tomorrow!

PWA and Amanda Boyden on WYLD

Hal Clark of WYLD FM’s Sunday Journal interviewed Amanda Boyden and Peauxdunquian Emilie Staat about our upcoming literary concert Yeah, You Write at Tipitina’s on Thursday, October 13th (2 days from now!) at 7 p.m.

This interview aired on Sunday and Hal was kind enough to share it with us. Thanks to John of PureSYTYCD for enormous technical assistance.

Enjoy!

PWA Interviews Amanda Boyden

Amanda Boyden will appear at Yeah, You Write at Tipitina’s on Thursday, October 13th (that’s next week!). Peauxdunquian Maurice Carlos Ruffin asked Amanda a few questions.

A Conversation with Amanda Boyden

Maurice Carlos Ruffin: Where does a story/novel begin for you?

Amanda Boyden: If I’m in the nascent stages of a novel, I’ve usually decided on my characters.  I know who they are and how they’ll respond to most anything.  The characters help me write the rest.  Seriously.  I tend to determine a handful of plot points, maybe a dozen or so, and let my characters lead the way from one to the next.  I love how my peeps occasionally surprise me.

I don’t write stories that often any more, but when I do, they usually spring from something small, an observation or glimpse of a slice of life that’s odd or unusual.  I watched a kid kick a dying pigeon down the length of a street gutter once, twenty years ago, and knew I had to write about it.  A shirtless man falling off his bike.  A neighbor running out of her bright blue house paint before she’s reached the roof.  Those sorts of moments.

MCR: What balance do you try to achieve between characterization and plot?

AB: All readers have particular tastes.  I know a number of current graduate students who are perfectly content to read a story where very little happens.  I, on the other hand, have a pretty good-sized appetite for plot.  I like stuff to actually happen in a story or novel.  But that said, if I can’t inhabit the protagonist’s brain and body, I’m not at all interested in what’s happening, plot-wise.  I need to know a character through-and-through.  So, I suppose I try my damnedest to balance both elements, to weight them as equally as I’m able.

MCR: Do your characters choose their actions or do you?

AB: I usually attempt to set up the obstacle course for the characters, but invariably they jump through the hoops and leap over the walls in a different order or bypass some rope swing altogether.  The characters themselves regularly change their paths.

MCR: What do you do when you’re having a difficult time with a patch of writing?

AB: When I hit a section that isn’t simply flowing with the usual genius ease that I’m so used to–I’m joking!–I’ll double-back and reread/edit.  A little like clicking on the refresh icon, I suppose.  It helps put me in the character’s headspace, if nothing else.  I do write from beginning to end without skipping forward, so my process can resemble sewing by hand, not liking a line of stitches and pulling them out, trying them again with more care.

MCR: What’s the best bit of writing advice you’ve gotten?

AB: Hmm.  I like to think we all have little people perched on our shoulders as we write, keeping us in line, in check.  Fortunately a good number of excellent writers (my husband Joseph Boyden being one of them) have told me in ridiculous harmony–I have a full choir standing on my shoulders–to not let my writing get too precious.  I’m utterly in love with the word, so I have to guard against my line writing usurping character or plot.  I’m always cutting away sentences or full paragraphs that my little shoulder people would call “too Too.”

MCR: What has been the most surprising thing about the professional writing life?

AB: Really?  That I can live it.  How many people get to live out their deepest, most heartfelt dreams?  I’m living the life I imagined as a kid.  Life is so beautiful and rich, and I get to write about it for a living.

Amanda will be reading new work at Yeah, You Write, next week at Tipitina’s.

Yeah, You Write: Tickets on sale online

You can now purchase tickets online for the Yeah, You Write event, right now! Get yours ahead of time, before the room fills up.

Mat Johnson, Amanda Boyden, Bill Loehfelm, Kelly Harris-DeBerry, Gian Smith, and Terri Stoor! Emcee’d by Nick Fox! Dance party following, with DJ Sep spinning the tunes! Drinks served up by Tip’s!

Yeah, You Write!

A year ago, the Peauxdunquians had a vision, a collective vision of a city with vast cultural resources — artists and musicians and writers and chefs, all striving for funky and ultimate soulful expression, celebrated not just by their peers but by ecstatic audiences, too. And then we realized that vision was the place where we live, right here in New Orleans. We flock to restaurants to share the creations of our artistic chefs; we jam our clubs to listen to bands who play our music. And now it’s time to step it up for another group of our artists, the nationally acclaimed writers of our city and our region.

New Orleans and the South have always been a city and a region of incredible writers. They can be as much our rock stars as our musicians are, and now they are coming together in one of our grand temples: Tipitina’s uptown, the altar of ‘Fess himself, will be hosting the first Yeah, You Write event, on October 13, 2011, from 7:00 until the celebration ends. Six great writers, emcee’d by local poet Nick Fox, and followed by the dance visions of D.J. Sep. All for only a $5 cover.

Come hear Mat Johnson (author of “Pym,” winner of the Dos Passos Prize for Literature), Kelly Harris-DeBerry (local poet and literary activist, and founder of the Literary Lab), Amanda Boyden (author most recently of “Babylon Rolling”), Bill Loehfelm (past Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award winner, author most recently of “The Devil She Knows”), Gian Smith (spoken word artist, author of “O Beautiful Storm,” featured in Treme Season 2 trailer), and Terri Stoor (PWA member and winner of the 2011 William Faulkner-William Wisdom short story competition). These are the words of our time, our city, our region, and our Peauxdunque.