Productions, books, and travels: A Peauxdunque update

We’ve been quiet on this site, but that doesn’t mean we’ve been quiet in real life.

Peauxdunquian Helen Krieger is busy with preparations for the production of Season 2 of Least Favorite Love Songs. The KickStarter campaign for the production has ten hours left. While you wait for Season 2, you can watch Season 1 here.

Peauxdunque founder Amy Serrano‘s latest poetry collection, Of Fiery Places and Sacred Spaces, is now available from Barnes & Noble. Amy has also learned that her twenty-page essay and photo project, From Punta to Chumba: Garifuna Music and Dance in New Orleans, on Garifuna women and culture, commissioned by the Louisiana Division of the Arts, will form part of a 5-10 year traveling exhibit on the diverse cultures and folkloric traditions that live within Louisiana.

Tom Carson, of course, continues to keep on top of things for The American Prospect and GQ, with his latest articles on HBO’s documentary, Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer, and on the Joss Whedon’s adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing.

In traveling news, five Peauxdunquians attended this past weekend’s Yokshop Writers’ Conference in Oxford, Mississippi, workshopping with and learning from Beth Ann Fennelly, Josh Weil, Sean Ennis, Scott Morris, and M.O. Walsh, as well as drinking and hanging out with new friends alive and dead. Peauxdunquians in attendance were Terri Shrum Stoor, Maurice Carlos Ruffin, Emily Choate, J.Ed. Marston, and Tad Bartlett.

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For another great slideshow of Peauxdunquians in action, head over to P’dunquian Emilie Staat‘s Jill of All Trades blog, where her latest “All Things Brag” post includes a collection of images from the Sunday Shorts Reading Series, featuring readers from both Peauxdunque and the Melanated Writers Collective.

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Awards and books!

We’re excited to announce that founding (Founding Founding) Peauxdunqian Amy Serrano‘s poetry collection, Of Fiery Places and Sacred Spaces, was officially released on April 15, and you can purchase a copy right here, on Amy’s website. While there, you can also read more about her exciting new multi-media arts initiative focused on city self-definition (beginning in Miami), This Is Who We Are. Look for Amy soon at a curated reading in Chicago. More information as the details come in.

We’re also very excited that globe-trotting Peauxdunquian Janis Turk‘s essay, “Feeling Up the Map,” won second place for travel writing from the New York Travel Festival. Also, Janis’s photography is featured in the cookbook Come In We’re Closed, which has been nominated for a James Beard Award.

We’re grateful to count both Amy and Janis among the citizens of Peauxdunque!

Don’t forget, Peauxdunquian Tad Bartlett will be among tonight’s readers at the UNO Gold Room reading.

New Orleans word scene getting noticed

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 NolanMoira 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.

The first Peauxdunque post, four years later.

Here we are with our first post on our spanking new website/blog/thing, a mere almost-four years after we started this great experiment. So I guess we’re official now. The About page will tell you a few things that you might expect to find in a first post. Here are a few pictures of some of the folks in the group:

Maurice, Bryan, Terri, Susan, Sabrina, and Amy at the first Peauxdunque Writers’ Camp in January 2009; Hopedale, La.

Sabrina, Terri, Emilie, Tad, Maurice, and J.Ed., looking spiffy during Words and Music, November 2010

Looking more normal during Words and Music 2010: Tad, J.Ed., Terri, Emilie, Sabrina, Maurice, our dearest friend Jamey, and Janis

I could go on and on with the pictures, but we’ll save those to dribble in in future posts. Cheers! Write or die.