Peauxdunque is lucky to have incredible poets (ha, “Peaux-ets,” ain’t we clever) call our humble environs home, and even luckier that they are so recognized out in the wider world, too. Just this week, Nordette Adams, along with Andy Young and editor Julie Kane, were featured on WWNO’s The Reading Life, reading work from the recent poetry anthology, Nasty Women Poets: An Unapologetic Anthology of Subversive Verse. We’ve also learned that Cassie Pruyn‘s award-winning debut book of poetry, Lena, was named to Jacar Press’s Finalists Long List for the 2017 Suk Award!
For a year, we’ve been working hard behind the scenes, and today is the day it all begins to emerge from under wraps: The Peauxdunque Review is born. Under the guidance of Editor-in-Chief Larry Wormington, Editorial Board at-large member Emily Choate, Poetry Editor Cassie Pruyn, Non-fiction Editor April Blevins Pejic, and Fiction Editor Andrew Kooy, along with a cast of many of your favorite Peauxdunquians, a vision has slowly taken shape.
Today, the Review is open for submissions of short fiction, flash fiction, creative non-fiction, and poetry. We are also excited to announce that we are open for submission of entries into the brand-new Words and Music Writing Competition! The Words and Music Festival, a twenty-year-strong writers’ conference, is now under the direction of One Book One New Orleans, and with that new direction is a brand-new competition, which The Peauxdunque Review has agreed to administer (with winners and runners-up guaranteed publication in the Review‘s pages). Click the link above for full information on how to enter into categories for short story, creative non-fiction, poetry, and short story by public high school students.
The Peauxdunque Review will launch its first issue in late summer 2018, with its second issue to come out in early 2019. Over the next few days, we will be continuing to put the final details in place on the website, but in the meantime, go over and “Like” the Peauxdunque Review ‘s Facebook page, and tell your friends!
Peauxdunque, despite its moniker, is a bustling place these days!
First up, tomorrow the Words and Music writers’ conference, put on by the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society, kicks off at the Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans. On the opening day, Thursday December 7, Tad Bartlett will chair a “Words and Music Writers Alliance” session at 3 p.m., featuring a remembrance of Peauxdunque founding member Terri Sue Shrum, and readings of new works by Peauxdunquians Emily Choate, J.Ed. Marston, Alex Johnson, and others. Please come join us, and stay for the rest of this excellent conference!
And last week featured two different recognitions of Peauxdunquians’ work by The New York Times! First, The New York Times Book Review featured a stellar review of The Best Women’s Travel Writing, Volume 11: True Stories from around the World, edited by Peauxdunquian Lavinia Spalding. “The latest book’s editor, Lavinia Spalding, hungry for travelers who ‘go with an open heart’ and have ‘the inclination to practice human kindness, a sincere intention to build pathways of understanding and a willingness to be transformed,’ read nearly 500 submissions before settling on the 31 stories that make up this diverse collection.” Then, the NYT featured “Kings of the Confederate Road,” the essay and photo feature collaboration by Tad Bartlett, Maurice Carlos Ruffin, and L. Kasimu Harris published by The Bitter Southerner, in its weekly “What We’re Reading” round-up.
On the grand old wireless contraption known as the radio, Peauxdunquian poet (and historian!) Cassie Pruyn was featured on NPR’s The Reading Life, discussing her brand new, just released lyrical history book, Bayou St. John: A Brief History. Cassie will also be reading and signing her newest book at Octavia Books on Sunday, December 10, at 2 p.m. (513 Octavia Street, NOLA).
Finally, there’s a slew of new publication news coming out of Peauxdunque for upcoming fiction and non-fiction: Tad‘s short story, “Porches,” will be published in January 2018 by Gris-Gris literary journal. Andrew Kooy has two upcoming publications: his short story “clap your hands” will run in an upcoming issue of Apex, and his nonfiction piece “George, WA” will run in the June 2018 issue of Bird’s Thumb. Finally, James Drew Jordan will see two of his stories–“The Man Who Played with Satchmo” and “Starland, Washington”–run in New South.
A raft of new publications by Peauxdunque’s own have been launched recently, along with news of publications on the horizon:
- First, Cassie Pruyn‘s Walt McDonald First Boo Prize-winning book of poems, Lena, is out now from Texas Tech University Press. Writes Rachel Mennies in the foreword, “Pruyn lets us feel what lovers feel–the magnetism, the physicality, the tenderness, the rage, the wondering–with language both musical and visceral.” Room 220 will host a book release for Cassie at Saturn Bar on May 11 at 7 p.m., featuring readings by Cassie and by Ben Aleshire.
- Next up in publications just out, the incredible story, “Eufala,” by Emily Choate, is now out in the latest issue of Shenadoah:
My stepfather Des got famous, eventually. Fame of a particular stripe—for writing a handful of the most soul-throttling country songs of the seventies and eighties, for a drinking habit so dedicated that it verged on religious solemnity, and for the time my mother left him handcuffed to a tree, alone, for twenty-six hours.
The story of that ordeal was what mattered most. I heard Des tell it over and over—the heat of the day collapsing his throat, the sun moving across the sky, then the moon, then the sun again. At last the bending of sky and trees, ushering the visitation of fearsome beasts, heavenly creatures come to chasten and guide him.
If my mother were within earshot at this point in the story, she’d shrug off all the majesty: “It was the DTs.”
People ate that shit up.
We suspect y’all will eat up the rest of this story, as soon as you head over to Shenandoah to check it out.
- Zach Bartlett will have a new story, “Excerpts from the Diary of Theodore Miro, Competitor on CryptoChefs Season 2,” out in Mad Scientist Journal, in December 2017.
- Maurice Carlos Ruffin‘s story, “Beg Borrow Steal,” will be included in the anthology Mojo Rising, out from Sartoris Press in September 2017.
- Janis Turk‘s story, “Flight Path,” is in the anthology, Mending for Memory, out now by New Laurel Review Press.
- And Tad Bartlett‘s novella, Marchers’ Season, will see the world in print and e-book in 2018, as the L.A.-based literary journal Storylandia will devote a full issue to it.
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!
Three more great bits of news from Peauxdunque. Foremost, peaux-et Cassie Pruyn has had her poem, “Traveler’s Monologue,” selected as one of only fourteen poems in the 2016 Best of the Net! “Traveler’s Monologue” originally appeared in Issue 5 of Border Crossing. Many congratulations to Cassie.
Next, J.Ed. Marston had his flash fiction piece, “His Face in the Light,” accepted for publication by the great Bayou literary magazine. This is J.Ed.’s print fiction debut, and it’s a wonderful piece; we’re looking forward to publication, which you can keep up with on our Facebook page.
Finally, Tad Bartlett will be one of two featured writers reading from their work in the Monday Nights anthology, along with Casey Lefante, this Thursday, February 9, at the main branch of the Jefferson Parish Public Library (4747 West Napoleon Avenue, Metairie). The reading will start at 7 p.m., featuring introductory comments by anthology editors Rick Barton and Joanna Leake, as well as appearances by other contributors to the anthology. Monday Nights will be available for sale.
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.
Just fantastic news in Peauxdunque: Cassie Pruyn, poet (peaux-et) and so much more, has been named the winner of the 2017 Walt McDonald First-Book Prize in Poetry! Her book-length collection, Lena, will be published in the Spring of 2017 by Texas Tech University Press. The poems in this collection cut to the heart and the bone, and beyond. Many congratulations to Cassie, and keep an eye out here and on our Facebook page for details as she moves closer to the publication date.
It’s been far too long since we last updated with goings-on in the land of Peauxdunque, and it’s been a long, busy summer. Even though I’m sure to leave something off, here’s at least a sample of all the news from our corner of Writer-Land:
Zach Bartlett’s book, Northern Dandy, has been released, and an official release party will be held on August 16, at Mimi’s in the Marigny (2601 Royal Street, New Orleans). Northern Dandy collects Zach’s humorous short prose and verse, originally performed with the popular reading series Esoterotica in New Orleans and his one-man stage show as part of 2015’s FringePVD in Rhode Island. His body of bawdy work ranges from multiple-choice misadventures and passive-aggressive etiquette advice to frisky formal poetry experiments, all undertaken with tongue firmly in cheek. Find out more about the release party here.
Maurice Carlos Ruffin has been busy this summer polishing his novel-in-progress. He also attended the VONA Workshop as a fellow in June, and is currently in Vermont on a “waiter-ship” at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. Also, Maurice was invited to read his piece, “Grandma’s Books,” at the Bring Your Own storytelling series, which was captured and broadcast by WWNO. Finally, Maurice’s craft piece, “Stanislavski in the Ghetto,” about inhabiting characters and modulating dialect, was published by AGNI.
Cassie Pruyn, always busy with her Bayou St. John historical documentation series over at NolaVie, has also had a few more poems published. CutBank recently published three of Cassie’s poems, “Talk,” “The Week Before Christmas,” and “The Last Time I Saw Her.” Beautiful work, which you must go read.
Nordette Adams has also been busy on the poetry front, with her incredibly moving poem, “digital anthropologists find our hashtags,” published by Rattle. Written in the immediate wake of the shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castille, Nordette’s poem captures the sorrow and the struggle against resignation that this never-ending tragedy cycle engenders.
Tad Bartlett‘s novella, Marchers’ Season, was the subject of an interview by Susan Larson on WWNO’s The Reading Life. Also, Tad’s short story, “Riding in Cars at Night,” has been picked up by Eunoia Review, and is slated to run in late August. Keep an eye on our Facebook page for a link when it goes live.
Finally, as many of you know, founding Peauxdunquian Terri Sue Shrum has been diagnosed with stage-4 pancreatic cancer. She is undergoing treatment at the Winship Cancer Institute at Emory University in Atlanta, and we are running a GoFundMe effort to help Terri cover her extensive out-of-pocket treatment-related expenses; there are a number of our writing friends who have donated signed copies of books as donation incentives, and we encourage you to go check it out (and then go back again as many times as you can–we’re closing in on $8,000 raised for Terri). Also, on August 30, 2016 (7-9 p.m.), we are hosting “Words for Terri Sue,” a benefit reading at the 3 Keys at the Ace Hotel, featuring readings by M.O. Walsh, Bill Loehfelm, Kelly Harris-DeBerry, Nick Mainieri, Gian Francisco Smith, and Maurice Carlos Ruffin. Admission will be free, but donations will be accepted at all amounts, with a minimum suggested donation of $10. More details will be posted soon!
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)