Kooy, Carson, and Pruyn publications added to the list

Another publication update for Peauxdunque denizens:

The newest Peauxdunquian, Andrew Kooy, will have his short story “Eclipse” published by Blood and Thunder: Musings on the Art of Medicine, at the end of October.

And our Peauxdunque-in-L.A. man of letters, Tom Carson, will have his poem “Moby Dick Joins the Circus” published in the next issue of Black Clock (though under a different title).

Also, Peauxdunque peaux-et Cassie Pruyn recently had three poems published in Issue 3 of Big Big Wednesday, which you can purchase here.

Looking forward to reading all of these! More updates soon.

Advertisements

Pruyn publishing new poems

Peauxdunque poet Cassie Pruyn has a whole host of new poem publications forthcoming! Her poem, “Flaneur on Royal Street, New Orleans,” will be published in Blue Lyra Review’s 2016 print anthology. “The House on Tator Hill” is slated to be published by Lunch Ticket, out of Antioch University in Los Angeles, in its Summer/Fall 2015 issue. And Cassie’s current run of publications will also see “Flaneur in St. Louis Cemetery No. 1” published in the Los Angeles Review in Fall 2015, issue 18! In addition, Cassie has a review scheduled to post at 32 Poems very soon.

Fantastic work by Cassie, appearing all over the place, so keep your eye out!

Ruffin and Pruyn, publishing again!

In publication news from Peauxdunque, we’re happy to announce that Maurice Carlos Ruffin‘s story, “The Boy Who Would Be Oloye,” has been accepted for publication by Massachusetts Review; and that AGNI Online has accepted for publication Cassie Pruyn‘s poems, “Love Lost Lounge” and “Maine Morning, Age 5.”

“The Boy Who Would Be Oloye” was recently named a finalist in the short story category of the William Faulkner-William Wisdom writing competition (Maurice was named the winner of the novel-in-progress category of that competition and the first runner-up in the essay category). “Love Lost Lounge” was a finalist in the poetry category of that competition this year.

Many congratulations!

2014 Faulkner-Wisdom Competition: Ruffin gets gold medal, Choate places, and other Peauxdunque finalists

The final results in all categories of the 2014 William Faulkner-William Wisdom writing competition (run in conjunction with the excellent Words and Music writers’ conference) have been announced, and Peauxdunque is proud to be the home of a new gold medalist: Maurice Carlos Ruffin has won the gold medal in the novel-in-progress category for his work, All of the Lights! (Peauxdunque’s previous gold medalists areTerri Shrum Stoor in the short story category in 2011, and Emilie Staat in the essay category in 2012). Of All of the Lights, category final judge M.O. Walsh observed:

All of the Lights is more than a novel in progress. It is an absolute gift. The story of a black lawyer in an all-white firm, battling personal demons and marital challenges, racism and the complications of ambition, this is a novel with every level of conflict you could ask for: internal, external, familial, racial, social, immediate, and looming. Yet, in spite of this, All of the Lights also manages to be quickly paced and funny. It feels heartfelt and true because the author is the real deal and his characters—BL, Penny, and Nigel—are the benefactors of his skill. So, of course, are we. This is a novel to fly through once for pleasure and then return to savor the little things you may have missed; all the gems scattered about in the author’s clear prose and insight. Ruffin seems to know what makes us human, what makes us interesting, and a book like All of the Lights, the promise of it, is the reason I read. I’ll be shocked if we don’t see this one on bookshelves soon.

Competition coordinator Rosemary James added that, in the novel-in-progress category, “All preliminary round judges selected one entry as the standout, as their first choice. … [A]ll of them sent back words to the effect: ‘All of the Lights is the clear winner.'”

Maurice also won second place in the essay category, with his essay, “A History in Motion.” Final round judge Jane Satterfield wrote, “The vivid and resonant prose of A History in Motion reveals a writer’s fierce ambition to survive and transcend a parent’s suffering, as well as heartfelt tenderness and hope despite the disquieting signs surrounding him.” The essay is already slated for publication in an upcoming Cicada magazine.

In the short story category, Peauxdunquian Emily Choate won third place for her story, “Sky Fire Shrine Machine”! Final round judge Patrick Samway commented:

This story dramatically relates how Nadine comes to terms with the previous amorous relationships of her co-worker Brant, as they sell fireworks whose names provide a wonderful description of their increasingly tense relationship: Incoming!, Napalm Rampage, Exploding Night Arsenal, and Last Chance. Such explosive pyrotechnic devices provide a wonderful comment on the structure of this story.

Other Peauxdunque finalists in the short story category were Tad Bartlett for his story, “Flock Apart,” and Maurice, with his story, “The Boy Who Would Be Oloye.” Emily‘s story, “Eufala,” was on the short list for finalists in the category, along with Tad‘s story, “Superpowerless.”

In the novel category, Peauxdunque’s J.Ed. Marston and Tad Bartlett were finalists with their collaborative novel, The Truth Project.

J.Ed. was also a finalist in the poetry category, for his piece, “Saturday Stops.” Peauxdunque’s Cassie Pruyn, the second-runner-up in the category in 2013, had another finalist poem this year with her piece, “Lost Love Lounge.”

The announcement with full results is here: 2014_Winners

The Writing Process Blog Tour: Cassie Pruyn

Peauxdunque’s Cassie Pruyn started us off on The Writing Process Blog Tour over on her personal blog, and we’re cross-posting her entry here:

1) What are you working on?

I am working on a manuscript, while several ideas for future manuscripts percolate on the back-burner. This current manuscript will be composed of sections of poems on rivers, history, and relationships. I am working on one of the sections in particular at the moment––a monologue in the voice of the Mississippi River (She’s angry, she’s prepared, and she wants to tell you the story of the greatest love affair in the history of North America.). Get ready.

 

2) How does the work differ from others of its genre?

This is an interesting question. I’m always looking for similarities between my work and the work of other poets, past and present. I’m always searching for models and mentors. However, in searching for models, I’ve realized, to some extent, where my work fits into the conversation: I am interested in books of poetry that operate as books. Of course, the arrangement of poems within a manuscript––their order, their groupings––have always mattered; this act of curation has always been important. But I’m most interested in poems that converse with the surrounding poems more directly––that are woven into the larger work in a particular way, so that the experience of reading the book is like stepping back and viewing the whole mosaic for a moment, and then stepping forward again to read the next poem, to study the next stone. This zooming-in and -out, this dynamism between part and whole, really excites me. In short: I like series. I like books of poems that have the coherence of novels (although novels seek to sustain tension through narrative, and poems through music).

Also, I have to have history in my poems. Nothing that happens to me, or that happens in my poems, has any resonance for me unless it is in conversation with history––particularly with history of place. 

So, I think I would have to answer this question by saying that my work doesn’t bear that much resemblance, I don’t think, to the short, smart, syntactically-curious, “contemporary”-feeling poems I come across in journals these days, mixed in among poems of many other styles. I love these poems. I’ve noticed them lately for how different they feel from my own. They belong in singles; they glow singly, like geodes. Although sometimes I envy these poems for how portable they are, I remind myself that it’s a good thing there are so many different minds out there, to write so many different kinds of poetry. And then I go back to my own messy compilation of poems that won’t stop talking to each another….

 

3) Why do you write what you do?

I wonder this all the time, myself. It’s probably something that I should have figured out by now. I know I have a very good reason for sitting down and writing poems every day––and sweating, and swearing, and failing, and maybe sometimes getting somewhere. I can feel the reason––it lives in my body and never leaves. But I find it hard to define it for myself sometimes.

Is it to make a connection? To communicate? Of course. What else could it be but that?

Is it for some greater good? Humans + Art = Better Humans, or some such formula? Yes. That seems true. I think I would be a far worse person if I didn’t write and read, and I can only assume the same for others.

Is it because it’s fun? Yes. But it’s also distinctly un-relaxing.

The best reason I can come up with today is because I love books so much. I love authors. I just really love authors. Sometimes I want to lick my books, or sleep with stacks of them in my bed, or empty my bank account acquiring more. And, like a child, I want to imitate those I love.

 

4) How does your writing process work?

It’s highly erratic.

I write in one place, primarily––by myself at home, with my dog next to me. The space has to be clean, with everything in its proper “stack,” or category. One piece of mail out of place will drive me to distraction. I think I have to have this kind of routine, these strict atmospheric rules, because the process itself is so incredibly unwieldy. I do a lot of “following my nose”––picking up that book, and reading that poem, and then this one, until––! I realize something about how to go forward! And I write it down!

This is when it’s helpful to have series. Otherwise I think I would just spin off––starting everything and finishing nothing. If I don’t feel like working on this or that series or long poem (“No….The Mississippi doesn’t feel like talking today,” or, “No, I don’t want to remember that just now…”), I’ll pick another one to work on. All the poems in my manuscript are in varying levels of “done-ness”: basically done forever (yeah right), done until next month, not at all done, and as-yet-completely-unwritten.

Click here for our entry from Susan Kagan.

2014 Faulkner-Wisdom lists are out, with some Peauxdunque representation

Once again, it’s the time of year when the lists of finalists, short-list for finalists, and semi-finalists are released for the William Faulkner-William Wisdom Writing Competition, held in conjunction with the annual Words & Music Conference put on by the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society. And once again, there is heavy Peauxdunque representation on the lists.

Five Peauxdunquians are responsible for eight different finalist pieces in five different categories. Tad Bartlett and J.Ed. Marston have a collaboratively written manuscript named a finalist in the novel category. Maurice Ruffin has a manuscript finalist in the novel-in-progress category, and another piece that’s a finalist in the essay category. Emily Choate, Tad, and Maurice each have stories that are finalists in the short story category. And Cassie Pruyn and J.Ed. both have pieces that are finalists in the poetry category (Cassie was second runner-up in that category in 2013).

Also, Emily and Tad each had additional short stories that were named to the short list for finalists in that category. Final winners and runners-up among the finalists in all categories are scheduled to be named on or around September 25, Faulkner’s birthday, so stay tuned!

Peauxdunque reads for National Poetry Month

As part of the New Orleans Public Library’s month-long series of events for National Poetry Month, Peauxdunque was invited to present a reading at the Nix Branch of the New Orleans Public Library on Thursday, April 24. Cassie Pruyn and Matt Robinson brought together a slate of poets, including themselves and Zach BartlettEmilie Staat, and Tad Bartlett. Drinks, of course, followed.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Another “Yeah, You Write” in the books

The second installment in the “Yeah, You Write” word rebellion series let loose at Cafe Istanbul last night. Many people came together to fill the room and make the night a success, with readings and remarks from John M. BarryCassie Pruynjewel bushBenjamin PercyJoseph BoydenEmilie Staat, and Tom Franklin and Beth Ann Fennelly. Emcee Nick Fox moved the night along, regaling the audience with the exploits of the readers, while the photographs of L. Kasimu Harris and the innovative turntable work of DJ Seppe punctuated every point of the show.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Tom Franklin and Beth Ann Fennelly came bearing gifts of moonshine, and read from the dramatic inundation scene from The Tilted World. Ben Percy’s dynamic reading from Red Moon was preceded appropriately enough by his horror-rendition of a line from the childhood classic, Good Night, Moon. Joseph Boyden came in from far travels and despite illness to utterly transfix the room with a chapter from his soon-to-be-released-in-the-U.S.-novel, The Orenda. jewel bush punched the lights out with her boxing-themed, coming-of-age-in-a-rough-world short story. And Peauxdunque’s own Emilie Staat and Cassie Pruyn brought intense and passionate memoir and poetry to the stage.

Leading them all off was John Barry and his reading from Rising Tide, followed by his remarks on the attempts of the oil and gas industry to rise above the law in Louisiana’s fight to protect itself from the increased storm risks caused by the industry’s destruction of wetlands (everyone, that message for the legislators was “Don’t let politics kill the flood authority’s independence,” and “Let the courts decide the fate of the levees lawsuit, not the legislature, because no one should be above the law,” and those legislators were Raymond Garofalo, Christopher Leopold, Neil Abramson, and Nick Lorusso).

A huge shout-out to the folks at Cafe Istanbul, without whom the night would not have been a success. Cafe Istanbul is clearly a vital heartbeat in the revival of New Orleans’ many communities, including its artists and writers. Also, many thanks to the good folks at Garden District Book Shop, who came through on short notice with the books that sold to the enthusiastic audience, making the night a further success.

Tonight

Can you believe it? Tonight. The Second coming of the original “Yeah, You Write!” event. It’s more than a reading, more than a photo exhibit, more than a dance party, more than a night out on the most incredible town this side of the moon. It’s all of that.

It started as a vision, something slightly more than a whim. One night in late summer in 2011, Maurice and Emilie and Terri and I sat around and talked about it, put it into words: To put great writers on great stages, put them on the pedestals on which we put our musicians and other artists, take them out of the usual context, fete them. When it first translated into something real two and a half years ago, I was a bit in disbelief we pulled it off. And now we have the audacity to do it a second time, with the help and guidance of a host of new Peauxdunquians (April, Denise, Sabrina, and Kasimu) with another slate of amazing writers and artists. I’m still flabbergasted, and extremely grateful that all these great folks said “Yes,” then and now. These are my literary heroes, and many of them I feel lucky to call my friends now, too. We’re so happy to share them with you. Beth Ann Fennelly,Tom Franklin, John BarryJoseph Boyden, Ben Percyjewel bushEmilie StaatCassie Pruyn. Photos by the always amazing L Kasimu Harris. Tunes by the gifted DJ Seppe. Emcee’d by the extraordinary Nick Fox. We’ll see you tonight. 7:00 at Cafe Istanbul.

peauxdunque postcard final