More publications, plus MFA news

Peauxdunque’s Maurice Carlos Ruffin will have two pieces published by Green Mountains Review in the coming months. GMR will feature Maurice’s story, “The Places I Couldn’t Go,” in GMR Online this summer; and will publish his story, “Jonestown,” in its Fall 2015 print issue!

In other news, this month Dana Glass and Tad Bartlett joined Maurice and April Blevins as Peauxdunque graduates from the MFA program at the Creative Writing Workshop at the University of New Orleans. During the CWW graduate reading and honors banquet, Dana received the Ernest and Shirley Svenson Award for fiction, and Tad was named a finalist for the Samuel Mockbee Award for non-fiction.

Tad Bartlett, Dana Glass, Maurice Carlos Ruffin, with fellow CWW writer Phinnie Zahareas, at the 2015 CWW Graduate Honors Banquet

Tad Bartlett, Dana Glass, Maurice Carlos Ruffin, with fellow CWW writer Phinnie Zahareas, at the 2015 CWW Graduate Honors Banquet

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More publications, conferences, and another win

Emily Choate and Terri Shrum Stoor have been selected to attend the 2014 Sewanee Writers’ Conference! Emily, along with Maurice Carlos Ruffin and Dana Glass, has also been selected to attend the Tin House Summer Writers’ Workshop. Other Peauxdunque travels to summer workshops include Terri, J.Ed. Marston, and Susan Bennett Vallee attending the Yokshop Writers’ Workshop in Oxford, Mississippi.

On the publications front, Emily has two recent reviews out on Chapter 16.org: one of Tupelo Honey Cafe: New Southern Flavors from the Blue Ridge Mountains; and one of Southern Sin: True Stories of the Sultry South and Women Behaving Badly, an essay anthology edited by Beth Ann Fennelly.

Also, the wonderful book, Unfathomable City: A New Orleans Atlas, containing Maurice‘s excellent essay on the St. Claude Avenue corridor, has been selected as the book for the 2014 One Book One New Orleans project.

Among recent competition wins and awards by Peauxdunquians lately, Tad Bartlett‘s story, “Superpowerless,” received the Svenson Award for Fiction, awarded annually by the UNO Creative Writing Workshop. We also have news of another incredible competition win by a Peauxdunque denizen, but have to hold our huzzahs until that competition makes its official announcement; but when it comes, we’ll share a behind-the-scenes story of how it came to be. Stay tuned!

Contest wins, publications, and MFA news

Peauxdunquians continue to make their mark in various writing competitions, as well as with publications and participation in MFA programs.

Terri Shrum Stoor’s essay, “Bird Dog,” has been named the winner of the 2012 Writers@Work essay competition, and will be published in Quarterly West. Contest judge Steve Almond had this to say about Terri’s work:

The prose is lyric, graceful, and fearless. And the evocation of place and character is astonishing. The events in question happened years ago, and the author brings her wisdom to bear, but never sentimentalizes herself or her father. (I held off on choosing this as the winner for a long time, simply because it’s only 1000 words, and I felt like I could have spent another 5000 with this author.)

“Bird Dog” was also named an “entry of note” in the 2012 Tiny Lights Essay Contest. Terri was also recently named a finalist in the fiction category of the 2012 SLS Unified Literary Contest.

Further on the publications front, Tom Carson continues to add to the feast of his publications on books, movies, television, music, politics, and culture at GQ and The American Prospect.

In MFA program news, Dana Glass has learned that she will be joining Peauxdunqians Tad Bartlett and Maurice Ruffin this fall in the fiction program at the Creative Writing Workshop at UNO; while Kimberly Clouse will be graduating this month from the poetry program at the Creative Writing Workshop. Congratulations to both!

Successful 2012 Writers’ Camp

Nine of the 2011 members of Peauxdunque convened in Hopedale for the annual Writers’ Camp. Two drinks were invented. Writing was read and challenged. Stars were counted. Pelicans, too. Goals and process discussed. Food cooked and consumed. Hangovers created and cured. And now, after that, let it be a new year. Peauxdunquian Bryan Block captured much of it in the following video and photo montage:

Untitled from Bryan Block on Vimeo.

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.