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.

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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.

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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

The return of ‘Yeah, You Write!’

We’re excited to announce that our original event series, Yeah, You Write,” is back! Last time we billed it as a “literary concert”; this time it’s a full-on “word rebellion.” Back in October 2011, Peauxdunque launched its series of putting top writers on top stages, with our original event at Tipitina’s. This time around, on the night of April 18, 2014, we’ll feature writers, images, and music on the stage at Cafe Istanbul, at 2372 St. Claude Avenue.

MC Nick Fox, with Amanda Boyden, Gian Smith, Terri Stoor, Kelly Harris-DeBerry, Mat Johnson, and Bill Loehfelm, October 2011

MC Nick Fox, with Amanda Boyden, Gian Smith, Terri Stoor, Kelly Harris-DeBerry, Mat Johnson, and Bill Loehfelm, October 2011

This year’s slate of writers includes best-selling and prize-winning authors Beth Ann Fennelly and Tom Franklin, who will be reading from their new collaborative work, The Tilted World; Joseph Boyden, winner of the Giller Prize, whose new novel, The Orenda, has already been winning awards and praise in Canada and which will be released in the United States in May; John Barry, whose seminal work on the great 1927 flood, Rising Tide, informed much of The Tilted World, and who is currently front and center in a fight to stop a new great flood as southeast Louisiana washes away; Benjamin Percy, whose most recent novel, Red Moon, was a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection, IndieNext Pick, Amazon “Top Ten Best Books of May,” CNN’s Top Ten Books of May, iBookstore Editor’s Choice, and an Entertainment Weekly “Must List” selection; insightful local essayist and writer jewel bush, founder of the MelaNated Writers Collective; Emilie Staat, winner of the 2012 Faulkner-Wisdom Gold Medal for the essay; and stellar local poet Cassie Pruyn, finalist in the most recent Indiana Review 1/2K Prize.

Music for the event will be provided by DJ Sep, and the event will feature the projected images of writer/photographer L. Kasimu Harris. Doors open at 7:00 p.m., with the words set to start flowing at 7:30. $5 cover charge at the door.

Sunday Shorts are halfway home

MelaNated Writers Collective and Peauxdunque Writers Alliance are halfway done with the Sunday Shorts Reading Series. In the dynamic art space of Red Star Galerie at 2513 Bayou Road, we’ve heard some fantastic stories read to an audience itself packed with some of the best writers in the city.

On April 28, L. Kasimu Harris waxed eloquent on the tribulations of being dumped in the digital age; while Sabrina Canfield wove a hypnotic spell about trains and baseball and distorted connections. On April 5, superhero Maurice Carlos Ruffin brought the house down with a chapter from his novel in progress; while jewel bush transported the room to the world of Layla in poignant, small-town Louisiana, where consequences of human fragility can be incredibly universal. And Gian Smith has provided incisive spark as he has led a Q&A session after each reading.

Two more nights in the Series, with award-winners galore taking Shorts to new heights: on May 12, a special Mother’s Day night treat with readings from Jeri Hilt and Terri Shrum Stoor. Then the Series wraps up on May 19 with Danielle Gilyot and Tad Bartlett. Doors open each night at 8, with readings starting at 8:30. Free admission.

Book release, another competition finalist, and more Sunday Shorts!

Tonight at Garden District Books, Bill Loehfelm has the release party for his fourth novel (first set in New Orleans and second in the Maureen Coughlin series), The Devil in Her Way. Book signing, reading, discussion, wine, and cheese start at 5:30 p.m. Bill was on the slate of readers for our inaugural Yeah, You Write! reading, reading from the first Maureen Coughlin novel; word on the street is that this new one is even better.

In other news, we’re excited to learn that Peauxdunquian Joselyn Takacs‘ story, “The New River,” was named a finalist in Narrative Magazine’s Winter 2013 Story Contest! Congratulations to Joselyn!

In Sunday Shorts news, the first installment, featuring readings from L. Kasimu Harris and Sabrina Canfield, went exceedingly well. Following each readings was a Q&A led by Gian Smith, which got to the heart of each writer’s storytelling process in a fascinating exchange with the writers and the audience. This week, May 5, show up to Red Star Galerie at 8 p.m. to hear readings and answers from jewel bush and Maurice Carlos Ruffin.

Kasimu at Sunday Shorts Sabrina at Sunday Shorts

Sunday Shorts starts in four more days! Plus, more Peauxdunque recognition …

The Sunday Shorts Reading Series starts this Sunday, April 28, at Red Star Galerie at 2513 Bayou Road. MelaNated Writing Collective denizen (and Peauxdunquian) L. Kasimu Harris kicks off the series with his fine new short story work, and the opening session of the series will be capped off by the hypnotic fiction of Peauxdunque’s Sabrina Canfield. Doors open at 8, readings start promptly at 8:30, and will include Q&A with the authors following each reading. Check out the Reading Series’ Facebook event page here.

L. Kasimu Harris (photo by Kate Cauthen).

L. Kasimu Harris (photo by Kate Cauthen).

Sabrina

Future installments of the series will feature jewel bush and Maurice Carlos Ruffin on May 5; Jeri Hilt and Terri Shrum Stoor on May 12; and Danielle Gilyot and Tad Bartlett on May 19.

In other Peauxdunque news, this week Tad Bartlett’s short story “Riding in Cars at Night” was included on the Honorable Mention list for the February 2013 Glimmer Train Short Story Award for New Writers. Tad will be reading at the Sunday Shorts series on May 19.

Sunday Shorts Reading Series

MelaNated Writers Collective and Peauxdunque Writers Alliance are partnering up for Sunday Shorts, a month-long reading series featuring short stories from MelaNated and Peauxdunque writers (MelaDunque? PeauxNated?). Every Sunday evening from April 28 through May 19 will feature another pair of writers at the Red Star Galerie at 2513 Bayou Road in New Orleans. Doors open at 8:00, with readings beginning at 8:30.

April 28: Sunday Shorts starts with L. Kasimu Harris (MelaNated & Peauxdunque) and Sabrina Canfield (Peauxdunque).

May 5: Readings from jewel bush (MelaNated) and Maurice Carlos Ruffin (Peauxdunque and MelaNated).

May 12: Readings from Jeri Hilt (MelaNated) and Terri Shrum Stoor (Peauxdunque).

May 19: The series concludes with Danielle Gilyot (MelaNated) and Tad Bartlett (Peauxdunque).