Words for Terri Sue: Wrap-up and photos

After the show: Nick Fox, Maurice Carlos Ruffin, Terri Shrum, Tad Bartlett, Kelly Harris, Nicholas Mainieri, and April Blevins Pejic. Photo by L. Kasimu Harris.

After the show: Nick Fox, Maurice Carlos Ruffin, Terri Shrum, Tad Bartlett, Kelly Harris, Nicholas Mainieri, and April Blevins Pejic. Photo by L. Kasimu Harris.

Peauxdunque shared a beautiful evening of love and generosity and art (so much wonderful art) with its founding member, Terri Sue Shrum, and with a large cross-section of the New Orleans writing and reading community on August 30, at Three Keys at the Ace Hotel. The event was our “Words for Terri Sue” benefit reading, to raise funds for Terri’s out-of-pocket cancer treatment expenses, and featured DJ’ing by DJ Sep (Giuseppe Catania); the New Orleans premier of Gian Smith‘s award-winning short film, “The Adulterer”; brilliant, touching, thought-provoking, and energetic readings by best-selling and award-winning writers M.O. Walsh, Kelly Harris, Bill Loehfelm, Nicholas Mainieri, and Maurice Carlos Ruffin; with the emcee duties handled with great spirit and skill by Nick Fox. The stage was also graced by Terri herself, with a tribute to all those who came out to make the night possible. We raised approximately $2,000 on the night, bringing our total fundraising for Terri over $11,000 in the past three months! And we’re not done, yet. Please visit our gofundme page for Terri, and keep your eye out for another fundraising effort in conjunction with the Words & Music Conference in November.

If you couldn’t make it (and even if you did), here’s a slideshow of photos taken by Peauxdunquian writer/photographer/renaissance-man, L. Kasimu Harris:

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Words for Terri Sue: Featuring Terri herself!

Terri side by sideTomorrow night, August 30, at Three Keys (Ace Hotel, 600 Carondelet, 7 to 9 p.m.)! We’ll have music by DJ Sep, emcee’ing by Nick Fox, and readings by a star-studded writer cast of M.O. WalshKelly Harris-DeBerryBill LoehfelmGian SmithNicholas Mainieri, and Maurice Carlos Ruffin. And now I can announce it officially that Terri Sue Shrum will be with us, too! She made a flight down from Atlanta, where she’s been undergoing chemotherapy treatments, and will join us for the benefit reading as we raise funds to assist with her out-of-pocket treatment expenses. Come early, stay late, and donate whatever you can. She’s a fantastic writer and fantastic friend, and tomorrow will be a good night. Three Keys asks that people RSVP here if they’re thinking of coming, so click that link and come join us!

Words for Terri Sue: Meet the writers, part 5

This Tuesday, August 30, a special coming together of the writing tribes (and those who love them, or at least dig them) will occur at Three Keys (at the Ace Hotel, 600 Carondelet Street, NOLA), as six best-selling and award-winning writers will present work at a benefit reading for Peauxdunque founding member Terri Sue Shrum. In May, Terri was diagnosed with inoperable stage-4 pancreatic cancer. Since then, Terri has begun chemotherapy treatments at the Winship Cancer Institute at Emory University in Atlanta, and writers nationwide have come together to help with an active fund-raising campaign to help Terri with her out-of-pocket treatment-related expenses. From 7 to 9 p.m. on August 30, we’ll continue that, with tunes spun by DJ Sep (Giuseppe Catania) and an evening emcee’d by Nick Fox. Admission is free, and donations will be accepted at the door and throughout the evening; RSVP here.

Our fifth featured writer is Kelly Harris-DeBerry, poet, teacher, Artrepreneur, and founder of BrassyBrown.com. Most recently, her multi-media poetic essay, “Dear Naomi (and Black Girls Everywhere),” received national attention when it attracted more than 3,000 views. Kelly has poems in the current issue of Torch literary magazine and a podcast on About Place Journal‘s website on Congo Square: Sustaining the Sacred Post-Katrina. She has received fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown and Cave Canem. Kelly’s performance background and MFA degree in creative writing/arts therapy places her on the stage and page. Check her out next month at the Black Arts Movement Conference at Dillard University. Kelly will be joined onstage on August 30 by M.O. WalshBill LoehfelmGian SmithNick Mainieri, and Maurice Carlos Ruffin.

Kelly Harris-D

Words for Terri Sue: Meet the writers, part 1

In one week, on August 30, a special coming together of the writing tribes (and those who love them, or at least dig them) will occur at Three Keys (at the Ace Hotel, 600 Carondelet Street, NOLA), as six best-selling and award-winning writers will present work at a benefit reading for Peauxdunque founding member Terri Sue Shrum. In May, Terri was diagnosed with inoperable stage-4 pancreatic cancer. Since then, Terri has begun chemotherapy treatments at the Winship Cancer Institute at Emory University in Atlanta, and writers nationwide have come together to help with an active fund-raising campaign to help Terri with her out-of-pocket treatment-related expenses. From 7 to 9 p.m. on August 30, we’ll continue that, with tunes spun by DJ Sep (Giuseppe Catania) and an evening emcee’d by Nick Fox. Admission is free, and donations will be accepted at the door and throughout the evening; RSVP here.

The first of our six featured readers is Nicholas Mainieri. His debut novel, The Infinite, will be published by Harper Perennial in November of 2016. Born in Miami, Florida, Nicholas has also lived in Colorado and Indiana. After graduating from the University of Notre Dame, he earned his MFA from the Creative Writing Workshop at the University of New Orleans. His short stories have appeared in the Southern Review, the Southern Humanities Review, and Salamander, among other literary magazines. He currently teaches writing and literature at Nicholls State University. He resides in New Orleans with his wife and son. Nick will be joined at Words for Terri Sue by writers M.O. Walsh, Kelly Harris-DeBerry, Bill Loehfelm, Gian Francisco Smith, and Maurice Carlos Ruffin.

Nicholas Manieri

Nicholas Mainieri

 

Catching up with Peauxdunque: News on Zach, Maurice, Cassie, Nordette, and Tad, plus Words for Terri Sue

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!

Upcoming literary events, featuring Maurice!

Peauxdunquian Maurice Carlos Ruffin will be featured with others at three readings in the next two weeks.

First up, this Thursday, March 21, Maurice will be reading fiction at the UNO Gold Room at Handsome Willie’s, 218 South Robertson Street, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Also reading at the Gold Room will be Stephanie Doyle (fiction), Laura McKnight (non-fiction), and Ben Sines (poetry). Free admission.

Maurice will next be reading on Friday, March 22, at the Melanated Writers Collective’s Literary Jook Joint, at the M. Francis Gallery, 604 Julia Street, beginning at 8 p.m. Maurice will be part of a stellar line-up, including Yeah You Write alums Kelly Harris DeBerry and Gian Smith, and fellow Melanated Writers Dr. Gee Love and Mary Webb. $15 admission for a great night of words, food and drinks included ($10 with student ID), in conjunction with the Tennessee Williams Festival.

Finally, Maurice will be reading at the next installment of the 17 Poets! series on Thursday, March 28, with Katarina Boudreaux. The series occurs weekly at the Gold Mine Saloon, at 701 Dauphine Street, with readings beginning at 8 p.m.

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.