A Peaux/Real World!

PeauxRealThe 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)

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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.

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).

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!

Publications and more! By Peauxdunqians and Friends of Peauxdunque

Another month, another set of publications and other writing recognition for the fine folks of Peauxdunque and their good friends …

Terri Stoor and Maurice Ruffin have had work selected for the upcoming New Orleans By New Orleans book project, which should come out at the end of this month. Joselyn Takacs, currently in Baltimore working on her MFA at Johns Hopkins, has the Story of the Week at Narrative, “Flares of Little Warning.” Also, Arion Berger and Tom Carson both have stories in the latest issue of Black ClockTad Bartlett has been admitted to the MFA program in fiction at UNO’s Creative Writing Workshop, where he will begin this fall.

Friend of Peauxdunque L. Kasimu Harris has launched a new column, Parish Chic, at The Oxford American’s online site, using fashion as a lens to illuminate the human condition.

An update on competitions and publications

Peauxdunquian Maurice Ruffin’s short story “The Winter Lion” was selected as one of the top ten finalists in the 2012 Tennessee Williams Festival fiction contest. Many congratulations to Maurice!

Also, friend-of-Peauxdunque Susan Vallee has published an essay in VIE magazine entitled “A Writing Conference to Ruin the Rest,” (starts on page 64) about the Oxford American Summit for Ambitious Writers. An excellent essay, with great photos, including one of Susan along with friend-of-Peauxdunque Tom Franklin and Peauxdunquians Emily Choate, Terri Stoor, J.Ed. Marston, and Tad Bartlett.

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.