A busy start to 2014 in Peauxdunque

There’ve been lots of doings in the land of Peauxdunque to begin 2014.

Susan Kagan has inked a book deal with Left Hand Press for her book, Avoiding a Perilous Path: Basic Wiccan Ethics, a book examining every mundane aspect of ethical behavior in a Wiccan’s life, from birth to death and all the epiphanies and drudgeries in between. Publication will be no later than early 2015.

Maurice Carlos Ruffin has learned that his short story, “Catch What You Can,” will be published this May in issue 11.2 of Redivider.

New Peauxdunquian Geoff Munsterman has been all over the place, presenting readings from his new collection, Because the Stars Shine Through It, including at the AllWays Lounge, at the “Meet the Authors of Lavender Ink” event at Faulkner House Books, and as a featured author, along with Maurice, at the upcoming Pine Street Salon hosted by Rodger Kamenetz and Moira Crone.

Tad Bartlett learned in January that his short story, “Superpowerless,” received an Honorable Mention designation in the November 2013 Glimmer Train Short Story Award for New Writers.

Emily Choate continued her great series with Chapter 16, posting a review of Charles McNair’s Pickett’s Charge, his first book since his Pulitzer-nominated Land O’ Goshen nineteen years ago.

Tom Carson continues to write his insightful film and cultural criticism for The American Prospect and GQ, including his touching obituary in GQ for Philip Seymour Hoffman.

And L. Kasimu Harris had a successful solo exhibition of his photography at the Bellocq lounge, titled “Dreams Do Come True.” Proving the truth of that title, Kasimu also emcee’d the “Haute & Handmade” event, a showcase of Southern costume couture, at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art on January 24.

MORE TO COME!

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Peauxdunque at Words and Music

The Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society’s annual Words and Music conference will take place from December 4 through December 8, centered at the Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans. In just two weeks, a fantastic line-up of writers and scholars will convene with top agents and editors to discuss writing, publishing, and this year’s conference theme, “Faith and the Search for Meaning as Inspiration for the Arts.”

At 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 4, six members of Peauxdunque have been invited to join in a reading of new works related to the conference theme. Terri Stoor, Emily Choate, Maurice Carlos Ruffin, J.Ed. Marston, Cassie Pruyn, and Tad Bartlett will present readings alongside award-winning poet and non-fiction author, Rodger Kamenetz, and the associate editors of the Double Dealer, Caroline Rash and Geoff Munsterman. The readings will be at the Presbytere, at the corner of St. Ann and Chartres. A cash bar and complimentary cocktail snacks will be available, and a showing of Walker Percy, a new documentary film by Win Riley, will follow.

J.Ed., Terri, Tad, Emily, and Maurice will be reading during the Faulkner Society's annual Words and Music Conference on December 4, 2013.

J.Ed., Terri, Tad, Emily, Maurice, and Cassie (not pictured) will be reading during the Faulkner Society’s annual Words and Music Conference on December 4, 2013.

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.