Appearances, readings, and publications, oh my.

Go see Maurice Carlos Ruffin reading with James Nolan at the Alvar branch of the New Orleans Public Library (913 Alvar Street) tonight from 6 to 8! Maurice will be reading from his novel, We Cast A Shadow, and James will be reading from his new book of poetry, Nasty Water.

Then on August 28, Maurice will be in conversation with Sarah Broom at Garden District Book Shop at 6 p.m., about Sarah’s critically acclaimed bookThe Yellow House.

In the latest Peauxdunque publication news, look for Maurice‘s essay, “The Great American Press Release,” about his visit to the Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, in the fall issue of Oxford American. And Tad Bartlett‘s story, “Flock Apart,” will be published in New York City-based Litbreak in November; so look forward to more Peauxdunque goodness this fall!

Publications and readings and nominations, oh my

Back in January we started off a new Peauxdunque year with an expanded cast of characters and the publication of Maurice Carlos Ruffin‘s debut novel, We Cast a Shadow. Since then, I’ve been mainly delinquent in sharing the TONS of good news about Peauxdunque publications and readings and prize nominations. So, first a picture of that long-ago January meeting, and then on to the good news:

 

The publication news:

Where to begin? Well, big news, Maurice sold his second book to Random House/One World, a collection of his searing short stories titled The Ones Who Don’t Say They Love You. We’ll, of course, report on details such as the publication date as soon as we know, because you won’t want to miss this. Also, Maurice’s novel, We Cast a Shadow, is now in its second printing.

New Peauxdunque poet Anne Babson has had her poem “Altarpiece Diptych” accepted for publication by Canadian journal QWERTY. Her poem “My Afternoon with Laura Ingalls” will be in the next issue of Silk Road Review. Anne’s review of Melinda Palacio’s Bird Forgiveness is in the current Louisiana Literature. And her play Reenactment is in the latest issue of Review Americana.

Lavinia Spalding had her beautiful creative nonfiction piece “The Cabin” published by LongreadsEmilie Staat’s essay, “The Passenger,” was published in Gris-GrisSusan Vallee will have a piece profiling We Cast a Shadow in the upcoming arts and culture issue of VIE Magazine. And Tad Bartlett’s short story, “Elysian Fields,” was published in the April 2019 issue of New Limestone Review.

Upcoming readings:

Cassie Pruyn will be reading on April 30 at the main branch of the East Jefferson Parish Public Library with Ben Morris, Brad Richard, Elizabeth Gross, Ben Aleshire, and Esme Franklin. A week before, on April 23, Anne Babson will be reading at the same location on a bill with Melinda PalacioAllison Pellegrin, and Paris Tate.

Maurice Ruffin will be reading at the Argenta Reading Series in Little Rock, Arkansas, on April 25. This weekend (right now) he’s participating as the keynote speaker at the Muse and the Marketplace conference in Boston.

Prizes/nominations

A little tardy in announcing these, but Peauxdunque’s Larry Wormington received a Pushcart nomination from Elm Leaves Journal for his story “Balloon Animals“; and Tad Bartlett and Maurice Ruffin both received Pushcart nominations from members of the Pushcart Board of Contributing Editors for work they published in 2018.

Maurice’s book release party, and more Peauxdunquian publications and events!

The wait for the publication release of Maurice Carlos Ruffin’s We Cast a Shadow is almost over! In eight more days, on January 29, all those pre-ordered copies will hit folks’ mailboxes, and the shiny covers will hit bookstore shelves, and the release party will rock the Three Keys venue at the Ace Hotel in downtown New Orleans. So far, We Cast a Shadow has made “must read” and “most anticipated” lists put out by Barnes and Noble, Garden and Gun, New York Magazine’s Vulture Magazine, Fodor’s Go List, Book Riot, Southern Independent Booksellers’ Association, Southern Living, Cosmopolitan, LitHub, Augusta Chronicla, HuffPost, L.A. Times, BuzzFeed, The Millions, A/V Club, Parade Magazine, Poets and Writers, Nylon, PopSugar, Bookbub, Writers Bone, and Read It Forward. Starred reviews from Kirkus and Publishers Weekly, with more to come! So come celebrate with Maurice and Peauxdunque and everyone else in New Orleans from 6 to 9 p.m. at Three Keys at the Ace Hotel, January 29!

And more good Peauxdunque publication news abounds. Lavinia Spalding has had a beautiful non-fiction piece about life and love and eviction in a cabin in Utah accepted by Longreads, which will run later this month or in February. And Emilie Staat‘s essay, “The Passenger,” was just published in the latest issue of Gris-Gris.

In addition, writer and photographer L. Kasimu Harris has four new shows that include his photography opening in the next few weeks:Dandy Lion (Re)Articulated Black Masculinity  is now on view, from January 18 to April 8, at the Hammonds House in Atlanta. Harris will debut three photographs for the (Per)Sister: Incarcerated Women of Louisiana exhibition at the Newcomb Art Museum of Tulane University, opening on January 19 and on view until July 6. Truth, By Any Means Necessary is a solo exhibition of Harris’s work at Grambling State University’s Dunbar Gallery. This exhibition opens January 29 and runs until February 26. And four photos from Harris’s War on the Benighted Series continue to travel with the Race & Revolution: Still Separate, Still Unequal exhibition, from January 29 to April 6 at the Woskob Family Gallery of Penn State University.

Peauxdunque everywhere

It is I, keeper of the Peauxdunque website, long delinquent in my duties here. Part of my excuse is very good, as we here in the land of Peauxdunque have been busy working on Issue 1 of the Peauxdunque Review and, in the course of that, administering the 2018 Words and Music Writing Competition. The Review is on track to come out in December 2018, with a fabulous line-up of writers and writings in Issue 1, alongside some brilliant in-house-generated, soon-to-be-regular-feature columns. The Competition has resulted in a slate of winners and runners-up that we will announce this week, who are already populating the production schedule for Issue 2 of the Review (slated for late spring/early summer of 2019). But enough about that! You’re here to hear about what’s new for Peauxdunquians, and there is plenty:

  • First up, Peauxdunquian writer and photographer-extraordinaire L. Kasimu Harris, who just recently completed a summer-long run as a featured artist in the NOMA “Changing Course” show, last week published an incisive column about how the new Southern photography show at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art is providing a long-necessary disruption of the white-male-centric curation of the art-photography world. Read it here (and now), from The Bitter Southerner (“How the Ogden Museum is Desegregating Southern Photography”).
  • Next, Peauxdunque travel writer Lavinia Spalding will be appearing at Garden District Book Shop this Tuesday, October 16, to interview Apricot Irving and discuss Apricot’s memoir, The Gospel of Trees. Lavinia is the series editor of The Best Women’s Travel Writing, author of Writing Away, and co-author of With a Measure of Grace and This Immeasurable Place. Her work has appeared in Tin House, Post Road, and numerous travel magazines and anthologies.
  • While on the subject of things happening this coming week, there’s all of the everything happening for founding Peauxdunquer Maurice Carlos Ruffin in advance of the January release of his debut novel from One World/Random House, We Cast a Shadow (pre-order at that link).
    • First, this Wednesday, October 17, Maurice will be presenting at the main (Loyola Ave.) branch of the New Orleans Public Library on “New Orleans 300: Ancestral Suits,” delving into he life of Patrina, Wild Queen of the Red Hawk Hunters, the first woman to lead a Mardi Gras Indian tribe. He’ll also read from various works, including the upcoming novel.
    • The next day, Thursday October 18, Maurice will be at Garden District Book Shop interviewing Kiese Laymon on Kiese’s New Orleans stop on the book tour for the critically lauded memoir, Heavy. A personal narrative that illuminates national failures, Heavy is defiant yet vulnerable, an insightful, often comical exploration of weight, identity, art, friendship, and family that begins with a confusing childhood—and continues through twenty-five years of haunting implosions and long reverberations. YOU WON’T WANT TO MISS THIS.
    • Next up for Maurice will be a busy Thursday, October 25; at noon that day he will be reading from the new novel at the Delgado Reading Series, then at 7 that evening he will be featured alongside Rita Bullwinkel at the Dogfish Reading Series.
    • The next week, on Tuesday, October 30, Maurice will be in Brooklyn, featured alongside Fatimah Asghar at Pioneer Works in Red Hook, again reading from the new novel.
    • All of this, as we said up top, is in advance of the release of We Cast a Shadow. The novel recently received a starred/boxed review from Publishers Weekly! Go read that, then you can register at Good Reads for an advance-copy giveaway.
  • WHEW. That was a lot. but we’re not done …
  • Peauxdunquian James (Drew) Jordan, recently moved to Georgia for the creative writing Ph.D. program at Georgia State, has recently learned that his story, “Residue,” will be published by venerable journal Quarterly West, and will be out later this month!
  • And Peauxdunque’s Tad Bartlett has recently had two works published. His novella, Marchers’ Season, is the sole featured work in Issue 26 of Storylandia, available from amazon.com here. And Tad’s short story, “When Czechoslovakia Was Still a Country,” has been included in the relaunch issue of Green Briar Review, just released yesterday.

Peauxdunquians continue to travel and write in search of the Word and all its magic. Emily Choate has recently completed a residency at the Hambidge Center in Georgia, and continues to write insightful and beautifully rendered reviews at Chapter16.orgDenise Moore continues to work her writing and words in the improv world with the improv comedy group Black Girl Giggles, who just recently appeared at the Diversity in Comedy Festival in Los Angeles. And Tom Carson, as always, who thought he could rid himself of us by moving out to California, continues to pound home the cultural and political harrows of the day with razor wit and grace.

Stay tuned for the next post, where I might remember all the things I forgot …

 

Maurice Ruffin’s novel acquired by One World

Maurice Carlos Ruffin‘s debut novel, We Cast a Shadow, has been acquired at auction by Victory Matsui at One World, Chris Jackson‘s imprint at Random House. Maurice was represented in the deal by P.J. Mark, of Janklow & Nesbit. We Cast a Shadow, set in a near-future Southern city, follows a black father who, desperate to save his bi-racial son from a world bent on erasing him, becomes obsessed with an experimental medical procedure to turn his son white. We Cast a Shadow is a family story that shines a million-watt light onto the American psyche and questions how far we will go to protect the ones we love.

Chris Jackson, formerly an executive editor at Spiegel & Grau, has also edited works by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Edwidge Danticat, Jay-Z, and Beyonce, among many other luminaries. We Cast a Shadow is tentatively scheduled for publication in 2019.

Maurice Carlos Ruffin