So much good Peauxdunquian publication news

A raft of new publications by Peauxdunque’s own have been launched recently, along with news of publications on the horizon:

  • First, Cassie Pruyn‘s Walt McDonald First Boo Prize-winning book of poems, Lena, is out now from Texas Tech University Press. Writes Rachel Mennies in the foreword, “Pruyn lets us feel what lovers feel–the magnetism, the physicality, the tenderness, the rage, the wondering–with language both musical and visceral.” Room 220 will host a book release for Cassie at Saturn Bar on May 11 at 7 p.m., featuring readings by Cassie and by Ben Aleshire.
  • Next up in publications just out, the incredible story, “Eufala,” by Emily Choate, is now out in the latest issue of Shenadoah:

My stepfather Des got famous, eventually. Fame of a particular stripe—for writing a handful of the most soul-throttling country songs of the seventies and eighties, for a drinking habit so dedicated that it verged on religious solemnity, and for the time my mother left him handcuffed to a tree, alone, for twenty-six hours.

The story of that ordeal was what mattered most. I heard Des tell it over and over—the heat of the day collapsing his throat, the sun moving across the sky, then the moon, then the sun again. At last the bending of sky and trees, ushering the visitation of fearsome beasts, heavenly creatures come to chasten and guide him.

If my mother were within earshot at this point in the story, she’d shrug off all the majesty: “It was the DTs.”

People ate that shit up.

We suspect y’all will eat up the rest of this story, as soon as you head over to Shenandoah to check it out.

  • Zach Bartlett will have a new story, “Excerpts from the Diary of Theodore Miro, Competitor on CryptoChefs Season 2,” out in Mad Scientist Journal, in December 2017.
  • Maurice Carlos Ruffin‘s story, “Beg Borrow Steal,” will be included in the anthology Mojo Rising, out from Sartoris Press in September 2017.
  • Janis Turk‘s story, “Flight Path,” is in the anthology, Mending for Memory, out now by New Laurel Review Press.
  • And Tad Bartlett‘s novella, Marchers’ Season, will see the world in print and e-book in 2018, as the L.A.-based literary journal Storylandia will devote a full issue to it.
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New publications by Zach and Worm; plus a Claudia Gray book release

More publications news from Peauxdunque-land:

  • Larry Wormington has had his short story, “Balloon Animals,” accepted for publication by Elm Leaves Journal, out of Buffalo, New York. ELJ has been in production since 1948 and is edited by Pushcart Prize-winning author, Kim Chinquee.
  • Zach Bartlett‘s story, “Stop Making Your Words Fancy,” will be published in The J.J. Outré Review. It should be out in late April.

Also, Peauxdunquian Amy Vincent, publishing as Claudia Gray, will have her new YA sci-fi adventure, Defy the Stars, released today. A release event will be held tonight at Octavia Books at 513 Octavia Street (NOLA), with a reception from 5 to ~6 and a reading and signing starting close to 6. There will be cupcakes and wine! As Claudia Gray, Amy is the author of the bestselling Evernight series, Fateful, the Spellcaster trilogy, and the Firebird trilogy. She is also the author the young adult Star Wars novels Lost Stars and the forthcoming Bloodline. Kirkus gave Defy the Stars a starred review, calling it a “[n]uanced philosophical discussions of religion, terrorism, and morality advise and direct the high-stakes action, informing the beautiful, realistic ending. Intelligent and thoughtful, a highly relevant far-off speculative adventure.”

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!

New publications from Zach Bartlett and Janis Turk

Two more Peauxdunquians are piling on the publication credits. The fiction podcast, Gallery of Curiosities, is picking up a story by Zach Bartlett. And The New Laurel Review will be publishing the short story, “Flight Path,” by Janis Turk! We’ll post links and more on our Facebook page as those stories become available.

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)

Peauxdunque with Literati Glitterati

This week is filled with events where Peauxdunquians read with, mingle with, and interview some of the leading lights of literature.

The events start tonight at Garden District Book Shop, as Maurice Carlos Ruffin and Emilie Staat read from their contributions to the Scars anthology, joined by editor Erin Wood. The anthology is newly released by Et Alia Press. Maurice, Emilie, and Erin will be reading from 5:30 to 6:30, at 2727 Prytania Street.

On Thursday, October 29, Peauxdunque leads a reading of new works at the Words & Music Conference at the Hotel Monteleone (200-block of Royal Street) at 4:45 p.m. Maurice will be joined by Terri Shrum, Tad Bartlett, J.Ed. Marston, and Zach Bartlett, who are on the bill with 2015 Kirkus Award nominee Harrison Scott Key, writer and documentarian Ellen Ann Fentress, and Faulkner-Wisdom competition gold medalist Emily Capdeville and short-lister Alex Johnson. The reading will take place in Royal Suites C & D.

On Saturday, October 31, the events head up to the Louisiana Book Festival on the state capitol grounds in Baton Rouge. At 11 a.m. in the House Chamber, Maurice Carlos Ruffin will moderate a presentation by 2015 National Book Award Long-Lister T. Geronimo Johnson, and his book, Welcome to Braggsville. At 1:15 p.m. in Senate Committee Room A, Emilie Staat will interview 2015 Booklist Top-Ten (and New York Times Best-Seller) author M.O. Walsh regarding his book, My Sunshine Away. At 2:15 in the same room, Emilie will interview Jami Attenberg, author of Saint Mazie: A Novel.

A great week and weekend for writing and for books. Come join us!

Upcoming Peauxdunque publications, and competition placings

As usual, Peauxdunque’s been a busy place, with plenty new publication and competition news.

Some excellent upcoming publications are in line already for 2016!

Check out our Facebook page for links to Peauxdunque work as it appears.

In addition, Peauxdunque again placed highly in the various categories of the 2015 William Faulkner-William Wisdom writing competition, put on by the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society in conjunction with its annual Words & Music Conference. Tad Bartlett and J.Ed. Marston‘s collaborative novel, The Truth Project, made the Short List for the prize in the novel category; Tad‘s novella, “Marchers’ Season,” was on the Short List for the prize in the novella category; J.Ed.‘s stories, “Search for Missing Girl Continues” and “Saying No,” were a Finalist and a Semi-Finalist, respectively, in the short story category; and J.Ed.‘s poem, “Ulysses on the Stoop,” was a Finalist in the poetry category.

Look out for news regarding Peauxdunquian readings during this year’s Words & Music Conference, October 29-November 1.

The Writing Process Blog Tour: Zach Bartlett

It’s funny about names. Or maybe it isn’t. In the beginning of Peauxdunque, there were two Bartletts, Bert and Tad. And now there’s another Bartlett, the excellently insightful and multi-talented Zach. And none of them are related. OK, so maybe that really isn’t funny, but just a coincidence. In any event, taken from his original posting on his blog, Zach B Is Tall, here’s Zach Bartlett’s turn on the Writing Process Blog Tour:

1) What are you working on?

I’m working on a novel I don’t talk about much because I still kinda
believe in the idea of jinxing yourself. But it’s going to be a genre
farce involving things I miss about New England: local culture,
artsiness, snobbery, and existential dread given physical form.

Outside of that, I regularly write short narratives and light verse
for performance at a biweekly literary event called Esoterotica. This
includes an ongoing series of bawdy limericks for cities in Rhode
Island as an attempt to free the form from Nantucket’s tyranny.

Some of the Esoteroticians and I are also collectively writing a play
to be performed at this year’s New Orleans FringeFest.

2) How does the work differ from others of its genre?

For the novel:

I like to present absurd concepts played straight, and let humor arise
naturally from the rift that creates.

A good amount of the humor I’ve seen within scifi/fantasy/horror seems
to rest on fandom pandering and self-referential in-jokes, or a
protagonist who’s oh-so-quippy and smarter than everyone else around
them. I’ve never enjoyed fiction that simply did what I expected it to
and I don’t believe in escapism, so I hope to not do any of that with
my own work.

Since literary fiction is actually a genre too, I’ll say that I differ
from some of that because my affluent aimless twentysomethings don’t
bathe in gravitas, and nobody falls victim to a quiet revelation.

For the erotica:

Mine probably differs in that it’s intended to be laughed at?

3) Why do you write what you do?

I write humor because I take a droll Wodehouse-like approach to
everything in life, so I suppose I’d find it either impossible or
unenjoyable (and therefore nearly impossible) to write in a more
outwardly-serious mode. Writing is a hobby for me and it’s
counterproductive to have a hobby you don’t enjoy.

Also, the idea that using humor means you don’t take a topic seriously
is only pushed by people who often find themselves the target of such
humor and it should be disregarded. I see my writing as being a
fireplace poker; not for some belabored  ‘stoking the flames’ analogy,
but because it can be wielded as a bludgeon against the haughty.

I actually do own a couple fireplace pokers for just that purpose.

4) How does your writing process work?

I won’t begin to discuss the idea-generating process because so much
of that part seems to result from idly overthinking my own
experiences/interests and trying to derive some practical levity from
them. I also think epiphanies are a totally valid way for ideas to
emerge. But regardless of origin, once the idea does exist, there are
technical processes you need to subject it to before it’s worthwhile
to somebody who isn’t you.

My process for writing the book kind of resembles backstitching. For
example I’d write all of chapter 1, give it a look over to tighten up
basic things, then write chapter 2, give that a look over, then go
through chapters 1 and 2 together for more thorough editing — seeing
any character traits I used in one that should continue across other
chapters, noting any points I could bring up again later or should
have foreshadowed earlier, things like that which you need a longer
period to notice and develop. When I finish chapter 3 I’d give it a
look over, then go through chapters 2 and 3 in that fashion, and so
on. It gives me steady breaks between writing and editing so that just
doing one for too long doesn’t seem overwhelming.

I work from a brief chapter-by-chapter outline so that I have an idea
of how things should be progressing as I write and don’t get caught up
in tangents too often.

Peauxdunque reads for National Poetry Month

As part of the New Orleans Public Library’s month-long series of events for National Poetry Month, Peauxdunque was invited to present a reading at the Nix Branch of the New Orleans Public Library on Thursday, April 24. Cassie Pruyn and Matt Robinson brought together a slate of poets, including themselves and Zach BartlettEmilie Staat, and Tad Bartlett. Drinks, of course, followed.

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