Category Archives: literary events

Battles of New Orleans

Today the Battle of New Orleans anniversary celebration continues at the Chalmette Battlefield. Oh yes, there will be reenactments and cannon firings, as well as stuff for kids to do, food and more. Starts at 9 am and continues throughout the day. Once the sun sets, the Battle of New Orleans Lantern Tours begin. Admission is $5. The first tour begins at 5:45pm.

Perhaps coincidentally with the anniversary of the big battle, perhaps not, Daniel Rasmussen author of Uprising: The Untold Story of America’s Largest Slave Revolt will be discussing his book from 1-3pm at the Garden District Book Shop. Rasmussen is a kind of a big deal scholar and journalist–C-SPAN will be televising the event. Free.


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Remember Lilith Fair?–The late nineties women’s music festival founded by Sarah McLachlan? It was the target of a lot of jokes back in the day, some of them made by me. Somehow, now, I’m a little less cynical than I was at the end of college, and I am happy to hear about Ladyfest–which seems like Lilith Fair’s hipper little sister. A little less Indigo Girls, a little more Cat Power. Or, maybe a better metaphor is: a little more Eve than Lilith.

Anyway, the original LadyFest was started in Olympia, Washington in 2000, and has weathered the test of time, growing into a worldwide event over the last 10 years. You may be the sort of person who asks why is it necessary for ladies to band together based on gender, and to that I answer that–especially in the world of music–we ladies are still woefully underrepresented. SO, without further ado: LadyFest New Orleans 2010. Here’s the schedule for the next few days:

Wed 11/3 at St Anna’s
Danielle Wilson & The Truth

Thur 11/4 BMC
6:00 Zena Moses
7:00 Wendy Darling
8:00 Meschiya Lake
9:00 Jayna Morgan
10:00 Jenn Howard

Fri 11/5 Sweet Lorraine’s
6:00 Kat Walker
7:00 Amy Trail
8:00 Miss Sophie Lee
9:00 Holley Bentdsen and Amasa Miller
10:00 Charmaine Neville
11:00 Michaela Harrison

Sat 11/6 Lost Love Lounge Poetry Power Day
12:00 pm Lady Baby Miss
1:00pm Megan Harris (who will also emcee)
1:15 pm Laura Anne Baselar Brown
1:30 pm Melinda Palacio
1:45 pm Laura Mattingly
2:00pm Heather Tammany
2:15 pm Sunday Angleton
2:30 pm Laurie Wiliams
2:45 pm Melanie Leavitt
3pm Biljana Obradovic
3:15 pm David Leonard & Roselyn Lionhart music & Poetry
3:45 pm Katheryn Krotzer Laborde
4 00pm Robin Kemp
4:15 pm Beverly Rainbolt
4:30 pm Gina Ferrara
4:45 pm Liz Garcia
5:00 pm Monica Miller
5:15pm Lee Grue
5:30 pm Neti Vann & Hannah Kreiger-Benson
with a introductory poem by Esme Vaandager

Sat 11/6 Blue Nile Upstairs
6:00 Beth Patterson
7:00 Lil Red and Big Bad
8:00 Ingrid Lucia
9:00 Susan Cowsill
10:00 Mary Lasseigne
11:00 Lynn Drury

Sun 11/7 Ashe
1:00 Nattie
2:00 Margie Perez
3:00 MaryFlynn’s Prohibition Blues
4:00 Monica MacIntyre
5:00 Zion Trinity

Zeitgeist Multi Disciplinary Arts Center
1618 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd. NOLA 70115
8:00 to 9:00 pm Films by Autumn Leonard & Jocelyn Marquis


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Ondaatje at Tulane

Man, I’m really impressed by the authors Tulane gets for its “Great Readers” series. Tonight they have Michael Ondaatje, most famous for The English Patient and Divisadero. He will be reading and signing this evening at Tulane University’s Dixon Hall. 7pm.

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The Moth in NOLA!

If I were asked to enumerate a Fraulein Maria-esque list of my favorite things, The Moth would surely be among them. If you listen to The Moth podcast religiously, as I do, you know that it is an ongoing storytelling series hosted by Dan Kennedy, which features true stories told live without notes. The Moth has regular Story Slams in New York, LA, Chicago and Detroit. Tonight they are doing one of their tour shows here in New Orleans! The theme tonight is A More Perfect Union: Stories of Prejudice and Power. To give you an idea of The Moth aesthetic here’s a video (this one’s a little serious, they are often riotously funny, too):

It’s only $10! 7:30pm. Generations Hall.

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With this week being the five year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, everyone is taking stock. Harry Shearer and Spike Lee have new movies out. Chris Rose imagines what it would be like had Katrina never happened. And, there are several books out–two of which have events tonight.

Dave Eggers, the author, and creator of McSweeney’s and 826 Valenica, will discuss and reads from his book, Zeitoun, at Tulane University’s McAlister Auditorium. Here’s a description of the book from Wikipedia:

Zeitoun is a nonfiction book written by Dave Eggers and published by McSweeney’s in 2009. It tells the story of Abdulrahman Zeitoun, the Syrian-American owner of a painting and contracting company in New Orleans who chose to ride out Hurricane Katrina in his Uptown home. After the storm he traveled the flooded city in a secondhand canoe rescuing neighbors, caring for abandoned pets and distributing fresh water.

A little later, at 8:30, another book, entitled New Orleans: What Can’t Be Lost: 88 Stories and Traditions from the Sacred City, edited by Lee Barclay, and with photographs by Christopher Porché West, will be sold and signed at The Big Top. Also, there will be music by Big Chief Monk Boudreaux and a performance by The Pussyfooters.

Here’s the press release:

The eighty-eight stories and traditions in New Orleans: What Can’t Be Lost are the piano keys in a love song to the city. Alongside Christopher Porché West’s alluring black-and-white photographs, New Orleans’ culture bearers pay tribute to the city they call home. From Storyville to the Super Bowl, from cover to cover are found Pulitzer Prize-winning writers–four of them gathered on these pages; Creole chefs; float and costume designers; a break-acrobat flipping forward over tourists lying on the pavement like matchsticks across from Jackson Square; Black Mardi Gras Indians; parade captains; musicians; protectors of the city’s historic landmarks; writers of its poems and articles and novels and plays; and those who pass down traditions in the performance of New Orleans culture.

And here is the impressive roster of contributors:

Jason Berry, John Biguenet, Amanda Boyden, Rick Bragg, Poppy Z. Brite, Robert Olen Butler, Leah Chase, Joshua Clark, Andrei Codrescu, Lolis Eric Elie, Richard Ford, Fred J. Johnson, Jr., Errol Laborde, Ronald W. Lewis, Louis Maistros, Anders Osborne, Tom Piazza, Chris Rose, Kalamu ya Salaam, Henri Schindler, Ned Sublette, Barbara Trevigne, Christine Wiltz, Herreast J. Harrison, Sarah K. Inman, Lee Meitzen Grue, and more.

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Before (During) After

This evening from 6-8, in the CAC‘s cafe, there will be a book signing and artist talk for Before (During) After. The book is a visual and literary exploration of how Hurricane Katrina has transformed the lives and work of 12 photographers. “Five years in the wake of the storm, we discover Katrina’s imprint on the creative expression of each artist. Adding depth to the pictorial representation, each photographer has written an intimate account of how Katrina changed his or her life, work and vision of the future. The photographers include: Eric Julian, Elizabeth Kleinveld, Rowan Metzner, David Rae Morris, Thomas Neff, Sam Portera, Frank Relle, Jennifer Shaw, Mark Sindler, Zack Smith, Jonathan Traviesa, and Lori Waselchuk. Additional written contributions provided by John Biguenet, Dr. Tony Lewis, and Steven Maklansky.”

At today’s signing will be: John Biguenet (who is a local author whose work I really like. See: The Torturer’s Apprentice, Oyster), Thomas Neff, Jennifer Shaw, Zack Smith, Eric Julien, Sam Portera.

Also, if you want to support locally-owned bookstores, but also like to shop online (like me) you can do so at Octavia Books’ website. Pretty cool, eh?

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Mad About Mom

Still brimming with Mom love? Native New Orleanian and actor Bryan Batt, most notably of Mad Men (Why did they have to get rid of him? There was so much more to do with that story line. Boo.) has a little something for you.

Mr. Batt wrote a book about his mom called She Ain’t Heavy, She’s My Mother. He’s doing a signing and reading tonight at 7, at Barnes and Noble in Metairie. Psst. Don’t by the book there though, go buy it at Octavia or another local bookstore. Also, while your uptown at the bookstore, you can visit the home decor store Batt owns on Magazine, Hazelnut, and buy Mom a belated Mother’s Day gift.

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