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NOMA’s Besthoff Sculpture Garden (5:00 PM)
The NOLA Project presents this festive comedy that pits two of Shakespeare's most beloved characters in a war of words and wits
City Park’s Botanical Garden (5:00 PM)
New Orleanian songwriter performs at the weekly outdoor concert series
The Ogden Museum (6:00 PM)
Singer/ songwriter who has recently performed at Austin City Limits Music Festival and provided tour support for Raul Malo and the Wood Brothers
The Foundation Gallery (6:00 PM)
A screening of Maya's award-winning animation "Pareidolia" followed by a Q &A with the artist
Snug Harbor (8:00 & 10:00 PM)
The third evening of a chamber music festival that has something for classical aficionados and dilettantes alike
Hi Ho Lounge (9:00 PM)
Hip hop artist raps on St. Claude with his album Trap Hop
Circle Bar (10:00 PM)
Performing tracks from the new album 'What a World'
The Verse Pipe
New Wave of New Orleans Poets Making Their Mark
The city that's home to the longest running poetry reading in the country has seen some new poetic blood recently. Cate Czarnecki files a dispatch from the inside of this growing scene, and finds out where to find the poets' work.
BAYOU ST. JOHN -- As dusk settles over the fairgrounds on the Friday before Jazz Fest, a crowd has assembled on Ponce de Leon outside of the Bayou St. John branch of the Maple Street Book Shop.
The group of twenty-somethings who are gathered might resemble any weeknight crowd, except that this is not your typical post-work happy hour or free concert but a poetry book release and reading - an encouraging mark of a youthful literary revival currently taking place in New Orleans.
"New Orleans has a wonderful poetry scene that's only getting bigger and better." says Michael Glaviano of Maple Street.
The release party, which was held last week in honor of Ben Kopel's new collection of poems VICTORY, is just one of a growing number of poetry-related events taking place around the city this spring.
"There's stuff all over, Antenna Gallery, the Gold Mine, Euclid Records, the Columns. UNO, Loyola and Tulane have talented graduate and undergraduate students coming out of their metaphorical ears. LSU's creative writing MFA just up the creek is a top-25 program and those writers are down here all the time."
While New Orleans has an extensive and storied poetic tradition, including the Everette C. Maddox Memorial Prose & Poetry Reading at the Maple Leaf - the longest running poetry reading in North America, the recent emphasis on fresh voices and modern venues for poets is a positive sign for a genre long saddled with the prevailing impression among young people as stuffy, if not downright inaccessible.
With a standing-room only crowd, the Kopel book release, which also included critically acclaimed poets CA Conrad and Magdalena Zurawski, was one of the store's most popular spring readings.
"It's amazing and a sign of great things to come that CA Conrad and Magdalena are reading in New Orleans." Kopel said afterwards. "Their work is full of the same spirit that makes this city such a heavenmouth."
In recognition of National Poetry Month, Glaviano put together a collection of small press poetry titles (including VICTORY) that the Bayou St. John location of Maple Street Book Shop is currently featuring, as well as a free 'zine of excerpts that has been distributed around the city. Though National Poetry Month has already passed into National Salad Month, the zine will continue to distributed around the city.
"The zine is basically just a paper mix-tape. The poems were selected to be a representative sample of our contemporary poetry selection, but also because they're killer poems and are super accessible so that people who flip through it might find something they like even if, or especially if, poetry isn't usually their thing."
The impetus to highlight new poetry has not been limited to the city's bookstores. Venues like the Antenna Gallery have also held readings by local poets including Andy Young, Jessica Henricksen and Andy Stallings, with both Henricksen and Young (recently featured on Susan Larson's radio program The Reading Life) also celebrating their newly published collections.
"A lot of times National Poetry Month just becomes a victory lap for poets who've been dead for 200 years." explained Matt Carney, who coordinated the Kopel event. "These poets are coming out with great stuff, which is why we wanted to focus on these newer collections that maybe wouldn't have gotten as much attention in the past."
Dead Huey Long, Emma Boyce, Ian Hoch, Sarah Esenwein, Ryan Sparks, Will Dilella, Chris Rinaldi, Lianna Patch, Phil Yiannopoulos, Cate Czarnecki, Jonas Griffin, Jennifer Abbot, Mary Kilpatrick, Elaina Patton, Mike Horst, Devin Bambrick, Katherine McGuire, Norris Ortolano, Joe Shriner
Ryan Sparks, Kerem Ozkan
Michael Weber, B.A.
Assistant Managing Editor
B. E. Mintz
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