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The Reading Life: Keith O'Brien, New Orleans Poetry Festival

Susan Larson talks with Keith O’Brien about his new book, “Paradise Falls: The True Story of an Environmental Catastrophe” and previews the 2022 New Orleans Poetry Festival with Megan Burns and Bill Lavender.


David Sedaris returns to New Orleans for a reading/performance live at the Orpheum Theatre, Friday, April 15, at 8 p.m. Tickets available now. Octavia Books hosts a book signing at the Orpheum after the performance.

Johnette Downing reads from her poetry, Saturday, April 16, at 5 p.m. at Blue Cypress Books.

Zachary Lazar discusses and signs his new novel, “The Apartment on Calle Uruguay” —along with Jami Attenberg and Maurice Ruffin, Monday, April 18 at 7 p.m. at Café Istanbul.

The seventh annual New Orleans Poetry Festival, under the leadership of Bill Lavender and Megan Burns, takes place April 16-24. Check out nolapoetry.com for complete schedule and info. This year the Festival offers a combination of zoom and live events at various venues, an international night Friday, April 22 featuring poets from Mexico and Chile, a headliner event Saturday, April 23, featuring Rickey de Laurentiis and Joyelle McSweeney, and a two-day small press book fair in the Greenway Station structure at the Lafitte Greenway, April 23-24.

The Reading Life in 2010, Susan Larson was the book editor for The New Orleans Times-Picayune from 1988-2009. She has served on the boards of the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival and the New Orleans Public Library. She is the founder of the New Orleans chapter of the Women's National Book Association, which presents the annual Diana Pinckley Prizes for Crime Fiction.. In 2007, she received the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities lifetime achievement award for her contributions to the literary community. She is also the author of The Booklover's Guide to New Orleans. If you run into her in a local bookstore or library, she'll be happy to suggest something you should read. She thinks New Orleans is the best literary town in the world, and she reads about a book a day.