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The Reading Life: Ben McGrath, Kathleen Balma

Susan Larson interviews Ben McGrath about his first book, Riverman and Kathleen Balma about her book of poems, From Your Hostess At The T&A Museum.

Here’s what’s on tap in the literary life this week:

The Gold Room Reading features Stacey Balkun, Elizabeth Miki Brina, Justin Lamb, and Brad Richard, Friday, July 15, at 8 p.m. at Zeitgeist Theatre and Lounge, 6621 St. Claude Ave.

Creativity and Character Development are the topics two local writers will address Saturday, July 16 at the East Bank Regional Library in Metairie. Constance Adler discusses Guided Meditation and the Creative Process at 9:30 a.m., followed by Pam Villegran at 11 a.m. talking about Character Development.

The Octavia Books book Club discusses “On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous,” by Ocean Vuong, Saturday, July 16, at 10:30 a.m. at Octavia Books.

Ashleigh Bell Pedersen discusses and signs “The Crocodile Bride,” Monday, July 18 at 6 p.m. at Garden District Book Shop.

Andrew Farkas appears in conversation with Mike Miley and signs The Great Indoorsman: Essays, Tuesday, July 19, at 6 p.m. at Blue Cypress Books.

One Book One New Orleans sponsors a discussion with Jarvis DeBerry, author of the 2022 selection, I Feel to Believe, Thursday, July 21, at 6:00pm. at Community Book Center. Masks required.

Brian Altobello discusses and signs “Whiskey, Women and War: How the Great War Shaped Jim Crow New Orleans,” Thursday, July 21, at 7 p.m. at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon, Metairie.

The New Orleans Poetry Journal is seeking submissions for an upcoming anthology featuring the work of poets participating in The Poetry Buffet reading series. Please submit your three best poems of any length to submissions@neworleans poetry journal.com. Include a brief cover letter and bio with the poems in a single pdf or word document. Submission period runs from June 15th until July 31st.

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.