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The Reading Life: C.W. Cannon, Jonathan Kline

Susan Larson talks with C.W. Cannon, about his new book, “I Want Magic: Essays on New Orleans, the South, and Race” and Jonathan Kline about his new novel, “Standing in the Gate.”

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

Kathy C. Patterson, a local author, playwright and essayist, will lead a seminar based on three categories of empowerment: self-discovery, life and pursuit of purpose, Saturday, Oct. 15, at 9:30 a.m. at the Jane O’Brien Chatelain West Bank Regional Library, 2751 Manhattan Blvd., Harvey.

Steve Scaffidi, a writer, producer and director for film and television, will give a presentation on screen-writing at 9:30 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 15, at the Writer’s Clinic at East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon, Metairie. This event is designed for participants who want to take an idea and develop it into a story for a novel, short story, or screenplay.

Khentrul Lodro Thaye Rinpoche discusses and signs “The Power of Mind,” Saturday, October 15, at 2 p.m. at Octavia Books.

C.W. Cannon signs “I Want Magic: Essays on New Orleans, the South, and Race,” and appears in conversation with Rien Fertel, Saturday, October 15 at 5 p.m. at Blue Cypress Books. Cannon also discusses his work with writer Jed Horne at the Louisiana Book Festival in Baton Rouge, Saturday, October 29, at 1 p.m. in A.Z. Young Park, Author Tent 2.

Tammy Lewis Wilborn discusses and signs “Playing a New Game; A Black Woman’s Guide to Being Well and Thriving in the Workplace,” Sunday, October 16, at 2 p.m. at Garden District Book Shop. Free but registration at gardendistrictbookshop.comis required.

Sasha Peyton Smith signs her new novel, “The Witch Hunt,” and appears in conversation with bestselling author Casey McQuiston Sunday, October 16, at 2 p.m. at Octavia Books. This is a ticketed event; check for info.

Jonathan Kline reads from and signs “The Wisdom of Ashes” and “Standing at the Gate,” Wednesday, October 19, at 6 p.m. at Octavia Books.

Poet Justin Lacour reads from and signs “My Heart Is Shaped Like a Bed,” Thursday, October 20, at 6 p.m. at Blue Cypress Books.

The New Orleans chapter of the Women’s National Book Association hosts a celebration of new books by members, Marti Dumas, author of the YA novel “Wildseed Witch,” and Liz Williams, author of “Nana’s Creole Italian Table: Recipes and Stories from Sicilian New Orleans.” The event takes place Friday, October 21, at 6 :30 p.m. at L’Union Française, 4522 Prytania Street. Members and non-members welcome.

And coming up at The Louisiana Book Festival: Two great literary organizations, Narrative 4 and the National Student Poets Program, will celebrate their tenth anniversaries at the Festival, which takes place on Saturday, October 29, at the Capitol grounds in Baton Rouge. Narrative 4’s co-founder, Colum McCann, winner of the National Book Award for Let the Great World Spin, joins members of N4’s Artists Network for the global launch of N4’s yearlong celebration of its first decade. The program will include a tribute to Darrell Bourque, twice the Louisiana Poet Laureate. The goal of Narrative 4 is to build empathy and community through the power of shared storytelling, enabling young people to learn and lead with curiosity, deep listening, and imagination. Felice Belle (Viscera, forthcoming), N4 Director of Marketing and Communications, will moderate a program titled “We Are the Stories We Tell” featuring Colum McCann, N4 Artists Network Director and author Ru Freman (Sleeping Alone), Dolen Perkins-Valdez (Take My Hand), and Louisiana members Maurice Carlos Ruffin (The Ones Who Don’t Say They Love You), and Darrell Bourque (migraré). The program will also include photographer and journalist Elliott Woods, host of Third Squad: After Afghanistan. Louisiana poet Dean Thomas Ellis (Far Flung), an N4 Artist, will be appearing on a poetry panel hosted by Louisiana Poet Laureate Mona Lisa Saloy; and N4 cofounder Lisa Consiglio will also be in attendance.

The Louisiana Book Festival was also chosen to host the National Student Poets Program which will also celebrate its 10th anniversary, featuring all five student poets -- Jesse Begay (Southwest), Sante Fe, NM; Winslow Hastie, Jr. (Southeast), North Charleston, SC; Vidhatrie Keetha (Northeast) Bronx, NY; Emily Igwike (Midwest), Milwaukee, WI; and Diane Sun (West), Bellevue, WA. Joining them will be Hannah Jones, National Student Poets Program Manager, Alliance for Young Artists & Writers/Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, and Dennis Nangle, Senior Program Officer, Grants to States, representing the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Another highlight of the Festival will be the presentation of the 23rd Louisiana Writer Award to novelist, poet, memoirist and teacher David Armand, Saturday, October 29, at 9 a.m. in the State Capitol Museum auditorium.

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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.