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The Reading Life: Kelby Ouchley


Susan Larson talks with Kelby Ouchley about his new book, Bayou D’Arbonne Swamp: A Naturalist’s Memoir of Place.

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

The Tennessee Williams & New Orleans Literary Festival is partnering with Baldwin & Co. Coffee and Bookstore for a series of free monthly writing workshops. First up: Alex Jennings, author of “The Ballad of Perilous Graves,” Saturday, February 4, from 10 a.m.-noon. Free but register in advance at Tennessee

An informal screenwriting group meets from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Monday nights at the Lakeshore Library, 1000 Esplanade Ave., Metairie. Library patrons will learn techniques to develop a screenplay, brainstorm ideas with fellow writers, as well as critique each other’s work. Writing supplies are provided; laptops encouraged.

Jamila Minnicks appears in conversation with Maurice Carlos Ruffin and signs her debut novel “Moonrise Over New Jessup”winner of the 2021 PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction, Wednesday, February 8, at 6 p.m. at Garden District Book Shop

Nancy Wilson, author of “Mémère’s Country Creole Cookbook: Recipes and Memories from Louisiana’s German Coast,” will conduct a food demonstration at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 8, at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon, Metairie. She will prepare German Coast Potato Salad; this will be followed by a demo from Latrice McGill, who will prepare a King Cake Milk Punch and Mardi Gras lemonade

The Dead Poets Society meets Thursday, Feb. 9, at 7 p.m. at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon, Metairie. Library patrons read the poems of poets who are no longer with us -- Shakespeare, Donne. Robert Frost, Everette Maddox, whomever they want.

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.