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The Reading Life: Katy Simpson Smith

Susan Larson talks with Katy Simpson Smith, whose new novel is The Weeds.

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

The New Orleans Poetry Festival continues through April 16. The small press book fair takes place Saturday, April 15, and Sunday, April 16 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at the New Orleans Healing Center. There will also be a performance by poet Tyehimba Jess, Saturday, April 15, at 7 p.m. at Café Istanbul. Check out nolapoetry.com for complete schedule.

The Friends of the Jefferson Public Library Book Sale takes place Friday through Sunday, April 14-16, at the Pontchartrain Center, Williams Blvd. at the Lake, in Kenner. Hours are Friday and Saturday (April 14-15) from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday (April 16) from noon to 5 p.m.

The April Writers’ Clinic at the East Bank Regional Library focuses on the Three Act Structure for writers as well as web sites for writers. That’s Saturday, April 15. At 9:30 a.m., Rachel Rivera who writes as Gillian Zane, presents “What Should a Writer’s Website Contain?,” followed at 1 p.m. by Reine Dugas, discussing The Three-Act Structure” for narrative fiction. Free, no need to register.

Pamela Binnings Ewen discusses and signs her new historical novel, “Emilienne” Saturday, April 15, at noon at Garden District Book Shop.

Author/illustrator Doug Salati, winner of the 2023 Caldecott Medal, reads and signs “Hot Dog,” Saturday, April 15, from 1-2 p.m. at Octavia Books.

Ciera Horton McElroy, author of “Atomic Family,” appears in conversation with Nathaniel Rich, author of Second Nature: Scenes from a World Remade, Monday, April 17, at 6 p.m. at Blue Cypress Books.

Marielle Songy discusses and signs “The Absinthe Frappe,” Monday, April 17, at 6 p.m. at Garden District Book Shop.

Katy Simpson Smith appears in conversation with Jami Attenberg and signs “The Weeds,” Tuesday, April 18, at 6 p.m. at Blue Cypress Books.

Music filmmaker Robert Mugge discusses and reads excerpts from his new memoir, “Notes from the Road: A Filmmaker's Journey through American Music, “ Tuesday, April 18, at 6 p.m. at Octavia Books.

Poets Anne Babson, author of “The Bunker Book,” and Karisma Price, author of “I Am Always So Serious,” read from and discuss their new books at Tuesday, April 18, at 7 p.m. at  the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon, Metairie.

Karisma Price discusses her new book with TR Johnson, Thursday, April 20 at 6 p.m. at Octavia Books.

Lydia Fenet discusses “Claim Your Confidence: Unlock Your Superpower and Create the Life You Want,” with philanthropist Jane Scott Hodges, Thursday, April 20, at 6 p.m. at the Academy of the Sacred Heart Nims Center free to students, tickets required for others at Garden District Bookshop.

Julia Reinhard Lupton, Distinguished professor of English at the University of California at Irvine, presents the 32nd Josephine Gessner Ferguson Lecture, “Couples, Couplets, and Conversation: Shakespeare and the Art of Love,” Thursday, Thursday, April 20 at 7 p.m. at the Freeman Auditorium in the Woldenberg Art Center, Tulane University.

The Louisiana Author Project Competition, a contest to recognize and promote independently published novels from authors in Louisiana, is now accepting submissions in two categories – adult and young adult. The competition honors the top indie-published eBooks in the area. Contest submissions are accepted from April 1, 2023 through May 31, 2023. Authors can submit at indieauthorproject.librariesshare.com/Louisiana. Winners in each category will receive $500. Each book submitted to the contest must be independently-published, in the category of adult or young adult fiction, written by a Louisiana resident; and available in either PDF or ePUB format.This is the fourth year of the competition.

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.