The Reading Life with Ken Wells and Scott Ellis

Mar 3, 2019

This week on The Reading Life: That great Louisiana chronicler Ken Wells talks about “Gumbo Life: Tales from the Roux Bayou.” And Scott Ellis explores one of New Orleans' most beloved neighborhoods in “The Faubourg Marigny of New Orleans: A History.”

Here in New Orleans:

  • Phil Hoose signs “Attucks! Oscar Robertson and the Basketball Team That Awakened a City,” Sunday, March 3, at 2 p.m. at Octavia Books. 
  • Poet Amy Trussell will read at the Maple Leaf Bar, Sunday, March 3, at 3 p.m.
  • Poet Valentine Pierce presents a workshop on how to read and present your work, Saturday, March 9, at 2 p.m. at the In the Garden Writers Workshop at the Alvar Branch Library, 913 Alvar St.
  • David Fulmer discusses and signs The Day Ends at Dawn,” the seventh and final novel in his acclaimed St. Cyr series, Saturday, March 9, at 5 p.m. at Crescent City Books. Fulmer will sign books, give us his abbreviated writing workshop or "Speed Shop", and read from the final novel.  
  • The Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society presents Meet the Author with Thomas Mallon, author of “Landfall,” Maurice Ruffin, author of “We Cast a Shadow,” and Rodger Kamenetz, author of “Yonder,” Sunday, March 10, from 2-4 p.m. at the Cabildo. Email to reserve a free seat.
  • Ken Wells discusses and signs “Gumbo Life: Tales from the Roux Bayou,” Monday, March 11, at 6 p.m. at Octavia Books.
  • The Friends of the Jefferson Public Library hold their Big Book Sale March 14-17, 2019, at the Pontchartrain Center, Williams Blvd. at the Lake, in Kenner. Hours are Thursday through Saturday (March 14-16) from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday (March 17) from noon to 5 p.m.
  • Maxine Gordon appears with Fred Kasten to discuss and sign “Sophisticated Giant: The Life and Legacy of Dexter Gordon,” Thursday, March 14, at 6 p.m. at Octavia Books. Listen for Fred’s interview with Maxine on Jazz New Orleans on WWNO, Friday, March 8, between 8 and 10.
  • And get ready for that big literary weekend in New Orleans, March 27-31, when the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival takes place March 27-31, along with the Saints and Sinners LGBTQ Literary Festival March 29-31 at the Hotel Monteleone. Some of the writers coming to town include Dorothy Allison, Jami Attenberg, Bryan Batt, Donna Brazile, Doug Brinkley, Maureen Corrigan, Michael Cunningham, Samantha Downing, Judy Grahn, Garth Greenwell, Justin Phillip Reed, Felice Picano, Bryan Washington. Check out or for the complete schedule.

Coming up in Houma:

  • The Terrebonne Parish Library hosts its 16th Jambalaya Writers Festival March 9, from 7:30-6 p.m. at the Terrebonne Parish Library, 1515 Library Dr., in Houma featuring NYT bestselling author Beatriz Williams, Carolyn Brown, Alys Arden, Dacre Stoker, Nathaniel Rich, Laura Cayouette, Erica Spindler, Sheba Turk and others. There will be a pre-Festival Event Friday, March 8, at 6 p.m. at the Library, featuring Ken Wells, author of “Gumbo Life: Tales from the Roux Bayou.” For tickets, go to

Coming up in Baton Rouge:

  • Delta Mouth Literary Festival, a partnership with the Louisiana State University Department of English, The Southern ReviewNew Delta Review, and the English Graduate School Association, takes place April 5-7 at Louisiana State University. free and open to the public, the festival this year will be held April 5-7th. We’re proud to welcome an impressive lineup of writers including Jos Charles, Tia Clark, Jerika Marchan, Megan McDowell, Carrie Messenger, Thirii Myint, Dennis James Sweeney and Jeannie Vanasco. Check out for the complete schedule. 

And a big shout out to Tulane University professor and novelist Ladee Hubbard, who has been named the second Gulf South Writer in the Woods, sponsored by A Studio in the Woods and the New Orleans Center for the gulf South. Hubbard will receive a stipend of $5,000, a 6-week residency at A Studio in the Woods over 18 months. Hubbard’s first novel was the critically acclaimed “The Talented Ribkins.” During her residency, Hubbard will be revising her novel, The Rib King