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The Reading Life with Robert Brantley and John Warner Smith

This week on The Reading Life: Photographer Robert Brantley, author of “Sacred Ground: Cemeteries of New Orleans.” And John Warner Smith, Louisiana’s new poet laureate and author of "Muhammad’s Mountain," "Spirits of the Gods," "A Mandala of Hands," and Soul Be a Witness," with a new collection, "Our Shut Eyes: New and Selected Poems on Race in America," due out later this year.

October 6 Calendar

  • Ethan Brown signs the movie tie-in edition of “Murder on the Bayou: Who Killed the Women Known as the Jeff Davis 8?,” Monday, October 7, at 6 p.m. at Octavia Books.
  • Poet Morgan Parker, author of the poetry collections "Magical Negro," "There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé," and "Other People’s Comfort Keeps Me Up At Night," and the young adult novel "Who Put This Song On?," is the Florie Gale Arons poet at Newcomb College Institute at Tulane University this month. She will read in the Diboll Gallery at Newcomb Institute on Monday, October 7, at 7 p.m. 
  • Graphic novelist Kate Lacour discusses her new book, “Vivisectionary,” with artist Caesar Meadows, Tuesday, October 8, at 6 p.m. at the New Orleans Public Library Main Library, 219 Loyola.
  • Poppy Tooker discusses and signs “Drag Queen Brunch,” Tuesday, October 8, at 6:30 p.m. at the Hubbell Library in Algiers.
  • Today’s guest, Robert Brantley discusses and signs “Sacred Ground: Cemeteries of New Orleans,”  Thursday, October 10, at 6 p.m. at Garden District Book Shop and again Thursday, October 17, at 6 p.m. at Octavia Books.
  • Today’s guest, John Warner Smith, reads from and discusses his work, Wednesday, October 9, 6:30 p.m. at the Louisiana Center for the Humanities Turners Hall, 938 Lafayette St.
  • Historian Carolyn Kolb continues the series “The History of Jefferson Parish,” with part 5 Part Five—“Twentieth Century Life: Family Life, Politics, Politicians and Sports,”  Wednesday, October 9, at 7 p.m. at the West Bank Regional Library, 2781 Manhattan Blvd., Harvey.
  • Megan Abbott, author of 10 books, including “Give Me Your Hand,” “Dare Me, and “You Will Know Me,” and Sarah St. Vincent, author of Ways to Hide in Winter, are the recipients of the Diana Pinckley Prizes for Crime Fiction. The Prizes will be presented Thursday, October 10 at 6 p.m. at the Louisiana Humanities Center, 938 Lafayette St. Open to the public, but please rsvp to pinckleyprizes@gmail.com.     
  • Celeste Norris discusses and signs “Cajun by Blood: A Thibodaux Family Story,” Thursday, Oct. 10, at 7 p.m.at the East Bank Regional Library, 4747 W. Napoleon, Metairie.
  • Rachel Breunlin and Bruce “Sunpie” Barnes, co-authors of “Le Ker Creole (The Creole Heart): Creole Compositions and Stories from Louisiana” discuss and sign the book at the opening of the accompanying Exhibit at the Cabildo, 701 Chartres, Friday, October 11, at 5:30 p.m.
  • Jeanette Weiland discusses and signs her children’s book, “Beignets for Breakfast,” Saturday, October 12, at 4 p.m. at Garden District Book Shop.

And coming up:

  • Garden District Book Shop presents an evening with Chef Sean Brock in conversation with Chef Kelly Fields, discussing his book, “South: Essential Recipes and New Explorations,” at New Orleans Culinary & Hospitality Institute (NOCHI), 725 Howard Avenue, October 17 at 7 p.m. Tickets are available at Garden District Book Shop.
  • Octavia Books presents Ta-nehisi Coates reading and discussing his first novel, “Water Dancer,” in conversation with novelist Jesmyn Ward, Wednesday, October 30 at 6 p.m. at Temple Sinai, 6227 St. Charles Ave. Tickets are available at Octavia Books.
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.