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The Reading Life: Alice Quinn, Peter Cooley, Megan Holt

Susan Larson talks with Alice Quinn, editor of the new poetry anthology, “Together in a Sudden Strangeness: America’s Poets Respond to the Pandemic” and Megan Holt, executive director of Words and Music: A Literary Feast in New Orleans.

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

  • Akasha Rabut signs her book of New Orleans photographs, “Death Magick Abundance,” Saturday, November 14, from 1 to 3 p.m. at Blue Cypress Books. Outdoor event, socially distanced and masked.
  • Lauren Groff, author of “Florida,” “Fates and Furies, “and many other works, is the 2020 Zale-Kimmerling Writer at Newcomb College Institute. She appears in a zoom conversation with novelist Katy Simpson Smith, Tuesday, November 17 at 6:30 p.m. For more information and to register, go to newcomb.tulane.edu/calendar.
  • Editor Alice Quinn appears in a zoom conversation with Nicole Cooley, Peter Cooley, Cornelius Eady, Ada Limon, and Laura Mullen – contributors to “Together in a Sudden Strangeness: America’s Poets Respond to the Pandemic,” Thursday, November 19 at 6 p.m. For information go to gardendistrictbookshop.com.
  • Edward Ball discusses his book “Life of a Klansman: A Family History in White Supremacy,” in a zoom discussion with Michael Lomax, the president and CEO of the United Negro College Fund and former president of Dillard University Monday, November 23, at 6 p.m. Free but go to gardendistrictbookshop.com to register.
  • The seventh annual Bayou Soul Literary Conference for teen writers, November 18-20, based in Baton Rouge, will be virtual this year, with a full slate of writers and performers. Check out BSWLITERARYCONFERENCE.COM to register – it’s all free.
  • Words and Music: A Literary Feast in New Orleans, takes place November 16-20 in a new online incarnation. Check out wordsandmusic.org for complete schedule. A few things to look forward to: Friday, November 20, at 3 p.m. The Peauxdunque Review and Words & Music are proud to co-present the winners and runners up of the 2020 Words & Music Writing Competition: Katie Devine, Constance Adler, Elizabeth Gross, Titus Chalk, Andy Young, and R. Tiara Malone. And Sunday, November 22, at noon, don’t miss an online performance of Tom Dent’s great play, “Ritual Murder.”
  • And congratulations to John Barry, author of “Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How It Changed America,” and “The Great Influenza,” as well as many other books. He is the recipient of the Louisiana Writer Award for 2020. And though the Louisiana Book Festival was canceled, you can see an interview with John on the Festival’s Youtube channel. Such a well deserved honor for a writer whose work has proven eerily prophetic.
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.