NOLA BOOK AND LITERARY NEWS

from Nathan C. Martin and Friends.

The 2-Cent Listen Literacy & Arts Festival popped off on a hot Saturday in May on Bayou Road near Broad Street in front of the Community Book Center. A stage featured a continuous flow of musicians and speakers, including Dee-1 (the dude whose song calls out Jay-Z, Lil’ Wayne, and 50 Cent) and stalwart 2-Cent supporter and local hip hop legend Mannie Fresh. A build-a-book tent provided kids supplies to write and put together their own small masterpieces, but their DIY efforts were not a response to an absence of books—Scholastic rolled through and gave away 4,000 copies from their catalog over the course of the day.

I showed up late to the fest, straight from a reading by Karen Tei Yamashita at Octavia across town. The afternoon sun beat down on my friends and I, so after watching Dee-1 we ducked inside the Community Book Center, where I talked to Mama Jennifer—who runs the joint regardless of what she or anyone says—and picked up a copy of Camara Laye’s The Radiance of the King (Mama Jennifer was delighted I’d chosen what, I found out upon bringing it to the counter, was the first entry on the reading list she created for her 60th birthday).

Outside, little kids showed few signs of fatigue as the dozens of festival volunteers stationed at refreshment tents and vendor and activity booths began to break down and pack up. The event was a success by any measure. It coupled great entertainment with the insistent message that issues of poverty and violence in the city are directly linked to a lack of education, and that making learning fun is our best hope of confronting not only these issues, but the school-to-prison pipeline that perpetuates them.

Check out 2-Cent.com for updates on the group’s community activism activities, as well as their genius parodies of contemporary hip hop, like “A 2-Cent Christmas” (featuring Eminem, Gucci Mane, Waka Flocka, Rick Ross, Nicki Minaj, and many more) and, their newest, “The Future of Hip Hop” (feat. Donkey Trunks).

Hand-in-Glove Conference Guide

Hand in Glove Conference Guide
Essay by Amy Mackie, edited by Bob Snead, designed by Erik Keisewetter

This beautiful book, designed and printed by Erik Kiesewetter of Constance for the Hand-in-Glove Conference, includes a guide to all of the conference happenings Oct 17-20, 2013, an informative map of the artist run spaces on and around St. Claude Ave, and an extensive essay by Amy Mackie about the history of self organized contemporary art [...]

Photo by Sophie Lvoff in WE'RE PREGNANT

We’re Pregnant
Words by Nathan Martin. Photography by Akasha Rabut, Sophie T. Lvoff, and Grissel Giuliano.

We’re Pregnant is a chapbook of short fiction by Room 220 editor Nathan C. Martin along with photography by Akasha Rabut, Sophie T. Lvoff, and Grissel Giuliano. The book contains three of Martin’s short stories—which explore in morbid fashion anxieties related to sex, disease, marriage, and childbirth—with images inspired by the stories from each of the photographers.

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The People Is Singular
Poems by Andy Young and Photographs by Salwa Rashad

The People Is Singular, by local poet Andy Young and Egyptian photographer Salwa Rashad, is a personal response to the Egyptian Revolution. Rashad’s vision includes everyday people—Muslims and Christians, young and old, the foregrounded and the peripheral. Her perspective is from inside the events as they unfolded. Andy Young, a New Orleans poet married to [...]

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Curtain Optional
by Brad and Jim Richard

In both poetry and prose, Brad Richard explores the influence of his father’s work on his own, as well as the experience of growing up as the son of an artist while becoming an artist himself. Jim Richard is a professor of painting at the University of New Orleans and has exhibited at the Solomon [...]

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How to Rebuild a City
Edited by Anne Gisleson & Tristan Thompson w/ design and artistic direction by Catherine Burke

Beautifully designed, sometimes fun, always informative, How to Rebuild a City: Field Guide from a work in Progress, is a reflection of the many ways that New Orleanians have realized our way towards recovery, actively and creatively engaging with our communities.

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Bitter Ink
by Brian Zeigler & Raymond “Moose” Jackson

BBoth originally from Detroit, cousins Brian Zeigler and Raymond “Moose” Jackson began collaborating while Brian was harboring Moose in Vermont during Katrina evacuation. While their doodling proclivities may have made them rustbelt exiles from the rest of their autoworker family, together they produce seductive aphorisms of wit and weirdness that provoke, confound and celebrate a [...]