NOLA BOOK AND LITERARY NEWS

from Nathan C. Martin and Friends.
Recent titles by UNO Press
Recent titles by UNO Press

Last Thursday, I received an email from Bill Lavender looking for a job. I didn’t quite get it. I know Bill only tangentially, but I knew he ran UNO Press and the low-residency MFA creative writing program at UNO. I had sent out a query that morning to a spam list for a position open at Loyola, where I work, and he replied with his resume. Later that day, I was exchanging emails with a UNO employee who said she’d spent the day watching the English department be “dismantled. Fucked up beyond belief.”

Later, news seeped out that, indeed, Lavender had been fired due to “budget cuts” and the press will be on hiatus indefinitely. Students who worked with Lavender at the press found out about this when they showed up for their shifts and the doors were locked. Along with Lavender, sources I spoke with at UNO said that the English Department had also fired all of its adjuncts.

I remember talking a year or so ago to someone else, a friend, who works at UNO and has done projects with Lavender. He told me that it was a goddamned miracle that UNO even had a press, considering how broke the university was/is. It’s true, UNO is broke, and presses aren’t cheap.

Friends of Lavender  have begun a petition calling on the UNO president and provost to reinstate him as director of the low-res MFA program and head of the press. I signed it, and I encourage you to, as well. But the economic realities of higher education and publishing make the situation look grim. It’s not a completely fair comparison, but the calls to reinstate Lavender remind one of the recent popular movement to “save” the Times-Picayune. If there’s one thing that debacle has taught us, it’s that, in the new economy, embattled companies are more than willing to sever some of their best limbs.

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 [...]