NOLA BOOK AND LITERARY NEWS

from Nathan C. Martin and Friends.
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I wrote a piece for Pelican Bomb about Loujon Press in terms of its aesthetic achievements (and failures) as a fine-press/artistic publisher. Here’s an excerpt:

The short-lived but mighty Loujon Press has become a legend among New Orleans literary circles. Admired for its publication of prominent writers at the tail end of the Beat Generation and exalted as a model of DIY ethos for the Sisyphean feats of its rag-tag progenitors, Loujon has been the subject of a book and a film documentary, it was the dedicatee of the first New Orleans Book Fair, and its books and journals remain coveted treasures for archivists and collectors throughout the region.

As much as Loujon was esteemed in its day for the words on its pages, readers from the 1960s were often as struck by the craftsmanship and artistry of the publications. Husband-and-wife publishers Jon and Louise “Gypsy Lou” Webb were equally concerned with editorial content and the aesthetic makeup of the objects they created. Contemporary literati who are aware of Loujon’s books and its The Outsider magazine but who have neglected to visit an archive and hold the printed pieces in their hands are woefully unaware of the complete Loujon experience. It is one thing to read Jeff Weddle’s outstanding biography Bohemian New Orleans: The Story of the Outsider and Loujon Press and nod in approval at the gamut of famous writers Loujon published—Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Langston Hughes, Diane di Prima, Allen Ginsberg, Robert Creeley, LeRoi Jones (now known as Amiri Baraka), and William S. Burroughs, among many others. It is quite another to slide the enormous cover off the handmade wooden box that contains Henry Miller’s Insomnia, or the Devil at Large and leaf through a dozen of the author’s watercolors before arriving at the book, couched in foam and glistening metallic.

Check out the rest of the piece at Pelican Bomb

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 [...]