NOLA BOOK AND LITERARY NEWS

from Nathan C. Martin and Friends.
The Room 220 headquarters was eerily empty Monday morning, its staff having been barred from the premises.
The Room 220 headquarters was eerily empty Monday morning, its staff having been barred from the premises.

In yet another blow to the local media landscape, just a week after the Times-Picayune fired half of its editorial staff, upper management at Room 220 announced they would begin enforcing a compulsory furlough for the publication’s employees beginning Monday, June 18. The furlough will last roughly three weeks, with regularly scheduled content to resume in early July.

A managerial team member familiar with the situation who asked not to be named for “for fear of losing my fucking job, why do you think?” said the furlough is a cost-saving measure implemented in the face of budget shortfalls. Like most major news organizations, Room 220‘s revenues have taken a hit thanks to the sluggish economy, crumbling ad-based profit models, and the increasing sense of not-giving-a-shit-because-everything-is-fucked-anyway among former news-readers in the United States.

The biggest complaint among Room 220 employees was the way in which management announced the furlough with no prior warning or indication that anything was awry (though most understood that volunteering for a literary blog does not quite amount to career solidity).

“I wish they would have told us at least this weekend,” said Taylor Murrow, a writer. “I would have slept in this morning, since I have a restaurant shift to work tonight.”

Nathan C. Martin, editor of Room 220, said he was confused as to why management would choose a furlough as a cost-saving measure, since no one at the organization is paid.

“I do this for free, and so do my writers,” Martin said. “All of us have other jobs. Not like those poor bastards at the T-P with mortgages and families and lives on the line. My heart goes out to them. Hell, I’m looking forward to taking a break from this for a little while.”

Martin suggested that if the organization really wanted to save money, it could try renting the Room 220 URL temporarily to other organizations that are housed in room 220 of whatever building they occupy, or perhaps cap the amount of alcohol provided at events, though both would likely be met with disdain from loyal Room 220 patrons, particularly the latter.

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 [...]