from Nathan C. Martin and Friends.

Poet and theorist Craig Dworkin, who edits the fantastic Eclipse website, randomly showed up as a professor at my college during my senior year and taught a class of baffling writing that I barely understood (or didn’t understand!) and that I’ve never quite recovered from, in the best way possible. We discussed pataphysics, read Lyn Hejinian, Claudia Rankine, Harryette Mullen, and Kenneth Goldsmith, among others, but above and beyond all else, what stuck with me from that class what Christian Bok’s unbelievable, uber-formalist, Ouilipo-aficionadic book Eunoia, which is split into five chapters, each named after a vowel (Chapter A, Chapter E, Chapter I, etc.). Each chapter only contains the vowel after which it’s named. Bok imposed further rules—that each chapter must describe a feast, a nautical voyage, a sexual encounter; each must use nearly every word in the dictionary that only contains the corresponding vowel, and other craziness. The really incredible thing is that, after all the rules—which, if imposed on anyone not a genius, would result in sentences like “A cat sat badly at that mall”—it’s funny, touching, and just plain beautiful. Don’t believe me? You can read Chapter E (for René Crevel) at UbuWeb. In the video above, Bok reads five paragraphs from the book, one from each chapter.

What does this have to do with New Orleans book and literary news, you might ask? Well, nothing really, but it has everything to do with Baton Rouge book and literary news! And, given how nearby Baton Rouge is and how little exciting book and literary news emanates from there, I figured this was worth a mention.

Next weekend, March 15 – 17, students in the MFA program at Louisiana State University are hosting the fourth-annual Delta Mouth Literary Festival (the only free literary festival in Louisiana, they note, presumably taking a jab at the Tennessee Williams Fest). Christian Bok will appear on Thursday night, so of course you’ll miss him if you live in New Orleans because you’ll be attending the reading at Antenna Gallery with Michael Lee and Dean Paschal, but if you find yourself in the capital next weekend (any state senators reading Room 220?), the event is not to be missed. Other good readers include Lily Hoang and Paul Killebrew, who will be writing a travelogue of his journey to and experience in the festival for Room 220. There are also some other people who I’ve never heard of who might be good. If nothing else, judging by the author photos, Delta Mouth has managed to at least attract willing female and non-white poets and authors to read, which is something Room 220‘s Live Prose series has thus far failed at miserably. (Sigh.)




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 [...]


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.


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 [...]