from Nathan C. Martin and Friends.
Witness the breath of the mighty poets.
Witness the breath of the mighty poets.

I did my taxes last night, and the nice VITA fellow who helped me let me know that I had mis-checked a box on the prep form I filled out—under the question, “Do you live in an area affected by a natural disaster?” He told me to always check “Yes” in New Orleans, at least until they fix the levees.

Or maybe he was talking about the hurricane-force barrage of poetry readings that’s going to hit New Orleans next-week!

Granted, just about any night in town one can stumble upon some musty open-mic night where an ex-community-college professor huffs some breathy, over-inflected verse that describes the best second line he attended for a crowd of drunks and the bartender (or barista; whatever), but having three readings in a row of this caliber is as uncommon as a 10-year storm. Granted, they’re all a bit MFA-ish (or, very MFA-ish, since they all either take place at a university, involve university teachers, or both), but I guess you have to pick your poison.

The first is the best, the one not to miss! (in my very biased opinion). On Tuesday, April 17, at 7 p.m. Room 220 presents Andy Young and Jessica Henricksen for a celebration of the launch of their new books along with poet and Thermos co-editor Andy Stallings at the Antenna Gallery (3161 Burgundy St.). Find more details about the readers here and read an interview with Andy Stallings here. This will be the last Room 220 to take place at the Antenna Gallery’s current location, as we’re being kicked out at the end of the month so the landlady can put her yoga studio in the space. Two more spring Room 220 events will take place on May 3 and 8, at the Antenna Gallery Outdoor Auxiliary and the Community Book Center, respectively, and full programming will resume in the fall once Antenna has a new home. Stay tuned for details.

On Wednesday, April 18, at 8 p.m. at its Fine Arts Campus Gallery, the University of New Orleans celebrates Poetry Month by hosting Marthe Reed, who will read from her collection of work forthcoming from Moira Books. Reed, an assistant professor of poetry at the University of Louisiana in Lafayette, is the author of two books, Gaze (Black Radish Books) and Tender Box: A Wunderkammer with drawings by Rikki Ducornet (Lavender Ink), along with three chapbooks. More information about her work is available here. A wine and cheese reception will follow the reading. The gallery is number 15 on this map of the UNO Lakefront Campus.

Finally, on Thursday, April 19, at 7 p.m. on Tulane’s campus in room 200B of Norman Mayer Hall, Joseph Bradshaw and Ben Koppel will read their work. Bradshaw’s book, In the Common Dream of George Oppen, was released last spring by Shearsman Books. You can read a review of the book here, and listen to readings of a few of the poems here and here. He will be coming down from New York City, where he lives, to give the reading.

Kopel, who lives in New Orleans, released his book Victory last week. You can read an interview with him here. He will also read at Maple Street Bookshop, with poet C.A. Conrad, on Friday the 20th, but by that time you’ll probably be so goddamned sick of poetry readings that you’d rather weather a real tornado than sit through one more lyrical exposition on … whatever.


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 [...]