from Nathan C. Martin and Friends.
Portrait by Akasha Rabut
Portrait by Akasha Rabut

Wilbert Rideau, author and former editor of The Angolite prison magazine, has been awarded the 2011 Dayton Literary Peace Prize for nonfiction for his memoir In the Place of Justice: A Story of Punishment and Deliverance.

Room 220 had the pleasure of interviewing Rideau this summer.

The Dayton prize was launched in 2006 to focus attention on the power of the written word and to promote peace and understanding. The awards commemorate the 1995 Dayton Peace accords, which brough the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina to an end. Previous winners have included Junot Díaz for his novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Edwidge Danticat’s Brother, I’m Dying, Marlon James’ The Book of Night Women, and Dave Eggers’ Zeitoun, which tells the harrowing and heartening tail of a New Orleans resident caught in the double snares of post-Katrina flooding and the United States’ War on Terror.

Rideau’s memoir recounts the 44 years he spent in Angola Prison and the lessons he learned there. He had this to say upon winning the award:

No one is more mindful than I am of the long journey I traveled to become an advocate for peace, and to have my writing recognized as serving that end is the ultimate honor. I am a witness for the power of the written word. I know first-hand that reading is transformative. I know that books can inspire people to be better than they are, to aim higher than they thought they could ever go, to create opportunity where none was apparent, to find hope in the bleakest of circumstances, and to discover their own humanity. If my memoir can help one person find a more peaceable path through life, I will consider it a success.

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 [...]