Poetry Out Loud in Hattiesburg

A certain kind of carnival of its own, the Poetry Out Loud season has officially begun. I’m honored to serve as one of the three judges for today’s Southern Regional contest, based at the Hattiesburg Arts Commission’s downtown office. For any in the area, the contest will be featuring contestants from area high schools — open to the public, and a great deal of fun, the show kicks off at noon. Hope to see you there.

Rene Brunet and Jack Stewart on historic theatres

For those in the New Orleans area, this Thursday, Jan 24th, Rene Brunet and Jack Stewart will be presenting their new book about the historic movie theatres of New Orleans, There’s One in Your Neighborhood, at Maple Street Book Shop. As the book description notes,

There’s One In Your Neighborhood is an encyclopedic, photo-filled coffee-table book chronicling the history of the city’s neighborhood theaters. Organized by neighborhood — with another section devoted to drive-ins — it includes histories and photographs of more than 100 local theaters collected over the years by Brunet, as well as contributions from local movie experts including Rose Kern, Michael Hurley and A.J. Roquevert. In the process, it offers a fascinatingly detailed snapshot of a bygone era.”

Among others, the book includes the historic Prytania Theatre, owned by Brunet, featured in Walker Percy’s classic The Moviegoer and still operating today. The reading starts at 6 at Maple Street’s Uptown branch, with a wine reception to follow. Details are here.

2013 Back Stage Pass Conference in Philadelphia, MS

It’s a great honor to join the Mississippi Arts Commission and the Mississippi Main Street Association for their second annual Back Stage Pass conference, held this year in Philadelphia, Mississippi, at the historic Golden Moon Casino. I’ll be appearing as part of the Storyteller’s Breakfast this coming Thursday morning, along with Mark LaFrancis, Rebecca Jernigan, and Annie McKee. It looks to be a great event and a lot of fun; I can’t imagine a nicer way to start the day than with a fresh cup of coffee, stories, and poetry. More information about the conference, and a program, are available at the MMSA website.

Mid-City Messenger in New Orleans

As a former writer for UptownMessenger.com, I’m delighted to share the news that a new sister site, based in Mid-City, has officially been launched. MidCityMessenger.com is now live, covering news, crime, events, and politics across one of the largest and most diverse neighborhoods in New Orleans (and, incidentally, the one I call home — so I’m quite happily biased for a handful of reasons).

Bringing the same professionalism to local news coverage as the Uptown Messenger, the Mid-City Messenger will be staffed primarily by Marta Jewson, an experienced reporter with a passion both for journalistic excellence and the city of New Orleans. More details are available on the website itself, its Facebook page, and its Twitter feed, but if you live in the area, the most important thing to do is to become a regular reader, commenter, and active member of the neighborhood. The health and strength both of Mid-City and of the city as a whole depends on it.