As one of the last events of National Poetry Month, I’m honored to be leading a celebration of poetry tonight at the Norman Mayer (Gentilly) Branch of the New Orleans Public Library. The Dead Poets Slam starts at 5.30pm, featuring area high school students bringing their favorite dead poets — well, at least their poems — into the poetry nook on the second floor. Don’t be a stranger! Come celebrate the end of a fantastic month with us.
Also concluding the month is the series of NPM-related posts at Bayou Magazine, over at UNO. Their contributions this month are well worth trolling back through — it ain’t every day that Aaron Neville writes a new poem just for the occasion, is it?
Pelican Bomb has a brief essay on Isabelle Hayeur’s series of photographs, Underworlds. Hayeur was the most recent resident at A Studio in the Woods, which — for those in the New Orleans area — is hosting their annual FORESTival next weekend, May 11th.
For those in the Edinburgh area, good friends Andrew Philip and Rob Mackenzie are launching their new poetry collections The North End of the Possible and The Good News this weekend. The launch is this Saturday, May 4th, at 1pm at the Scottish Poetry Library. In a word, it’ll be brilliant.
For those in the Jackson/Vicksburg area, much-beloved independent bookseller Lorelei Books is hosting a series of events for National Poetry Month this coming weekend, on April 27th. Experience Poetry Week includes a reading, discussion, and Q&A session with poets Jack Bedell, Julie Kane, and Irene Latham. If you’re anywhere nearby, it’s well worth a visit. More details are available at the Lorelei Books Facebook page, or the Academy of American Poets website.
New Orleans writers! If you’re a poet, poetry lover, or even a poetry hater, in celebration of National Poetry Month the Latter Library is hosting its first annual Worst Verse Bad Poetry competition. Eligible to all current students in the greater New Orleans area, the Library welcomes submissions of original bad poetry by the end of April, for a public reading and performance of the worst verses on Thursday, May 16th.
The rules are:
- Students at New Orleans area high schools and colleges are eligible to enter
- Poems must be original work, previously unpublished
- Poems must be 40 lines maximum
- Poems can be in any form – rhyme is encouraged, but not required
- Subject matter must be PG-13 or below (use your judgment!)
- One submission per poet
- Submissions will be judged anonymously by a panel of local poets, readers, librarians, and book-lovers.
To enter, email your submission with cover sheet including your name, school, class, age, email address, and phone number to firstname.lastname@example.org by April 30, 2013. The best of the worst will win gift cards to local bookstores worth up to $50 (yes, you read that right) and new journals to fill with good poetry. We’re looking forward to reading the very worst of your work — so get writing!
Asymptote have just published their new issue; among other treasures, it features fiction by Pere Calders, translated by Lawrence Venuti, and an excellent interview with Margeret Jull-Costa. Their indiegogo campaign is up through the end of the month; please do consider supporting them.
To further celebrate National Poetry Month, tonight at Cafe Istanbul is Don Paul’s Poetry Ball 4, featuring some of the finest poets and writers in New Orleans — Megan Burns, Chuck Perkins, James Nolan, and Kalamu ya Salaam. Entry is free, but they’ll pass a hat. Details are available at the Cafe Istanbul website.