Following the joy (and naps) of the holiday season, I’m delighted to say that the first week of December will have two launch events for Hattiesburg, Mississippi: A History of the Hub City, both in (where else?) the Hub City itself. First is the annual author extravaganza at Main Street Books — now in its eleventh year — on Monday, December 1st, from 4-7pm. Always a highlight of the local calendar, Main Street Books welcomes in dozens of writers to share their new books, enjoy a glass of wine, and visit with friends old and new alike.
Later that week, I’m thrilled to say, will be the official public launch of the book, with a reading, a reception and a book signing at the historic Oddfellows Gallery downtown on on Thursday, December 4 at 5.30pm. I could not be more excited to present the book to the city in this way, and for those interested in local history, a number of individuals who had a direct hand in its creation (whether as colleagues, aides-de-recherche, or interview subjects whose voices appear in the book) will be present as well. To be able to present the book in this way is an extraordinary honor, as is to be able to give back to so many without whom this book never would have been possible. This launch is open to the public; all are welcome.
Details of New Orleans events are currently in the works, and will appear in due course.
For those in the Edinburgh area, the Word Bank is hosting an afternoon of poetry and music this weekend in conjunction with the recent launch of The Evergreen, in which I’m honored to have a few poems. Details are available on the Word Bank’s website; the event begins this Sunday at 2pm, in West Port Garden in the Grassmarket. Having just received my copy in the mail, I can vouch: this book is beautiful.
I’m delighted to be a part of this Thursday’s Art Salon at TEN Gallery here in New Orleans, a reading and discussion series that explores questions of identity and place. Featuring presentations from artists Jonathan Mayers, Ricardo Barba, and David Parker, it should be a stimulating night. As Hattiesburg, Mississippi is now officially out — the street date is today, November 18th — it’ll be the first public appearance of the book. Hopefully the pages won’t be too shy to turn. Starts at 6pm, with a BYO wine reception.
The international Day of the Imprisoned Writer is this Saturday, November 15. This week, PEN is publishing a letter to five imprisoned writers around the world. From the Guardian:
Nine hundred writers around the world were harassed, imprisoned, murdered or “disappeared” last year, according to PEN International. On Monday, the writers’ organisation has selected just five of them, from a teacher and poet currently serving a 20-year prison sentence in Iran to a Paraguayan writer who has just been sentenced to jail for allegedly plagiarising a novel, and has asked its free members to stand in solidarity with their silenced colleagues.
Pelican Bomb has a review of the Monster! show currently up at Skewer Gallery on St. Claude. The exhibition closes this week — as does your chance to take home a certain white whale.