Williams festival seeks poetry entries; workshops resume at the Manship

Book Events for Sunday, Aug. 4, 2013

The Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival’s fourth annual poetry contest is open for submissions through Aug. 15. Robert Pinsky, the only poet to be named three times the United States Poet Laureate, will judge the contest for writers who have yet to publish a book of poetry.

Pinsky will also participate in the 2014 festival alongside many established and up-and-coming artists of all mediums.

The poetry contest winner will be announced by Jan. 15, 2014, and be invited to read his or her winning work with Pinsky at the festival, which will run March 19-23, 2014 in New Orleans.

The grand prize is $1,000 and includes a VIP All-Access Pass ($500 value) for the next festival and publication in Louisiana Cultural Vistas.The top 10 finalists will receive a panel pass ($75 value) to attend the next festival, and their names will be published at tennesseewilliams.net.

The entry fee is $20. Visit tennesseewilliams.net for details.

Shop to help literary festival

The Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival will benefit from Wednesday’s sales at Veterans Whole Foods Market, 3420 Veterans Memorial Blvd. in Metairie.

The Veterans location will donate 5 percent of its net sales that day — 8 a.m.-11 p.m. — to help the festival’s mission of celebrating contemporary literature and nurturing young talent. One shopper will win a VIP all-access pass to the 2014 festival.

The festival will include literary panels, master classes, readings and other performances as well as prizes for fresh poetry, playwriting and fiction voices.

Adults learn spoken poetry

The Verse Lab spoken word poetry workshops for adults resume Tuesday in the second floor conference room of the Manship Theatre at the Shaw Center for the Arts, 100 Lafayette St. in Baton Rouge.

During the 10-week course, students learn the fundamentals of writing poetry for the purpose of performance. Students also learn the history of spoken word and slam poetry as a culture.

The workshops, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., are facilitated by spoken word artists Chancelier ‘xero’ Skidmore and Donney Rose.

The cost is $75 for 10 weeks or $10 per workshop. Sign up by visiting forwardarts.org.

Civil War lecture series

Louisiana historian, documentary director and author Charles Elliott will present “A Yankee Blitzkrieg Stumbles: Baton Rouge, April 5, 1862” during the next lunchtime lecture at the West Baton Rouge Museum, 845 N. Jefferson Ave. in Port Allen.

Visitors are welcome to bring a bag lunch to the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area Civil War Sesquicentennial Commemorative Speakers Series lecture at noon on Thursday.

Elliott, who teaches Louisiana and American history at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, won the 1997 William Coker Award in Gulf South History for “Bienville’s English Turn Incident: Anecdotes Influencing History.” He served as a contributing editor of “Carnivals and Conflicts: A Louisiana History Reader.”

Visit westbatonrougemuseum.com.

Book signings

  • George Bishop will sign copies of his latest book, “The Night of the Comet,” 5:30 p.m.-7 p.m. Monday at Garden District Book Shop, 2727 Prytania St., in New Orleans.
  • Nancy Harris and Melinda Palacio will share poems from their newest collections and also sign their books — “In Beauty Eating Beauty” by Harris and “How Fire Is A Story, Waiting” by Palacio — at 6:02 p.m. Tuesday at Octavia Books, 513 Octavia St., in New Orleans.

    Steve Kubicek will sign his book “UP and IN: Seven Keys to Unlocking Your Potential” at 2 p.m. Saturday at Premier Center II Barnes & Noble, 3414 U.S. 190, Suite 10 in Mandeville.

Book, writer groups

  • The First Tuesday Book Club will meet at 5:45 p.m. Tuesday at Maple Street Book Shop, 7529 Maple St. in New Orleans, to discuss “In the Sanctuary of Outcasts” by Neil White
  • Westbank Writers’ Group meets at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Centre at Westbank Barnes & Noble, 1601B West Bank Expressway in Harvey.
  • The Fiat Lux Book Club: Exploring Catholic Faith through Literature will meet at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Maple Street Book Shop, 7529 Maple St. in New Orleans, to examine the influence of Catholic faith and theology on the first half of Graham Greene’s “The Power and the Glory.”

Compiled by Advocate staff