Pirate's Alley Faulkner SocietyWords & Music

Who We Are

The Society




What We Do

Words & Music

W&M Faculty:
Authors, Scholars,
Visual Artists, Performers

W&M Faculty:
Agents & Editors

W&M Full Schedule

Schedule At A Glance

W&M Pricing

W&M 2012: Good
Books For Homework

Little Literary Gems
For Writers

Book Order Form

Krewe of Libris

The Double Dealer




The Faulkner Society's 2012

A Lesson Before Dying

Is Presented with a Grant From

National Endowment for the Arts


Arts Midwest


Institute of Museum and Library Services

Our Special Thanks to BIG READ Partners:

The State Library of Louisiana
The Louisiana State Museum
Jefferson Parish Public Library
New Orleans Public Library
The New Orleans Jazz Orchestra
The University of New Orleans
Tulane Univeristy
Loyola University
The Guardians of the Flame/Guardians Institute
The Roots of Music
The New Orleans
Musicians Assistance Foundation

Gulf Coast Bank & Trust

The Pabst Brewing Company
Is A Host
Words & Music, 2012
Entertainment Events

These programs are supported by a grant from
The Louisiana Division of the Arts,
Office of Cultural
Department of Culture, Recreation & Tourism
In cooperation with the
Louisiana State Arts Council

Words & Music, 2012

Following is a working Schedule at a Glance of major events planned for Words & Music, 2012. For those of you who live in New Orleans or who plan to come in early, you may wish to participate in some of the Society's free BIG READ events focusing on the novel A Lesson Before Dying by Louisiana literary master Ernest Gaines. For information on these events, you can Click Here!


Wednesday, November 28

11:00 a. m. — Dixon Hall, Tulane University
A Joint Venture of The Pirate's Alley Faulkner Society,Tulane University, New Orleans
Jazz Orchestra and WYLD-FM
Part One: 11 a. m.
How to Create a Winning Manuscript

This session will feature novelist George Bishop, author of A Letter to My Daughter and judge of the Short Story by a High School Student Category of the William Faulkner – William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition. He will introduce the winner, Leigh Vila of New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, who will read briefly from her manuscript.

Part Two: 11:30 a. m. 
Using Fiction to Get at the Truth

Showcasing Louisiana literary master Ernest J. Gaines, interviewed by Grammy winner Irvin Mayfield, who is author of A Love Letter to New Orleans.  Mayfield, one of the city’s renowned trumpet masters, is creating new music based on the work of Ernest Gaines, which will be premiered during A Lesson Before Dying BIG READ on Friday, November 30 at the recently renovated Joy Theatre. The Master Class will be introduced and moderated by playwright and novelist Hal Clark, who also is host for WYLD-FM's award winning talk show, Sunday Journal.

12:30 p. m. 
Master Class Adjourns
Bagged lunches will be presented to students as they leave the building to return to their buses. Students and teachers
walk to Freret Street for departure by buses.

The 2012 A Lesson Before Dying BIG READ Master Class is presented by the Pirate's Alley Faulkner Society and partners with a grant from The National Endowment for the Arts in cooperation with Arts Midwest and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Free to Louisiana students, teachers, and librarians on a first come-first serve basis with reservations to Faulkhouse@aol.com. Advance reservations are required. For more information on the speakers,
Click Here!

3:00 p. m. — Second Floor Black Box Room, U. S. Mint, 400 Espanade
Readings of New Poetry & Fiction 
Presenters are invited to read new works of poetry, fiction, narrative non-fiction. Each
presentation is limited to 5 minutes. Subject matter must relate to the 2012 theme of
Words & Music: Literature Out of Time. Presenters must sign up with Rosemary James,
Faulkhouse@aol.com to be included on the program.

Note: Presenters and audience are invited for refreshments at 4:45 outside of the Third Floor Performance Hall. (Included in Writers Tuition and Sponsor Packages; please show your Pass.)

Featuring the Work of Rosary O'Neill and John Biguenet
A Joint Venture with the Louisiana State Museum and Southern Repertory Theatre
4:45 p. m. — Old U. S. Mint, 400 Esplanade Avenue, Third Floor Performance Hall
A joint venture with the Louisiana State Museum, Southern Repertory Theatre, and the Pabst Brewing Company. Refreshments will be served.

5:15 p. m. (Note: Readings will begin promptly at 5:30. Please be seated by 5:20, No one will be
admitted during a reading)
Staged Reading from Marilyn/God by playwright Rosary O'Neill, founder of Southern Repertory Theatre and author of 19 published plays as well as a number of novels. Rosary taught drama at Loyola University before moving to New York to continue her career. She was a five-year fellow in writing under Earnest Gaines at the University of Southwestern Louisiana and considers him a major mentor of her career.

5:45 p. m.

Sneak preview of playwright and novelist John Biguenet's new play, Mold, the final play in his Katrina trilogy. A full production of Mold will be staged by Southern Repertory Theatre in the Spring
. In addition to his prizewinning work for the stage, John is author of the critically acclaimed short story collection, The Torturer's Apprentice, and the novel, Oyster. He is Distinguished Professor of Literature at Loyola University. He is recipient of the Louisiana Writer Award bestowed during the State Library of Louisiana's 2012 Festival of the Book

Both readings will be by professional actors under the direction of Sarah Zoghbi of Art and Soul events. Actors are Kerry Cahill, Carol Sutton, James Howard Wright, and Rebecca Elizabeth Hollingsworth. The passages selected will illustrate the point of a Master Class by John Biguenet and Rosary O'Neill immediately following the readings.

6:15 p. m.
MASTER CLASS —Old U.S. Mint, Performance Hall
Creating Dramatic Tension for Novels and Plays
Featuring Rosary O’Neill—who grew up in New Orleans, taught drama at Loyola, and founded Southern Repertory Theatre before moving to New York to continue her career—and John Biguenet— whose prize-winning work about Katrina's impact on the lives of New Orleanians comes from personal experience. John and his wife Marcia lost their home in Lakeview when a drainage canal levee broke and flooded the area during Katrina surges. Complimentary student participation is available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Requests/reservations to Faulkhouse@aol.com

7:30 p. m.

Thursday, November 29

8:00 a. m. — Hotel Monteleone, 200 Royal Street, Queen Anne Mezzanine
Late registration, Conference Packages Distributed, Announcements

8:00 a. m. — Queen Ann Parlor
Note: All Book Signings will take place in the Queen Anne Parlor immediately adjacent to the main
discussion venue, the Queen Anne Ballroom.


Each year, the Faulkner Society sets aside a portion of of the Words & Music program to explore work about New Orleans and its state and new work by Louisianians.This segment of the program is named New Orleans, Mon Amour, after a famous essay by the late author Walker Percy who lived and worked in the New Orleans area for most of his adult life. This year, the Society is devoting an entire day to New Orleans and the importance of place as a powerful force for inspiring the creation of literature, both fiction and non-fiction. The day will include a keynote talk by Lawrence Powell, author of a brilliant new approach to the beginnings of our drama queen of a city—one described by Wiliam Faulkner as a voluptuous courtesan, no longer young and not yet old—and ending with Welcome to the Who Dat Nation: Tall Tales and Tailgating. Each of the authors presenting will focus on aspects of New Orleans that give the city her edge—unique food experiences, exciting location, ethnic mix, artistic creativity, music, literary heritage, and empire building rags to riches entrepreneurs. The day will be devoted to showcasing successful non-fiction about New Orleans and new fiction from New Orleans authors.

8:30 a. m. — Queen Anne Ballroom
Meanwhile, Back at the Café du Monde...
New Orleans often has been described as much like Napoleon's Army...it moves on its stomach! So it's appropriate to start any discussion about New Orleans talking about—and eating—food. And what delicious food we are going to eat. Café du Monde is contributing bags of their famous beignets, hot from the Café for this event. The session will feature a monologue performance by Peggy Sweeney-McDonald, author of the new book, Meanwhile, Back at Café du Monde... This compilation of their life stories involving food by well-known New Orleanians, recipes and other goodies. Some of the storytellers who contributed to the book will present with Peggy. For more on Peggy and the book, Click Here! Ms. Sweeney-McDonald will be available for signing in the Book mart immedately after the session. Joining Ms. Sween-McDonald to tell their life stories about food, will be well known Louisiana musician and teacher John Gray, society columnist for the Times-Picayune Nell Nolan, Café Society cronicler Margarita Bergen, and an owner of Café du Monde, Karen Benrud. Ms. Sweeney-McDonald and crowd will sign in the Book Mart immediately after the presentation.


9:45 a. m.  — Queen Anne Ballroom, Hotel Monteleone, 200 Royal Street
Chris Waddington, staff writer for The Times-Picuyane and Nola.com and winner of the Society's Gold Medal for Best Novella last year will be Master of Ceremonies for New Orleans, Mon Amour, beginning with the scene-setting talk by Lawrence Powell. Waddington has reviewed or written features about all of the wrters featured in this segment of Words & Music 2012, as well as most of the other authors participating this year.

The Accidental City
Lawrence Powell, author of the new history, The Accidental City, will set the stage for other works about the Crescent City which are part of New Orleans, Mon Amour. He will explain how New Orleans came into being in its precarious location between America’s mightiest river and the Gulf of Mexico, and how it has become one of the best-loved cities in the world because of its funky sense of fun and cosmopolitan tolerance for the foibles of all. It was inevitable that a city would spring up as a crucial port of call for trading interests and later become a major center of commerce for the oil and gas industry because of major oil and gas deposits. The development of the city as a source of great inspiration for all of the arts, however, is its greatest claim to fame and to the hearts of men and women everywhere. Dr. Powell, recently retired from Tulane, is now working on his second installment in the Big Easy's history. For more on Larry and his work, Click Here!

10:00 a. m. —Queen Anne Ballroom, Hotel Monteleone
Congo Square: African Roots of New Orleans
This session will be a presentation by Louisiana author Freddie Evans Williams, who will discuss some of the practices common in early New Orleans at the old Congo Square, a gathering place for slaves and free people of color in the past, now a part of the Louis Armstrong Park complex in front of Municipal Auditorium. Through her book, Congo Square: African Roots in New Orleans, Evans shares the influence of Congo Square on the indigenous culture of New Orleans through the media of archival materials, including audio and video clips, photographs, sketches, maps and musical instruments. The author also will highlight connections between cultural practices witnessed in Congo Square and those found in parts of Africa, Haiti, and Cuba. For more on the author, Click Here!

10:15 a. m.
The Music of New Orleans: Rhythm & Blues
Well-known New Orleans- based music writer and performer, Ben Sandmel will talk about the music of New Orleans which has its roots in Congo Square, and specifically about Rhythm & Blues. Sandmel's new book is
Ernie K-Doe: The R & B Emperor of New Orleans. Ben also will perform during Words & Music at Jazz After Hours at the Napoleon House. For more on Ben and his work, Click Here!

10:30 a. m.
And Another Great Gathering Place of New Orleans: Jackson Square, Heart of the Vieux Carre
This session will feature well known graphic artist and author, Tom Varisco, who came up with the
definitive picture book about Katrina and its aftermath, Spoiled, a reflection on the fact that everyone in the
New Orleans area lost their refrigerator because of rotting food. His new book is Jackson Squared, introduced with an essay by one of our favorite writers, John Biguenet, and the images of photographers, Jackson Hill and Will Crocker Varisco's book documents the French Quarter’s Jackson Square, with funny, surprising and sometimes shocking pictures by Tom, Jackson, and Will. In addition to the foreword by Biguenet, the book features short essays by John Carr, Nicole Biguenet Pedersen and Susan Sarver. Even the statue of Old Hickory weighs in with some colorful art criticism and an ode to the "Who Dat Nation." The book is an irreverent celebration of one of America’s most famous destinations.

10:45 a. m.

11:00 a. m.
Presentation of Paper, Literature Out of Time: O. Henry and New Orleans
iMost readers do not associate William Sidney Porter, better known as O. Henry, with New Orleans, but his connection to the city is significant. In 1896, he came to New Orleans on the lam rather than face imprisonment for embezzlement in Texas. Later, he fled from New Orleans to Trujillo, Honduras, and returned about a year and a half later on his way back to Austin to face the music and see his dying wife, Athol one last time.  It is no surprise that O. Henry turned from banking to writing, as his life is the stuff of fiction. Nancy Dixon, Ph.D., a professor at Dillard University of New Orleans, will give us the fun details of this charming rogue's sojourn in New Orleans.

11:20 a. m.
Our Crowd: Faulkner and Pals
John Shelton Reed will discuss the literary renaissance in the New Orleans of the 1920s, featuring literary giants who got their start in and their inspiration from the Big Easy. His discussion will be based on his new non-fiction book, Dixie Bohemia.

11:35 a. m. — Queen Anne Ballroom
New Louisiana Voices in Fiction
2012 has been a banner year for fiction by New Orleanians. This session will feature Geoff Wyss, author of the
marvelous new collection of short stories, How, his first book of short stories; and Michael Allen Zell, whose new book is Errata. Both zero in on the noir side of New Orleans stories. They will be joined by David Armand, author of The Pugilist's Wife, partially set in New Orleans and the French Quarter. All three authors look at the sometimes dark or seedy side of New Orleans, as well as the city's penchant for dark humor. For more on these authors, Click Here!

12:20 p. m.

Book signing for Lawrence Powell, Freddie Evans Williams, Ben Sandmel, and John Shelton Reed; Tom Varisco with Will Crocker and Jackson Hill; Geoff Wyss, Michael Allen Zell, and David Armand.

12:45 p. m. —Cash Bar Opens, Arnaud's Restaurant, 813 Bienville St.
1:00 p. m. — Arnaud's Restaurant

The Fish That Ate the Whale: The Life and Times of America's Banana King.
Rich Cohen
—author of such previous non-fiction hits as The Record Men, Tough Jews, Sweet and Low, The Avengers, and Lake Effect—will discuss his new biography of Samuel Zemurray, the colorful New Orleans entrepreneur who became one of the richest and most powerful men in the world by first peddling over-ripe bananas in Gulf Coast cities and then battling and beating the powerful United Fruit Company into submission. The New York Times bestselling author will discuss the how powerful men and their practices can inspire great literature, such as One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez and how great literature can in turn change the world, even the world of powerful companies and the way they do business. Steve Striffler, Ph.D. is invited to introduce Rich Cohen and say a few words about the trust founded by Zemurray and the work of his daughter Doris Zemurray Stone. Dr. Striffler holds the Doris Zemurray Stone Chair of Latin American Studies, Professor of Anthropology and Geography, and is Director of Latin American Studies at the University of New Orleans.

Rich Cohen's appearance is underwriten in part by the UNO's Latin American Studies Program and in part by his publisher,Farrar, Straus & Giroux.

Cohen will sign after lunch. Please purchase books at the Words & Music Book Mart in advance of the luncheon session. For more on Rich Cohen, who has a story on New Orleans, Pirate City, in the current Paris Review, Click Here!

3:15 p. m. — Queen Anne Ballroom, Hotel Monteleone
The Pleasures and Perils of Writing About Dead People and Bygone Eras
Christen Thompson
of the History Press will introduce the authors with brief remarks addressing what editors look for when acquiring biographies, history books, memoirs set in the past. Breathing new life into long-dead characters and settings of other eras is a whole different ball of wax than imagining a set of characters and bringing them to life with the author serving as mother, father, midwife, and best friend. Essential to the success of a biography or a book of history is selecting characters and settings that are as compelling as great characters and places and events of fiction. Randy Fertel, author of the sensational New Orleans memoir, The Gorilla Man and The Empress of Steak, is invited to lead this session, which will feature authors Rich Cohen, Ben Sandmel, and Sarah Kilborne. Rich Cohen's new book, The Fish That Ate the Whale, is about a legendary and controversial self-made entreprenuer, who figured strongly in the development of Central and South America, Samuel Zemurray. And Ben Sandmel's newbook is about New Orleans music icon Ernie K-Doe, remembered especially for his song Mother-in-law and his popular lounge by the same name. Sarah, won the Faulkner Society's Gold Medal for Best Essay in 1998. Her new book is American Phoenix: The Remarkable Story of William Skinner, A Man Who Turned Disaster into Destiny. It is about a disaster in 1874 (not unlike Hurricane Katrina) and a phenomenal success story that came out of that tragedy. It is a a true story of resiliency, survival and regeneration. Randy's book is a culturally rich memoir about his entrepreneur mother and eccentric father but the main character turns out to be New Orleans of a by-gone era. For more on these authors and their work, Click Here! For more on Christen Thompson and the History Press, Click Here!

4:30 p. m. — Queen Anne Parlor
Book Signings
Rich Cohen, Randy Fertel, Sarah Kilborne, and Ben Sandmel will sign.

4:45 p. m. — Queen Anne Ballroom , Hotel Monteleone
Narrative Voice, Characters, and Dialogue

ILiterary agent Deborah Grosvenor is invited to introduce this session. The 90-minute workshop will be conducted by Jeff Kleinmann of Folio Literary Management. Joining him will be New Orleans author Patty Friedmann, who has been universally-acclaimed for her incredible ear for dialect in dialogue and for the strong narrative voices she creates. The workshop includes critiques for up to 15 participants. Cost of the workshop is $50 per person. No limited registration workshops are included in any packages and it is not necessary to register for a package to participate in these workshops. Advance submissions of five pages which demonstrate narrative voice, characters, or dialogue or all three of these essential elements of successful storytelling. Critique submission must include contact information, a synopsis of the story that that the sample is taken from, and the writing sample.  Critique samples must be in the hands of Faulkhouse@aol at least 30 days before the workshop to give the workshop leader ample opportunity to review and critique. For more on Jeff, Click Here! For more on Patty, Click Here!

NOTE: all registered guests may audit this discussion. Only those who have a paid the workshop fee will have their work critiqued and be eligible for interaction with the authors.

6:30 p. m. —817 St. Philip, French Quarter residence of Faulkner Society sponsors and Saints fans, Dr. Carlos A. Trujillo and Bryan Drude
Welcome to the Who Dat Nation!
The New Orleans Saints are playing the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta but that won’t keep New Orleanians and friends, who cannot be in Atlanta, from supporting their team with tailgating events all over New Orleans. Words & Music is creating a special tailgating party for you. We are “cookin’ the opposition." The world-famous Gumbo Shop is creating a special dish just for you, Falcon Gumbo. The event will feature Tall Tales interspersed with cheerleading tales by famous Southern humorist and Saints fan Roy Blount, Jr. and others. De rigeur costumes for the evening are mandatory black and gold with fleur de lys accents, so start planning your attire! Performances are strictly limited to authors presenting original work dealing only with New Orleans and her heroes, The Saints. Presentations are to be precisely the same length as TV commercials, either 30 seconds or 60 seconds seconds. Writers, this is a test of your ability to get to the point, an entertaining point, quickly. We are not interested in sagas for this event! Falcons fans are welcome, too, but you have to wear Saints colors to get in. Anyone who desires to present a tall tale must submit the manuscript to Faulkhouse@aol.com to avoid duplication of subject matter and to check timing. Presenters will be drafted first come, first serve. Already on the roster are poets Peter Cooley, and Jose Torres Tama. “Who Dat” raps will be performed before the game, during commercial breaks and half time, and as a finale. You won't want to miss the party or this architectural gem, once the Cabrini convent and elementary school operated by nuns of the order founded by Mother Cabrini. Party is for faculty, writers registered for tuition packages, and sponsors only.

Friday, November 30

8:00 a. m. — Hotel Monteleone, Queen Anne Ballroom
8:00 a. m. — Queen Anne Parlor Adjacent to Ballroom
8:00 a. m. — Orleans Room

Carole DeSanti, Vice President and Senior Editor at Peguin and author of the new novel, The Unruly Passions of
Eugenie R., will be mistress of ceremonies for Friday morning's sessions. Ms. DeSanti is well known for championng fiction by and about women with strong female narrative voices.

8:00 a. m. — Queen Anne Ballroom
New Age Strategies for Getting Your Work Published
April Eberhardt
, a literary agent whose specialty is developing strategies for writers she represents to get their
work in print and before the public in non-traditional ways, will lead this session. Joining her will be Timothy J. Smith,
author of Cooper's Promise, who is a role model for writers in the methods he used. He self-published, and the result
was a two-book deal by a traditional publishing house. Timothy will sign his novel in the Book Mart immediately after the session. Invited to introduce the session and moderate is Shari Stauch, owner of Shark Marketing Company and the newblog endeavor, Where Writers Win. For more on April Eberhardt, Click Here! For more on Tim and Shari,
Click Here! To hear a great interview with Tim on ExPat Radio, Click Here!

9:00 a. m.

9:15 a.m. — Queen Anne Ballroom
Literature Out of Time
What Can the Religions of Science Fiction Teach Us?
Penelope Dane, an MFA candidate at Louisiana State University, will discuss the imaginary religions of the future. Science fiction writers such as Kurt Vonnegut and Octavia Butler have created alternative religions as part of solutions to dystopias. In her essay, Ms. Dane speculates about what Octavia Butler's "Earthseed" religion from Parable of the Sower and Kurt Vonnegut's "Church of God the Utterly Indifferent" from The Sirens of Titan have to teach readers about writing and living. Ms. Dane will join Moira Crone and Sanem Ozdural in the discussion following.

9:45 a. m. — Queen Anne Ballroom
The Art of Using Fiction as a Magic Carpet for Time Travel
Literary agent Jill Marr is invited to introduce this session, which is about transporting the reader to another time, another world, even worlds that are still in the future. The trick of getting the reader eagerly stepping aboard the author's time travel vehicle is a special kind of magic. And its the kind of magic that can make or break fiction. New Orleans fiction writer Moira Crone and debut novelist Sanem Ozdural will discuss the art of exploring the future with fiction. Ms. Crone, former director of the MFA writing program at LSU and recent winner of the Robert Penn Warren Award for her body of work, is author of the new novel The Not Yet, set in a New Orleans yet to come. Ms. Ozdural, a practicing attorney who cut her legal teeth as a prosecutor with the Orleans Parish District Attorney"s Office, is author of LIGA (acronym for Life Game), a novel about a game of the future where the coin is extra years of life. Both authors, keen observers of the harsh realities of our time, take those realities and mutliply them, envisioning a future where the division between the haves and have nots reaches epic proportions. Against their dramatic landscapes, they each in different ways explore the fall-out from quests for immortality. The key to the success of such explorations? Moira and Sanem will let you in on that secret. Penelope Dane, who will be presenting a paper on the imaginary religions of Science Fiction, is invited to join them. To learn more about these writers, Click Here! To learn more about Jill Marr, Click Here! Moira and Sanem will sign immediately after the session in the Book Mart.

11:00 a. m. — Queen Anne Ballroom
Mining Wars of the Past to Create Contemporary Literature
Randy Fertel, non-fiction author of The Gorilla Man and The Empress of Steak and a scholar in the Vietnam War and its impacts is invited to introduce and moderate this session. Fertel and New America Media editor, Andrew Lam will set the scene. Lam is author of of Perfume Dreams and East Eats West and a novel, Birds of Paradise Lost, due out in 2013. Visit here for a new article by Andrew at Huffinton Post. Fiction writers George Bishop, author of A Letter To My Daughter and Pamela Binnings Ewen, whose newnovel is Chasing the Wind, will discuss howtheir novels were influenced by the Vietnam War era, while T. Geronimo Johnson, whose debut novel, Hold It 'Til It Hurts, has received universal critical acclaim, will continue the themes introduced by the others but turn to the war in Afghanistan and returning warriors, the inspiration for his novel. For more information on these authors, Click Here! 

12:15 p. m. — Queen Anne Parlor
Book Signings
Randy Fertel, Andrew Lam, George Bishop, Pamela Binnings Ewen, and T. Geronimo Johnson will sign.

12:30 p. m. — Cash Bar Opens, Riverview Room, Hotel Monteleone
12:45 p. m .— Lunch Begins
Hard Reality as Inspiration for Imagining & Creating Literature
Featuring Louisiana literary master Ernest Gaines, author of the focus book of the Faulkner Society’s, 2012 BIG READ project, A Lesson Before Dying, which is set in an era of 20th Century Louisiana, when Jim Crow was the law of the lland. Hal Clark, a member of the Faulkner Society's Advisory Council and award-winning host of the WYLD-Radio Sunday Journal, is invited to introduce and moderate the session and join T. Geronimo Johnson, whose debut novel, Hold It Til It Hurts, is receiving universal acclaim, in interviewing Mr. Gaines. For more on BIG READ, Click Here! For more on Mr. Gaines, Click Here!  For more on Nimo Johnson, Click Here! For more on Hal Clark, Click Here!  Mr. Gaines and Nimo Johnson are invited to sign their books at this event. Please purchase books in advance of the session from the Words & Music Book Mart in the Queen Anne Parlor.

2:30 p. m. — Queen Anne Ballroom
Heros and Heroines of the Past as Inspiration for Contemporary Literature
Literary editor Susanna Porter of Random House is invited to introduce this session, which will feature Oscar Hijuelos, Marie Arana, Carole DeSanti, Joséphine Sacabo, and Lori Carlson. Pulitzer Prize winner Oscar Hijuelos has sought his heroes and heroines in both pre-Castro Cuba and in Cuban-American society since the takeover of Castro. Maria Arana, writer-at-large for the Washington-Post, has two compelling novels set in her native Peru, Cellophane and Lima Nights to her credit and her current project is a biography of a Latin American hero, Simón Bolívar, the Venezuelan politcal and miliary leader who played a key role in Hispanic America's struggle for independence from the Spanish Empire. (New Orleans, often considered the southern-most city of the Caribbean and Gateway to the Americas, honors the memory of El Libertador with a statue of him, erected in 1957.) Carole DeSanti revisited the Second Empire period in France and created a strong female character for her new novel
The Unruly Passions of Eugenie R
. Internationally noted art photographer Joséphine Sacabo, whose books include essays or poetry with her images, has been heavily influenced by important figures in Latin American history, including most recently, Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, a 17th century Mexican nun who was one of the greatest poets of Latin America.Lori Carlson, author of The Sunday Tertulia, who has written novels both for adults and young adults in both English and Spanish and has translated the work of important Spanish-speaking authors into English, has as her current heroines a group of nuns in a 16th Century convent in Spain. For more on these authors, Click Here! For more on Susanna Porter, Click Here!  Authors will sign in the Book Mart immediately following the session.

4:00 p. m.

4:15 p. m. — Queen Anne Ballroom
Literature Out of Time:
Margaret Mitchell's Scarlett O'Hara: Fluffy Fictional Character or a Prototype for Surviving a Shift to a New Normal?
Laura Pavlides
, blogger, writer, and speaker, will go back into literary history to examanine the character of one of the most captivating heroines of all time, a woman who knew how to go with the flow, Scarlett O'Hara of
Gone with the Wind fame.

4:35 p. m.
Literature Out of Time
Is Something Mything in Your Villain?
Jennifer Stewart
and Daniel Wallace will explore fiction's bad guys (and girls). Is evil eternal and unchanging or do readers seek fresh twists and motivations in their archnemises? The talk discusses the extent to which classic archetypes help build better villains, and seeks the tipping point between iconic and cliche. Jennifer won of Faulkner Society's Novel in Progress in 2010. She has an MFA from the University of New Orleans nd is founding editor of Burlesque Press. Daniel is pursuing his Ph.D. at the University of Tennessee.

4:55 p. m. Intermission

5:10 p. m.
Getting The Right Agent & Working With the Right Editor

This session will feature all agents and editors participating in Words & Music, 2012. Jeff Kleinmann of Folio Literary Management will lead the discussion. Registered writers will get a chance to see and hear their assigned agents and editors, and ask questions of them at the end of the session.

6:30 p. m. — Front Entrance, Hotel Monteleone
Bus leaves for Joy Theatre and gala concert promptly at 6:30 p. m. Bus reservation must be made in advance, $25 per person for round trip to concert and back. Reserve at Faulkhouse@aol.com before November 23.

6:30 p.m. — Doors Open, Cash Bar Opens, Joy Theatre, 1200 Canal St.

7:30 p. m. — Concert will begin.

World Premiere:
An original jazz score by Irvin Mayfield featuring the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra

This gala concert will star Grammy Award-winning trumpet artist Irvin Mayfield and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra (NOJO) who will premiere a jazz tribute to revered Louisiana literary master Ernest Gaines. Event partners include 
The Pirate's Alley Faulkner Society, which is honoring Mr. Gaines with its A Lesson Before Dying BIG READ project and its Words & Music arts festival; the New Orleans Public Library, and The University of New Orleans.
Ernest Gaines will appear at the event with his wife Dianne Gaines. Joining them will be famed actress
Cicely Tyson, who starred in film adaptations of the Gaines novels, A Lesson Before Dying and 
The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman.
This world premiere event will take place in the recently
renovated Joy Theatre, a landmark in New Orleans since 1947, located across Canal Street from the Ritz-Carlton Hotel. Guests registered for the Faulkner Society's festival with writer or sponsor packages will have concert tickets included in their package. This is a ticketed event open to the general public. Premiere reserved tickets are $40 each; General Public, $25 each; and Student tickets, $15 each. For additional event and ticket information, please visit www.thenojo.com. For this event, Cocktail Attire

The 2012 A Lesson Before Dying BIG READ is one-third funded by the National Endowment of the Arts in concert with Arts Midwest and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. BIG READ partners of the Society in addition to the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra are the State Library of Louisiana, Louisiana State Museum, Jefferson Parish Public Library, New Orleans Public Library, Tulane University, University of NewOrleans, and Loyola University; and some 51 middle, junior, and high schools.

10:00 p. m.. to Midnight — Napoleon House, 500 Chartres St.
Featuring the music of Married Woman.
Married Woman is a collaboration by Rodger Kamenetz and Anna Byars, composing and performing original songs, with other musicians joining them. Anna Byars plays lead guitar and sings in Married Woman. She's also the lead guitar with Polly Pry, whose full length CD, Two Warm Minutes, was recorded by Grammy Award Winner Fred Foster in Nashville's Blue Room Studio. Rodger Kamenetz, plays piano, does vocals, writes lyrics and music for Married Woman. His sixth book of poetry forthcoming is To Die Next to You (Six Galleries Press).  Some of the songs Married Woman will be playing are based on poems from his new book.  The drummer for the group, who played with the Hackberry Ramblers, is Ben Sandmel. He's a musicologist and keen student of Louisiana music. His latest book is the smash hit Ernie K-Doe: The R&B Emperor of New Orleans.  Both Kamenetz and Sandmel are appearing as authors during Words & Music. Joining them on clarinet is Ben Schenck, who leads the Panorama Brass, has toured all over the world and regularly parades the streets of New Orleans with his eclectic mix of jazz, brass, Eastern European, Latin and Caribbean influences. His latest CD is Come Out Swinging. For more on these talented performers, Click Here! The event will include food and open bar. Tickets are $75 for registered writers, $125 for the General Public. For tickets, e-mail faulkhouse@aol.com or call (504) 524-2940 with credit card information. Number of Tickets limited by size of the venue.

Saturday, December 1

8:00 a. m. — Queen Anne Ballroom

8:00 a. m. — Queen Anne Parlor

8:30 a. m. — Orleans Room

8:30 a. m. — Orleans Room
How to edit your own work successfully
A well-edited book is crucial to the success of it beginning with finding an agent, then a publisher,
getting it reviewed favorably, and selling the finished product to the general reading public. This session
will feature Brenda Copeland of St. Martin's Press, who in addition to her editing career teaches
editing at New York University. Introducing Ms. Copeland and setting the scene will be Shari Stauch
of Where Writers Win and Shark Marketing Company, whose clients received editing services, along
with advice on positioning themselves as writers. Those who register should submit five pages for critique
by November 1. Note: This workshop replaces the originally scheduled workshop on Sense of Place.

all registered guests may audit this discussion. Only those who have a paid the workshop fee will have their work critiqued and be eligible for interaction with the authors during this session.

9:45: a. m. — Queen Anne Ballroom
Using Performance Art Techniques and Other Contemporary Writing Forms to Get the Point Across Quickly and Poetically in Short Fiction
Literary Agent Ryan Doherty of Random House is invited to introduce this session, which will feature Pulitzer prize author Oscar Hijuelos, Justin Torres, poet, fiction writer and playwright Dalt Wonk, and poet, playwright, novelist, and celebrated short fiction author, John Biguenet.  The well known Cuban-American author Hijuelos started is career writing short to the point copy for an advertising agency and in his spare time then he wrote short stories, many of which won such honors as the Pushcart Prize. The debut short novel of Torres, We The Animals, was the "It" book of the critics last year, and Torres regularly publishes short stories in national journals. His novel has frequently been compared to the performance art of rap entertainers. Wonk, who began his writing career in theatre, has always had a flare for the dramatic, and he has revived an old storytelling technique for his second book illustrated with his own marvelous paintings. The technique? Fables. This form was originated in ancient times and used by court performers to instruct in morals. Biguenet, author of the collection, The Torturer's Apprentice, is Invited to lead this session. For more on these authors, Click Here!

11:00—Queen Anne Ballroom
The Art of Using Fiction to Get at the Truth
Literary Editor Webster Younce is invited to introduce this session, which will feature New York Times bestselling novelist Adam Johnson, author of The Orphan Master's Son, a powerful novel which imagines the closed society of North Korea under its three-generation dictatorship, and Marie Arana, who visits other eras in the history of her native Peru in her two critically-acclaimed novels, Cellophane and Lima Nights. They will be joined in this discussion by Lucy Ferriss, who teaches writing at Trinity College and is author of and by Lisa Zeidner, one of the wittiest writers working in America today, who will shed some light on how to find humor in the past. Ms. Zeidner is author of five novels including Love Bomb, her most recent, and Layover, which is in development as a film and has been translated into six languages. She also is founder of the Rutgers University MFA program. For more on these authors, Click Here!

12:15—Queen Anne Parlor
Book Signings

Lucy Ferris, Adam Johnson, Marie Arana, and Lisa Zeidner will sign.

12:30 p. m.— Riverview Room, Roof, Hotel Monteleone
12:45.— Luncheon Begins
The Aesthetics of Literature: The Art of Reading

Literary Editor Amy Gash is invited to introduce Pulitzer Prize winning literary critic Jonathan Yardley of the Washington Post, author of the recently published collection, Second Reading. Yardley will teach a master class for readers and writers on The Art of Reading. He will demonstrate how to get the most out of great literature utilizing choice pieces of text from one of our all-time favorite novels of the South, A Summons to Memphis by a literary master, Peter Taylor. This novel is selected for examination because it gives a memorable picture of white southern gentry who lived out their lives in a closed society insulated from the horrors visited upon Afro-Americans in the Jim Crow South. Mr. Taylor's novel is a literary contrast to the story of A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest Gaines. Jonathan Yardley will be introducing Ernest Gaines at Faulkner for All. For more information on Jonathan Yardley and his career, Click Here! Jon Yardley will sign at the luncheon, following his talk. Please purchase books at the
Book Mart, Queen Anne Parlor, prior to the event.

2:45 p. m. — Queen Anne Ballroom
New Ventures in Small Press Publishing are Producing Dynamic Results
Literary agent Howard Yoon, vice president of the Ross - Yoon Agency, is invited to introduce this session, which will feature the husband and wife team of art photographer Joséphine Sacabo and playwright poet, Dalt Wonk, co-authors of Nocturnes featuring Josephine's lovely images and Dalt's poetry; Rodger Kamenetz, whose new book of poetry To Die Next to You is illustrated by artist Michael Hafftka; and designer and author Tom Varisco and John Biguenet, who collaborated on a newbook of essays Jackson Squared, which is illustrated by photographs, some by Tom and some by two other phogrpahers, Will Crocker and Jackson Hill. All three books were produced by small press publishers. For more on these authors and their work, Click Here!
The authors will sign in the Book Mart, Queen Anne Parlor, following the session.

3:45 p. m. Intermission

4:00 p. m. — Riverview Room, Rooftop, Hotel Monteleone
So you want to be in the Movies!
This session will feature Brandy Rivers of the prestigious Hollywood talent management firm, the Gersh Agency.
Brandy's specialty as a literary agent is selling her clients books for adaptation to feature films or documentaries.
Literary Agent Brandi Bowles is invited to introduce this sesstion.

5:00 p. m.

5:15 p. m. —Riverview Room, Rooftop, Hotel Monteleone
Literary Editor Brenda Copeland of St. Martin's is invited to introduce this session, presented annually but with a change of presenters, is about the important relationship between an author with his/her agent and editor. MENAGE À TROIS, 2012 features author Lucy Ferris, whose new novel is The Lost Daughter, with her agent Al Zuckerman, founder of Writers House, and her editor, Jackie Cantor of Berkeley House. Ms. Ferris will sign in the Book Mart immediately after the discussion. For more on these authors, Click Here! for Lucy and Click Here! for Jackie and Al.

7:15 p.m.— Hotel Monteleone, Ground Floor, Royal Suite
Part One:

The Faulkner Society's gala annual meeting, Black Tie Optional. Part I will open with cocktails and will include presentation of Gold Medals to Winners of the 2012 William Faulkner — William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition. The Guardians of the Flame Mardi Gras Indians will make an appearance and presentation, welcoming Mr. & Mrs Ernest Gaines and Cicely Tyson to New Orleans.

8:30 p. m. — Queen Anne Ballroom
Part Two
Toastmaster for the evening will be Pulitzer Prize winning Washington Post literary critic Jonathan Yardley, whose new book is Second Reading. The event will feature a performance reading by celebrated actress Cicely Tyson, noted for her roles in film adaptations of the novels A Lesson Before Dying and The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman by Ernest Gaines. A highlight of the evening will be presentation of ALIHOT (A Legend in His/Her Own Time) Awards for music, philanthropy, and literature. Music for dancing following the dinner and program will be provided by Armand St. Martin’s Maison C’est Bon Jazz Trio. Critics have proclaimed St. Martin as: “A formidable keyboard player,” “the keyboard wizard”, “non-stop entertainment”, “hot as jambalaya”, “the keyboard blurrrr”, “he could kill crocodiles with his bare hands,” “a rock solid, sizzling showman”, and “an iconic New Orleans keyboard player!”  His engaging shows of his uptempo originals, mixed with New Orleans classics, are delivered with his own brand of flavorful twists and shouts.  He melds Louisiana music genres into an unique finely-tuned mixture of jazz, roots, R&B, blues, rockabilly, Cajun, classical, zydeco, and rock ‘n’ roll. For more on Armand and his work, Click Here!

Sunday, December 2

8:00 a. m. — Queen Anne Ballroom

8:00 a. m. — Queen Anne Parlor

8:00 a. m. —  Orleans Room

8:00 a. m. —
Finding a New Twist to the Old Verities: Love, Honor, Duty, Hope, Faith, Respect for Others, and Good Humor
Literary editor Ginny Younce of Penguin is invited to introduce this 75-minute session, which will be conducted by Moira Crone, former director of the LSU MFA program, recent winner of the Robert Penn Warren award and author of the new novel, The Not Yet. In her novel, an allegory of where our society is headed now, the old verities have been forgotten in an obsessive quest to become immortal. Joining Ms. Crone for this session will be the critically acclaimed author Lisa Zeidner, author of Layover and Love Bomb and founder of the Rutgers MFA program and Adam Johnson, whose new novel, The Orphan Master's Son, is a New York Times bestseller who teaches in Stanford's MFA program. They will discuss the old verities in their work. Ms. Crone will critique submissions submitted in advance. Submissions of five pages, include one or more of these verities with a new take or howone or more of the verities informs the life of one or more characters. The verities are essential elements of all successful storytelling.An example of an extremely successful new twist on an old story, The Odyssey, which involves all of the verities, was the film script for the Coen brothers production, Oh, Brother, Where Art Thou. Critique submission must include contact information, a synopsis of the story that that the sample is taken from, and the writing sample. Critique samples must be in the hands of Faulkhouse@aol.com well in advance before the workshop to give the workshop leader ample opportunity to review and critique. The authors will sign in the Book Mart immediately following the session. For more on their work, Click Here!

NOTE: all registered guests may audit this discussion. Only those who have a paid the workshop fee will have work critiqued and be eligible for interaction with the authors.

9:15 a. m.

9:30 a. m. — Queen Anne Ballroom
Literature out of Time: Examinations of Life in the Face of Death
Jennifer Levasseur, a native New Orleanian who has lived and studied abroad for 10 years, will discuss two methods of interpreting death and rebirth in and through literature. Ms. Lavasseur, using the work of Austrian author Stefan Zweig, one of the bestselling authors in the world before the rise of Hitler, will discuss the ways in which Zweig, a Jew, was driven to suicide by the losses he suffered as a result of the Nazis, and at the same time how he treated suicide in his opus Beware of Pity. Unlike the central figure of A Lesson Before Dying, who gains redemption before his death, the suicide victim in the Zweig novel does not. Instead, her death results in redemption for the man who misused her. For more on Ms. Lavasseur, who currently is working on her doctorate in Australia, Click Here!

9:50 a. m. — Queen Anne Ballroom
Literature out of Time: World War C
How the heart and soul of America have been stolen by China is the subject of this paper, which will be presented by Gregory Friedlander, who has been in the active practice of law in Louisiana and Alabama since 1983.  He has also been a member of the U.S. Patent Bar since 1984.  Since 1986 he has been in private practice as Gregory M. Friedlander & Associates, P.C.He has written several books incluidng, Trust How We lost the War with China, coming out soon in the second edition as World War C  and Sam, the first battlefield of World War I. He also publishes a blog at gmfbooks.blogspot.com.  For more information on the author, Click Here!

10:10 a. m. — Queen Anne Ballroom
Literature out of Time: The Power of Telling Tales in Verse to Transform

Liv S.M. Evensen, Ph.D, of Oslo, Norway, will be returning to Words & Music, 2012 with a new presentation of
tales in poetic “wrappings” from her collection Tales of Transformations, Shamanistically Speaking, drawn from her" Inner Muse" through Dreamscapes. Dr. Evensen is Jungian-trained in spiritual psychology.  She is an expressive arts therapist and poet who speaks internationally on myths, fables and fairy tales in multicultural communications, conducts creative courses and does international lectures on intuitive painting, creative writing, oral storytelling,  and dreams. With the counseling of a Dream Mentor, she has been writing poems from her dreams since 2005. In the tradition of Dante with his guiding light Virgil, Ms. Evensen’s dreams are spoken in the voice of a Druid or shaman.

10:30 a. m. — Queen Anne Ballroom
Literature Out of Time:  Yeats’ Place of Stone: Animated Imagination, or Finding the Space Where We Can Breathe
At the age of 24, William Butler Yeats set as his life’s work to “hammer all into a unity.”  He wanted in challenging the fascination of what is difficult to locate that space where we each can retreat, at least momentarily, to that place of stone.  Dr. Marylin Mell, who teaches in the English Department at Dillard University of New Orleans, will delve into the poetic stance of Yeats and his work.

10:50 a.m. — Intermission  

11:00 a.m. — Queen Anne Ballroom
Poetry as an Avenue to the Soul

This session will feature noted poets Peter Cooley, author of eight books of poetry, including his latest, Divine Margins, and his new collection, Nightbus to the Afterlife, to be released next year; Rodger Kamenetz, whose new collection, To Die Next to You will be released shortly; and Brad Richard, whose latest book is Butcher's Sugar, released in October, 2012. Mr. Richard is invited to lead the discussion.  
Peter Cooley, winner of the 2012 Gold Medal for Poetry, and Judith White, James Bourey, and  Jennifer Bartell, runners-up in the Faulkner-Wisdom Competition's poetry category, are invited to read their winning poems at the end of this session. Poets with books will sign in the Book Mart, Queen Anne Parlor, during Intermission.

12:15 — Intermission
12:30 p.m. — Queen Anne Ballroom

Great Literature as a Force for Social and Personal Soul Searching, Spiritual Reckoning
Ernest Gaines will discuss the universal themes of man's inhumanity to man and the longing for love, brotherhood, and human dignity in this session, featuring Tulane University teachers Nghana Lewis and T.R. Johnson, who will interview Mr. Gaines on the subject. Mr. Gaines will sign after the session.

1:30 p. m. — Riverview Room, Hotel Monteleone, Cash Bar Opens
1:45 p.m. — Riverview Room, Luncheon Begins

The Power of Literature & Its Creators To Change Lives.
The stage for this event will be set by John Shelton Reed, a founder of the Center for the Study of the South at the University of North Carolina and author of the new book, Dixie Bohemia, all about Faulkner and pals in New Orleans and howFaulkner's life was changed by New Orleans and the mentors, especially including Sherwood Anderson, he met here. Featuring British writing teacher and lecturer Simon Claxton of England, who met William Faulkner, a meeting which completely changed the course of his life. Co-sponsored by the English Speaking Union. Simon Claxton will be introduced by Dr. E. Quinn Peeper, chairman of the New Orleans Chapter of the English Speaking Union.

4:00 to 5:30 p. m. — 624 Pirate's Alley
The Power of Literature & Its Creators To Change Lives.
Rosemary James and Joe DeSalvo will be at home after Literature & Lunch to offer you a bon voyage glass of champagne and dessert in the house where Nobel Laureate William Faulkner fell in love, poked fun at his friends, shot BBs at passersby, and found his voice as America's best-known novelist. Have a drink and pick up last minute copies of the books of Words & Music, 2011 in the room where Faulkner wrote Soldiers' Pay a collection of New Orleans Sketches, and word caricatures for Sherwood Anderson and Other Famous Creoles and began writing other books in his New Orleans cycle, such as The Wild Palms, Mosquitoes, and Pylon. When Faulkner first arrived in New Orleans, he was the guest of Elizabeth and Sherwood Anderson, who lived at The Pontalba, until they got tired of having a guest underfoot in their small apartment. They suggested that Faulkner go around the corner and talk to artist William Spratling, who was leasing 624 Pirate's Alley from a Creole family, and find accommodations with him. Spratling sub-leased the ground-floor room that is now the primary space of Faulkner House Books, to him and they became fast friends. They travelled to France together after Faulkner, with Sherwood Anderson's help, sold Soldiers' Pay. Spratling went on to re-start the dormant silver industry in Mexico with his beautiful Art Deco designs for jewelry, flatware and hollow ware for the home, and purely decorative pieces, all of which are highly collectible and valuable today.

Words & Music Quick Links       




Faulkner Society events are made possible in part by important support from Alliance Francaise of New Orleans, The Arts Council of New Orleans and the Decentralized Arts Funding Program and the Arts Stabilization Program of The Louisiana Division of the Arts; Bertie Deming Smith and the Deming Foundation; the English Speaking Union; Rosemary James, Joseph DeSalvo and Faulkner House, Inc; Randy Fertel and The Ruth U. Fertel Foundation; Arthur & Mary Davis, Quint Davis, and Pam Friedler; the Louisiana State Museum; Courtenay McDowell and Richard Gregory; Hotel Monteleone; Mr. & Mrs. Hartwig Moss, III; Jimmy & Pam Lott; Theodosia M. Nolan, Tia and James Roddy, and Peter Tattersall; Parkside Foundation; Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre; Anne and Ron Pincus; Other Press, a Division of Random House; E. Quinn Peeper and Michael Harold; R. M. Shows, David Speights in Memory of Marti Speights, Spring: A Journal of Archetype and Culture: Nancy Cater, Editor; the State Library of Louisiana; Judith "Jude" Swenson in memory of her late husband, James Swenson.

Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society
624 Pirate’s Alley, New Orleans, LA 70116
phone: (504) 586-1609 or (504) 525-5615
fax: (504) 522-9725
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