2021 Virtual Events Archived

Wherever Jewish folks have gone there has been a wealth of humor, poetry, storytelling, theory, and philosophy that has sprouted up there. In addition, Jewish people have been on the frontlines of rebellions and revolutions around the world. Jews have been targets of persecution and have also been allies.

In this panel we will discuss certain Jewish contributions and contributors to poetry over the years and around the globe. We will also discuss our own approaches as Jewish writers. We'll discuss a legacy of long poems by writers such as Allen Ginsberg, music(ality) and non-musicality as heard in the talk poetry of David Antin, pop culture such as Shia LaBeouf's freestyles, the mundane, and the emotional poetics of Proust's prose. This panel will be an exploration of a literary legacy and in doing so, we'll also be looking at how those styles were used to address certain sentiments. We will be talking about how we work with the personal as well as political from various viewpoints within the larger identity of Jewishness. As such, we'll be discussing a pushback against both antisemitism and Zionism. As well, we will be touching on how other folks such as Plath have used Jewish experience and imagery in their work. And, how Jews such as Emma Lazarus have contributed to what it means to be an American.

We are women and nonbinary folks of Ashkenazi and Sephardic descent. We are Latinx, Black and of European descent. The authors and works we will be discussing attempt to cover a diverse range of what it means to be Jewish.

April 17, 7:00 pm Central Daylight Time
(8:00 pm EDT, 6:00 pm MDT, 5:00 pm PDT)



LIT BALM is a most-weekly interactive livestream reading series taking place at 4pm Central most Saturdays. During the month of April, they are co-ordinating all shows with the New Orleans Poetry Festival.

Four Dominican poets will read: Rhina Espaillat, Jose Enrique Delmonte, Soledad Alvarez, and Juan Matos. Rhina Espaillat will read her own poetry, and the other poets will read Rhina's poetry as well as their own. Jose Enrique Delmonte will read in Spanish, with translations provided by Susan Dickey.

Marc Vincenz, Cassandra Atherton, and Jonathan Penton host Lit Balm shows.

April 17, 4:00 pm Central Daylight Time
(5:00 pm EDT, 3:00 pm MDT, 2:00 pm PDT)



POG & Friends celebrates Tucson's 20+-years-and-going-strong poetry collective, which sponsors 6-8 readings a year, typically pairing visiting poets with local poets and artists. Our NOPF featured poets--who have read for POG or will in the near future--include:
Norman Fischer
Joseph Lease
Saba Razvi
Charles Alexander (POG board member)
Tenney Nathanson (POG board member)

April 16, 6:00 pm Central Daylight Time
(7:00 pm EDT, 5:00 pm MDT, 4:00 pm PDT)



This panel will feature new work by Saturnalia Books authors Kayleb Rae Candrilli (2019 Whiting Award winner), Timothy Liu, Kristi Maxwell, and Alexis Ivy. Winner of the Saturnalia Books Poetry Prize, Candrilli’s second full-length, All the Gay Saints, is a collection of trans joy and resilience. Focused on love, partnership, and cultivating the landscape of one’s own body, All the Gay Saints, seeks happiness in a world saturated with transphobia, and marred by climate change. At the height of his powers, Liu's twelfth book of poems, Let It Ride, integrates life's struggles at midlife by way of disintegration. What's left behind are lyrical traces, poetry a gambol, love a gamble, you're either all in or all out. These poems argue for a life that is more than amusement—rather, a mythic venture waiting to be embodied, embarked upon. Ecopoetic at its core, Maxwell's My My is concerned about the world (“that abundant stray”) and scrutinizes the messiness of humans’ relationships to each other and to the nonhuman—how acts of seeing can lift up or erase. My My operates under the sign of “or,” testing out alternatives and revisions in the hopes of landing on a truth that can be lived with. Taking the Homeless Census, Ivy's second poetry collection and Editor's Choice selection for the Saturnalia Books Poetry Prize, begins with her award-winning crown of sonnets concerning her work with the homeless community. This 15-sonnet sequence captures the vulnerable moments of shared humanity. The remaining poems are a heartfelt response to the crown, splintering the poet's relationship with her lifework while questioning the definition of home. 

April 15, 7:00 pm Central Daylight Time
(8:00 pm EDT, 6:00 pm MDT, 5:00 pm PDT)



James Sherry moderates a discussion about poetry and climate change. While global warming is caused by industry emissions, corporate processes will not change without cultural change. Kit Robinson, Brenda Iijima, Saba Razvi, Elizabeth Gross, Evelyn Reilly & Charles Alexander will discuss how poetry contributes language change that helps arrest climate change. New Orleans' location, its damage from Katrina and other storms and its future risks make the NOPF an ideal venue to discuss how poetry might influence the different ways of looking at nature, the language of policy, social structure and racial and income inequality. 

April 13, 6:00 pm Central Daylight Time
(7:00 pm EDT, 5:00 pm MDT, 4:00 pm PDT)



Megan Burns hosts this year's Trembling Pillow press reading, featuring recent and forthcoming poets Jenny Sadre-Orafai, Anne Champion, Marty Cain, and Dominique Salas.

April 12, 6:00 pm Central Daylight Time
(7:00 pm EDT, 5:00 pm MDT, 4:00 pm PDT)



In her October 24, 2019 essay, “Fascinated to Presume: In Defense of Fiction,” in The New York Review of Books, Zadie Smith offers less a “defense” of imagining and inhabiting the lives of others, characters and people unlike her in every possible sense (gender, sexual orientation, race, class, ethnicity, nationality, etc.) than a description of her own practices and prejudices (she criticizes the culture of “likeness,” that one can only write about, inhabit the bodies of, people who are “like” us in terms of sexual orientation, gender, race, class, etc.). At the same times, because fiction is, as she writes, “indefensible,” she acknowledges that her understanding of fiction may well be passé. With all this in mind, to what extent, if any, does Smith’s analysis pertain to recent debates over “likeness,” over “staying in your lane,” vis-à-vis poetry? To what extent is a popular phrase like “cultural appropriation” both a tool of analysis and, as Smith suggests, a form of containment that orients and predetermines conclusions?

This panel proposes to address these questions through a number of modalities. For example, as concrete examples of how American “minorities” have deconstructed the one-way stream of white appropriations of the other’s culture, Alan Golding and Tom Marshall examine the consequences of the other’s body/language in their respective proposals. Golding analyzes the way that Chinese American poet Timothy Yu, himself at the center of recent controversy around cultural appropriation, takes on the White Male trope of appropriation in his 2017 book of poetry, 100 Chinese Silences. Yu reverses and parodies not only the status of the “Chinese poetry” of Ezra Pound but also more recent white male attempts to write the other (Billy Collins, Tony Hoagland). Tom Marshall takes the question of cultural appropriation to one of its more “logical” and “absurd” ends: Sun Ra’s “positive” appropriation of outer space culture. Marshall argues that Sun Ra deploys negation throughout his performance poetry to reverse and critique received concepts of history, culture and even “life,” opening up a space as “outer space” whereby black Americans are able to retrieve lost or suppressed cultural legacies. Marshall demonstrates how Sun Ra’s “canny” legacy continues today in the Arkestra of Marshall Allen, suggesting that the work of historical “recovery” is just as crucial today as it was in the mid-20th century.

Zooming out from the specific to the general, Jeanne Heuving’s revision of Olson’s “projectivist poetics” and Gabriel Gudding’s interrogation of “translation as appropriation” dovetail at what both writers regard as the status or positionality of the body. Heuving’s proposal stresses that the movement of projectivist poetics begins with a body in a certain position/location and “ends” with a writing through, an engagement with, other bodies, and thus other modalities of the other’s language (dialect, lexicon, accent, etc.), as manifest in and through writing.  Gabriel Gudding, a multilanguage translator, suggests that while all language acts, including writing, are forms of appropriation, speech and writing are connected to “mutually vulnerable bodies” even as some bodies, he notes, are more vulnerable than others. Both Heuving and Gudding insist that the question of cultural appropriation demands a vigilant ethos insofar as the appropriation of the other’s language is, forthwith, a (partial) appropriation of another’s body.

April 11, 6:00 pm Central Daylight Time
(7:00 pm EDT, 5:00 pm MDT, 4:00 pm PDT)



Diálogos celebrates the launch of two new major North African Francophone works in English translation:

Agadir, by Mohammed Khaïr-Eddine and translated by Pierre Joris and Jake Syersak, is loosely based on the earthquake which devastated the Moroccan city of the same name in 1960, and Khaïr-Eddine’s experience as a civil servant assigned to investigate the aftermath of the cataclysm. An unnamed narrator sent to the city “in order to sort out a particularly precarious situation” tells the story of a veritably razed Moroccan epicenter and a citizenry begging for reconstruction. In a surreal, polyphonic narration that explodes into various tesserae of fiction, autobiography, reportage, poetry, and theatre, the narrator quickly discovers that in exhuming the city’s physical remnants he cannot help but exhume the complex social, political, cultural, and historical dynamics that make up postcolonial Moroccan society.

Discovery of the New World collects, for the first time in English, Algerian francophone writer Nabile Farès’ ambitious trilogy of novellas reflecting on the effects of French colonialism in North Africa. These heavily experimental works, set in the time just before and after the Algerian war with France, probe issues of identity—race, gender, nationality—in the wake of European colonialism. “The first thing that hits me every time I open or reopen one of Nabile Farès’ books,” writes Pierre Joris in the Preface, “is the immediacy of the intense struggle—simultaneously, the glorious success—of a text that stays at white heat by bending/bedding itself between what some would call the “genres” of poetry & prose.” 

We will also be joined by world-renowned poet and scholar of North African letters Habib Tengour who will read from his own work with translation by Pierre Joris, as well as contributing to the discussion.

This panel features English and some bi-lingual readings from the works with discussions among the translators and scholars of the vibrant field of contemporary North African writing.

April 11, 3:00 pm Central Daylight Time
(4:00 pm EDT, 2:00 pm MDT, 1:00 pm PDT)



LIT BALM is a most-weekly interactive livestream reading series taking place at 4pm Central most Saturdays. During the month of April, they are co-ordinating all shows with the New Orleans Poetry Festival. Four poets with connections to Singapore will read: Rachel Blau DiPlessis, Marylyn Tan, George Szirtes, and Ranjit Hoskote. The reading will be MC'd by Singaporian poet Alvin Pang. Marc Vincenz, Cassandra Atherton, and Jonathan Penton host Lit Balm shows.

April 10, 4:00 pm Central Daylight Time
(5:00 pm EDT, 3:00 pm MDT, 2:00 pm PDT)



Translation, code-switching, machine learning, vulgarities: four poets read and discuss diverse works in multiple voices. As voices split, assemble, dissipate, and congeal, we interrogate the singular authorial voice. How do multiple voices emerge from various poetic forms, live performance, and interactions with other media? Who are we in the moment we are today in the space we need to inhabit in order to keep surviving?

April 9, 5:30 pm Central Daylight Time
(6:30 pm EDT, 4:30 pm MDT, 3:30 pm PDT)



Poets and editors of factory hollow press, The Hollins Criticjubilat, Mississippi Review and New World Writing focus on how who they are and their experiences have defined who and what they publish and why. Women editors----from Toni Morrison to Joyce Carol Oates to  Harriet Monroe to Rebecca Wolff to Anne Waldman to Eileen Myles---have historically created trends and controversy. VIDA has shown that editorial bias can be counted on to continue; their yearly count, plain and simple, can't be denied.  Race, gender, place, age, style----what you can do to identify if a journal is right for you. Editors will tell stories about how they effect and have been affected. Samples of just a few important writers they've published will be shared. Your concerns will be the focus.  Bring with you some of your experiences; our conversation will speak to these.

April 9, 3:00 pm Central Daylight Time
(4:00 pm EDT, 2:00 pm MDT, 1:00 pm PDT)



The Bayou Gentilly Writers Circle (Nordette Adams, Randy Bates, Barry Fitzpatrick, Juyanne James, Laura Mattingly, and Andrea Panzeca) will read their poetry and lyrical prose. This group of writers meets at Addie’s place (one of our dogs who allows the interruption) by the Fairgrounds on Thursday nights to share and get feedback on their work and enjoy each others' company. Come join us for a group reading of new and selected works.

April 8, 7:00 pm Central Daylight Time
(8:00 pm EDT, 6:00 pm MDT, 5:00 pm PDT)



Abstract: A critical and practical exploration of the prose poem form. Zack Anderson will analyze the form’s possibilities for representing the intersection of violence and landscape. Paul Cunningham will consider the form’s inclination toward surrealistic dream logic and the avenues that such logic creates for ecologically-minded poetry. Hannah V. Warren will discuss the prose poem as a feminist site of hybridity, transformation, and counternarrative. 

Landscape: In this panel, I want to consider the conjunction of violence and landscape as it manifests in the prose poem. How does this form operate as a mechanism for both containment and spillover? What can the prose poem show us about how violence is embedded or concealed in the landscape? How do landscape and violence exceed the representational powers of poetry? What happens when form exceeds itself? How does the prose poem stage the failure of containment? How can we read prose poems through Georges Bataille’s concept of “nonproductive expenditure?” I intend to approach these questions through poems by Raúl Zurita, Alejandra Pizarnik, and Rauan Klassnik, as well as through discussion of my own work.  

Dream Machines: At the beginning of her career, Swedish surrealist poet Aase Berg wrote prose poems exclusively. She writes, “The prose poem doesn’t need a meaning, a message; it speaks a dream language, a language that wants to slip through language and use it, that wants to make the words into body in a total concretion.” Similarly, earlier works of prose poetry is what gave me permission to focus on the poem as a site or mass—a “total concretion”. Whether I’m focusing on a queer body and its orifices or a tree and its oozing sap, I too see the prose poem as landscape. I’m specifically interested in something Berg calls “ur-landscape,” a landscape owned by no one; usurped by no humanism. From an ecological point of view, I’m less concerned with assigning a narrative to the non-human and more interested in the contradiction of attempting to inhabit the being of the non-human in a way that doesn’t feel anthropocentric. This is where a surreal, Rimbaudian language of the unconscious might prove to be useful. 

Transformation: Shivani Mehta writes, “Centuries ago men grew sons and waited while the women sailed in search of nameless catastrophe.” Shaped as prose but lining the tongue as lyric, prose poetry crosses borders. On a surface level, prose poems explore and break boundaries between the two genres. More importantly for this presentation, prose poetry often seeks to rewrite traditional narratives, acting as alternate historical documents. Looking at work from Ely Shipley, Shivani Mehta, and Alice Notley, I argue that prose poetry provides a space for marginalized voices to reclaim and reinvent the histories that systematically excluded them. Alongside my analysis of these authors’ collections, I will provide context from my own prose poetry, showing how my work attempts to resist the dominant, cisheteropatriarchal narrative that plagues female bodies. 

April 8, 5:00 pm Central Daylight Time
(6:00 pm EDT, 4:00 pm MDT, 3:00 pm PDT)



A performance and conversation at the intersection of poetry and musical improvisation.  Musician/composer Holland Hopson and Poet Hank Lazer have been performing and recording their collaborations for a few years.  The NOPF session arises from their current recording sessions of pages/poems from Lazer’s forthcoming book field recordings  of mind   in morning  (BlazeVOX, 2021)– with Hopson playing banjo and fretless banjo.  Included in the performance will be a page or two from Lazer’s shape-writing book Slowly Becoming Awake.  Via screen share, we will share images of the work being performed.  Time will be included for Q&A. 

April 7, 7:00 pm Central Daylight Time
(8:00 pm EDT, 6:00 pm MDT, 5:00 pm PDT)



Since the very first NOPF, Dillard University's English Club has been presenting original poetry and spoken word by Dillard University students. Join them as they wow us yet again.

April 6, 6:30 pm Central Daylight Time
(7:30 pm EDT, 5:30 pm MDT, 4:30 pm PDT)



Tilted House is a budding New Orleans book press that strives to cultivate a creative and communal unit from and for the city. While the door is wide open for New Orleans’ minds, it remains open for the rest of the world's. We publish fresh and pickled writers alike, bridging the void between professors and street poets, MFAers and outliers, locals and the world. This reading focuses on a few of our local contributors, Nikki Mayeux, Rodrigo Toscano, A Scribe Called Quess?, and Kelsey Wartelle. Hosted by Tilted House's editor, Cameron Lovejoy.

April 5, 7:00 pm Central Daylight Time
(8:00 pm EDT, 6:00 pm MDT, 5:00 pm PDT)



The first two decades of the twenty-first century have shown as wide a variety of approaches in manuscript creation as they’ve shown methods of genre exploration, mixtures of inherited literary traditions, and combinations of subject matter. In the richness of those wide-ranging answers to the question of how to order a manuscript well, this panel will focus on practical questions writers can ask of their own work before submitting their manuscripts as well as the manners in which writers across genres have constructed manuscripts in recent years. Participants will discuss contemporary trends such as “project” books versus collections of individual pieces, the prompts they’ve given themselves and their authors to help develop their revisions, and their experiences as editors of books, chapbooks, anthologies, and more in ordering manuscripts.


April 4, 6:00 pm Central Daylight Time
(7:00 pm EDT, 5:00 pm MDT, 4:00 pm PDT)



Megan Burns and NOPF volunteers again host NOPF's famous open mic, this time on Zoom, from Noon to 4 PM (CDT) on Saturday April 3. Here's how it went:


April 3, 12:00 pm Central Daylight Time
(1:00 pm EDT, 11:00 am MDT, 10:00 am PDT)



In The New Poetics of Climate Change, Matthew Griffiths asks, “Must poetry of climate change belong in the tradition of the pastoral or the elegy? […] What alternative models or approaches might there be?” This panel will illuminate some of those alternative models and approaches. Oliver Baez Bendorf will share work that uses formal strategies, such as ekphrasis, to queer climate change. Nodding to strategies of elimination bound up with responses to climate change, Kristi Maxwell uses the lipogram, writing that excludes one or more letters, to explore what happens when what is endangered is instead absent—gone. Annie Finch will share work that weaves metrical patterns into a form of echolocation, a Morse Code of heartbeat and breathing that stretches beyond body and page, spiraling out in urgent kinship towards the endangered rhythms of the world. Kristen Miller, translator of Pekuakamishkueu poet Marie-Andrée Gill’s SPAWN, will read translations that engage ecological decline in context of imperialism and the encroachment of development, logging, overfishing, and pollution into the natural landscape of the Mashteuiatsh reserve. Bronwen Tate will share work centered on metonymy and contiguity, formal strategies Tate began thinking about in relation to climate change after a move from San Francisco to rural Vermont. She will be reading poems that ask how we might open our gaze to trace connections between what we come into immediate contact with—like floods, foods, or fuel—and the origins and destinations of these things within a larger network.

April 2, 12:00 pm Central Daylight Time
(1:00 pm EDT, 11:00 am MDT, 10:00 am PDT)



On April 1, NOPF21 kicks off with readings from a new anthology from UNO Press, I Am New OrleansThe event will be streamed live (with some virtual participants) from one of NOPF's favorite venues from the "old days," Café Istanbul, in the heart of downtown New Orleans. The reading will feature editor Kalamu Ya Salaam along with a gathering of poets from the anthology, what he calls "...a gathering of saints. Contemporary writers with an ear to the ground, digging on the sense and sound of what all is going down." Featuring appearances and readings by Kalamu Ya Salaam, Michael "Quess" Moore, Chuck Perkins, Skye Jackson and many more.



April 1, 7:00 pm Central Daylight Time
(8:00 pm EDT, 6:00 pm MDT, 5:00 pm PDT)