Saturday, August 18, 2012


river's back for another season of readings from the best
of baton rouge and the louisiana literary community:

we are officially changing the times to tuesdays at 8pm and still the same supporting location boudreaux + thibodeaux (downtown, 214 third st.).  last but most important piece of news to release is that john david harding will be managing the series for the forseeable future so everyone please contact him for reading slots and event suggestions.  as always, i will be aberrant in the riverever, vincent cellucci, now conceding to this year's inaugural readers:

Victoria Mansberger, a uber-talented poet rising in baton rouge; also pursuing her mfa @ lsu

Carrie Causey, another baton rouge poet teaching at baton rouge community college with an outstanding publication record.

and another teacher_poet joining us from down river:

Brad Richard, who will be giving the river his second only sneak peak of his new book: butcher's sugar

Brad Richard’s books include Habitations (Portals Press, 2000);  Motion Studies winner of the 2010 Washington Prize (The Word Works. 2011); and Butcher’s Sugar, forthcoming from Sibling Rivalry Press (2012). He has also published two chapbooks, The Men in the Dark (Lowlands Press, 2004) and Curtain Optional (Press Street, 2011). His poems and reviews have appeared in American Letters & Commentary, Barrow Street, Bayou, Guernica, Hunger Mountain Review, The Iowa Review, The Laurel Review, Literary Imagination, The Massachusetts Review, Mississippi Review, New Orleans Review, Passages North, Prairie Schooner, and other journals. Recipient of fellowships from the Surdna Foundation and the Louisiana Division of the Arts, and 2002 Poetry Winner in the Poets & Writers, Inc., Writers Exchange competition, he is chair of the creative writing program at Lusher Charter High School in New Orleans. He is also co-director of the New Orleans New Writers Literary Festival, a festival for high school writers, and the Scholastic Writing Awards of Southeast Louisiana, a regional affiliate of the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. 

Friday, August 10, 2012

we believe in bill

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outraged to be informed of this on rivervacation and was compelled to get back on the grid and type up something for my friend bill. it's not nearly enough--

“Nothing gold can stay”—this is particularly evident in NOLA day after day. This
is a comparable sacking to the literary scene of NOLA as your girl Katrina hitting the city seven years ago. Bill has been a friend and mentor for many years now. I cannot imagine someone more intrinsically connected to poetry and the city of New Orleans to lead UNO Press. He is approachable, fearless, and learned, and this is a devastating loss to literary LA. Hopefully we at LSU or one of the other nearby universities will be smart enough to scoop Bill up and provide him with the resources he needs to keep LA unpretentiously pertinent and publishing the poetry emanating from the state and elsewhere with gusto for the people (readers and writers) not the pedigree. All it should take is one look at the UNO table (the titles, authors, and camaraderie) during AWP to note what Bill has achieved on the national scale. BRING BACK BILL!!!!
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Dear Friends,
Today the news from the New Orleans poetry community is very, very bad.

Poet BILL LAVENDER, director of University of New Orleans Press has been SACKED by the administrators at University of New Orleans.

Bill Lavender not only resurrected UNO Press, but under Bill's stewardship these past four years, UNO press has published an astounding 80+ excellent books nationally and internationally; and the press is by no means strapped for funding. UNO Press is currently regarded as one of the most prestigious and  financially self-sustainable university presses in all of the United States.

Be assured, this so-called "elimination" is purely POLITICALLY motivated, not otherwise.

Dean Susan Krantz of the University of New Orleans informed Bill Lavender of his "elimination" recently via email while Bill was still in Scotland fulfilling his duties as Director of UNO's Abroad Program.

Stand with US!
SPEAK out!
Let them hear your VOICE loud and clear!
Pressure is mounting from all sectors near and far to EXPOSE the corruption and unethical conduct at the University of New Orleans at the very highest levels!

Bill Lavender's so-called "ELIMINATION"  is a devastating blow which will be felt deeply by poetry communities everywhere-- from New Orleans to New York to California to Brazil to Zimbabwe--and everywhere in between!

Let higher ed charlatans know you DETEST of their actions!
INFORM fatcat administrators that their professed soulessness toward POETRY is indeed a high act of treason to the art we LOVE!
They must answer for this singular INJUSTICE to POETRY and to poet Bill Lavender!
We need every nano of LOVE and SUPPORT you can give!
YOUR voice will be LEGION!

Love, Strength & Peace Through Poetry Always!

Sincerest Regards,
Andrei Codrescu and Dave Brinks
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Dear Friends: This just in from Andrei Codrescu:

Andrei Codrescu thinks that Bill Lavender's firing is a disgrace, but the text sent out by Dr.(Dave Brinks) Sleepadelic is, in my opinion, over the top. UNO is bad, but what I really hate is Iran's nuclear program. Andrei Codrescu
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Please send a personal letter of objection to ALL email addresses listed:
University of New Orleans Provost Louis Paradise:
University of New Orleans President Peter Fos:
University of New Orleans, College of Liberal Arts, Dean Susan Krantz:
University of New Orleans, Director of Creative

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Sign Petition site:
(You may have to copy and paste the above address into the appropriate place, unable to get hot-link to work.)

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Links to media reports covering this outrageous act (please post your personal comments to articles):

[NOTE: If you tweet, post and use hashtag #UNOpress to get these articles trending]
[NOTE: if you're on FB, check posts there]