Solid Quarter

Visit Trembling Pillow Press for poetry books, broadsides, chapbooks, and Solid Quarter Magazine.

Visit New Orleans Poetry Fest for the annual 4 day poetry festival directed by Bill Lavender and Megan Burns.

Megan Burns' Poeticsofbone&city project on Tumblr

Friday, June 25, 2010

Spirit Vessels to Honor BP dead

Spirit Vessels

WHAT: A community art project for the Bayou St John community, to create a space of solace, healing and reflection in the wake of the BP Oil Spill, and to honor lost life.

WHEN: Friday June 25th, Meet at Fairgrinds Coffee House 7-9 pm to create your clay Spirit Vessel with guidance from local artist Jane Hill. Prayers and small animals also will be created

Sunday June 27th @8:00 pm

Meet at the banks of Bayou St John, at the Bridge opposite Cabrini. In a simple ceremony, the unfired clay Vessels created by the community will be lighted and released into the water of the bayou, carrying our intentions and wishes for the Gulf’s restoration before they dissolve and go back to nature.

Note: All materials used in this community project are biodegradable and will not damage the bayou in any way. Please note that this event is not a protest or demonstration space. Children are encouraged to participate, but parents should know this is not designed as a children’s clay class or art project.Rain Date is Monday June 28th at 8 pm

Thursday, June 24, 2010


17 Poets! Literary & Performance @ The Gold Mine Saloon, 705 Dauphine Street, New Orleans, LA, 70116, (504) 586-9745,

I*M*P*O*R*T*A*N*T ---- Please note, THURSDAY, JUNE 24, 2010 @ 8:00 p.m. is our last performance of the summer. We return with our FALL 2010 Program on ---- THURSDAY, AUGUST 26, 8:00 p.m. ---- with All-Hands-On-Deck BENEFIT for the GULF COAST REGION coordinated by Megan Burns and featuring a stellar array of performers, artists, & poets including musical guest ROCKIN' DOPSIE plus The Krewe of Dead Pelicans. All proceeds will go directly to DEFEND, PROTECT and RESTORE the vital marine habitat of our region.

FOR ALL INFO on how YOU can participate (or contribute) in All-Hands-On-Deck BENEFIT for the GULF COAST REGION, please contact Megan Burns,

THURSDAY, JUNE 24, 2010: Poetry Reading

I*M*P*O*R*T*A*N*T ---- Please note, THURSDAY, JUNE 24, 2010 @ 8:00 p.m. is our last performance of the summer. We return with our FALL 2010 Program on ---- THURSDAY, AUGUST 26, 8:00 p.m.

17 Poets! Literary & Performance series presents a reading/performance by poet, playwright, puppeteer, storyteller & visual artist JONATHAN KLINE on THURSDAY, JUNE 24, 2010, 8:00pm @ The Gold Mine Saloon, 705 Dauphine Street, New Orleans, LA, 70116, (504) 586-9745,

Poet, playwright, storyteller & visual artist Jonathan Kline grew up in Northern Michigan. He received an MFA from The School of The Art Institute of Chicago in Time Art. Kline has presented his works at venues in Boston, Chicago, New York, Seattle, New Orleans, Dublin and Cork Ireland. For more than a decade Kline's esteemed works, including When I was Twenty, The Terminal Hotel, The Nude Questions, and Six Eggs, have garnered praise from scholars, peers, and audiences alike throughout the U.S. and overseas. Kline's dedication to the art of storytelling and the oral tradition is second to none. Additionally, Kline teaches in the New Orleans community as an Art coordinator for elementary and middle schoolers.
Featured presentation will be followed by Open Mic hosted by Jimmy Ross (sign-up begins @ 7:30 p.m.)...storytellers, poets, fiction writers, essayists, vocalists & performance artists are welcome.

Open to the public.

Free admission.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

17 Poets! Reading Series Features a Tribute to Bob Kaufman

b o b K A U F M A N
Bob Kaufman (April 18, 1925 – January 12, 1986), born Robert Garnell Kaufman, was an American Beat poet and surrealist inspired by jazz music. In France, where his poetry had a large following, he was known as the "American Rimbaud."

Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, Kaufman was one of fourteen children, the son of a German-Jewish father and a Roman Catholic Black mother from Martinique; his grandmother practiced voodoo. At age eighteen, Kaufman joined the United States Merchant Marine, which he left in the early 1940s to briefly study literature at New York's The New School. There, he met William S. Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg. In 1944 Bob Kaufman married Ida Berrocal. They had one daughter, Antoinette Victoria Marie (Nagle), born in New York City in 1945 (died 2008). Kaufman moved to San Francisco's North Beach in 1958 and remained there for most of the rest of his life. He married Eileen Singe in 1958; they had one child, Parker, named for Charlie Parker.

Kaufman, a poet in the oral tradition, usually didn't write down his poems, and much of his published work survives by way of his wife Eileen, who wrote his poems down as he conceived them. Like many beat writers, Kaufman became a Buddhist. In 1959, along with poets Allen Ginsberg, John Kelly, A. D. Winans, and William Margolis, he was one of the founders of Beatitude magazine.

In 1959, Kaufman had a small role in a movie called The Flower Thief, which was shot in North Beach by Ron Rice. In 1961, Kaufman was nominated for England's Guinness Poetry Award, but lost to T. S. Eliot. He appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson four times in 1970-1971.

In an interview, Ken Kesey describes seeing Bob Kaufman on the streets of San Francisco's North Beach during a visit to that city with his family in the 1950s:
I can remember driving down to North Beach with my folks and seeing Bob Kaufman out there on the street. I didn’t know he was Bob Kaufman at the time. He had little pieces of Band-Aid tape all over his face, about two inches wide, and little smaller ones like two inches long -- and all of them made into crosses. He came up to the cars, and he was babbling poetry into these cars. He came up to the car I was riding in, and my folks, and started jabbering this stuff into the car. I knew that this was exceptional use of the human voice and the human mind.

After learning of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, Kaufman took a Buddhist vow of silence that lasted until the end of the Vietnam War in 1973. He broke his silence by reciting his poem "All Those Ships that Never Sailed," the first lines of which are

All those ships that never sailed
The ones with their seacocks open
That were scuttled in their stalls...
Today I bring them back
Huge and intransitory
And let them sail
Thursday, June 17, 2010

Please join us in celebration as 17 Poets! Literary & Performance series presents a reading/performance featuring works of legendary, New Orleans-born beat poet BOB KAUFMAN!!!
Feature will be followed by Open Mic hosted by Jimmy Ross (sign-up begins @ 7:30 p.m.)...storytellers, poets, fiction writers, essayists, vocalists & performance artists are welcome.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Oysters (In A Box)

This is what the world is coming to as P&J Oyster Co. lays off shuckers and the oil continues to destroy our way of life here in Louisiana. Normally, it would be pretty cool to sit at home and break out our oyster kits from the freezer. This time it was hard to cook and eat these babies without thinking about the boats sitting useless in their docks and all the families wondering what in the hell they are going to do now. 134 years of shucking came to a halt on Friday, so Dave and I pulled out our box o' oysters.

Our oysters came from Crystal Seas Seafood in Pass Christian, MS. As the website notes: these are hand-shucked oysters that are " cryogenically frozen in their own liquor and then glazed to lock in freshness." And what a sight that is to behold! These puppies will stay good in the freezer for up to 12 months, so stock up. Here's where to order. On the back of the box, it says a portion of all sales go to rebuilding programs associated with Louisiana. So, eat oysters, support New Orleans, help rebuild.

So, here's my review of my first experience with oysters in a box. Dave did the cooking, which involved getting the broiler ready and extracting the trays of frozen oysters in the shell from the box. Each box also comes with a package of Romano cheese and a packet of frozen flavored butter. Only one of our boxes came with the cheese and butter, so beware you may have naked oysters (another reason to buy in bulk.) The butter has to be defrosted and applied to each oyster before they go under the broiler. Then you have to add the cheese, generously, as the directions call for and put them under one more time. At the end, you should have a dozen beautifully broiled oysters on the half shell.

I had mine with some saltines and a Pellegrino. They were small, but yummy. And the cheese and butter were flavorful. They didn't taste to rubbery or odd. Overall, you could probably be served these in a restaurant and not know if they were fresh or not before they were broiled. I would eat these again, but I still prefer raw any day, fat and salty with a dipping sauce to clear your sinuses.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Eat New Orleans: Mondo in Lakeview

Dave and I went to the soft opening of a new restaurant here in New Orleans: Mondo owned by chef Susan Spicer. The restaurant is in Lakeview and is a family friendly pizza and New Orleans' food joint. Formerly home to Lago's, the new decor is light and friendly with light wood and soft greens and beiges. The decor is classy with a nod to its family low-key dining. One side of the restaurant is still given over to the bar area and the back opens up to a brick, wood-fired pizza oven. We sat in a booth and only brought our littlest family member with us. Issa promptly charmed the entire waitstaff, took a bottle during appetizers and slept till dessert. (Angel baby.)

Dave and I tried two starters: the steak tartare and the fried eggplant with aioli. The steak was delicious and came with thinly sliced potato chips lightly salted to counter the sweetness of the steak. The eggplants were lightly breaded, perfect for dipping in the creamy sauce.

We also had to try one of their pizzas. Below is the traditional basil, tomato and mozzarella. The basil was fresh and the crust was thin and crunchy around the edges. This size makes a pizza doable as an appetizer as well as a main dish.

For our main dishes, I got the braised duck leg on a turnip cake. I have never even heard of a turnip cake, but it was delicious. It was kind of like a flavored tofu cake. The kale with the duck was cooked wonderfully, and the duck itself was juicy and sweetly flavored. It fell right off the bone.

Dave got the fish of the day, drum. It was plump and tender and came with chunky potato wedges. The fish was cooked in a muddy water sauce, which kept the flavor of the fish and was not overpowering.

For dessert, I had the cinnamon beignets with a yogurt, honey and nut dip. We had to get it to go due to the baby getting fussy, but at home they were light and slightly sugared. None of the meal was too heavy, so we left feeling satisfied and not uncomfortably stuffed.
Two starters, two main dishes, one pizza, dessert, a cappuccino and a bottle of Pellegrino ran us about 85.00. They are definitely offering affordable meals that are still delicious and New Orleans' inspired.

The one detraction was that by the end of the meal the combination of the sun setting through the windows next to our booth and the fire in the oven made the room very warm. Most of the A/C was going out the two doors, one by the bar and one by the dining room. The baby got fussy, and we had to go sit in the car to cool off. They need to crank it up in there. It was loud as well due to the low ceiling and the close proximity between the main dining area and the large bar area. Dave found the booths uncomfortable as well, so we'll probably grab a table next time.

The wait staff and other staff were all very friendly and seemed to really be excited about the new place. We will certainly be back to try the rest of the menu. The kids have a great selection on their menu as well, so we will bring the other two next time and see how they like it.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Thursday 17 Poets! Poetry Reading: Berrigan, Fiorini, and Jones

THURSDAY, JUNE 10, 2010 @ 8:00 p.m.

Gold Mine Saloon
701 Dauphine Street

Please join us as 17 Poets! Literary & Performance series presents a reading/performance featuring poets EDMUND BERRIGAN, JESSICA FIORINI and JAMEY JONES on THURSDAY, JUNE 10, 2010, 8:00pm @ The Gold Mine Saloon. And be sure to bring your luminous words & jests for yet another amazing evening of mirth, fantasm & reverie!

Feature will be followed by Open Mic hosted by Jimmy Ross (sign-up begins @ 7:30 p.m.)...storytellers, poets, fiction writers, essayists, vocalists & performance artists are welcome.