James Nolan is a fifth-generation New Orleans native, and his twelfth book, Nasty Water: Collected New Orleans Poems, is a companion volume to Flight Risk: Memoirs of a New Orleans Bad Boy, which won the 2018 Next-Generation Indie Book Award for Best Memoir. His fiction includes You Don’t Know Me: New and Selected Stories (winner of the 2015 Independent Publishers Gold Medal in Southern Fiction) and the novel Higher Ground (awarded a Faulkner/Wisdom Gold Medal).
12:15 p.m. to 1 p.m.
Capitol Park Welcome Center, Glass Room
Louisiana Poets I
1:15 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Barnes & Noble Bookselling Tent
Nasty Water: Collected New Orleans Poems
James Nolan describes this collection of his New Orleans poems as an autobiography of place, for which he selected fifty poems written over a span of fifty years focused on his native city. Rarely are readers offered a retrospective of both the lyrics and narratives inspired by a writer s singular hometown, and this book is a companion volume to Nolan s recent Flight Risk: Memoirs of a New Orleans Bad Boy. Some of these poems are arias, such as Nasty Water, while others are portraits of a Creole childhood, elegies about family members, jazz riffs on local culture, and commemorations of historic events, from Martin Luther King s assassination through Hurricane Katrina and the Gulf oil spill. Yet these lyrical, often revealing meditations on New Orleans are always tuned to music. Because this is how New Orleanians best celebrate the joys and survive the tribulations of life in their city: by telling stories and singing.
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