PHOTO BY TOM HERMANS / UNSPLASH
Despite being National Poetry Month, April isn't the most bookish time in New Orleans — blame it on the idyllic weather and the jam-packed event calendar. But should you need a break from your ceaseless festing — your crawfish-eating, your courtyard mojito-drinking, your revelry in dad sandals — here's a shortlist of literary picks.
- April 6: Sloane Crosley. The whip-smart essayist (who also writes the books column at Vanity Fair) is in town promoting her new collection, Look Alive Out There. She's in conversation with Nathaniel Rich at Garden District Book Shop at 6 p.m.
- April 12: David Correia, Tyler Wall, Anna Feigenbaum. The authors talk Police: A Field Guide (by Correia and Wall) and Tear Gas: From the Battlefields of World War I to the Streets of Today (by Feigenbaum), in a discussion that will extend into modern policing tactics and their relevance to activists. The group appears at Octavia Books at 6 p.m.
- April 16: Virginia Eubanks. Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police and Punish the Poor is Eubanks' investigation of how data mining, automated eligibility decisions for Medicaid and food stamp benefits and other tools can hurt a community's vulnerable members. She presents her findings at Octavia Books at 6 p.m.
- April 18: Jake Shears. Shears, who heads glam-rock cult-favorite band Scissor Sisters, recently wrote an artist's coming-of-age autobiography that sounds like it's in the great tradition of New York rock memoirs. He discusses the book with WWNO music journalist Gwen Thompkins at Garden District Book Shop at 6 p.m.
- April 20-22: New Orleans Poetry Festival. The annual fest at downtown venues has slam performances, a smorgasbord of readings, a small press fair and "Poets with Bands," a music-poetry hybrid event. Registration is required for most readings and panels; visit www.nolapoetry.com for details.
- April 27: The Pizza Poetry Project. Order a pizza from Homegrown, Mid-City Pizza, Midway Pizza, Pizza Delicious, Reginelli's or Theo's Neighborhood pizza to receive an enclosed poem written by a student at youth writing nonprofit Big Class. The group encourages you to share the poems on social media with the hashtag #pizzapoetry18.