August 29 marks the day the levees broke in New Orleans fifteen years ago. To commemorate the occasion, I am curating a multi-genre reading to remember the lives that were lost and changed by Hurricane Katrina, and the city that was abandoned and continues to thrive. The writers invited for this reading represent the vast stories and experiences of the storm.
The featured readers for our virtual event include:
Lolis Eric Elie, New Orleans native and Los Angeles-based writer and filmmaker, who most recently joined the writing staff of the Amazon series The Man in the High Castle and has written for the OWN series Greenleaf and HBO series Treme.
Alison Pelegrin, author of Waterlines (Louisiana State University Press, 2016) and professor in the English department at Southeastern Louisiana University.
Tom Piazza, author of the post-Katrina manifesto Why New Orleans Matters (Harper Perennial, 2008) and a principal writer for the HBO drama series Treme, which explores the aftereffects of Katrina in New Orleans.
Asia Rainey, New Orleans native and veteran artist with a resumé spanning twenty years in spoken word poetry, music, theater, television, visual arts, and film.
Dr. Mona Lisa Saloy, professor of English at Dillard University and author of Second Line Home (Truman State University Press, 2004) and Red Beans & Ricely Yours, which won the 2006 PEN/Oakland Josephine Miles Prize and the 2005 T. S. Eliot Prize in poetry.
José Torres Tama, writer and poet exploring anti-immigrant hysteria in his written work and solo theater show Aliens, Immigrants & Other Evildoers.
We will also have music performed by fourteen-year-old New Orleans saxophonist Akeel Salah Muhammad Haroon.
The reading will be livestreamed on the Poets & Writers Facebook page on Wednesday, August 26 at 6:00 PM CDT. Hope to see you there!NOLA@pw.org or on Twitter, @NOLApworg.