Lessons From New Orleans

How are you doing? This is an essential question for all of us. In New Orleans, asking such a question could still mean how are post-Katrina? Recovery. Resilience. These are words attached to the city’s brand. However the reality for many people, in particular writers and artists, is still arduous.

The world can learn from New Orleans during the coronavirus pandemic without deeming it a “Katrina moment.” Our moment was our moment but the lessons about government failure, natural disasters, and depending on strangers for survival are applicable. We know how education systems can change overnight.

For many in New Orleans and the surrounding affected areas, the pandemic adds more weight to an already heavy living. But New Orleans has the writers, researchers, artists, stories, food, land, and music that tell stories of humanity and point a way to the light.

August 29 marks fifteen years since the levees broke in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina. I am excited to be curating some virtual events with Poets & Writers, including a reading dedicated to remembering the impact the storm has had on the people and culture of this city.

Follow my Twitter feed, @NOLApworg, for more details and updates for this event and more from New Orleans. I’ll also share about upcoming events in our other United States of Writing cities: Detroit and Houston.

Photo: Flyer for the Hurricane Katrina anniversary reading.
 
Kelly Harris is the literary outreach coordinator for Poets & Writers in New Orleans. Contact her at NOLA@pw.org or on Twitter, @NOLApworg.

Pratt Institute

MFA Program
Not Genre-Specific
Brooklyn, NY
Application Deadline: 
Tue, 01/05/2021
Application Fee: 
$50 ($90 for international students)
Affiliated Publications/Publishers: 

Five Hot Summer Fiction Readings

by Staff
8.1.20

Leah Hampton’s F*ckface: And Other Stories, Megha Majumdar’s A Burning, Marie-Helene Bertino’s Parakeet, Karen Tei Yamashita’s Sansei and Sensibility, and C Pam Zhang’s How Much of These Hills Is Gold.

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