As our 2013 Mardi Gras issue goes to press, a fabulous season is unfolding in New Orleans--following a festive, full-city celebration of Super Bowl XLVII. It is a time a renewal.
Mardi Gras winds up early this year--on Lincoln’s birthday—after a year of multiple movie releases about the sixteenth president. (Several were filmed in Petersburg, VA--one of NOLA Diaspora’s homes.) President Obama’s 2013 State of the Union address also coincides with Fat Tuesday. It is a time of synchronicity and reunion.
We’re all connected. We can focus on opposition and conflict, or we can work for renewal. NOLA Diaspora takes the second line, and this issue celebrates that dance of life.
In Word Space, Joyce Zonana reviews Ruth Salvaggio’s Hearing Sappho in New Orleans. Michael McClure offers a comparative review of the story collection In the Land of What Now with Flood Streets, a moviebased on them. Laura Simms’ ethnographic “Reflections on Haiti” reminds us that that 2010 earthquake’s damage to the Republic of Haiti mirrored that of Katrina’s to the United States. It also underscores how far those recovery efforts lag behind the Gulf’s rebuilding after the levee break. Rachel Jennings’s “Letter to a Jesuit Priest” makes similarly important moves. It mourns the murder of a Catholic nun for her activist work on behalf of Santhal families who were violently displaced from their homes by large coal companies in India. The poem connects this to cultural and environmental in Appalachia. Wystan Rail’s post-modern sonnet “Post-Katrina Valentine” explores the strain of dislocation on intimate relationships. “Descartes’ Automaton” exposes the always-already-mediated childhood fascination with nature. Rachel Spears’ “Uprooted” catalogs the effects of Katrina in Mississippi and Baton Rouge. She indicates how all of life’s disappointments and losses can implode on victims of disaster and reveals how individuals can be affected in multiple locales at multiple levels—work, home(s), and school.
In Art Place, December Davis offers two selections of fresh hip-hop, “Climax” and “Way Too Gone.” R. David Wilson contributes three exquisite figures. “Bacchus Resting on Sofa” and “Break in Routine” are appropriate for Mardi Gras, while “la vida en el departamento iii: contemplacion” presages Lent.
Thanks for joining the NOLA DIASPORA. Bring a friend.
NOLADIASPORA is currently reviewing submissions for the
Mardi Gras 2014 issue.
We hold an open call and read from August 15th through May 15th each year. We are also calling for submissions, critical and creative—in poetry, prose, photography, painting, drawing, video, music--for four special issues:
Our submissions guidelines are detailed under the
- Critical Regionalism and Diaspora Studies:
guest editor, Rachel Jennings, UTSA
- Thirty and Under:
guest editor, Sarah Woodward,
Mural Music and Arts Project, San Francisco, CA
- Service Learning, Disasters, and Diasporas:
guest editor, Anne-Marie Turnage, VSU
- The Northeast Louisiana:
guest editor, Minnette Watkins, Independent Scholar
and Wanda Waller, SUSLA
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