By Cate Root

New Orleans enjoys a cornucopia of literary delights this week. Our featured events are the annual Faulkner Words and Music Festival and “literary juke joint” hosted by the MelaNated Writers Collective featuring Thomas Sayers Ellis. Below, you can find listings to current book signings or local readings this week.


The Faulkner Words and Music Festival hits New Orleans on Wednesday (Nov. 28) and lasts through Sunday (Dec. 2). The featured guest of this year’s festival is Ernest J. Gaines, whose novel ‘A Lesson Before Dying’ is the 2012 Big Read selection. Highlights of the festival include Grammy winner Irvin Mayfield interviewing featured guest and Louisiana literary legend Ernest J. Gaines. That day (Nov. 28) also features readings, drama and master classes in literature. Thursday (Nov. 29) is ‘New Orleans, Mon Amour,’ a day set aside to explore work about New Orleans and works by Louisianans. The festival continues through Sunday (Dec. 2) with panels, master classes, performances, lectures and presentations of papers. Sheila Stroup will report on the festival’s jazz offerings.

The MelaNated Writers Collective, a local coalition of writers of color based in New Orleans, hosts a reading by poet Thomas Sayers Ellis on Sunday (Dec. 2) at 3 p.m. at Cafe Treme. Ellis is the author of two books of poetry ‘The Maverick Room’ and ‘Skin, Inc.,’ and his work has appeared in Callalloo, Best American Poetry (1997, 2001 and 2010), Tin House and many other publications. In 1988, Ellis also founded the Dark Room Collective, whose mission was to form a community of established and emerging African American writers, including U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Tretheway (who will give a public reading and book signing at the New Orleans Public Library next Thursday, Dec. 6 at 7 p.m.).

The MelaNated Writers Collective has also invited notable authors and guests from their summer reading series to read, including Dr. Mona Lisa Saloy, Kalamu Ya Salaam and Dr. Jerry Ward. Read full article