Tonight–Thursday, Aug. 2–at 7 p.m., the fantastic MelaNated Writers collective will present their third and final installment of their summer reading series at the Juju Bag Cafe (5363 Franklin Ave.). Following wildly successful events in June at NOMA and July at Cafe Treme, tonight’s event is sure to be a satisfying finale to one of the better literary runs I’ve recently seen in the city (though, of course, it won’t be the finale of the group’s activities, as they appear stronger now than ever).
Tonight’s readers include Pulitzer Prize-winning prose writer Jarvis DeBerry, writer and filmmaker Davida Chanel, globetrotting educator and prose stylist Jeri Hilt, novelist and journalist Mary Webb, and Kristina Robinson, a Room 220 favorite. Like the previous two events, the MelaNated collective has tapped into New Orleans’ deep tradition of MelaNated writers and writers groups with its selection of Dr. Felipe Smith as host. Smith is an associate professor of English at Tulane University in its Cuban and Caribbean Studies Institute and a longtime writerly presence in the city.
The Juju Bag Cafe is a Gentilly gem that the MelaNated writers have thoughtfully chosen to spotlight with their event (at least for those of us unlucky enough to not frequently visit Gentilly). Besides being a charming cafe, Juju Bag also has an incredible, spacious back yard and patio, where the reading will take place. You can see some pictures of it on ye ole Facebook.