Contributors to a new anthology, A Book of Uncommon Prayer, which collects everyday invocations from 64 authors, will present their work from 6 – 8 p.m. on Friday, June 19, at the Press Street HQ (3718 St. Claude Ave.).
A Book of Uncommon Prayer, edited by Matthew Vollmer, is inspired by the Anglican Book of Common Prayer. It includes pieces by both well-known and up-and-coming authors such as Rick Moody, Clyde Edgerton, Dawn Raffel, J. Robert Lennon, and Catherine Lacey.
The New Orleans launch of A Book of Uncommon Prayer will feature readings by local contributor George Bishop along with authors Wendy Brenner and A.K. Benninghofen. Actors from The New Movement improvisation theater company will also read and perform pieces from the book.
Maple Street Book Shop will be on hand to sell copies. The beer and wine will flow.
George Bishop, Jr. holds a BA from Loyola University in New Orleans, an MFA from the University of North Carolina in Wilmington, and an MA from the School for International Training in Vermont. He has lived and taught in Slovakia, Turkey, Indonesia, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, India, and Japan. He is the author of two novels, Letter to My Daughter and The Night of the Comet, the latter named one of the best books of 2013 by Kirkus Reviews. In a past life he starred as Murphy Gilcrease, the teenage vampire, in the 1988 New World Pictures release Teen Vamp.
Wendy Brenner is the author of two books of short fiction: Large Animals in Everyday Life, which won the Flannery O’Connor Award; and Phone Calls From the Dead. Her short stories and essays have appeared in Allure, Travel & Leisure, Seventeen, Best American Magazine Writing, New Stories From the South, and many other magazines, journals, and anthologies. She teaches writing at University of North Carolina Wilmington and serves as a Contributing Editor for The Oxford American. She is currently completing a collection of essays.
A.K. Benninghofen grew up in the Mississippi Delta. She spent the first part of her adult life living in New York City and Los Angeles pursuing a career as an actress—which is to say, she has a lot of restaurant experience. She now lives happily with her husband and two small children in Beer City, USA (otherwise known as Asheville, N.C.) A.K.’s fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Evergreen Review, Monkeybicycle, Connotation Press, Necessary Fiction and Deep South. In 2012, A.K. was awarded a Regional Artist Project Grant by the North Carolina Arts Council. Currently, she is at work on her first book, a collection of linked stories titled “Landmine Maps of the Hospitality State.”
The New Movement Theater is an improv comedy troupe in Austin, Texas, and New Orleans that offers a wide variety of public performances and improv comedy classes.