LSU’s graduate creative writing program and its cohorts will try very hard to make our normally dull state capital appealing (to book nerds) for at least one weekend this year by hosting the Delta Mouth Literary Festival April 3 – 6 at venues throughout Baton Rouge.
Interests vary among featured presenters, such as Wayne Koestenbaum, who was nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award for The Queen’s Throat: Opera, Homosexuality, and the Mystery of Desire, and Shelly Taylor, poet and co-editor of Hick Poetics, a forthcoming anthology of contemporary American rural poetry.
Scheduled to read Saturday, among others, is Ben Marcus, who seems to have distilled the best characteristics of his past work and expelled the worst in his latest short story collection, Leaving the Sea. You may not like his stories. You may find them emotionally distant. But his desire to “travel deep down into the coalface of the ontological conundrum that some call the human condition” might make for just about as interesting an evening as you’re going to have in Baton Rouge.