LETTERS READ: Letters of Regret

Wednesday, September 13
6:30 pm
Antenna Gallery
3718 Saint Claude Avenue
New Orleans, LA 70117.

celebrates the visual form of human rejection, giving public voice to those words that can be most difficult to write or read.

Admission is free and open to the public.

This evening features regrets from the personal correspondence of:

Bob Snead
Bart Everson
Rosalie Smith
Christopher Louis Romaguera
Kate Mason
Asiyah DeGruy
Adrienne Breaux
Nancy Sharon Collins
DJ Boyd
Julia Evans
Sara Jacobelli
Barbara Hammond (read by Ryn Wilson)
Rob Hudak

Regrets will be hosted by Chris Kaminstein, co-Artistic Director of Goat in the Road Productions, accompanied by Rob Hudak and his 1940s Gibson acoustic guitar.

During the evening we will also celebrate the release of the new book by Antenna’s Press Street Press, entitled Letters featuring the personal correspondence of Barbara Hammond to her niece, New Orleans based photographer Ryn Wilson. The book pairs the letters with Wilson’s photos of the era.

Transcription of the photo-montage above for LETTERS READ: Regrets:
“Patricia[,] 
I am on my way to California[.] 
Lyle 
[P.S.] I have no ideas as to what to say.”

LETTERS READ: Hermann & Grima Family Letters

Thursday, June 29th, 2017
6:30-8:00 pm
Hermann-Grima House
820 St. Louis Street.

The evening readings are by thespian and burlesque historian Ashton Akridge, Big Easy Award winner Richard Mayer, along with a relative newcomer on the New Orleans theatre scene, Aaron Richert, currently performing in Tulane Summer Lyric Theatre.

This event gives a special glimpse into the personal lives of a few, well to do, French Quarter residents from the antebellum era to battlefield accounts during the Civil War. Readings also include: a love triangle resulting in a duel, antiquated healthcare techniques such as blood letting with leeches and home made small pox remedies—and—the occasional personal request (heavily paraphrased here) “dear brother…while you’re out and about during your Parisian stay, would you mind picking up for me a little opium?”

In addition to Hermann-Grima+ Gallier Historic Houses (HGGHH) staff, several institutions and individuals are instrumental in making this Letters Read segment possible: Jenny Dyer, Education Director, HGGHH, Nicole Horne, Tulane University doctoral candidate for translating, editing, and notating some of the letters, Tulane University Howard-Tilton Memorial Library and The Historic New Orleans CollectionWilliams Research Center (WRC) where some of the letters are housed. Thanks also to M. L. Eichhorn, Senior Reference Associate at WRC, and Dr. Adrienne McFaul helping formulate the evening’s introduction.

Photo: Pocket surgical instrument case, used by Dr. Victor Grima (1837-1877) Charrière, Paris, circa 1860-65. Courtesy of the Hermann-Grima + Gallier Historic Houses, Gift of Joseph Grima Bernard.

LETTERS READ: Lafcadio Hern

Tuesday, May 23, 2017
6:00 to 8:00 pm
Crescent City Books
124 Baronne Street.

For the inaugural event, we are excited to present a program with the letters of Lafcadio Hearn. The evening will feature sociologist Dr. Adrienne McFaul providing some context for the letters, with readings from Ashton Akridge and Big Easy Award winner Richard Mayer.

Hearn wrote of New Orleans:

“There are few who can visit her for the first time without delight; and few who can ever leave her without regret; and none who can forget her strange charm when they have once felt its influence. To a native of the bleaker Northern clime—if he have any poetical sense of the beautiful in nature, any love of bright verdure and luxuriance of landscape—the approach to the city by river, must be in itself something indescribably pleasant. The white steamer gliding through an unfamiliar world of blue and green . . . the waving cane; the evergreen fringe of groves weird with moss . . . as though one were sailing to some far-off glimmering Eden.”

The letters also provide an unedited glimpse into Hearn’s world, which contains language and thoughts that may offend. A special thanks to Loyola University New Orleans Special Collections & Archives, for providing letters from their Lafcadio Hearn Correspondence Collection, and to Michael Zell for hosting the event at Crescent City Books.