Where We Know
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Edited & Compiled by David Rutledge

David Rutledge is a literature professor at the University of New Orleans and the co-editor of the post-Katrina anthology Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans? (Chin Music Press, 2006). The book release party at the Saturn Bar in February of 2006 was the most remarkable evening in his 11 years in New Orleans. His book on Vladimir Nabokov will be published in 2011 by McFarland Press.


Eve Shoshanah Abrams rarely uses her middle name. She has two cats and a fiancé and far too many clothes. She buys her food at the Farmer's Market. She used to live in Brooklyn, but now she lives on St. Claude Avenue, her command center for producing radio stories, writing and doing all manner of things.

Ali Arnold rarely crosses Canal Street. Instead, she divides her time between the Lakefront where she teaches English at the University of New Orleans and the Marigny where she shares a shotgun with her 19-year-old cat, Simon. You're just as likely, though, to find her on a dance floor on Frenchmen Street where she's learning to swing out to that trad jazz.

Sandra Burshell is a New Orleans photographer and visual artist who uses her photographs as ends in themselves as well as a source for inspiration for her pastels and oils. After Hurricane Katrina, through her photographs, she sought to find beauty and humanity in the devastation on an individual rather than the panoramic scale. Some of the photographs were exhibited in "Katrina Exposed," New Orleans Museum of Art, 2006, and are in the museum's permanent collection. Her pastels exhibit the same sensitivity and attention to light, shadow and composition. For more information: www.sandraburshell.com.

Sarah DeBacher lives with her husband and their many cats in a renovated shotgun in the historic Holy Cross neighborhood of the Lower Ninth Ward. She teaches writing at the University of New Orleans and in New Orleans' Recovery School District's high schools for the Bard Early College Program.

Lolis Eric Elie is a writer and filmmaker. Born and raised in New Orleans, he co-produced the documentary Faubourg Treme and works as a staff writer for the HBO series Treme. For 14 years, he was a metro columnist for The Times-Picayune.

Mark Folse lives and writes on Toulouse Street in New Orleans, the city to which he returned after a 20-year absence following the city's flooding. His work has appeared in the anthologies The Maple Leaf Rag IV and  Finn McCool's Chronicles 2009, the forthcoming A Howling in the Wires collection, which he co-edited, The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, The Times-Picayune and his own collection, Carry Me Home: A Journey Back to New Orleans (Lulu, 2008). He never seems to find a lack of things to write about at his blog Toulouse Street — Odd Bits of Life in New Orleans (toulousestreet.net).

Rebecca Freeland-Hebert was born and raised in sunny Alberta. She packed up her dog and came to New Orleans to study God, love and death. Having chosen tattooing as a form of her own expression, she saw God, love and death in the Katrina tattoos of New Orleanians. She is currently finishing her theology degree in Alberta and awaiting the arrival of her first child with her husband Eric.

Anne Gisleson is chair of the writing program at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA), Louisiana's art conservatory for high-school students. Her writing has appeared in various places including the Oxford American, The New Orleans Review and Best American Non-Required Reading. She also helps run Press Street, a nonprofit that promotes art and literature in the community through events, publications and art education.

Kris Lackey is the author of RoadFrames: The American Highway Narrative and short fiction in Missouri Review, Wisconsin Review and other magazines. He teaches at the University of New Orleans.

When Sarah Inman's not hanging upside down, hula hooping or chasing after her son, she writes. She is the author of The Least resistance (NOLAFugees, 2010) and Finishing Skills (Livingston Press, 2005).

Sam Jasper
lives in the Marigny in New Orleans, a district that shelters other malcontents and those with an artistic bent. Sam was a contributor to Louisiana in Words (Pelican Press, 2007), is a contributor at the Back of Town blog and erratically keeps the New Orleans Slate blog updated. Sam's archived pieces written just after Katrina can be found at the Katrina Refrigerator blog. Sam is also the co-editor of A Howling in the Wires, a collection of pieces about post-Katrina New Orleans.

Jennifer A. Kuchta teaches creative writing, literature and composition at the University of New Orleans. Her nonfiction can be found in Year Zero: A Year of Reporting from Post-Katrina New Orleans and Soul is Bulletproof: Reports from Reconstruction New Orleans, while her fiction has appeared most recently in Life in the Wake: Fiction from Post-Katrina New Orleans. Kuchta still makes her home in Uptown, New Orleans, with a four-pack of rescue dogs.

Rex Noone is an expert in so many fields it becomes redundant. He is the offspring of the gods Bacchus and Nihilia, the sacred gods of grapes and grapelessness, respectively. He considers the short story he wrote for Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans? — "Professor Stevens Goes to Mardi Gras" — to be by far the most eloquent piece in the anthology. After dark, he has been known to declare, at varying degrees of volume and clarity, "My knowledge abounds!" — or is it "My NOLA's unsound"? Either way, the pentameter bewilders those who wake to it. He is currently underemployed.

Reggie J. Poché, a 10th-generation Louisianian, teaches creative writing, technical writing and composition at the University of New Orleans. His most recent fiction has appeared in Ginger Hill, Zahir, Margin and River Styx. In 2006, he won the Margery McKinney Short Fiction Prize and was nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best New American Voices. He is currently at work on a novel, tentatively titled Antediluvian Men.

Ray Shea is a New Orleanian currently residing in Austin. His writing has appeared in The Northville Review, Ghoti Magazine, The Rumpus, Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans? and A Howling in the Wires, for which he was also a contributing editor. He writes fiction and nonfiction, though lately he has been trying not to care about the distinction between the two. .

Tracey Tangerine is the author of Buddy Zooka: In the French Quarter and Beyond (Chin Music Press, 2010), a young adult novel that chronicles a riotous romp through the French Quarter by a young street musician. The novel has an underlying message of environmental awareness. Tangerine is an art teacher in the Jefferson Parish school district.

Eve Troeh
worked as a radio and print journalist in New Orleans before and after Hurricane Katrina. Her stories have been heard on National Public Radio, American Public Media and various other programs across the country. Her last project in New Orleans was the audio documentary Finding Solid Ground, produced with Molly Peterson. Eve moved to Los Angeles in 2007, where she continues to report and produce for radio. She thought she'd live in New Orleans forever.
Copyright © 2010 by Chin Music Press Inc. (Broken Levee Books)