Wednesday, June 16, 2010

INSIDE STORIES PODCAST 21: THE NEIGHBORHOOD STORY PROJECT


LISTEN THE NEW PODCAST EPISODE ONLINE HERE, OR BETTER YET SUBSCRIBE TO THE FREE PODCAST ON iTUNES HERE.


I'm totally bonkers for the Neighborhood Story Project, a New Orleans-based organization that works with community writers to tell "our stories, told by us." Among their various projects, the organization is most well-known for the dozen books created by students at John McDonogh Senior High School in New Orleans, in which the writers interview family, friends, neighbors, store owners, and other locals to create rich portraits of the places where they live, and the people who populate those places. (They also have books by adults, like one by and about Nine Times Social and Pleasure Club, or The House of Dance and Feathers.) 

Here's the thing: the books are really good. You might be inclined to think, "well, books written by students, probably just some stapled-together 'zine that you'd only check out because you know the people who make them and feel obliged to read 'em." On the contrary, the books are beautifully printed, and more importantly, they're funny, entertaining, full of feeling, and tell great stories. 

Abram Himelstein has eye-opening things to say about how people should own their stories, why paying "sources" is not the worst thing in the world, and he reads from one of the recent books. Check out the podcast episode, and don't wait, go buy some of the books for yourself. (All the images in this post are taken from the NSP website.)

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