Feeling ambivalent, at best, about Hurricane Katrina’s 10th anniversary and the monetizing of said event as a writer, I wanted only to write AROUND Katrina, not address it directly. I didn’t totally stick to that plan but… I believe the work I did at least added to the conversation in unique ways, and I hope even a local who went through Katrina and never wanted to hear about it again might find the stories I did pick interesting.
The following is the complete list of stories (and TWO NEW BOOKS) I published to explore and commemorate Katrina’s 10th anniversary, and to honor the great city of New Orleans.
- One of my two BRAND NEW BOOKS, Transport Instinct (Defend New Orleans), tells the tale of Chauncey Gardner, our first pet goat, who was born just in time to evacuate Katrina, and who died just before K10. He led a storied, Forest Gump-esque life, and even proved impetus for my family to start a goat-powered blight-fighting company. Chauncey’s story also slyly tells tale of what it’s been like living in the 9th Ward in the ten years after the flood: I also released http://www.amazon.com/Transport-Instinct-Chauncey-post-Katrina-Orleans/dp/1516842502
- This essay from The Guardian tells the entire ten-year story of Chauncey’s magical life in the post-Katrina 9th Ward—it pretty sums up Transport Instinct’s in 1,500 words: http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/aug/23/how-my-goat-lived-through-katrina
- In this WWNO radio piece I discuss my first summer teaching writing at camp just after Katrina, and a rap song my students recorded called “Katrina! Katrina! (Oh no!)” http://wwno.org/post/katrina-debris-generations
- PT 2 of that WWNO story, wherein my 2015 summer campers discuss what they remember from the flood and evacuation ten years ago, and what they’ve been told about Katrina: http://wwno.org/post/katrina-debris-r-word-resilience
- My second BRAND NEW BOOK (Defend New Orleans put out my two new books at once) compiles my students and campers’ best published writing over the last ten years, from the summer after Katrina to today: http://www.amazon.com/Listen-This-reviews-writing-schoolkids/dp/1516841468/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1440970854&sr=1-2&keywords=listen+2+this
- The Guardian also assigned me this piece, on the health of Louisiana’s fishing ten years after the first of several harsh blows to that industry (BP oil spill, Bobby Jindal, etc.): http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2015/aug/27/new-orleans-fishermen-hurricane-katrina-fishing-industry-bp-oil-spill-hurricane-rita
- VICE assigned me to catch up with some of the prisoners and others who were left locked in Orleans Parish Prison as Katrina’s waters rose: http://www.vice.com/read/hurricane-katrina-was-a-nightmare-for-inmates-in-new-orleans-829
Or just sit back and enjoy–again–this video of prisoners in Orleans Parish Prison gambling, smoking crack, shooting heroin and playing with a loaded gun, all while saying “y’heard me” thousands of times (there’s never NOT a good time to watch this video again):