Folks who write and have written for Back Of Town.
You can contact us at backoftownblog[at]gmail[dot]com or @backoftown.
Maitri Erwin is a geoscientist and the founder of this blog. She is also author of Maitri’s VatulBlog and adviser to Project Gutenberg, the oldest producer of free electronic books. Maitri was born in Kuwait to Indian parents, has lived in the American Midwest and New Orleans and now makes her home in Houston and various world airports. She is a proud member of the Krewe de C.R.A.P.S. of Krewe du Vieux and likes to think that New Orleans alone keeps the sequin, bead and glitter industry in the black. An ardent fan of American football and the Green Bay Packers, Maitri is the creator of the Beaded Cheesehead™. Contact: email / @maitri
Ray Shea grew up in the Algiers neighborhood of New Orleans, and attended the old Ben Franklin High School (along with a couple of Marsalis brothers, some guy named Wendell, some guy named Lolis, and this other short kid named Davis). Although most of Ray’s adult life has been spent in Texas in college and in the tech industry, he moved back to New Orleans after the flood along with the rest of the Ex-Pat Gang of Three, Ashley Morris and Mark Folse. Due to a voodoo curse put on him at Ashley’s funeral, he has since been exiled back to Austin but hopes to return to New Orleans permanently once his kids are off to college. Ray is a long-time Wire fan and had the honor of contributing to Got That New Package during Season 5. He has been blogging since 2004 at a place currently known as Ray in Exile, and his fiction and non-fiction have been published in Ghoti, The Northville Review, Do You Know What It Means, Where We Know: New Orleans as Home, and A Howling in the Wires.
Sam is currently waging a largely silent war against gravity and gravitas. It’s a delicate balance. Sam is co-editor of A Howling in the Wires (2010) and a partner in Gallatin and Toulouse Press. She was a contributor to Pelican Press’ 2007 Louisiana in Words, and is reprising the contributor label in the upcoming Chin Music Press publication due out this summer. Having worked in various capacities in film and video decades ago, Jasper unwillingly takes some of the blame for turning the music business into a visual rather than an audio medium, but that experience allows for some insight into how stories get on your TV screen. Sam also erratically maintains a blog called New Orleans Slate (named not after the online mag but the roofing tiles of old buildings and the primary school chalkboard on which the nun’s pointer hung) and has a collection of letters written immediately after Katrina at the Katrina Refrigerator. Sam is also a member of Krewe du Vieux’s Seeds of Decline.
Sentient carbon-based dyke nerd research administrator TV watcher music lover person living with three other vertebrates in hill country scrub of Central Texas. Created short-lived Got that New Package! site, blathered about mostly meaningless topics at otherwise highly readable blog First Draft. Full time job, full time grad school, gym in between, no other life to speak of at the moment.
Mark Folse, who posts here as Wet Bank Guy, published the Wet Bank Guide Katrina blog and the book Carry Me Home, a Journey Back to New Orleans on his move home to New Orleans after the Federal Flood. Mark is co-editor of A Howling in the Wires (2010) and a partner in Gallatin and Toulouse Press. He currently blogs on literary topics and “Odd Bits of Life in New Orleans” at ToulouseStreet.net. “There is no more powerful narrative of a place and its people since the Israelites left Egypt than the story of post-diluvian New Orleans and the hurricane coast.”
Adrastos is the nom de blog of Peter Athas, longtime New Orleanian and member of the PAN sub-krewe of Krewe du Vieux. He’s the only Back of Towner thus far to be an extra in Treme; something that gives him no additional insight whatsoever. He’s a reformed lawyer and musician who currently owns a small business in the French Quarter. He has been blogging about politics, music and whatever else seizes his fancy at his own blog Adrastos since 2005. In 2009, he joined the team at First Draft, which makes this whole Back of Town enterprise a ginormous First Draft conspiracy or something like that.
Since early 2006, when she moved back to New Orleans after a four-year hiatus in Queens, Liprap has been blogging at Liprap’s Lament. Her ongoing adventures of raising a family in New Orleans post 8/29/05 are chronicled there as well as at Humid City. She’ll be cooking like a crazy woman in exchange for watching Treme at her pal Edie’s house, since Entergy’s gouging prevents her from subscribing to basic cable, much less HBO … but hey, the food’s gonna be good.
alli is a below-sea-level kind of New Orleanian, with Dutch roots stretching back at least four centuries. She is a policy wonk and member of the Krewe of Mama Roux. Born in Michigan, she now lives in the 13th Ward with her dog.
Allison Hantschel is a 10-year veteran of the newspaper business. She publishes First Draft, a writing and politics blog, with her partners Adrastos and Jude. She is the author of It Doesn’t End With Us: The Story of the Daily Cardinal (2008, Heritage Books) and the forthcoming Perfect Pint: Chicago’s Historic Irish Pubs (2011, Arcadia Books). She also edited the anthology Special Plans: The Blogs on Douglas Feith and the Faulty Intelligence That Led to War. Her work has appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, the Daily Southtown, Sirens Magazine, and Alternet. She lives in Chicago with her husband, three ferrets, and approximately 60 tons of books.
G Bitch has been the mad black woman behind The G Bitch Spot since 2006. She was featured in The Nation with other post-Flood blogs/bloggers Your Right Hand Thief, Gentilly Girl, and Greg Peters, and since then some people think highly of her. She’s been on panels at Rising Tide twice, been on NPR once [Farai Chideya's canceled News and Views], and been quoted in the Times-Picayune once or twice. Her novel is pretty good, too.
A pro blogger and owner of SocialGumbo, LLC, Loki is all over the place online. The best place to find out more about this transplanted New Orleanian, now living in Northside Cincinnati, is through his Google Profile. If you’d like a third party view then try this Mercatus Center article. Loki is one of the organizers, and the MC, of the Rising Tide Conference in New Orleans. He is also the founder and administrator of HumidCity and its sister site CincyVoices. He has been featured or interviewed by the BBC, Air America, Tun3r, NOLA.com and many others. A founding member of the Krewe of Chartreuse, he is the Krewe’s Minister of Volume and one of its three Sanctus Custodis Viridus. He is a lifetime member of The Skull Club, and is slowly introducing Ohio to Pimms Cups and jambalaya.