Everette Hawthorne Maddox

1944 – 1989

Everette Hawthorne Maddox (1944 – 1989) was a poet, author of The Everette Maddox Song Book, Bar Scotch, and American Waste, barfly, and teacher in New Orleans in the 1970s and 1980s. Besides gaining acclaim for his own work, he started the Maple Leaf Reading Series, currently the oldest continuous poetry reading in the South. Maddox was a friend and mentor to many poets, artists, and writers including Rodney Jones, Julie Kane, Ralph Adamo, Nancy Harris, producer Fred Kasten, and Maple Leaf bar owner Hank Staples. Everette was a poet of the streets as well as the academy.

Although his fame is only slowly increasing, his influence is wide through his teaching and organizing the Maple Leaf Poetry Reading Series in New Orleans. These excerpts from the documentary He Was A Mess: The Short Life of New Orleans Poet Everette Maddox contain memories of Maddox as well as recordings of Maddox reading his poetry.

1) Here sculptor Franz Heldner explains the origins of the Maple Leaf Reading series and then former State of Louisiana Poet Laureate Julie Kane, friend Bob Wolff, and Fred Kasten talk about Maddox’s poetry and life circumstances.

2) Poet Ralph Adamo analyzes Maddox’s poetry before Fred Kasten and Hank Staples remember how, after not writing for a while, Maddox started producing poems again.