Finding Community with New Orleans Bloggers

The pieces of post-Katrina life presented here cover a range of topics, from politics and evacuation to food, pets and Saints football.

| July 2016

  • Much of the work published here was first unavailable due to broken Internet links and old servers.
    Photo by Fotolia/undrey
  • “Please Forward: How Blogging Reconnected New Orleans after Katrina” by Cynthia Joyce.
    Photo courtesy of The University of New Orleans Press

It’s not difficult to recall the national heartbreak left in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. But even well-researched news reports cannot document the pain and outrage of the New Orleans citizens whose lives were forever changed by the tragedy. The stories about what was going on in this beloved city lived online, but when she went looking for them, Cynthia Joyce found much of the content was lost. In her desire to rediscover the thoughts and feelings of those affected, Joyce researched and wrote Please Forward (The University of New Orleans Press, 2015), a compilation of both famous, easily obtainable writings and of works only found by scouring the Internet archives and consulting with the New Orleans blogging community. This book fills in the blanks that time and journalistic objectivity left from the mainstream account of Katrina and its aftermath. Covering two years, from 2005 through 2007, Joyce takes readers into the minds of New Orleanians who prove that the Internet can be a crucial platform for understanding and connection in times of crisis. 

To find more books that pique our interest, visit the Utne Reader Bookshelf.

"Ground Zero"

Michael Tisserand, Submerged: An Evacuee’s Journal

My wife spent yesterday in New Orleans, getting the house ready to put on the market. She woke up at 5 a.m. to drive in with a friend. She cleaned the kids’ rooms, hung the pictures back on the walls, stacked the Saturday, Aug. 28, issue of The Times-Picayune — the one with the “Katrina Takes Aim” headline — on the pile with the other papers.

I never asked about her trip. Finally, she brings it up. “You didn’t say you appreciate my work,” she tells me. “You did that for yourself,” I say. “I didn’t even want you to go. Why should I thank you?”

“We have a house to sell.”

“Nobody’s thinking about curb appeal. Anyone who wants to buy that house is going to buy it anyway, even if it looks like shit. It doesn’t matter. The rules are changed.”

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