Ninth Annual
Festival of Words
November 4-5, 2016

Rain Prud'homme-Cranford (Gomez), Ph.D.
Rain Prud'homme-Cranford (Gomez), Ph.D., is a "FAT-tastic IndigeNerd" who won the First Book Award in Poetry from Native Writers' Circle of the Americas (2009), for Smoked Mullet Cornbread Crawdad Memory (MEP 2012). She is an Assistant Professor of Indigenous Literature in the Department of English and Affiliated Faculty in the International Indigenous Studies Program at the University of Calgary and a Lecturer in American Indian Studies at San Francisco State University. Her critical work intersects Indigenous, Metis /Mestizo, and African transnational and transracial diasporas. Her current monograph is titled: Gumbo Banaha Stories: Louisiana Indigeneities and Decolonizing the Transnational South. Her second poetry book, Miscegenation Round Dance: Poemes Historiques, is under review and revision. Critical and creative work can be found in various journals including: The Southern Literary Journal, Louisiana Folklife, Undead Souths: The Gothic and Beyond (LSU P), Mississippi Quarterly, American Indian Culture and Research Journal, Tidal Basin Review, Natural Bridge, Sing: Indigenous Poetry of the Americas, Mas Tequila Review, As Us, and many others. She is currently working on her third poetry and prose manuscript: Salt & Bone Home.
Yvette Landry
Yvette Landry: Musician. Author. Educator. Interpreter. That's a lot of different hats for one person to wear; yet Yvette seems to be making it work. Yvette Landry grew up in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana, not far from the levees of the Atchafalaya Basin, North America's largest swampland. After earning a master's degree in education and developing a successful teaching career, she began telling stories through song. The songs were a hit, and so was Yvette. Playing a variety of instruments in several Cajun bands, Yvette also fronts her own band. Her debut award-winning album titled "Should Have Known" was released in 2010. Yvette is an educator, teaching American Sign Language and Song Writing at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Yvette is also a private homeschool teacher and she has also taught bass, guitar, accordion and vocals. By night, Yvette is a musician/singer and she continues to tour worldwide as a multi-instrumentalist in several bands including Yvette Landry Band, Bonsoir Catin, the Lafayette Rhythm Devils, and Balfa Toujours. She has performed with the Red Stick Ramblers, Pine Leaf Boys, Steve Riley, Dirk Powell, Donna the Buffalo, Bill Kirchen, Cindy Cashdollar, Geraldine Gay, Darrell Scott and many more. Yvette has released two more CD's, "No Man's Land" with a host of friends lending a helping hand - Bill Kirchen, Cindy Cashdollar, and, Dirk Powell, just to name a few, and "Me & T-Coe's Country" with pedal steel ace, Richard Comeaux. Her children's book, "The Ghost Tree," is nominated for "Louisiana's Young Reader's Choice Award," AND, Yvette just received a nomination from the Grammy Association for her work with Bonsoir Catin.
Special Guest, Joseph "Sonny" Eaglin
Joseph "Sonny" Eaglin is a native of Grand Coteau. From a family of sharecroppers, he graduated from St. Peter Claver High School. After graduating, he traveled to California for greater economic opportunities. Eaglin studied business at Los Angeles College. From there, he landed a job at McDonald Douglas Aircraft Industry where he rose through the ranks from administrator to manager. On November 4, he will share personal memories of going with his father to the Petetin store to purchase farm equipment including wire, seed, plows and hand tools. The store stood in the same location as present-day Chicory's Coffee & Cafe.
Josh Capps
Josh Capps is an English Instructor at University of Louisiana, where he teaches literature, composition, and screenwriting. He has been the Director of the Acadiana Writing Project since 2010. His fiction and essays have appeared in The Mississippi Review, The Iowa Review, Barcelona Review, Storyglossia, and other journals.
Bruce Coen
Bruce Coen, who is originally from Boston, has over 50 years experience as an actor/director/producer/teacher in both film and theater. He has directed over 6 plays, has taught acting through ULL's Potpourri, and acted in numerous productions including Les Marionettes in November, 2010. He has been the Drive-by Poetry coach for many years. He also teaches in the Gifted and Talented Program in Vermillion Parish.
Chere' Dastugue Coen
Chere' Dastugue Coen is an award-winning journalist, instructor of writing, playwright and novelist. Her nonfiction books include "Forest Hill, Louisiana: A Bloom Town History," "Haunted Lafayette, Louisiana," "Magic's in the Bag: Creating Spellbinding Gris Gris Bags & Sachets" with Jude Bradley and "Exploring Cajun Country: A Historic Tour of Acadiana." She is also the author of several historical romance novels, all set in Louisiana, under the pen name of Cherie Claire. A native of New Orleans, Chere' now makes her home in Lafayette. Visit her blogs and or her web sites, and
Alex "Poetic Soul" Johnson
Alex "PoeticSoul" Johnson is a UL Student Senior Marketing Major and the founder and manager of Lyrically Inclined, an organization that hosts spoken word events in Lafayette, at places like the Acadiana Center for the Arts, the Festival of Words, Cite des Arts, and Black Cafe.
Chamir Murphy
Chamir Murphy is a writer and creative living in Opelousas. She is a first grade teacher who shares her love of storytelling and poetry with students as a way to explore identity and sense of place. Her passion for writing infuses life experiences, celebrations, and community building through reading, writing, and language expression.

The Festival of Words is funded in part by a grant from South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Louisiana Endowment for the Arts.

The Festival of Words appreciates partnerships with Acadiana Writing Project; Grand Coteau Cultural Arts Foundation; the Thensted Center; Lyrically Inclined; Beth Fusilier of Sterling Kia, Graphic Designer Tracy.Duhamel; Chicorys Coffee & Cafe'; Grand Coteau Bistro, Giles Auto Rent; Nunu's Arts and Culture Collective, and St. Landry Parish Tourism. We are also supported by many generous donors of our community and from all over the country.

We also appreciate in-kind support from The Center for Louisiana Studies at UL, and C. Bruce Snow, Data Management.

updated 6/21/2012
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