Tenth Annual
Festival of Words
November 2-4, 2017




Darrell Bourque is the author of ten books of poetry. He is professor emeritus of English at University of Louisiana at Lafayette and the recipient of many awards, including the Louisiana Book Festival 2014 Writer Award. His latest publication Where I Waited (Yellow Flag Press) is a collection of poems in the voices of four traditional Louisiana music icons tied to the 2015 abstract expressionist paintings of Shreveport artist Bill Gingles. The award follows on the heels of Bourque's latest publication, a chapbook entitled, if you abandon me, comment je vas faire: An Ame'de' Ardoin Songbook (Yellow Flag Press, Lafayette, LA). The chapbook was produced to create a public commemorative for Ama'de' Ardoin, Creole accordion master of the Eunice, LA, area who died at the Pineville, LA mental hospital and is buried in an unmarked grave in the "Negro cemetery" there. From 2007-2011, he served as Louisiana Poet Laureate with a focus on bringing poetry into pre-college classrooms and community spaces.

Allison Joseph lives, writes, and teaches in Carbondale, Illinois, where she is part of the creative writing faculty at Southern Illinois University. She serves as editor and poetry editor of Crab Orchard Review, moderator of the Creative Writers Opportunities List, and director of the Young Writers Workshop, a summer writers' workshop for teen writers. Her books and chapbooks include What Keeps Us Here (Ampersand Press), Soul Train (Carnegie Mellon University Press), In Every Seam (University of Pittsburgh Press), Worldly Pleasures (Word Tech Communications), Imitation of Life (Carnegie Mellon UP), Voice: Poems (Mayapple Press), My Father's Kites (Steel Toe Books), Trace Particles (Backbone Press), Little Epiphanies (Imaginary Friend Press), Mercurial (Mayapple Press), Mortal Rewards (White Violet Press), Multitudes (Word Poetry), The Purpose of Hands (Glass Lyre Press), Corporal Muse (Yellow Chair Press), Double Identity (Singing Bone Press) and What Once You Loved (Barefoot Muse Press). She is the literary partner and wife of poet and editor Jon Tribble.

Patricia Smith is the author of six critically-acknowledged volumes of poetry, including Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah, winner of the 2014 Rebekah Bobbitt Prize from the Library of Congress, the 2013 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize from the Academy American Poets.

Recognized as one of the world's most formidable performers, Patricia has read her work at venues round the world, including Urban Voices in South Africa, Rotterdam's Poetry International Festival, the Aran Islands International Poetry and Prose Festival. In the U.S., she's performed at the National Book Festival, Carnegie Hall, the Dodge Poetry Festival, Bumbershoot and the Folger Shakespeare Library. Patricia is a four-time national individual champion of the notorious and wildly popular Poetry Slam, the most successful competitor in slam history. She is a Cave Canem faculty member, a professor of English at CUNY/College of Staten Island and a faculty member of the Sierra Nevada MFA program.


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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