WHAT: Festival of Words 2015

WHEN: Nov. 5, 6& 7

WHERE: Grand Coteau and surrounding area

CONTACT: Patrice Melnick, (337) 254-9695 or

The Festival of Words will take place Nov. 5-7 in Grand Coteau and surrounding areas. The festival features literary readings by nationally recognized authors, creative writing workshops in the public schools and community centers, a community stage for open mics, drive-by poetry, and many opportunities for people to interact with featured authors.

This year’s festival authors include Jericho Brown, Kirby Jambon, Fabienne Kanor, Corey Ledet and Kevin Waltman. Students from throughout Acadiana will participate in the annual “Drive-by Poetry” readings, where poetry will be read impromptu in places such as grocery stores, boutiques and restaurants.

To learn more about featured authors and the Festival of Words events, visit or contact Patrice Melnick at (337) 254-9695 or

Jericho Brown is the recipient of the Whiting Writers Award and fellowships from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University and the National Endowment for the Arts. His first book, Please (New Issues, 2008), won the American Book Award, and his second book, The New Testament (Copper Canyon, 2014), was named one of the best poetry books of the year by Library Journal. His poems have appeared in The NationThe New Republic, The New Yorker, and The Best American Poetry.
Brown earned a PhD from the University of Houston, an MFA from the University of New Orleans, and a BA from Dillard University. He is an assistant professor in the creative writing program at Emory University in Atlanta.  


Kirby Jambon of Lafayette, Louisiana was recently named as recipient of the Henri de Régnier prize from the Académie Française, in support of literary creation in poetry. Jambon received the award for his poetry collection Petites Communions published in 2013 by the only francophone publisher in US, Tintamarre, based in Shreveport. L’Académie Française, in Paris, is the pre-eminent French body on matter pertaining to the French language, and consists of major French and francophone authors. This prize is the highest and most prestigious award in the category of Prix de soutien à la création littéraire (Prize in support of literary creation). This is the first time a Louisiana author has received literary recognition from this institution.


Born in Orléans, France, of Martinican parents, Fabienne Kanor is an award-winning writer and the author of four novels, most recently Anticorps (2010). She received the Fetkann Award for her novel D’Eaux Douces (2004), and the RFO Literary Award for Humus (2006). Kanor has also made a number of short documentaries and films, including C’est qui l’homme?, winner of the Best Screenplay Award at the Angers Film Festival in 2008. Currently, Kanor is completing her fifth novel and a screenplay for the feature-length film Derriére le Morne.


Corey Ledet was born and raised in Houston, Texas, but spent his summers with family in small-town Parks, Louisiana.

  He is able to infuse old and new styles of Zydeco into his own unique sound from all of the people he studied and was influenced by.

He also appreciates the other traditional sound indigenous to Louisiana in Cajun music and has been able to expand his repertoire to include these influences as well. Corey’s versatile sound enables him to please any audience.

Kevin Waltman was born in Bedford, Pennsylvania, and spent his teens and twenties in Indiana--time spent mostly around basketball courts and political events. He moved to Tuscaloosa, Alabama in 2001 to get his MFA in fiction at The University of Alabama. There, he met his wife, Jessica Kidd. He now lives in Coker, Alabama, with Jessica, their daughter Calla, their son Holling, and their dog Henry. He teaches. He writes. He gardens. He cuts kudzu from their woods. His books include Slump (Cinco Puntos Press); Next (Cinco Puntos Press); Learning the Game; (Scholastic Books) and Nowhere Fast (Scholastic Paperbacks.)

Sponsors include the Louisiana Division of the Arts and the Louisiana State Arts Council in partnership with the Acadiana Center for the Arts; South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, the Grand Coteau Cultural Foundation and The Consulate General of France in New Orleans. Sponsors also include the Thensted Center.