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Poet Laureate and LEH Celebrate Festival of Words in Grand Coteau

The 7th annual Festival of Words took place November 6–8 in Grand Coteau in St. Landry Parish. Under the guidance of project director and 2013 LEH Individual Achievement awardee Patrice Melnick, the festival included public readings, an open mic, youth programs, and writing workshops for students and adults. An LEH Poet Laureate grant supported readings and workshops with Louisiana poet laureate Ava Leavell Haymon.

“This year’s festival included everything from Haitian drumming to slam poetry performance to ‘drive-by poetry,’ performed in grocery stores, barbershops and cafes!” writes Melnick. “The Festival of Words celebrates the written and spoken word–it’s all one big Word Love Fest for everyone!”

Featured writers included Latasha Weatherspoon, Luis Alberto Urrea and Anderson Dovilas, along with a musical performance by Roddie Romero.

The LEH thanks Patrice and her many volunteers for delivering high quality programs to this historic rural community.

(Photos by Kimberly VanWagner)