Festival of Words 2021

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Dates: November 5, 2021 - November 6, 2021

Recurring: Recurring daily

Price: Free

The Festival of Words celebrates another year with three amazing artists and two days of memorable events!  The festival will take place Friday and Saturday, November 5 and 6. This year the festival features Grammy-Award winner Louis Michot, poet, visual artists Malaika Favorite and Mississippi Poet Laureate Aimee Nezhukumatathil.  Festival events include creative writing workshops for students and the community, a community stage for open mic, and “Drive-by Poetry” in which youth give dramatic presentations of festival authors’ writings.

The Friday night event features a poetry and musical presentation by all three featured artists. On Saturday, Drive-by Poetry performers from the Magnet Academy of Cultural Arts will recite works by the featured authors. There will also be an open mic on the community stage, and multiple creative writing workshops, which are open to the public. More details are forthcoming.

The Festival of Words is supported in part by a Grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts, Office of Cultural Development, Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, in cooperation with the Louisiana State Arts Council as administered by the Acadiana Center for the Arts. Sponsors also include the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, the Culture Cares Fund, Atchafalaya National Heritage Area, and the St. Landry Parish Tourism Commission.

The Festival of Words appreciates partnerships with Acadiana Open Channel, Acadiana Writing Project, Alexander Books, Lyrically Inclined, NUNU Arts and Culture Collective, St. Landry Parish Schools, and many volunteers and sponsors.  

ARTISTS


Malaika Favorite, born the second of nine children to Amos and Rosemary Favorite, is an artist and poet who hails from Geismar, Louisiana. As an eleventh grader in 1965, Favorite was the first African-American to integrate Ascension Parish Schools when she transferred from the segregated Prairieville High School, to Dutchtown High School. Favorite earned her BFA and MFA from Louisiana State University .

Favorite's work resides in the permanent collections of the Morris Museum of Southern Art, Absolut Vodka, the Coca-Cola Company, Hartsfield-Jackson Airport, Atlanta, and others. She is an artist member of the Baton Rouge Gallery and exhibited her work with many institutions. She has published two books of poetry, Dreaming at the Manor and Illuminated Manuscript: Poems and Prints."

Louis Michot is best known as the fiddle player and lead-singer for the Grammy award winning Lost Bayou Ramblers, but his passion for Louisiana French and local folklore are what fuels his career as a musician. Based in Arnaudville, LA, Louis resides with his wife Ashlee and three sons, Julien, Louis Jr, and Marius in the house he built himself.

Louis was born and raised in South Louisiana, and started playing Cajun music on the stand-up bass at age 14, replacing his Uncle David Michot in the world-traveled group of his father and uncles, Les Freres Michot. He picked up the fiddle at age 19 and started the Lost Bayou Ramblers with his brother Andre Michot. Louis took to learning his ancestral language of French by traveling throughout French Canada, by learning from Cajun French speakers at home in south Louisiana, and by singing the endless repertoire of Cajun French music.

Aimee Nezhukumatathil is the author of a book of nature essays, World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, & Other Astonishments, which was named a finalist for the Kirkus Prize in non-fiction, and four award-winning poetry collections, most recently, Oceanic (2018). Awards for her writing include fellowships from the Mississippi Arts Council, Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Award for poetry, National Endowment of the Arts, and the Guggenheim Foundation. Her writing has appeared in NYTimes Magazine, ESPN, and Best American Poetry. She is professor of English and Creative Writing in the University of Mississippi's MFA program.