In celebration of National Poetry Month, Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne is announcing a special event Just Listen to Yourself: The Louisiana Poet Laureate Presents Louisiana Poets. Louisiana's Poet Laureate, UL English professor Darrell Bourque is hosting the event from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 13, at the State Library.

Bourque has invited poets from around the state to participate in this reading of their work. Included are Caroline Ancelet, Jack Bedell, Marilyn Burel, Sidney Creaghan, Charles deGravelles, Elizabeth Foos, Julie Kane, Bonny McDonald, Alison Pelegrin, Brad Richard and Chancelier Skidmore.

"Darrell Bourque has worked tirelessly during his term as Louisiana poet laureate to promote poetry, literacy and creativity throughout the state, going far beyond the expectations of the role of poet laureate. He encourages appreciation for and development of the literary resources of our state," Lt. Governor Dardenne said.

"This program is so wonderfully characteristic of Darrell Bourque's selflessness and dedication to the art of poetry," State Librarian Rebecca Hamilton said. "Though he easily could have presented solo as one of the last appearances of his poet laureate commission, it was his preference to spotlight fellow Louisiana poets. It also speaks volumes about how much he is admired to see the number of highly regarded poets from across the state who responded to his call."

The lunchtime program is free and open to the public. Attendees may bring their lunch and come and go as their schedules allow. The State Library of Louisiana is wheelchair accessible.

PRESENTING POETS

Darrell Bourque. Bourque's work includes his most recent collection, In Ordinary Light: New and Selected Poems, Call and Response with Jack Bedell, Blue Boat and Plainsongs.

Caroline Ancelet, Acadiana High School, Scott. Ancelet is an active member of the Acadiana Writing Project and director of the Dead of Winter Poetry retreats sponsored by AWP. Her poems will appear in the upcoming Southern Poetry Anthology, Contemporary Louisiana Edition, forthcoming from Texas Review Press.

Jack Bedell, Southeastern Louisiana University, Hammond. Bedell is a professor of English where he is the coordinator for programs in creative writing, editor of Louisiana Literature and the director of Louisiana Literature Press. Bedell is a finalist for the next Louisiana poet laureate.

Marilyn Burel, teacher, Baton Rouge. Burel teaches at the O'Brien House, a treatment center for female alcoholics and addicts, many of whom are impoverished and have been incarcerated. She is published in Sojourn, Florida English and the Rose and Thorn Journal.

Sidney Creaghan, psychotherapist, Lafayette. Creaghan is a visual artist as well as a poet. She has work forthcoming in The Southern Poetry Anthology, Contemporary Louisiana Edition.

Charles deGravelles, Episcopal High School, Baton Rouge. DeGravelles' collection of poems, The Well-Governed Son, was published by New Orleans Poetry Journal Press. He contributed original music for the Louisiana Imagining Lincoln Project as part of the national observance of the Lincoln Bicentennial.

Elizabeth Foos, Forest Heights Academy for Excellence, Baton Rouge. Foos has worked the region as an independent, traveling poetry teacher before becoming a dramatic arts teacher.

Julie Kane, Northwestern State University, Natchitoches. Kane is a professor of English. Her most recent book, Jazz Funeral, is the winner of the 2009 Donald Justice Poetry Prize. Kane is one of the finalists for the soon to be named Louisiana Poet Laureate.

Bonny McDonald, Math, Science, and Arts Academy-West Bank, Plaquemine. McDonald is a teacher in the Baton Rouge area who has worked with the Big Buddy. She is a frequent contributor to Louisiana Writing Project activities and has worked with the Dead of Winter poetry retreats sponsored by the Acadiana Writing Project.

Alison Pelegrin, Southeastern Louisiana University, Hammond. Pelegrin is on the English and writing faculty of Southeastern Louisiana University. She is a recipient of fellowships from both the National Endowment for the Arts and the Louisiana Division of the Arts. Her most recent collections are Big Muddy River of Stars and Hurricane Party. Her poems have appeared in Poetry, Ploughshares, and the Southern Review.

Brad Richard, Lusher Charter School, New Orleans. Brad is the chair of the creative writing program. His most recent book, Motion Studies, is the winner of the 2010 Washington Prize from The Word Works.

Chancelier "Xero" Skidmore, teaching artist with Big Buddy's WordPlay Teen Writing Project, Baton Rouge. Skidmore's favorite movie is The Big Lebowski and he is currently the third ranked Slam Poet in the world.


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