Category Archives: Lafayette, Louisiana

Lafayette, Louisiana

ORGANIZERS: Marthe Reed and Jonathan Penton



CONFIRMED: Lafayette, Louisiana will have an event at the Acadiana Center for the Arts, a beautiful multipurpose building in downtown Lafayette. We’ll be there from 7pm to 11-ish, Central Daylight Time (-5GMT). Our program will bring traditional poets including Laura Mullen, Marthe Reed and former Louisiana Poet Laureate Darrell Bourque together with the spoken word troupe Revolution Theory, creating a multi-generational event bringing in Lafayette’s diverse literary subcultures. Meanwhile, the University of Louisiana-Lafayette poetry group will be doing a series of open-space musical and literary skits, and we’ll have local organizations in the atrium, discussing what they’re doing for change in Louisiana. During our intermission, we’ll be pumping in the webstream from other 100 Thousand Poets for Change events. (So if you’re running another event, and will be webcasting that late, please drop us a line or leave a comment here — we’d be interested in streaming you!)

$6 at the theatre door, all of which will go to non-profit organizations (the Acadiana Center for the Arts and others). Cash bar. Sponsors are Acting Up (in Acadiana)BBR Creative, The Break Room Coffee Shop, The Festival of Words, and Unlikely Books.

C. S. CarrierC. S. Carrier was born in Dayton, OH and grew up in western North Carolina. He studied English at Western Carolina University and earned an MFA from the Program for Poets and Writers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. His poems have appeared in numerous journals. He is the author of After Dayton, published by Four Way Books in 2008, and Postcard Feat (with Yago Cura), published by Hinchas de Poesia Press in 2010. In August 2011, he began the English PhD Program at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. He lives with his partner Dawn Holder and their two dogs.

Rita D. CostelloOriginally from New York, Rita D. Costello has lived all over America and China. She is Director of Freshman/Sophomore English at McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana and co-editor of the anthology Bend Don’t Shatter (Soft Skull Press, 2004). Her work has appeared in journals–such as Glimmer Train, ACM, Baltimore Review, and Hawai’i Review–and anthologies–such as Red, White and Blues: Poetic Vistas on the Promise of America, Only Connect, and Mischief, Caprice & Other Poetic Strategies. Her work has won the Glimmer Train Poetry Prize and been nominated for the Pushcart Prize.

Clare L. MartinClare L. Martin is a poet-mother-wife; a graduate of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and lifelong Louisiana resident. Clare’s poetry has appeared in Avatar Review, Poets and Artists, Blue Fifth Review, and A Clean, Well-Lighted Place, among others. Her poems have been included in the anthologies: The Red Room: Writings from Press 1, Best of Farmhouse Magazine Vol. 1, and Beyond Katrina.  She has been nominated for Dzanc Books’ Best of the Web (2011) for Best New Poets and Sundress Publication’s Best of the Net. Her work was selected for the 2011 Press 53 Spotlight anthology which features a select group of emerging poets and writers.
Clare has written for theatre and recently served as a writer for “Play. Music. Heal:” a multi-disciplined collaborative theatre project of the company Acting Up (in Acadiana) which brought together actors, musicians and writers in creating a contemporary story revolving around the potential for music to heal.
Clare is a Teaching Artist through the Acadiana Center for the Arts and a member of the Festival of Words Cultural Arts Collective, Inc.

Marthe ReedMarthe Reed has published two books of poetry, Gaze (Black Radish Books) and Tender Box, A Wunderkammer with drawings by Rikki Ducornet (Lavender Ink), as well as three chapbooks, post*cards: Lafayette a Lafayette (with j/j hastain), (em)bodied bliss and zaum alliterations, all as part of the Dusie Kollektiv Series.   Her poetry has appeared in New American Writing, Golden Handcuffs Review, New Orleans Review, HOW2, MiPoesias, Big Bridge, Moria, Fairy Tale Review, Exquisite Corpse, The Offending Adam, Galatea Resurrects, and Eoagh, among others.  Her manuscript, an earth of sweetness dances in the vein, was a finalist in Ahsahta Press’ 2006 Sawtooth Poetry Contest.  Reviews of Gaze can be found at

Michael Aro was born in 1952. He is a novelist, poet, and new media artist. He has worked as a roofer, a truck driver, an urban planner, a teacher, a computer programmer and an executive in several software companies. His work is dark, satirical and encyclopedic in nature. His style of writing mixes and matches every literary form and technique. His poetry has been published in The American Poet and The Journal of Experimental Fiction and online in Identity Theory, and Harvey Bialy’s  Essays in new media poetics have been published by the North American Center for Interdisciplinary Poetics and Unlikely 2.0. His art is contained in individual, corporate and university collections. He is the author of three published books: Red Moon, The Rapture, and M. He lives in Shreveport, Louisiana and has five children.

Kelly Clayton is a Louisiana Creole whose roots on both sides of the family reach back to 1778. She recently moved home after twenty glorious years in New York City.
Writing poetry full time, she has earned a living as an editor, waitress, line cook, publisher’s assistant, and event producer, all this after dropping out of beauty school.
Her work has been published by Future Cycle Press, Random House, and UK’s Gloom Cupboard.
She currently lives in Lafayette with her husband and ten-year-old son. Kelly considers herself living proof that Louisiana never lets her children go.

Jerry McGuire’s first book of poems, The Flagpole Dance, was published by Lynx House Press in 1991, his second, Vulgar Exhibitions, by Eastern Washington University Press in 2002. Much of his work is poetry, drama, and experimental fiction done in collaboration with musicians, dancers, and visual artists and designed for specific performance environments. He is professor of English at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.








Patrice Melnick is a writer, arts administrator, educator and business owner.
Melnick taught English and creative writing at Xavier University in New Orleans for 13 years where she founded one of the first creative writing programs at a Historically Black University.  She has taught a Literary Nonfiction Workshop in the low-residency MFA program at the University of New Orleans.
Her essays and poems have appeared in Grain, The Xavier Review, Buffalo Bones, Prism International and other journals.  Turning Up the Volume (Xavier Press), a memoir, was published in 2005 and she has a forthcoming collection of essays in Spring 2012 (Catalyst Book Press.)
Following Hurricane Katrina, Melnick moved from New Orleans to Grand Coteau, Louisiana, where she opened up a gift shop and started a literary reading and open mic series.  In 2010 she established the nonprofit organization the Festival of Words Cultural Arts Collective  which promotes the literary arts in the surrounding rural communities. Patrice Melnick holds a B.A. in English from the University of Texas at Austin, and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks.

Darrell Bourque is Professor Emeritus in English and Interdisciplinary Humanities from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. His books include Plainsongs (1994, Cross-Cultural Communications, Merrick NY), The Doors between Us (1997, Inaugural Issue of Chapbook Series, Louisiana Literature Press, Southeastern Louisiana University, Hammond LA), Burnt Water Suite (1999, Wings Press, Austin TX), The Blue Boat (2004, Inaugural Issue of Louisiana Writers Series, Center for Louisiana Studies, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Lafayette LA), and Call and Response: Conversations in Verse, with Jack B. Bedell, (2009, Texas Review Press, Huntsville TX – A member of the Texas A&M Press Consortium). In 2009 he directed the Imagining Lincoln: Louisiana Poetry Project as part of Louisiana and the nation’s observance of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial. In Ordinary Light, New and Selected Poems (2010, University of Louisiana at Lafayette Press, Lafayette, LA) and a special edition chapbook, Holding the Notes (2011, Chicory Bloom Press, Thibodaux, LA) are his most recent books. He is currently working on a new manuscript, Megan’s Guitar and Other Poems. He lives in in a bamboo grove in rural St. Landry Parish in Louisiana with his wife Karen who is a glass artist. Photo © Philip Gould.
Hedwig Gorski is an Americanpoet, scholar, and artist who received awards for poetry and drama. She coined the term “performance poetry” in early 1980 to describe her poems written only for oral performance and recorded performance poems with composed music. The best collected during live radio broadcasts were re-mastered and released on a CD Send in the Clown (2009). She published three limited short books of poetry and released many audio collections including a collector’s edition chapbook with vinyl record titled Polish Gypsy with Ghost. Intoxication: Heathcliff on Powell Street (Slough Press 2007, 2009) is a memoir/archive about her 1978 experimental verse theater in Austin. Her BFA degree (1976) from NSCAD, a world famous radical art school in Nova Scotia, is in painting. Her doctorate in creative writing is from University of Louisiana. She received a Louisiana Artist’s Fellowship (2002), and a Fulbright to lecture in Poland (2003). Some of her poems have been translated into Polish and published in Okolica. Excerpts from her 1978 neo-verse drama Booby, Mama! appear in Karawane (2009). The transcript of a 1982 television interview with Robert Creeley is in JAST, a Turkish journal (2008). She appeared at the Jozi Spoken Word Festival 2009 in Johannesburg, South Africa, for the U. S. State Dept. Podcasts (2009) of audio for “Mexico Solo” and “To A Last Idol” are out on IndieRadio. A micro book titled Poetique (2010), a finalist for the Balcones Prize, features the performance poem text of audio featured on Send in the Clown. A recent video of one of the poems, “Teenager in Nova Scotia” was produced by the Louisiana Division of the Arts.

Emerging in the Baptist-ridden desert of north Louisiana, Rhonda Dean Robison instinctively headed south for the dank climes of the swamps. After turnabouts, trials, and travails, she congealed as an English professor with a penchant for language-play. Along the way, she wrote stuff, produced stuff, and did stuff, littering the world with her stuff. Born with the sun in Cancer, moon in Scorpio, and Pisces rising, a watery certainty informs her poetic style (despite the precession of equinoxes). With such a fluid grand trine in her blueprint, it should come as no surprise that Rdr.’s writing is rather dreamy and follows chains of associations. When Rdr. is not jazzing up a poetic piece or inculcating students in the mysteries of English at UL Lafayette, you can likely find her pursuing one of her academic specialty areas: Play! Whether dining out with her partner, Ish, or whipping up a kitchen experiment of her own, whether water-coloring a non-dominant hand painting, or watering the cats; or whether shooting photographs for Lafayette’s Festival International, or shooting the breeze—for Rdr., play’s the thing!

Kim Vodicka grew up in Lafayette, LA and received her B.A. in English from UL Lafayette in 2010. She is currently an MFA in Poetry Candidate, Graduate Teaching Assistant, and Co-Coordinator of Delta Mouth Literary Festival at LSU. Kim has been published in Shampoo and Ekleksographia and has broadsides forthcoming from Last Word Press.








Kristina Marshall is a ULL senior graduating in December with a concentration in Arts & Humanities. Kristina is a television and radio personality who is a published poet and actress in the Acadiana and New Orleans areas. As a production assistant at Cite des Arts, she started a night of spoken word and open mic poetry titled “Words & Words” which is held once a month at Cite des Arts. Kristina now works as a radio sports announcer for KPEL-FM. Her recent stage credits include: The Vagina Monologues, For Colored Girls Who’ve Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf, Trickster at the Gate, Bat Boy, The Birthday Dinner: A Play by Brian Egland, and Insurrection: Holding History.
“I am a one woman revolution…I won’t stop until this revolution is televised. A revolution of brown skin & thick thighs, of hard work during hard times, of making love during rainstorms and walking barefoot in your own backyard, keeping a flask in your garter belt & crying less frequently. But at the end of the day, I’m just a dreamer who was awake at 1:58am that allowed my pen to speak for me.”

Jonathan Penton is the editor of, which has run on the web continuously since 1998, and Unlikely Books, which publishes poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, and multimedia presentations. He is the editor of Unlikely Stories of the Third Kind and BANNED in El Paso, and once upon a time served as Assistant Editor for Big Bridge. He has co-ordinated literary events throughout North America.

Lana M. Wiggins is coordinating the Undergraduate/Graduate student reading for the Lafayette 100 Thousand Poets for Change event. Lana received her M.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Louisiana, Lafayette in 2001. She currently teaches Poetry, American Literature, Creative Writing, and Technical Writing at the University of Louisiana. Her work has appeared in The Southwestern Review, Deep South Writer’s Chapbook, Dance to Death, Words-Myth, Moondance, Knock, The Smoking Poet, Rose and Thorn, The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, The Burlington Journal, and Truck Poetry Blog. Her first book, Notes from Refuge (Plain View Press, 2008), was nominated for the 2009 Kate Tufts Discovery Award, and was a finalist for the Marsh Hawk Poetry Award in 2006. She was the American guest poet at the 2008 Encres de Sang International Writer’s Conference in Paris, France, as well as the 3rd place winner for The Smoking Poet Award in 2008, a recipient of the 1996 Judge Felix Voorhies Award for Creative Writing, and a 1996 recipient of a Jon Z. Bennet Award for poetry.


Writer’s Bloc will be at the Lafayette, Louisiana event!

Writers Bloc is UL Lafayette’s undergraduate creative writing club. 100,000 Poets For Change will feature a slate of undergrads, grad students, faculty members, and members of the larger community, reading poetry outdoors at the corner of Jefferson St. and Vermilion, and in front of the AcA.

Poets will include Delma Brantley, Crissy Domingue, Banner Driskell, Zack Dufour, Clifford Ledet, Ian Monk, Ki Russell, Leah Sandlin, Amy Soileau, Pete Stelly, and Lana Wiggins. Musicians such as Ray Boudreaux, Sean Bruce, and Banner Driskell are also included in the Writers Bloc line-up!

Cecelia Chapman is a media artist fusing film, sound, installation, design and performance in experimental film and videoart that primarily considers the image and perception.


100 Thousand Poets for Change is continuing to develop in the Cajun Capitol. Jessica “I Am Air” Bordelon is organizing a spoken-word segment, while Lana Wiggins, Jonathan Penton and Rhonda Robison work on a segment of featured poets including former Louisiana Poet Laureate Darrell Bourque. We’ll be having these segments at the same location, divided by an intermission, for those who are prepared to spend the day digging all kinds of poetry, and a third segment at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette is under discussion.

ORGANIZER: Jessica Bordelon ( IAmAir)

CONTACT: Phone: (337) 935-9445


The Break Room Coffeehouse
1508 W Pinhook Rd
Unit C
Lafayette, LA 70506


Focusing on the needs of youth in our schools and the need to recycle and protect our coastlines and environment as a whole.


Sponsors include The Break Room Coffee Shop and Unlikely Stories/Unlikely Books.

Jessica Bordelon:
Jonathan Penton:
Rhonda Robison:
Lana Wiggins:


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