Festival of Words to host evening of oral history, poetry _lowres

Clemonce Heard

The Festival of Words Cultural Arts Collective is holding an evening of oral history and poetry at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

The event will feature poet Clemonce Heard, of New Orleans, and siblings Allen Charles, Earline Duplechaine and Rose Marie Perry, who will share personal stories.

The event takes place at the Grand Coteau Ballroom, 162 E Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, in Grand Coteau.

Heard is a poet, typographer and cofounder of Brainy Acts Poetry Society at Northwestern Start University in Natchitoches. He resides in Baton Rouge.

During the oral history portion of the program, Charles and his sisters will share stories of their father, Alcide Charles, a sharecropper, and their aunt Marie Louise Charles, who worked as a live-in domestic for the Chatrian family and eventually inherited their house. Both spoke Creole French and moved to Grand Coteau during the Great Flood of 1927.

The oral history presentation will be videotaped and placed in the Cajun and Creole Archives at the Center for Louisiana Studies at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in the “Grand Coteau Voices” collection.

Bring your own poems, songs or stories for the open mic, and snacks and drinks.