You cannot help but realize we live in an unbelievably creative location on our rattled planet Earth.

We got the music, all kinds of original music. And we can look to our homegrown Cajun, zydeco, Creole and swamp pop and know we love it. Those worn go-dancin’ boots can attest to it.

We’ve also got a pretty good grip on familiar genres far and wide but with our own twist, from rock, blues, R&B and singer/songwriter, to hip-hop, folk and country. There’s also a concert band and symphonic orchestra within earshot, and, yes, we have opera.

And there’s visual arts, dance and theater. So, yeah, we’ve got the other arts covered, too, and Second Saturday ArtWalk is a testament to it and The Hallway adds a welcome touch of its own.

Film. We have film. Lost Bayou is kicking it, and all that began at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival. We also showcase film with Southern Screen that’s coming up next Thursday through Sunday; and, of course late January’s Cinema on the Bayou.

And lawdy, we’ve got it all over the food we eat and the cooking, too.

But there is an art form that seems to fly under the radar in our arts appreciation quadrant of society. And that would be poetry.

I heard that sigh.

You may think poetry is not your cup of tea, but you should really give it a try. Remember how you used to think soccer was a lame, low-scoring foreign affair, but now you can definitely appreciate a 1-1 match?

And these days you also realize you can enjoy both American football and football, too. No flag, no card.

Same thing with poetry and poetry readings. They’re interesting and topical; provocative and mind-changing. Informative and entertaining; political and just plain funny.

You can throw esoteric out the window; poetry belongs to all the people.

Over the years, I’ve been to a few poetry readings at Patrice Melnick’s Festival of Words Cultural Arts Collective monthly events in Grand Coteau. Wonderfully warm and positive events all. Q&As are pretty cool, too.

I’ve read a couple of times there during open mic. But it wasn’t until I participated in Word Crawl 2019 that I came appreciate the process involved — from behind the mic to standing in the crowd. The energy and flow are real, and the topics are varied.

Sure, it’s not two-stepping and beer drinking in a dance hall, but that’s OK because there’s always two-stepping and beer drinking in a dance hall somewhere.

So maybe take a couple of steps into something different.

That said, Festival of Words returns to Grand Coteau Friday and Saturday, and it won’t cost you a cent. The event features nationally recognized novelist Yuri Hererra, Spoken Word poet Donney Rose, and poet Tyler Robert Sheldon.

Donney Rose selected for the Kennedy Center Citizen Artist Fellow Recognition

Festival of Words begins at 6:30 p.m. Friday with the aforementioned artists at Chicory’s Cafe, 219 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. Keep in mind, the same three will lead writing workshops Saturday at the Thensted Center, 268 Church St.

Drive-by Poetry performers, with Bruce Coen at the helm, will recite poems in Grand Coteau and Sunset businesses at 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Bruce has a way of keeping things interesting.

At the Thensted Center, Alex “PoeticSoul” Johnson will lead an open mic at 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. It’s a BYOP and read it proposition, and it should be pretty cool.

And not unlike any other festival here, there’s good food involved and you’ll find it at the blackpot cook-off, 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Thensted Center. 

Amid all of this, the workshops look pretty darn good with Rose leading “There is Poetry in Everything,” beginning at 9:15 a.m. Herrera’s “Points of View: “Writing in the Margins,” starts at 1 p.m.; and Sheldon’s “Building Confidence in Creative Writing: Poetry and Flash Fiction” gets going at 3 p.m.

All of the authors’ works have earned solid reputations and critical acclaim for their books, poetry and performances.

If you get the opportunity, check out Festival of Words this time around. You may find the tea to your liking.

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