Festival of Words will feature a poetry reading and open mic featuring John Warner Smith and Rita Marks at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Nunu, 1510 Bayou Courtableau Highway, Arnaudville.
Smith is a former Poet Laureate of Louisiana and Rita Marks is a storyteller.
The 5-Mile Café will sell drinks and snacks. The evening will also include an open mic of literature, music and storytelling as well as the group poem, in which everyone is invited to share a line.
Smith has published five books of poetry, including the most recent “Our Shut Eyes” (MadHat Press, 2021). His poems have appeared in numerous literary journals. Smith is a 2020 winner of the Academy of American Poets and winner of the 2019 Linda Hodge Bromberg Literary Prize. Smith’s short story, “For All These Men,” will be published by UL Press this summer. He recently signed a contract with 2Leaf Press for the release of his sixth book of poetry. A Cave Canem Scholar, Smith earned his master’s degree in creative writing at the University of New Orleans. His poetry is available at johnwarnersmith.com.
Originally from Cecilia, Marks was a prominent figure in the NUNU collective, where she celebrates her Creole heritage. She will tell a story about seven pieces of meat.
Guests are welcome to bring their own poems, songs or stories for the open mic. The free community event is suitable for all ages.