Twelveth Annual
Festival of Words
November 1-2, 2019

Donney Rose is a poet, teaching artist, creative consultant, and community activist from Baton Rouge. He holds a BS in Marketing from Southern University and A & M College. He is also the Chief Operating Officer of Black Out Loud Conference, LLC which hosted its first three-day conference in Baton Rouge in August 2018. Donney has authored two books – The Crying Buck , an acclaimed chapbook of poetry that delves into Black masculinity and vulnerability through a critical lens, and Black Out Loud , a collection of prose-style poetic interpretations of Black History Month 2017. His work as a performance poet/writer has been featured in a variety of publications, including Atlanta Black StarBlavit , Button Poetry , All Def Digital , Slam Find , [225 Magazine] , Drunk In A Midnight Choir , and Nicholls State University's Gris-Gris literary journal . Donney also contributed two articles to the St. James Encyclopedia of Hip Hop Culture, 1st Edition (St. James Press, February 2018).

Hailed as a pivotal community voice in Baton Rouge, Donney’s advocacy work has been featured on local, national, and international platforms, including BBC, HuffPost , The New York Times , PBS' PBS' Democracy Now , and The Advocate . He was also featured on the Fight the Flood album, a project by various artists to benefit the Capital Area United Way's flood relief projects in 2016.

His awards and recognitions are many. Donney is a past Kennedy Center Citizen Artist Fellow, a member of the 2017 Greater Baton Rouge Business Report Forty under 40 class, the recipient of the Ink Festival's inaugural Making a Mark award, New Venture Theatre's 2016 Humanitarian of the Year, and a 2018 LINKS Role Model, among other accolades.

Donney lives in his hometown of Baton Rouge with his wife and fellow writer, Leslie, and their twin cats, Jalen and Derrick.

Tyler Robert Sheldon five poetry collections include Driving Together (Meadowlark Books, 2018) and Consolation Prize (Finishing Line Press, 2018). He is Editor-in-Chief of MockingHeart Review, and his poetry, fiction, artwork, and criticism have appeared in The Los Angeles Review, Pleiades, The Tulane Review, The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, and other venues. A Pushcart Prize nominee and recipient of the Charles E. Walton Essay Award, he is an MFA candidate at McNeese State University, and in the Fall of 2019 he will pursue his PhD in English at Louisiana State University. View his work at

Yuri Herrera (Actopan, Hidalgo, México, 1970). Associate professor. He received his BA in PP olitical Science at UNAM, his MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Texas at El Paso, and his Ph.D. at the University of California at Berkeley. His first novel Trabajos del reino won the Premio Binacional de Novela Joven 2003 and received the "Otras voces, otros ámbits" prize for the best novel publishee d in Spain in 2008; his second novel, Señales que precederán al fin del munn do was finalist of the Rómulo Gallegos Prize. He published in 2013 La trr ansmigración de los cuerpos; the three novels have been translated into multiple languages, including English, by the British publisher And Other Stories. He has also published two books for children in Mexico: Este es mi nahual! and Los ojos de Lia

In 2016 he shared with translator Lisa Dillman the Best translated Book Award for the translation of Signs Preceding the End of the World. In 2016 Rice University and Literal Publishing published Talud, a collection of his short stories. Also in 2016 he received the Anna Seghers Prize at the Academy of Arts of Berlin, for the body of his work. His latest book is El incendio de la mina El Bordo. He has taught literary theory, creative writing and Latin American literature at the Universidad Iberoamericana, in Mexico; and at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte, before coming to Tulane University, where he is an associate professor.

The Festival of Words is funded in part by a grant from South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Louisiana Endowment for the Arts.

The Festival of Words appreciates partnerships with Acadiana Writing Project; Grand Coteau Cultural Arts Foundation; the Thensted Center; Lyrically Inclined; Beth Fusilier of Sterling Kia, Graphic Designer Tracy.Duhamel; Chicorys Coffee & Cafe'; Grand Coteau Bistro, Giles Auto Rent; Nunu's Arts and Culture Collective, and St. Landry Parish Tourism. We are also supported by many generous donors of our community and from all over the country.

We also appreciate in-kind support from The Center for Louisiana Studies at UL, and C. Bruce Snow, Data Management.

updated 10/15/2018
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