Patrice Melnick, Founder. 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 also taught a Literary Nonfiction Workshop in the low-residency MFA program at the University of New Orleans.

Turning Up the Volume (Xavier Press), a memoir, was published in 2005 a new memoir, Contraband Po-boy: from Diagnosis Back to Life (Catalyst Book Press.) Her essays and poems have appeared in Grain, The Xavier Review, Buffalo Bones and Prism International and other journals.

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. More information is available here:
Martha Garner, Executive Director, is a retired early childhood teacher and former editor of the statewide education journal "Collaborations," as well as serving on the Southern Early Childhood Editorial Board.

She is currently employed as a University Supervisor at Walden University. Her true passion is serving as the Executive Director of the Festival of Words Cultural Arts Collective, based in Grand Coteau, Louisiana
Bruce Coen, President, has lived in California where he spent time in L.A. studying acting and attempting a career in film. He lived in Bakersfield, CA for a year where he did 6-7 shows in a row including musicals and Shakespeare. Since moving to Lafayette in 2004, he's directed 5-6 shows, taught acting through ULL's Potpourri, and acted in numerous productions including Les Marionettes.
Bruce Snow, Treasurer, grew up in Boston but has lived in Lafayette for most his life. Studied liberal arts in college and engineering in graduate school. Married with one grown daughter. Came to Louisiana as a petroleum geologist and then later became a database administrator, now (mostly) retired.

In retirement, stays busy maintaining websites (pro bono), teaching ESL, studying linguistics and flamenco guitar and enjoys international travel.

Serves on the board for several organizations: Shining Light Foundation, VITA, Unitarian Universalist of Lafayette and Food Net, mainly as a webmaster and/or treasurer.
Tracy Glenn, Graphics Designer, was born in Lafayette but moved to Anchorage, Alaska, when she was 11 and lived there until she was 21. She attended Louisiana Technical College and earned a degree in graphic design. She began her career in graphics working for the Quik Quarter and moved to The Daily Advertiser, where she was the most sought-after designer on staff. She eventually moved from advertising to the newspaper's marketing department. In 2007, she left the newspaper to accept the position of Advertising and Design Coordinator for Iberia Bank, where she has worked since. In her free time, she enjoys creating electronic music, painting and making frequent trips to Canada.

Jacqueline Lewis-Langston embodies the Musical Artistry of SoulfullyYoursMusic and also Musician/Singer-who loves the syncopated sounds of/Gospel/Jazz

Native of the Gulf South La Jacqueline has been active in Literary Community Svc, Music and Public Education. Born into a family with Missionary svc and Gospel/Jazz music at heart, her parents had always encouraged a love for the Literary and Musical Arts. Also inspired by Mentor -Local Honorary Music Educator/Conductor Mr. Paul Bonnee Sr. graduate of Xavier University.and the Late Ray Earl and Kathy Earl of Midnight Recordings Studio Thibodaux La.

Music influence ranges from singer/songwriter/flautist /keyboardist /church chorale; also developing and hosting. Faith based /Mentoring workshops. and Motivational Speaking.During her college years, she enjoyed flute performances with a Christian Bible College Orchestra in Jackson Mississippi.

After receiving her MSEd in graduate school, she continues to do meaningful and charitable work performing Music; Plays, with local Arts Councils, Red Cross and COCINA -- Coalition of Children In Need Association In Haiti. She counts in a wonderful, opportunity and privilege being a parttime keyboardist for the Baton Rouge La Legendary Henry Turner Jr Blues Band.
Jori Bercier Jori Bercier is a voracious reader, and lover of traveling. She is a graduate of University of Louisiana at Lafayette (B.S. in Architecture) and Boston Architectural College with a Masters in Design for Human Health.

She is the Co-Owner of Alexander Bookstore in Lafayette, Louisiana in addition to owning a freelance graphic design business.

In short, her life mission is to tell stories, through her bookstore, through her design of buildings, through her graphic design business, and through the Festival of Words.
Denise Rogers is a teacher of literature and composition and the Director of the Writing Center at UL Lafayette. Her poems and book reviews have appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review, Louisiana Literature, WordRiver, Glass, The Ekphrasis Review, and other journals. In 2002, she won a Louisiana Division of the Arts Artist's Fellowship. Her book of poems, The Scholar's Daughter, was published through Louisiana Literature Press. She is currently an Associate Editor for the Mockingheart Review.