This roundtable explores the works of several Louisiana French poets and authors whose literary and artistic work explores dual identities and dueling identities, masks, and even our own inner animality. Organized by Barry Jean Ancelet/Jean Arceneaux, current Louisiana French Poète Lauréat, the evening will feature reading of new works by these artists, which are being collected to form the basis for a new book, D’autres Cris. This project will feature the ongoing creative responses to the landmark 1980 publication, Cris sur le Bayou, the first collection of contemporary Cajun and Creole poetry. Of special interest are the tensions and strategies involving the carnivalesque and shape-shifting (loups garous), which have evolved in negotiating life between French and English, honoring tradition and embracing the modern, living in Acadiana and living in America.
The poetry readings will be in French. To embrace non-French speakers, the poets are excited to explore a range a range of visual projection formats that may accompany their readings. These may include projections of short translations of the works, key word or themes translations, and/or visual image translations.
The evening will by moderated by one of the playwrights (Daniel Povinelli) who will set the stage for the event with a short synopsis of the play, and the role that masks, personhood, and dual and dueling identities play in the action of the story. Readings will ensue, with questions to prompt additional discussions of the themes and ideas that emerge.
This roundtable is presented in conjunction with Confessions of a Former Monkey Mind Doctor on October 4-5, 2019, a touring play by Daniel Povinelli and Brandon Barker, directed by Paul C. Daily. Confessionsis set in South Louisiana (on Mardi Gras day), and draws heavily on local culture and traditions as it explores the connections between animal and human identity, what constitutes a person, and the role of literal and figurative “masks” in everyday human life.