Former Poet Laureate to speak at Tech

Apr 24, 2014 | General News, Liberal Arts

Louisiana’s former Poet Laureate, Darrell Bourque, will speak about and read from his book of poems, “Megan’s Guitar and Other Poems from Acadie,” recently published by the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Press. His public reading, followed by a book signing, is set for 6:30-7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 29 in George T. Madison Hall, Room 105. The reading is sponsored by Louisiana Tech’s department of English with support from the George E. Pankey Eminent Scholar Chair in English. The event is free and open to the public. Bourque’s new collection of poetry is a reflection of contemporary life in Acadiana and tells the story of the journey of the Acadians from the Canadian Maritimes and the various ways they made their way to Louisiana. The book is divided into three sections: the first in mixed forms mostly about contemporary Acadie in Louisiana, a bridge section, and a 27-sonnet sequence featuring principle characters and historical figures of the 18th Century deportation experience. “Darrell Bourque writes about what is sacred to him: the history of his French Acadian ancestors, his memories of deceased family elders, the Louisiana landscape that formed the backdrop of their lives and the cultural rituals — from country horserace betting to turtle soup making – that bound the generations together,” said Former Poet Laureate Julie Kane. “In the poem ‘Finding the Entrance to the Grotto,’ he describes how ‘a gap we call upon opens, lets us in.’ So, too, do the covers of this luminous book fall open, letting us journey into the realm of art, music, dreams and the enduring human spirit.” Bourque, who lives in rural St. Landry Parish, served as Louisiana Poet Laureate in 2007-2008 and from 2009-2011. He is professor emeritus in English at ULL, where he served as the first Friends of the Humanities Honor Professor.