Louisiana Poet Laureate Joins Local Poets in Abita Springs to Celebrate Everyone’s Words | St. Tammany Community News

Louisiana Poet Laureate Mona Lisa Saloy, known for exuberantly singing passages of her poetry at readings, will be a featured guest at the annual 100,000 Poets for Change reading at the Women’s Center for Healing and Transformation on October 1. in Abita Springs.

The gathering of writers and poetry readers will take place from 3 to 5 p.m. Admission is free, but donations are always welcome to help fund the center’s activities.

In addition to hearing Saloy, poet, teacher of storytelling and folklorist, there will be a reading open to all poets present and willing to share.

The Women’s Center in 2018 joined 100,000 Poets for Change, a nonprofit movement that has organized more than 5,000 poetry, art and music gatherings over the past 10 years. Poets from diverse backgrounds come together year after year to lead and promote poetry readings, where participants speak out for causes close to their hearts.

Poetry events at the Women’s Center showcased the poetry of women on the North Shore, and this year promises even more.

Saloy’s work has been published in dozens of journals and in three of his own books. The first, “Red Beans and Ricely Yours”, won the TS Eliot Award and the PEN/Oakland Josephine Miles Award.

A weekly guide to the biggest news in St. Tammany. Register today.

“Poetry is a song,” Saloy said. “It’s made to be heard. It should give you the same feeling as when you’re under a handmade quilt. Music is such a part of my culture. There is never a family celebration without us all singing a gospel song.

Saloy, who holds a professorship in English at Dillard University and teaches poetry there, consults the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, the Louisiana Division of the Arts, and is an active member of the Louisiana Folklore Society. She even composed and performed a song of praise for two American presidents.

She brings contemporary Creole culture to life in her poetry, and as a folklorist, Saloy even documents sidewalk songs, skipping rhymes, and tapping games to discuss the importance of play. She has written on the importance of Black Beat poets, on the tradition of African American toasts, on black and Creole conversations, and on keeping Creole alive after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.

Her book “Second Line Home” is a collection of poems that captures everyday New Orleans speech, envisions family dynamics, and celebrates New Orleans.

For more information about the event, visit womenscenterforhealing.org.