Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Louisiana's Bicentennial Continues

Southwest Louisiana is steeped in folklore, pirate myths, Cajun and Creole cultures, history, and heritage, and the Arts Council and the Imperial Calcasieu Museum are working to preserve this legendary past within the verse of our Louisiana Poet Laureate, Julie Kane, in honor of the state's bicentennial. The Lake Charles Convention & Visitors Bureau is coordinating with the Museum to commission Kane to write a series of poems specifically about our own identity and its relationship to the state's expansive history.

Kane's acclaimed poetry spans across seven collections, and her work has become the voice of Louisiana through its celebratory imagery of both the raw and rapturous, the beautiful and the obscene within Louisiana herself. Her work, which appears in several prominent poetry anthologies, examines the contrast between her childhood spent up north (she was born in Massachusetts) and her later years in the South. Kane's poetry reflects an influence of the Confessional Poets as she was a student of Anne Sexton at Boston University during the time of Sexton's suicide. With her poems existing at the intersection of landscape and identity, Kane's understanding and perspective of the Louisiana heritage resides at the core of her work, and Lake Charles is proud to become the inspiration for this new series of poems.

On Saturday, May 12th, at 4 p.m., Julie Kane will give a reading of her work, including the commissioned poetry series, underneath the arms of the 375 year-old historic Sallier Oak, which was the site of the winter home of Charles Sallier -- the city's namesake. For details, visit www.artsandhumanitiesswla.org or www.visitlakecharles.org.