This year, I had the pleasure to join LadyFest in New Orleans after a much too long hiatus. LadyFest is a week long celebration of women artists in New Orleans with music, film, poetry, and a parade. The YeMaya-Yas & Slow Danger Brass Band parade from the 9th Ward Juke Joint. The first year I participated in LadyFest, the poetry event was only one day. This year, there are three different poetry venues. The next one is at a gorgeous house in the lower Garden District on Magazine Street and is hosted by Laura Mattingly, Saturday, November 5 at 2pm. Recently, Laura reminded me that she invites me to participate every year. I was happy when I was able to rejoin the ladies last Tuesday for a special reading featuring Rain Preud'homme Cradford, author of Smoked Mullet Cornbread Crawdad Memory, whose book will satisfy you with a rollercoaster of emotions as you salivate for the photos and family recipes included, such as the one for baked stuffed red snapper. Rain is a poet who own her indigenous and mestiza roots as well her body, which she celebrates. She is not afraid to reclaim the word Fat, as in her poem, Little Fat Girl, "Red beans and rice all yours! These buttocks were made/From Indians, Creoles and Celts, Mestiz@s/and Mamas/And Papa's who cook with flavors of love across generations." Also on program for the opening day of LadyFest was the President and Founder of the festival, Roselyn Leonard. Roselyn Leonard (Lionheart) is a writer and music and iconic New Orleans street performer. The next LadyFest poetry reading is tomorrow at 2pm. The reading includes 20 poets and is hosted by Laura Mattingly. There's no shortage of lady love this weekend. Check out the complete schedule at www.LadyFestNOLA.com.
|LadyFest New Orleans is this week|
|Rain Prud'home-Cradford (Gomez), Melinda Palacio, Roselyn Lionheart|
|LadyFest Poetry Organizers Jenna Mae and Lara Mattingly|
|Rain Prud'home-Cradford (Gomez) Ph.D.|
|The beautiful beadwork by Rain's sister graces the cover of her poetry book.|