Patrice Melnick, Founder. Patrice Melnick is a writer, arts administrator, educator and business owner.

Melnick taught English and creative writing at Xavier University in New Orleans for 13 years where she founded one of the first creative writing programs at a Historically Black University. She has also taught a Literary Nonfiction Workshop in the low-residency MFA program at the University of New Orleans.

Turning Up the Volume (Xavier Press), a memoir, was published in 2005 a new memoir, Contraband Po-boy: from Diagnosis Back to Life (Catalyst Book Press.) Her essays and poems have appeared in Grain, The Xavier Review, Buffalo Bones and Prism International and other journals.

Following Hurricane Katrina, Melnick moved from New Orleans to Grand Coteau, Louisiana, where she opened up a gift shop and started a literary reading and open mic series. In 2010 she established the nonprofit organization the Festival of Words Cultural Arts Collective which promotes the literary arts in the surrounding rural communities.

Patrice Melnick holds a B.A. in English from the University of Texas at Austin, and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. More information is available here:
Martha Garner, Executive Director, is a retired early childhood teacher and former editor of the statewide education journal "Collaborations," as well as serving on the Southern Early Childhood Editorial Board.

She is currently employed as a University Supervisor at Walden University. Her true passion is serving as the Executive Director of the Festival of Words Cultural Arts Collective, based in Grand Coteau, Louisiana
Bruce Coen, President, has lived in California where he spent time in L.A. studying acting and attempting a career in film. He lived in Bakersfield, CA for a year where he did 6-7 shows in a row including musicals and Shakespeare. Since moving to Lafayette in 2004, he's directed 5-6 shows, taught acting through ULL's Potpourri, and acted in numerous productions including Les Marionettes.
Bruce Snow, Treasurer, grew up in Boston but has lived in Lafayette for most his life. Studied liberal arts in college and engineering in graduate school. Married with one grown daughter. Came to Louisiana as a petroleum geologist and then later became a database administrator, now (mostly) retired.

In retirement, stays busy maintaining websites (pro bono), teaching ESL, studying linguistics and flamenco guitar and enjoys international travel.

Serves on the board for several organizations: Shining Light Foundation, VITA, Unitarian Universalist of Lafayette and Food Net, mainly as a webmaster and/or treasurer.
Tracy Glenn, Graphics Designer, was born in Lafayette but moved to Anchorage, Alaska, when she was 11 and lived there until she was 21. She attended Louisiana Technical College and earned a degree in graphic design. She began her career in graphics working for the Quik Quarter and moved to The Daily Advertiser, where she was the most sought-after designer on staff. She eventually moved from advertising to the newspaper's marketing department. In 2007, she left the newspaper to accept the position of Advertising and Design Coordinator for Iberia Bank, where she has worked since. In her free time, she enjoys creating electronic music, painting and making frequent trips to Canada.

Denise Rogers is a teacher of literature and composition and the Director of the Writing Center at UL Lafayette. Her poems and book reviews have appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review, Louisiana Literature, WordRiver, Glass, The Ekphrasis Review, and other journals. In 2002, she won a Louisiana Division of the Arts Artist's Fellowship. Her book of poems, The Scholar's Daughter, was published through Louisiana Literature Press. She is currently an Associate Editor for the Mockingheart Review.
Dr. H. Michelle Kreamer is an Assistant Professor of Educational Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and a former high school English Language Arts teacher. Kreamer says that participating in the National Writing Project of Acadiana's (NWP-A) Summer Institute in 2013 was the best professional development experience she has ever had, and this has continued to shape her as a writer and educator. Today, she serves as Co-director for NWP-A and has opportunities to work with students, teachers, and community members through various writing events and initiatives. Though most of her writing is academic in nature at the moment, she is continually inspired by the written word and believes everyone is a writer!
Krishna Guilbeau-Thierry says: My name is Krishna Guilbeau-Thierry. I am a mother to my beautiful daughter and a supportive wife to my amazing husband of 4 years. I hold a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology with a minor in African American Studies-AAS from Louisiana State University-Baton Rouge, LA, and a Master of Social Work Degree from Walden University. I am a Licensed Master Social Worker approved by LABSWE . Prior to my career change to Social Work, I held a Generalist 4-8th valid Texas Teaching Certification and a middle school 4-8th LA Out-of-State Certificate, where I was an educator in the classroom for 13 years teaching subjects such as English, Language, & Arts, Reading, History, Science, and Math. My primary subjects were ELA and Reading. I have approximately 3 years of social work and mental health experience, including internships and medical experience, and I have 13 combined years in Louisiana and Texas as being a solid elementary/middle school teacher; displaying commitment and dedication. My dedication to students and to learning extended beyond the regular classroom. I am the founder of the WE are Write program, a literacy program which aims to supply students in title one schools artistic supplies such as journals and art pads. This program focuses on creating a positive outlet to our children within our community, by giving them the skills needed to become better learners, writers, artists, etc.

My passion to promote the beauty of artistic literature and expression stems from my very own love for poetry and literature. I am a published poet, inspirational speaker, and published author. My love for words and poetic expression were established at the very tender age of 10, the day the dear grandmother Hazel Richard placed a pen and dollar store purchased journal in my hand and said, 'you have a lot to share with the world.' I continue to feed my hunger for artistic expression through my podcast show, 'Coffee and Christ with Krishna Janee', poetry reciting for the elderly, and arts of publication.

I would love to one day bridge my passion for writing and poetry with my skills and love for mental health advocacy in a clinical setting using narrative therapy as my main ingredient to promote healthy personal growth and change.