20091014-finds-0101.jpgCALL AND I’LL ANSWER
We know harmony when we hear it, two lyrical voices twined. But Call and Response is a different kind of song line. Darrell Bourque and Jack Bedell have created a slim book of poetry, Bourque tossing out a line, Bedell, hooked, responding. Bedell teaches at Southeastern, in Hammond. Bourque, a former UL humanities professor, is Louisiana’s Poet Laureate. When Bedell was struggling to recover from West Nile virus, he reached out to Bourque in a way that writers do, knowing creating a poem is the equivalent of breathing. The pair conceived an exercise that grew into a work of art, circumnavigating the world from the tiny observation — Albrecht Durer’s The Great Piece of Turf, to the description of time/space curving from the bow of Einstein’s violin. Mostly, though, what the two men talk about in their lyrical conversation is the land, light and love. Sometimes sonnet, occasional haiku, the book is a garland made of the waters and fields of Acadiana, the places that live once in memory, and now again in this book. Bourque and Bedell will be reading and signing books at the Acadiana Center for the Arts, Saturday, Oct. 24, from 6 to 8 p.m. — Mary Tutwiler

HENCE THE TERM ‘MUDBUG’
The types are timeless — the lazy trickster hustling the industrious dolt. In Johnette Downing’s children’s book Why the Crawfish Lives in the Mud (Pelican), the crawfish takes on the role of Compair Lapin while the crab subs for Bouki. The story follows Crawfish as he dupes Crab out of a fish for a quick, easy lunch. When Crawfish back pedals (so to speak) — as crawfish are wont to do — he digs up a pile of mud and falls in. And that, kids, is why the crawfish lives in the mud. Why the Crawfish Lives in the Mud is layered with common South Louisiana expressions and phrases, and offers a glossary of same, and Downing’s collage illustrations add a lively storytelling element. Why the Crawfish Lives in the Mud retails for $15.95 and is available at all major booksellers. ­— Walter Pierce

TIS THE SEASON
Atchafalaya Blend seasoning is to cooking what winning is to an ailing football program and what coffee is to an early morning grind: It makes everything better. The blend has been the secret weapon of the Ryder family for generations, advertising itself as having “originated among the squatters who settled on the banks of the Atchafalaya River at Melville, La., and made their living fishing on the river.” Atchafalaya Blend seasoning is available locally at Champagne’s. Visit www.atchafalayablend.com for more information. — Nathan Stubbs

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