The 30th annual Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival celebrates its big anniversary with four days of world famous authors, stellar theatrical productions, star-studded panel discussions, and intimate parties. The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities and Louisiana Cultural Vistas are longtime supporters of the fest, and we’ll be in the French Quarter all weekend. Catch up with us at these events:
- RICK BRAGG — SENSE OF PLACE: ESSENCE OF ESSAY WRITING
Take a master class with a true master of Southern literature and past LCV contributor. And be sure to ask Rick about his close scrapes with Jerry Lee Lewis!
Thurs 2:30 P.M. Historic New Orleans Collection
- UNO PRESS PUBLISHING LAB: BOOK LAUNCH
The University of New Orleans Press continues to be a source of innovative publishing projects. The UNO Laboratory Award will debut its inaugural prize winner Each Vagabond By Name by Margo Orlando Littell.
Thurs 6 P.M. Antenna Gallery, 3718 St. Claude Avenue
- LARGER THAN LIFE: THE BIOGRAPHER’S CRAFT
We love John Pope‘s new book, Getting Off at Elysian Fields: Obituaries from the New Orleans Times-Picayune, and we’re longtime fans of Randy Fertel, Anne Boyd Rioux, Christina Vella, and Patricia Brady. Absolutely essential biographers.
Fri 11:30 A.M. Hotel Monteleone, Queen Anne Ballroom
- “SOMETHING UNSPOKEN” BY TENNESSEE WILLIAMS (THEATER)
Festival director (and our friend and Turners’ Hall neighbor) Paul Willis directs this staged reading of the Williams one-act about a wealthy grand dame in Meridian, Louisiana. Brenda Currin takes on the role of Cornelia while Beth Bartley plays Grace.
Fri 1 P.M. Gallier House, 1126 Royal Street
- DIRTY LAUNDRY: SOUTHERN WRITERS ON MEMOIR
Dorothy Allison, Rick Bragg, and Big Freedia talk about writing and their lives? We’re in.
Fri 2:30 P.M. Hotel Monteleone, Queen Anne Ballroom
- CELEBRATING 100 YEARS OF THE PULITZER: TENNESSEE WILLIAMS AND CONTEMPORARY THEATER
The LEH partnered with TWNOLF for this panel through its 2016 “Louisiana Pulitzers” project, funded by the 2016 Pulitzer Prize Centennial Campfires Initiative. Williams received two Pulitzers: for A Streetcar Named Desire in 1948, and in 1955 for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Lisa D’Amour (read her Pulitzer essay in our new issue), Beth Henley, Thomas Keith, and Austin Pendleton talk with moderator John Pope. Stay tuned for video on KnowLouisiana.org.
Fri 4 P.M. Hotel Monteleone, Queen Anne Ballroom
- BRIGHT LIGHTS, BIG SPORTS
LCV publisher Brian Boyles joins LSU legend Billy Cannon, former Louisiana State Penitentiary veterinarian Charles N. deGravelles, and Alan Donnes of the National Lampoon to talk about sports and literature with moderator Jennifer Hale, NFL and NBA sideline reporter.
Sat 10 A.M. Hotel Monteleone Queen Anne Ballroom
- CALLED TO WITNESS: WRITERS ON THE TRIUMPHS AND CHALLENGES OF TESTIMONY
Authors as witnesses provide reportage that allow readers the experience of “being there” in the moment with those suffering the effects of racial segregation, gender discrimination and various forms of “otherness.” LCV contributor Kim Vaz-Deville (read an LCV excerpt from her book, Baby Dolls) moderates a panel with LCV columnist Richard Campanella, past contributor Fatima Shaik, and LaKisha Simmons.
Sat 4 P.M. Hotel Monteleone, Queen Anne Ballroom
- SOUTHERN LITERARY AND MUSIC TRAILS
The South has long been a source of inspiration for both literary and musical artists. Author Margaret Eby and music journalist and past LCV contributor Alex Rawls (read his essay on mp3 blogs here) talk with longtime LEH partner Nancy Dixon.
Sat 4 P.M. THNOC Williams Research Center
- NEW NEW ORLEANS WRITING: A READING AND DISCUSSION
We’re looking forward to this: three talented members of the new generation (Katy Simpson Smith, Addie Citchens, and Nicholas Mainieri) read from their work and talk to poet and author Benjamin Morris.
Sun 1 P.M. Hotel Monteleone Royal Ballroom
Oh, and you know we’ll be there Sunday afternoon for…