Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival

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Country and Region United StatesLouisiana
Type of Festival Literary
Location of Festival New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
Festival Contact Information

Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival
938 Lafayette Street, Suite 514
New Orleans, Louisiana 70113 USA
Phone: (01) 504-581-1144
Email: info@tennesseewilliams.net

Festival Description

The annual five-day fête honors the legendary Tennessee Williams, his works, and literary life in the adopted city he called his “spiritual home” and features two days of master classes; a roster of lively discussions among distinguished panelists; celebrity interviews; theater, food and music events; a scholars’ conference; a poetry slam, writing marathon and breakfast book club; French Quarter literary walking tours; a book fair; short fiction, poetry and one-act play competitions; and special evening events and parties.

Festival Dates March 19 - 23, 2014
Festival Links


Festival Events:

Programming 2014:
  • The 2014 literary program is shaping up with poets, prize-winners and Festival favorites. Here are some of the authors and performances that we have planned:
    • Dorothy Allison: The National Book Award finalist for Bastard Out of Carolina, Allison will return to the Festival to teach a master class on performance and prose.
    • Alicia Anstead: Editor-in-chief of The Writer, experienced reporter and all-around literary artist will break down the uses of social media and narrative writing, amongst other pressing issues of making it as a writer today.
    • Darrell Bourque: Former Louisiana Poet Laureate will interview Robert Pinsky and discuss the state of contemporary poetry in Louisiana, and further afield.
    • Emily Raboteau: Author of the memoir Searching for Zion, named as one of the “Best Books of 2013” by The Huffington Post will help you plan your own memoir.
    • Justin Torres: Dorothy Allison called Torres’ debut novel We the Animals “a miracle in concentrated pages, you are going to read it again and again.” He’ll offer wisdom on crafting pristine prose.
    • Megan Abbott: The Edgar-winning author’s latest novel, Dare Me, was chosen by Amazon as one of the Best Books of 2012. Abbott will share the tricks of effective mystery writing.
    • Robert Pinsky: Former Poet Laureate will anoint the winner of our 2014 Poetry Contest, and discuss his poetry career.
    • Victor LaValle: The Washington Post called LaValle’s The Devil in Silver “a fearless exploration of America’s heart of darkness…a dizzying high-wire act.” He’ll share his thoughts on creating fiction with speculative, otherworldly flourishes.
  • Plus:
    • Enjoy a full production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof by the brilliant theatrical talents of the NOLA Project.
    • Take in Southern Rep’s presentation of The Night of the Iguana. Readings from our Fiction and Poetry Contest winners. There’s still time for you to enter!
    • Bring your pipes best “Stelllaaah!” for our Stanley and Stella Shouting Contest.
    • Check out new playwrights from our One-Act Play Contest. and much more to come!


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Practical Info:

Slideshow photo credits (in order of appearance):
  • Doug Tompos as Tennessee Williams in his one man-show, Bent to the Flame: A Night with Tennessee Williams
    • Photo courtesy Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival
  • New York actor Jeremy Lawrence returns to the Festival with A Lonely Man’s Habit, a new piece in his series of Tennessee Williams portraits. Pictured here, a scene from his 2008 one act, Everyone Expects Me to Write Another Streetcar.
    • Photo by Earl Perry.
  • Tony-winning playwright John Guare (Six Degrees of Separation) appears at the 2009 Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival.
    • Photo courtesy Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival.
  • John Berendt (Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil) is one of the many award-winning authors at the 2009 Festival.
    • Photo by Graziano Arici.
  • Nolan McGahan, winner of the 2008 Stanley and Stella Shouting Contest. Photo by Earl Perry.
  • Rex Reed interviews Broadway legend Marian Seldes at the 2008 Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival. Seldes returns in March, 2009 with fellow thespians Zoe Caldwell and Frances Sternhagen.
    • Photo by Earl Perry
  • Tennessee Williams. Photo courtesy New Directions Publishing The Stanley & Stella Shouting Contest’s loudest cry you never heard from mime Timothy Evans, who won third place for ingenuity.
    • Photo by Earl Perry
  • Becky Allen and John “Spud” McConnell flank “Tennessee” following their performance in The Glass Mendacity, a riotous spoof featuring many of Williams’ iconic characters.
    • Photo by Earl Perry.
  • The cast of “Hiding in Plain Sight: Tennessee Williams’ Treasures,” an evening of readings from a variety of Williams’ legendary and lesser-known works. ( l-r, standing, author Jewel Gomez, actress Cristine McMurdo-Wallis, playwright John Guare, actress / author Piper Laurie, editor Thomas Keith, columnist Amy Dickinson, author Ace Atkins, director / actress Jodie Markell; l-r, kneeling, actor Christian LeBlanc, thespian and Festival Board President Janet Daley Duval, and Festival Executive Director Paul Willis.
    • Photo by Earl Perry.
  • David Mellerine, a participant in the Festival’s annual Stanley and Stella Shouting Contest, a nod to the bellowing mates in A Streetcar Named Desire.
    • Photo by Earl Perry.
  • The Stanley & Stella Shouting Contest’s loudest cry you never heard from mime Timothy Evans, who won third place for ingenuity.
  • Most of the events take place in New Orleans’ historic French Quarter. Sites hosting events include
    • Le Petit Théâtre du Vieux Carré
    • The Historic New Orleans Collection
    • the Cabildo
    • the Royal Sonesta Hotel
    • Muriel’s Jackson Square
    • the Palm Court Jazz Café
    • the Windsor Court Hotel
    • and others to be determined


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