Become a Friend of Tennessee!

Posted on October 20, 2016 in Enews, Events, Home Page, News

Our 2016-17 membership campaign is underway, and this year we have some exciting new perks for members, along with new membership levels.

Are you a Maggie the Cat or a Gentleman Caller? Or maybe you’re a Big Daddy! We have member levels starting at only $50, and every member receives a 10% discount on Festival tickets, plus a 10% discount at Tubby & Coo’s Mid-City Book Shop. Other perks include discounted Premium parking during the Festival, discounts to Hermann-Grima/Gallier Historic Houses and Garden District Bookshop, plus other fun benefits.

CLICK HERE for all of the membership levels and benefits, and you can join online or by calling our office at 504-581-1144.

Contest Deadlines Coming Up!

Posted on in Enews, Events, Home Page, News

Our contest deadlines are all in November, so you still have time to get those entries ready. Here’s an overview of deadlines with links to individual contest information, guidelines, and prizes:

One-Act Play Contest:  Deadline November 1.  Prize information, submission guidelines, judges, and other information HERE.

Poetry Contest:  Deadline November 15. CLICK HERE for how to submit your poems, plus prize information and info about our judge, Louisiana Poet Laureate Peter Cooley.

Fiction Contest:  Deadline November 30. Find prize package info, submission guidelines, and info about our judge, Dorothy Allison, by clicking HERE. 

Thanks for attending our Festival Season Opener!

Posted on August 2, 2016 in Enews, Events, Home Page, News

Our 2016-17 season opened with a delightful evening of music, theater, food, and cocktails at a gathering of Festival supporters in the French Quarter. We’re so appreciative of our sponsors for making the evening possible, and for the patrons who attended. Guests were greeted at Gallier House with a bourbon peach tea, meandered through the exhibit, “Tennessee Williams’ Neighborhood:  A French Quarter Perspective,” and enjoyed the musical stylings of Beth Bartley and Todd d’Amour (pictured).

Guests strolled around the corner to Beauregard-Keyes House for drinks and appetizers before settling into the ballroom for a staged reading of Williams’ one-act play, “Something Unspoken,” starring Beth Bartley and Brenda Currin, directed by Paul Willis, with technical direction by Destany Gorham.

Afterwards, everyone enjoyed more food and libations, wandered through the historic rooms, and visited on the back gallery and front porch. It was a lovely …

Thank you to our auction donors!

Posted on February 15, 2016 in Enews, Home Page, News

We’re so appreciative of the many businesses and individuals who donated goods and services to our winter auction fundraiser. Please join us in supporting them by dining, staying, and shopping at their businesses and venues!

Tickets On Sale Now!

Posted on in Enews, Home Page, News

Our full program is online and you can peruse through our Festival offerings and plan out the Festival events you’d like to attend.

Once you’ve decided, go to our ticket cart to purchase Master Class passes, Panel passes, tickets to our opening event, tribute reading,  and more!

All Access Pass holders can use the ticket cart to reserve your seats at all of your desired events. Remember that this is necessary to make certain you have a seat at the events you’d like to attend. Click on REDEEM BENEFITS during the check out process to apply your All Access Pass benefits.

You can also order tickets over the phone by calling our office at 504-581-1144 or 1-800-990-FEST, and you can email any questions to

Our 2016 Festival Program

Posted on February 8, 2016 in Festival, Home Page, News

We are excited to present our full festival line-up for 2016! We’ve got digital versions for desktop and mobile, and good ‘ol PDF, too.

The Festival Silent Auction Is Live!

Posted on November 23, 2015 in Enews, Home Page, News

The Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival Auction is LIVE! Browse through our unique items and bid from the comfort of your own home, all while supporting the Festival.

Poetry Profile: Yusef Komunyakaa, 2016 Festival Poetry Judge

Posted on November 10, 2015 in News

By Cassie Pruyn

Barack Obama, Ulysses, a 10-year-old deckhand on a Nantucket whaling ship, a raven master, and Michio Ito are just a few of the characters and voices we find in Yusef Komunyakaa’s newest book of poems, published in October by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. The Emperor of Water Clocks leaps across space, time, and tonal registers, all with the exceptional musicality we’ve come to expect from the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet.

In Blue Notes, a 2003 collection of his essays and interviews edited by Radiclani Clytus, Yusef Komunyakaa explores the relationship between poetry, blues, and jazz. He writes, “A poem doesn’t have to have an overt jazz theme in order to have a relationship to jazz, but it should embrace the whole improvisational spirit of this music” (4). This improvisational spirit is evident in all of his poems—including the ones in …

Coffee and Conversation Begins Oct. 7

Posted on September 23, 2015 in Enews, News

Join us for the 2015 season of Coffee and Conversation!

This literary initiative is produced by Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival in concert with the Jefferson Parish Library. The series features six local authors discussing their work in October and November. These events are free-of-charge and open to the public.

7 p.m., Wednesday, October 7

George Washington Carver, A Life—Christina Vella

Christina Vella, a 2016 Festival speaker, kicks off the reading series with a biography of one of America’s greatest inventors. Carver’s journey from a Georgia slave to one of the most recognizable figures of his time has been a source of inspiration for generations of Americans. Vella uses both official records and anecdotes from those who really knew him to provide the reader with a fuller sense of the real George Washington Carver. Read and discuss what Booklist  calls an …

The Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival Is Turning 30!

Posted on September 21, 2015 in Enews, News

We are excited to be reaching this 30th anniversary milestone, and you can be part of the celebration by becoming a member.

Each year we’re proud to host some of the most enthusiastic and supportive literary fans—like you— from across the country and abroad.

We already have an exciting line-up for our 2016 Festival, with returning friends such as Dick Cavett, Rick Bragg, and Dorothy Allison, plus Pulitzer Prize winners Beth Henley (Crimes of the Heart) and Yusef Komunyakaa (Neon Vernacular: New and Selected Poems).

As always, we’ll have panels on the works of Tennessee Williams, great theatre offerings, and the local food and music events that give the Festival its New Orleans flavor.

Membership has great benefits, such as ticket packages, event passes, VIP party invitations, and recognition to show appreciation to our members. Join by October 15 and receive an invitation to …

Summer Special Ends Monday, 9.21.15

Posted on September 16, 2015 in Enews, News

As the Festival (March 30-April 3) draws closer, our literary program is shaping up to be an intellectually enlightening and enjoyable experience that properly honors our 30-year legacy.

Here’s a sneak peek at three literary events that you’ll see at the Festival.  Remember to get your discounted VIP pass here by September 21 in order to enjoy our special rate of $395 (a $500 value).

Sense of Place: Essence of Essay Writing, with Rick Bragg

Posted on in Enews, News

Whether chronicling the tales of life in the American South or reporting of unrest nationally and internationally, Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Rick Bragg has gripped us time and again with his narrative powers. His non-fiction books All Over But the Shoutin’ and Ava’s Man are cherished among many readers. In his latest My Southern Journey: True Stories from the Heart of the South, Bragg returns home to his stomping (and eating!) grounds where he began his journalism career. In this Master Class, Bragg discusses the essay as a narrative geography, offering insight into how he sees and crafts his famous and often hilarious sense of place.


Larger than Life: The Biographer’s Craft

Posted on in Enews, News

The biography form offers infinite craft possibilities for a writer, so how does one decide which way is the best when taking on lives that have influenced times, events, and people? In this panel, John Pope talks about the lives and deaths of New Orleanians from his book, Getting Off at Elysian Fields: Obituaries from the New Orleans Times-Picayune; writer and professor Anne Boyd Rioux explains the choices made in shaping Constance Fenimore Woolson: Portrait of a Lady Novelist; and Christina Vella discusses recreating a great American character in George Washington Carver: A Life. Patricia Brady, author of A Being So Gentle: The Frontier Love Story of Rachel and Andrew Jackson, presides over this discussion of breathing compelling lives on to the page.

Breakfast Book Club: Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman

Posted on in Enews, News, Uncategorized

Trumpeted as the literary event of the decade, Go Set a Watchman, Harper Lee’s “lost” novel written before To Kill a Mockingbird, has generated complex feelings ranging from anticipation to frustration. Attendees are invited to read Lee’s new novel, which details the adult Jean Louise Finch’s return to Maycomb, Alabama, and her struggles with friends and family during the racial unrest following Brown v. Board of Education. Southern literary scholar Gary Richards again facilitates the communal discussion over coffee and a light breakfast at Muriel’s Restaurant.

Enjoy all this and so much more with our VIP pass, still available for $395 but for a limited time only. Visit our website or call us at 504-581-1144 to get your tickets. Offer ends September 21!

Summer’s Not Over Yet: Our Summer Special Continues!

Posted on September 3, 2015 in Enews, News

Considering a literary spring in New Orleans? There’s still time to take advantage of our VIP summer special offer to attend the 30th anniversary Festival (March 30 – April 3, 2016) at a big discount.

For a limited time, we’re offering our VIP All-Access Pass for just $395—a savings of over $100! Get yours online or by calling us at 504-581-1144. This pass admits you to all Festival events (fundraisers excluded) plus our VIP patron party, where you can sip cocktails with the authors in the courtyard of the Historic New Orleans Collection on April 1, 2016.

Just Confirmed!

Cynthia Bond, author of the much-lauded and heart-wrenching Ruby, which Oprah selected as her recent Book Club pick, will join us! Read it with your book club before the Festival, and then see Cynthia discuss it in person. For a preview, check out what Oprah had to say about Ruby here.

Also Appearing at Our 30th Anniversary

Posted on in Enews, News

Interested in publishing?

Andy Hunter, head of the exciting new publishing imprint, Catapult, and co-founder of Electric Literature, will discuss the publishing landscape and our reading and writing habits in the current digital age.

The Best of Fest Redux

We’re welcoming back some favorites from our 30-year history, including Dorothy Allison, Rick Bragg, Richard Ford, Yusef Komunyakaa, and more!

We’ll Be Remembering Tennessee

Tennessee Williams biographer John Lahr returns to discuss the playwright’s legacy, as well as the life and times of America’s leading writers, directors, and actors from his upcoming book of New Yorker profiles, Joy Ride: Show People & Their Shows.
The legendary Dick Cavett will join us! His 1974 interview with Tennessee Williams (an excerpt is here) is a classic. Come hear him discuss Williams and the many cultural icons he’s interviewed.

Theatre Stars

Tennessee Williams’ productions will include Southern Rep’s Orpheus Descending (read our interview with Beth Bartley, who’ll star in the …

Summer Special: Book Your Passage (and VIP pass) for our 2016 Festival

Posted on August 6, 2015 in Enews, News

New Orleans is sizzling in the August heat! We hope you’re keeping cool wherever you are reading this. In honor of the summer and to help you plan for your spring in New Orleans at our 30th anniversary Festival (March 30 – April 3, 2015), we’re offering a special deal on our VIP All-Access Passes. Nab one now for just $395! This is a savings of over $100 from the regular price of $500. Buy online HERE or call us at the office 504-581-1144 to purchase.
What does $395 get you? In short, VIP access to all events (except fundraisers) of the Festival including over 25 panel discussions, multiple plays and theatrical events, special events, food and music soirees, plus our exclusive VIP party at the elegant courtyard of the Historic New Orleans Collection.

The Summer Special ends September 21, 2015, so get …

An Interview with Beth Bartley

Posted on in Enews, News

We’ll be celebrating Tennessee Williams’ incredible body of work with a Southern Rep-produced presentation of his Orpheus Descending. We spoke to Beth Bartley (pictured, photo by John B. Barrois), who will play Carol Cutrere in the production:

Tennessee Williams’s Orpheus Descending is an intense and intensely-packed play, in terms of characters, action, and theme. Would you summarize the play’s essence for audiences who have yet to see/read it?

Williams wrote this amazing play over the course of 17 years. It is both extremely funny and tragic, one of Williams’ sexiest plays with themes of social injustice, richly drawn characters, and extraordinary language.

What attracts you to Orpheus and Williams’ work in general as an actor?

I fell in love with Tennessee Williams’ writing when I was 13. I saw A Streetcar Named Desire at Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati starring Ginny Hoffman and Gary Sandy. …

Save the Date

Posted on July 23, 2015 in Enews, News

Mark your calendars for our 30th Anniversary Festival to be held March 30 – April 3, 2016. We’re excited to welcome Beth Henley, known for her Pulitzer- and Tony-winning play, Crimes of the Heart. Plus, Dorothy Allison and Rick Bragg are coming back to help us celebrate! We’re bringing back Tennessee’s Got Talent, a Festival favorite, featuring performances by regional theater companies.

And you’ll want to book your accommodations early at our official host hotel, the literary landmark frequented by Tennessee himself, The Hotel Monteleone. Click here to book your room.

Help Wanted

Posted on in Enews, News

Are you a huge fan of the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival? Would you like to see what goes on behind the scenes and help the Festival at the same time? We have a spot on our Board of Directors for a Festival fan with a strong background in development and fundraising. Come help us make our 30th Anniversary Festival one to be remembered. Contact executive director Paul Willis for more information at

Submit to Our One-Act Play Contest

Posted on June 10, 2015 in Enews, Home Page, News

Tennessee Williams got his break by winning a contest. Send us your One-Acts!

Or Participate in Our Poetry Contest

Posted on in Enews, Home Page, News

Our Poetry Contest will be judged by Louisiana native and Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, Yusef Komunyakaa.

You GaveNOLA!

Posted on May 6, 2015 in Enews, News

Dear champions of literature, theatre, music and local culture,

Thank you for supporting the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival for the GiveNOLA day of fund raising! You helped us to Triple our take from last year’s campaign!

In the words of Tennessee Williams, “Life is partly what you make of it, and partly what is made by the friends we choose.” We are grateful beyond measure to count you among the friends of Tennessee!

You continue to bring life to this Festival and we cannot Thank you enough.

MANY thanks!

The Final Countdown!

Posted on May 5, 2015 in Enews, News

“Time goes by so fast. Nothin’ can outrun it.”

-Tennessee Williams, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Time may be slipping through our fingers but there is STILL TIME for us to reach our $10,000 GiveNOLA goal!

Your super powers of augmented giving end at midnight. No other day of the year will afford you the opportunity to have your donations boosted by GiveNOLA Lagniappe dollars.

Think $10 can’t make an impact? Think again! If each of you reading this email donated just $10 today, we would have well over $100,000 to make our 30th anniversary the most spectacular display of literary, musical, culinary, scholarly and theatrical excellence this region has ever seen!

Help us celebrate thirty years of serving the community through educational, theatrical, literary, and musical programs. Join us as we nurture, support, and showcase regional, national, …

#TWF15 in the News!

Posted on April 7, 2015 in Arts & Letters, Home Page, News, Uncategorized

We’re back in the office after an incredible Festival! We hope you enjoyed the festivities of #TWF15 as much as we did. Thank you for coming and being such a smart, engaged, and engaging audience.

Missed it? Check out these links:

The Stellaah Second Line wove through the French Quarter to end at the Backspace Bar and Kitchen. reviewed “The Hotel Plays” at the gorgeous Hermann-Grima House and the NOLA Project’s “I Never Get Dressed Till After Dark on Sundays.”

Huffington Post Books wrapped up #TWF15 here.

Guardian US showed up for John Waters, everything else including our Ogden gala with Allen Toussaint and deliciousness from John Besh’s Lüke restaurant, and offered book recommendations via Susan Larson, New Orleans literary authority and our long-time board member.

Publishing Trends wrote about our “literary partay.” This pleased us because we aspire to fun and Tennessee Williams would approve.

Speaking of parties, …

#TWF15 Update:National Book Awards, What We’re Reading & More!

Posted on November 20, 2014 in Arts & Letters, Home Page, News, Year-Round Programming

Our 2015 program is almost in place!

Hotel Monteleone Booking Link

Posted on October 1, 2014 in Enews, News

Here is the appropriate Booking Link for your convenience.

We were so focused on encouraging you to reserve your room  for our 2015 Festival (March 25-29) that we forgot to include the direct Hotel Monteleone booking link. To be directed to the special Hotel Monteleone TW/NOLF Festival-goers reduced rate reservations page, please click here.

And remember, there are a limited number of rooms available at the discounted rate, so act now to secure your space.


Secure Your Accommodations NOW!

Posted on in Enews, News, Uncategorized

To our wonderful Cast of Festival Supporters, We are sending a friendly reminder to those planning to attend the Festival in 2015, to finalize your hotel accommodations now before time runs out! During the month of March, New Orleans is inundated with tourists from all over the world and finding lodging can become extremely difficult. Our wonderfully gracious host hotel, the Hotel Monteleone, has a limited number of rooms available for our attendees that can be reserved until mid-February. If there are any rooms available after this date, the rate will be higher, so act now! Information for the Hotel Monteleone, and alternate accommodations, including rates, can be found through the links provided on our website. Just look under the “Festival” tab and then select “Accommodations.” If you have further questions, please feel free to call our office or email us at . We look …

Featuring Biguenet’s BROOMSTICK!

Posted on September 30, 2014 in Enews, News, Uncategorized

Here at the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans literary Festival, we pride ourselves on being BIG fans of GREAT theatre and we love to promote the work of our past and present authors! That said, we urge you to get out and see Southern Rep Theatre’s production of BROOMSTICK, penned by previous TW/NOLF Speaker, John Biguenet!


In a remote cabin deep in the woods, an old crone spins a spellbinding tale about her life, her love affairs, and her cursed reputation.  Mischievously funny, dark, and just in time for Halloween, BROOMSTICK is the story of one woman who hovers in the shadowy space between good and evil, fantasy and reality, and who, some say, may be a little too hungry for justice.

Don’t miss the National New Play Network Rolling World Premier of BROOMSTICK which runs October 4-November 2 at the Ashe Cultural Arts Center! To reserve …

Interview with Vijay Seshadri

Posted on September 24, 2014 in Arts & Letters, Home Page, News, Uncategorized

Interview with Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Vijay Seshadri, 2015 Festival speaker and Poetry Contest judge.

Casting Call for TW/NOLF Members!

Posted on September 16, 2014 in Enews, News

The Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival is hoping to cast YOU as a much appreciated Festival MEMBER!

The Festival, which is scheduled for March 25-29, 2015 will be celebrating 29 years as a rich and diverse cultural organization dedicated to serving our community through educational, theatrical, literary and musical programs! Become a member and take pride in the fact that you are helping to make possible what USA Today hailed as one of the top ten literary festivals in the nation!

Benefits of membership include free tickets, VIP parties, and special members-only discounts! Also, if you act now and join before October 15, you will receive an invitation to our Fall Membership Party at the home of our gracious board member, Susie Hoskins. Please note, that the Fall Membership Party has been moved to November 11, 2014, so mark your calendars and please plan to …

TW/NOLF Contests Reminder!

Posted on September 9, 2014 in Enews, News, Uncategorized

Ladies and Gentlemen, belly-up to your typewriters and don’t get up until you have completed your submissions for one of our fabulous annual writing contests!

Find deadline, entry process and prize information for our Poetry, Fiction and One-Act Play Contests by clicking here! Also, we know you wouldn’t procrastinate or anything but in case you THOUGHT you missed the boat on our poetry contest, we are pleased to reassure you that the deadline has been extended to September 15th!

Want some even more exciting news?! Your contest options have just gotten bigger! As part of our 29th Annual Festival, we are proud to announce that the Saints and Sinners Literary Festival will be joining the TW/NOLF as an exciting addition to the FAMILY! Saints and Sinners hosts its very own Fiction Contest of original, unpublished short stories with LGBT content. Find out more …

VIP Ticket Special!

Posted on August 6, 2014 in Enews, News

Fest for Less: Your VIP all-access pass for only $400 (regular $500)!

2015 Mini Preview

Posted on June 19, 2014 in Arts & Letters, Home Page, News, Uncategorized

Here’s who to expect in New Orleans next March.

2015 Poetry Contest Announcements!

Posted on June 12, 2014 in Arts & Letters, Enews, News, Year-Round Programming

“I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.”

Though this line, Blanche’s final utterance in A Streetcar Named Desire, is iconic, it found an earlier voice in the following plea from a young Tennessee Williams to the editor of Poetry magazine:

“Will you do a total stranger the kindness of reading his verse?”

In honor of Williams and his desire to have his voice heard and celebrated, we are here to do YOU the kindness of soliciting YOUR verse! We are pleased to announce that The Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival’s Poetry Contest is now open for submissions! Vijay Seshadri, the 2014 Pulitzer Prize winner for his 3 Sections collection, will judge.

Full details about the contest (including online submission process) are available on our website:

The winner will receive prize money, publication, and access to countless great panels and events at the next …

Give NOLA Day In One Week!

Posted on April 15, 2014 in Enews, News

Support TWF on May 6th!

Hosted on Tuesday, May 6th by the Greater New Orleans Foundation, GiveNOLA Day is the community’s first one-day, online giving event to inspire people to give generously to nonprofit organizations who make our region a stronger and thriving community for all.

It’s our day to come together as one! Every dollar donated from midnight to midnight on May 6th will be increased with additional “lagniappe” dollars provided by the Greater New Orleans Foundation and our generous GiveNOLA Day sponsors.

Built on successful models from other cities, GiveNOLA raises money for the community, brings new donors to local nonprofits, and helps make our region a more vital place to live. This year GiveNOLA Day is tied to a national event called Give Local America where hundreds of community foundations across America are asking their communities to give back on May 6, 2014.

All …

Tell Us How We Did In 2014

Posted on March 16, 2014 in Enews, News

We would love to hear your thoughts about your experience at the 2014 Festival. We hope you had a great time and would appreciate if you could click the link below to help us evaluate the event and make it even greater in 2015!

Please visit this link to be directed to our survey.

Thank you again for your support.

Save The Date for 2015

Posted on March 15, 2014 in Arts & Letters, Enews, Home Page, News

Join us for our 29th annual Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival March 25-29, 2015.

2014 Festival Guide

Posted on March 12, 2014 in Enews, News

Looking to plan out your visit to the 2014 Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival?

Let Chris Waddington of steer you in the right direction!

He notes that, for some, the Festival’s “charms come from querying the greats of stage and page at informal panel discussions; for others the pleasure is bumping into the same stars at restaurants, bars, antique stores, and theater lobbies around the neighborhood.”

Literary Highlights: The stellar guest list for the 2014 festival includes fiction stars such as Dorothy Allison, Victor LaValle, Valerie Martin and Laura Lippman.

Biographers Thomas Beller and Rich Cohen will participate along with some of the nation’s smartest journalists: Hilton Als of The New Yorker, former Granta editor John Freeman, New Orleans freelancer Julia Reed and others.

Theater events include full productions of Williams masterworks by two of the best troupes in New Orleans: The NOLA Project will stage “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” and Southern Rep …

Opening Night Gala For “The Hotel Plays”

Posted on March 11, 2014 in 2014 Theatre, Enews, News, Past Theater, Theater

Don’t miss the opening night of the Festival! Join us on Wednesday, March 19th for a night to remember with the Hotel Plays by Tennessee Williams and a reception generously sponsored by Broussard’s Restaurant and the Hermann-Grima House.

Special opening gala event! Wednesday, March 19 at 6:30 PM at the historic Hermann Grima House,  The Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival brings three short plays by Tennessee Williams in which audience members will travel from room to room.

The Hotel Plays by Williams will include:

GREEN EYES: The kinkiest play Tennessee Williams ever wrote, this erotic thriller had its premiere in 2008 in Provincetown. Jaimi Paige and Matt Rein reprise their dazzling performances.

THE TRAVELING COMPANION: Jeremy Lawrence and Matt Story perform this intimate drama. It’s an intense debate between a younger man (Beau, an inexperienced hustler full of sexual potency) and an older man (Vieux, a neurotic, insecure writer).

MR. PARADISE: Featuring the fabulous artistry of New Orleans actors …

Results of the 2014 One-Act Play Contest

Posted on March 10, 2014 in Contests, Enews, Home Page, News, One Act Play, Updates

Intrigue! Twists! Dramatic denouement! The 2014 One-Act Play Contest was full of this and more. The University of New Orleans’ Department of Film, Theater, and Creative Arts debated at length over the stack of awesome submissions.

Here are our eight finalists, all of whom will receive a Panel Pass to this year’s Festival:

“Scream” by Jean Blasiar, Pasadena, CA
“Wreckage” by Troy Worden, Bahama, NC
“The Art Collectors” by Mark Rosen, Olympia, WA
“Daughter in the Dark Room” by Jesse Stong, Montreal, Quebec
“Lovie’s Spring” by Kelly Bancroft, Youngstown, OH
“Simple Melody” by Jill Bess, Anchorage, AK
“King Henry, Mayor,” by Kevin McLellan, Memphis, TN
“Lonesome Road” by James Neal, Tempe, AZ

We are thrilled to announce Matt Baganz the Grand Prize Winner of the 2014 One-Act Play Contest, for his submission “The Art of Conversation.” After receiving a BA in creative writing in his home state of Wisconsin, Matt Baganz relocated …

The Best of the Fest

Posted on in Arts & Letters, Enews, News

Author and longtime Festival board member Bev Marshall reminisces on her best memories of our past Festivals. We’re excited to unveil our 28th Festival (March 19-23, 2014). The full program is online here.

“I don’t want realism, I want magic.” -Tennessee Williams.

George Plimpton was just that: magical. Silver-haired, elegant George Plimpton spoke eloquently and intimately about his life and his career, delighting his audience with his bonhomie. From wrestling Sirhan Sirhan, Bobby Kennedy’s assassin, to editing The Paris Review to his unsuccessful foray into sports, he revealed his fascinating, colorful life.

Who could forget the first time actor/playwright Jeremy Lawrence took the stage and performed his critically acclaimed “Talking Tennessee”? Each year that I’ve seen him in his dapper suit with floral shirt hurrying to take the stage has been sheer joy.

Then there was the incredible thrill of listening to Yusef Komunyakaa  recite …

Volunteering During the Festival

Posted on March 2, 2014 in Enews, News, Updates

We need you! Please join us this year and  Volunteer at the Festival – help make 2014 shine!

Volunteer shifts are approximately 5 hours and a great way to meet people and earn a free panel pass ($75+ value)! Check in 10 minutes before your shift begins (depending on shift) at the Festival Office, Hotel Monteleone, Queen Anne Parlor  or Le Petit Theatre.

Dress code: dressy casual (no jeans, no sneakers). Assignments vary and include collecting/checking tickets, giving info, helping with concessions. A one-hour orientation/training (encouraged, but not mandatory) will be held two times before the Fest, on Mar. 9th (Sunday) and 12th (Wednesday), both meeting at 4 pm at the Monteleone lobby. Please note your “sign up ticket time” as your shift is your responsibility.

With its many Master Classes, literary panels, special theater presentations, and exciting venues …

Vivien Opening Reception

Posted on February 27, 2014 in Enews, News, Past Theater

“Vivien” by Rick Foster will premier at the Festival Thursday March 20 at Le Petit Theatre and we invite you to take part in our opening reception! Tickets are $35 (for reception at 6:30 PM and the performance at 7 PM)

The show show stars Judith Chapman who returns to the Festival to kick-off our theater program in grand style. Her portrayal of two time  Oscar-winning film star Vivien Leigh (Streetcar Named Desire and Gone With the Wind) is, according to Backstage magazine, “a bravura performance.” This one-woman show is a journey into the triumph and madness of Vivien Leigh. “It’s hard to imagine anybody inhabiting the role more convincingly”—The Los Angeles Times.

Produced by Racquel Lehrman & Victoria Watson, Theatre Planners. Directed by Thomas Rolapp.

Only two performances of this play. Thursday March 20 and Saturday March 22. Tickets may be purchased here. 

The Jazz Revival Revisited (Drummer and Smoke Series)

Posted on February 20, 2014 in Arts & Letters, Enews, News

As part of our Drummer and Smoke series, we are proud to present “The Jazz Revival Revisited” featuring Tom Sancton and Dr. Michael White. This event is part of our Sunday Panel Series and will happen at 2:30 P.M. March 23 at the Palm Court Jazz Cafe.  Get your tickets here by purchasing a panel pass for that day.

These two leading exponents of the traditional New Orleans clarinet style will celebrate the music of George Lewis. After his first recordings with trumpeter Bunk Johnson in the 1940’s, Lewis spearheaded the so-called jazz revival of the 1950’s and 60’s. With his lyrical tone and pulsing drive, he won fans around the world, touring widely in the U.S., Europe and Japan, making more than a hundred recordings, and inspiring generations of younger musicians to take up the banner of traditional jazz. Among them: …

Friends of Tennessee Spotlight: Helen Ingram

Posted on in Enews, News

The Festival happens thanks to the kindness of our Friends of Tennessee.

We would like to recognize long-time supporter and patron, Helen Ingram.

“Why do I keep coming back, year after year, to the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival?  That’s easy—because I’m in love with it! The arts enhance us all, and where else can I go to find them all in one place? And such a place it is. The architecture, people, sights, and sounds of the French Quarter provide a romantic backdrop unlike any other.

I share this love affair with hundreds of others—locals and out-of-towners—who make the annual pilgrimage to The Festival. We immerse ourselves in all the art and literature it has to offer, and come away from it having learned a lot and laughed a lot. That’s what makes this festival different from others.  It’s literary but certainly …

Theatre Theatre Theatre!

Posted on February 11, 2014 in 2014 Theatre, Enews, News, Past Theater, Theater

25 performances… 8 productions… 5 days… 4 venues!

Each year, the Festival presents theatrical works to compliment our literary, music and food events. In 2014, we will feature more theatre than ever!

* At Le Petit Theatre, we present in conjunction with The NOLA Project, “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.” You have seven chances to catch this Tennessee Williams classic. This is the first time in over a decade that the Festival will be presenting this work and we encourage you to to see this sultry, raw and uninhibited production.

* Also at Le Petit Theatre, don’t miss  “Vivien,” the one woman show about legendary star, Vivien Leigh, starring actress Judith Chapman. Only two shows!  Get tickets here for a journey into the triumph and madness of the star of A Streetcar Named Desire.

* Jeremy Lawrence performs “En Avant! Tennessee Williams in His Own Words.”  Only one chance to catch …

The Life and Times of Tennessee Williams in New Orleans

Posted on February 5, 2014 in Enews, News, Program

Tom Williams became “Tennessee” in 1939 when he moved to New Orleans at the age of 28, in hopes of finding work with the Works Progress Administration’s Federal Writers’ Project.  Liberated from his dull life in Missouri, he came to consider New Orleans his “spiritual home” – describing it as “the last frontier of Bohemia” — and penned many of his finest works in various French Quarter rooms and apartments.

Early in his career, he lived in an upstairs apartment at 722 Toulouse St., now part of The Historic New Orleans Collection. It was there that he wrote his short story “The Angel in the Alcove” and where he found material for other French Quarter inspired plays, such as Vieux Carre, performed for the first time in 1977.

The peripatetic playwright returned to New Orleans in 1945 and stayed …

Don’t Miss Out on Our Exciting Theatrical Offerings!

Posted on January 28, 2014 in Enews, News

Each year, the Festival proudly presents theatrical works to compliment our literary, music and food events. In 2014, we will feature more theatre than ever.

* At Le Petit Theatre, we present in conjunction with The NOLA Project, “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof“. You have seven chances to catch this Tennessee Williams classic.

* Also at Le Petit Theatre, don’t miss  “Vivien,” the one woman show about legendary star, Vivien Leigh, starring accomplished actress Judith Chapman. Only two shows!

* Jeremy Lawrence performs “En Avant! Tennessee Williams in His Own Words”  Only one chance to catch this Festival favorite.

*  “The Place That I Was Made For” recalls Tennessee Williams’ love affair for New Orleans and is hosted by Thomas Keith. Only one showing at Le Petit Theatre!

* “The Hotel Plays” offer five opportunities for audiences to attend a lesser seen Tennessee Williams work happening at …

2014 Poetry Contest – Finalists and Grand Prize Winner

Posted on January 17, 2014 in Home Page, News, Poetry Contest, Year-Round Programming

The 2014 Poetry Contest was a banner event for the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival, in that we enjoyed a record number of submissions from some very talented poets. #TWF14 Poetry Contest Judge and former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky remarked that he received “a strong field, that required a lot of attention and re-reading.”  Mr. Pinsky selected ten finalists, and from these ten, two emerged as First Runner-Up and the Grand Prize Winner.

Here are our eight finalists:

Amber Adams, Denver, CO

George David Clark, Valparaiso, IN

Wayne Johns, Greensboro, NC

Andrea O’Rourke, Atlanta, GA

JoLee Passerini, Merritt Island, FL

Austen Rosenfeld, Brooklyn, NY

Anna Scotti, Burbank, CA

Jessica Smith, Oakland, CA


Our First Runner-Up is Daniel Leonard, Downingtown, PA, with his submission, “Four Poems.”

We are thrilled to announce the Grand Prize Winner of the 2014 Poetry Contest, Adie Smith!  Adie Smith, originally from Southern New Mexico, currently lives in Jackson, Mississippi and is completing …

Don’t Miss The Bacchanal THIS Weekend: January 10 And 11

Posted on January 6, 2014 in Enews, Events, News

We invite you to join us for the New Play Bacchanal, a joint effort this January by Southern Rep and the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival.

‘Tis the Season for Year-End Giving

Posted on December 16, 2013 in Enews, News

If you haven’t yet, now is the perfect time to become a Friend of Tennessee. If you make a donation by the end of the calendar year, you can deduct it from your 2013 taxes and help us to support the cultural economy of New Orleans!

Searching for a last-minute gift for the holiday season? Make a charitable donation in that special someone’s name to earn them membership perks like free Festival passes, opportunities to mingle with the literati at VIP events, Festival merchandise, and public recognition.

To gift a membership, follow these 4 easy steps:

1. Click the “Donate Now” button below
2. Choose the appropriate membership level
3. Fill out your name first
4. Click “This is a gift” and enter the recipient’s name and we’ll credit the membership donation to their name.

If you prefer to purchase a membership by phone, call our office at (504) 581-1144.

Below are just some of the ways your …

End Of Year Ideas: Gifts And Donations!

Posted on in Enews, News

We are thankful for Friends and supporters like you. As the year wraps up we want to thank all of you that have given of time, talent and tickets as well as our members and sponsors. For our 28th anniversary (March 19-23) we are thrilled to offer a stellar group of literary, theater and musical talent that will gather for the 2014 Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival.

In 2013 we were able to continue with our Coffee and Conversation series, and our writeNOW program, as well as to offer one of the premiere literary events in the nation to you. This season we would be thankful if you shared your enjoyment for the Festival with others.

Take advantage of our holiday gift special with a discounted panel pass or all access pass for a gift that you can share and enjoy. Buy …

Tomorrow Night Only, Don’t Miss Your Last Chance For Tickets, Books and Booze Literary Scavenger Hunt!

Posted on November 21, 2013 in Enews, News, Uncategorized

Join us tomorrow as we bring literature and writing to life with an evening that celebrates local bookstores, authors and readers alike! With  beer generously provided by Southern Eagle Distributors and coffee (whiskey encouraged) by Bon Temps , the writers and bookstores that this city celebrates will come together for a night to remember.

“It’s a scavenger hunt through the French Quarter for book lovers and trivia geeks, and it’s laden with alcohol along the way. Local authors will be on hand to ask questions (and also to serve as clues), and teams will race around bookstores and literary landmarks to answer questions, pick up clues and complete challenges.”

Exerpted from the Gambit:

Books and Booze French Quarter Literary Scavenger Hunt

Event Details:  Friday, November 22nd, 2013, at the Beauregard-Keyes House (1113 Chartres St.)

Last chance – GET YOUR TICKETS TODAY! Tickets will be available until Friday afternoon. 

Support the …

Cats, Iguanas and a Menagerie of Talent Slated for the 28th Annual Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival, March 19-23, 2014

Posted on November 5, 2013 in News, Press, Updates

NEW ORLEANS– A stellar group of literary, theater and musical talent will gather for the 2014 Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival, marking its 28th 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; short fiction, poetry and one-act play competitions; a breakfast book club; French Quarter literary walking tours; a book fair; and special evening events and parties.

“I am delighted that we are able to bring so many of Tennessee Williams’ masterpieces to our audiences this year,” said Executive Director Paul Willis.  “In addition, we are thrilled to add such a broad spectrum of established and rising literary stars to the mix.”

The programming schedule is still taking shape but some of the …

NEW EVENT: French Quarter Books and Booze Crawl (and coffee too!) Friday, November 22, 2013

Posted on November 1, 2013 in Enews, News, Uncategorized, Updates

This trivia and book crawl through the great bookstores and literary landmarks of the French Quarter will be a night to remember.

Write Well and Make Something Happen: Q&A with #TWF14 Fiction Contest Judges Victor LaValle and Emily Raboteau

Posted on October 31, 2013 in Enews, News

This year, we will have not one, but two acclaimed authors, Victor LaValle and Emily Raboteau, serve as judges for our sixth annual Fiction Contest. We were thrilled when the couple said yes to our request—especially since this might well be the first time in the history of writing contests that a husband-and-wife duo are playing joint literary arbiters.

Between them, Emily and Victor have a Pushcart Prize, awards from Whiting Writers’ and the Chicago Tribune, fellowships from the Guggenheim and National Endowment for the Arts, and the Key to Southeast Queens. Victor’s most recent novel, The Devil in Silver, was a New York Times Notable Book of 2012. Emily’s latest book, a memoir entitled Searching for Zion, was named by the Huffington Post as a “Best Book of 2013.”

We talked to Victor and Emily about their early writing careers, parenthood, …

We Wholeheartedly Thank Whole Foods Market

Posted on August 25, 2013 in Enews, News

It was a success! Thanks to you and your healthy appetite The Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival raised some good dough at our 5% Day at Veterans Whole Foods Market on August 7th. We couldn’t have done it without you and Whole Foods Market. We thank all who were involved!

Foodies lookout: this year’s lineup will have many more opportunities to support the Festival with an excellent spread of delightful food events. Hope you’re hungry for some more!

(Pictured: Festival Board Member Tracy Ferrington, owner of Social Butterfly; Amy Wong, Festival Associate Director; and Tennessee Williams, courtesy of The Times-Picayune)

Join Us for Coffee and Conversation!

Posted on August 9, 2013 in Coffee & Conversation, Enews, News

Our Coffee and Conversation series kicks off this September at the Jefferson Parish Library. This series includes local author interviews, book signings of their latest releases, Q&A sessions, and complimentary coffee.

All events are free and open to the public. They are held from 7:00-8:30 p.m. and take place in the meeting rooms of the East Bank Regional Library at 4747 W. Napoleon Ave. in Metairie.

7 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013
Michael Sartisky: A Unique Slant of Light: The Bicentennial History of Art in Louisiana
A Unique Slant of Light: The Bicentennial History of Art in Louisiana is a commemorative hardcover edition limited to 3,000 copies. This large-format volume encompasses 450 color pages featuring approximately 275 artists and photographers. For art collectors and enthusiasts, for followers of Louisiana history, and for keepers of Louisiana pride, this book is testimony to the state’s artistic culture.
Moderator: …

The Course of True Love Never Did Run Smooth: The New Orleans Shakespeare Festival at Tulane Presents “Romeo and Juliet”

Posted on July 18, 2013 in Enews, News

Hot on the heels of its critical success The Merry Wives of Windsor, our Festival friends at The New Orleans Shakespeare Festival at Tulane present William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet under the direction of Amy Holtcamp as part of its 20th anniversary season.

Holtcamp brings to the stage a play beloved all over the world for the tragic romance of its star-crossed lovers. But it is the story, too, of an enduring feud between the Capulet and Montague families – a conflict grown so deadly that it throws an entire city into turmoil. The danger on the streets is palpable: armed enemies from both sides lurk around corners, while the Prince threatens death to anyone who is caught up in the clash. When Romeo and his Juliet rise above the old grudges, their love may heal the deep divisions in Verona…or bring the whole city crashing …

Lit Couple to Judge 6th Annual Fiction Contest

Posted on June 24, 2013 in Home Page, News, Updates

Victor LaValle and Emily Raboteau will jointly judge our 6th Annual Fiction Contest.

Festival Figures

Posted on April 22, 2013 in Enews, News, Updates

Back at the office, we’re tallying up everything that went into making it a truly memorable weekend. Here are a few of our Festival figures:

9,500+ audience seats filled at 29 panels, 17 theater performances, 7 special events, 8 master classes, 6 walking tours, the Tennessee Williams Scholars Conference, and writeNOW, our educational outreach program
150+ authors, thespians, musicians, chefs, and performers (including bounce dancers, burlesque performers, and a ukulele player)
150 invaluable volunteers who helped take tickets, sell concessions, register guests, and man the info desk and box office
44 generous sponsors and 185 Friends of Tennessee who keep the literary arts vibrant and accessible
25 raucous Stanley and Stella Shouting Contest contenders (Pictured above: Dewey Caddell, whose melancholy moans earned him the first place. Photo by Earl Perry.)
2,500 cups of Hendrick’s Gin cocktails consumed (Pictured right: (That delectable Night at the Iguana punch! Photo by Ride …

Perfect Attendance

Posted on in Enews, News, Updates

Top 3 Attended Literary Panel Discussions

New Orleans in 1920s: Bohemians, Baby Dolls, and Storyville
Writing New Orleans: the Most “Exotic” Place in America
Conversation with Michael Cunningham

Most Popular Master Classes

Scenes from a Screenwriter’s Notebook: John Patrick Shanley: Big Screen Stories
Resurrect the Past: Susan Straight: Mining History for Your Book
A Sense of Time and Place in Literary Fiction: Zachary Lazar: Mapping and Timing Narrative Space (Pictured right. Photo by Ride Hamilton.)

Overheard at the Festival

Posted on in Enews, News, Updates

“#TWF13 Festival author (and 2013 fiction writing contest judge) Michael Cunningham talks marriage and divorce in his impromptu #SixWordStory”
“Heinz Heisl and Magdalena Kauz come all the way from Austria to pose with Tennessee!” (Pictured, right. Tennessee Williams courtesy of The Times-Picayune.)
“Don’t miss out on seeing literary rockstars like #TWF13 performers Bryan Batt, Harry Shearer, Michael Arata, and Cristine McMurdo-Wallis! Visit our Festival box office now! But in the meantime, check out this clip of Bryan Batt and Alison Fraser leaving the stage after their reading of ‘Talk to Me Like the Rain and Let Me Listen…’ Thursday night.”
“Ayana Mathis, Leonard Pitts, Jr., and Susan Straight wave hello from the 2013 #TennesseeWilliams Festival! #TWF13”
“Between her starring roles at the #TWF13, Cristine McMurdo-Wallis enjoys the spirited sounds of Tanya and Dorsie on Royal St.”
“Her name is Moira Crone, and she’s here to tell you a #SixWordStory”

Follow us on …

Festival Best-Sellers

Posted on in Enews, News, Updates

Local independent bookseller Garden District Book Shop offered Festival authors’ books for sale, along with special books about Louisiana and all things Tennessee. How many of these Festival best-sellers are on your nightstand? (Photo by Earl Perry.)

The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published, Arielle Eckstut & David Henry Sterry
The “Baby Dolls”: Breaking the Race and Gender Barriers of the New Orleans Mardi Gras Tradition, Kim Marie Vaz
The Miniature Wife and Other Stories, Manuel Gonzales
The Twelve Tribes of Hattie, Ayana Mathis
Dixie Bohemia: A French Quarter Circle in the 20’s, John Shelton Reed
Leave Me Alone, I’m Reading, Maureen Corrigan
Shoot the Money, Chris Wiltz

Take the 2013 Festival Survey

Posted on in Enews, News, Updates

Fill out our brief survey for a chance to win a free Stella-a-a! tank top.

7 Important Festival News Items

Posted on March 15, 2013 in Enews, News, Updates

1. Every year, major stars gather to pay tribute to Tennessee. Join us for this year’s tribute, Tennessee Williams in Others’ Words. Among the presenters is Don Murray, the film icon who starred alongside Marilyn Monroe in Bus Stop and worked with our namesake playwright himself.

2. Only A Paper Moon: A Tennessee Williams Songbook captures the soul of Tennessee and puts it to music. If you can’t make it to our Fundraiser Gala, you can still catch a performance of the songbook on Thursday, Friday and Sunday.

3. Our 2013 Festival Raffle is offering a grand prize worth $2,000 – including a VIP All-Access Pass, a Swag Bag overflowing with concessions, and a 2013 Library of many of the books and authors featured at our Festival this year. All books will be autographed by authors, and all prize items will …

Revisit Tennessee’s French Quarter Stomping Grounds: Literary Walking Tours

Posted on in Enews, News, Updates

New Orleans — and especially the French Quarter — played a very vital part in shaping Tennessee Williams. When he came here for the first time, he was Tom Williams. When he left here a couple months later, he was going as Tennessee, having undergone a tremendous change in his personal life and his creativity.

A man perpetually on the move, Tennessee considered this city his “spiritual home” and had at least eight residences in its famous neighborhoods. Revisit the homes and hangouts where he lived and worked and returned to throughout his adult life, beloved spots that helped to make Tennessee America’s greatest playwright.

Each Literary Walking Tour will start with an introduction by Dr. Kenneth Holditch. Read on for the days and times of our six Literary Walking Tours.

Event: Literary Walking Tour
Date: Friday
Time: 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Location: Tour meets in the Hotel Monteleone …

“STELLA-A-A-A!”: The Stella/Stanley Shouting Contest Returns!

Posted on in Enews, News, Updates

That’s right, the Tennessee Williams Festival’s annual Stella/Stanley Shouting Contest is back for #TWF13! Read on for details on this very special event and our sponsor, Hendrick’s Gin, as well as footage from past contests and the Shouting Contest Practice videos on Vine!

Follow us on Vine, Instagram, and Twitter @TWFestNOLA
Check out our official Facebook page for updates throughout the Festival weekend

The 27th Annual Stella/Stanley Shouting Contest

Posted on in Enews, News, Updates

Join the #TWF13 Stanley/Stella Shouting Contest and vie to rival Stanley Kowalski’s shout for “STELLAAAAA!!!” in the unforgettable scene from A Streetcar Named Desire. The most outrageous, unique, and convincing rendition wins! Shouters are also welcome to try a little role reversal and yell “STANLEYYYY!” instead. Whichever name you decide to shout, remember to bring your A-game because prizes will be awarded.

Date: Sunday March 24, 2013
Time: 4:15 – 6:00 p.m.
Location: Jackson Square
Price: Free and open to the public

This event is made possible by the generous support of Hendrick’s Gin.

Sponsor Spotlight: Hendrick’s Gin

Posted on in Enews, News, Updates

Hendrick’s is a most unusual Gin that has taken the world by storm since it was first introduced, thanks to its delightfully unique flavour, which combines a distinct blend of eleven botanicals, as well as the signature infusions of Cucumber and Rose petals, producing a wonderfully refreshing gin with a delightfully unique aroma. Hand crafted in Scotland in miniscule batches, Hendrick’s uses a marriage of spirits from a Carter-Head and Copper Pot Still, a combination produces a divinely smooth gin that has both the required character and balance of subtle flavours.

Since its induction in the US, Hendrick’s has gained widespread acclaim and received numerous awards, including a Double gold medal at the San Francisco International Spirits Competition; “Gin of the Year” at the Food and Wine Magazine Awards, and voted “World’s Best Gin” by the Wall Street Journal.

Check Out Our Shouts on Youtube and Vine

Posted on in Enews, News, Updates

It’s no secret that our annual Stanley/Stella Shouting Contest features impassioned participants from around the country who take their shouting very seriously. Each year at the climax of the Festival the Stanley/Stella shouters resurrect the memory of Marlon Brando’s impassioned “STELLA-A-A-A!!” from the film version of A Streetcar Named Desire.

In celebration of this stellar event, we asked local New Orleanians to let us capture their best shouts in a Vine video, as practice for the 2013 contest. Read on for links to our “Stanley/Stella Shouting Contest Practice” clips, as well as YouTube videos from past contests. Remember, the competition gets stiffer with each passing year, so take a look at these clips to pick up a few pointers for the #TWF13 contest!

Follow us on Vine, Instagram, and Twitter (@TWFestNOLA)  for video updates throughout the Festival weekend!


#TWF13 Shouting Contest Practice: Round 1 (Vine)

#TWF13 Shouting Contest Practice: Round 2 …

Cocktails and Conversation with Festival Author, Kit Wohl

Posted on March 8, 2013 in Enews, News, Updates

Among the 2013 Festival’s many special events, is the Saturday afternoon discussion of classic New Orleans cocktails led by author Kit Wohl and mixologist Hadi Kitiri-Idrissi. Wohl, Festival speaker and author of the critically acclaimed Classic New Orleans cookbook series, will lend her culinary expertise to the 2013 Festival’s Saturday afternoon special event, “Sipping on a New Orleans Afternoon.”

Read on for more information about author Kit Wohl and details on this must-attend special event.

Special Event: “Sipping on a New Orleans Afternoon”

Posted on in Enews, News, Updates

The 2013 Festival special event, “Sipping on a New Orleans Afternoon,” pairs critically acclaimed author Kit Wohl with mixologist Hadi Kitiri-Idrissi, to sample and discuss historic New Orleans beverages at Arnaud’s iconic French 75 Bar. Wohl will share from her latest book, New Orleans Classic Cocktails, which boasts over sixty recipes from absinthe cocktails to Tennessee Williams’ beverage of choice, the Sazerac.

Spend a relaxing Saturday afternoon sampling Old New Orleans Rum specialty drinks while listening to history, musings, and stories about the history of cocktails in New Orleans. For the price of admission, this special event also includes a signed copy of Wohl’s latest book,  New Orleans Classic Cocktails.

Event: “Sipping on a New Orleans Afternoon”
Date: Saturday March 23, 2013
Time: 1:30 – 2:30 p.m.
Location: Arnaud’s French 75 Bar, 813 Bienville
Ticket Type: Special Event
Price: $30, or included in All-Access Pass
Ticket Code: SippingSat130pm

Purchase …

Bryan Batt Reads at the Festival’s Thursday Night Event

Posted on in Enews, News, Updates

Mad Men’s Bryan Batt will be performing at the Thursday night theater event “Those Rare Electrical Things Between People: Readings of Three One-Act Plays by Tennessee Williams,” along with Harry Shearer, Alison Fraser, Cristine McMurdo-Wallis, and Nell Nolan. Batt will be reading Tennessee Williams’ “Talk to Me Like the Rain and Let Me Listen…” alongside Alison Fraser.

Read on for a full description of the event, or peruse the 2013 Festival program for our selection of panel discussion, master class, and theater offerings.

Event: Those Rare Electrical Things Between People: Readings of Three One-Act Plays by Tennessee Williams
Description: This year’s Festival kicks off with an entertaining trio of Tennessee Williams’s one-act gems. Written when the author was only 28, “The Palooka” is an age-old tale of youth and age in which an up-and-coming fighter comes face-to-face with his hero, and perhaps his …

Tennessee Returns! Actor Jeremy Lawrence as Tennessee Williams

Posted on March 7, 2013 in Enews, News, Updates

Crowd favorite Jeremy Lawrence returns to the 2013 Festival to explore the character of our eponymous playwright, Tennessee Williams. The actor and writer has a knack for personifying cultural greats like Tennessee, and also appears as Albert Einstein. This year, Lawrence will lend his talents to two Festival theater events: “There’s No Way We Can’t Finally Win,” an exploration of Williams’ personality and career; and “Tennessee Williams in Others’ Words,” a piecing together of Williams’ life through the eyes of those who knew him best.

Read on for a full description of these events, or peruse the 2013 Festival program for our selection of panel discussion, master class, and theater offerings.

Event: There’s No Way We Can’t Finally Win
Description: A new exploration of Tennessee Williams, arranged and performed by Jeremy Lawrence, culled from essays, letters and his works, many unpublished, and mostly …

Experience Tennessee Williams’ “Auto-Da-Fe” Performed on a Live Set in the French Quarter

Posted on March 4, 2013 in Enews, News, Updates

The annual Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival is known for its stellar theater performances, and this year is no different. Tennessee Williams’ one-act, “Auto-Da-Fe,” has two scheduled showings during the Festival and uses the French Quarter itself as a set!

The term auto da fe refers to a ritual of public penance that took place during the Spanish Inquisition, which makes it that much more appropriate as the title of Tennessee Williams’ one-act which will be performed using the historic New Orleans French Quarter as a live – and very public – set.

Directed by Jef Hall-Flavin and starring Cristine McMurdo-Wallis and Ben Berry, “Auto-Da-Fe” brings to life the story of puritanical Eloi Duvenet, who is over 30 and still lives with his mother. We find the two of them squabbling on the balcony of their Vieux Carre boarding house as the …

Festival Offerings That Help You Get Published

Posted on March 1, 2013 in Enews, News, Uncategorized, Updates

Need help navigating the complex process of publishing your work? Take advantage of these 6 Festival offerings designed specifically to help you get published.

1. “The Art of Self-Publishing”
Description: Cornell Landry provides practical tips for the self-published author. A great class for those tired of the query cycle or for anyone who might have wondered what self-publishing is all about.
Event Type: Master Class
Instructor: Cornell Landry
Date: Thursday March 21
Time: 9:00 – 10:15 a.m.
Location: Historic New Orleans Collection
Price: Single ticket ($25), or included in Master Class Full Series Pass ($175) or All-Access Pass ($500)
Ticket Code: MC-LandryTh9am

2. “The Art of the Debut: Writers on Their First Books”
Description: Panelists tell how they got their first fiction byline, ensnared their agents, won fellowships, maintained (or chucked) their day jobs and kept their sanity as they gained their bona fides as writers.
Event Type: Panel Discussion
Panelists: Manuel Gonzales, …

Get the Most Out of Your Festival Experience

Posted on February 21, 2013 in Enews, News, Updates

Are you planning your Festival itinerary? Trying to decide which ticket types to buy? Want to score seats for those coveted wait-listed events? Consult our Sample Day at the Festival guide below to help make your choices. Plus, get a detailed explanation of ticket packages and a list of newly available events.

24 Hours of Tennessee: A Sample Day at the Festival

Posted on in Enews, News, Updates

A five-day celebration of literature and Tennessee Williams is an exciting prospect, to be sure. But given this bevy of programming options, how does one decide which events to attend?

Fear not, Festival Fans, we have compiled a Sample Day at the Festival with suggestions on everything from panel discussions and master classes, to dining and after-hours venues. For our Sample Day, we chose Saturday, March 23rd, 2013. You, however, can browse the 2013 program and create your own Festival schedule. Read on to see how you can make the best of your Festival experience.

Day Four of the Festival: Saturday, March 23rd, 2013

7:30 a.m.
Start your morning with a hot cup of French Market Coffee in the place where locals say the French Quarter really begins: the Hotel Monteleone lobby. During your visit to the Crescent City, you will want to experience as …

Seats Now Available for Select Wait-Listed Events

Posted on in Enews, News, Updates

Previously, we announced that a few of our limited-seating events were on hold. We are pleased to let you know that we now have tickets available for the following events:

Restaurant Scoop from the Virtual Gourmet with John Mariani: Friday, March 22nd at 5:30 PM
Ticket Code: RestaurFri530pm
Sipping on a New Orleans Afternoon: Saturday, March 23rd at 1:30 P.M.
Ticket Code: SippingSat130pm
At Tennessee’s Table: Sunday, March 24th at 11:30 A.M.
Ticket Code: TableSun1130am

Only a limited number of tickets are available so buy your tickets now!

Buying Tickets, Demystified: Browse Our Best Packages

Posted on in Enews, News, Updates

VIP All-Access Pass
The VIP All-Access Pass grants unlimited access to the Festival’s 70 literary and theatrical events over the course of the entire weekend. Oh, and did we mention it comes with an invitation to our exclusive VIP party? The VIP All-Access Pass is a must for any Festival-goer wanting the complete Tennessee Williams experience, with a VIP twist.
Cost: $500
Access: Unlimited

One-Day Festival Panel Pass
Good for a specific day of your choosing, a One-Day Festival Panel Pass grants you access to all of the panels, “Conversations With” events, and music events, as well as the One-Act Play Contest reading and production. The best part? You don’t need individual reservations, just drop in and join the fun. The One-Day Panel Pass is perfect for those who want to experience the Festival on a flexible schedule.
Cost: $30
Access: Approximately 30 different programs (Access limited to …

Polish Your Writing Skills in Our Master Classes

Posted on February 7, 2013 in Enews, News, Updates

Interested in sharpening your fiction writing skills, shopping your book to an agent, or even delving into the world of screenwriting? Discuss these topics, and many more, in a personalized learning environment with our professional instructors. Headlining our 2013 Festival Master Class series are authors Zachary Lazar (novelist) and John Patrick Shanley (Oscar-winning screenwriter), among many other established writers. Read on for author interviews, as well as descriptions for all 2013 Master Class offerings.

Menu of 2013 Master Classes

Posted on in Enews, News, Updates

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Master Class: The Art of Self-Publishing
Instructor: Cornell Landry
Cost: $25 individually, or included in Full Series Pass $175
Date: Thursday, March 21, 2013
Time: 9:00 a.m.
Location: The Historic New Orleans Collection

Master Class: A Sense of Time and Place in Literary Fiction
Instructor: Zachary Lazar
Cost: $25 individually, or included in Full Series Pass $175
Date: Thursday, March 21, 2013
Time: 11:00 a.m.
Location: The Historic New Orleans Collection

Q&A with Critically Acclaimed Author and Master Class Instructor, Zachary Lazar

Posted on in Enews, News, Updates

For his novel Sway, Zachary Lazar ventured back to the London of the 1960s. In his memoir, Evening’s Empire: The Story of My Father’s Murder, he retraces the more personal history of his own father’s life. Lazar, whose work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The Los Angeles Times, Newsday, and elsewhere, will conduct the Master Class “A Sense of Time and Place in Literary Fiction” for the 2013 Festival. During this class he will share the tools of setting scenes from different time periods and places, while discussing narrative elements such as voice and character. We sat down with Lazar for a more in-depth discussion about the class, his memoir, and what’s on his personal reading list.

Your latest book, a memoir called Evening’s Empire: The Story of My Father’s Murder, attempts to elucidate the mysterious circumstances surrounding …

A Word from Oscar-Winning Screenwriter and Master Class Instructor, John Patrick Shanley

Posted on in Enews, News, Updates

During the class Shanley discusses his screen and stage career, and offers insider wisdom and his personal thoughts on the writing life. Facilitated by Thomas Keith, an editor and leading authority on contemporary theater, this session promises lively conversation.

A Conversation with Harry Shearer, Artist-Activist Extraordinaire

Posted on February 6, 2013 in Enews, News, Updates

We attempt to pick his endlessly creative brain and hold our own alongside his disarming wit.

2013 Festival Raffle: Win the Festival Library!

Posted on January 23, 2013 in Enews, News, Updates

Win dozens of new releases and classics penned by our speakers and help support our WriteNow outreach program.

3rd Annual Poetry Contest Top 10 Finalists and Winner

Posted on January 15, 2013 in Enews, News

Congrats to all our finalists and our grand prize winner! We’d like thank all the poets who submitted work for consideration and we hope you will continue writing and look forward to reading your future work.

Save the Date… Bold. Bracing. Bacchanal.

Posted on January 2, 2013 in Enews, Events, News, Uncategorized

Warm up your winter with The New Play Bacchanal.

Presented January 10-11 by Southern Rep and the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival, The New Play Bacchanal is a weekend event loaded with raw work and fresh voices, ranging from the ridiculous to the sublime. Events include:

A 6×6 Playslam,
Staged Readings and a Masterclass Discussion with Southern Rep’s Ruby Prize winner and finalists,
Special Presentations of Gabrille Reisman’s The Panama Limited and Greg Herren’s Grande Dames of New Orleans, and
“Five by Tenn” – a revue of five Tennessee Williams scenes – from cultural classics to the rarely performed.

And, of course, no Bacchanal would be complete without the famed Toga Party to cap it off.

Intrigued? Lock down your spot today by purchasing your tickets here. We’re offering individual event tickets as well as the all-access pass, our multi-event deal that gives even the most ambitious …

Oprah Picks Ayana Mathis’ “Twelve Tribes of Hattie”

Posted on December 6, 2012 in News, Updates

Ayana Mathis‘s debut novel, Twelve Tribes of Hattie is the latest Oprah Book Club pick. “The opening pages of Ayana’s debut took my breath away,” Oprah said. “I can’t remember when I read anything that moved me in quite this way, besides the work of Toni Morrison.”

When we read the book’s galleys some months back, we had a similar reaction and immediately invited her to attend our 2013 Festival. We’re thrilled that she accepted and can’t wait to host her in March. Ayana will speak on two panels at the Festival: “The Art of the Debut: Writers on their First Books,” during which we imagine she’ll have lots to say about after her wild journey in Oprah-land, and “The South: Literature of Exile, Refuge and Return,” alongside Vivek Bald and John Jeremiah Sullivan.

To hear Ayana, and other talented new (and new-ish) …

An Evening of Cocktails & Antique Jewelry to Benefit the Festival

Posted on December 5, 2012 in Enews, News

Join us Wednesday, December 12th from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m at Keil’s Antiques in the French Quarter.

Q&A with Rene Brunet and Jack Stewart, Authors of “There’s One in Your Neighborhood: The Lost Movie Theaters of New Orleans”

Posted on November 26, 2012 in Enews, News

Prytania Theater owner Rene Brunet has teamed up with urbanologist Jack Stewart and book publisher Arthur Hardy to produce a beautiful book that chronicles more than 100 lost movie theaters in metro New Orleans.

Holiday Sale: Save Up to 20% On Tickets

Posted on November 21, 2012 in News, Updates

Searching for the perfect present for your favorite bibliophile, writer, or theater lover? Give them a VIP All-Access, Master Class, or Panel Pass to the 27th annual Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival, and you’ll be giving the gift of inspiration. Hurry, offer ends January 4th!

Become a Sponsor

Posted on November 15, 2012 in Enews, Home Page, News

Benefits include publicity in program books, banners, social media, e-mail newsletters, and this very website.

Board Member Spotlight: Mary Langlois

Posted on November 14, 2012 in Enews, News

Get to know the faces behind the Festival with our new enewsletter Q&A, featuring candid interviews with board members, sponsors, and Friends of Tennessee! If you’re interested in getting involved with the Festival, check out our website or send us an email at

Today we’ve got board member, Secretary, and Co-Chair of Development, Mary Langlois, in the hot seat.

But first, a little bit about Langlois: Langlois has served as Director of Alumnae Affairs at the Newcomb College of Tulane University and Director of the Newcomb College Centennial Celebration. She was the Capital Fund Director for New Orleans’ Audubon Zoo and served six years as Tulane University Hospital’s Director of Volunteer Services. She also spent time as a child welfare caseworker with the Jefferson Parish Children’s Division and a day care supervisor with the Orleans Parish Area Welfare Department. Langlois has facilitated board retreats, provided …

Sponsor Spotlight: Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities

Posted on November 13, 2012 in Enews, News

David Johnson is executive editor of Louisiana Cultural Vistas magazine and KnowLA, the digital encyclopedia of Louisiana (, two projects of the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities. During his twenty years editing the magazine, the publication has won more than 100 awards from the Press Club of New Orleans.

As editor of Cultural Vistas, how have you seen the magazine change during your tenure and what is the greatest challenge for you in this age of so many changes in print communication?
Louisiana Cultural Vistas has grown by leaps and bounds during my twenty years with the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities. In 1992, when I started on the job as a wide-eyed recent college graduate from the Midwest, the magazine was a 24-page largely black-and-white publication — color was a rare luxury — but today it is 100 pages, full color, and with a digital, online …

Friend of Tennessee Spotlight: Margaret Dziedic

Posted on November 12, 2012 in Enews, News

Get to know the faces behind the Festival with our new Q&As, featuring candid interviews with board members, sponsors, and Friends of Tennessee!

Q&A with Carolyn Morrow Long, Author of “Madame Lalaurie, Mistress of The Haunted House”

Posted on October 26, 2012 in Enews, News

An avid researcher of New Orleans history, Long gives a factual account of Madame Delphine Lalaurie’s infamous life as a wealthy society matron accused of torturing her slaves.