2017 Speakers


Ralph Adamo
Former editor of both Barataria and New Orleans Review, Ralph
...

Jeremy Alford
Jeremy Alford is the publisher and editor of LaPolitics Weekly, Tuesday Tracker, and ...

Dorothy Allison
Dorothy Allison is the author of Bastard Out of Carolina, a finalist ...

Sally Asher
Sally Asher is the author of Hope & New Orleans: A History of Crescent ...

Jami Attenberg
Jami Attenberg is the New York Times best-selling author of five novels, including The Middlesteins and Saint Mazie. She ...

John S. Bak
John S. Bak is Professeur at the Université de Lorraine in France. ...

Stacey Balkun
Stacey Balkun is the author of Jackalope-Girl Learns to Speak and Lost City Museum. A ...

Vashni Balleste
Vashni Balleste is from upstate New York and studied broadcast journalism at ...

Bruce Sunpie Barnes
Bruce Sunpie Barnes is a veteran New Orleans musician who has traveled ...

Tad Bartlett
Tad Bartlett was born in Ankara, Turkey; grew up in Selma, Alabama; ...

Beth Bartley
Beth Bartley performed on Broadway in Fortune’s Fool (dirArthur Penn). She played Catherine ...

Fredrick Barton
UNO writer-in-residence Frederick Barton is the author or editor of ten books ...

Randy Bates
Randy Bates’s writing credits include Rings: On the Life and Family of ...

Bryan Batt
Bryan Batt is a native New Orleanian, award-winning actor, designer, fundraiser, and ...

Roy Blount, Jr.
Roy Blount, Jr. is the author of twenty-four books including Save Room ...

Lorraine Boissoneault
Lorraine Boissoneault is a graduate of Columbia University's School of Journalism and ...

Jennifer Hill Booker
Jennifer Hill Booker is an award-winning chef who trained at Le Cordon ...

Patricia Bosworth
Patricia Bosworth is a contributing editor at Vanity Fair and author of bestselling biographies ...

Amanda Boyden
Amanda Boyden is the author of two novels, Pretty Little Dirty and ...

Joseph Boyden
Joseph Boyden, writer-in-residence and a graduate (MFA, fiction) of the University of ...

Rick Bragg
Rick Bragg won a Pulitzer Prize in 1996 for his reporting for the ...

Will Brantley
Will Brantley is a professor of English at Middle Tennessee State University. ...

Beau Bratcher
Beau Bratcher returns to the Festival after directing last year's For Whom the ...

Robert Bray
Robert Bray is the founding editor of the Tennessee Williams Annual Review and the founding ...

Tyler Bridges
Tyler Bridges is a freelance journalist who splits his time among New ...

Ethan Brown
Ethan Brown is an investigative reporter and licensed private investigator based in ...

Jericho Brown
Jericho Brown has received the Whiting Writers Award and fellowships from the ...

Jason D. Buch
Jason D. Buch is an Assistant Professor in Screenwriting and New Media ...

Robert Olen Butler
Robert Olen Butler has published sixteen novels including his most recent, Perfume River; ...

Richard Campanella

Richard Campanella, a geographer with the Tulane School of Architecture,

...

Dick Cavett
Dick Cavett has been nominated for eleven Emmy awards (the most recent ...

Michael Cerveris
Michael Cerveris is a two-time Tony award-winning actor and has appeared in ...

Peter Cooley
Peter Cooley has published nine books of poetry, eight through Carnegie Mellon. ...

Augustin J Correro
Augustin J Correro serves as Founding Co-Artistic Director of the Tennessee Williams ...

Moira Crone
Moira Crone has written six books of fiction. The Ice Garden won the ...

Jennine Capó Crucet
Jennine Capó Crucet is the author of the recent novel Make Your ...

Brenda Currin
Brenda Currin is an Obie award winner for My Sister in This House by ...

Melissa Daggett
Melissa Daggett teaches United States history at San Jacinto College in Pasadena, ...

Lisa D’Amour
Lisa D’Amour is a playwright and co-artistic director of PearlDamour, an OBIE-award winning ...

Todd d’Amour
Todd d’Amour grew up in New Orleans and graduated from DeLaSalle High ...

Jack E. Davis
Jack E. Davis is the author of The Gulf: The Making of an ...

Miriam C. Davis
A native of Mobile, Miriam C. Davis graduated magna cum laude from ...

Clayton Delery-Edwards
Clayton Delery-Edwards is the author of two books about LGBT history in ...

John DeSantis
John DeSantis is a veteran journalist with a criminal justice background, author of ...

Amy Dickinson
Amy Dickinson is author of the New York Times-bestselling memoir, The Mighty ...

Nancy Dixon
Nancy Dixon teaches English at Dillard University in New Orleans. She has worked ...

Charlene A. Donaghy
Charlene A. Donaghy’s plays have been produced in New York, Los Angeles, ...

Laura Elvebak
Laura Elvebak has been a waitress, a go-go dancer, legal assistant and ...

Gina Ferrara
Gina Ferrara lives in New Orleans. Her poetry collections include: The Size ...

Randy Fertel
A professor of English who has taught the literature of war since ...

Kathy Finn
Kathy Finn has spent some thirty years in New Orleans, during which ...

Gabrielle Lucille Fuentes
Gabrielle Lucille Fuentes’ work has appeared or is forthcoming in One Story, Slice, Pank, The ...

John Gery
John Gery’s poetry collections include The Enemies of LeisureDavenport’s VersionA Gallery of Ghosts, and ...

Marcus Gilmer
Marcus Gilmer is currently an Associate Real-Time News editor at Mashable.com. A ...

Anne Gisleson
Anne Gisleson's work has appeared in The Atlantic, The Oxford American, The L.A. ...

Richard Goodman
Richard Goodman is the author of French Dirt: The Story of a ...

Nicole Pepinster Greene
Nicole Pepinster Greene is a Kellogg Professor of English at Xavier University ...

Henry Griffin
Henry Griffin is a screenwriter and filmmaker from New Orleans. His first ...

Michael Griffin
Matthew Griffin is a graduate of Wake Forest University and the Iowa Writers’ ...

Kia Groom
Kia Groom is an Australian writer and poet residing in New Orleans. ...

Winston Groom
Winston Groom has created a body of work in both fiction and ...

Clare Louise Harmon
Clare Louise Harmon is the author of The Thingbody and If Wishes Were Horses the ...

Carolyn Hembree
Carolyn Hembree’s poetry collection, Skinny, came out from Kore Press in 2012. ...

Greg Herren
Greg Herren is the award winning author of over thirty novels and fifty ...

Abram Shalom Himelstein
Abram Shalom Himelstein is the co-founder of the Neighborhood Story Project and ...

Kenneth Holditch
Kenneth Holditch’s work revolves around Tennessee Williams scholarship, including being editor of ...

Megan Holt
Raised in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, Dr. Megan Holt received a B.A. in ...

Skip Horack
Skip Horack is the author of the novels The Other Joseph and The ...

Candice Huber
Candice Huber owns New Orleans' premier geeky bookstore, board gaming store, and ...

Juyanne James
Juyanne James is the author of The Persimmon Trail and Other Stories ...

Barb Johnson
Barb Johnson worked as a carpenter in New Orleans for more than ...

David Johnson
David Johnson serves as communications associate at the Hermann-Grima + Gallier Historic ...

Rodney Jones
Rodney Jones is the author of eleven books of poems. His numerous ...

Thomas Keith
Thomas Keith has edited the Tennessee Williams titles for New Directions since 2002, including ...

Kay Kendall
Kay Kendall, an international award-winning PR executive, is the author of two ...

Errol Laborde
Errol Laborde is the editor-in-chief of Renaissance Publishing Company. Laborde’s most recent ...

Peggy Scott Laborde
Peggy Scott Laborde has been the senior producer for the New Orleans PBS ...

Wally Lamb
Wally Lamb is the author of several New York Times best-selling novels: Wishin’ and Hopin’, The Hour ...

AC Lambeth
AC Lambeth is a graduate of UNO’s Creative Writing Workshop. Since then ...

Susan Larson
Susan Larson is the host of The Reading Life on WWNO, New ...

Bill Lavender
Bill Lavender is a poet, novelist, musician, carpenter and publisher in New ...

Jeremy Lawrence
This is Jeremy Lawrence’s eleventh Festival. Recent TV appearances include The Blacklist and ...

Kiese Laymon
Kiese Laymon is a Professor of English and creative writing at University ...

Joanna Leake
Joanna Leake is one of the founders of The Creative Writing Workshop and ...

Bill Loehfelm

Bill Loehfelm is the author of the critically-acclaimed

...

Alecia P. Long
Alecia P. Long is a professor history at LSU and author of The ...

Richard Louth

Richard Louth is a Professor of English at Southeastern Louisiana University,

...

Kristen-Paige Madonia
Kristen-Paige Madonia is the author of Fingerprints of You, and her work ...

Nicholas Mainieri
Nicholas Mainieri is the author of The Infinite, a novel. His short ...

Patrick Maney
Patrick Maney is author of Bill Clinton: New Gilded Age President. He has written ...

Kerri Maniscalo
Kerri Maniscalco grew up in a semi-haunted house outside New York City, ...

Bev Marshall
Bev Marshall is the critically-acclaimed author of Walking Through Shadows, Right as Rain, ...

Ti Adelaide Martin
Ti Adelaide Martin is co-proprietor of Commander’s Palace and co-author of Miss ...

Melanie McCabe
Melanie McCabe is the author of His Other Life: Searching For My Father, ...

Jim McCormick
Jim McCormick’s songs have been recorded by Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, Tim ...

Bernice L. McFadden
Bernice L. McFadden is the author of nine critically acclaimed novels including ...

Mary Miller
Mary Miller is the author of a novel, The Last Days of California, ...

Tom Mitchell
Tom Mitchell is Associate Head of Theatre at the University of Illinois ...

Cecile Monteyne
Cecile Monteyne is a New Orleans native and member of The NOLA Project. ...

Coleen Muir
Coleen Muir’s writing has appeared in publications such as Fourth Genre, Silk ...

Lara Naughton
Lara Naughton’s works include The Jaguar Man and Never Fight a Shark ...

Justin Nobel
Justin Nobel's stories about science, the environment and culture have been published ...

Biljana D. Obradovic
Dr. Biljana D. Obradovic, is a Serbian-American poet and translator. She is ...

Frank Perez
Frank Perez serves as President of the LGBT+ Archives Project of Louisiana. ...

John Pope
John Pope, author of Getting Off at Elysian Fields, an anthology of his ...

Martin Pousson
Martin Pousson was born and raised in Acadiana, in the bayou land ...

Brenda Quant
Brenda Quant was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. She was awarded an MFA ...

A Scribe Called Quess?
A Scribe Called Quess? is a poet, educator, actor, playwright and activist ...

J. M. Redmann
J.M. Redmann’s mystery series features New Orleans PI Micky Knight. Her books ...

Julia Reed
Julia Reed writes The High and the Low column for Garden & ...

Trisha Rezende
Trisha Rezende is a poet who hails from the island nation of ...

Brad Richard
Brad Richard chairs the creative writing program at Lusher Charter School. 2015 ...

Gary Richards
Gary Richards is associate professor and chair of the Department of English, ...

Bess Rowen
Bess Rowen is a Ph.D. Candidate in Theatre and Dissertation Fellow at ...

Maurice Carlos Ruffin
Maurice Carlos Ruffin's work has appeared in Unfathomable City: A New Orleans ...

Kalamu ya Salaam
Kalamu ya Salaam (born 24 March 1947, New Orleans) is a writer, ...

John Patrick Shanley
John Patrick Shanley is an American playwright, screenwriter, and theatre and film director. ...

Sim Shattuck
Sim Shattuck was born in Decatur, Georgia and now resides in Louisiana. ...

John Warner Smith
John Warner Smith’s two collections of poetry are Soul Be A Witness ...

Katy Simpson Smith
Katy Simpson Smith was born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi. She is ...

Michael Farris Smith
Michael Farris Smith is the award-winning author of several novels, ...

Tia L. Smith
Tia L. Smith joined the Mass Communication Department at Xavier University in 2015 ...

Michael Tisserand
Michael Tisserand is a New Orleans-based author whose new book, Krazy: George Herriman, ...

Poppy Tooker
Poppy Tooker is the author of the Crescent City Farmers Market Cookbook, ...

Pamela Tyler
Pamela Tyler, a native of Georgia, holds a Ph.D. in history from ...

Adrian Van Young
Adrian Van Young is the author of The Man Who Noticed Everything, a collection ...

Kim Vaz-Deville
Kim Vaz-Deville is associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences ...

M.O. Walsh
M.O. Walsh is the author of the story collection The Prospect of Magic and the novel My ...

Jerry W. Ward, Jr.
Jerry W. Ward, Jr., who has lived in New Orleans since 2002, is ...

Katherine Weiss
Dr. Katherine Weiss is a Professor of English and Chair of the ...

Shaolu Yu
Shaolu Yu is a Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellow in Urban Studies at Rhodes ...

Michael Allen Zell
Michael Allen Zell’s first play, What Do You Say To A Shadow?, ...