2016 Speakers


Megan Abbott
Megan Abbott is the Edgar-winning author of seven novels, including ...

Ralph Adamo
Ralph Adamo teaches at Xavier University where he also edits Xavier Review. A past editor ...

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

Alys Arden
Alys Arden was raised by the street performers, tea leaf-readers, and glittering ...

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

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

Fredrick Barton
UNO writer-in-residence Fredrick Barton is the author of the book of essays ...

Claudia Baumgarten
Claudia Baumgarten is a story-teller who enjoys entertaining and engaging children at ...

Cynthia Bond
Cynthia Bond is a New York Times bestselling author. Her novel Ruby is the latest Oprah’s Book ...

Brian Boyles
Brian Boyles is Vice President of Content at the Louisiana Endowment for ...

Patricia Brady
Patricia Brady is the biographer of two First Ladies: Martha Washington and ...

Rick Bragg
Rick Bragg is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and the author of The ...

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

Beau Bratcher
Beau Bratcher returns to the Festival after directing last year’s Cat on ...

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

Michael Bush
Michael Bush directed the Off-Broadway productions of Bikeman ...

Richard Campanella
Richard Campanella, a geographer with the Tulane School of Architecture, has authored ...

Dick Cavett
Dick Cavett has been nominated for eleven Emmy awards (most recently, for ...

Alexander Chee
Alexander Chee won a Whiting Award for his first novel, Edinburgh, and ...

Zachary Clause
Zachary Clause is currently studying at The New School. As ...

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

Brenda Currin
Brenda Currin, an Obie award winner (My Sister in This House by ...

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

Charles N. deGravelles
Charles N. deGravelles spent over twenty-five years ministering to the ...

Nancy Dixon
Nancy Dixon is an English professor at Dillard University in New Orleans. ...

Alan Donnes
A native of New Orleans, Alan Donnes began ...

Margaret Eby
Margaret Eby has written for the New York Times, The New Yorker, the Paris Review ...

Randy Fertel
Randy Fertel is a writer and philanthropist dedicated to the arts, education, New ...

Lisa Flanagan
Lisa Flanagan joined the Communication Studies faculty at Xavier University of Louisiana in ...

Alison Gaylin
Alison Gaylin is the author of the Edgar-nominated thriller Hide Your Eyes, and its sequel You ...

Jewelle Gomez
Jewelle Gomez is the author of seven books including the double Lambda ...

Jennifer Hale
Jennifer Hale is an award-winning journalist who now works for ...

Jef Hall-Flavin
Jef Hall-Flavin, director of Orpheus Descending, is the Executive Director for the Provincetown ...

Chris Hannan
Chris Hannan is a New Orleans attorney, whose poetry has appeared in ...

Aimée Hayes
As the artistic director of Southern Rep, Aimée Hayes has focused on ...

Beth Henley
Beth Henley is a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright who has written for both ...

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

Foster Hirsch
Foster Hirsch, professor of film at Brooklyn College, is the author of ...

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

David W. Hoover

David W. Hoover is the chair of the Department of Film

...

Candice Huber
Candice Huber is the owner of New Orleans' premier geeky ...

Andy Hunter
Andy Hunter is the publisher, COO, and co-founder of Catapult. He is also the ...

Brittney M. James
Brittney M. James is a regular on the Louisiana theatre circuit and ...

Clint Johnson
Clint Johnson is an acclaimed actor and singer, and a five year ...

David Johnson
David Johnson is the executive editor of Louisiana Cultural Vistas magazine and ...

Ava Kay Jones
Ava Kay Jones is an ordained Voodoo and Yoruba Priestess ...

Natalie Jones
Natalie Jones is a local performer, represented by Ann Mahoney Kadar of ...

Thomas Keith
Thomas Keith has edited over a dozen titles by Tennessee Williams for ...

Rob Kendt
Rob Kendt is a member of the BMI Advanced Composer/Lyricist Workshop. His ...

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

Katheryn Krotzer Laborde
Katheryn Krotzer Laborde is a writer whose work has appeared in Southern ...

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

John Lahr
John Lahr is the author of Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the ...

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

Bill Lavender
Bill Lavender’s most recent book of poetry, the ground-breaking verse memoir, Memory Wing, ...

Jeremy Lawrence
This is Jeremy Lawrence’s tenth Festival. Recent stage work includes Fashions for ...

Kiese Laymon
Kiese Laymon is currently an Associate Professor of English at Vassar College. ...

Jonathan Lee
Jonathan Lee is a British writer whose recent fiction has appeared in ...

C.C. Lockwood
Wildlife photographer C.C. Lockwood has lived and worked in fragile ecosystems whose ...

Bill Loehfelm
Bill Loehfelm has authored five novels: Bloodroot, Fresh Kills, and the Maureen ...

Richard Louth

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

...

Phillip Manuel
Phillip Manuel has been singing professionally since the age of 11. He ...

Mary Badham
Mary Badham was chosen for the role of “Scout”in ...

Mary Niall Mitchell
Mary Niall Mitchell co-directs the Midlo Center for New Orleans Studies. The ...

Cecile Monteyne
Cecile Monteyne was named New Orleans' Big Easy Awards' 2014 ...

Benjamin Morris
A native of Mississippi, Benjamin Morris is the author of Coronary (Fitzgerald ...

Michael Murphy
Michael Murphy is a thirty-five year veteran of the publishing industry and ...

Kathleen Calhoun Nettleton
Kathleen Calhoun Nettleton of Pelican Publishing Company has worked in all facets ...

Stuart Noel
Stuart Noel is an Associate Dean and Professor of English at Georgia ...

Estelle Parsons
Estelle Parsons is most widely known for her Academy Award-winning performance in ...

Michael Pasquier
Michael Pasquier is Associate Professor of Religious Studies and History at Louisiana ...

Austin Pendleton
Austin Pendleton has worked on the following Tennessee Williams plays: The Glass ...

Frank Perez
Frank Perez is a writer who has authored two books: In Exile: ...

Tom Piazza
Tom Piazza has written eleven books including the recent novel A Free ...

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

J.R. Ramakrishnan
J.R. Ramakrishnan’s writing has appeared in the New York Times Book Review, ...

Kathy Randels
Kathy Randels is a native New Orleanian and founding artistic ...

Alex Rawls
Alex Rawls created My Spilt Milk, a website that covers music and ...

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

Rex Reed
Rex Reed is a critic, columnist, journalist, author, and lecturer. His articles ...

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

Anne Boyd Rioux
Anne Boyd Rioux is a professor at the University of New Orleans and ...

Clay Risen
Clay Risen is a senior editor for The New York Times Opinion ...

Kodi Roberts
Kodi Roberts is Assistant Professor of History at Louisiana State University. He has ...

Kristina Kay Robinson
Kristina Kay Robinson is a writer, visual artist, and native of New ...

Dorian Rush
Dorian Rush is a musician and actress based in New Orleans. She has ...

Tom Sancton
A former Rhodes Scholar at Oxford, New Orleans native Tom Sancton worked ...

James Shade
James Shade is a New Orleans native who has written for the Times Picayune, ...

Fatima Shaik
Fatima Shaik is a native of New Orleans and the author of ...

LaKisha Simmons
LaKisha Simmons is a professor at the University at Buffalo specializing in the history ...

Joshua Smith
Joshua Smith is a native New Orleans actor and musician. ...

Julie Smith
Julie Smith started out the old-fashioned way, first writing twenty mysteries, including ...

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

Wendy Corsi Staub
New York Times bestseller and two-time Simon and Schuster Mary Higgins Clark Award finalist ...

David Swatling
David Swatling grew up in New York, studied theatre, and moved to ...

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

Kim Vaz-Deville
Kim Vaz-Deville, Ph.D. is professor of education and ...

Christina Vella
Christina Vella received her Ph.D. in European and U.S. history from Tulane ...

Joel Vig
Joel Vig is best known for creating one of the starring roles ...

Jerry W. Ward, Jr.
Jerry W. Ward, Jr. is a literary critic and Richard ...

Kent Wascom
Kent Wascom has been called "one of the most exhilarating historical novelists in ...

Claire Vaye Watkins
Claire Vaye Watkins is the author of Battleborn, winner of the Story ...

Anne Lanier Williams
Anne Lanier Williams was adopted into the Tennessee Williams family ...

Caroline Randall Williams
Caroline Randall Williams, a native of Nashville, Tennessee, received her MFA from ...

Deborah Willis
Deborah Willis, Ph.D, is University Professor and Chair of the Department of ...

Mark Yakich
Mark Yakich is the author of two poetry collections from Penguin: Unrelated Individuals ...

Michael Allen Zell
Michael Allen Zell is a New Orleans-based novelist, playwright, and essayist. Kirkus ...