I’ve written about this wonderful festival before (see bottom of post) and was happy to find time to go again this year. I believe I went first in the late 1980s, and then began to go annually around 1999 or so.
I have a good outsider viewpoint to share so maybe that this “world-class literary festival”(as a globe-trotting festival-goer firmly declared to me years ago) remains relevant and exciting. The good news is that the people attached to the festival are excellent, and grow increasingly more representative of the city and region. The bad news is fewer locals that are not writers or theater buffs attend even though there are many exciting and enjoyable topics for non-writers. The other bad news is that it is banged about on all sides by a half dozen or more events and festivals happening in the same week.
I’d like to see:
more outdoor events (still like my idea from earlier post of having Streetcar movie playing in Square on Thursday night) should also be a short brass band event to celebrate TW’s birthday (bring back the birthday toast and singing, just move to Square or to Pirate’s Alley)
more interaction between other TW festivals and this one
more on St. Louis!
more on local lore, local history from the 20th century, (an era possibly the least understood of New Orleans’ 3 centuries…)
bring back popular panels from early years
sponsor a nearby Tennessee Flea market full of all (quality) things New Orleans 20th century as well as collector’s editions of his works
more items for sale such as reproduction posters of productions, clothing not directly tied to festival but TW related. Work with stores in FQ to highlight TW and literary items that weekend.
more panels and materials on/from Mississippi, TW’s other home
more panels and materials on the Mississippi River history and places from St. Louis to New Orleans
highlight other Southern writers with their own small track (Flannery, Eudora even gasp Anne Rice)
more with emerging writers, especially with schools around the city (i.e.Neighborhood Story Project)
TWLF history hunt with prizes
Tie in TWLF with FQ Fest and JazzFest with a linked exhibit or sponsored musician
Let’s just make this a engaging, engrossing, and illuminating weekend, centered around the great modern playwright who loved this city.
A cross section of things I’ve written about the festival on this blog: